Tapering is defined as the period of time before you go into a competition, the time you reduce your activity level. The release of tension on the body can lead a proneness to various illnesses. BIESTMILCH can bolster you during this time.
Tapering is a training phase in which the body is very sensitive and the susceptibility to various health impairments increases. The issues you may observe during this period of time are mainly due to an imbalance rooted in the immune system, the autonomous nervous system and their interactions.
These two system are extremely challenged during the training block that is preceding the taper phase. The reduced stress level during taper, if not done properly according to your body's needs, can therefore lead to quite distinct problems that range from head cold over pain of unknown origin to sleep disorders.
Biestmilch as a substance interacting with the immune system and the autonomous nervous system on various level can help you to navigate safely through this critical period of time.
We had 176 participants in this survey. So results have definitely some explanatory power.
The answers to question one whether you follow a strict tapering strategy differed significantly confirming our assumption that hard-wired facts around tapering are still scarce.
STRICT TAPERING SCHEDULE
A total of 73 people (42%) follow a strict schedule, 35% do so occasionally, 23% of our participants don't follow any tapering strategy.
DURATION OF TAPERING
When asked about the duration of their taper phase the majority of 88 individuals tends to taper at least 7 days (50%) or even longer (32 % 14 days, 6 % longer). Only 12 % taper for less than a week.
TRAINING VOLUME DURING TAPER
Most of the participants reduce their training volume during taper. Only 5% reduce their training volume by less than 30%, whereas 21(12 %) train 30% less. Nearly 25% of the participants reduce the volume by 40 %, further 66 (37 %) by 50% and 22% by even more. Overall the majority decreases training volume by 50%.
INTENSITY OF TRAINING SESSIONS
The answers to question 4 referring to the intensity of training sessions have been very clear cut. 97 participants (54%) don't remain on the same intensity level while 81 (46%) keep up the same intensity level.
However nearly all of you focus more on quality training than on volume (89%). Only 11% have another focus. The question whether you struggle with taper was answered by 50% with yes, and 50% with no.
This response clearly underlines that knowledge around taper is still in flux and lots of open questions surround this topic.
HEALTH ISSUES DURING TAPERING
Referring to our 7th question 19% of our participants do complain of some kind of health issues during tapering, 81% don't. The majority of these 19% develop a head cold, followed by muscle soreness, prolonged fatigue and sore throat. Some have an uneasy feeling and are worried of getting ill, others have vague signs of pain, and sleeping disorders, some even describe a kind of feeling depressed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION
Nutrition is beside training volume and intensity an important part of taper. Therefore it is not surprising that 71% of the participants follow a special nutrition plan.
AFRAID OF GAINING WEIGHT
Accordingly nearly every other (48%) is afraid of gaining extra kilos during taper. The variety of diet plans that circulate is manifold.
QUALITY OF SLEEP
Moreover 36% of the participants suffer from a lack of sleep quality and/or duration.
MENTAL STRESS DURING TAPER
Our last question was whether tapering stresses you mentally. Only 35% answered with no whereas 44 % answered "sometimes" and further 21% are stressed.
As already stated the answers to our survey prove that this topic is flooded with open questions. We shall continue to dig deeper for answers that may float around.
Thanks to all participants for taking the effort and answering all the questions.
by Rachel Joyce
Here are a few thoughts from her: "It has taken me a while to learn what kind of taper works for me. I used to do too little in the week or two leading up to a race, and this left me feeling lethargic and flat come race day.
Now, I tend to include a few really light days right at the start of my taper (3 weeks out) and so I start my taper feeling rested, and ready to do some specific sessions.
During my taper my volume definitely decreases and there is an emphasis on shorter sessions. There is also a focus on race pace work: so the sessions are shorter but very specific to the race I have coming up.
I tend to keep up my swimming frequency but the distance covered per session will come down. This is because feel for the water is particularly important. Similarly, I will probably continue doing about the same frequency of rides and runs but some of these sessions will be very short.
I.e a brick run may be just 15 minutes long. As Ironman is an endurance run I will complete a 10 mile run a week out from race day and a ride of 3-3.5 hours.
Of course, a taper is not just about the training. It is important to focus on eating a well balanced and nutritious diet: sticking to my daily intake of Biestmilch chews is part of that focus: you need to be healthy as well as fit on race day! I also focus on getting plenty of sleep and maximising my recovery time. Then all that is left to do is mentally prepare for the race: I visualise myself being in the race and let myself get excited about getting out there on race day."
by Edith Niederfriniger
My tapering lasts 1 week, I reduce the volume, but keep up the pace of the sessions. I don't adhere strictly to a nutrition plan, but I refer slightly more proteins during the first 3 days, then 2 days with more carbs and the day before the race I eat a mix of carbs and protein!
Years ago while tapering I tended to suffer from with health issues such as fatigue, head cold etc.
Now I increase the BIESTMILCH During the taper time and there's no issue anymore :-)... I don't have mental problems to reduce the volume, because if I do it right, I can feel the energy coming up and this gives me confidence for the race.
by Ronnie Schildknecht
The term tapering only applies, if you have been on high volume training sessions over a longer period of time. If you want to peak on time, optimal tapering is a crucial part of your whole preparation schedule for a race.
I personally start my taper period 2 weeks before a long distance race. During taper I think it is most essential to give mind and body time to recover. Just to do nothing during this phase the training would definitely be fatal. The body would receive the wrong signals, and start to get lazy and lethargic.
I decrease my training volume during taper and witch to shorter and more intensive sessions. My overall aim is to get into a state of performance capacity that makes it possible for me to peak on time. Therefore it is important to recover quickly after the training session despite setting an effective training stimulus.
In other words: During these last 2 weeks I don't overreach anymore, I try to keep the performance level I achieved during the hard sessions the weeks before. The time of torture is over. To set new stimuli cannot be a goal anymore, it's more about keeping the memory alert.
During taper I don't want to get faster anymore, I want keep a steady level, and I do whatever I can to foster this condition to be able to retrieve it on race day.
And last but not, in case some kind of bad conscience may arise, I have a nice quote from my good buddy Sebastian for: Better 2% undertrained at the starting line than 1% overtrained ... an in this sense of the word:
Happy Tapering, guys!
by Sebastian Kienle
I am going to race on, whether it's an Ironman distance or a 70.3. On shorter distances too long a taper and decrease in training can make you lose the body tension and the mental focus.
Before a long distance race I think many of us make the mistake of training too much during the weeks up to the race. My very own way of tapering changed quite a lot since I began with this sport.
The fitter you get the faster the body tends to recover. But this doesn't mean that my taper periods became shorter, no they became different.
Meanwhile I reduce my training after the last 3 days of intense training (day 14-11 before the race) a lot by around 70% for 3 days (day10-7).
After that follows a phase of medium training, a 50% reduction in volume, combined with some sessions in racing intensity(day 6-3). The last 3 to 4 days up to the race I slightly increase my training volume again.
This schedule proved to work perfectly for me this year. Before my first long distance race I reduced my training for a longer period of time. The days close to the race I only did very little.
I got this feeling as if my body wanted to say good bye, I am on holidays now. But obviously this feeling did no harm to my performance.