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Back to back race weekends

Old 08-06-18, 07:46 PM
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oneandahalflegs
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Back to back race weekends

Looking for a little advice for how to taper for back to back race weekends. I have a 50 mile road race Sep 9 and a shorter, but hillier 33 mile road race on Sep 16th. These are my 2 "A" races for the year.

I am a 47 year old Cat 4 whose ridden about 4400 miles this year, with most weeks averaging 8-9 hours. In preparation for these races, i've upped my training the last month to 10-11 hours/week.

Normally, i do a recovery week about every 6 weeks to avoid burnout and overtraining. That would be this week for me, but with these 2 races 4-5 weeks out, i'm wondering if i should skip the recovery week and then try to taper a bit starting the week of the first race. I'm feeling pretty good right now, but don't want to get overtrained. On the other hand, i will need to be at my best to have a shot at a podium.

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-07-18, 03:56 PM
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I would keep training and taper a week prior, but monitor resting heart rate in the morning. If it goes up by 10% from normal then back off a bit. It's easiest to get consistent readings if you have a wearable like an apple watch or fitbit that automatically takes you're resting rate. I have a hard time getting a really consistent number when I wake up depending on how far across the bed i have to roll to get to the alarm and dont have the discipline to wait a few mins for it to drop again after turing off the alarm. My apple watch seems to give a very consistent resting rate every morning that will go up and down as I would expect with training load. If I have a few hard days it will approach or exceed the 10% and If I take a few days off it goes down below normal by a few beats.

Monitoring power and how you feel is a good measure that can help you complete the picture.
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Old 08-07-18, 04:21 PM
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You're not going to lose much by taking a recovery week now. I would just stick with the plan, but when in doubt don't be afraid to take a day off. The week before the first race, drop the volume but keep the intensity. Same with the week in between.
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Old 08-07-18, 06:20 PM
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I just went through this at the end of July. I had my 3 end-of-season hard rides, the first 2 a week apart, then the 3rd 10 days later. Even after taking it for 20 years, it's still very hard for me to predict what my MRHR will be the day of. I now use Trainingpeaks to predict my day-of-ride form. I scheduled training to produce a Training Stress Balance (TSB) of 10-15 for each ride. My tapers before and between consisted of relatively short moderate rides with 90-second intervals, enough to produce the specified TSB. For recovery, the day after each of the first two rides I went hiking, staying in zone 1. Good for the legs and butt.

Of course the OP probably doesn't use Trainingpeaks, but just an idea for the future. Works well for me.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:47 PM
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Thanks for the replies, I think I'll continue with training volume and monitor resting hr carefully to make sure I don't over do it. Hoping to be at my best in a month.
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Old 08-08-18, 08:14 PM
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At 4400 miles for the year, that's less than 160 per week. I do not see that on a physical level that with such low mileage that any "tapering" is necessary. If you simply give yourself off the Friday before the race weekend, that should be plenty. I do not know what type of training you are doing during your training rides. I does not sound like a whole lot to me, when I was racing a lot, I would do these hundred mile hilly rides in the Santa Cruz mountains on Monday and Wednsday and do 25 mile criteriums on Tuesday and Thursday nights, take Friday off and I always felt great at the weekend races.
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Old 08-09-18, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
At 4400 miles for the year, that's less than 160 per week. I do not see that on a physical level that with such low mileage that any "tapering" is necessary. If you simply give yourself off the Friday before the race weekend, that should be plenty.
I agree, if you were putting in 15-20 hrs/week training for iron man it would be a different story, but most guys training 6-8 hrs/week probably won't be carrying that much fatigue to need a full week-long taper unless they're doing all intensity all of the time (and those guys are usually well into burnout phase by this time of year, if they're even still racing).

Since they're both Sunday races, take Friday off and do an easy ride on Saturday. But otherwise stick to your normal week, maybe cut volume a little bit (but not much). I'd probably make the weekend before the first race harder than usual (I find that after a really big weekend I seem to get a nice bounce later in the week).
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