This Taper Thing Is Going to KILL ME!!!

11954225271522744573liftarn_A_person_sleeping.svg.medLast week I started my first round of taper guessing games as I tried to plan this week out.  At the time I was feeling spent and ready for the taper/recovery week to start.  Over the last three weeks I had reduced my volume and focused on a few high intensity bricks.  On Saturday one quick six mile bike ride and further realized, I needed some rest, my legs were shot.  So, at the time the idea of a taper provided exciting news, if you can figure out what taper is the best taper from the thousands of voices sounding out on this matter on the web.

Regardless I was excited and elated to have a week where I would be cutting back my volume of work further and aiming for short, possibly slightly intense, workout sessions.  Saturday I was looking forward to a week of few workouts, multiple stretching and hot tub sessions and being days away from the race.  I settled on my method of taper and set Tuesday as the next day I would workout, probably Pilates and a quick run or Pilates and a quick spin.  It did not matter, I was excited it was finally race week and even more I was eager for the rest taper week promised.

Sunday afternoon came and I embraced the fact I would not be working out then or on Monday. But something was off.  All day I felt irritable and moody, excited and even a little depressed.  I am not sure what was going on but my wife asserted I was an unbearable mess.  Later that night, after a semi-restful day, I was ready for bed by eight in the evening.  I often go to bed after ten and rarely before.  Additionally I slept in that morning and went to bed early the night before.

Monday proved even more difficult.  In the morning I went to the gym and stretched, foam rolled and sat in the hot tub for a bit.  I felt excited and eager as I discussed the coming race and the road I had been down. Most of the people I know from the gym know my story and are encouraging.  Throughout the rest of the day I felt tired sometime, restless others.  Occasionally I ended up in a state of total melancholy and others excitement and nervousness.  When I got home my wife felt frantic and tried to deal with the fluctuation in mood.  She complained I was happy one moment and down and sad the next.  She thought I needed to go back to the gym and maybe that would level out my moods.  Fortunately she was going to her mothers for the next few days to help her mom with some things or I think I would have driven her nuts. This morning I felt full of energy like I needed to be doing something and could not sit still while soaking in the hot tub.

The worst part of all this so far is the fear of pain and injury.  Is the slight pain in my foot from my  sprain coming  back?  Is my lower back hurting or feeling off?  I don’t remember there being a pain there before?  Is that a pain in my knee?   Why am I getting frequent head aches?  On top of this is the fear that I might tear, rip or pull something doing simple things, like picking up groceries or standing to wash dishes.

Then this morning I started to panic that I was forgetting things and that there was something important I had forgotten. I ended up spending the morning putting my list together of items to take and piling it so I can check and double check.

I am only a few days into this taper and I think this is the first time in three months I have not worked out in some capacity for two full days going into the third.  I have some activity planned for this evening, but I feel frantic and out of control at times.  Its really a mess right now.  I am so ready to race and experience triathlon. Is this pre-race behavior normal?  Til next time.

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15 comments

  1. I think you have the “taper crazies”! I experienced similar ups and downs, crazy energy, lethargy, etc. before my first half. Our bodies get used to working out a lot and then don’t know what to do with all the unused energy before a race. It’s definitely common. I don’t have any solid tips on how to deal with it though…just stay strong, eat well, drink lots and lots of water. maybe do some light yoga or meditation to try to focus your breath and mind?

    1. Crazies is a good way to describe it. I am also used to repetitive patterns of schedule, maybe that is part of it. This week has nothing familiar in it as the workouts are light and the usual push is missing. Tons of water… check, started that yesterday. I am sure by the time Saturday rolls around all will be well… er maybe.

  2. Yep…you’re tapering! No wonder so many athletes leave their race on the road some time during pre-race week is it? (Take time to re-read my post about the Ironman…and take a lesson also. I’m sure I left my race on the highway to Hawi four days before the event.) Hang in there and have confidence in your training Chatter….next week this time you’ll still be on a post-race high!

    1. If this is tapering then its horrible. It is worse than a recovery week following a hard set of workout weeks. I will check out that post, you have been a true inspiration!

      1. Just between you and I, I was HORRID at tapering…for all the reasons you mentioned in your post. Have the munchies hit yet? lol….about 3 days into the taper I started eating everything in site…including biting the head off anyone brave enough to come within sight of me…

      2. Those started yesterday, the munchies. I figured as I was greatly reducing my caloric output I needed to eat safe nutritious meals and watch the type of food I eat. My body does not agree with the calculated volume of food I am in-taking and the lack of fats and bad starchy carbs. I have been craving greasy fast food all week and sweets like you would not believe it. So far I have stuck with vegies and healthy snacks, but last night a large serving of ice cream fell victim when I lost control. I had no idea the hunger was part of the mess. Breakfast is the worst. i am trying to eat sound filling breakfasts of protein shake, yogurt and oatmeal, but after an hour I am starving again. It is really messed up.

  3. The toughest part about taper is the mind games it can play on you. However, I love taper. Love it. Favorite time of the year. I can share some personal experiences if you like and perhaps ease some of your concerns about how you’re feeling. One suggestion – lay off the hot tub. It ZAPS your energy.

    1. Hmm. ok, I thought the hot tub only zapped energy if you do not hydrate, but you might be onto something there.

      1. Personally, I would avoid it completely but if you have to do it don’t stay in very long, listen to your body and don’t let yourself stay in until you sweat.

  4. kruzmeister · · Reply

    Welcome to the world of triathlon taper Chatter! I really miss the high endorphin parties in my brain the week before I race, so I can understand the crazies. I agree with the hot tub advice too, I find any more than 10 minutes drains me completely of energy like I’ve just done a hard workout. Try and hang tough buddy, on race day you’ll be firing on all cyclinders! – Simone

  5. I have a love/hate relationship with tapers. I understand the crazy and the cravings. I try to take frequent walks outside in place of workouts – I find it helps keep my legs loose (and my mind busy) without taxing the body too much. Tapers are tough, but you’ll appreciate it on race day. You’re gonna fly!

    1. I should, I have trained hard enough. This week though has probably been the toughest week of training I have ever had.

  6. Sounds like you are ready to fly! Your brain is working over-time. Even before our move north when I went into my gym for one last hurrah and felt an injury…I cried. Why now? My trainer immediately had me on the floor with a roller and a list of things to do…soaks and pads…more rolling. i ended up having no pain. Praying for you Chatt. You’ve worked extremely hard and deserve an injury free week. Can you crochet? Lol. Seriously..it helps with anxiety! Stay strong.

  7. […] This Taper Thing Is Going to KILL ME!!! (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

  8. […] This Taper Thing Is Going to KILL ME!!! (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com) […]

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