Jumping right in here to the very first post on the BM blog.
As I get Balance Multipsport started I am also going into my last race of the season; the Pumpkinman Half Iron. Balance Multisport athlete Mark Dugas is also racing the Pumpkinman and this will be his first half iron!
I know Mark has been working hard, 70.3 miles is not a distance to be taken lightly! But now, only 4 days out from the race  it's Taper Time.
What is a taper?
According to triathlon legend Joe Friel a taper, when done right "peaks all of the abilities, boosts confidence, and allows for psychological rest as well"*.  Simply put, a taper is when you reduce the volume and intensity of your training. This typically happens the week leading up to your most important race, your "A" race. 
Tapers differ according to race distance  and the amount of training you have accomplished, but  some things are consistent across the board. 
  1. Use your taper time to prepare your equipment for race day, make sure your bike is working well, smooth shifting, no wheel rubs and clean brakes - if there are any problems now is the time to deal to them.
  2. Reduce the time of your workouts but don't stop working out all together! Studies have shown that better performance is shown after a week of reduced activity than of total rest - plus you'll go nuts if you stop cold turkey! That being said, it is completely ok to take an extra day or two of rest.
  3. Insert some brief bursts of intensity, for example a 30 minute bike ride with 3 x 90 second pick ups at race pace.  These little bursts will get your anaerobic system working and insure that you don't feel flat on race day.
The taper week is a funny time, I always feel a bit conflicted. I know that my body needs to take a break and I will be better for it come race day, but part of me just feels as though I am being lazy! Add to that a bit of pre-race anxiety and it's a recipe for grouchiness! So my last thought on taper week is - warn your loved ones!! I can see my husband Matt grit his teeth and mutter "taper..." then shuffle the kids out of my war path. I am lucky in that Matt is a triathlete too, he's been there and knows what's happening in my head. If your family has not caught the multisport bug (yet) a quick primer on the taper might be in order!
Happy training (and even tapering!) and best of luck to Mark Dugas, i'll see you on course!
*The Triathlete's Training Bible" Joe friel, Velo Press 2004
 


Matt
09/09/2009 10:45

Really great first post!!

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