Please help me plan a taper

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by lanierb, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    2
    This is a longish post: I am going to do a bike race 4 weeks from Sunday and I don't know how to taper for it. I'm hoping to get some help.

    Background: I'm 38 yrs old and pretty much a novice bike racer (but experienced athlete). My current workout schedule is I train 3 days per week (I do multiple sports so I cycle 3 days and do other stuff 3 days, with one day off). My training varies depending on available time and what I think I need to work on, but a typical week for me right now is:

    Wed 3x20 (at around 10w below FTP)
    Fri 2x40 (at around 15w below FTP)
    Sun Group ride (my hardest/fastest/longest ride of the week)

    I do a lot of long hill training (i.e., slow pace) so this amounts to about 120 miles per week or so. FTP is about 295w right now. The race is a 1hr hill climb.

    How should I taper? Here is my current plan:

    Second to last week: 2x20's each day (3 days) instead of above.
    Last week: Something like 1x30 or 2x20 on W, then 1x20 on F (race is Sunday)

    Is that too much taper?...too little? Should I change to shorter intervals during the taper? (For those who are interested there's a worksheet here: http://www.stanford.edu/~lanierb/PMC.xls with my CTL/ATL/TSS scores for this plan.)

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
     
    Tags:


  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    I wouldn't taper much at all from that workload. Basically during early to midseason when my CTL was still below 80 or so(works out to about 10 to 12 hours a week of training) I just did mini-tapers before races, even stage races. I'd shoot for about 70-80% of my normal training durations at the same or even a bit higher intensities. I'd also make sure to take 2 days before the event off the bike and do a wake up or "openers" ride the day before that was an hour or so long and included a few short Threshold efforts and a couple of minute to two minute L5/L6 sections then easy spinning.

    Remember that tapering works by spending some of your hard earned CTL. If you don't have all that much CTL in the bank you don't want to give too much away. You should be plenty fresh from 3 days a week of training and not really need too much additional taper. You mention other activities on other days, you might want to cut those back a bit before your target event to be a bit more rested.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
  3. factory61

    factory61 New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I noticed that you only have your bike workouts listed to track your TSB. You may want to think about manually entering training values for the other workouts to properly track your overall TSB. IMHO that would give you a much better idea of where your body is at and how much of a taper you may or may not need.
     
  4. Roadie_scum

    Roadie_scum New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    0
    1. It doesn't work for a lot of people to have a day off before you ride. NomadVW mentioned somewhere that he finds it better to do light rolls as his TSB comes up.

    2. You don't have heaps of CTL, don't burn too much.

    3. You may not need to be too far +ve TSB for a 1 hour event.

    So... I would say your last 3 workouts you've put down as 2 X 20's for 100TSS do 3 X 20's for 150. Your 1 X (20+10) on the Tuesday before, do 2 X 20. Then your 1 X 20, do the day before race day rather than two days before. All of this depends a bit on your time commitments, how your body responds, etc. These are my thoughts, YMMV. Good luck!

    BTW I am assuming you are fairly time limited which is why you don't have more volume in there?
     
  5. lanierb

    lanierb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks for the responses! I'm surprised people think I should taper substantially less. I was actually leaning the other way (taper more)! I remember reading a post by Andy Coggan somewhere that said that you should have +ve TSB for a long period (say, a week) before a big race. Maybe I overreacted to that. Based on your advice, I think maybe I should stick to 3x20's in the first couple workouts two week before, then start tapering to 2x20's with the exception of the one workout two days before. I can also go out for a short burn the day before to see if that helps.

    (As for my low volume, I am time limited, but the main reason I don't have more volume is work in other sports -- which about doubles my total workout time.)
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    Do you track your training load from your other sports? Multisport load management is tough since it's hard to model both training fatigue and training crossover at the same time. From a pure fatigue/recovery standpoint it's useful to track TSS for all activities as it's a pretty good indication of how hard you're loading your system. From a training benefit side some folks only track cycling TSS since crosstraining has limited transfer to cycling, especially for folks that are highly trained cyclists. Personally I track TSS from nordic skiing and other winter cross training activities but only track cycling TSS in season and frankly that's the activity I do the most during racing season.

    Either way, a taper only makes sense if failing to do so leaves you too tired to perform your best and you can afford to trade some CTL for freshness. If your total training load from all sports leaves you below ideal recovery, then it makes sense to cut back before your event. Personally I'd taper the non cycling activities as you lead up to your ride. A lot of taper advice out there assumes you're holding a high weekly training load and need to let your body recover for best performance.

    However much you decide to back off I'd strongly recommend that you take any rests two or even three days out and make sure you do an "openers" ride the day before. Complete rest the day before an important event is a really bad idea. Don't exhaust yourself the day before your big ride, but get out for an hour or so and get up to race pace a few times. It's really hard to give your best effort the day after complete rest.

    Good luck,
    Dave
     
Loading...
Loading...