This is the week of the race, commonly known as “taper” week. The goal of tapering for a race is to feel your freshest on race day. You must run enough to feel peppy but not so much that you feel tired. This fine balance can be achieved by running a little less than normal while maintaining your typical effort. Tapering looks different for every race. The longer the distance, the longer the taper.
Out & Back Monday:
5K Runners will run easy out for 12-15 minutes and come back the same route only slightly faster. This isn’t a “fast finish” run where you are sprinting at the end. The goal is to run a steady pace on the way back, working sightly harder than the way out. This is a good race strategy and often results in a more pleasant racing experience.
Effort level= Conversational. If you can talk or sing (to yourself), you’re good.
Milers will warm-up for 5-10 minutes with an easy walk or run. Then do 3 x 200 meters on the track (or 2 minutes on the road) at a comfortably-hard effort. Give yourself 2 minutes of recovery after. Cool down with a 5-10 minute walk/jog.
5K Runners will warm-up for 10 minutes. Then do 3 x 600 meters on the track, focusing on the last 200 meters of each one being faster. Do a 300 meter recovery. If not on a track, do 3 x 3 minutes moderately hard (focusing on the final minute being faster), with 2 minute recovery. Cool down with at least 10 minutes of easy running after.
A good strategy for intervals is to only run as fast as you can recover. This means that if your heart rate or breathing is not calming down before the next interval, you are running too fast. It’s always better to error on the side of caution when doing speedier work.
Effort level: Moderately-hard. Today is the hardest effort of the week, but keep it under control.
TMC MMD 5K or 1 Mile Virtual Race:
Warm-up: Make sure to walk or jog for 5-10 minutes before you start your watch. If you want, do a couple strides to practice your goal race pace.
Virtual race: Do 3.1 miles if you registered for the 5k or 1 mile. Make sure to start your watch!
Effort level: Give it all you got!