Practical aspects of tapering for competition in athletics. Iñigo Mujika

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1 Practical aspects of tapering for competition in athletics Iñigo Mujika

2 Contents Effects of manipulating training variables during the taper Effects of tapering on performance: a meta-analysis Tapering induced performance improvements in athletics Environmental factors and the taper Practical recommendations from elite athletics figures

3 Effects of manipulating training variables during the taper

4 Reduction of intensity: blood and red cells Blood Volume (ml) 6500 Pre-Taper Post-Taper Red Cell Volume (ml) 3000 Pre-Taper Post-Taper 6000 * 2500 * Low Intensity High Intensity Low Intensity High Intensity Shepley et al. J. Appl. Physiol. 72: , 1992

5 Reduction of intensity: glycogen and CS Glycogen (mmol. kg -1 ) Pre-Taper Post-Taper * CS Activity (µmol. g -1. min -1 ) Pre-Taper Post-Taper * Low Intensity High Intensity Low Intensity High Intensity Shepley et al. J. Appl. Physiol. 72: , 1992

6 Reduction of intensity: MVC and performance MVC Knee (Nm) * Pre-Taper Post-Taper * Time to Exhaustion (s) Pre-Taper Post-Taper * Low Intensity High Intensity Low Intensity High Intensity Shepley et al. J. Appl. Physiol. 72: , 1992

7 Reduction of intensity: HIIT-TT relationship TT Change during Taper (%) r = 0.68 P = N = HIIT during Taper (km) Mujika et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 32: , 2000

8 Reduction of volume: performance change Performance (s) Pre MVT Post Pre Post LVT Mujika et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 32: , 2000

9 Reduction of volume: LICT-TT relationship TT Change during Taper (%) LICT during Taper (km) r = P < 0.05 N = 8 Mujika et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 32: , 2000

10 Reduction of frequency: performance change Performance (s) * Pre Post HFT Pre Post MFT Mujika et al. Int. J. Sports Med. 23: , 2002

11 % of Normal Training Normal Training Different concepts of taper Step Taper (Reduced Training) Days of Taper Mujika & Padilla, Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 35: , 2003

12 Type of taper and simulated performance TRIMP TRIMP 500 Performance 500 Performance km Run: 1.2% vs 4.0%* km Run: 2.4%* vs 6.3%* Step 100 t = 8 0 Training Taper t = Training Taper t = Days Days Zarcadas et al. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 393: , 1995 Banister et al. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 79: , 1999

13 Effects of tapering on performance: a meta-analysis

14 Reduction of intensity meta-analysis Effect of REDUCED INTENSITY on overall effect size of performance changes REDUCED INTENSITY EFFECT SIZE Mean (95% C.I.) N P YES (-0.37, 0.33) NO 0.33 (0.19, 0.47) Bosquet et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: , 2007

15 Overall Effect Size Reduction of volume meta-analysis % or less 21% to 40% 41% to 60% 61% or more % decrement in training volume Bosquet et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: , 2007

16 Reduction of frequency meta-analysis Effect of REDUCED FREQUENCY on overall effect size of performance changes REDUCED FREQUENCY EFFECT SIZE Mean (95% C.I.) N P YES 0.24 (-0.03, 0.52) NO 0.35 (0.18, 0.51) Bosquet et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: , 2007

17 Overall Effect Size Taper duration meta-analysis Taper Duration (Weeks) Bosquet et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: , 2007

18 Type of taper meta-analysis Effect of TAPER TYPE on overall effect size of performance changes TYPE OF TAPER EFFECT SIZE Mean (95% C.I.) N P STEP TAPER 0.42 (-0.11, 0.95) PROGRESSIVE TAPER 0.30 (0.16, 0.45) Bosquet et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: , 2007

19 Various modes of locomotion Effect of MODERATOR VARIABLES on overall effect size of performance changes Bosquet et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 39: , 2007

20 Tapering induced performance improvements in athletics

21 Performance improvements in various events Study Athletes Performance measure Performance outcome Houmard et al Runners Incremental test Unchanged Houmard et al Runners 5 km indoor race Unchanged Shepley et al Runners Treadmill time to exhaustion % McConnell et al Runners 5 km indoor race - 1.2% Flynn et al Runners Treadmill time to exhaustion Unchanged Houmard et al Runners 5 km treadmill time trial +2.8% Gibala et al Strength Elbow flexor strength +7% Child et al Runners Simulated half marathon Unchanged Mujika et al Runners 800 m competition Unchanged Mujika et al Runners 800 m competition % Harber et al Runners 8 km outdoor race +1.1% Luden et al Runners 8 km outdoor race +3% Mujika, Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance p , 2009

22 Universality of performance improvements No evidence of a sex effect concerning physiological adaptations and taper effects on performance Event duration and metabolic contribution do not affect the potential gain that can be obtained during the taper Technical and biomechnical aspects of competition do not seem to affect the performance outcome of a taper Tapering-induced performance gains can be expected irrespective of the caliber of the athlete Tapering-induced performance gains may have a major impact on competition placing Mujika et al. Int. J. Sports Med. 23: , 2002

23 Environmental factors and the taper

24 Environmental factors and the taper Environmental stressors like travel across time zones, heat and altitude may interfere with the taper of athletes preparing for international competition A training load reduction can help an athlete cope with jetlag, and this training reduction should be integrated into the taper program Tapering in hot environments before competition seems to be compatible with the reduction in training volume recommended when facing heat stress Altitude training camps also require an initial reduction in training load, which may in itself constitute a form of tapering Pyne et al. J. Sports Sci. 27: , 2009

25 Practical recommendations from elite athletics figures

26 Chapter 9 Tapering for Individual Endurance Sports Martin Fiz Triumphing in Eight Elite Marathons Set an achievable goal and analyze all the environmental variables that may affect training programs and race tactics Perform huge running volumes to improve economy and prepare your body for such a grueling race Learn the ideal race pace Avoid racing during the taper at velocities much faster than marathon pace Visualize the race and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the main rivals

27 Chapter 10 Tapering for Sprint and Power Events Mike McFarlane Tapering to Win International Sprint Events A training program should prepare an athlete for competition from the beginning of the season, not just during the taper

28 Chapter 10 Tapering for Sprint and Power Events Gary Winckler Producing Extraordinary Sprint Runners Plan a taper that does not interrupt the natural rhythm and flow of an athlete s usual training and recovery scheme Focus on psychological fitness to help athletes be confident about their competence to perform the required skills under the pressure of competition Slightly reduce the training volume but maintain similar intensity during the taper Maintain short, intense bouts of strength work right up to the day before competition Perform the sessions at the time of the main event

29 ESKERRIK ASKO! ( Thank you very much! in Basque Language)

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