How To Run Faster In A Week

How To Run Faster In A Week – UPDATED 2020 – Tapering Guide For Running

One week before your big event, it is common to have doubts about your current fitness. Unfortunately, there is no magical answer to the question – How to run faster in a week. But if you taper correctly, your fitness could improve up to 3%. You should then find yourself fresh, motivated, and relaxed for race day.

When it comes to tapering for your big event, less is more. But this doesn’t mean you should dial back the training altogether. The only way to start running faster in a week is to allow the body to recover from previous workouts.

In this article, we discuss tapering tips and tricks to help you reach race day in the best possible shape.

 

 

How To Run Faster In A Week – Guide To Tapering

Taper or tapering generally means reducing your mileage or intensity leading up to race day. Depending on the race distance, this could range from 2-5 days for 5 km or up to 3 weeks for a marathon.

During a taper week, you would reduce the distance you are running each day leading up to the event. Then add some intensity to your training plan. It is also wise to add in an extra rest day. As this can help shed any fatigue left in the body before race day.

Remember that tapering is always race-specific, so the ideal taper for a 5 km race is quite different from a marathon tapering plan.

There are also times when you need to use a race as a workout, and you wouldn’t need a full tapering plan. We call this a mini taper, which allows you to keep up the training volume without going into the event fatigued. By reducing your running volume slightly, you will still get the benefit from the week’s training. Meaning your tapering would only start a few days before the event.

During your tapering week, it is still essential to keep some intensity in the legs. It is common knowledge that going into a race fatigued produces a poor result. But heading to a race too fresh can also affect your performance as well.

So getting the right balance of mileage and intensity heading into race week can be trial and error. Everyone’s tapering strategy is different, so you should be testing multiple tapering methods in the build-up to your event.

 

Week Before 10k Race – How To Run Faster In A Week

The week before the 10k race can have a significant impact on your result. The most important aspect of this week is not to introduce anything different. Changing your diet or trying a new workout that you haven’t done before is common when people feel they haven’t done enough to prepare.

Tapering for a 10k often starts 7 days before race day. Your last long run should be completed around 8-10 days before the event.

Starting a 10k taper with a rest day will help shed excess fatigue from the weekend’s training. Then look at adding in a speed work session early in the week or at the latest midweek. This workout can be a reduced session, such as 5×1 km reduced to 3×1 km. Once you have decided on the workout, try to add little extra recovery between the intervals. Remember, this week is all about keeping the speed in the legs, and not dragging any more fatigue into race day.

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If your 10k race is on Saturday, Thursday is a good time for your second rest day. This allows you to plan for an easy run the day before the race. Doing so will help keep the legs from feeling stale or lethargic and remove any tiredness from Thursday’s rest day.

After the run add some strideouts, This will help open up your stride and increase leg speed. Making you ready for race day and remind the body about running fast again.

All other runs during this week should be low volume and easy running. The only hard workouts in your 10k tapering plan should be the intervals at the beginning of the week and your strideouts.

 

10k Tapering Plan

Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Interval Workout
Wednesday – Recovery Run
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday – Recovery Run + Strideouts
Saturday – Race Day

 

Tapering for a half marathon

 

Tapering For A Half Marathon – Preparing Yourself

Just like tapering for a 10k, tapering for a half-marathon is quite similar. Although because of the distance and the training volume required, you would start your half-marathon taper further out than a 10k taper.

So your half-marathon tapering plan should start 11-14 days out from race day. This means your last long run should be run around two weeks out. This then signals the start of your tapering period. That is unless you have a planned 5k event two weeks before. In that case, you would start your taper 3 weeks out.

Since the tapering is based around 14 days, you should be reducing the mileage each of these two weeks. The goal here is to freshen up and hold any developed leg speed through the interval workouts. These interval workouts should allow for more recovery between each repetition, so the speed can be held efficiently.

During the first week, if you have been doing two interval sessions a week, focus on reducing the duration, but not the intensity. Then heading into race week, you would reduce the interval duration once more, thus limiting it to one interval workout that week. Ideally, this interval workout should be based on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

All distance runs during these 14 days should be reducing down as you get closer to the event.

If you are planning to race on a Saturday, Monday would be a great day for a rest day. Then use Thursday as a final rest day before your competition.

Friday on the other hand would be an easy recovery run with some added strideouts, and any other days would be easy running.

 

Half Marathon Tapering Plan

Two Weeks Out:
Monday – Recovery Run or Rest Day
Tuesday – Interval Workout
Wednesday – Recovery Run
Thursday – Interval Workout
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Recovery run + Strideouts
Sunday – Reduced Long Run or Distance Run

 

One Week Out:
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Interval Workout
Wednesday – Recovery Run
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday – Recovery Run + Strideouts
Saturday – Race Day
Sunday – Rest Day

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Remember as a basic guide each week the volume should reduce more and more, and recovery between intervals increased, and speed increased.

 

Tapering For Marathon

 

Tapering For Marathon – How To Run Faster In A Week

The tapering for a Marathon becomes a little more complicated than the half-marathon, or 10k. The reason behind this is that the tapering period starts around 3 weeks out.

This means that your overall volume should start reducing around 21 days out from race day. This means your final long run or longest run is completed 3 weeks out or more.

Just like the half-marathon tapering plan. As you get closer to the race, the weekly volume drops. The interval speed on the other hand increases but with more added recovery time between intervals, the closer you get to the race. The goal during these three weeks is to allow the body to recover from the high mileage. Then allow for the speed in the legs to improve.

 

 

Marathon Tapering Plan

Three Weeks Out:
Monday – Recovery Run
Tuesday – Interval Workout
Wednesday – Recovery Run
Thursday – Interval or Tempo Workout
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Recovery run + Strideouts
Sunday – Last Long Run or Reduced Long Run

 

Two Weeks Out:
Monday – Recovery Run or Rest Day
Tuesday – Interval Workout
Wednesday – Recovery Run
Thursday – Interval Workout
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Recovery run + Strideouts
Sunday – Reduced Long Run or Distance Run

 

One Week Out:
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Interval Workout
Wednesday – Recovery Run
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday – Recovery Run + Strideouts
Saturday – Race Day
Sunday – Rest Day

Remember as a basic guide each week the volume should reduce more and more, and recovery between intervals increased, and speed increased.

 

Tapering for Ultramarathon

 

Tapering For A Ultra marathon – How To Run Faster

Tapering for Ultramarathon is much easier than a marathon or half-marathon to plan. Plan to start your tapering period around 14-21 weeks out from your goal event. Depending on how long the event is and the training load you have entailed, you may need a longer taper.

You should then start to reduce the training load quickly and then gradually slow it down as the race approaches. The goal here is to reduce your overall volume, by shortening the runs. Then the next phase of the taper, move on to reduce the frequency of the runs.

While you are reducing the volume and frequency of the runs, it is important to maintain specificity to the event. It is also vital to maintain some intensity too. Even though ultra marathons aren’t as intense as a 10k or half-marathon, it is still important to keep the intensity there during the taper.

Remember a properly constructed ultra marathon, marathon, half-marathon or 10k taper plan can improve your performance by 3%. But remember the difference between a well-constructed taper plan and an average one is only 1-1.5% difference. So don’t try to get too carried away with planning the perfect taper.

 

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