Race taper week tips

It’s race week, but what’s the best way to prepare? Here’s some tips to help on the lead up to your big day.

Day 3:

This should be the last day of any hard workouts. Do another swim/run day that includes 10×50 in the pool as odds fast, evens easy, and a 30-minute run with 10×200 meters at 85–95% effort with one-minute jog recovery.

“Get full recovery, as this is more about leg turnover and less about heart rate,”

If you’re traveling today, combat plane and car pitfalls (dry air, confined muscles in a seated position) by hydrating, stretching and foam rolling.

Day 2

Take this and the prior Sunday completely off to focus on all the elements of recovery: Get in and out of the expo, throw on your compression socks, stretch, take an Epsom salt or ice bath and stay off your feet. Depending on your prior couple days, you could alternatively jump in for a mellow open-water swim or drive or spin a portion of the course you’re unfamiliar with.

If you’re cooking dinner for your pre-race meal, make sure you have all your ingredients. If you’re going out, scout out a Plan A and Plan B restaurant.

Day 1;

Do brief workouts of each sport to check equipment, and include some short intensity within each. EG: 20-minute swim with 10×25 pickups and 200 at race pace effort (in open water if possible), a 30–60 minute easy spin with 8×1 min at race pace and a 20-minute run that includes 8×100-meter strides with full recovery.

Lay out everything you’ll need for the morning, and get your breakfast plan in order.

Race Day:

Eat breakfast and keep sipping water or a sports drink until race start. If you are allowed to take your bike out of transition, try a 10–15 minute ride with 10×30-second race pace efforts followed by a 10-minute run with a few strides. If you can get in the water, do so, but if not, do some arm mobility work in your wetsuit or use stretch chords for a five-minute warm-up. No chords? Even some pushups will help blood flow before the start. Set up your transition area thoroughly, then leaving to find a quiet spot away from all the other nervous athletes. “Visualize your entire race from beginning to end, seeing yourself execute a solid performance feeling strong and confident.”


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