Taper Time Baby...


There is some serious (and not so serious) tapering going on around here these days...

Serious: Team ELM is heading to Vic for the Times Colonist 10K this Sunday after training hard and smart for the past 10 weeks! Wooohoo!

Not so serious: Team ELM is staying in town and entering 2 teams once again in the Royal Lepage Snow to Surf Relay this Sunday- we are out there to have fun, cheer as loud as possible and get in a good gigglefest...anything else is bonus;)

Not sure if I'm serious: I have been keeping my good friend and ELM coach Kim Senechal (check out her blog as she has been posting all the way through her training journey!) company on her long runs this winter as she prepares for her first Ultra in May... In the process I have managed to sign myself up for the 50k race as well:) We finished our last long run this past Sunday (Cumberland Triple Crown OMG: 5.5hours, 38kms, 1500m elevation gain) and have a few good long ones under our sneakers now so it is taper time baby!

Running this far again is a gift after my freak fracture in 2011 and my bizarre year of illness in 2013 (might post an update on all that soon:)...so I am taking it all in with open arms! We are heading to the USofA for a roadtrip to Winthrop Washington to experience trail running in the Cascade mountain range! Sunmountain Ultra and my first tase of the Rainshadow Race Series. Can't wait to explore this amazing area on foot!

For those of you in need of a reminder...hint hint YOU...Tapering is an important part of your training plan - and allows you to PEAK for your A events!


Tapering means cutting down on the volume of your training by decreasing the length or the frequency of your runs. You will notice a decrease in the number and length of your runs in your training plans. Maintain the same pace (intensity) and you will notice the effects of tapering. This tapering period will allow your body to recover from weeks or months of stress and remove the layers of fatigue that have built up. Remember: You will not improve your performance by increasing your training during the week before!! Instead you will continue to build up fatigue. Effective tapering is taking the volume (total kms) down to 50% or even 25% of your biggest weekly volume. Here is the 411 on Tapering (this is the general info- but remember that each runner is unique!):


  • Decrease volume of training by 50-75% before an important event. Maintain or even increase intensity, but decrease duration and frequency training sessions.

  • Provides body with additional recovery to allow for ‘peaking’ on race day. Removes built-up fatigue from weeks of training…it is carried over, even with adequate rest days built into a program. Body rebuilds stronger adapting to weeks of training. Goal is to maintain fitness while shedding fatigue. The result is increased performance on race day!

  • You will not see any significant training effect on race day from your high volume workouts the 7-10 days before your event. In fact, you will increase fatigue and potentially decrease performance if you train at a high volume the week prior.

  • The longer the event AND the more important, the longer and more important the taper.

  • Choose 1-3 important A and B races to build up to…taper for these.

  • 1-4weeks. 10K 1 week, ½ marathon up to 2 weeks, marathon up to 3 weeks, ultramarathon 4 weeks.