Tapering is not something I’m familiar with except in extreme situations. Because I race a lot and have so many different disciplines I train for, I don’t exactly taper the way many others do when it comes to a big race or event. For example, this year I just announced in my last post that I will be doing the Myakka Half Marathon. It was completely unexpected and I signed up last week. Well, as it turns out, that will be my third race weekend in a row. The last weekend in October I have the Spartan Beast (13-15 miles + obstacles), then the first weekend in November is the Wine n Dine 10k and the following weekend is the 1/2 marathon. Tapering is the theme of this week’s Tuesdays on the Run with Erika, Patty and Marcia!
Technically most plans for a half marathon will schedule a 1-2 week taper and full marathons sometimes 3 weeks. I know the reduction in mileage is good because it keeps your legs fresh for race day. Typically the week before racing my long run isn’t as long as it usually is during my peak weeks; I still wouldn’t say I have a “taper week” though. I do usually have “cut back” weeks every fourth week during training so I can give my body a rest from mileage and get prepared to make the next mileage push. For the current Gasparilla training plan I believe my highest week in training comes about three weeks out from the actual race day. So I guess you could say I plan to taper for this…whether or not it actually happens is another story.
On the other hand, I can go the extreme opposite and do too much tapering before a race. Like the time back in April where I got totally turned off by running and didn’t run for at all for two whole weeks prior to the Disney Star Wars Challenge. Side note: I do not recommend this method. It was pretty brutal going from zero runs in two weeks to almost 20 miles in one weekend.
Then there’s my famous ‘let’s just sign up for a bunch of races and see what happens’ method. That’s currently where I’m at now. After the Myakka half I get a break of 3 weeks and then have the Spartan Super (8-10 miles + obstacles) in December. That will sum up my 2016 year, but in 2017 I’m back at it with the Gasparilla Challenge at the end of February followed by the Sarasota Half two weeks later in March and gasp! my first triathlon in April! Yes, that’s right, I’m doing my first triathlon next year, the St. Anthony’s Sprint Tri in St. Pete! It’s a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run.*Commence freak out mode NOW!*
I’d been toying with this idea for a while, even going so far as to get some swimming lessons in towards the end of August/early September with a triathlon coach. However, then life kind of got in the way and I ended up not swimming at all almost the entire month of September. I’m planning on going to the pool tomorrow and getting a workout in though, so that should be beneficial. This whole triathlon training thing…I’m going to have to work out a serious time management schedule by the time all of it starts (my plan officially begins December 1st). I’m honestly not even sure how I’m going to juggle training for Gasparilla and the triathlon, but I’m sure as hell going to try! I’ve known for a while that I really wanted to do a triathlon and just didn’t take the plunge. Well, consider the plunge taken now!
There’s no telling if I will enjoy doing triathlons, but one thing is for sure…it will be interesting to find out!
Do you stick with one type of racing or do you jump around like I do? Have you ever wanted to ‘tri’ a triathlon?