CoachCox

Kona Diaries 2010 – Day 4 – Now we’re really tapering

There was a good bunch of Brits out for the swim this morning Steven Lord and Rachel Joyce led off whilst Roger Canham, Jo Carritt and I trailed further behind. Halfway out I bumped into Tim Bishop, Laura Trimble and husband Andrew. It’s hard not to meet someone you know here even in the middle of the ocean!

A swim was all I had on my schedule so once out of the water I could set about the task of relaxing. This was the first day that felt like I was tapering. Lots of free time and not much to do. I’m never sure what people do on beach holidays and find inactivity frustrating.

Much of the day was spent wandering along Ali’i Drive window shopping in a mix of tourist and triathlon shops. I worked my way to Lava Java where I met friends for coffee, but no cake. This will be the pattern for the coming week a lot of time spent sitting in the sun enjoying Hawaiian coffee and resisting pastries.

The taper is a tricky time as the temptation to fill it with eating is there. When you’re expending so much less energy the opportunity to gain last minute weight is ever present. I remind myself that all those cakes will be in the cabinet after the race and I can enjoy them then. For now coffee alone has to be enough.

The 2010 Taper Plan

Just like last year I’m publishing my taper plan. There’s more art and less science involved this time. I used the Performance Management Chart to guide me, but less rigidly. When run training is at a low you don’t need a chart to tell you how to taper. An illness induced blip in cycling CTL before I arrived left me with less objectives for the taper. I’ve focussed on relaxing, not over doing things and cutting back as much as possible.

27/9/2010 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
AM 1 Run
(20 min)
Run
(20 min)
Swim
(50 min)
Swim
(40 min)
Run
(1 hour)
Swim
(45 min)
Swim
(1 hour)
AM 2 Swim
(40 min)
Swim
(40 min)
Bike
Threshold Session
(1:50 hrs)
    Bike
Steady + Race Pace
(4 hrs)
Bike
Threshold Session
(2 hrs)
PM 1   Bike
Steady + Race Pace
(3.5 hrs)
      Run
(45 min)
 
PM 2              
Hours 1:00 5:30 8:10 8:50 9:50 15:20 18:20
4/10/2010 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
AM 1 Swim
(1 hour)
Swim
(30 min)
Swim
(30 min)
Run
Easy – Race Efforts(30 min)
Swim
(15 min)
Ironman Hawaii 2010 Swim
Very easy!
(30 min)
AM 2   Bike
Easy/Race intervals
(2 hours)
Bike
Easy/Race intervals
(1 hour)
     
PM 1         Run
Easy/Race interval
(15 min)
 
PM 2   Run
Race Pace
(30 min)
Run
Easy
(20 min)
     
Hours 1:00 4:00 6:00 6:30 6:45 ??:?? ??:??

This week is busy, but a lot lighter than my original aims. Those ambitions missed the purpose of this phase there’s no point exhausting myself. ITU Worlds showed that I can race well with remarkably little in the last week.

I’ve a small set of bike sessions each with hard work in. I’m doing what running I can and daring to try one ‘long‘ run to see how it goes. Morning swims soon become a daily habit, but I need to ease that off – pleasurable as it is rest would be useful.

The foundations of these two weeks were shaped with the PMC, but I soon deviated and accepted that numbers only tell me so much. The absolute values are largely meaningless, but the trends can hint to performance. Even then it’s easy to shape an appropriate trend that involves far too much training.

Laying out this schedule I also considered what’s worked before. Longer rides with periods at race pace or shorter sessions with harder intervals have been used in the run up to successful races. Not too much running (especially when there’s been so little in the build up) and not allowing sore legs to stress me it was exactly the same last year.

What I’ve seen from the Biestmilch athletes is tapering guided by feel. Sessions and their content can change at the last moment. I’m reserving the right to make adjustments to my program as I see fit. I’ll know the plan is working if I feel better with each day.

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