Liv over at Liv to Run wonders whether or not she should taper for a 10k.
My Smartcoach schedule has me running my highest mileage ever in this, the second-to-last week before the race, and a hard long tempo only two days before. Should I stick to this, or would it be better to cut back a little and focus on easier runs?
From my own experience, if you have a goal race, then you should taper. For a marathon, the taper should begin 2� to 3 weeks before the race; for a 10k, I usually only taper for a 5 days or a week. That will probably depend upon your training level and experience though. If you have a good base, and a 10k is your longest race to date, then you are better off taking a little more rest.
One thing that I almost never do, however, is take the day off before any race. A basketball player probably shoots some hoops the day before a big game, and a football player certainly spends time going over plays and getting a few light hits in. As a runner, I want to practice the day before. If possible, I’d like to go for an easy 2 to 3 miler on the course itself, and try to strategize what I am going to do the next day. The run does not need to be more than a 15 to 30 minute jig jog, but it keeps me loose and helps prepare me for the next day. If I try to run hard without having run at all the day before, then it takes me longer to warm up and I never really feel like I am ready to go fast.
That is my two cents on tapering for a 10k, or for any race at any distance. If it was just a random 10k then I would likely just “train through” and use it as a speed workout. If it is something like the Beach to Beacon that I train towards, then I definately taper.
How about you? Do you taper for a 10k, or just for longer races?