Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Taper Time

I understand that many triathletes hate taper time. Random things start to ache or hurt and race-stress can rise. Over the years I have discovered I really love tapering. I figured I would share some of what I love about a good taper, in hopes that it might inspire you to embrace it.
  • My body gets a really good, deep recovery. This doesn't mean I quit training. The intensity of my workouts actually goes up during taper time, but the duration gets shorter.
  • Extra time! I use this time to plant things in my garden, clean my house, attempt to read a book, or work more. Working more isn't exactly exciting, but it does make up for some of those days when I miss work for training.
  • More time to prepare some healthy food! I really enjoy healthy food, but sometimes I don't have time to cook it myself. Taper time allows me to actually make things from scratch. Since strawberries are currently in season and I can buy them fresh-picked right down the street from my home, I want to make this:
Pretty sure mine won't turn out looking Martha-Stewartish like this one is, but it will most likely taste good. I am vegetarian, not vegan, but for those of you who are looking for healthy recipes you may enjoy this site. If you don't have time to cook - check out Simply Bar's new website for vegan, gluten-free snack ideas.
  • More sleep! Since workouts are not as long, I get to sleep in a bit more leading up to a race.
  • Time to reflect on the training I have done. Going into a race confident that the work has been done can help calm nerves and makes me excited to toe the line.
Still stressed about your taper time? What if someone told you that you were not allowed to race? Would you be upset? I'm going to guess most people would. Racing (& tapering!) is a privilege - don't stress about it, just enjoy it.

Keep in mind that we race for fun. Sure, it might be stressful to put your race wheels on or pull together the massive amounts of gear you will schlep around at 4am on race morning, but don't forget that come race day you have prepared for this and now is your chance to enjoy the hard work! Happy tapering for those of you racing with me this weekend.