I needn’t have set my alarm for 6:30am, as I woke up a few minutes earlier after a good night’s sleep. Over the past week I’ve started to get into the habit of getting to bed earlier, which brings with it an early start to the day. Scott and I walked down to the pier and were in the water before 7am ahead of the main herd of athletes embarking upon Dig-Me beach. The plan for the swim wasn’t to go too hard, so I let Scott do the pacing and sat on his toes for the morning. The sea seemed to be a bit calmer than the last few days, with less swell and chop. Unbelievably, I’m still waiting to swim with dolphins this year. I must have been spoiled last year as they seemed to be out almost every day.
After breakfast I went out for a one hour ride at a comfortable pace, with a few short higher intensity intervals thrown in. It’s strange – when you’re used to training for hours and hours each day, you almost feel guilty for doing so little, but that’s the nature of the taper and race week. After some home-made chicken sushi for lunch, the afternoon was spent catching up with friends and relaxing. Coach will be glad to hear that I’m very good at staying off my feet and doing as little as possible! It may seem lazy, but that’s what you’ve got to do during race week. There was a good Tweet that I read a few days ago which rings true: ‘…time for the smart ones to shut it down and the panic trainers to panic’. At this point no amount of training will add fitness in time for Saturday, so you’re better off trying to rest as much as possible, while still keeping the body ticking over with some short intervals.
After an afternoon of reading we had a few friends over for lasagne and salad. One of the things I struggle with most during the taper is avoiding the temptation to overeat. As I’m used to burning anywhere from 2000-4000 calories on any given training day, eating a lot becomes normal. When you’re tapering you’re burning far fewer calories, so it’s important to adjust your eating accordingly. As it’s only Monday, it’s unfortunately too early in the week to claim it’s time to carb load!
Last night Todd Plymale-Mallory – who specialises in massage and acupuncture in Boulder, CO - arrived and is staying with us during race week. Todd really got helped get my body ready for the race in Las Vegas, so it will be great to have him here this week and do the same for this race. After dinner I had a short 30 minute massage, which was just what I needed. The first day of race week has been fun and has gone well – more of the same please!