Jean Haniquaut gives his advice on how to approach your final two weeks of tapering so you arrive at the start line ready to race.
We are 2 weeks before your VJM race! Whatever distance you plan to do, your training is now behind you. Now it’s time to start your taper.
Tapering consists of reducing your training volume before a race. This will allow your body to assimilate the hard training you’ve done during your preparation.
The main goal is to bring yourself to the start line with your best fitness and readiness level.
First you need to plan this period and reduce your volume and intensity of activities. Keep only 50% of your average mileage for the first week and only 20% the last week.
You can do a last “long run” 1 week before, with a low intensity level and not too long (up to 30% of your race distance).
This last long run is the right moment to test all your race kit and gear. You can wear it and see if it’s working well: no chafing, no leaks in your water backpack etc.
Avoid all risk of injuries, don’t do high intensity training and don’t run on very technical trails.
Enjoy the free time to prepare and think about your race strategy. Have a look at the race profile, what you will find at the aid stations/checkpoints, and how long you plan to rest.
This will all reduce the pre-race mental stress.
Sleep well. Try to capitalise on as much sleep as you can. Have good nights and take naps if you can. Some races are starting in the middle of the night, so the last night will not be very good and you need to anticipate that.
Keep eating and drinking as usual. During this period don’t put restrictions on your diet. Of course you will burn less calories during taper, but your body will need it during the race.
I look forward to seeing all of you in good shape at Pu Luong!
Jean Haniquaut is a French ultra-runner and lover of mountains and outdoors activities. After 10 years of rock climbing, he discovered trail running and fell in love. He’s finished six 100 mile races in Europe, plus the VMM 100 miles.