Heavy legs, lethargy, super sleepy, weird appetite, no energy, mood changes....
Don't ya love taper????
A 50% decrease in training volume and with 7 hours of training during our recovery week, it took 6 long days to finally find our legs. Thank goodness that after 6 years I get to share this feeling with Karel. Of course, he has put up with me year after year, race after race, always reminding me "you will be fine on race day". Never have I trained so hard to prepare my mind and body for race day and because of that...WOW - did my body really need time to recover.
It's interesting that in the article on taper blues, the author (Gale Bernhardt) discusses "fear based" training. I think this is common for so many athletes and relates not only to training but also to nutrition.
Fearing gaining weight before a race, fearing not having enough energy, fearing GI problems on race day. The same issues that relate to fearing the distance ahead and continuing to train instead of resting the body. A great quote that I will never forget-
"It's better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained"
Certainly, I believe that on race day we perform with the body given to us on race day. Regardless if you feel you are or are not ready for the distance or the effort, so long as you are not injured on race day, a race day plan becomes successful when you accept your body and mind at its current state.
When the training is done and you feel confident in your race day nutrition and pacing plan, all that's left is the waiting game.
I don't know about you but I don't like to wait for life to happen. I don't believe in wasting my days but rather, setting goals and continually working toward those goals.
Because we all experience the waiting game with our training schedule, I find it very important to express mental skills and the importance of strengthening the mind on the weeks (if not months) leading up to an event. This is not specific to athletes for I feel in every job requirement and experience in life, a strong mind excels.
I'm so thrilled that my friend Dr. G (Gloria) is growing her passion for helping athletes discover the power of mindfulness as it relates to achieving goals and overcoming obstacles.
As a clinical sport psychologist, I invite you to check out her Facebook page which has lots of great articles and tips.
Gloria has been instrumental in my success with triathlons and running races over the past year in a half. Overcoming previous injuries was the first area of focus for me and Gloria helped me understand that I was not injured anymore and I had to remove the fear of re-injuring myself. I had to trust my body and be in the now. Secondly, Gloria has really allowed me to become more competitive as an athlete. I don't want to confuse anyone out there for competitive does not mean winning age groups or breaking records. I have learned how to be competitive with myself and to reach new heights as well as be competitive with others who push me to train and race harder. I've really enjoyed this new freedom with mindfulness for I find myself with less pressure on myself as an athlete but with a greater enjoyment for the sport. For sure, a win-win.
With 1 week until Branson 70.3, I will be reviewing this article over and over again until I lay my head down for my last sleep until race day morning.
This is one of the best articles I have ever read, I recommend bookmarking it for future reference:
Mental Skills of Mindfulness training
As always, thanks for checking out my blog..here's a few pics from the last few days....never a shortage of fun w/ Karel, Campy kisses and yummy plant strong creations.
Romaine lettuce w/ fresh papaya, strawberries, apples and chives, topped w/ spinach pumpkin seeds, peanuts, parsley and feta. Served with your favorite whole grain crackers or chips and salsa or balsamic. A sweet and salty dish to satisfy all your cravings.
Finally, I found my legs during my 40 min spin + 6 mile run (included 3 x 1/2 mile harder effort w/ 4 min walk/jog recovery). Thankfully, I had Campy there to share the excitement with me during our walk.
Training with Karel is always fun. I have two choices, hang on or get dropped. Thankfully, Saturday's 1:45 ride + 1 mile run was easy cheesy unlike the past 13 weeks. Karel did the group ride after we tested our wetsuits in the ocean but I won't lie - drafting behind his race wheels was way too much fun. I love being part of the Trek family.
Nothing compares to Louis Garneau. My absolute favorite clothing company for triathlons and cycling specifically because of the comfort, quality and perfect fit. I was so excited when I received a special surprise from Karel on Friday.......is it possible to have too much pink LG clothing? The equipe shorts are actually cycling shorts (not tri shorts) but the chamois is super comfortable on the bike and not difficult to run in off the bike. I also like the added compression that the LG clothing offers my upper legs as I am training and/or racing.
And one last picture of Campy. My favorite running partner and furry best friend. It's amazing that the same sights and smells never get old to him. Perhaps he is teaching us all that we can find something great in every day, even if it seems like just another day.