Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Taper's the Thing

After 27 weeks of hard training, it all comes down to two things: the taper and race-day execution. It's a lot of pressure to put into a three-week period, but ironically, the taper is all about reducing the pressure, both physically and mentally.

Thus, here I am, starting the three week taper to Ironman Lake Placid. I have a lot of questions - questions I probably shouldn't be asking at this point. But, as the Disaster Magnet, I am riddled with them. Did I train hard enough? Did I do enough long runs? long rides? Could I have added another weekly workout to my swim training? Did I do enough race-simulation bricks? Should I have added a second weekly long ride? Am I mentally prepared for this? I don't know if I'm the only one who goes through this, but as a self-trained endurance athlete, I always question whether I've done enough or done it right. If I had a coach, I might be asking the same questions, but I guess someone would be there to answer them.

So, yeah, here I am, starting the three week taper to Ironman Lake Placid. I did my last really intense workout yesterday. A hard 3.5 hour bike ride with hills followed by 1.5 hours of running. It was a good workout and it should have given me confidence. I practiced race-day fueling and learned a few more things -- such as, it's easy to recover from not eating enough on the bike, and, if it's hot, I should back off on eating during the run. More things to pack into my brain for race day.

But, then again, I'm getting ahead of myself... I'm STARTING the three week taper blah blah blah. I should be right about at the breaking point. Am I? My body is wasted. My mind is frazzled. Last week, I dreaded every workout. Sounds about right. All I need to do now is reduce the volume, keep the intensity, and maintain focus. Easier said than done. How much should I reduce? What's the right intensity? What if I do too much and I'm tired on race morning?

Wait.. wait! I'm STARTING the THREE WEEK taper.... Day 1: rest. recover. relax. get a grip. I've successfully executed a taper before. Many times. I know what I'm doing.


  1. Have you said, you've done tapers before. Enjoy the break and good luck!

  2. I can't wait to hear about your Ironman.

    After my (slow) bike/run last week I've questioned everything. Fuel, training, taper, you name it (and I had a coach).

    Based on what I've read, you'll do great!!

    All the best,


  3. Thanks Ron and Jess. Tapers are always difficult because you feel worse before you feel better.