Sunday, November 2, 2008

Taper Madness

So Silverman is one week away.

I'm not good at tapering.

The idea of a taper is for the body to absorb fitness from previous hard workouts and to reach peak fitness. This is all supposed to happen in a period of days or weeks before the particular race one is tapering for.

I remember tapering back in the club swimming world; we'd have progressively shorter workouts over the course of the last week before the meet, but we were always doing speedwork anyway in normal workouts.

In the long distance triathlon world, most of our time is spent doing low- to moderate-intensity workouts to compensate for the huge volume of exercise. Simply put, if you're swimming and biking and running 30 hours a week, you can't be going hard all the time.

So we go slower, and over time, we kinda forget how to work at higher intensities. A taper in this long course triathlon world can be used to drop the volume way down but also to get some speedwork back in. And that feels great. The body is absolutely itching to race since it's got all this extra time (more on this in a sec.) each day that it's not exercising, so the shorter sessions we go out for are really fun for blowing the carbon out and going fast. Well, fast for a triathlete, which isn't necessarily fast. It's all relative.

Back to "all the extra time..."

So instead of something fun like a 6-hour bike ride, I'm firmly planted on the couch today. And today, like other days with only a couple hours of exercise throughout, the mind wanders.

"What's the 10-day forecast for the race look like?"

"Am I losing fitness at this very moment? How about now?"

"Did I do enough long runs?"

"Why am I hungry again?"

"Why isn't it dark out yet?"

"Should I feel guilty for watching the Formula 1 race again?"

"I'm hungry."

Fortunately, I don't seem to get affected too much by the taper cabin fever; the above monologue is embellished quite a bit.

Anyhow, let's shift gears (ooooh, foreshadowing).

In an effort to fill this blustery Sunday afternoon, I've no choice but to dig into the hard drive and share some pics from a recent nighttime photography session. I'm pretty new to the nighttime shutterbug scene, so instead of actually being good at it, I searched high and low for a subject intriguing enough to distract the eye from my lack of skill.

A car, a camera, and a steep learning curve follow:

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Very happy with a coupe of these. And maybe one day I'll get to own a cool car like that, too! ;)

It was either these photos or the funny story about how a new pair of bike shorts nearly wrecked my Achilles tendon a couple weeks ago, but eye candy is always better than dumb stories about spandex.

Past Detritus