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Tapering for a race(6 posts)

Tapering for a raceMichelle
May 15, 2001 3:02 PM
I'm a first year racer, dont have a sophisticated training plan, but train daily (~12hrs/wk). I've got a stage race this weekend and was told to "taper" for it. What does that mean exactly?
Do you only taper for events you're peaking for?
How much should you cut back on daily training? (ex. only do low/mod intensity rides)

Any help is always appreciated!
re: Tapering for a raceMichelle
May 15, 2001 3:25 PM
This article seems to shed some light on the idea....
The thin endKerry Irons
May 15, 2001 7:19 PM
Tapering is 1) pretty personal 2) dependent on your current level of fitness 3) dependent on how stressed you are from training 4) dependent on how intense and/or long the event will be. However, a general guideline would be to drop your volume to between 75% and 50% of your previous level for 3-5 days before the event. This is a pretty broad range, but given the above uncertainties, not surprising. If you're really hammered from training and it's going to be a long, hard event, cut your volume by 50% (half as much time) for the 5 days preceeding the event. On the day before the event, do a low intensity recovery ride, but throw in a few jumps to remind your body that there will be racing tomorrow! If you're feeling pretty good and the race won't be too long/hard, cut volume to 75% for 3 days prior. The day prior to the even is the same. General guidelines that you will have to adapt to your own experience and body responses.
Round NumbersBreck
May 16, 2001 7:59 AM
Just my "plan".

Taper down to bout 25% your bike volume a few days before the race; maybe zero the day before.

Increase the carbo calories about 25% last few days; EZ the day before & hydrate well.

Try and relax during the race. Your training has got you to the level you can compete at. Relax = speed. Don't tense up. Enjoy the race. Don't wish it over too soon though of course you are trying for PR's. Remind your self while you are in the race it won't come round again for a year; enjoy it :) & try not to leave your best miles on the training road. Save some for the race. Increase your base slowly as this increases your reserves and less chance of injury or staleness for tomorrow. The most important thing is that you be riding this time next year.

Great AdviceMaillot Rouge
May 17, 2001 2:00 PM
That's some of the best advice I've read on this board. You're right on with the relaxing thing. It's such a hard thing to do when you're taveling to a race but it pays bigtime to stay relaxed and don't let little things strees you out. I knew a guy that almost freaked out because he couldn't find his gloves. I finally ocnvinced him that all he needed was is bike, shoes and helmet, anything else is a luxury.
historical note:Breck
May 18, 2001 10:34 AM
summer gloves were originally used to clean or sweep the debris off the front and rear tires. i posted a note on this under Big Ring on the old board. tricky business and few do it today. ride over road debris and then clean off the front and rear tires as you ride using the crotch of the glove between your thumb and index finger. but don't lose a finger over this if it makes you nervous, etc.

too much time and concern is wasted mumbling over weight charts, diets, heart rate monitors, components, etc. the idea is to do the run; ride the bike. race or not. too many think their net worth is tied to their performance. the bike is a means of expressing your self. you want to excel in races but it is somewhat genetically controlled. the important thing is too do it,and not just watch. be friendly & fair in the races and do your best. you are simply in a phase of specific training and racing at this point in time. it may pass. don't pass up any opps when you have the urge or "need" at any point in time at any sport or endavour . control your sport and do not let it control you. be riding this time next year and you will have done all the right things.