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Old 03-27-08, 08:31 PM   #1
edesros168
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Are you stronger if you take the day off before a race or ride some??

Hey all, I am a new cat 5 racer and have been loving it! I have been training pretty hard but my recovery isnt quite great yet. I feel some much stronger when I don't do anything the day before a race. Others have told me I am crazy for not warming up my legs the day before with an easy spin?? What do you all think?
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Old 03-27-08, 08:38 PM   #2
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Ride some, an hour or so. No long efforts, but I always do and have been recommended to do a couple of sprints and 1 min efforts. I have found this to be a good pre-race day routine.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:40 PM   #3
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Two words for the best pre-race prep:

Flick buggers.

That is all.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:47 PM   #4
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It really depends on your body. I find riding moderately hard the day before the race helps me.
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Old 03-27-08, 08:51 PM   #5
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During thhe summer I was doing a hard training crit on Tuesdays (up to 50 miles), then the next day I'd ro for a 60+ mile ride with the A group on the bike shop group ride. I always felt stronger on the Wednesday ride.
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Old 03-27-08, 09:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by edesros168 View Post
I feel some much stronger when I don't do anything the day before a race. Others have told me I am crazy for not warming up my legs the day before with an easy spin?? What do you all think?
I think we can flap our gums forever and it won't mean anything. I also think doing a test after a full rest the day before, and then a week or so later repeating the test with some kind of pre-race effort the day before should tell you what you need to know.
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Old 03-27-08, 10:39 PM   #7
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i think it just matters if you are in shape or not..
for 95% of trained bike racers, it will help more than hurt to go out for an hour and get some 2-3min race effort intervals in.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:26 PM   #8
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ride some and drinks lots of beer.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:18 AM   #9
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Beer. 2nd-ed.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:29 AM   #10
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If it's a big race, you certainly don't want to do a long hard effort the day before. But if you're racing every weekend, you don't necessarily want to lose a valuable training day every week and just take it easy - that won't help you overall.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:38 AM   #11
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If it's a big race, you certainly don't want to do a long hard effort the day before. But if you're racing every weekend, you don't necessarily want to lose a valuable training day every week and just take it easy - that won't help you overall.
+1.

I'd agree with this.

If I want to do well I need 2 hours the day before with a few good had efforts. Then spin my way home.

If I really, really want to do well then I do this for 2 days before the race. If I have tapered properly I usually come out flying.

A full day or two off before a race and I'm just as likely to be flat.

Try both and decide what works for you.
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Old 03-28-08, 06:43 AM   #12
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You may find that on the first day back on the bike after a day or more off, your legs swell up a bit for the first 20-30 minutes. Your legs won't feel very fast and in fact may feel sort of tight.

As a minimum (if possible) I warm up enough that my legs lose this feeling. This may be 30-45 minutes, including some spinning once my legs feel okay. This is based on training not-too-much - 0-5 hours a week. I would take the day prior (i.e. 2 days before the race) either off or go easy.

If I'm training more, 5-10 hours a week, I find that 1-1.5 hours on the bike is good, and I feel like I want to make one, maybe two jumps. By jumps I mean sub-max, sub-30 second efforts. I'd take the day prior off.

If I'm training a lot (for me), 10+ hours a week, I can do 2-3 hours with some efforts. Since this is a rarity for me I don't know my body too well but in Feb I did 3 hours of sprints the day before a long ride, then, the next day, after 5+ hours on the bike I did a series of jumps and sprints - and I was faster and stronger than I was the day before.

Overall though, I'd take the 2nd day before a race off and then do a shorter than normal training ride the day before the race. Hold back, don't go hard, and you'll be chomping at the bit on race day.

hope this helps,
cdr
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Old 03-28-08, 09:44 AM   #13
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It really depends on your body. I find riding moderately hard the day before the race helps me.
Yep. This thread should be a poll.

It also depends on your training schedule/program, age, and just who you were born as. When I was a teen, a good long ride the day before a crit was perfect. Now, my legs won't recover before start time, so I do a shorter ride or no ride at all. My current training schedule (Tue/Thu/Sat) was probably a factor in teaching my body to like a day of recovery in between workouts, while my training back then (every day of the week, even a recovery ride on Monday) probably taught me to recover more quickly.
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Old 03-28-08, 10:14 AM   #14
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I prefer a good solid 2hr ride, with a 10min and several 1min blowouts.

If I can't get at least an hour in the day before a race, I won't even bother to show up on Saturday; I'll just go for a long, hard training ride instead, and prepare myself for Sunday's race
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Old 03-29-08, 02:11 AM   #15
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Testosterone helps with muscle recovery, so if you are younger, then you may have more testosterone and can recover faster.
I don't know how much this changes over time, and how significant it is, so I will defer to those that have lots of testosterone. So, you may be able to put in a hard effort and have your muscles recover in time. But you won't make any significant gains in one day to risk tiring yourself out before an important race.

The consensus seems to be that you should get in a 1-2 hr ride with a few intense burts of speed to remind your body what those feel like, but don't do long sustained muscle-burning efforts.
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Old 03-29-08, 06:37 AM   #16
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I always do much better with a ride the day before...otherwise I feel sluggish.
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Old 03-29-08, 06:54 AM   #17
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I like to ride my MTB the day before a race. It's relaxing, and due to the nature of the trails here is generally chill with a few hard short efforts to get over technical bits and steep parts.
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