A Word On The Taper


Tick Tock.. Tick Tock ..Tick Tock

I can hear every second, of every minute, of every hour pass right-on-by…

It’s race week ’round here so things are on cruise control and there is not a whole lot of stimulating activity to report.

Well, unless you count the hours of internet shopping (Visa actually called to ask WTF was happening with our spending habits) and consuming my weight in almonds (Habanero spicy bbq flavor) as productive activity. 

It’s all in how you look at things. Some call it lazy, other’s call it:


Tapering, prior to an event, is necessary to repair, rebuild and refuel those battered, abused muscles. It’s how PR’s are set, goals are met, and age group awards are won. Most importantly, it allows it the body and mind to perform to the best of its ability. Tapering is one of the most important aspects of training and unfortunately, many times, one of the most ignored.

Following a proper recovery and tapering plan has, in the past, been something I typically ignored. Similar to my post workout/recovery nutrition, it only took 1 time to try it, see the results and I was sold. I’m still lousy at it though. It messes with the mind, it jacks with the body and makes me a less than stellar lunch date. Hence the forced solitary, the droves of online shopping and almond binging. Yup, only the brave can stand me right now! Luckily, this too shall pass.

It’s not an easy task to go from 90 to nothing (ok,ok, exaggeration ) in just a few days. Drastically reducing training load, while upping the intensity ante, can create panic, doubt, stress, feelings of anxiousness, as well as various aches and pains as the body repairs itself.

Then there is the mind-numbing, beat your head against the wall boredom (note this may only be an issue in the great metropolis known as South Mississippi). Mine may actually drive me to clean a toilet or vacuum up WonderDog’s undercoat, as he has been so kind as to deposit it throughout the house ….MAY, I said. Don’t get too excited…I did it last week after all. Now that I think about it, if the weekly policy is a reduction in the overall volume of energy expended, then toilet cleaning and vacuuming is definitely off the list of possible activities.

So here is a little depiction of my fun and exciting week: 


(created by the folks over at SweatLab and done just perfectly I might add)


I need the rest. There is no doubt or question about that. I’ve been chronically dehydrated and as a result, I’ve lost 5-6 lbs since the heat picked up a few weeks ago. In addition, my legs have felt like bricks and my entire upper body feels like I’ve been hauling a toddler around 24-7. I have been feeling generally exhausted, sore from head to toe, and was starting to suffer some mental roadblocks as well. 

So it’s all good and the timing seems to be falling into place as well. When my volume peaked two weeks ago I felt quick and light. All my workouts were effortless and I was nailing my times perfectly. My attitude was spot on and I wanted to race right at that moment. Then as I gradually began to back off the volume, I started feeling like crap. This was my sign, my smoke signal if you will, that things were going PERFECTLY… just as designed!

So even though I’m incredibly bored, sore, tired, bankrupt and now best friends with the local UPS driver, I’m confident race day will be great since all is going according to plan (see scientific data above :)).

Today is a fast 4 mile run and transition bags get packed.

Thursday is a quick mile swim followed by packet pick-up.

Friday is a short workout on the race course followed by a great dinner, movie and a good nite’s rest.

3 days to go…


Train Happy, My Friends!

2 thoughts on “A Word On The Taper

  1. Good luck on your race!

    I have to say… your blog today: hilarious! I love the part about the UPS driver. 😉 lol


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