Taper Week is the Bestest Week Ever

Distance: 36.34 miles
Time: 1:50:23
Average Watts: 170 watts
Normative Power: 180 watts
Average Heart Rate: 150 bpm
Total Work: 1,119 kJ
Average Speed: 19.8 mph

Ah taper week. I think if you asked any endurance athlete what week in their schedule produces the most apprehension and scares the crap out of them, at least 75% of respondents would say Taper Week. It is just outside of the understanding of most people that resting for a week before a big race will actually improve your performance. I am not one of those people — I love taper week and the easy efforts that you get to dial in.

This ride is one of my standby flat rides. I think with a decent effort, I could have averaged about 23.0 mph on this ride because there was no wind, it was flat, and I felt frisky on my bike. But, the plan was to take it easy and try to keep the power below 220 watts. My 5 minute average power was 220 watts, and it just went down from there. I am actually happy with the results of this ride because I followed my plan and rode the way I was supposed to.

Tomorrow will be my last ride before the Triple Bypass this weekend. I am supposed to go 20.0 miles but dial up the intensity a little from today. That means I will try and average 200+ watts for the distance, and then I get Thursday and Friday off. I think I am pretty dialed in for the ride/race. My buddy — Juston — who I am riding with is in great shape, so we are hoping to pound out a decent effort on Saturday and then go hard on Sunday. It will be an interesting experience.

Tour de France Update

If you watched Stage 2, the team time trial, and Stage 3 you know how dominating Team Garmin-Cervelo has been so far. A huge congrats is due to our pal and American Tyler Farrar who got the win on Stage 3. It was his first win in the TdF, and I have to say it couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person. I know it is still early, but it is interesting to note how close the stages have been so far. If today’s Stage 4 is an indication to the amount of fight there will be in this year’s race, I am pumped.


Personally, I stay off the Net Webs if I DVR’ed a game or bike race so I don’t inadvertently find out who won or what happened. But for those of you die hard fans of 26.2ismycooldown.com who refuse to wait to read this before you watch Stage 4, I threw that one in for you.

Cadel Evans (Team BMC) won his first ever stage in the TdF today with a photo finish over Alberto Contador. Check out this photo of the finish and remember they were probably going somewhere between 40 – 50 mph at this point…


Not even half a wheel is not much, especially at that speed. I call this finish amazing.

Personally, I am pumped that Cadel won the sprint at the end and beat Contador. You guys know I feel Contador belongs on suspension right now, but I will keep the soapbox in the closet for another day.

The great news is Thor Hushovd is still in Yellow. I am thinking his days are limited, and if I had money on it, I would say there will be a new General Classification (GC) leader Thursday. Stage 5 is flat, so Hushovd should be able to keep pace with the other leaders unless he gets caught out of a breakaway with riders who matter. The top 47 riders are less that 2:00 off Hushovd’s time right now, so he and Garmin-Cervelo will need to pay attention.

The Let’s Kick Cancer Contest

The contest is heating up people. There have been some great stories shared about how cancer has impacted the lives of people who come here and I really appreciate it. As always, keep the stories coming. I really enjoy reading how people are so resilient and are able to keep hope in their hearts when it seems that there is little reason to.

If you would like to donate to the Huntsman Hometown Heroes program, here is the link. Remember the contest goes through Sunday night, but you can donate anytime you like. Remember the winners will get their choice of a Garmin Forerunner, Garmin Edge, or Garmin 310XT. This is one of those contests that you should do the work to make sure you maximize the number of entries you get each day.

I have decided that I will personally match the donations that are given through this program. Think of it as a way for your dollar to go further or something… :)

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...