Ok, the work is done…time to eat (healthy), drink (water), be merry (no heavy partying) and taper down! Tapering for a big event is crucial for optimal performance. Training tears down the body and creates fatigue. Now it’s time for quality rest with reduced training volume and intensity to allow the body to recover, repair and restore energy reserves.
The most notable change during the taper is a marked increase in muscle strength and power that are a result of physiological adaptations, most notably changes in the muscle’s contractile mechanisms and muscle fiber recruitment along with improvement in glycogen stores, increased blood volume and aerobic enzyme activity, and connective tissue repair.
Training volume this week should be reduced 50-60% with some brief bursts of high intensity work with long recoveries to enhance muscle recruitment and to keep the legs snappy and from feeling flat.
And watch the calorie intake as your calorie expenditure decreases significantly this week. The goal is to fuel well, hydrate and stay lean.