Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Taper for the Ruckus

You may be able to get away with procrastinating for high school exams, college finals or that big project you have to present to the company.  But when it comes to training for a  mud run or obstacle course, it’s important to not put off your training!  You simply can’t wait until the week before the competition or race to kick your training into high gear; in fact, you should be doing just the opposite.

What is taper?  
Following weeks of proper preparation, we suggest taking the seven days before your Ruckus run to practice what is known as tapering.  This means that instead of pushing your body to the limit right before race day, you should reduce the distance and volume you run to allow for optimum performance come race day. 

What are the benefits of tapering?
Tapering has not only physical, but mental advantages as well.  The final week spent tapering leads to improved muscle glycogen stores, expanded blood plasma and repaired connective tissue.  All of these things need “taper time” to build back up after intense training.  In addition, the week of relaxed training builds mental confidence for the impending race.

Big, fancy scientific terms aside, tapering is so effective because training usually involves working your body and mind to exhaustion daily, and not allowing time for full recovery.  We want to make sure that before taking on our challenging obstacles (especially all you with eyes set on the competitive Champions Heat), you are at the peak of your abilities.  You’ll need all the strength you can get!

How should I taper for the Ruckus? 
We suggest the following tapering plan for all of our serious Ruckus runners out there: 

  • Six and five days before competition, reduce your training distance and volume to 75%.
  • Four and three days prior, work at 50% of your training level.
  • On your last day of training, two days before Ruckus, take it easy at 25%. 

You will then want to completely take off the day prior to competition in order to give your body ample recovery time.  Then, come the next morning, you will be ready to have all of that training pay off.

For our future Boston Ruckus runners, your week of tapering will begin June 9, so make sure to continue your training, and the results will speak for themselves!  

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