Ironman Arizona is a late season race. By the time athletes have arrived in Arizona the months upon months of training have often taken an emotional toll, even if the physical preparation is perfect.
Finding that blend of building fitness, maintaining motivation, postitive mindset and visualization, just enough rest without getting stale…that’s the art of tapering.
The performance management chart is one way of viewing the physical stresses of training and looking at how well an athlete is recovering.
By correlating dips in the chronic training load (the “little blue line”) with the bounce in the balance of acute & chronic stress (the yellow zone or the “training stress balance” or TSB), we can prepare an athlete for an idealized race.
There is more to it for sure, but seeing these shapes emerging the week before Ironman Arizona is reassuring for me as a coach as well as for my athlete. No wondering how well the training prepared him. he is well prepared.
From here to Sunday, it’s all about positive visualization, staying limber, managing emotions and energy, and staying organized and out of the fray of race week.
What’s your interpretation of the “little blue line”?