Like most athletes, I have a love/hate relationship with the taper. For those of you who are unaware, the taper is the period of time between your hard building workouts, and your race. It is used to rest your legs, while still doing just enough to keep them fresh and “race ready”. I’ve heard of several athletes hating the taper because they don’t know what to do with themselves if they “only run 3 miles a day”. I however, have different reasons for hating it.
1) My mind goes crazy during a taper period. This is not because of all of my free time, but because I’m worried that I’m either doing too much, or too little for the current stage of the taper. I have a VERY hard time trusting the training plan and my coach that the workouts are there for a reason, and the rest days are also there for a reason. A good example would be this morning. I was all mad at John (only reason your husband shouldn’t be your coach 😉 ) because I had what looked to be a pretty hard workout written. He had scheduled a 6X10 minute at race pace bike ride, immediately followed by a 30 minute at race pace run. It scared me. I knew I could do it, but I didn’t think I should. In my mind, that seemed like a hard workout. Well, it turned out that yet again, I was wrong. The workout was just enough of a challenge, but not hard enough to tire me out. In fact, it was a very encouraging and confidence-building workout! Never doubt your coach.
2) Another reason why I hate the taper it is usually don’t during a taper that my body begins to rebel. It’s like it realizes I’m not working as hard anymore, and figures now’s a good time to let me know about all the things that are going wrong! Haha…. No complaints out of it so far, but it could still happen.
3) During the taper (at least for triathlons), every workout is designed to get your legs/arms ready to race. This means that all of my workouts are at race pace. This isn’t difficult per se, but if you were hoping for a “lay on the couch and rest for 3 weeks” kind of taper, don’t hire my husband as your coach. I just have to accept that I still have to work a little during the taper, and what work I do has to be VERY focused.
Now, the taper isn’t all bad…certainly not! I actually LOVE the taper for many reasons.
1) When I wake up, my body doesn’t hurt
2) I have a little more free time to clean the house, take care of the yard, shop for groceries, blog, SLEEP, ect.
3) I get to spend more time with my husband!
4) Easy days during the taper allow for me to do them with friends who are looking for a more relaxed workout.
5) When I get to race morning, I feel fresh, strong, and ready to conquer!
How do you feel about the taper?
Tell me what you love or hate about it and why!