taper time in taper town!

Because my training cycle for this race has not been, um, a training cycle, I was originally planning not to taper.  But then I realized that I was talking crazy.  So it's taper time!  I did 2+ weeks of high volume workouts - mostly intense doubles on alternating days with easy recovery days and complete (OMG!) rest days.  I actually started tapering 10 days out, rested this weekend and with the help of some friends, put together my last week of training: taper week.

Monday: PT+core, swim 30-40 minutes, hill workout (bike)
Tuesday: PT+core, run 40-50 minutes
Wednesday: PT+core, ride 90 minutes + bike commute, possible wetsuit test swim
Thursday: PT, run 30 minutes
Friday: swim 20-30 minutes 
Saturday: race day!

Everything will be easy overall, with some tiny pickups to keep my muscles fresh.  For example, in a 1600 yard workout this morning, I did 2x100 yards sprinting.  My hill workout will be a miniaturized version and I'll do some 60-seconds pickups in the run, but that's it.  I'm leaving out all of the lifting I usually do (5-6 hours of strength training a week).  And I'll catch up on sleep and eat my face off and completely freak out every time I feel even the tiniest twinge in my muscles.  Welcome to taper, folks!

As for my training, it's been seriously weird.  When I signed up for this race back in January, I knew that I only had 7 weeks after the National Half to put it all together.  I also knew that it wouldn't be an A race for me, and that my training should be able to get my solidly through the race but I wouldn't be at peak triathlete fitness.  It's my first time at the distance, so that's how it should be.  But that said, I've been regularly swimming for 2 years.  I rode 4000+ miles on my bike last summer.  So I wasn't starting from zero.  When I put together the training plan, I mapped out a schedule of long runs and bricks and tempo and recovery and rest and worked around small races I wanted to do and group workouts.  HA HA HA, said the universe.

So instead of wrapping up half training with a monster race and then coasting on my running fitness to this one, I got injured, spent 2 weeks laying in bed and eating Oreos, ran 13.1 miles, and then took the better part of 2 weeks off to recover and start addressing my injury.  At that point, my beautiful colored half-IM-training-spreadsheet went out the window.  The 3 weeks immediately following the race had no running at all, except for one miserable attempt.  I wasn't allowed to use any kind of power on the bike, so I had no quality workouts.  And almost all of my swimming was being done with a pull buoy.  It was easily mid-April before I felt like I had even a tiny bit of strength on the bike, and I've only been completely weaned off the pull buoy in the pool for about 2 weeks.  I started running again 3 weeks ago, starting at easy 3-milers and adding a half-mile every other run.  No intervals, no tempo, no long runs.  Just easy recovery runs, every other day, trying to acclimate to the heat since not running for 5 weeks didn't do it for me (lame).

Because of all this, I'm showing up to this race not nearly as prepared as I'd like, which is death on the mental game for someone like me.  What I do need to remember is that I can do this.  I can finish.  I believe that the long slow distance is the key workout to endurance events, and that's the one thing I've got in my pocket.  I've done plenty of 2500-3200 yard swims.  I've done plenty of 50+ mile rides.  I've done 3-4 bike-heavy bricks.  My longest run was yesterday, at 8 miles, which is going to make the 13.1 suck quite a bit, but if it hurts, I just walk.  I did get in 2+ weeks of solid high volume training, and if my race was 5 weeks away and this was a cutback week before another high volume block, I'd actually feel pretty good about where my fitness is right now.  But, alas.

I'll talk later in the week about my goals for this race, but I'm fairly confident that I've done enough training to not be yanked off the course.  And this week I'm just trying to not make the fatal taper error of trying to cram.  The best thing I can do for my body is to let it heal.  Remind me of this when I start completely flipping out about how undertrained I am (this will definitely happen).
I'm still trying to avoid alcohol, white carbs and refined sugars (at least until Thursday, then it's facedown in the pasta), and with a few exceptions this weekend, I think I did okay.  You only get the post-MBA-graduation cupcake once in your life, and you don't very often get to drink beer with your BFF that lives 5 states away.  
So that's where my training is at.  How was your weekend?  Any big races coming up?


  1. Holy cow, it's this weekend!! You will do awesome!

    Congrats on your MBA! That's a lot of hard work!

  2. Smart girl. It's so hard to resist the temptation to cram. And I laughed out loud picturing you "face down in the pasta".

    You're gonna do better than you think this Saturday!!

  3. tapering AND avoiding alcohol.....your a mad woman. i would go insane!

  4. ohhh! i am so excited for you! glad you are giving your body a break...I can totally relate to this post though...I had this fancy training plan for my first marathon...then got injured and just had to not even try to look at it again. I think I will have done enough to finish but I guess not like I had planned on 2 months ago...but thats okay! I am totally fine with finishing...that is what counts!

    anyway...I will definitely be thinking about you!! you will do amazing!

  5. Congrats on the MBA. :) And good luck this week with the taper. It may be harder than the race (at least the no alcohol and sugar part)!

  6. As stated, I like the taper plan. I'm trying really hard to convince myself that I also need to taper. A good smack across the head from you would be helpful!

    In any case, we'll have fun down there :)

  7. Slow and steady gets you ready ... just keep repeating that, because you have totally resisted the urge to get all crazy and train ahrder than your body wanted to. By showing up to the start line with an injury that's well on its way to being healed, you have already won. In other news, let me know if you want a buddy at your wetsuit test Wednesday. I need to do that, too, and am procrastinating, hard-core.

  8. cant wait to cheer you on this weekend!

  9. Sounds like you have the right attitude for the race! Good luck this weekend, I hope you have a fabulous, pain-free race!

  10. Sounds like you are doing all you can. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

  11. I know you are going to kick *ss. 8 miles is really not that far from 13, so be confident because you are awesome.

  12. Best wishes for this weekend Katie! You will do awesome :).

  13. Congrats on the graduation! I think you're gonna rock that tri!

  14. Good luck with the taper. Congrats on the MBA.

  15. CONGRTULATIONS KATIE! Hope Molly and Graham got you a mommy's day girt AND grad gift!

    GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!! I'm nervous to share my goals too--might keep them to myself! ;)

  16. Congrats on the MBA! Your training has definitely prepared you well, trust it, taper well, and I look forward to the recap!

  17. Your body knows what to do; it will remember! As my BFF Hal Higdon says, it's better to be undertrained than even slightly overtrained. And Hal knows what he's talking about!
    Endurance racing is physical, sure, but a GREAT deal of it is mental. And girl, you've got your head on straight. You know better than to defeat yourself mentally. So push out those negative thoughts with some delicious carbs and get ready to kick ass!!!


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