Tapering

Our Lydiard Method training runners are now headed into the Taper phase after this week. Its two weeks long and culminates in target races April 7. The hard work is all done by this time and these two weeks are all about allowing your body to fully replenish and provide the opportunity to arrive at the starting line healthy and fit to do your best.
I’m sure I’ll see runners trying to get their “20 milers” in two weeks out from race day or even 3 weeks out. Not Lydiard trained runners. What others don’t realize is at this stage the cake is “baked” and they don’t have enough time to even recover properly from these long runs, if they can’t finish them under 2:45. For Lydiard runners this work was done weeks ago at the appropriate time and duration. But that’s a TTT post for another time.

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First an update from this past Saturday, March 16. Running Niche had 7 Lydiard method athletes compete in the St. Pats Day 5 Miler here in St. Louis. This event was used to simulate race conditions and preparation while performing a Progress Calibration Run to gauge where they are in their fitness development. All 7 ran negative splits and finished strong, the core goal of a PCR. All but one PR’d. Here’s the results: Omar Abdi 3rd overall in PR of 25:28. Carolyn Baird 4th overall in PR 31:35. Nick Pelligrini PR’d in 35:36, Maria Fassett PR’d in 45:41, Angela Mazul PR’d in 46:52 and Sergio Masul PR’d in 46:38. David Mokone finished 19th overall in 28:44 after a break in training. My congrats to all for handling this “race” in a disciplined manner. They are starting to realize their strong fitness level, benefits of their training and what they are capable of in their target race in 3 weeks. We’ll be working with them to plan their race strategies soon and will post about the key pieces of that. Pictured here are Angela and Sergio.


Back to the Lydiard phase 5, Taper. Over the last 2 weeks the workload is gradually decreased. There are no workouts which break the body down. Anything done fast is done short. Aerobic runs, although shorter, are a key component as they are in all Lydiard phases. Do be mindful of your diet during this phase as with decreased workload if you tend to overeat you will gain weight. However, in the three days prior to your target race, particularly for the marathon, eat plenty. You have to ensure your glycogen stores are maxed out. While you may feel sluggish in the first few miles of the race, you will lighten up later in the race and feel smoother. You will feel good, rested and want to do more during tapering. Resist this temptation. Doing less now is the key component of this phase! You should feel fully recharged and ready. With GO! races 3 weeks out now, Lydiard runners are allowed to run two more race situation time trials as final prep as they sharpen for their target race.
Next week I’ll post about race strategy approaches. If you would like to learn more about the Lydiard Method, stop by the store as we enjoy talking about training, particularly yours!

Bob Dyer (Co-owner, Running Niche)
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