View Full Version : Open Water Taper??

August 11th, 2005, 06:05 PM
I'm about 9 days away from my longest race to date, the Manhattan Island Foundation's Little Red Lighthouse raceó5 miles, pushed along (I hope) by a nice current.

Over the past 4 weeks, I have worked up to a peak of 6,500 yards per day (one long swim w/ 500 cooldown) alternating with a 4,000-yard mix of different sets, for a total of 5 or 6 days a week.

My question now is, should I taper? And, if so, how much?

I haven't swum this much since high school and I"m exhausted!

August 11th, 2005, 11:35 PM
I'd say that if you are exhausted, you should definitely taper a bit. Give yourself a chance at doing well in the race.

August 12th, 2005, 09:16 AM
A complete day of rest never hurt anyone and if I were training and preparing for open water I would be swimming open water swims, If the race is a one hour race do a couple of one hour swims a day if is a two hour swim do a 1 hr swim and a 2 hr swim, two hours 5 miles. During your swims, swim race pace with a few 5 min sprint swims included.

August 12th, 2005, 09:18 AM
Yes, I'd taper. How much depends on what works for you. Have you tapered before? Did you hit it? If so, do the same thing again.

August 12th, 2005, 09:29 AM
I tapered many years ago in high school but have no idea how to do so now.

I have been resting the past couple of days, so when I get back into the water tomorrow (Sat.), I'll have only 7 days before race day (Aug. 20).

I may do one last 3.5 miler then taper down with shorter continuous swims every other day till race day to stay loose. Perhaps I should be doing slightly less yardage, given how tired I've been feeling?

August 12th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Let's put it this way...

Last weekend I had a 2.7 mile race. My training normally consists of 3600 yards in the pool, broken into warmup, sets, sprints and warm-down (the main set is usually 2 or 3 500s alternating sprinting and slow without stopping). I didn't taper for the race, but took Friday off (if you consider driving 6 hours after work to be resting). I did okay for the first 1.5 or 2 miles, and then my stroke fell apart. I made it, but I was hurting at the end. A bit more rest probably would have done me some good.

August 12th, 2005, 10:32 AM
Sounds like you are ready. I agree with F'ueco that a little rest will help you out.

I'd back off the yardage a bit next week. If you get in Friday, just do a warm up.

Have a great race. Let us know how you do!

August 12th, 2005, 12:47 PM
I agree with fatboy.
Last long distance workout 5-6 days before.
Then shorten yardage and take a day or two off or just easy swimsthe last few days.
You've done the work, now let your body recover so you feel rested and strong by the weekend.
Good luck!

August 12th, 2005, 04:29 PM
Usually I'm a 2-3 week taper (but that's for sprints) and I base down from 4000-5000 per workout. This summer I've been averaging about 3000 per workout 4-5 days per week. I just did a 1.15 mile lake swim and tapered for one week. I dropped 500 yards per day until it hit 500 yards and maintained that for the last 2 days just to stay loose. It worked well as I bettered my time from last year by 2:15.

August 26th, 2005, 12:30 AM
The swim was amazingóglassy, 75 degrees, strong supporting current, great views of Manhattan's Upper West Side, and a nice straight shot to the GW Bridge. My heartrate was barely elevated by the end, but I was frustrated by how tight my arms and shoulders got. I came in at around the time I anticipated, 1:42, which was almost exactly same time as my longest training swim (3.5 miles) in the pool.

A very fast swimmer counseled me to do less distance and more tough interval swimming for next time. She also mentioned I might want to throw some backstroke and breast into my race here and there in order to keep from tightening up.

Thanks to everyone for the advice. Just wait'll next year!


P.S. I came in 48th out of about 120 swimmers, although LOTS of folks overshot the finish line b/c the organizers were late putting out the buoys...

August 26th, 2005, 10:56 AM
Congratulations on your swim! Glad you enjoyed it and are pleased with your time!