Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TIP - Tapering

If you're training for Mississauga or Ottawa Marathon you should already be well into the taper portion of your training. If not, you should be because a recent study examined a muscle fibres ability to contract after marathon training.

Muscle fibres from participants calf muscles were examined after 13 weeks of marathon training and again after an additional 3 weeks of tapering (at 16 weeks).

Fast and slow twitch fibres were analysed for their size, and ability to produce strength, speed and power. After the taper period the strength of the fast twitch fibres was increased by approximately 18% resulting in a 60% increase in force production by both types of fibres.

The study concluded that for training that included a taper period the muscles ability to perform would be enhanced.

SOURCE: Trappe S, Harber M, Creer A, Gallagher P, Slivka D, Minchev K, Whitsett D. Single muscle fibre adaptations with marathon training. J Appl Physiol. 2006 Sep;101(3):721-7. [Epub 2006 Apr 13].

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