There are many marathon and half marathon training plans available. Plans vary in the number of miles run per week, the number of running days per week, the inclusion of speed work or hill work, the total weeks of a program, and the tapering program.
The question of when to taper and when to hit the peak of training has been addressed in a study from the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. In the review, 27 studies were reviewed and analyzed for the optimal tapering strategy. These studies did not include only runners; Swimmers and cyclists were also included in the study.
The study concluded that the optimal taper consists of:
- 2 week taper before a race
- 40-61% reduction in training volume
- no reduction in training intensity
- no reduction in training frequency