Just wondering what everyone does for an A-priority race taper that's different than just being fresh for a race you'd like to do well in.
Do you let your TSB come up more positive?
Is an A-priority taper simply longer?
That depends on the nature of the race, how high your CTL is going into the taper and what you're doing in the weeks leading up to the taper.
For an isolated A priority race that's shorter and harder or one in which I've decided to do a full taper I won't be racing for a weekend or two leading up to the event. Instead I'd intentionally dig a deep training hole about 10 days out (that works for me, don't know how you recover or what works for you) with a couple of longer harder rides typically finishing off a solid 4 day training block. The idea here is to preload a lot of work and to create a sharp peak in my CTL curve.
Then I'd take a few days off, then open up with some Tempo work and finish the last few days of the taper with shorter than normal, but more intense workouts than normal leading up to the event. I'd make sure I rested two days before a single day event and of course I'd do an openers ride the day before the target event.
That's very different than the way I'd approach B races where I wouldn't worry about racing back to back weekends, wouldn't do the deep dive in training, wouldn't take multiple days off to recover from the deep dive and wouldn't have to reopen my legs before the final prep phase.
For those B races I'd race and train as normal but just back off duration about 10-15% percent in the final week and maybe bang out a couple of extra short hard efforts during my training. I'd still rest two days out which usually takes a small schedule juggle and of course do the openers ride. I think of this approach as "mini-tapers" as they're just backing off a bit to be fresher but with the same basic schedule.
So for me at least, the B races allow me to stay on my training and racing plan with just a bit of adjustment in duration and intensity and maybe a day swap to arrange for the rest day two days before the B race. A races include the big prebuild, some extra complete rest days, then reopening the legs before the final phase. BTW, my legs typically feel awful after the two or three consecutive rest days and it takes a lot of faith to know they'll be there on race day but this approach really works for me.