Hopefully, you've stuck with me through this whole little mini-series about periodization and the basic details about what you're doing when you put together a run schedule. If you're not and you've just joined me you might want to go check those out, subscribe to the channel, hit that button bottom right-hand corner. I've got other videos explaining the different parts of your training schedule, but in this particular video, I'm going to tell you all about what we're going to do in the taper phase to get ready for our peak race in the season.
So, here we are, we're getting close to our A race for the season, assuming that you're healthy if you're not, I actually did another video on that. That happened to me getting ready for my A race. I got this like sore throat, a little bit of a cold, I wasn't sure if I should go. So, just like I said before, if you haven't seen some of my other videos, subscribe to the channel, stay with me.
But here in the taper phase, we are getting ready for our A race, the thing that we've scheduled in the calendar, maybe we set a year out or even more for you, if you're doing an Ironman and you've really been planning for a long time, this is where you say, okay, I want my best performance of the year, if not my life to come in this particular phase right now.
So, the taper phase is really the shortest of all of the phases, the three basic phases; build base, and then taper and race because that window for peak fitness is so short. So, tapering is typically in the last two weeks at the longest, and usually a week at the shortest. This is where you're going to cut back on mileage cut back on the length of your workouts.
But those things that we've done in the build phase, we've done that speed work, we've done race specific training, all that kind of stuff. We're still going to continue that into this taper phase so that we remain sharp and ready to go on race day, but we're going to cut that mileage back. It depends on you.
Often I found when I'm getting ready for an A race triathlon, so I'm racing Olympic distance. They last about two hours for me, I usually find a sweet spot for me, seven to 10 days, depending on how fatigued I'm feeling. I have to communicate that with my coach. Now for you, you'll have to experiment a little bit and figure out what kind of taper works for you.
Here's the thing to remember, and it’s especially important. I talked about this in Episode Four of the Smart Athlete Podcast with Dr. Jason Karp, who is a very high-level runner, and he has all kinds of running certifications. He's also a run coach. I asked him about how does he feel during taper, does he get this crazy madness that kind of comes over all of us? During taper, we don't get these endorphins that we get from our normal training.
So, often we can feel depressed, we can feel mad, we can feel anxious, we have all this extra energy. The energy is good, we want to use that for our race, but you have to be conscious of those things like Dr. Jason Karp tells us so that we don't go mad getting ready for our race and go decide to do all these extra things. That's the thing we have to work on as a mental discipline during this phase because we have all this extra energy since we've cut back on these workouts. Don't decide, hey, like right now I'm taking this there's snow outside, it would not be a good idea if I was getting ready for my A race that, hey, I'm gonna go sledding all day because I've got all this extra energy. No, save it, use it for a race, you've put it together for all this time. So, that's the basics.
Taper is cutting back often to 50% even of your normal training load to get ready for your specific A race. If you don't know what I'm talking about, can always pick up a copy, Joe Friel’s Triathlete’s Training Bible, I’ll leave a link down in the description below. I do get a commission for that, but you can just go to Amazon and type it in, Triathletes Training Bible.
There are lots of other books they'll explain, you know what base building is, what’s build phase, what’s periodization, the taper, all that kind of stuff. But I really love Joe's book. Whether you're a triathlete or not, he goes very, very in-depth in all of the kind of mechanics and things you should be doing for each discipline. So, it's very specific to you as a runner, as well as if you were to branch out into multisport.
So, if you haven't seen it, please go check out that interview with Dr. Jason Karp. That should be coming up on the screen here shortly right there, right next to my head. So, click on that, listen to my interview with Dr. Jason. And as always I will see you on the next episode of Runner's High.