• Grand Canyon (November 2011)

  • Mt. Hood Circumnavigation- August 2011 (Oregon)

  • 2010 White River 50-mile Trail Championships (Washington)

  • 2011 Waldo 100k (Oregon)

  • 2012 Western States 100-miler (California)

  • 2011 Waldo 100k (Oregon)

  • 2013 Patagonian International Marathon 63k (Chile)

  • 2012 Leona Divide 50-miler (California)

  • 2011 Rocky Raccoon 50-miler (Texas)

  • Grand Canyon (November 2011)
    The night before a 45-mile "Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim" run on the Bright Angel Trail in the big ditch (Arizona). Photo: Yassine Diboun
  • Mt. Hood Circumnavigation- August 2011 (Oregon)
    Enjoying views of volcanoes while running a 40-mile circumnavigation of Mt. Hood.
    Photo: Joe Grant
  • 2010 White River 50-mile Trail Championships (Washington)
    Running in the shadow of Mt. Rainier finishing 5th place overall. Photo: Nick Cooksey
  • 2011 Waldo 100k (Oregon)
    En route to an overall 5th place finish - Photo: Michael Lebowitz
  • 2012 Western States 100-miler (California)
    Coming into the Foresthill Aid Station at approximately mile 62 with Neal Gorman (left) and pacers/crew Joe Kleffner and Willie McBride. Photo: Bob MacGillivray
  • 2011 Waldo 100k (Oregon)
    En route to an overall 5th place finish. - Photo: Michael Lebowitz
  • 2013 Patagonian International Marathon 63k (Chile)
    Running in quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever visited! Photo by: TrailChile
  • 2012 Leona Divide 50-miler (California)
    Running some early miles with Timothy Olson and James Bonnett in the mountains in SoCal. Photo: Stephanie Deveau
  • 2011 Rocky Raccoon 50-miler (Texas)
    On the way to finishing up 2nd place overall in Huntsville State Park in February.
    Photo: Lynn Ballard

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Is Tapering Necessary?

Is Tapering Necessary?

Is tapering for a race necessary?  Obviously for some races (like 100-milers) I believe that it is necessary for a taper, but what about shorter races?  I know there is a ton of scientific research out there about peaking for a race, and then tapering down for optimal performance; but I haven't found much research of the opposite.

This is why I ask:

Last month at White River 50-miler Anton Krupicka shattered his own course record (a stout record that he  set the year before by edging out former course record holder Uli Steidl's time) and when I talked with him afterward he said, "tapering is overrated!"  He told me that this race was part of a pretty big week for him putting him well into the 100's for miles. I congratulated him on his stellar performance and we talked a little about this notion of not tapering.  Then I told him about my similar experiences of this paradox in the sport.

For me my first experience with not tapering was back in February of 2009. I decided to run The Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club Winter Marathon in Albany, NY as my long run to top off a 103-mile week.  I felt so strong during the race and instead of slowing down toward the end I actually picked it up the last 10k and went on for the win in 2:47.  I had previously run slower times in the marathon when I tapered for 2-3 weeks.

Next...fast forward to April 2010...same scenario...I went into the Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k with a bunch of miles under my belt and was planning on using the race to round out a 115-mile week.  I was able to pretty much hold my pace for over four hours (and even surged toward the end of the 36-mile race) and again came in for the win.

Finally, my last experience was also this year when I spontaneously went down to Reno, Nevada and decided to use the Silver State 50k race as a long run to get me right up around 109 miles for the week.  Same result...Course record time for the win and I felt super strong the entire race all the way up to the end.

Hmmmm....I see a pattern here.  Watch THIS VIDEO to hear what one coach says about tapering  in accordance to his cross country runners.

Don't get me wrong I have had great races when I did taper as well and I am not suggesting ruling out the tapering period of training.

Anyone else have any experiences along the lines of not tapering?  I'd be happy to hear from you. :-)

Also:  Stay tuned for Inov-8 releasing some hot new running shoes including four pairs of minimal road shoes and super stealth trail running editions. 

Bio

From the time I could stand upright I was chasing soccer balls around with older children at the fields where my father...

Meet Yassine

  • From the time I could stand upright I was chasing soccer balls around with older children at the fields where my father...

Personal Coaching Services

  • The first thing that I want to say about my coaching is that it is personal and transparent. I'm going to tell it...

Race Calendar

  • *Western States 100 (California) - June 2019
    *CCC 100k (Italy, Switzerland, France) - August 2019