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  1. #1
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    The Week Before the Race

    I've been training for the past 2 months in preparation for the Bidwell Bump in Chico, CA. While I've ridden long road rides and centuries, this will be my first mountain bike race. I've been putting in 3 15-20 mile rides in each week and a couple shorter rides, usually between 60-80 miles weekly. My question is how much should I ride/rest the week before the race? 1-2 riding days, no riding, light riding, 2 day break before, etc?

    The race is this Saturday and the entire course is about 14 miles long with 2100 feet of climbing. I live here so I've ridden the course many times over the past couple months. I have no illusions about taking first place vs. the professional racers but I of course want to do my personal best and post a respectable time. Your help is very much appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    it depends on fitness, and many other variables. if you have been training for two months it sounds like maybe a mini peak is what you are looking for.

    here is a week before a sunday race for one of my mini peaks:

    Mondays are always off for me
    Tuesday intense medium duration ride (for me this means 1-1.5 hrs)
    Wednesday low to moderate intensity longer duration ride (2hrs)
    Thursday same as Tuesday with a bit lower relative intensity
    Friday off or 1hr super easy spin
    Saturday 1 hr easy with "openers" - this means go hard on a few short climbs (1minute duration) and then shut it down, i prefer to do this workout on the course to "pre ride" if possible.
    Sunday Race

    it is hard to draw a direct correlation though as I normally train 6 days/week, i have no idea what your specific volume/intensity looks like. it would be smart to do less than your normal weeks, whatever volume/intensity you have trained to.
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  3. #3
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    I like to cut down the volume (amount of time spent training) and up the intensity the week before. So short rides are full race pace, preferably on terrain that simulates the course (if it's a steep course, do some steep climbs). I try to balance rest (very important) with sharpness (also important) so I follow a plane like whybotherme recommends above of:
    -Short but intense Mon and/or Tues,
    -Short but intense Wed and/or Thurs,
    -Friday off,
    -Very short and intense workout on Sat
    -Sunday Race

    Don't forget to warm up & fuel properly - GOOD LUCK!

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the input! Since the race is Saturday, this is what I'm thinking:

    Today - Off (Rode 18m yesterday at race pace)
    Tuesday - 12 miles, fast pace
    Wednesday - 8 miles, short intense climbs on the course
    Thursday - Off
    Friday - 30 minute high intensity on the course
    Saturday - Race @ 9:00am
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  5. #5
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    Besides training you should really pay attention to sleep and food the week on the race as well.

  6. #6
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    Tuesday might be a little much, although this isn't bad for a B priority race. When tapering you need to balance the short term benefit of better performance from being fresh on race-day with the long term cost of training less during the taper. Taper more for higher priority races, though beginners should probably taper less than more experienced riders.

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