Taper time is a funny time in the training cycle. You come off a week of your longest training, and suddenly you are training short distances. You know it's the right thing to do in order to show up on race day with fresh legs, but you feel like you should be doing more. As this weekend was the last weekend before Miami 70.3, I had planned an Olympic brink (25 mile bike/6.2 mile run) for Saturday. As I spoke with tri-buddy John Clidas Friday evening, he jokingly said that I may want to consider dropping back to a sprint brick. I chuckled. He then said, "If I told you to do less, you'd probably agree." After we got off the phone, I thought that even though he was kidding, he was actually spot on. In the last week before an even, less is more.
Now, I've always been an advocate of doing something during the week leading up to an event. You just want to keep it light and easy so that you go into your event rested and ready to go. But did I really need to do an Olympic brick the weekend before a half-ironman? Clearly, it's not going to improve my performance. Any training effect is in the bag. I don't advocate total rest in that you don't want to de-train (if that's a word). I like to get out on the bike to ride to get the legs turning over, run a couple of times from 3 to 4 miles, and swim a short distance. But this is mainly to keep the muscle memory going.
So, when I got up Saturday morning, I decided to make it a sprint brick. I rode 10 miles, transitioned over to running shoes, and ran a 5K. I had just enough time to get home and shower before heading out with son Alex for his soccer game. I felt good and fairly fresh. I followed that up with a nice, slightly brisk 4 mile run this morning. Again, I feel I got good leg turnover, but little fatigue. (By the way, the boys kicked butt against a very good team.)
I'll do a short bike and 30 minute swim over the next couple of days. After that, I'll probably go for a light 2 mile run. That's it. Yes, I'm starting to get that build up of excess energy from being underutilized over the last few days, but I hope to be fresh and ready to go on Saturday. Hopefully buddy John takes some of his own advice as he heads into his last weekend before IMFL. To all of you getting ready for either Miami 70.3 or IMFL, remember: less is more.
Happy taper everyone.