31 May 2007


When training for marathon running races, there's a key component to training that can't be overlooked: the taper. For 10 days to 2 weeks before the race, you're in full-on rest mode: as much sleep as you can get, watch the food intake, drop your training miles by half to three-quarters. The idea is, when you hit that start line, you're rested and ready to go.

There are a couple of minor side-effects of this strategy. After 2-3 days, you start to feel a little bloated. Time slows to a crawl. You think you feel tired, but it's mostly in your head. Your body feels vaguely achey. Every sneeze is a source of worry that you're about to get sick. And you have more energy than you know what to do with -- all of it unfocused -- which leads to what my running group calls "taper-nuttiness."

Which is what I'm feeling, a full-on case, at this very moment.

Because of the way this season breaks down, I targeted this time as a sort of mini-peak, with the focus being this weekend's first-ever WORS marathon. Last weekend's WEMS race fit in perfectly, as does the 12-hour next week, with this Sunday as the centerpiece. I knew as soon as I saw the schedule that Rudy Rack was for me!

So I'm tapering, then racing, then taking 3 weeks off from racing. Which is why I'm sitting here in a mental fog, absolutely buzzing -- it's a cruel irony that I have a ton of energy but absolutely no ability to focus it on any one thing for very long. Even this blog entry is too much -- I've stopped and started again three times already. I'm hungry, but I can't eat, I'm tired but not really, and I feel like I could jump out of my skin at any moment.

Thankfully, with the right balance, that means I'll be more than ready to go come Sunday. Bring on the nuts!


spicyride said...

too hardcore for me.

chiefhiawatha said...

It is easy to believe you are doing the right thing if you are training hard and your legs are sore. This must be progress, right?

It is easy to second-guess yourself when you're in taper mode. Shouldn't I be...working or something?

Anonymous said...

Here is a good alternative training plan for those who tire of all the periodization, peaking, resting, planned controlled zone rides and other crap recommended by so very many, with all their so many and varied ideas:

"RIDE LOTS." (Eddy Merckx)

Here is another one:

Think of the 20+ hours of your day when you are at your job, with your wife, playing with kids, watching TV, playing with yourself, mowing the grass as your rest (taper, zone 1&2&3, active recovery ride, etc.) Think of the other 1,2,3 or 4 hours when you are riding your bike as your non-rest time.

In other words- you don't need all the rest you think you do!!!!!

As long as you stretch, warm up and down and don't ride more than 4 hours each day, you can do that forever, until you are dead.


Hardman Jones