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Taper Week

Posted Sep 26 2011 10:00pm
This is the last week before the Poconos 70.3 Half Ironman, which is now only 5 short days away!  Last Saturday, after getting my bike fit done at High Road Cycles , I embarked on my first 50 mile bike ride.  This was something I mentally needed to do, because I had a lot of pain on my 40 mile ride and going for another 16 miles like that might not have been possible. 


At my bike fit, Isaac helped me and he really shortened my reach, adjusted my seat height and position, and tweaked my handle bars.  Let me tell you on my 50 mile ride I felt like I was on a new bike, I felt great.  I looked down and was like, wow we've gone 10 miles already - usually I'm like oh geez how have we gone only 3 miles, it feels like 10.  I had no pain in my back, numbness in my feet, and didn't get any shooting pain in my ankles like I did on my 40 mile ride.  Something that Issac said during my bike fit really stuck with me, he said, "it shouldn't hurt to ride your bike" which really resonated with me.  I said I thought your back should feel sore after bike riding and that you would have some discomfort...and why because that's all I've known on my bike.  Ironically this is the same thing that I encounter with people when they tweak their diet and go Paleo, they realize that all these little things that used to plague them clear up - like headaches, stiffness in their joints, being tired after eating a big meal, stuffy nose in the morning, etc.  All this is "normal" so when you change to a Paleo based diet you get the same feeling that I experienced when I got my bike fit! 


After this weekend I know I can do a 50 mile ride and I know that I will be able to run when I get off the bike.  I played around with a new fuel after reading a very timely blog post by Nell Stephenson called " Gels and Being Paleo " which was dedicated to how to use carbohydrate gels in training, what to use, and why - this is a non-paleo part of my food for training purposes only, and I don't use them everyday only on the long stuff.  I think that I tend to under fuel and under hydrate my athletic activity, something you can get away with on a 5K, 10K, and even half marathon.  But it's not something you can get away with when you up to Olympic and Half Iron Distance triathlons.  For Sunday, my bike fuel of choice will be some of the squeezy baby food the sweet potato mix, and PowerBar Gels - despite being sickeningly sweet (especially to a person that eats virtually no added sugar) I was able to get them down quickly, they boosted my energy, and didn't make my stomach upset (this is actually most important!).


Now the real hard part begins, today marked the first day of my taper week up to the race.  I like to train, I like to beat myself up and challenge myself.  Believe it or not, it's easier for me to go and do a 50 mile bike ride that to consciously decide to do nothing and take a rest day.  Taper weeks are very hard for me, and it is very important that I prepare correctly for this race since it's a new distance for me and much longer and hillier than anything I've raced before. 




My Taper Plan:
Monday - tempo pace run, 5miles 40:40 (about an 8:12 mile pace)
Tuesday - Crossfit WOD -- may have to scale depending on what it is
Wednesday - REST
Thursday - Crossfit WOD -- again probably have to scale hereFriday - LIGHT run or bike, or ideally a swim if I can figure out where to do oneSaturday - REST and hit up the race expo!
Sunday - RACE!!!!

I've also started with the obsessive weather checking, because in a race this long you want the weather to be good.  Right now we're looking at rain a few days before, which will hopefully not be too crazy and impact swimming conditions in the river.  But it looks like it may be a little chilly for my sleeveless race suit.  I may have to think about doing a long sleeved shirt on the bike and something that I can throw off during the run.

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