IMCH taper

I was asked on more than one occasion what I would consider for the taper for IMCH over the next 4 weeks. There is always a bit of banter on here about taper and everyone has their own versions, there is plenty of ways to do this, I have provided but one or two.

For the newbies, the reason behind a taper is to get you to the start line fully fit and raring to go with all the muscles rested just enough to give it one big go on the actual day of racing. many of you will note that you are constantly tired due to the volume of training or that your rest days don't seem to work but the idea of the taper is to sort that out just in time for you to have the race of your lives.

It might not happen like this but here is a few ways to help. Taper is not actually resting, its the period of time that you will reduce your training to allow you to recover before the big day, by doing this you will store energy in the build up to the race both physically and mentally, hopefully on race day this can all be released into helping you get round the IM.

I am going to run my example on 3 weeks, some more experienced athletes may decide on 2 but in reality the third week out is generally a reduction in intensity not volume anyway.

What the 3 weeks may do is bring out the common ailment known to all past pirates of the 'Tapir madness' , the build up of pent up physical and mental energy starts to feel like you could explode, this is what race day is all about, channel the frustration of slowing down once the body starts to recover into the one big day.

During the first and second week,  cut out hard intense L4 and above training (L5 being the max), and reduce the volume by 75% and then 50% respectively. These 2 weeks will feel light by comparison and you will feel slow and lethargic to start with. You will soon start to adjust to the reduction which in turn may make you feel like you want to do more hard sessions, refrain until race day.

In race week partly due to the travel you will have limited time to train so its a case of ticking over, swim on the course when you can, runs are for making you feel good, not to kill yourself, and the bike is to check out a bit of the course and make sure everything works after unpacking.

Comments

  • So a recommended taper  is below

    Week 1
    Mon - Rest Day
    Tues - am Swim/ pm Run (10x 2 mins interval at 1/2 mara pace 90 secs RI /warm up and down 10 mins each)
    Wed - 10 mile turbo at IM race pace
    Thurs - am Swim  / pm 90 min run L2
    Fri - Swim
    Sat - am Turbo intervals for an hour, 45 min 1/2IM pace run off the back
    Sun - 3-4 hr bike followed by 90 min run all IM pace, work on nutrition

    Week 2
    Mon - Rest Day
    Tues - am Swim/ pm Run (10x 2 mins interval at 1/2 mara pace 90 secs RI /warm up and down 10 mins each)
    Wed - 10 mile turbo at IM race pace
    Thurs - am Swim  / pm 60 min run L2
    Fri - am  Swim/ pm spin on turbo for an hour
    Sat - am Turbo intervals for an hour, 30 min 1/2IM pace run off the back
    Sun - 2 hr bike followed by 45 min run all IM pace, work on nutrition

    Week 3 - Race Week
    Mon - Rest Day
    Tues - am Swim/ pm 1 hour bike spin
    Wed - travel
    Thurs - am Swim  / pm 30- 60  min spin on bikes to check everything and see some of the course
    Fri - am  Swim/ pm 30 mins spin on bikes
    Sat - am swim / pm 10 min jog with strides.
    Sun - Race day.

    This is NOT the gospel according to taper's, its just an idea. have a look on the web, I am sure a few of the others may be along to point out Iam talking nads and they ahve other ideas but I was asked and here it is. Good luck.

    Rosey.

  • thanks Rosey - very useful indeed.  image
  • Is it too late to buy a turboimage
  • Seren,

    I can lend you one if you want!
  • I think I would go mad on one in 10 mins to be honest....( like a treadmill and a swimming pool)......I've managed so far so hopefully it won't make a difference on the day.......image

    makes interesting reading thoughimage

  • if you don't have a turbo just go out on the road, its just for the fixed intensity, I am sure you can find a route for 10 miles and go out for a spin image
  • Oh shame.  Not 3 weeks off then... imageimage
  • er no .....
  • I'm not tapering. The last 6 months has been one big Tapir. Now it's time to train! Will 4 weeks be enough?
  • rosey - if you're in the situation of not having done many long rides at all, for instance having only bimbled around a 100 miler on sunday and a tough 70 miler the month before ... do you reckon a 70 miler this weekend (1600m climbing) and a century the following weekend (ie two weeks to go) again with 1600m climbing followed by a two week taper would be ok?  two weeks should be long enough to be in tip top recoveredness i'd have thought.

  • oh and rosey, do you think you could start a thread for nutrition and perhaps one for your ironman race day plan?
  • should I be worried that following Rosey's taper would give me some of my biggest training weeks? imageimage
  • Sandbagger ! image

  • Thanks very much for this Rosey.
    Looking at my plan, it's pretty similar except a longer bike on the Sunday 2 weeks before, but a shorter run after. It's reassuring as I thought I was doing quite a lot as I'm not very good at tapering.
  • JD - mellifera and Rosey answered a similar question for me the other week - and the answers were:

    Depending on where you feel now, then I might suggest: 3hr, 4hr (or Bala?), 4.5hr, 3.5hr, 2hr, IMCH on the sundays backed up with 90mins on the turbo in the week. If you are short of time the turbo is brilliant as every minute counts. Possibly the long rides might be too long if you don't feel you would recover from them in 36hours.

    And

    Holly, I think Em has pretty much said what I would have, I don't believe in long tapers anyway and mine are quite hard with only the last week as total rest other than keeping fresh with short sharp sessions.The longer rides are going to help a little but if you can't do that you are actually at the right time now to do the next 2 weekends slightly shorter (your 77 miler + then Bala) but harder, the periodisation means that you will likely benefit from that input about the race week (bonus)Obviously I've done Bala so my plan is to do a long ride this weekend of 3.5 - 4hrs (cos I'm slow!) then a 3.5 the following week, then a 2hr but back that up with some fairly decent sessions on the turbo mid week.   I'm not going to do the 100 miler because if it's anything like the Chiltern 100 it will knacker me out and I'll not get any sessions done that week because I'll be recovering.  I'm going to do consistent, regular sessions and save it all up to be fresh on the day.I haven't done a 100 miler this year - the furthest I've gone is about 80.  It'll be a mental and physical push on the day.
  • Thanks Rosey, much appreciated.image
  • Holly_Golightly wrote (see)

    JD - mellifera and Rosey answered a similar question for me the other week - and the answers were:

    Depending on where you feel now, then I might suggest: 3hr, 4hr (or Bala?), 4.5hr, 3.5hr, 2hr, IMCH on the sundays backed up with 90mins on the turbo in the week. If you are short of time the turbo is brilliant as every minute counts. Possibly the long rides might be too long if you don't feel you would recover from them in 36hours.

    And

    Holly, I think Em has pretty much said what I would have, I don't believe in long tapers anyway and mine are quite hard with only the last week as total rest other than keeping fresh with short sharp sessions.The longer rides are going to help a little but if you can't do that you are actually at the right time now to do the next 2 weekends slightly shorter (your 77 miler + then Bala) but harder, the periodisation means that you will likely benefit from that input about the race week (bonus)Obviously I've done Bala so my plan is to do a long ride this weekend of 3.5 - 4hrs (cos I'm slow!) then a 3.5 the following week, then a 2hr but back that up with some fairly decent sessions on the turbo mid week.   

    I'm not going to do the 100 miler because if it's anything like the Chiltern 100 it will knacker me out and I'll not get any sessions done that week because I'll be recovering.  I'm going to do consistent, regular sessions and save it all up to be fresh on the day.I haven't done a 100 miler this year - the furthest I've gone is about 80.  It'll be a mental and physical push on the day.

    thanks holly, i remember those posts now.  looks like my plan might be a bit OTT then.  the cyclosportives are already paid for although that doesn't matter too much.  might ditch that 100 miler two weeks out or do the shorter route if there's one on offer.
  • Cheers Holly .... 

    JD, if you haven't done much training then a 2 week taper might be suitable, the 70 miler will be fine but I don't think you will get much out of the 100 miler except a sore ass ! I would go for a 3 hour ride and 1 hour run and work on your nutrition.

  • thanks rosey.

    time to hit the eliptical/treadmill for lunch.

  • I'd agree with that too. In general the harder you have trained the more you need to taper but that doesn't mean the somewhat undertrained can't over do it! if you think the session you have in mind might be OTT then it probably is. Do a similar session but for less time.

    My own view is that it's a good idea to keep the training frequency the same - you just make the sessions shorter. You can use the extra time to practice transitions or do a bit more stretching (but don't over stretch). I think a lot of people have tended to train at more of less the same sort of intensity all the time but if you have been doing higher intensity stuff then cut the duration again. For example, if you've been doing 40min tempo (ten mile pace ish) instead do 10mins or even 2 x 5mins with a little break. 

  • Brilliant thread, great information. Thank you.
  • I have my last big/hard session scheduled for Wednesdays - probably a bit over 100miles then its a reasonable swim on the thursday then Taper Taper Taper Taper Taper Taper
  • Boing - makes good reading for IMUK in a couple of weeks
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