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  1. #1
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Any coaches about who can give tapering tips?

    I have a very important race coming on December 4th. In that race, a time trial, I will not only face off against the current national champion in the event, but I want to make a run at the state record. I am in monster shape right now at the final stages of peaking, and want to come to the line that day at my absolute peak. I have tried different tapering strategies, but I would be curious to glean a scientific approach being well aware that each of us is an experiment of one.

    To be more specific, I am particularly concerned about the three days prior to the race. The race will be on Tuesday, and on Saturdays I typically ride with a rather fast group which contains everything from an ex Olympian to cat 1 riders. For example, yesterday on that ride, my heart rate averaged 160 to hang with the lead group whereas two weeks ago I won a road race with an average heart rate of 151. I'm wondering if I should participate in that ride on Saturday with the big race three days later on Tuesday?

    I don't want to let my body off the hook too much in that I think it is important to allow the body to dissipate lactic acid reasonably close to the race to prepare for battle. On my pre race time trial warmup, I typically warmup for a minimum of an hour, and do some race pace or perhaps slightly faster pickups during the latter stages of the warmup. I find that forcing the body to dissipate lactic acid close to the start seems to allow me to deal with the ensuing lactic acid a bit better.

    Anyway, what would be a good taper strategy in the opinion of any coaches hovering about for a very important race? Thanks for your input.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  2. #2
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    No science here, but I generally taper by maintaining the same intensity as usual, but with lower volume. I'll do three sprints instead of six, for instance. Four hill repeats instead of six.

    In your situation, I'd do the race, but not do much work. Maybe test the legs out by hauling a teammate up to a break, but maybe not. Whatever it takes to not feel like I worked too hard -- including a DNF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    No science here, but I generally taper by maintaining the same intensity as usual, but with lower volume.
    Pretty much what the science says, as well. Look up some articles by Mujica for details, but results show maintaining training intensity and frequency, dropping volume to 25% of pre-taper loads over 2 weeks is the best general plan (absent information about the specific athlete). A linear decrease is O.K. but an exponential decline was seen to work better.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    You two guys were the catalyst for doing a Google search, and I came upon some interesting information:

    http://www.sportvelo.com/tips/taper.htm

    It seems that the considerable tapering of mileage yet still maintaining intensity, if not perhaps even increasing it, for the mileage done is apparently the best formula. I intuitively believed that it would be important to generate some lactic acid even very close to race time would prove to be important. This study leads me to believe that a long, training hammerfest three days prior to the event would be counter productive.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  5. #5
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    Pretty much what the science says, as well. Look up some articles by Mujica for details, but results show maintaining training intensity and frequency, dropping volume to 25% of pre-taper loads over 2 weeks is the best general plan (absent information about the specific athlete). A linear decrease is O.K. but an exponential decline was seen to work better.
    Cool. Exponential which way? Quick drop off in the first week or in the 2nd week?

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    Senior Member zimbo's Avatar
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    I had my most important event of the year on a Monday but had a road race I really wanted to do the Saturday before. Because the Saturday race was only going to be about 90 minutes, I decided to do it with the "rule" being that I would sit in and only do one hard effort (at the end); if any breaks went off I was forbidden to chase or get involved. It worked well for me but only because my average power was lower than a normal ride, with a few spirited efforts in there due to the ebb and flow of the race.

    Had I thought the Saturday race was going to be a hammerfest, I would probably not have done it.

    --Steve

  7. #7
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Here is some more good info on tapering:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in...p/t-23150.html
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Here's another good articles on tapering:
    http://coaching.usolympicteam.com/co...nsf/v/560sec04

    But, be sure to keep careful track of all your training and resting variables over your taper. In my experience, tapering is highly subjective. The only way to know what works for you is to try, try and try again until you find out what combination of intensity and rest works best for you.

    Also, think carefully about this part: about 50% of tapering serves psychological benefits. If tapering makes you feel nervous because you think you're slacking off, consider doing a shorter taper.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Thanks, I just read the thread that you provided. I raced quite a bit this year, and my typical taper for more important events such as state and national championships consisted of doing about a 25-30 mile spin two days before the event, and doing 10-15 miles the day before with some pickups strong enough to generate some lactic acid in my legs. There was not a race that I didn't feel great, perhaps with one exception which was our state road race championship in which the temperature was in the 90s and the course was challenging. I didn't feel great lining up, wound up in a two man breakaway and fortunately my opponent puked on the last lap apparently feeling worse than I did so I won!

    This particular one coming up means a lot to me, and I have simply been pondering if perhaps there was some secret formula I could apply that would make me feel stronger than the usual "real strong" that I feel when I line up. I have meticulous records on every ride I have ever taken so I have a good historical database for looking back on what I did prior to extremely good performances. That being said, I am always searching for something more.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Cool. Exponential which way? Quick drop off in the first week or in the 2nd week?
    e^(-kt) so steeper at first then more gradual.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69 View Post
    This particular one coming up means a lot to me, and I have simply been pondering if perhaps there was some secret formula I could apply that would make me feel stronger than the usual "real strong" that I feel when I line up.

    im sure landis might be able to give you some help here.

  12. #12
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkizzle View Post
    im sure landis might be able to give you some help here.
    DocRay, is that you??
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  13. #13
    cmh
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    My legs feel the most sore following a hard workout two days after that ride and into the 3rd day if the workout is particularly long. So my best taper is to put in some intensity but less than 1 1/2 hour long ride 3 days before an event, completely off 2 days before, than a 1 hour ride with a few sprint efforts and 1 or 2, 5 min. efforts around LT the day before. Like many posts on BF, this is based on a study with n = 1, but it works for me.

    Good luck at your TT on Dec 4th - let us know how it goes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkizzle View Post
    im sure landis might be able to give you some help here.

    I know that is an effective, viable option, but alas, I cannot afford the stuff. I am relegated to getting whatever meager results I can from dedicated, hard training. Landis had the advantage of the aforementioned hard training plus his doping.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    My legs feel the most sore following a hard workout two days after that ride and into the 3rd day if the workout is particularly long. So my best taper is to put in some intensity but less than 1 1/2 hour long ride 3 days before an event, completely off 2 days before, than a 1 hour ride with a few sprint efforts and 1 or 2, 5 min. efforts around LT the day before. Like many posts on BF, this is based on a study with n = 1, but it works for me.

    Good luck at your TT on Dec 4th - let us know how it goes.
    Thanks cmh, I was looking back in my training records where I had a particularly incredible TT, and I was surprised to discover that my total mileage for the three days leading up to the event was only 25 paltry miles, but the formula worked! These days, my rest day is never less than 35 miles! I have to get it into my thick skull, that by the time you get to the last week, the work is done and one can probably only hurt rather than enhance performance by training hard.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69 View Post
    Landis had the advantage of the aforementioned hard training plus his doping.
    I see your knowledge of analytic chemistry runs as deep as your understanding of exercise physiology.

  17. #17
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    I see your knowledge of analytic chemistry runs as deep as your understanding of exercise physiology.

    Please, oh please oh negative one, tell me why I aced all of my chemistry courses in college, and please enlighten me more about exercise physiology - I currently hold only four current state racing championships, and took out a current national time trial champion in his event two weeks ago. One can always count on you to show up to infuse your negativity into every heretofore friendly, informative thread. I await your profound enlightenment, oh wise man from the West! But then again perhaps you take exception with me in that after reading all of the facts as presented, Landis' book, and reading Dr. Arnie Baker's treatise in defense of the doping one, I came to the conclusion that in this case where there was smoke there was a blaze! The man was once my hero - your Kool-Aid drinking notwithstanding, the man is an effing, dishonest bum. Damn, I wish I would say how I really feel about things.

    Now having said all of that, why don't you give us a demonstration of your profound knowledge of both analytical chemistry and exercise physiology? Perhaps you are alluding to the fact that analytical chemistry is the study of the chemical composition of natural and artificial materials - the artificiality both shown by Landis and the artificial chemicals with which he infused his lying body.

    Oh no, there goes the thread. I'm shutting down my computer - I fear to see the wrath that will be perpetrated on my innocent, bike riding *****.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69 View Post
    Please, oh please oh negative one, tell me why I aced all of my chemistry courses in college, and please enlighten me more about exercise physiology ...
    These are your words, not mine. I believe they speak for themself.
    "my typical taper for more important events such as state and national championships consisted of doing about a 25-30 mile spin two days before the event, and doing 10-15 miles the day before with some pickups strong enough to generate some lactic acid in my legs."

  19. #19
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    Last edited by Compressed; 11-19-07 at 01:54 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Thank you for a dose of reality compressed. I was about to continue my pi$$ing contest with this clown, but I too resemble your point! I usually stay away from this forum because it never fails that a good thread starts going downhill with the arrival of someone like assgel - proabably also an internet Rambo.
    Last edited by skydive69; 11-19-07 at 03:09 PM.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69 View Post
    it never fails that a good thread starts going downhill


    ...Which is why I posted that image. This is a good thread, let's keep it going.

  22. #22
    Ink-Stained Wretch pinky's Avatar
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    oh come on skydive, they really had chemistry back when you were in college??

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69 View Post
    I usually stay away from this forum because it never fails that a good thread starts going downhill with the arrival of someone like assgel - proabably also an internet Rambo.
    Right, I was the one who turned this into a doping discussion.

  24. #24
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Skydive69 - I see you have won the floridacycling.com picture contest. How many people did you call on to vote for that one?

  25. #25
    ambassador of good will *new*guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
    Skydive69 - I see you have won the floridacycling.com picture contest. How many people did you call on to vote for that one?



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