As the day draws closer to the triathlon, you will probably feel the need to train nonstop. Still, you should know that training relentlessly in a few short weeks will do nothing to make you more fit. You will only find yourself exhausted. Try tapering your workout and practices instead.

What exactly is tapering? Tapering entails lowering the intensity and amount of time you work out each session. While it may sound like tapering would be quite simple to do, it really is not that effortless. In the weeks prior to your competition, you will find yourself exercising less than you did when you first started the training schedule that brought you to this point. When you compare these workouts to the initial ones, they will seem quite easy. You will be more relaxed and have more free time to enjoy life.

Make the most of it by sleeping in and having a day of rest. Of course if you have followed your training plan, this load reduction, as enjoyable as it may be, might make you feel as if you are being a lousy athlete. You may even worry about losing some of your strength and endurance right before the event. This is not the case. The truth is you will not be well-equipped to compete if you do not taper your training. If your tapering goes as well as it should, you will have tons of potential energy, just waiting to be unleashed right before the competition.

The taper’s length should be based on a percentage of the race’s duration. If you are sprinting as part of the competition, you should know this particular event will take from one to two hours. Knowing this information will allow you to plan to rest between two and seven days before the race. This rest period will allow you to store enough energy for your run.

Ironman contestants normally have to exert themselves for 17 to 18 hours so if you are participating in a challenge of this sort, you should plan on stockpiling a huge supply of energy. In order to do this, you will need to begin tapering your training a lot sooner. Tapering is in no way a resort to a lazy lifestyle. Your body still needs to be active. At the same time, overdoing things and testing your capabilities are not the right things to do during the seven days prior to your triathlon. The energy you would be using is the energy you will need for your competition.

Just as each athlete’s training is unique and personalized to that individual so is the triathlete’s tapering. A number of athletes take longer to recover from aggressive workouts. If you fall within that category, you should concentrate on designing a tapering plan which will allow you plenty of recuperation time. If you find yourself unprepared for the sprint the week before you have to compete, continuing to train is not going to make the race any easier.

The same can be said in regards to your readiness for the Ironman competition. If you are unprepared for this huge event a month before it begins, you cannot alter your performance level this late in the game. Training relentlessly up until the day of the event will only exhaust you to the point where your performance will be less than what you are actually capable of achieving.
Do not be alarmed if while you are tapering, you start to feel a bit lethargic and bulky. This is especially common for athletes who are about a week away from competing. The feelings do not mean you are no longer fit. It is simply the way your body rebuilds itself and saves fuel for later.