For the last three weeks I have reduced my volume of training but increased the intensity via brick workouts. The plan has been to do three week of high intensity brick workouts, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am currently on the third of these brick weeks with my final high intensive push. Next week leads to race day and of course I have been contemplating the taper phase. When I worked out this plan initially I had figured that taper week would involve light workouts Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday ad Thursday with Friday and Saturday off. These workouts were to be super light, low pressure workouts. Unfortunately the internet happened and now I am questioning this strategy.
In sports theory and triathlon ‘Taper’ is a term used to describe the period when an athlete reduces their efforts and intensities in order to be ready and prepared for a race. Google this and sprint triathlon turns up a myriad of opinions on how best to do this, if at all. Some people see it as being pointless in a sprint race while others contain differing opinions on what exactly ‘tapering’ means. I am trying to make sure I have a solid plan for next week based on my current ‘feeling’ with the goal of having the best first race performance possible.
By ‘feeling’ I am talking about how I currently feel as I perform my last bricks before the race and how I feel heading into next week. After two and a half weeks of performing bricks at a fairly high intensity I have noticed my legs certainly are no where near fresh. Spinning at my normal level feels off and sluggish, almost like there is something wrong with the bike and there is too much resistance. I can complete a long spin session, but I cannot sustain zone 3 heart rate efforts for long periods like I was able to a couple of weeks ago. Running is similar, I feel sluggish on the run and it seems my step has very little bounce. I have been walking more than I was previously and my running has gotten a little slower. Swimming is probably the only thing I have not noticed too much of a lag.
Overall I have been feeling more tired than I used to feel. I try to give myself a full day of recovery between each brick session, but I feel a bit tired and run down lately. My recovery time has increased after each brick session and I feel more resilience and confidence in performing them. Overall I feel tired, really tired some days and my body feels weary and a little worn.
The goal of next week is to recharge and freshen up for the race. But I do not want to go too easy. Right now I feel like I really need a super easy week next week. Maybe take Monday, Friday and Saturday off and just do a quick and simple thirty minute workout on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I just want to make sure I do not mess up all my work by doing too much or too little. I feel like I severely am ready for a recovery week, or a reduced week. Figured I would throw this out there and get a few more opinions before finalizing my race/taper week plans. I really want to be fresh and ready for my race and not feel so tired and worn out. Just not certain of how much work I need to put in next week. I know there will be allot of extra sleeping, time in the sauna and hot tub and time rolling muscles and stretching next week. Just not sure how much time of everything else there needs to be.
Suggestions for how I should handle next week?
Til next time.
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