ATB Taper

(sniff) Ahhh…can you smell it?  Taper is in the air.  The rattled nerves, the continual low-grade feeling of nausea, the irritability, the confusion, and who could forget the uneasy sleeps that precede a big race.

For those of you who may not be runners/racers, tapering is the process where athletes start reducing their training before race day.  There is no exact science to it as individual variability makes this process very much a “trial by fire” situation.  GENERALLY…taper (for longer races) starts 2-3 weeks before race day, and involves the reduction or removal of harder workouts in favour of rest and “easy” run, all in the hopes of being in peak physical condition on race day.  In reality, the average athlete nearly has a mental breakdown, and produces withdrawal symptoms that parallel alcoholics who’ve dropped the bottle.

In the past I have usually done something stupid before taper starts and spent most of my taper period clawing desperately trying to “fix” things before the inevitable crash on race day.  Bone bruises, broken toes, and ITB flare-ups have all made an appearance in the weeks leading up to a goal, but this year Murphy’s Law delivered a classic, Good-Olde-Fashioned – Illness!

Yes, the week in which I was supposed to be peaking my mileage and intensity was spent almost entirely on the couch with a fluctuating fever and head/chest congestion.  Every workout I skipped, I assured my self that tomorrow would be better and this was for the best, but after a full week where I managed only one run I was left felling deflated and significantly under-prepared.  Last week, on my vacation I managed to jump back into the mileage I was supposed to be putting in but those key workouts I missed were gone forever;  speedwork, race-paced long run, mid-week medium long run, gone.  Damn…

But there is no use in dwelling on the past!  NO, we have the future to cower in fear from!  In all seriousness, I’m not that scared about race day.  Unless something really unexpected happens I should be able to finish the ATB 30km in a reasonable time, and in reasonable shape…if not, well that just makes for interesting stories for you guys!  The major thing I’m having doubts about is my stretch goal (I’ll be posting my goals up here Friday), I worked really hard this year to train for this race, and REALLY wanted to do well but right now I’m having doubts as to whether my stretch goal is too ambitious or juuuuuuust within reach.  Guess we’ll find out Sunday…

Thanks for reading kids, and remember: When the voices in your head tell you burn things, it’s probably a bad idea to listen to them…


About 51feetunder

Running & Fitness, Rock Climbing & Outdoor Activities, Photography & Rock & Roll.

Posted on March 21, 2012, in Race, Taper and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. 30km, nice!!! Good luck, man!

  2. I am so excited for you – look for me at the 20k marker (as it’ll take me team a while to get to me) I’ll be waving spatulas 😀

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