Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taper Tantrums

So...Becca, David and I are all competing in a 1/2 Ironman this weekend in Lake Geneva, NY.  Coach McCoy has us GREATLY reducing our workout volume in order to feel rested for race day.  I am going crazy - eating like a cow, drinking lots of beer, and staying up too late.  Without a reason to wake up at 5:00 AM, I feel like it is OK to stay up until 10:00 or 11:00 PM.  And without a major workout in the evening - there is plenty of time to go get ice cream OR drinks OR both. 

I did some research on the art of a successful race week taper.   Looks like I am breaking every suggestion....crap...hope you have better luck and can avoid a taper tantrum.

  • There is no catching up. Missed workouts are gone, there is nothing to be gained from squeezing them in later. The focus is on rest, we’re not aiming to build fitness. I will miss a few workouts in the final weeks, often just because I don’t feel like it.
  • Get things done. Training, race registration, shopping, whatever the task finish it as early as possible and leave large blocks of time free. A good taper day has an empty schedule in the afternoon. I try to ensure one of my full rest days is completely free – no training and no race admin.
  • Eat well, but don’t over eat. Training volume is down and with it calorie requirements. Advice to eat well before a race doesn’t mean eating a lot, it’s about good food choices. Eat reasonable portions for the day’s workload and rely on this to replenish glycogen stores. I may increase the amount of carbs in my diet, but don’t need to go over board.
  • Be lazy. I don’t go sightseeing; in Kona I filled race week watching reruns of House. Feet up, doing nothing. Training was done in the morning and the afternoon was spent lying down.
  • No stress. You can’t control everything, things will happen that are outside the plan. Worrying because the taper isn’t perfect makes it worse. Apply the rules, find the solution that requires the least effort.
  • If in doubt, do less. Rule number one – if I feel tired I cut back sessions. I pay close attention to how I feel and don’t test myself, that’s saved for race day. I view under delivering as a success.

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