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Adding a Taper Day Before Big Events

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Elgammal.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sabrina Elgammal.

If you have ever been training for a goal, you will be familiar with the backward moving clock that points to the event date or test day. Whether it is a fitness test or a challenging event that you want to do your best at, a taper week or a "rest day" prior to game day is always a good idea.

I have found that prior to big events like Civilian-Military Combines (PT, Weights, Ocourse run on rough terrain), Special Ops Triathlon, or a Physical Screen Test, the following routine of hydration, joint rest, mobility, and flexibility has been extremely helpful to performing at your best.

The following are actual back-to-back days we performed recently before we did a Double PST -- yes a back to back physical screening test. It is a gut check and you want to be at your best.

The Day BEFORE = Easy Day - Rest Before the PST Day Make sure that you eat healthy meals and snacks all day. Stay hydrated, not just with water but by adding some electrolytes IF you have been sweating all week and it will be hot the following day of the event.

We call this the mobility day. We use the pool to do skills like drown proofing, treading, dynamic stretches in the water, or we will do non-impact cardio options (bike, row, elliptical, etc).

Then we will foam roll and finish with a light stretch from head to toe.

Follow the stretching chart after your workout. Hold these stretches or do these movements for at least 15-20 seconds each:

- Shoulder Shrugs - Chest / Bicep Stretch - Forearm Stretch - Arm/Shoulder Stretch - Tricep/Lat Stretch - Stomach Stretch - Calves Stretch - Lower back Stretch - ITB / Hip - Hamstring Stretch - Thigh Stretch

GAME DAY:

Double PST – This one is the Navy PST, but you can replace with any PT test you need to master OR event you want to do like a Spartan Race, Triathlon, or other race. Swim 500yds Pushups 2 min Situps 2 min Pullups max 1.5 mile run Rest 10 minutes 1.5 mile run Pullups max Situps 2 min Pushups 2 min Swim 500yds

Now, after tough workouts or big events, you may have some soreness. Make sure you hydrate, add electrolytes, eat well, stretch, and foam roll too if you are feeling aches or pains.

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