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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.