In this brief interview segment, Iñigo Mujika, author of Tapering and Peaking for Optimal Performance, discusses the tapering phase of a training program and how tapering strategies differ among various types of sports.
Iñigo Mujika, PhD, is a lecturer in the department of physiology, faculty of medicine and odontology, at the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, Spain. Previously, Mujika was also the head of the department of research and development at the Spanish professional football team Athletic Club Bilbao. As a researcher, sport science practitioner, and coach, Mujika is widely considered one of the most respected experts on tapering and peaking for optimal performance.
Since 1992, Mujika has been devoted to the research of tapering and peaking for sport performance. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 6 book chapters, and 10 other publications on tapering-related issues. He has also presented nearly 70 lectures on tapering at conferences and seminars worldwide.
As a sport physiologist, Mujika works closely with elite athletes and coaches in a variety of individual and team sports. From 2003 to 2004, Mujika was senior physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport. In 2005, he worked as physiologist and trainer of the professional road bicycle racing team Euskaltel Euskadi. He is also a coach of world-class triathletes, having coached Olympians Ainhoa Murua (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) and Eneko Llanos (Athens 2004).
Mujika is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and serves as associate editor of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. He holds a doctoral degree in biology of muscular exercise (1995) from the University of Saint-Etienne in France and a second doctorate in physical activity and sport sciences (1999) along with an Extraordinary Doctorate Award from the University of the Basque Country in Spain. In 2002 and 2007 he received the National Award for Sport Medicine Research from the University of Oviedo in Spain. He has also received two awards for his work with triathletes: Best Coach of Female Athlete (2006) from the Spanish Triathlon Federation and the High Performance Basque Sport Award (2007) from the Basque Sport Foundation.
Fluent in four languages (Basque, English, French, and Spanish), Mujika has lived in California, France, South Africa, and Australia. He currently resides in the Basque Country, Spain. Mujika enjoys surfing, cycling, swimming, strength training, and hiking, as well as cinema and traveling.