Sunday, March 23, 2014

Taper Time

Tapering is exciting and scary at the same time. Exiting because the race is near....the day you have been planning for is coming. Scary because the work it done, you are as fit as you are going to be for the race.  The coulda, shoulda talk has to stop.... you did or did not.  You are finished, training that is.

Biggest mistake an athlete  can make now is trying top off fitness, or test fitness.  If the plan says 4 x30 sec hard, then run 4x30 sec hard, not 5 and not 1:00 because your legs feel so good.  SAVE it for race day.  Training partner riding, running, swimming longer or harder than you- let them go, stick to your plan.  

Come Tue or Wed you should have more energy and start feeling cagy... dont do that massive yard project after work since you finally feel like it, don't scrub your floors and clean your cupboards, go shopping for 2 hours...read more, get off your feet and rest. Come Friday you want to feel like a caged animal- ready to let loose on the race course. 

Eat clean....less processed foods, whole foods, fuel your body, but be mindful of the decrease in training so curb your caloric intake. This is NOT the week to lose weight, much like fitness, maintain what you have.  If you are not at race weight so be it, embrace your weight.  Come Wednesday eat more meals with smaller quantities, increase carb intake (this does not have to be 5 white bagels) it can be fruits, quinoa and other whole grains.  But Thursday evening being to taper off the high fiber. 

Hydration begins Monday - it takes time for your cells to plump up.  Water  + electrolytes all week, add some extra salt to your food.  Alcohol dehydrates you....have a glass of wine if you want, but skip the 2nd or 3rd this week and be sure to have water + electrolytes before bed. 

Move with purpose. Nerves may increase as the week progress - so slow down, watch your step. Tripping or falling can be problematic.

Race day checklist- do you have one? start one now.... not the night before the race. Don't assume the expo will have what you need, go to the bike shop Monday or Tuesday - Be ready early.  Assure your spouse or partner that you are okay just a bit nervous and maybe on edge, apologize and make plans for spousal pampering, dinner, flowers the week after the race.  

Race day plan?  Plan it out beginning dinner the night before... food, calories, plan for the swim, bike, run ? Race day goals, reach goals? Back up plan in case it does not go well.  Are you ready to suffer?  As Macca says "embrace the suck?"  

Expo...enjoy the expo but don't eat every sample, don't try new product race day because the sales guys says "prevents lactic acid build up"  NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY.   Don't freak out looking at everyone- yes there are a lot of really fit people- focus on your days, your goals.

Enjoy..... you are blessed to be 6 days from race day and prepping to race!