Winding Down

Two weeks time and should I be making a blog post it’ll be from UK soil. Which having checked the long range forecast means I can look forward to being cold and wet. Whilst I am looking forward to coming home (for a while) I’m using some of the extra time in my taper to appreciate what I’ll be missing here. By that I mean the sun, the sea and the coffee shops.

With it being the second week of my taper training has really been scaled back. I’ve been letting myself lie in each morning, finding getting up when I feel like it leaves me feeling much more rested that sticking to a time. That comes to an end tomorrow with a 6am massage appointment meaning I’m up before dawn. I’d come up with a plan of getting up early in the week leading up to the race to get myself used to it. Just came around a little sooner than expected that’s all.

Some of my extra free time has gone into sorting through all I own and thinning out my possessions. I’ve actually done a good job of not accumulating things in the past 6 months. During the easy part of a bike ride the other day I considered how little I actually spend outside of food and shelter. It’s not so long ago I can remember spending a significant portion of my income on possessions. These days if isn’t necessary for survival I tend not to be so concerned! Ok sometimes I eat more expensively than I need to and it’s not that the basics are so cheap for me. Plus there’s all that flying about and the price of race entries these days! Still if I can take away something other than greater fitness from this trip it’s how little I need to get by.

Whilst I don’t need to own much my love of good coffee incurs quite a cost! Just like my last taper I’m almost planning my training around when best to visit my favourite coffee shops. I’ve four I’d consider favourites in the vicinity. Each good for a different reason and only one I visit for the quality of the coffee alone. I’ve been to them all in the past week, multiple times in some cases. I’ll certainly miss the cafe culture when I’m back home, I have no recollection of such good coffee shops in Reading. At least not the kind where you might kill an hour or two.

In between ensuring I’m suitable caffeinated there has been some training. Lots of easy efforts with judicious doses of harder paces. With greatly reduced volume those hard efforts are much easier and very reassuring. Watching the powermeter once I’ve warmed up on the bike gives me some confidence for the Ironman ahead. At the same time I’m aware of all the little niggles and you do start to worry just a little that there may be issues to come. It’s all part of the game though, not much to be done now!

It’s not all indulgence much as it might sound that way. There are important rules I am sticking to. No unhealthy foods. That’s number one, my diet is pretty simple right now. Lots or fruit and veg, a fair bit of sushi or fish in general. Been off the bread for a while. All those trips to the coffee shops? No cakes and always long blacks no sugar! I quite enjoy sticking to a set of rules. Plus it should stop me from gaining any weight as the taper goes on.

I want to keep this one short rather than the usual essay I dump on the site. I would have liked to ramble less! You’d think with all this spare time I’d have planned this better. I can assure you whilst I admired the views on the beach front I thought about what I’d post and it sounded way better!