The Three Most Common Tapering Mistakes

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Jun. 20, 2013
  • Updated Jun. 20, 2013 at 4:08 PM UTC
Avoiding the three most common tapering mistakes will ensure that you enter race day in the best condition possible. Photo:

Don’t screw up your race in the last two weeks of training.

Tapering. It might be one of the most feared words in a runner’s vocabulary, right next to patience and rest. After months of long miles and lung-busting intervals, finding the right balance of sharpening and rest to hit race day firing on all cylinders can be a nerve-wracking process.

Even more daunting is that the taper isn’t an exact science. Ask any 10 coaches and researchers what the optimal taper would be and you’ll get 10 different answers.

However, coaches and scientists do agree on a few principles that are constant in the perfect taper. Unfortunately, these universal elements are also the most frequent aspects most runners botch in the last two weeks of their training. Here’s how you can avoid the three most common tapering mistakes.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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