Cross-training during taper?

could someone help please?

i have my first half a week on sunday and pretty much understand the reasoning behind tapering but whilst cutting back the mileage i was still hoping to do some cross-training instead; would this be counter-productive?

in particular, i was looking at maybe 2 extra 40 minute sessions on the eliptical cross-trainer thingy which is non-weight bearing and never leaves my legs in pieces like a long run or quality session.


  • that'll be fine

  • thanks crazy,

    is that something you usually do?

  • I disagree with CE,. Tapering is not about reducing your running and replacing it with something else. It is about reducing your over all levels of fatigue that have built up in the training cycle and replenishing your glycogen store.
  • fair point mr. guy,

    but what if the x-training doesn't unduly fatigue you and you (correct me if i'm wrong here) replenish glycogen reserves adequately (high carb intake??) would that make such a difference in a 90ish  minute race?

    i completely understand the logic over the full marathon distance but welcome any opinions on the shorter stuff-feel free, anyone, to blind me with science!!

  • if it was a marathon id say no, but for a half there isnt a problem at all.

    a lot of people dont taper at all for a half. 40mins on an elliptical trainer puts very little stress on the body and the calories you burn could probably be replenished with a big sandwich!

    for a half. I wont do anything ridiculously hard or long in the week or so before.

    then the final few days would look something like this -

    Wednesday - normal wednesday session. Medium long run at steady. Decent session but nothing strenuous

    Thursday - 4-5miles easy finishing with strides
    Friday - Rest
    Saturday - short countryside walk throwing in 100/200m jogs or strides just to get legs moving
    Sunday - RACE

  • Actully I agree you don't need to worry about your glycogen store. I think doing your regular X training routine would probably be fine but doing  extra stirkes me as counter productive. It will tire you out more than not doing anything! I guess the question is what are you trying to achive with the extra sessions?

     As CE says many people don't taper for a half. CE's proposed shedual looks pretty sensible for the last few days.

  • just trying to maintain fitness really as my taper week will be something like 3 runs inc. 3 @ hmp, 6 x 400's @ 10k pace and an easy 4 or 5 miler as per pponline's half-marathon and tapering guidelines.

    have been doing approx. 40 miles per week inc some x-training and thought a couple of sessions extra to above might be beneficial- i was just a bit confused after trawling the web and not finding anything concrete with regards to my original question.

    thanks for your help.

  • It takes a coupple of weeks for any workout to have a fittness benifit. The exact ammount of time is down to each indivudual. But it does mean that any exersise you do this week will not have a fittness befifit for Sunday. 
  • And good luck!
  • cheers and will let you know how i get on!
  • You can burn more calories in a given time on an elliptical than you can running. Don't under-estimate them! They're not running-specific, so I see little point in using one for a taper. Personally, if I were on a taper for a 1/2, I would do a lot of brief, but quite fast drills and strides. Not enough to deplete or strain anything, but enough to keep you in the mindset of running and psyched up.

    Ellipticals are great for maintaining fitness when you've got an injury. I used one last year for a month during a ham pull and instantly set a 5k PB the next week. I got up to 1008 Kcal in 45 mins. People at the gym accused me of wearing the machine out. They're great for general cardio, but of limited value during a taper IMHO.

  • thanks is_it,

    will heed your advice re: the taper
    by the way, i too just had a month out due to injury and trained solely on the eliptical and after only 3 easy runs back got a 9k x-country pb.
    think we might be on to something. will defo keep doing the eliptical once or twice a week as a supplement to full training.

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