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Fitter & Faster Podcast: Mastering the Dark Art of Tapering

We explore all aspects of peaking and tapering to help you arrive at the start line in your best shape yet.

Welcome to Triathlete’s training podcast, Fitter & Faster, where we cover one training topic in-depth each month—from the basics to your questions, plus all the gear you need.

Fitter & Faster and all our Triathlete podcasts are now on one feed, so you can get all your triathlon news in one place. Be sure to subscribe to our Triathlete podcast feed so you don’t miss anything: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Spotify | iHeartRadio

You can also listen to past Fitter & Faster episodes with Dr. Stacy Sims, Jay Dicharry, Dean Karnazes, Matt Dixon, cycling guru Matt Bottrill, sports psychologist Jeff Troesch, ageless wonder Dede Griesbauer, coach Ryan Bolton, and plenty more.

In this episode of Fitter & Faster, we explore all aspects of peaking and tapering to help you arrive at the start line of your next race in the best shape yet.

Most coaches advocate trying to peak twice a year, but if you don’t know how to nail your taper you risk reaching race day feeling flat and sluggish. Understanding the physiological and psychological aspects of peaking and tapering can help you avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls. To get you ready, we chat with coach Jim Vance, who talks about the many different ways he’s helped his athletes find their best form and avoid “the abyss” that can come from getting your taper wrong. We also uncover the “secret sauce” that can truly help athletes hit their peak on race day—and it’s not so much about physiology, but psychology.

On that theme, we also hear from Vanessa Foerster, a mental endurance coach who has helped many athletes work on their approach to race day, including their taper. She has some unique perspectives on how to handle it all, which includes writing letters to your future self.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Fitter & Faster without our Gear Up section with our resident gear guru Chris Foster. We chat through the intricacies of heart rate variability, percussive devices, and plenty more.

RELATED: Triathlon Taper Tutorial