The Taper Phase
The last 10 days of this training schedule make up the taper phase. Unlike many traditional tapering strategies, the easy mileage doesn’t drop significantly until the final two days before the race. The reason for this is that the length of your easy runs should already be at a level that promotes recovery and isn’t making you overly tired.
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More importantly, easy runs help maintain your aerobic conditioning. Since we know the energy demands of the half-marathon are 98 percent aerobic, it is critical that you continue to train the aerobic system as race day approaches. Because easy runs shouldn’t be making you tired at this point in the training cycle, they are the perfect means of accomplishing this goal.
In the final two days before the race, the length of the easy runs drops as a safety net. Fitness can’t be lost or gained in two days. The purpose is to eliminate any possible detriment to your race-day performance.
Pre-race workout: The final pre-race workout is the last hard effort you’ll have before your race and puts the finishing touches on your preparation. It is essential you don’t run too hard. The goal is to stimulate your central nervous system, touch on some speed to get your legs feeling good, and build confidence without increasing fatigue.