Menu Close

Tapering Your Running Before A Race

Tapering your running before a race down the mountain

Tapering is reducing your running mileage before a race. It can help you achieve a faster finishing time. For optimal race performance, I recommend tapering your running two weeks before your race.

During your training, what was your highest mileage per week? For example, 35 miles was the most miles I ran. Two weeks before your race, reduce your mileage by 25%. I plan to run 26.2 miles two weeks out.

Then in the final week, reduce your mileage by 20%. I plan to run 21 miles which includes the 13.1-mile Clearwater Half Marathon on race day.

A two-week taper training might look like the following:

  • 2 Weeks Out – 4 days run 26.2 miles
  • 1 Week Out – 2 days run 3 miles per day, on race day 2 mile warmup and 13.1 miles

The first week of tapering, I recommend running in the following Polar heart rate (HR) zones:

  • 1st day: 1 mile zone 2, 5 miles zone 3, and 5 min zone 2
  • 2nd day: 10 min zone 2, 2 x 5 min zone 4-5 with 2 min in zone 3, 6 min zone 2
  • 3rd day: repeat day 1
  • 4th day: 8 mile easy long run HR zone 2

The final week of tapering, my heart rate running recommendations:

  • 1 day: 3 miles zone 2 easy run
  • 2 day: 3 miles zone 2 easy run
  • Race day: 2 miles zone 2 (warmup), 5 miles zone 3, 7 miles zone 4, 1.1 miles zone 5.

Benefit of Tapering

By reducing your running, you give yourself all the time you need to rest and fully recover. You can think of tapering two weeks out as a running maintenance week. In the final taper week, you run a few easy miles a couple of times until race day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *