Well it’s ten days to Outlaw – my iron-distance A-race this year. In some ways the time’s gone quickly (I’ve been training specifically since new year) yet in others the time has dragged and I feel I’ve been ready to race for a few weeks. If I’m honest, I have even felt a little bit bored with it all at times.
Outlaw is my last ironman and next year I don’t plan to do any triathlon at all. So when yet another 7 hour bike ride has loomed I’ve told myself, “keep it up – it’s only for another x weeks then you never have to do it again.” Of course now that I’m so close to my race, I’ve spookily forgotten how tough it is to do all the long sessions. But Outlaw is still definitely my last long one.
So now to focus on the taper. Taper time can be really tricky to get right. For my early marathons I had the attitude that ‘that’s all the training done – now time to relax and recover’. I used to back right off the training but then any training I did do felt hard because mentally, training had ‘finished’, so what was I doing training? Now I try to keep in mind that the taper is still part of training – it’s just a bit different. The sessions might be shorter but there’s still some quality work to be done to put the icing on the cake.
To keep me on the straight and narrow during the taper I’ve been reminding my self that I’ve worked really hard for almost a year if you count the early weight training I did last autumn and it would be a shame to not maximise its effects by being sloppy at the last minute. So I’m still putting a little intensity in to all three disciplines and am still even swimming three times a week (much more than I’ve ever done before). Audiofuel’s Ride Harder turbo bike sessions have been invaluable, as have parkruns at Eastleigh and the odd hilly 10 miler up a Welsh mountain and 10k race.
The thing I’m finding hardest is not eating too much. I do love my food and now that I’m not doing so much I’m finding it hard to reduce my food intake to match. Again – I’ve just got to keep telling myself not to blow it at the last hurdle all for the sake of a few jaffa cakes…