Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Don't Taper

I do understand there are benefits to tapering, but its not for me.. I tried it and I didn't like it.. and thus
I Don't Taper

First things first: what is tapering? In a nut-shell, greatly reducing mileage and training 2-3 weeks prior or a race.

-Training doesn't stop after the race/event

I feel when a person tapers 2-3 weeks before their race, it makes the race the "end goal", the finale. So what happens after the race, do you continue to train, take a break or find another race?
The normal taper timeline is 2-3 week taper, race, then 1-2 weeks off  (still enjoying the race high), then after another 1-2 weeks later you start considering another race. By that time, its 2-3 months out since you last really "trained" so then you need start from square 1 again with another 16 week training program.

-Loss of Endurance

I lose endurance so fast I should be a science experiment. I'm fit and healthy and I have a blood pressure score of 106/60 on a bad day, but I believe biology is not to my benefit and my circulation is weaker. I always feel I have a circualation issue which doesn't see to go away no matter how many miles I run or weights I lift. 1-2 weeks of not running or a reduce mileage is not going to work for me. There are some people who can keep their endurance for months.. for me 1 week of not running and its GONE.

-Itchy legs

This goes hand and hand with the loss of endurance. You know that 'itchy' feeling you get when you start working out after being sedentary for a while? (That itchy feeling is actually capillaries expanding to provide more blood to the muscles). If I reduce mileage for a week, by race day, my legs are itching like crazy. Told ya, I have bad circulation.

-Poor Performance
Tapering is supposed to get you body rested up so you can kick ass on race day. Instead, it makes me have the worse race possible. My legs are itchy, my lungs burn (loss of endurance) and I'm just M I S E R A B L E!

Instead, I do take it a easier the week leading up the race, mainly to avoid injury and not do something stupid like to try rock climbing for the first time, but I still run high mileage and do my cross training. I treat the race just like a normal training weekend, except its harder with more people, and I have to wake up earlier.
I take a normal rest day following the race and training resumes back to my normal schedule.

Now just cus tapering doesn't work for me, I'm not saying it wont work for you. I believe you know your body best and you know what it needs. Listen to what your body is saying and flow with it. If you hate the taper schedule, don't taper just cus someone or some training plan told you so. Experiment and see what works for you. :)

Happy Racing,

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