Tapering, in the context of sports, refers to the practice of reducing, or tapering off, exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon, athletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more.
I am at the tapering stage of the game now. YES!!! Volume reduction time!! YES!! That means instead of exercising for 2 hours in a given day, I am lowering it day by day as the week goes on. My plan is as follows:
Monday: 10 miles bike and 3 mile run - BRICK. (60-70 minutes)
Tuesday: swim - 500 free, 300 back, 200 breast, 6x50 ALL OUT. cool down. (35 minutes)
Wednesday: 2 mile run easy. (20 minutes)
Thursday: swim 300 race pace and time it. (less than 10 minutes)
Friday: bike 7 miles (25 minutes)
Saturday: 2 mile walk
Monday: RACE DAY!
Starting on Thursday, it's water loading time. The goal is to be completely hydrated the 3 days leading up to the event as well as cutting all sweets and fatty foods a couple days prior.
I'm also buying new shoes tomorrow morning, so I get a couple days to break them in and see if they are the ones I want to wear for the race.
I checked out the course yesterday with some friends who are also doing the race and it is SO MUCH EASIER than the route I train on. I felt so fast with a much less perceived effort. Also, since I've been running 4 and 5 miles on hilly routes, the 3 miles on no hills felt really short to me. Hopefully it will still feel that way on race day.