What do you do during your race weeks?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by bgoetz, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    I think the hardest thing for me to dial in is just what my training should consist of in terms of volume and intensity during a peak week. So I am looking for examples of typical peak weeks from some of you who follow structured programs. If you have time maybe a Monday through Friday breakdown of what you do, assume Saturday and Sunday are spent racing or on hard fast race like training rides. Also assume you are going for about a 4 week peak, so this would be your schedule over the course of that period. I tend to struggle with how fresh I can make myself, without getting stale by race weekend. At the same time I don't want to do too much and sacrifice performance that I worked so hard for.
     
    Tags:


  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    97
    For B races I go with a mini-taper approach. Do your normal training, possibly with your schedule shuffled a bit so you get an openers ride the day before your first race but back off the duration about 15% from normal loading.

    For A races or longer races like stage races where you might want more freshness I back off the volume further but try to keep some high end work during the taper. If the athlete hasn't been doing very much high end work and the event demands it the workouts may be restructured a bit to mimic the demands of the event. IOW, if it's a short time trial and say Tuesday has been a 2x20 day we might turn that into a 4x10 or even 4x5 minute day of TT efforts at higher than normal speed/power. If it's a crit then that same day might turn into a microinterval set to emphasize repeated accelerations. Same thing for other days during a full taper, the overall volume and kj or TSS or whatever metrics you use for workload drop but the intensity usually goes up and becomes more race specific. If you've loaded big about 10 days or more out (not a bad idea IME) then the extra rest that follows that big loading should be early and the final six or seven days would be reopening the legs with some Tempo and then the shorter punchier race specific work described above but again below the normal weekly workload. How far below depends on how much you want to emphasize freshness over fitness but in either case you don't rest too much in the final days.

    Those are the ways I approach semi and full tapers and for the best short term peaks that preloading with bigger than normal week about two weeks out really helps. For a sustained peak I usually go with a bigger taper before the first weekend and then mini-tapers for the successive weeks but sooner or later you'll want to get back to more normal training or eventually the fitness tends to fall out if you just keep racing and working below your normal levels.

    YMMV,
    -Dave
     
  3. bubsy

    bubsy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    Messages:
    193
    Likes Received:
    0
    BINGO!

    Short taper would see me take Mon/tue OFF
    Wed is a tune up 12min at 100-108% FTP + 2 x 2min at ~ 125% and maybee a couple half hearted sprints,
    Thurs OFF,
    Fri opener, warm up 3min 115-125% cool down,
    Sat.... SMASH ' EM
     
  4. frost

    frost New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    3
    Just to make sure, is that short taper as for an "A race" or for a "B race" (referring to Dave's write)?
     
  5. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    Thanks guys! So my 1st "A race" is Battenkill on April 13, by my taper I will have worked pretty hard and have a CTL somewhere in the 115+ range. I hope to carry this peak all of the way to May 17-18. My strategy was going to be to treat the week of April 1st like a rest week and then do some race specific stuff the week of Battenkill. The week after Battenkill I don't race, so I was going to go back to normal volume and intensity to sort of "bump" my CTL again to carry through mid May. The next 2 weeks I race and would really focus on just that with a lower volume higher raced focused intensity, where I would use the training and races to maintain a decent CTL. I then have 1 week of no races in which depending on where I was and how I felt I was going to treat as a rest week and then do race specific stuff leading into my last A race, which is a stage race that I really want to do well in. Basically those last two weeks would be like the 1st 2 weeks leading into Battenkill. Any thoughts on this plan?
     
  6. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    What race are you focusing on at Battenkill?

    I don't think CTL influences performance there- I had a better race on lower CTL 2 years ago than I did last year.

    You could potentially hold the peak that long, but the peak, rebuild, keep peaking thing you described hasn't always worked 100% for athletes I know or have worked with. What helps is on non-racing weekends to do kitchen sink type workouts that are about race length/NP. You can make an NP spreadsheet in Excel by the minute using the formulas in the Coggan/Allan book (or I could email you one). From there figure out average race length, NP and KJ and kinda what you need to freshen up or emphasize. I prioritize the weaknesses first and try to orient it like the race.

    Not sure where you live, but Battenkill is this:

    Roll out and steady ramp up to threshold for about 5min for the first 'climb', topping out at L6 for 30s.

    Descend, 2 left turns, the infamous 18% gravel climb. Its honestly not that hard if you start it near the front.

    Descend, rollers for a while. They took out the biggest stair step climb last year so that's not an issue anymore. Instead they added some more of the dirt roads on Meeting House.

    Meeting House rd- 2 steep dirt climbs. Descend and rollers, then the last 5min stair step gravel climb. Descend then 10km to the line.

    To simulate this I'd have the rider start the workout in the same way ramping up to threshold and just beyond. I'd start with probably 30min of normal L2 riding to fill out the time component. With short rest I'd have them do a few repeats of that. Say 4x8min and hopefully finishing on a similar flat to hill situation carrying the pop over the hill. Start at 90%, ramp up to 115% in the last minute, with most of the work just at the top end of threshold. 2min rests.

    The hills at Battenkill aren't very long, but NP for the race is often pretty high and there are almost no breaks from the midpoint until the end of the course. I would compensate by then having them start a second 20 min SST effort on a hilly course focusing on keeping power over the top and down the hills. This is important and a key component that people miss when they train alone. I'd go over for every hill, focusing on keeping a pace- this would likely mean 110%-120% maybe more. Not maximal, but very snappy and peppy climbing.

    That right there is 1:30 with almost 1hr at SST or threshold. The race is 2.5 hrs or so. I would have them settle back in at an L2 pace for a bit, making sure to eat/feed a lot like they would during the race.

    The end would depend on geography and if they had a similar 5ish minute climb. If they did I'd say aim for 2-3 tough repeats of it and on the last one, carry your speed until the end of the workout -10min (to allow for the cooldown).

    This would simulate the demands of the race, not be too tiring, hit the top end a little bit, and simulate the end of the race. In most fields it ends with a very select group at the front on that last climb and it either gets splintered to hell or someone breaks away and solos in (or a small group does).

    So, long story short. Figure out your races. Figure out their NP, KJ, and time and where moves go if possible. Ride that weekend in between with a carefully tailored workout like the one above that isn't as stressful as the race, but trains it really well. I wouldn't worry about CTL. Building or dropping a few points during a taper won't influence the outcome a ton.
     
  7. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    Yeah, I am pretty in tune with my NP/length of time for long, hard, races. From what you described is sort of what I expect from Battenkill, although I figure with the level of competition at the cat 2 level will be pretty stacked. I expect it to be harder/as hard as any P/1/2 race around here and I have had 3.5hr races with an NP damn near my FTP. But yeah I have the training itself down pretty good, it is just the taper that I seem to always question myself on (too much or too little).
     
  8. KWalker

    KWalker New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is your current weight and FTP? One of my riders was in the winning move last year and at the time he had a FTP of 340 at a weight of 155 and IIRC his AP on the last climb was around 420 for the entire thing. His highest anaerobic number was from the final climb on Meeting House and I believe it was in the high 5's for a minute after all that racing. His IF for the event was the highest I've ever seen for a road race.

    So I think you will need at least a 4.8 w/kg FTP and the ability to push around 6 w/kg for 5 minutes and at the end of a long, hard road race. The 2 races isn't much easier than the 1 race and often fiestier.

    Tapering for Battenkill is easy IMO. I would arrive there the morning before and pre-ride parts of the course. Ride the gravel sections to see what the condition is like. Get a feel for the wind direction on open sections. Ride the first 1hr of the course and get an idea of the climbs and key turns. That is what will lose you that race- shitty positioning. You want to start Juniper Swamp in the front 1/3 of the field because it stays full gas over the top. Also, there are a few open and windy gravel sections that can be tricky and cost you a ton of energy.

    I'd start the taper with a rest week 2 weeks out at t-14 days. If you can'd do a race the weekend before, Hit some workouts like I described just to freshen up. I'd front load the week to allow for extra supercompensation and rest. Tuesday I would probably hit some FTP work with stochastic features i.e. intervals with bursts or even 30/30s at low L5. Wednesday I'd just get a decent aerobic ride with bursts and perhaps an easy SST interval towards the end. Thursday, depending on driving, I'd focus it purely on L7 with some micros or something short that won't deplete glycogen. Not sure what day the 2 race is this year, but if its Saturday again I'd take Thursday off and do a good pre-ride on Friday. Duration of the taper workouts and number of intervals would depend on what you normally do, but my main concern would not to be to deplete your glycogen stores too much, but keep everything online. So, if your normal 30/30 volume was 3 sets I might do 2 sets that had an extra rep each. If that normal workout was 2hrs I might keep it to 1.5. The workouts from the weekend will do the job proper so the weekday stuff really needs to just set you up for light training and heavy recovery.
     
  9. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    20
    Yeah, unfortunately while I am within reach of the #s you threw out and hope to be there by Battenkill, I am not quite there yet. This reinforces my need to keep working hard over the next two months. I feel a breakthrough comming on so hopefully my #s see a big jump. Thanks for all of the advice, I don't think I planned to get out there till Friday afternoon as it is a 12hr drive, sounds like I need to get the hotel Thursday night as well and plan to head out Thursday. What is the longest sustained climb? Long climbs are what worry me a bit, as most stuff around here is
     
Loading...
Loading...