30 Aug '14, 8am

In the days before a race, scale back on mileage but not intensity. Learn more:

In principle, tapering should be simple–run less so you're rested for race day. In practice, many athletes find two to three weeks of cutting back on mileage and intensity makes their legs feel heavy and lifeless. But Spanish coach and physiologist Iñigo Mujika, a leading expert on tapering, sees a way around that problem. Mujika suggests athletes start their taper early, scaling back on mileage but not intensity, then three days before the event, "reload" their muscles with an interval workout. Performing these workouts when your legs are fresher than they've been for months can actually increase your fitness. Indeed, too much rest or slow running lowers the muscle tension in your legs, says Norwegian Olympian and 13:06 5-K runner Marius Bakken, which is why they feel flat and sluggish. Short, fast bursts of running raise muscle tension back up. If you get your taper righ...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/tapering-wrap-i...

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