Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ironwoman Wednesday - Taper

Ironwoman Wednesday is a weekly linkup on a variety of triathlon-related topics (that will be announced the week before). It is similar to Tri Talk Tuesday that a few other bloggers started, but the more people talking about triathlon the better!

Gabi at Lean Green Island Girl, Michelle at Ironwoman Strong and I are all training for Ironman Louisville. It is really exciting (and encouraging) to be sharing this journey with these two amazing women!

When I was a swimmer (I don't know why I say it like that I still am a swimmer, I guess just in a different capacity), I HATED taper. I hated it so much that I wouldn't do it, I would swim extra yards because I didn't think that taper worked. In college I was "forced" to taper, and since I had lost my passion for the sport anyway I didn't see any benefits. I do remember having a shirt that said, "shaved and tapered" (for some reason this sounds dirty to me).

 Never thought I would be more ripped than this, but somehow I am

Now that I have been through taper a few times as a triathlete, I actually look forward to it. It is the few weeks (or sometimes just days if it is a short taper) that your body and mind can rest and recharge in preparation for the big day.

Mike and I are currently in taper mode. Last week was a baby taper week. We still did all of the same miles during the week that we previously had been doing, but our weekend miles decreased a bit (except that we made a huge mistake on Saturday and ended up with 19 run/walk miles for the day - more on that in next week's training recap).

This week our weekly miles have started to decrease, just a bit, as well as our weekend miles. We will still do close to 100 total miles next week, but compared to what we have been doing that is a pretty drastic decrease.

Taper DOs and DON'Ts:

DO continue to train, but at less intensity (sometimes) and mileage.
DO hydrate, eat well and sleep.
DON'T try anything new as you get closer to race day.
DO give yourself plenty of time to try all of your race day gear.
DON'T add more workouts to your training plan. You can't make up what you have missed.
DO make time for the people, things, etc. that you haven't gotten to during training.
DO give yourself enough time to pack/prepare for race day.
DON'T worry. You put in the hard work, now it is time for the victory lap!

New chain for Mike

In our case, taper weeks are being filled with some movie-going (something we haven't done in awhile), last minute purchases, such as, new shoes for race day (with plenty of time to break them in), final bike tune-ups, making a packing list and eventually, traveling to our race!

In 18 days, we will be jumping into the Ohio River and I can't wait!


  1. I'm far from an Ironwoman, concentrating on the half marathon right now, but taper is hard for me, too. I got antsy and have too much time to think/stress out. Good luck at Louisville!

    1. Thank you! I definitely get a little stressed too, I try not to but it happens.

  2. I'm tapering now, and it's THE WORST. I have so much extra energy, but I'm also sleepy and anxious ... it's tough mentally. You want to keep working and pushing, but you have to trust your training and embrace the downtime. Easier said than done!

  3. Ahhhh taper!!! Swimming taper was my least favorite time of the season. I don't like racing...I get too worked up. I loved hard workouts!

  4. Love your do's and don'ts and I keep thinking about your victory lap! You are so right, the training was the hard work, Louisville will be our victory lap...a very long 140.6 mile victory lap :-)

    1. Exactly! That's what I call everything now, we did the hard work let's just enjoy the victory!

  5. I stink at Tapering pre-marathons. I get taper crazies.
    You seem to do it all so well. Can't wait for you to race.

  6. I enjoy tapering... it allows the body to rest up for the awesomeness that is ahead!