The krazy life of triathlon

The Taper

The last couple of weeks

So since Llandudno, training has been pretty light to be honest. The totals for the week including Llandudno were:

Swim: 8.5k
Bike: 165.5k
Run 46k
Time: 17 hours

After Llandudno I had an easy day to loosen up, with my foot niggle coming back a bit, and being absolutely exhausted! It’s been a while since I’ve pushed myself that hard and I’m not used to it! However, on Tuesday I managed a 2 hour run, and felt pretty good for it considering. Wednesday was supposed to be a long bike, but a torrential thunderstorm had other ideas, and an hour in, not being able to see where I was going as the rain was so hard and cycling through half foot deep puddles towards lightening, I decided to head home. Was still a good solid couple of hours, and then the taper began. Essentially this has meant just ticking over, and a bit more swimming. On Saturday I headed down to the Tri20 Swim Lake as I was visiting my Dad and did an IM distance swim, half with wetsuit, half without. Reassuringly I felt really good, even without the wetsuit, though I was noticeably slower. As I had done a reasonably hard 3k swim the day before, I’m pleased I managed to do the distance fine.

Totals for last week were:

Swim: 11.75k
Bike: 111k
Run: 32k
Time: 12.5 hours

Can you tell I’m in a taper!!

As part of my taper for an IM, I always strip my bike down, and give it a thorough clean, regrease everything and replace cables, tape and chain. Looking back, the catalogue of errors I made were quite amusing, though at the time I was having a bad day! My rear brake cable housing end has completely seized in the brake barrel adjuster, and I snapped one of the bottle cage bolt holes in the frame, so the bolt is now lose but stuck in the frame! I took it down to the local (commuter/casual) bike shop, who declared they couldn’t really do anything. So some pliers, insulation tape and a hammer later, and I have managed to fix it enough to race. I’ll probably never either out, but they work!

Taking my aerobars off, I noticed a big crack in the handlebars. Not good. Looks like I hit a pothole at speed and the clamp and cracked them. I think the structural integrity of the handlebars seem ok, and I am going to have to risk it. Unfortunately I don’t have the money to replace them, and they have probably been like that for a while!

Then to top it all off, when putting everything back together, I couldn’t get the front derailleur cable into my shifter! I must have spent an hour on the rear cable, finally succeeding with barely enough cable left, but the front refused. Then when doing up my chain, I hadn’t put it through the pulley cage properly, so had to take the derailleur apart to get it on! One lesson from this was preparation. I would much rather have all the stress over a week before my race, than the day before! Now I have a bike that should race well, and am ready; the advantages of getting stuff done early.

The Final Taper

So coming into the final week and things are hotting up! I am finally starting to feel less tired and exhausted, which is a first! The aim for this week is just to keep the frequency up to keep all the muscle memory there, and to stay fresh. So I have lots of short sessions planned, with a complete rest day (my first in 2 months!) on Thursday before I fly out on Friday. I have brought all my spares and supplies apart from food, and so Thursday will consist of packing, eating, napping and packing again to triple check I haven’t forgotten anything! Finally there is a massage thrown in in the evening before an early night. This week I have been shifting my body clock forward half an hour a day so it’s not too much of a shock with the early start!

Finally, I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not going to lose all my fitness these last couple of weeks, as the usual worries start to creep in. Thoughts like I haven’t done a long ride for a while only make me worry, but a look at the training log and I can see that I have put more hours in than I ever have, I am as light as I was before I left school, and I am in the best shape on my life. Goals will be saved for another blog post though!

Llandudno Analysis

Just a quick look at Llandudno with the results out before I go though (sorry it’s a long one!) As expected I had a slow swim, though I was only a couple of minutes off the people who placed in the top 10, which I was pleasantly surprised with. My bike, however, was slower than I expected, a good few minutes behind the top pack. Looking back, this isn’t too surprising given my non-aeroness, and caution on the descents. I lost a lot of time on the descents and a bit on the flats, (though better than crashing!), but I can be pleased with the fact I wasn’t overtaken on any of the climbs, proving I still have my climbing ability from all my rides around the Lakes and the Trough.

What was most surprising was my run! Given that I had had a foot injury for the 2 weeks preceding, and have done basically no speed work this season, I put in the 10th quickest run of the day! The run was what dragged my overall position up to 19th, which I am really pleased with. Another 5 minutes off and I would have comfortably placed in the top 10! Not bad for a long distance athlete coming off the end of a big block of training.

Hopefully a sign of things to come!

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One response

  1. Mate,

    Keep calm and focussed and don’t over do things now. It’s only days to go so not much more to do. Have a great race over there.

    Russ

    July 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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