Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why I don't like tapering

Tapering - "a term used in endurance sports and basically means to reduce an athlete's training load before a major race. Personal experience and scientific research have both come to the conclusion that a period of enforced rest before racing significantly increases the athlete's level of fitness and boosts his/her performance by an average of 3%."

"Tapering allows the body to replenish its enzyme, glycogen and hormone reserves and repair its muscle tissues so it can toe the starting line fully recovered and in optimum shape."

Ok, so I understand why we need to taper but it doesn't make it any easier. As I mentioned in a previous post, the first day or so of a taper is a novelty - no more early starts to clock up 20km before work, but then the fingers start tapping, the feet become restless, the fidgeting starts.

This is the time when aches and pains, real and imagined, make their presence felt. When you walk into things and trip over things........

This is the time when everyone around you is either getting a cold/flu, or are in the throes of aforementioned cold/flu and refuse to stay at home but instead come to work sniffling, sneezing and generally breathing their germs your way, and when every bus you catch to work and home again is a mobile breeding ground for any number of contagious diseases.

This is the time when you are running less but seeming to be eating more, carbs especially, so consequently feeling blah and bloated.

This is the time when your mind starts playing games and you start to worry whether you have done enough training (forgetting all those weeks of 100+kms and challenging long runs), whether you have run enough hills (again conveniently forgetting runs such as Mt Tennent, Mt Ainslie three times, Mt Rob Roy, etc, etc), whether you should have done more strength training in the gym, more core work, more cross training, or more racing..........

This is the time you start having dreams where you miss the start, take a wrong turn, forget your shoes, have an unbelievably awful race, have an unbelievably amazing race, show up for the wrong event..........

4 sleeps to go!
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"The most self-destructive thought that any person can have is thinking that he or she is not in total control of his or her life. That's when, 'Why me?' becomes a theme song."
- Roger Dawson

8 comments:

IHateToast said...

someone needs to sleep with a runner-friendly teddy bear to make all the taper-related bad dreams go away.

i love to taper. i just forget to build.

go, CJ!

Clairie said...

Ha! Too true...I am still in 90km+weeks for 3 more weeks though so a taper sounds good to me :)

Good Luck on the weekend.

speedygeoff said...

Go Go C J. And all other 6 foot Canberrans. Remember to smile and wave at the camera at the river crossing.

Ewen said...

3%. Is that all? That would make my 7 hour bush walk 6:47. Think I'll keep running...

iliketoast said...

yes 3% .... can't be right .... did you mention the self doubt ... yeah, ok .... you'll be fine ... nice capture of the taper, i feel the same

Two Fruits said...

I hate tapering too, all for 3%, but then I have never caught a contagious disease from the bus, or the people that ride in them either. It's office air conditioning that gets you. Take Ewen as an example, finely tuned elite athlete, works outdoors, and doesn't taper or gets sick. Good running on Sat.

strewth said...

Go CJ - two more sleeps! Here's hoping for ideal conditions and a wonderful experience on the day! You have worked really hard, done amazing training and you will be fresh and ready to go on Saturday! I'll be so looking forward to reading your report. BEST OF LUCK!

Ewen said...

You're right about the air-con Two Fruits. If I want it cooler I just go faster.