Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tapering


Oceanside 70.3 is nearly a week away and Galveston is the following weekend. While some of my athletes have toed the line at Desert Tri and SuperSeal, the early season A races are coming fast. 

If you are racing in 10-17 days- keep in mind, the work is done!  Especially for Oceanside and mostly for Galveston. 

Triathletes are wired to top off the tank, get in one more quality session, add one more xx.  That one more can do you in.  You are much better showing up race day at 90% of your fitness vs 105%.  Once you are overdone you cannot dig deep late in the race.   The last part of the race is where you need to go to that special place of pain and suffering and that is nearly impossible if you are overdone. 

If in doubt “save it for race day”

Taper with the same commitment you have when you train.  Follow your plan and if it says rest, rest. Don’t use the extra time to weed the garden or clean the house, lie down for 20 min, read a bit, hang with your kids.   If reading about other people’s workouts affect you, shut it down, ignore social media for a few days and trust in your plan and process. When the doubts bubble up, set up a talk with your coach or look back and see what you have done to prepare for the big day.  

Not tapering correctly can make or break your race.  Tapering does not mean to stop training or just go easy.  Ideally you want to shorten duration and keep the intensity.  More race pace efforts to keep the muscles firing and dialing in what that effort feels like.

Bike: add in 5x5 minutes race pace efforts or 20 min race effort

Run:  ½ mile efforts at race pace, 10 x 2 min race pace

Swim: 10x25 at hard effort with 30 sec rest, 500 build to an all-out finish  

Diet: with a reduction in training your calories need to decrease but DON’T “diet” or try and lose weight. You want to race with where you are now as losing weight race week is a drain on your system. .  Eat clean – whole foods, minimally processed and as the race approaches you may want to decrease high fiber foods and increase your carbohydrates.  Increased carbs don’t need to be with copious amounts of white pasta- sweet potatoes are a great source of carbs.  

 Sleep- reduced training will give you more energy but that does not mean sleep less.  Lay down anyway, horizontal and relaxed still restores the body.

Hydration- stay hydrated, especially if you are traveling.

Relax and prepare mentally.  Use your extra time to run through the race and be prepared to suffer- it is a race. Wrap you head around it!