Monday, August 18, 2008

Taper Time & Michael Phelps

Ok, so taper time is here. Some people asked me what "taper" I guess it makes sense to explain.

When you are training for an Ironman race (or any race for that matter) you build fitness by continually increasing the workload your body can endure. However, contrary to popular/laymen opinion, you actually don't get stronger by working out; you only get stronger by RECOVERING from the workouts you've done. So as you continue to add stress to your body in calculated/healthy increments, your body adapts and increased fitness is had through the recovering of those increasingly difficult workouts over time.

So what does this have to do with "taper"?

Tapering is the act of getting you body FULLY recovered for a race. To accurately effectuate an Ironman taper, an athlete must pust themselves to an extremely stressful place (if you're unsure of where that place is, feel free to read my previous 3 posts and you'll see what I mean) then gradually reduce your workouts so that you don't fully recover BEFORE or AFTER race day.

To correctly taper is really more art than science because people's bodies recovery at different rates and the same person actually recovers at a different rate than they did when they were younger.

Anyway, you get the idea. The reason I'm excited about Taper Time is that I am now finally feeling a bit more rested, my body is feeling more powerful in my workouts, and I feel like everything is coming together.

I did a 30 kilometer individual time trial a couple days ago on Saturday and I felt unbelievable. My legs responded to everything I dished out and I gave it 100% effort...then AFTER the race I rode 1.5 hours at a medium pace (coach's orders) and I continued to feel unbelievable.

This was very mentally good for me because undertaking 2 Ironmans in a week is no task for the faint of heart and definitely some new territory for me. I have no idea if I can accomplish this goal, but the way I felt this Saturday during the time trial...made me begin to believe that I will amaze myself with this accomplishment.

I just hope others take notice and are moved to donate to the charity I'm doing all of this for! :)

Oh, and I'm sure you're reading this entire post to see where Michael Phelps fits into all this...

Well, he doesn't, I just wanted to get more hits on my blog via google searches on "michael phelps"

sorry to disappoint. :)

Please help make a difference -


ShirleyPerly said...

Who is your coach? I had very little luck finding anyone willing to coach me when I was considering an ironman this year. Because I run several marathons too a year, I need a coach who is able to train a person to do back to back long races sort of like you're doing.

2 Ironmans in 1 Week said...

My coach is Brett at Petersen Performance Lab ( He is extremely knowledgeable and has a physiology and pharmacology background.

I have yet to meet or speak to another coach that possesses more human performance knowledge than he.

Coaches CALL HIM up to ask joke!