Ask Coach Bradley - Tapering For A Race
Whether you are part of our CARA training programs, working towards your next 5k PR, or a beginning runner CARA Director of Training and Head Coach Tim Bradley is here to answer your training questions!
Q: I am currently tapering for a spring race and it has been a long time since my last race. What are a few key points to consider while I prepare?
A: Here are some key points to keep in mind while tapering:
Keep your running frequency generally the same while you reduce total mileage for the week.
If it has been a long time since your last race, consider doing a final “pace workout” where you simply practice running your goal race pace for a few miles
Spend some time reviewing the course map and how you will get to the race morning of.
Currently, almost all races have COVID guidelines and specific race day procedures that you must follow, so you will want to review and make sure you understand all guidelines and starting procedures.
Most races currently also have reduced field sizes, which makes it a bit easier to really get focused on your own individual pace. You don’t have to worry as much about a mass start of runners or a chaotic start line. Use this to your advantage and get locked into your pacing and breathing rhythm early.
You will have to feel your way through the race a little bit as the body and mind tend to forget how challenging racing can be sometimes. Consider a conservative pacing strategy and allow yourself some room to speed up as the race goes on.
Overall, have fun and enjoy the experience of racing again. While it looks a bit different these days the satisfaction of pushing yourself to achieve your goal remains the same!
Have a training question? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.