Preparing for a long ride - when do you stop to rest?
I am getting ready to do a pretty long ride, and have been putting in a fairly substantial amount of time preparing my body by increasing my ride times and miles, as well as intensity. The ride is the first week in June. I lost a bunch of weight, and am eating at a calorie deficit every single day. Common sense tells me I should stop riding at least a day or two before this long ride, and let the body recover. I will also stop the calorie deficit at least a day or two before this ride, and eat a little more than normal.
Any thoughts on when and for how long (or if) I should really rest before a rather long ride? At my age I need to get ready for this ride, and although it may be easy for many of you, it's not easy for everyone. We will be doing 29 miles of Mountain in one day, some at over 9,000 feet. I did this ride once before, and I am in FAR better shape than last time, but yet would appreciate any advice from those who are familiar with the subject.
I'm thinking ride often up till about two days before the ride, no riding two days before, and light stretching and riding the very day before. We will be acclimating to Altitude only one day before leaving, so I know the altitude from 9,000 to 9400 will be a bear. Six liters of water and a ton of food are going along too. Thanks in advance.
Personally, I would stop eating at a calorie deficit at least a week before the ride. And depending on your training, you may need more than two days of rest to really take advantage of additional muscle growth and increased stamina you are building. Or you could start a taper 7 days before and drop off altogether those last two days. But hard exertion up to 2 days prior may not give you the edge you need.
But thatís just for me and my body. I donít race or anything. Iím 43. I ride about 80 miles a week (commuting plus a big weekend ride) and run once or twice a week as well. And some strength building (pushups, floor work and light lifting) 3 days on, one day off. On the occasional weeks when I have time to do nothing beyond commute, I feel like superman on the weekend ride. The resting to build up capacity can make a huge difference.
Also, you should be stretching every day. I think your muscle recovery will improve if you do.
BTW where are you riding?
Thanks for the advice wahday. I suspect you are right on both counts. I will need calories a few days out to build fuel, and rest more like 3 days before. We will be riding the Cannell Trail in Southern California to the top of Shermin Peak, then all the way to the "Plunge", and on to Kernville, a solid 29 miles. There is a ton of downhill, but by adding the Peak climb, there is also a lot of uphill. It is an amazing ride, and I have to do it again, faster, better than before. Last time I blew it and got turned around, adding a few miles and time. This time, I have GPS with a breadcrumb to follow, and I am stronger, lighter, and am hopeful to go faster. We will also be doing Downieville up near Lake Tahoe. Can't wait...
I don't know your age.
I'm 38. I typically "taper" before events for a week by not doing any hard effort workouts and when I commute to work, I only breathe through my nose (lets call it active recovery). The day before my event, I do not ride/run/train. I do not change my diet (paleo). The formula works for me for sub 5 hour centuries.