Taper time: Hurry up slowly

Taper time: Hurry up slowly

By Erin Greene on 28/08/13 at 10:08 am

With the PruHealth London Grand Final just weeks away, it’s getting down to taper time for triathletes everywhere. You’ve spent months training, months of turning down dinner invites in lieu of an extra run, months of early alarms and icy baths. Now the time has come to reap the benefits of your hard work at your big race, but you’ve got to get through taper time first. We asked resident expert and two-time Olympian Kris Gemmell for his top taper tips, and here’s what he had to say.

What’s done is done
Now isn’t the time for last minute training. You’ve done the work, tested your limits, pushed through them and did things you never thought possible. One of the biggest mistakes you can do now is trying to fit in some last minute training for small percentage performance gains. You can’t play catch up, so don’t try.

Recover, recover, recover
Remember all those days you were exhausted mentally and physically, but pushed through a tough workout even though you were jonesing for a day off? Well now it’s time to take that day. You’ve earned it, your body needs it, your mind will benefit from it. The last two weeks are all about recovering as much as possible.

No room for newbies
It’s often tempting to outfit yourself in some new gear for the big day, but resist the urge. If you haven’t trained in it or practiced with it, it shouldn’t make your bag when packing for race day. Much the same, now isn’t the time to try a new race strategy or nutrition plan. In short, don’t change anything leading into your biggest event of the year.

You are what you eat
Caloric intake versus output is monumentally important while training. If you didn’t eat enough before a big training block, you most likely felt it in a big way. Much the same, be mindful of your nutrition during taper. Less training obviously means you are using less energy, so don’t forget to adjust your nutrition to your training volume.

Enjoy the journey
And last but perhaps most importantly of all, believe in the work you’ve done. Believe it will all come together just as you’ve been envisioning. You’ve had your eye on the prize. You’ve been focused. You’ve done everything right. Now it’s time to trust in the process and enjoy the journey.

Find more details about this event - 2013 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final London