The taper is my favorite part of the season.
This was the last big weekend of training. The taper has officially begun.
For those who don’t know, the taper is a period of time prior to a race where an athlete will reduce their volume of training. The taper allows an athlete to recover sufficiently so that they go into a race feeling fresh and ready to smash it.
The length of a taper varies depending on your fitness level and the length of the race you are entering. Your typical full Ironman taper will start three weeks out and the volume will decrease by about ¼ every week leading up to the event. This is not a science and different tapers work for different people. You will still see the pros doing pretty huge millage in the weeks leading up to the race but this is because their bodies are conditioned for the intensity.
I believe in increasing the number of rest days and significantly decreasing the length of all sessions. The last week will be very few sessions and the intensity will be very low.
Here a few words of advice for the first timers going into the taper.
YOU WONT GET ANY FITTER
It’s time to take it easy. You will not get any fitter in the last three weeks leading up to the race. Trying to cram in sessions or distance now will only have a negative impact on your race. The sessions in the last couple of weeks are designed to keep your muscles firing and to keep you out of trouble. If you miss a session here or there don’t stress and definitely do not try to catch up.
Use this time to reflect on your race strategy. Begin to focus on your nutrition and race plan. Do some research and work out how many calories you need to consume on the different legs. If you haven’t already done it, then the last three weeks is a great time to test out the nutrition you will be using and make 100% sure that it agrees with you.
DON’T OVERINDULGE AND DON’T GET FAT
Take the advice of “Frank the Tank” and just do one
Its okay to have a few drinks, burgers and pizzas during this time but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to get fat before the race.
You may have been able to consume anything you wanted for the last two-three months because you were burning crazy calories but now that you are pulling back the training you also need to pull back the eating.
Trust me guys this comes from experience. I can easily pick up 2-3kgs in the weeks leading up to an event.
ENJOY THE TAPER
Enjoy the later starts, the shorter sessions, the coffee rides and most importantly enjoy the pre- race gees.
You are about to experience the most fulfilling athletic accomplishment of your life.
That red carpet awaits!!!!!!!!