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  1. #1
    can't get here by wishin
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    taperin' and peakin'

    my A race is 2 and 1/2 weeks away...i'm doin' one more really hard ride on saturday then the plan is to taper... thoughts? i'm doin' a 100 miler...

  2. #2
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    I don't have any experience with training for or doing long races, but I've had good results doing what one expert recomend here: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2010/06...-workouts.html.

    Basically keep doing high intensity efforts right up to the event, but dramatically cut back overall volume and the high intensity volume. Also get plenty of recovery so you can really hit it hard on those high intensity days.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfight
    my A race is 2 and 1/2 weeks away...i'm doin' one more really hard ride on saturday then the plan is to taper... thoughts? i'm doin' a 100 miler...

    my coach has lightened my interval load (one intense interval session a week) while still keeping a long ride in a week over the next 1.5 weeks until my 1st big race. I'm also taking 1 day off a week YMMV

  4. #4
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    I'd say it really depends on your current fitness levels and how much work you've done up to this point. Have you really truly overloaded your system??

    Tapering is really a reduction in overall volume, with an increase in intensity. If you've trained right up to that point and taper properly, you can see a solid gain in performance (though not sustainable, hence why it's called peaking)

    Art of Tapering Here's a little more info, but I'd mix in lots of rest days or very easy active recovery days with a few short but intense effort days. 4x90 ...5x1... 6x30....4x15, then race day openers>race.

    With a hundred miler in the mix, the weekend prior to the race I'd still do a fairly good 4 hour ride, but xc racers can get away with 1.5-2 hours

  5. #5
    can't get here by wishin
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    good stuff... thanks guys

  6. #6
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    For me, true peaks are next to impossible to make happen when I want them to happen. So i pretty much taper for races depending on how important they are. If its an important race, I'll plan for a bit more freshnessness. If its a race i want to do well in, but not necessarily important, I'll do a short taper.. rest day, openers day (short), race day. And then some races I'll train right through, like doing long threshold intervals the day before.

    In all 3 cases i have had great days on race day. Probably the most predictable for me is the short taper. I might race on a sunday, ride monday, rest tuesday, train wed/thu, rest friday, openers saturday and race sunday. That would be a typical race season week, and the schedule yields good results. I am usually not fully rested for Sunday's race, but rested and carbed up enough to ride my best.

    Fully rested does not mean best performance (for me). I seem to do better with a little load still in the legs. And during the taper week, I like to stick with workouts I am use to doing. Not really change it up much. About the only day that the volume really drops would be the Saturday before the race where I keep the ride shorter than normal (about half), and get in a few 5min steady efforts at race pace.

    For big races where I might do a longer taper, by reducing the load across 2-weeks, I have mixed, results. Some times I feel a little stiff and it might be halfway into the race before I start opeing up. I think some of this has to do with the massive stock of glycogen that develops in the legs. Once I burn through the excess, I start feeling normal again. But long tapers predictably improve my ability to go hard for a long time. So if i were targeting a 3hr+ event, I would opt for the longer taper, get a little extra freshness and carbs in the legs.

    Lastly, with the change in volume during tapers, I find that managing nutrition becomes harder. I want to eat more, I am burning less, and a voice in my head tells me "carb load"! It becomes EZ to over eat and show up bloated on race day.. but definitely well nourished!

    So, with all that rambling, the bottom line for me is too not change the routines too much, keep the taper short if possible, and try to work it so I wake up race day with a little extra freshness than normal. That seems to work the best, most frequently.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by perryr
    For me, true peaks are next to impossible to make happen when I want them to happen. So i pretty much taper for races depending on how important they are. If its an important race, I'll plan for a bit more freshnessness. If its a race i want to do well in, but not necessarily important, I'll do a short taper.. rest day, openers day (short), race day. And then some races I'll train right through, like doing long threshold intervals the day before.

    In all 3 cases i have had great days on race day. Probably the most predictable for me is the short taper. I might race on a sunday, ride monday, rest tuesday, train wed/thu, rest friday, openers saturday and race sunday. That would be a typical race season week, and the schedule yields good results. I am usually not fully rested for Sunday's race, but rested and carbed up enough to ride my best.

    Fully rested does not mean best performance (for me). I seem to do better with a little load still in the legs. And during the taper week, I like to stick with workouts I am use to doing. Not really change it up much. About the only day that the volume really drops would be the Saturday before the race where I keep the ride shorter than normal (about half), and get in a few 5min steady efforts at race pace.

    For big races where I might do a longer taper, by reducing the load across 2-weeks, I have mixed, results. Some times I feel a little stiff and it might be halfway into the race before I start opeing up. I think some of this has to do with the massive stock of glycogen that develops in the legs. Once I burn through the excess, I start feeling normal again. But long tapers predictably improve my ability to go hard for a long time. So if i were targeting a 3hr+ event, I would opt for the longer taper, get a little extra freshness and carbs in the legs.

    Lastly, with the change in volume during tapers, I find that managing nutrition becomes harder. I want to eat more, I am burning less, and a voice in my head tells me "carb load"! It becomes EZ to over eat and show up bloated on race day.. but definitely well nourished!

    So, with all that rambling, the bottom line for me is too not change the routines too much, keep the taper short if possible, and try to work it so I wake up race day with a little extra freshness than normal. That seems to work the best, most frequently.
    Perry, have you ever dug yourself ina deep hole, to where it noticeably affected race results?

    If so, did you manage to get yourself out with better net results?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    Perry, have you ever dug yourself ina deep hole, to where it noticeably affected race results?

    If so, did you manage to get yourself out with better net results?
    Hey Ponch,

    I've always got 1 foot in that deep hole! I seem to do best in longer races, but when I have a foot in the hole I seem to have a tuff time going hard in the shorter events <2hr.

    This year I picked up a Sinus infection in early April, likely a result of too much training, and failed to hit my form for Sea Otter. About a month later, mid May, after I had reduced volume an hour or 2 per week and backed off the interval training, the rest finally caught up and I have been feeling great ever since with best mid season performance ever.

    I have a tuff time dialing back the load, my coach knows it, but we roll with it. I generally find that if I pull back the load just a little, the rest will catch up in a few weeks and things will start rocking.

    I quit worrying about it. I like to ride, train and race, and would rather keep it rolling and let the form come when it wants. Generally when racing a lot I will get in a short taper every week and over time that extra short bit of rest will catch up and the good vibes come.

    Its impossible to feel great all the time, and those deep holes usually have a payback for me. It takes a higher than normal load of hard work to dig the hole, but that hard work turns into improved performance when the rest catches up and thats when I really start showing up to races with motivation and great legs.

    If the season was short, I'd try and work it with more smarts, but with races from March to August, followed by all the great Summer riding opportunities, I'm ok with some periods of fatigue that limit my potential.

    I know I have a foot in the hole when motivation is low and top end is just not happening. But races and tapers usually clear it up, and the performance is always a welcome surprise and usually better than I had hoped.

    Thats one of the cool things about a power meter.. you can really see the upturns and plateaus. During the plateaus I just do what I want.. try to see it for what it is, and wait it out. But no doubt, those periods of over-reaching can have sweet paybacks when the rest catches up.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by perryr
    Hey Ponch,

    I have a tuff time dialing back the load, my coach knows it, but we roll with it. I generally find that if I pull back the load just a little, the rest will catch up in a few weeks and things will start rocking.

    I quit worrying about it. I like to ride, train and race, and would rather keep it rolling and let the form come when it wants. Generally when racing a lot I will get in a short taper every week and over time that extra short bit of rest will catch up and the good vibes come.

    Its impossible to feel great all the time, and those deep holes usually have a payback for me. It takes a higher than normal load of hard work to dig the hole, but that hard work turns into improved performance when the rest catches up and thats when I really start showing up to races with motivation and great legs.

    I know I have a foot in the hole when motivation is low and top end is just not happening. But races and tapers usually clear it up, and the performance is always a welcome surprise and usually better than I had hoped.

    Thats one of the cool things about a power meter.. you can really see the upturns and plateaus. During the plateaus I just do what I want.. try to see it for what it is, and wait it out. But no doubt, those periods of over-reaching can have sweet paybacks when the rest catches up.
    Thanks perry, excellent stuff.......as usual.

    The coach gave me some long Sunday group rides (3-4 hours) instead of the typical long Aerobic rides in the schedule (day after a race), plus tough Threshold or tempo intervals midweek; a few weeks of that put me in a good hole all of June. Went from a consistent contender in every race (Master's Cat 4 road races) in May to getting popped off the back in June (yes, the very back). Wow!! what a difference. Other circumstances might have played as well (work stress, summer heat, etc.).

    You're definitely correct about one thing: power meter says the power is there (barely), but no pop in races. Good big engine, but no snap. I also lacked the legs to push a big gear.

    "A" race coming at the end of July, and I can see the weekly schedule lightening up. So hopefully the magic legs will come back like they were in early May. One more top 5 and I'll be a Masters Cat 3. So it will be like racing 40+X again......maybe even worst.

    (BTW, last week did an MTB race and it was smokin' fast. 1st and 2nd in the 40X had the fastest overall expert times. I finished seventh and way, way behind those guys)

  10. #10
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    perry and ponch, do you guys use Training Stress Balance scores to help plan tapers?

    I've been paying attention to CTL, ATL, and TSB in my WKO+ software. I had not planned on tapering, but work seriously reduced my riding one week and I headed out for a yearly vacation. I didn't plan on tapering and wasn't racing, but I did an uphill time trial on vacation (it is one I've done every year for the past 3 years) and hit a big time personal PR. When I got around to inputting my rides, I noticed that by Training Stress Balance for the time around when I did the time trial was probably perfect for racing. It was all kind of accidental, not planned, but it was pretty interesting to see that my TSB was just where it ought to be for a peak effort on a day that I attempted a TT and had a big time personal best. (I shaved 4 minutes off an uphill time trial from 24 minutes to under 20)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli
    The coach gave me some long Sunday group rides (3-4 hours) instead of the typical long Aerobic rides in the schedule (day after a race), plus tough Threshold or tempo intervals midweek; a few weeks of that put me in a good hole all of June. Went from a consistent contender in every race (Master's Cat 4 road races) in May to getting popped off the back in June (yes, the very back). Wow!! what a difference. Other circumstances might have played as well (work stress, summer heat, etc.).
    I'd experience the same, without the work stress etc.. the extra volume with intensity definitely takes a lot of energy.

    I'm sure you do, but when the load ramps up, I make sure to keep the carbs elevated, and it makes a differnce for me. Sometimes the dull legs can be glycogen depletion, even if your eating enough carbs. But when the going gets hard, I like to error on the side of 'too many", as long as my weight is static.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback
    perry and ponch, do you guys use Training Stress Balance scores to help plan tapers?

    I've been paying attention to CTL, ATL, and TSB in my WKO+ software. I had not planned on tapering, but work seriously reduced my riding one week and I headed out for a yearly vacation. I didn't plan on tapering and wasn't racing, but I did an uphill time trial on vacation (it is one I've done every year for the past 3 years) and hit a big time personal PR. When I got around to inputting my rides, I noticed that by Training Stress Balance for the time around when I did the time trial was probably perfect for racing. It was all kind of accidental, not planned, but it was pretty interesting to see that my TSB was just where it ought to be for a peak effort on a day that I attempted a TT and had a big time personal best. (I shaved 4 minutes off an uphill time trial from 24 minutes to under 20)
    I usually have my best 10-15min after a good break. But for the 2hr or longer races I seem to do best in the 0 to +10 TSB. Sometimes I might hit close to a +20, but it doesn't seem to make things better than a +10. Over +10 seems to treat me better for the shorter stuff, and possibly the very long stuff (4hr+).

  13. #13
    Towlie for prez
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    I always seem to get aches and pains during a taper.Seems ironic,but I guess it's a response to your body being accustomed to a certain amount of "stress" during the build/peak stages.I would caution not to go anerobic for more than short periods of time as you get closer to race day,and keep the cadence high.I am in my forties,and recovery becomes more and more important.You young guns wont need to be as careful,Boy I miss those days!

  14. #14
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    Long time lurker but post over at RBR occasionally,
    Just want add a BIG + 1 to basically everything perryr has written,
    l also train and race with power and everything peryr has written is me down to a tee, and it's exactly what l've learned and experianced over the years.
    My best form comes when l don't taper for too long or esle l get the swolen heavy leg syndrome,
    l've also pretty much always got one foot in a hole and when motivation is low from training a race taper or short rest fixes that.
    My best form won't happen if l do too much HIT in the last 2wks even if l drop volume right down.

    Basiclly for an A race 14days out is my last HIT session like L6/7, AWC or 30's on/off stuff,
    ten days out some 3-5min VO2 efforts followed by some high tempo afterwards but not a full on VO2 session, then some SST in the last 5-10 days with a tune up ride `say wed if racing sat, thursday OFF and friday a short "opener" blast around the block friday (longer easier rides the day before don't make me any better race day and more often then not seem to hinder performance)
    so l just take the added rest.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by aussiebullet; 07-04-2010 at 07:27 PM.

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