Tapering For A Triathlon
Tapering For A Triathlon
By Kevin Koskella
may have been training for weeks or months already, but now it
is 2 weeks before your race and it's time to think about
resting. Many triathletes find this more difficult than swimming
5,000 yards, biking the hills, or running a half marathon!
Here are some things to keep in mind if you are beginning your
taper or rest period before your race.
1. Do longer warmups and warmdowns. You can keep your distance
up, but start to add more to the beginning and end portion of
your workout. This 'active rest' will assure that you are well
rested for your race but not out of shape.
2. Avoid big meals and sugar. Tapering is an adjustment for your
body, and your immune system may not be as strong during this
time. Big meals and carbohydrates like sugar will wear your
immune system and leave you susceptible to colds and flus. Keep
in mind that as your workout intensity decreases, you must
decrease calorie intake accordingly.
3. Get as much sleep as you can before midnight. Ideally, get to
bed by 10:30. The sleep you get before midnight is the most
crucial to your recovery. You will feel more rested if you can
do this for at least 2 weeks before your event.
4. Lay off the strength training. This is more of an individual
call (some people feel better if they are doing some strength
work all the way up until the event, others will be too broken
down unless they take a good 2 weeks off), but at the minimum,
you should go lighter in the weeks leading up to your event.
5. Avoid caffeine. It may be tough if you are a coffee addict,
but 2 weeks of not having that morning cup will give you more
natural energy for your race. Take it from 6-time Ironman
champion Mark Allen- he practiced this for every race and it
worked pretty well for him!
6. Increase your meditation or yoga. Less time working out means
more time to prepare mentally! If you don't do yoga already,
don't start now. However, find some quiet time during the day to
get away from work and working out to clear your mind. Think
about how easy that swim will be since you are well-prepared
with Tri Swim Coach!
7. You will have more energy during your rest or taper period.
Don't be tempted to use it! Save it for your event and you will
be glad you did.
Have a great race!
About the Author: Kevin operates
the website http://www.TriSwimCoach.com, a resource for
beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for
help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter
offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. Kevin has also
written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to
Triathlon Swimming” on