Tapering is a planned short-term reduction in exercise load during periods of intense training, the time leading up to a competition, and/or as a recovery tool post event. Without a tapering plan over-training may occur, particularly in the “all or nothing all the time” personality.
Tell-tale signs and symptoms of over-training include but are not limited to:
• Elevated resting heart rate
• Decreased exercise performance
• Muscular weight loss due to a loss of appetite
• Emotional/psychological stress that is perceived as greater than normal
• Frequent colds
• Chronic fatigue
By systematically decreasing training intensity or frequency for 3 to 21 days, short and long term performance goals can be met with less chance of injury and sense of loss. Tapering periods can be used as planned pivot points to enter the next stage of training. By incorporating tapering methods between phases from strength to power, as well as post competition through active recovery or (dynamic) stability training you can guard against over training.