I love taper periods. Both my high school and college swim coaches were masters at piecing together workouts to get us to peak exactly at the right time. Coach Megerle, especially, customized things nearly to every person. Tapering was not to be done overnight. We eased into it over many weeks, to the point where in the last week, we (figuratively) just had to smell the pool water to get in our workout. He also took a wholistic approach. Watch your weight, hydrate and take care of all outside responsibilities so that there is nothing to do other than focus on the event.
All season, I've done a 10 mile run every Monday with a max HR of 148 (HRmax is about 174). Two weeks ago I cut it to 9 miles, last week was the same. Today It was 7.5 miles, and included some intensity to take care of the typical Tuesday track interval workout. Today was also the last 60 min swim. Tomorrow will be the last ride over 60 min. I've stayed at just about 10 hours per week for the last six weeks as you can see on the graph below that shows total hours by week since June 1:
For you periodization believers, there are some cycles and variety inside of these weeks. However given my time limitations, I chose to be much more consistent than in years past. The fewer hours allowed for more intensity and reduced the need for full recovery weeks.
This week is 8 hours, and is focused on two things- race pace and recovery pace.
I can't help but look at the VERY extended forecast for 8/22. Right now, that day is the coolest (high of 84) with the lowest humidity. I've made this mistake before. The forecast for IMWI in 2004 was for the low 70s, and it ended up in the high 80s. I know it's foolish, but there's not nearly as much risk with a two hour race.
I feel like my body is right where it should be. My run is better than ever. My swim is better than any other tri season. My bike is as good as last year. I know how to put together a complete race better than ever. This is gonna be fun!