Tapering off before event

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by kdogkodiak, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. kdogkodiak

    kdogkodiak New Member

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    I have a ride on May 5th that has been my focus for the early season. The ride is called Breathless Agony and is held in Southern California. It consists of 114 miles with 12,000 feet of climbing. I did the ride last year, so I know the course. I have trained much harder this year (approx 180 miles per week) and focused more specifically on some long climbs (Mt. Palomar, 4000 feet in about 12 miles). The race is less than 2 weeks away and I am trying to decide whether or not to do one last tough training ride in the hills (2-3 repeats on Palomar) before the big day. How do you taper for a big event? What are your recommendations in my case?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Standard taper advice is to reduce volume while maintaining or even increasing intensity. For a B race I'd drop my volume to about two thirds of my normal weekly volume but keep the intensity up. So I'd still do intervals but fewer of them and perhaps a bit shorter on some. You don't want to totally rest or let your body get too comfy. For something long like you describe I'd probably keep your same schedule the first week but cut the duration about 15 to 20%. The week before the event I'd cut out a session early in the week. Substitute a steady session about three days before, rest two days before and ride the day before and include some long (10 to 20 minute) work a bit below your best climbing pace and maybe a couple of short hard bursts. But you don't want to really tire yourself out the day before, more of an advanced warmup and tuneup session.

    The other key is to eat and hydrate well for the last three to four days. You don't have to go crazy with heavy duty carb loading, just don't diet or try to lose weight in the last couple of days. I often gain a bit in the last couple of days but hopefully I was plenty light enough up to that point and I'll trade a half pound on the hills to ensure my muscles are fully loaded up with glycogen and water. I like to think of both CTL and light weight as two things we save up in our bank accounts before important events and then spend a bit of each during taper to make sure we hit form for the event.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    -Dave
     
  3. chainstay

    chainstay New Member

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    WyomingDave or someone with racing experience:

    I am racing the Lotoja (Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming), 206 miles, about 7,600 feet of climbing, the weekend after this---September 8th. I am a 53 year old, inexperienced racer that has only entered two previous races in my life---the 2006 Lotoja just last year where I got number seven in my non age specific 50 man Cat V group (my first race), and the Sea Otter road race early last spring where I had a finish in the middle. In prior years I participated in the charity event rides here and there, sometimes week long camping event/tours, and just rides with friends. I full well realize that the time to do anything with racing passed me by about 35 years ago;), but now I am thinking that looking forward to an occassional race will motivate me to keep in decent shape and continue to have some fun with biking.

    Anyway, last year a friend and I rode the Lotoja course at a hard effort (for us) the weekend before the race---although we only rode Logan to Alpine, 160 miles on Saturday, and then the final Alpine to Jackson, 47 miles on Sunday. I felt pretty good for the race the next weekend---not like I was missing any energy or anything, but everyone tells me I am nuts to ride the course the weekend before the race. So this year we were going to do it earlier, but now here we are again nearing the race---thinking about doing a 120 mile total, 60 mile out and back over the main mountainous part of the course this Friday with 6,800 feet of climbing, and a 94 miles, 47 mile out and back from Alpine to Jackson, with 2,300 feet of climbing, this Saturday. And then the actual race is the following Saturday.

    Brief background: I think I am in better shape than last year. I have about 4,500 miles in, most since mid March, 10 centuries beginning from mid March, including 4 hard rides that were 130 miles plus, and three rides with over 10,000 feet of climbing, and two weekends that totaled 200 miles of riding or more.

    So anyway, based on last year's relatively successful results, I am thinking there may be nothing wrong with putting a hard effort on much of the course 8 days before, so what do you people think? Am I supposed to taper? My last big effort was August 18th---a 134 mile solo effort, out and back over some of the mountainous part of the course to include about the same total cumulative ascent as the race will have. Comments anyone? Thanks for any suggestions/opinions.

    My "listen to my body meter", whatever the heck that is :D, tells me that it won't hurt to do 200 plus total miles over some of the course spread out over this Friday and Saturday (with similar ascent to the full course accomplished in the 120 miles on Friday), and then officially race the full 206 mile course the next Saturday.
     
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