Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Taper Time

After 20 weeks of solid training, I am more than ready for my 3-week taper. As I'm ramping up my sleeping, Yoga and massage, I am also reflecting on how my training has gone this time around. My first half-ironman was at the end of March--California 70.3. I remember feeling run-down and overtrained and going into the race with a sinus infection, which became chronic post-race. I have to say, at a glance, I feel stronger this time around. I feel more healthy and better adapted to the training volume I expected of my body. Let's look at the numbers and see what they have to say:

Average Time per Week:

Top: Training for Soma (current)
Bottom: Training for CA 70.3 (previous)

Analysis: almost identical with an avg of 2 hours swimming, 4 hours biking, and 2.5 hours running per week (total 8.5). The ratios are spot on with the most volume in biking, then running, then swimming.

Total Time by Week:

Top: Soma HIM Training
Bottom: CA 70.3 Training

Analysis: Both are very similar. However, this time around, the total number of weeks is less, which explains why I feel more fresh this time around. I remember feeling burnt out and unable to sustain the volume expected of me at the end of the training plan for CA 70.3. Also, I ramped up more slowly this time around. In addition, I was able to finish strong into my taper, whereas, I trailed off, feeling sick and overtrained last time. Seems like my total time was slightly lower than last time, which also may explain why I feel fresh (12-13 hours max this time vs 14-15 hours max last time).

Top: Soma HIM Training
Bottom: CA 70.3 Training

Analysis: Should reflect similar trend to total weekly time. Again, I kept the total volume a little bit lower this time but was able to sustain it through the end. Therefore, I was able to hit 140 miles my last week, whereas I had trouble reaching 100 for my final push previously.

Top: SOMA HIM Training
Bottom: CA 70.3 Training

Biking (red) is similar in both with peaks around 6 hours (note again final push for SOMA is much better than before). Run (purple for SOMA and turquoise for CA 70.3) is also very similar with peak volume at about 4 hours. Swimming (which I have noticed vast improvements this time around) is definitely up with average around 3 hrs/week (vs 2 last time). All in all, I feel my running has stayed the same, while my biking and swimming have improved, thanks to more hills on the bike and more time in the pool.

The biggest difference seems to be the end of the training plan into my taper. I feel that I finished much more strongly this time around. Last time, my training plan was too long and drawn out, which forced me to peak early. I am hoping that I timed my peak perfectly this time around. Time will tell!


jameson said...

solid. enjoy the taper and make sure you are resting and eating well!

Erika said...

You sound so strong and confident. Good for you. I need to follow your example cus I think I'm pushing myself a bit to hard and am now sick but yet AGAIN. And I don't feel strong or confident.

Have a good taper!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Don't forget, training cycles are not just self-contained. You are benefiting from the accumulated training over the course of both cycles as well, getting stronger with each one. There are a lot of studies that show that it takes the average adult endurance athlete 10 years to achieve their potential with consistant training. That means you still have lots of potential improvement into the future.

Very nicely done! Now taper well and get ready to race!!

JeffM said...

The weekly charts show less spikes, that should help. Good luck and enjoy taper.

Benson said...

Very nice graphs. And very nice to hear your self confidence is right up there. You're strong and you'll no doubt surprise youself. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which I like better, weeks of good workouts or the relaxing taper! Enjoy you have earned it.

home fitness

Ryan Denner said...

nice graphs

a fellow tri geek