4 hard weeks to go before the taper

Sunday I met with some Team Bedford chaps and we did a 3 lap lake swim (approximately 2,400 metres) and 13 mile run, mostly off road.  Again, I found it quite tough as I am feeling a bit knackered.  There are now 7 weeks to go before the Ironman Austria event and it is at this stage where the long training sessions do start to take their toll.  But with 4 more weeks of hard training and then a 3 week taper I should be recovered sufficiently to go into the race fully recovered and fuelled.  Training is about stressing your body to the point where it has to adapt in order to cope with the new demands.  This of course means rest is essential in order to recover and this has to be finely balanced throughout a training schedule in order to stress but not overstress your body.  It is near to an event when you are at your most vulnerable to injury and/or illness as the stress in your training schedule increases to its peak the nearer to the event date you get.  But before you actually compete you need to recover and fuel fully to ensure you perform to your maximum.  The longer the event is in duration, the longer and more stressful the training schedule and the longer the taper before the race.  Don’t get me wrong, taper means exactly that, not stopping training but gradually decreasing the level, allowing your body’s reserves to build whilst maintaining the fitness and strength you have built through your weeks of training.

Fingers crossed that all my preparations will pay off and my body gets me through these last 4 weeks of hard stuff.  Bits are aching at the moment and I am not sure if it is the training or my new pedals.  I broke a cleat in Wales and decided to opt for a complete new set and different design of pedals and setting them up isn’t straight forward.  Since my ride on Saturday my left knee is twingeing but it is inherently week as I have a vertical split in my knee cap which doesn’t respond well to twisting as it would receive whilst playing football or squash etc..  However, it also doesn’t respond well to wanting to twist and being restricted in that movement as it might be when using pedals with restrictive and incorrectly set ‘float’.  Float is the sideways movement of your foot on the pedal when clipped in.  I will have to keep fettling the adjustment and maybe even get a set of cleats with a larger amount of float.

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2 responses to “4 hard weeks to go before the taper

  1. Hmmm I understand all the stuff about tapering, but it set me thinking about athletes and sportsmen that have to perform week in week out and don’t have the option to train for specific events.

    I’m thinking footballers, rugby players etc. Do they maintain a reasonable fitness level all the time but could likley not be acheiving their utmost potential fitness as a compromise with a lower but constant level?

    Any thoughts?

    P

  2. Peter

    You are spot on. Athletes perform week in week out but they will always focus on key events and schedule training and competitions around those events. The Common Wealth Games and Olympics are examples of this.

    It’s a balance of training and competing, as the most perfectly prepared athlete in the sense of training, could fall apart during the event as they haven’t had enough competition or match practice.

    Footballers and the like do have a season and within that season have to remain as honed as they can but you will notice that when a really big match is looming some ‘star’ players are often left out of the Saturday or league game side in preparation for the ‘big one’.

    You will also notice that when they have a big match and it goes in to extra time they often suffer from cramp. My thoughts are that they train for regular length matched and should in fact prepare for worst case scenarion and then be able to breeze every day games. This would also give them an advantage over the less well prepared side who have only trained for a 90 minute game.

    I guess to put it simply no one can burn the candle at both ends for very long and so proffesional sports people, or their managers , have to take the decision oas to which events are important. If they decide they are all important and keep pushing the athlet an injury is inevitable.

    Regards

    Nick

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