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Rest vs. Training: Preparing for a Century(6 posts)

Rest vs. Training: Preparing for a CenturyMeDotOrg
Apr 24, 2001 1:46 PM
Okay, after hearing of Doug Sloan's exploits the past week, I'm somewhat embarrassed to even ask the question, but that's the way it is for us mere mortals.

I'm riding a Century this coming Saturday (San Luis Obispo Wildflower). My typical riding week can range anywhere between 130-300 miles. Here's what I've done in the previous week:

Saturday: 65 miles (AIDS ride – good pace and some good hills)

Sunday: 15 miles (recuperate – a lot of hill climbing in Twin Peaks area).

Monday: 42 miles: (San Francisco to Fairfax and back, relatively flat and fast.)

Tuesday: 72 miles (San Francisco to Lagunitas and back via Tiburon Loop).

My question is this: How and when should I taper off? I have to drive to San Luis Obispo on Friday, so I'm not planning on doing any riding that day. But should Wednesday and Thursday be light days? What do people suggest? What do the training gurus say? Any and all feedback appreciated.
Taper NowSimpleGreen
Apr 24, 2001 2:31 PM
Yep, wed and thur should be light = 30-45 min in small
gears with absolutely no training load.

On friday, try to go for a 1 hour ride if you can with a couple of short but hard efforts--like 2 or 3 sprints (not all out) for 10 seconds. I know you have to drive, but you might want to take your trainer and at least spin in the room you are staying at for a little, just to get the kinks out of the legs. If you have access to a jacuzzi, that can also be nice before and after.

If you can't ride on fri, no big deal. Just stretch after a hot shower or bath and get the legs loose. 3 days easy will make you feel stronger on sat. You're ready.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!

re: Rest vs. Training: Preparing for a Centurynuke
Apr 24, 2001 2:47 PM
I would agree with the other poster....just keep it simple and light. I really think the BIG thing for any new rider to learn about doing a being able to spend the saddle time on the bike for that long. You've already done 72 and really, if you can do that, you can do 100. The only difference is that you'll have to recover a bit more to go a bit farther. I would think that you're taking stops to drink and eat and those times will be perfectly adequate for you to recover. If you find yourself hitting a wall (it getting really hard to keep going) in the 80 mile mark or later, just pull off, sit down and drink some water for a bit. You'll recover enough to make it through.

by the way...did you ever do any of the TTAR's?
should have no problemDaveG
Apr 24, 2001 2:59 PM
Based upon the mileage you have been doing and the fact that you have completed some longer rides, you will be fine. As suggested take it light from here on out. good luck
Thanks to all for your repliesMeDotOrg
Apr 24, 2001 3:19 PM
I'll take it light the next 2 days, and I'll do a 10 mile ride before I take off for San Luis Obispo on Friday.

This is actually my 2nd Century (did Solvang on March 10). I think I'll be OK with the distance, but I've heard different theories about "tapering off", some people say you shouldn't ride at ALL for 2 days before. That seems counterintuitive to mee - an easy-spinning 10-25 mile ride would keep you limber without taxing your reserves...

Thanks again for the feedback.
Taper for longerPing Pong
Apr 25, 2001 4:43 AM
My understanding of tapering is that it should cover a longer period than 2 or three days. It is not something you can do effectively on a weekly basis. If you are still trying to get fit by training 3 or 4 days before a big event then maybe you are leaving it a bit late.

I think a full week or 10 days is ideal. I have tried 10 days, it was a bit nerve racking after investing so much effort in training to drastically reduce it so soon before an event. During the 10 days I did only a few intense rides to maintain form. The day before the event (50 mile TT) I did a shortish ride with a few hard efforts thrown in. On the day I was feeling so powerfull and mentally focussed that I smashed my pb.

Of course this sort of taper is not possible if you race every weekend but for your big objectives the best thing to do is to get the training in early, get plenty of rest before you peak.
I know Chris Boardman used a lengthy tapering period and that scientific data backs this idea up, there are loads of sites full of this sort of stuff.

3 days should be enough to rest up well, but could still leave deeper underlying fatigue if your training has been hard for the last month. Whatever I am sure you will manage the distance no probs.