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Reverse Taper

A taper is when you go from your highest training level and reduce your volume over a few weeks to let the body sharpen up and peak for a big race.

The idea behind a reverse taper is to go the other direction – from little or minimal training back to more running.

A reverse taper schedule is useful in a number of scenarios:

  1. When you need to recover between two races close together.
  2. When you need to take a period of rest.
  3. When you need to ease back in to running after a period of rest

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The below plan (inspired by Runner Connect) is what I use for myself and my athletes. Typically, this immediately follows a 13.1 mile or longer race at best effort and counts as a period of rest from training. It’s the recovery bridge between their big race and their next training block.

  • Saturday/Sunday Race
  • Week One
    • Monday: Rest
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: Rest
    • Thursday: 20-40 minutes cross-training
    • Friday: Easy 20-30 minute jog
    • Saturday: 20-40 minutes cross-training
    • Sunday: Rest
  • Week Two
    • Monday: Easy 30-40 minutes run
    • Tuesday: 30-45 minutes cross-training
    • Wednesday: easy 30 + moderate 10 minutes cross-training
    • Thursday: Easy 30-50 minutes run
    • Friday: Easy 25 + moderate 15 minutes cross-training
    • Saturday: Easy 30-50 minutes run
    • Sunday: Rest
  • Week Three
    • Monday: Easy 40-70 minute run with a stride every 10 minutes
    • Tuesday: Easy 50-80 minute jog
    • Wednesday: Easy 40-70 run with a stride every 10 minutes
    • Thursday: Rest
    • Friday: Easy 50-80 minutes with a stride every 10 minutes
    • Saturday: Easy 50-80 minutes with a stride every 10 minutes
    • Sunday: Rest

Cross-Training = anything non-running such as walking, cycling, rowing, the elliptical, swimming.

Strides = 30-second accelerations from your regular easy pace to a moderately hard effort level.