Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taper time...really?

Oceanside 70.3 is officially less than 2 weeks away..that is within sight. 70.3 is a 1/2 Ironman for those wondering and is my first big race of 2011!   Sat, April 2nd!  Bright and early in the still very chilly ocean for a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile ride through Camp Pendleton and a 13.1 mile run along the boardwalk and through the neighborhoods of Oceanside.

This close in we have really passed the date to add fitness so the feeling is that the work is in the bank, so to speak.  Not likely to get fitter, faster, stronger before race day.  While that should be a good feeling- it is in fact a scary feeling. There is nothing I can do- well there is actually- I can over train and sabotage the race.  Yes it can be done- I've done it.  Racing really tired sometimes works but no so much for me.  So my training plan is a lot of frequency but not a lot of intensity, well actually not any that I can see, relax and rest up from the big training that I have done. This is a long taper for me- mandated recommended by KP after some big training I have done.  My body is fired up and ready to race tired and carrying a lot of the goal is to be fired up and ready to race come April 2nd.

The good news is I have time to get there....less activity is nerve racking and worrisome.  Will I gain 10 lbs in 10 days....not likely but feels like it when the volume is cut back. 

Extra work is a good idea...yeah work hard, earn some more money! I'll get right on that tomorrow :)  What less training means is making breakfast for my kids, more energy during the day, although I still like to be in bed by 9- sorry just do! Okay 8:30 really but that just seems so early.  But more sleep is a good idea to ensure good health for race day!

I did lay down a solid swim today!  9x500- with a quite a bit of intensity. Testing out swimming on my own- While swimming is my strength it is my least favorite training element.  I have logged thousands of hours in a pool and every additional can be painful.  Swim in the OW you say- well I am a total wimp with cold water and the water is cold right now!   So back to masters...I go because it gets me to swim and it motivation but as of late I find I am tired of driving there, paying for parking and then I get sooo frustrated when workouts include kicking- come on, my legs are generally shot and I want to rest my legs, and then the breastroke and backstroke are just not what we do.

I solidly believe that as triathletes we need to be swimming freestyle and a lot of it- if you log 12-15,000 yards free and want to swim more- then add some other strokes.  And I like to do 40-50% of my work out with paddles and buoy.  I realize masters is for swimmers and not triathletes so I don't fault the program- it is me with the issue.  And I can only modify the workout so much without really annoying others in my lane. So I am going to let my membership lapse, after all I can always go back.  My fear is that I will not get my arse to the pool and get the job done.  I know there are some other great programs more triathlete specific but again they involve more driving and well at $4+/gallon I am taking notice.  The other factor it that not having to get up and out the door early makes mornings less stressful with the family and I get the bonus of 10-15 minutes with my teenagers. 

So that was a lot of rambling on swimming...Oh one more piece- come race day, I love the swim!  So it's not all bad.  I am really hoping that at O'side this year, I also love the run :)    


  1. Can you find a training partner to swim with? You just need 1 person and then you're all set. I bagged masters years ago and it's awesome bc we just get to the pool, hammer out 4000M of long sets, and get out. No breaststroke required. ;)
    Good luck at Oceanside!! Run run run!!

  2. It is most enjoyable to work with you because it is a team effort. I make suggestions and we work out the final steps together. Sometimes taper needs to be a bit longer. Sometimes taper is steep. Sometimes choice is removed.

    For readers, it is important to remember that for every training stimulus (or training block) there is an appropriate physilogical consideration relative to recovery. The most fit I have ever been was also the most tired I have been. Not always best for racing.

    Performance = Fitness - Fatigue. So, your best performance is tied to Fitness ... but ... is qualified by losing Fatigue. That may be worth re-reading. We lose Fatigue faster than Fitness. That is why we taper! Trust your training.

  3. I love what you say about swimming. You know, not having a swim background it really is daunting to try to learn four strokes and perform kicking. Seems like I should just concentrate on the one I actually need. You are in stellar form and I'm wishing you the best at Oceanside.