PLAN TO PEAK

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION -

It’s not pos­si­ble nor is it wise to peak and ta­per for mul­ti­ple events in the year. Some races you will need to train through in or­der to max­i­mize your chances of suc­cess at your key event. Iden­ti­fy­ing which race you plan to peak for re­in­forces the im­por­tance of goal set­ting and start­ing with the end in mind.

Ta­pers are not a one-size-fits-all ap­proach and usu­ally take some trial and er­ror to re­ally nail. Ta­pers of­ten de­pend on the amount of heav­ier train­ing load you have ac­cu­mu­lated (ei­ther through vol­ume, in­ten­sity or a com­bi­na­tion of both) in the last year and, in par­tic­u­lar, in the 10- to 16-week lead-in to your key event. The higher the train­ing load of­ten the longer the ta­per re­quired. Like­wise, the lighter the train­ing load, the less time is re­quired for ta­per­ing. Ath­letes who train in the eight to 15 hour per week range will likely not need more than about 10 to 14 days and the ta­per may not even need to be that ag­gres­sive. A small de­crease in train­ing vol­ume should be enough to leave you feel­ing fresh and ready to go. Ath­letes who train in the 20 to 30 hour range may need to ta­per for longer – 14 to 21 days might be re­quired to fully off load any deeper fa­tigue that you have ac­cu­mu­lated. Ta­per­ing is not time off, nor is it ne­glect­ing spe­cific work­outs that are im­por­tant for the race, but rather it is a de­crease in train­ing vol­ume and an in­crease in time spent rest­ing.

There is no magic bul­let for suc­cess. Keep it sim­ple and stick to some ba­sic prin­ci­ples. Nail­ing it re­quires a con­sis­tent, on-tar­get, pro­gres­sive ap­proach that starts with the end in mind.

Jasper Blake is a for­mer Iron­man Canada cham­pion and the head coach of B78 Coach­ing.

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