Tapers

TapersHere’s a graph showing my rolling week to date hours in the run up to various races. The yellow line shows the current run up to next weeks race. The pink line is the run up to Ironman New Zealand earlier this year and finally the green line is the run up to what was probably my best race The Longest Day just under 2 years ago.

Comparing, first, to New Zealand you can see that my peak volume was approximately the same volume and happened only a few days earlier. However, two notable things are the breadth of the volume leading into New Zealand – it lasted weeks whereas for this race is was really just a single week. Secondly the speed of the drop off in volume. The intensity of the weeks peak this time round was alot higher than for New Zealand and I needed much deeper recovery. What do I conclude ? Who knows, but in character I’m quite positive about it. This analysis looks alot better than I was expecting as I started it. My peak was short and sweet this time … VERY sweet and my taper / recovery has  been deep – though I don’t feel too sprightly running at the moment I still have 6 days to pull it together.

I then decided to look at the same period running up to The Longest Day where I did my pb of 9.15 running 3:07. Interestingly 3-7 weeks out my volume was lower. 2 years ago I was still racing mountain marathons and olympic distance races – in that period I race two olympic and The Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon – all took out weekends and it was in the days I was working full time hence the low volume. However, my winter was not disrupted by an Ironman that year and my base was long and massively consistent – from the last week in January through 2nd week in June (when I started racing ) my week to date hours only once dropped below 30 hours- the week including the London Marathon. I did my own version of a training camp late May up in Scotland. I was there on my own and trained in all weathers – in the week I did 61 hours – 727 miles of cycling and 70 miles of running (the vast majority being fell running over munros). Clearly this consistency paid massive dividends. Also – the racing – shorter distance – sharpeners ?? I know some of you reading this will probably smile seeing me write that ! Finally – look at the taper ? Less than a week ! A week out from the race and I’d clocked over 40 hours. The Sat, Sun and Mon before the race I totaled over 200 miles of bike and 36 miles of running. Even I’ve gotta say wow ! What was I thinking … well I was viewing that race as purely a benchmark for my progress towards Florida !

It’s making me think ! ALOT ! Perhaps I should try a similar approach for Ironman Wisconsin – currently I have a 10 day taper but I’m sorely tempted to train full bore till I get on the plane (the tuesday before the race)…. gotta think.

I had planned to put final thoughts here about IM Germany but will do that tomorrow.

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