(Also Juneathon Day 17 – roughly 1hr 15 of commuting to and from work, one 30 mins, 5.3k run in the glorious sunshine at lunch along the Thames Path from Canary Wharf. Absolutely filled with office-worker-runners. Love London.)
This week’s theme is tapering – I am well out from my own next tapering week as my next tri isn’t until September but I thought I would share with you all some tips that I learnt from last time. They all fit in with my general theme of do what you want, we do this for fun! so may not suit everyone!!
This is the whole point of taper week! A time to rest your body up so you have completely fresh legs come race-day. It’s also a time to rest your mind from pushing yourself in workouts so that it is raring to go. Taper-week varies greatly for everyone, but I know from my mum’s experiences that as you get older, it is even more important to taper in order to do your best on race day.
2) How many workouts are you going to do?
I aimed for one proper swim session, a few gentle cycles, 1 run. I managed one run and one gentle cycle… along with two yoga sessions! I didn’t beat myself up about not sticking to the plan and if I felt tired, I took the excuse not to wake up early. I was surprised at how easy I found not working out every morning!
3) Don’t get drunk
Or…you know… do. My first triathlon was the Sunday after I finished a big set of exams. The last few weeks had seen me revising solidly and I got very drunk on the Friday night. Going to bed still hungover the night before a triathlon doesn’t feel great. BUT I finished it, I didn’t do too well but I don’t think that was anything to do with the alcohol and more to do with a lack of swim training! I had a work drinks party the week before my last tri and I quite enjoyed being able to have a few drinks and stay out past 10pm without worrying about having to cycle home or be up for a swim first thing. So I’d say this is most definitely not a hard and fast rule!
4) Treat yourself
Something to take your mind off the race ahead – use up that time you would normally spend training doing something you don’t normally have time for. Get your nails done, have coffee with a friend, read a book instead of numerous training blogs!
5) Check the weather over and over and over and over and over and over again
If it’ll put your mind at ease…. as long as you know you can’t do anything about it! Weather forecast for my last tri? Torrential rain ALL day. Luckily it held off for the cycle as I hate cycling in the wet and all was okay.
6) Eat what you want and don’t feel guilty
Okay you’re not doing shedloads of exercise so don’t really have an excuse to take in piles of extra calories… but… CARB LOADING! Here’s the excuse for piles of macaroni & cheese, lasanga, pasta bake……………. Maybe don’t take my advice here. I like food. Don’t feel guilty.
Did I already say that? But seriously – there is very little you can do in a week that will have any impact on your times other than tiring you out. Will one cycling time-trial really make you go that much quicker on race day? How much stronger will your muscles be after one more strength workout? It takes more than one week to get fit. Once we are looking at marginal gains in times and fitness, you won’t improve those in one week. Stop worrying about it, enjoy yourself and look forward to race day!!!