We’re four weeks out now before our big challenge. And this is the time we really want to start pulling back the work. For a lot of people you might feel desperate and want to do that little bit more. Take away that urgency. The work is done. All you can do now is overcook things and make yourself tired.
It should be a period where you are starting to pull back on the distance a little bit and both swim, bike, and run. Really start to freshen up. You can still do some key anaerobic work or some harder work. But really pull back on that distance and give your body some time to recover. You know, these blocks of work have been up to 16 weeks long.
Now we want to absorb that work. Let’s give the body time to absorb all that training, let the muscles recover, and give yourself some time to free up your mind because you’re about to have a big—not only a big block of work, but a big event coming.
So I’d be looking at doing a little sprint race if you can or some harder sessions just to stimulate that anaerobic system, even though in these long course events, it’s not a system you’re going to use. A lot of the aerobic work tends to flatten it a bit, so bringing yourself up and making yourself feel good comes about by doing some speed work. Get down to the track.
Don’t feel the tendency to do more or err on the side of less, and your taper should start at least—a true taper—two weeks prior to the event, and my advice for people with the taper. I get asked this a lot. How does the taper work? It’s a change in mindset.
Your mindset up to this point is about training, getting fitter, pushing harder. In a taper, your mindset goes away from that into recovering and freshening up. So err on the side of less during a taper and just training to feel good.