Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why is "tapering " before an event important?

I work with many clients who have the mindset that they have to continuously push themselves without ever tasking time to let the body rest and rebuild.  Part of my job as a Trainer is to educate my clients why they need to let their body rest and and allow it to repair and rebuild so that they can continue to make gains in strength and fitness.  If we never let the body rest, it will inevitably "break down" or become fatigued and ultimately begin to lose fitness.

The same goes for someone who is training for an event or competition.  I often train athletes in cycles, where the volume and intensity increase each week, pushing their weekly adaptations to new levels.  Then scheduling recovery weeks to allow the body to make the gains and rest.  If we don't allow for tapering or "off weeks", fatigue and overtraining will occur and the athlete will not continue to progress physically.

The idea of a taper is to allow an athlete to maximize their strength and fitness gains that were made over the previous weeks of training, and come into a race/event well rested and feeling fresh.  During a taper, the weekly volume of training will typically decrease but the intensity remains high.  It's typical for an athlete to get antsy during the weeks of a taper; the feeling that he/she may be losing fitness will cross the mind more than once.  It's important to get as much rest (not doing many other chores outside of training) as possible.  Resting not only let the body recovery, but also the mind.

The length of a taper varies for each person and the length of the event that he/she will be competing in.  In order to truly perfect the taper, a trial and error is one of the best approaches.

Finally, there are 3 different types of tapering strategies: minor, moderate and major.
1.  Minor tapers typically only require about 1-5 days of recovery leading up to an event (usually a smaller distance event).
2.  Moderate tapers will last anywhere from 5-14 days before an event, and tend to be included for higher priority races.
3.  Major tapers last as long as 21-28 days and are scheduled for the highest priority races, and are usually for longer distance endurance events.\

So if you are an athlete in training and an important event is coming up, consider giving yourself a taper week or two.  

1 comment:

GloriaEvelyn said...

Tapering is important for the body to regain its original shape and size therefore it has become important to have proper training before start any fitness exercise.You need guidance of trainer like him
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