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Friday, May 8, 2015

Tales from Taperville - Ironman Texas: T-1 Week

Trying to live life normally while tapering is a very uneasy feeling. 

For the past 20 or so weeks, I have been cramming workouts into my otherwise busy schedule in order to make the most out of my training. My goal next week: To have the best race possible for me (and if that results in a Kona slot, then my dream has been realized). This resulted in multiple 25+ hour training weeks and pretty good fitness gains. 

But it is a strange sensation when you suddenly start reducing the volume. For one, my body started to realize that I was trying to rest. Thus I became naturally tired. Kind of counter intuitive when you think about it. Reduce massive amounts of training volume to a sustainable level and feel more tired? It may sound strange, but it is a natural process of the body going into recovery mode, and my coaches over at Smart Triathlon Training assure me that I am primed to have my best race. 

What do I do with all my new found free time? My coaches have told me that I should not engage in any projects around the home or busy housework. Challenge accepted. Instead, I've resorted to doing what most people do on their taper. Concerning themselves with the weather, the water temperature, winds, and other things which can't be changed.

When I find myself focused on these "uncontrollables", I turn my attention to what I can control. My rest, my diet, my training, my heat acclimation, my work, etc. Everyone will have to live with the weather. I alone can manage what I can control.

Speaking of heat acclimation, I have taken extreme measures to assure that I am prepared for the worst case scenario. If the temperatures begin to soar, I will be prepared, as I have been dressing like it's ski season for the last few weeks. Except for the last few days, the weather here in Southern California has been in the 70s and 80s, so I've been quite toasty. 

Granted, people are looking at me really weird, but I'm going to feel really good a week from now when I'm comfortable running in 90 degree heat.

All and all I think I had a very successful training season prior to this race. I was able to hit all of my key workouts, my bike fitness has improved tremendously, my swimming has improved, and I think I'll survive the run. The question is, will it be fast enough? I can't dwell on that. I've done the absolute best training possible, which is the following: To give it everything I can and nothing more. It's as perfect of a training philosophy as you can get. Here's what my final build weeks leading up to the race looked like:

For the remainder of next week I'm going to try to remain in the present, focusing on mediation, the workouts I do have, making sure my diet is healthy, and that I do not unnecessarily bite anyone's head off. Until next time.

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