One of the fascinating aspects of peak performance is the taper. Tapering down can be psychologically tough for athletes that have never experienced the impact of a well designed reduction in training volume (taper period). It’s sometimes tough to remove yourself from the “I can’t stop training now” mentality.
Taper Down, Gearing Up
05 26 09'
However, without a well-defined taper, peak performance will be elusive. The most notable change that occurs during a taper is an increase in muscular strength and power. (OH, bring it on!) It appears this recovery in strength and power may be linked to modifications in the muscle’s contractile mechanisms. Tapering allows time for muscles to repair damage incurred during intense training and for muscle and liver glycogen to be restored.
So this is the week to eat well, rest, hydrate, and let the body perform the magical process of adaptation. You earned it!