6 Things To Remind Yourself During Taper

1 – The work is done.

You’ve trained for months. You’ve put in the grueling hours of practice that it’s time to taper down from. Enjoy the change. Have confidence in what you’ve done thus far, and believe it will pay off in your races. With that said, though…

2 – This isn’t the only time during the season you can go fast.

Just because it’s taper time, doesn’t mean that it’s the end-all-be-all. Taper, in its many forms, works differently for everyone, and for some, not at all. Have confidence that you will go fast, but don’t put too much emphasis on these next few weeks.

3 – Eat healthy.

Just because you’re done with high intensity practices for a little while, doesn’t mean you should let other aspects of your training go awry. Your body will be burning less calories than it is used to, so it is easy to overeat during taper. In order for you to perform at the highest level possible, your body needs to be fueled with the right foods and plenty of water. Junk food, especially the days before and of the big meet, will do absolutely nothing for you.

4 – Stop making changes.

This is probably one of the only times you will ever hear those three words in the sport of swimming. It is always beneficial to work towards fixing your technique, except during taper. Trying to make last minute changes during taper can hinder your performance. Not only is a week or two not nearly enough time to make a permanent change, but trying to change your stroke in those final days will just confuse you. Stay focused on swimming fast.

5 – You earned it.

An old coach of mine has a saying that really stuck with me: “It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian”. Your performance in the pool doesn’t depend on anything except yourself. Your tech suit didn’t train 15+ hours a week for three months, you did. On the other hand, if you didn’t give it your all, there’s no one to blame but yourself. Your coach didn’t cause you to skip practice, and your mind didn’t force you to think negatively. All of the factors that determine how successful you will be are dependent on how hard you are willing to work. Taper isn’t magic: it doesn’t work unless you do.

6 – Have fun.

Just like any other meet, stress will hinder your performance rather than help it. Smile and enjoy the experience. Remember why you chose swimming in the first place.

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6 years ago

I definitely see the importance of number 4. I’m tapering right now, and after seeing a video of myself swimming, I realized how much work my turns still need. But it’s only about a week till Finals now, so I’ll just have to live with it.

6 years ago

Great article. I’m going to print it out, and give it to my daughter in a few weeks.

About Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo

Bryana Cielo Shortly after Bryana Cielo’s birth, she developed her love of water at her family beach house–and hasn’t stopped since. At the conclusion of her swim lessons at age 7, it was recommended that she try out for the local summer swim team. After her first season, she won the …

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