Tapering

The foundations for successful riding

Tapering

Postby orphic » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:32 am

I seem to have developed quite a talent for screwing myself leading up to a race weekend. Training too much, not training enough, eating too much, not eating enough... You get the picture.

So what's the best method to 'taper' just enough so that I turn up feeling fresh and well rested, but not stiff and like riding hard is a foreign concept?

I'm racing Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and I have never raced consecutive days before. I would usually train hard Tuesday, Thursday with an easy ride on Wednesday and possibly Friday morning... And race at the track on Friday night. I am guessing that's out of the question :(
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by BNA » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:55 am

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Re: Tapering

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:55 am

Insufficient data.

I'd guesstimate that 95+% of cyclists don't train anywhere near enough to warrant a taper.
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Re: Tapering

Postby tripstobaltimore » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:41 pm

Unless it's one of the two major races in your calendar, don't bother. You don't need to feel 'good' or 'well rested' to be fast. I have raced the day after an eight hour training day, and then done more training after the race. I wouldn't get too hung up about tapering.

And, like Alex said, If you only ride four times a week for training, you probably aren't training enough to warrant a taper.
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Re: Tapering

Postby rogan » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:40 pm

I raced 2 days running a few weeks back, for the first time in decades (well since about 1993). Did fine. Doing the same this week, if the stars align (Heffron then West Head - and you?).

All I can say is if you're in form and cycling is going well, you'll be fine. If you're finding it a struggle, well, 2 days in a row will be a struggle. Friday track sounds like racing 3 days in a row. I would ditch that, but then I don't ride track.

My program is any hard training is for Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, unless it's been a light work (work or weather caused, usually), in which case a decent effort but not long ride on Friday is OK. Hard rides both Saturday and Sunday, with any long miles done on Sunday (if not racing). Like I said though, when I'm going well it works well, when I'm off the form curve, well, it's tougher.
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Re: Tapering

Postby sogood » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:35 pm

Resting for fresh legs is barely considered to be "tapering". Just rest it (or ride easy) for a day or two before a race and that's about it, and you know best how much rest you need to recover your legs.
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Re: Tapering

Postby ft_critical » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:03 pm

Based on your schedule:
Tuesday - Race intensity ride, probably over a shorter distance. If you don't have a race, find a fast group do lots on the front, attack the group, sprint for the signs all the usual things.
Wednesday - endurance or recovery.
Thursday - complete rest and eating.
Friday - Tune up (from TLL) I do warm up, warm down, in between 10x 3min intervals on a 3% grade. Only an hour or so.

Eating, hey, eat, make yourself feel good in that week. Just don't booze.

Friday night. Do a full race plan. Pack everything. Bike service. Race numbers on etc., etc. Prepare everything. This will give you a trouble free sleep.

Good luck.
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Re: Tapering

Postby orphic » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:55 am

Thanks for the input guys. Some of my plans ended up being destroyed by rain, but that just meant I didn't get to ride quite as hard and/or got wet!

Rogan - I'm doing Mudgee (handicap plus scratch) this weekend. I really want to try racing West Head but it keeps on clashing with other events. Good luck for both your races :)
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