For the upcoming race, I decided to try what I consider to be a bit of a reverse taper. I heard from various sources that I need to build in a week of recovery for about every 4-5 weeks of intense training. By recovery, I don’t mean entering into an intimate relationship with my couch and Netflix; I mean dropping the volume by 20-30 percent for a week and if needed, dropping intensity as well. So with my recovery week finding me at the complete bonk phase on hump day, I saw some clear evidence that I needed some time to recover. With a nice day of rest and a fourth birthday party for my little guy Gabe, Sunday dawned with an eagerness to get moving.
Luckily, a really good swell arrived with my newly tapped energy source, and I found my way into some great surf. Sunday, 5 May started my week strong. I surfed in Wilbur by the Sea for almost three hours in a solid swell with offshore winds and clean barrels. With the lackluster spring passing by with very little in the form of wave fix, it was great to get back where I feel at home and to feed my deeply neglected love of surfing. I followed the surf with a ton of yard work at my Mom’s and an aerobic 5k run around the trails. Damn good Sunday.
For the rest of the week, I kept things going as strong as time allowed. On Monday, I got in a 40-minute swim and 40 minutes at the gym. Both were high intensity, but at the gym, I left out most of the weights as the race is getting closer. I spent a lot of time working on my core and some upper body band work for swimming. On Tuesday, I dawn-patrolled on the bike from home and through the Dairy for 17 miles in about 90 minutes and jumped in the pool later in the day for about a 30-minute swim. I did double time again on Wednesday with a 40 minute fast-paced run with intervals at Dairy and then met the boys for a lap on the bike – a kind of reverse brick, but it worked well for my training and for my schedule. Thursday was a bit hectic at work, so I was only able to get in a 30-minute, somewhat half-ass swim. I just couldn’t get my mind around training. I teach college writing at Daytona State, and the end of the semester is always tough with evaluating writing portfolios.
Highlight of the Week
On Friday, I headed to work early with the goal of finishing up the semester and driving up to Graham Swamp for the last heavy bike ride before our trip to Pelham, AL. All went well, and I put the hammer down at the Swamp. I had a cooler loaded with plenty of water and nutrition and a couple gels in my pack just in case. My plan went perfectly. I began at race pace and held it for the whole lap, stopped quickly at my truck, swilled some coconut water and grabbed a sweet potato to munch on as I rolled back out – time = about 42 minutes. The second lap went almost as well.
I kept a strong pace only losing it for a lack of fuel toward the end. I swung by my truck, finished the coconut water, grabbed a banana, added some water to my pack, and repeated the above process – time = about 46 minutes. On the third lap, I didn’t really get my legs back for a little while. Once the banana kicked in, my pace increased, and I ended up timing a gel perfectly about 25 minutes into the lap and finished much stronger than lap two – time = about 48 minutes. Total = 20+ miles.
On Saturday and Sunday, I just took it easy with some long rides with my puppy dog and tried to focus on rest and recover – of course, my downtime was layered with some cold beer and lots of plants to eat. Next up, race week and my taper begins…