Friday, March 30, 2012

Taper Time!

Tomorrow is five weeks from race day, and this is when I usually start thinking about my taper! So, I called my coach this morning and we discussed two different types of tapers. The first would have been taking a rest week next week and then doing a very heavy week after, and begin a traditional taper the week after that. This would be the more standard approach. We also talked about a "trimming the fat" approach, since my training has been going well and my fatigue feels manageable. The next few weeks will involve 2-3 ironman specific intense days, with easy recovery days in between to gradually "trim" my fatigue. I've done all of my long runs, done plenty of long bikes, and so, this approach feels right to me. The other thing I like about it is mental, really getting into the mental side of Ironman. As I'm trying to improve this year, getting into the "zone" is something I want to practice and gain confidence with.

I think if you still need those long runs and long bikes in preparation, a traditional taper makes sense. If training has gone great and you already feel ready to race, the gradual approach maintaining some good intensity seems very interesting. Tapering is both an art and a science, one of the things I love about triathlon and Ironman in particular!

Finally, it's also mentally quite invigorating to say that I'm starting my taper!

In preparation for this, I swam 3800 yards this morning and then biked 93 miles (5 hours), four hours of which was right at ironman effort/pace. This is to get my legs "softened up" for a bike/run "brick" tomorrow, and a quality long run on Sunday. I love ironman training! I realize that today's workout was essentially 85% of the swim/bike component of an actual ironman. The best art is that my legs feel fine, as do I, just an hour after finishing the workout. I keep gettng excited!

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