There’s less than a week until Ironman Cairns and the 70.3. During the next six days you won’t get any faster or fitter. Avoid “panic training” or trying to cram in any last minute sessions. They will only deplete your energy levels leaving you flat and cranky come race day. Getting smart about your taper should be the icing on the cake of your 12-16 week training program.
If you don’t want to read any more just follow your program, get a massage, try to relax, eat healthy meals, get some sleep and pack your bag.
For those needing more reassurance here’s the taper lowdown and why it’s important to FOLLOW YOUR PROGRAM:
1) You will still have training sessions. This is to remind your body it’s in race mode. Shorter, sharper efforts are required as you scale back the length of your training sessions.
2) Training sessions will reduce by about 50% in the final week before your goal race. If it is your goal race for the year, ask yourself: “Am I giving myself every opportunity to achieve that goal?”
3) Listen to your coach. Not the person you just met at the coffee shop who you’ve known for 30 seconds, or your brother’s best friend’s dog trainer … reflect on the training you’ve completed, go back over your notes or the sessions you’ve been ticking off each week for added reassurance that you can do this. Think about YOUR race pace and apply it to your swim, bike and run sessions this week.
4) Stay loose. You don’t want to be carrying any fatigue into Sunday, keep a little bit back in your sessions. You should feel like you’ve got another gear. Whatever you do don’t go trying something new now. If you’ve never done pilates or a weights class or yoga before this week don’t think a bit of an extra stretch, strength or core workout will make all the difference. It won’t.
5) Everyone reacts differently to taper. Some people will feel excited and full of energy earlier than others. Don’t panic if you don’t get your mojo back quickly. Come race day your body will know exactly what to do.
6) Sleep well. Eat healthy. Get a massage. Be selfish.
7) Accept that at some stage you’ll probably burst into tears for no apparent reason. Let it out. You’ll feel much better and you’ll have something to laugh about on Monday. It happens to everyone.