Updated: Apr 2, 2021
by David Bauerle
So, you have spent the last 9 to 12 months pushing your body to its limits. You have been following your Coach’s plan diligently. You have sacrificed sleep and time with your family so that you can achieve your goals for your “A” race. The work is done and now it’s time to taper and get your body ready for the big day. During the taper, you have reduced your training volume, your body is recovering and suddenly you have more energy and time than you know what to do with.
Now that you have some free time, your friend calls and wants you to go play in a pick-up basketball game - STOP - “Bubble Wrap Yourself”
Now you have extra time on the weekend, you are going to do the landscaping that you have been putting off - STOP - “Bubble Wrap Yourself”
Your coach tells you to go do an easy run but because you're feeling so fresh you decide to push the pace - STOP - “Bubble Wrap Yourself”
Over the years, I have seen athletes suffer various injuries during their taper because of the extra time and energy they were experiencing. In fact I did this myself one week before IRONMAN Arizona. On what was supposed to be an easy run, I learned first-hand the importance of staying with the plan. Because I was feeling rested and fresh, I started pushing the pace. Suddenly, my right calf locked up and I was forced to stop running. The painful spasm was intense and knotted up to the point that I could barely walk. As I sat on a park bench waiting on my wife to come pick me up, all I could think was how am I going to make it through 140.6 miles? Even though I was able to finish the race, it was much more painful than it should have been and I did not achieve the goals I had set for that day. It was all because I did not “Bubble Wrap Myself”.
Your taper is meant to refresh, energize, restore and excite you leading up to your day. By using that renewed energy and strength meant for your race on some other activity you risk falling short of your goals. Crazy stunts or even menial honey-do’s could potentially cause you to go into your race injured or even worse, you may not even be able to get to the starting line.
Reach your goals by protecting your body – “Bubble Wrap Yourself”