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Last week before a large event

Old 06-13-22, 11:42 AM
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oik01
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Last week before a large event

So I am currently looking at doing my first ever cycling event on Saturday. It was a late sign up and it will be the longest ride of my cycling journey so far ( 142 miles, 10000 ft of climbing).
I did two mostly zone two rides this weekend. My CTL was around 52 two weeks ago and is perhaps 50 now. If I do nothing for the rest of the week, my TSB would rise to 14 bringing me close to the 15-30 range I read about for a big race day. My coach instead scheduled a lot of rides for me including a 46 TSS ride just the night before. Is that common? Im 34, work a challenging full time job, and am relatively new to cycling ( 2 years of doing it more regularly, FTP is probably around 220 +-). I was surprised at doing any more training this week so a 46 TSS workout the night before a very early really long event struck me as odd. I have no experience though so just wanted to hear from others how common this is.
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Old 06-14-22, 09:27 AM
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You have a coach?

Trust your coach. Don't try to make us second guess their recommendation when they know more about you than we ever will.
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Old 06-14-22, 09:30 AM
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I would maybe be able to help you if I knew what CTL, TSB, TSS and FTP were.

I just go ride and don't think about those things...Whatever they are.
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Old 06-14-22, 10:05 AM
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I would be off the bike after a long-ish ride Wednesday, except perhaps for an easy ride of an hour or less the following two days. Your coach must think you're phenomenally fit to schedule something like that for you -- or perhaps s/he got your event schedule confused with someone else. Might be worth asking.
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Old 06-14-22, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
So I am currently looking at doing my first ever cycling event on Saturday. It was a late sign up and it will be the longest ride of my cycling journey so far ( 142 miles, 10000 ft of climbing).
I did two mostly zone two rides this weekend. My CTL was around 52 two weeks ago and is perhaps 50 now. If I do nothing for the rest of the week, my TSB would rise to 14 bringing me close to the 15-30 range I read about for a big race day. My coach instead scheduled a lot of rides for me including a 46 TSS ride just the night before. Is that common? Im 34, work a challenging full time job, and am relatively new to cycling ( 2 years of doing it more regularly, FTP is probably around 220 +-). I was surprised at doing any more training this week so a 46 TSS workout the night before a very early really long event struck me as odd. I have no experience though so just wanted to hear from others how common this is.
My day before event warm-up is a 45 TSS session on the turbo trainer. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it's normal to do this kind of workout the day before a big event. They are commonly known as "Openers" or "Primers".
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Old 06-14-22, 05:36 PM
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I'm 77, so I only did 32 TSS the day before my birthday miles ride. Had a very good ride.
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Old 06-14-22, 06:12 PM
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You're asking opinions and they will vary.

In your circumstance with a high pressure job and an early morning Saturday start on a very difficult event for which you are maybe just sufficiently fit, I would NOT do a ride at all on Friday evening. Spend the time making sure you have everything ready and relax.

So, I am twice your age or so. Last Saturday, I did 300km with 12,800 feet per my Garmin. I did nothing thurs and friday. My CTL dropped a bit to 66.1 and my TSB was positive 7 on Saturday. On Wednesday, I did a warm up and one pretty hard 15 minute hill climb at 317 watts ave., turn around and went home. Normally, I would prefer to have a higher CTL but I had had some bad injuries and a late start this year.

Did I make a mistake? Or do I just know my body? I hit 177 PB or tied for PB on the route. I took 1 hour and 6 minutes off my previous best time. So, the two rest days did not hurt me. I took the rest because the course was difficult and I wanted sort of fresh legs. You are much younger and might be able to train all week as directed by Coach. In my case, this ride was not an important ride but given my modest endurance level, it made sense for me to take 2 zeros leading into a long hard ride that I had to wake up at 3 am to get to.
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Old 06-15-22, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You're asking opinions and they will vary.

In your circumstance with a high pressure job and an early morning Saturday start on a very difficult event for which you are maybe just sufficiently fit, I would NOT do a ride at all on Friday evening. Spend the time making sure you have everything ready and relax.

So, I am twice your age or so. Last Saturday, I did 300km with 12,800 feet per my Garmin. I did nothing thurs and friday. My CTL dropped a bit to 66.1 and my TSB was positive 7 on Saturday. On Wednesday, I did a warm up and one pretty hard 15 minute hill climb at 317 watts ave., turn around and went home. Normally, I would prefer to have a higher CTL but I had had some bad injuries and a late start this year.

Did I make a mistake? Or do I just know my body? I hit 177 PB or tied for PB on the route. I took 1 hour and 6 minutes off my previous best time. So, the two rest days did not hurt me. I took the rest because the course was difficult and I wanted sort of fresh legs. You are much younger and might be able to train all week as directed by Coach. In my case, this ride was not an important ride but given my modest endurance level, it made sense for me to take 2 zeros leading into a long hard ride that I had to wake up at 3 am to get to.
When I do those really early starts, i move my bed and waking times an hour/day over as many days as necessary so that on event day, I have had my normal sleep the night before.

My personal experience is that doing openers the day before makes me faster for the first few hours, then not so much, maybe slower thereafter. I usually take 2 days off before a big event. Whether or not a century counts as such is probably a function of training state.
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Old 06-15-22, 05:43 PM
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Regarding early starts on event days, I find it makes little difference to my performance as long as I've been getting good quality sleep in the week leading up to the event. But I wouldn't attempt to do an Openers session the night before. I would aim to do it earlier in the day.
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Old 06-15-22, 06:31 PM
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If I were paying a coach, I'd follow their program instead of soliciting opinions from randos on the internet.
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Old 06-15-22, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
When I do those really early starts, i move my bed and waking times an hour/day over as many days as necessary so that on event day, I have had my normal sleep the night before.

My personal experience is that doing openers the day before makes me faster for the first few hours, then not so much, maybe slower thereafter. I usually take 2 days off before a big event. Whether or not a century counts as such is probably a function of training state.
46 TSS ride the night before a long ride makes no sense to me for someone with a CTL of 50 doing a very early ride of 142 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing for a rider with a stressful career. The glycogen loss alone makes that session a waste. Openers are good for crits or short duration, high intensity races. They do nothing for a 7-10 hour endurance event like this one. A better question would be why is the coach allowing OP to do an event for which he/she is not prepared and then trying to train right into the event. My first thought was to fire that coach.
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Old 06-15-22, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
46 TSS ride the night before a long ride makes no sense to me for someone with a CTL of 50 doing a very early ride of 142 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing for a rider with a stressful career. The glycogen loss alone makes that session a waste. Openers are good for crits or short duration, high intensity races. They do nothing for a 7-10 hour endurance event like this one. A better question would be why is the coach allowing OP to do an event for which he/she is not prepared and then trying to train right into the event. My first thought was to fire that coach.
I'm ancient and plan and hope to have a CTL of 67 the day before my July event ride, and that's after an 10 day active taper down from 79. I've been doing this sort of thing for a couple decades and have experimented on myself quite a bit. I won't be fast, but I should finish comfortably. Well, actually I'll be pretty tired. Only 145 miles and 8,000' this year. A lot of that gain will be in one 3500' pass climb. I'll do a 3000' climb a few weeks earlier, which should give me a good idea of correct pacing this year.

The final taper I'm using this year starts 7 days before my event. I'll do 4 X 30" X 4 (full throttle for 30") the first day, then decrease the reps by one each day and then 2 days off.
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Old 06-16-22, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
46 TSS ride the night before a long ride makes no sense to me for someone with a CTL of 50 doing a very early ride of 142 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing for a rider with a stressful career. The glycogen loss alone makes that session a waste. Openers are good for crits or short duration, high intensity races. They do nothing for a 7-10 hour endurance event like this one. A better question would be why is the coach allowing OP to do an event for which he/she is not prepared and then trying to train right into the event. My first thought was to fire that coach.
Yeah I agree the night before is too late. At that point you might as well just go to sleep. I do find Openers work for me though. If my event (usually a hard, fast century Sportive) is on a Sunday I will typically take Friday off and then do my Openers on Saturday morning. If I take 2 full days off I feel flat as a pancake when I get back on the bike. For a major event I will taper for the last week, with much reduced volume, but retain some intensity.
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Old 06-16-22, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Yeah I agree the night before is too late. At that point you might as well just go to sleep. I do find Openers work for me though. If my event (usually a hard, fast century Sportive) is on a Sunday I will typically take Friday off and then do my Openers on Saturday morning. If I take 2 full days off I feel flat as a pancake when I get back on the bike. For a major event I will taper for the last week, with much reduced volume, but retain some intensity.
The thing is this, you have been doing endurance riding for a long time and have years or decades of experience. A rolling 100 mile charity event ridden fast for you might be 5 hours (or less) and since it could be fast from the start, openers the day before make sense to be able to access power and speed from the start. A 140 mile 10,000 elevation event for someone with fewer years and less preparation makes it more of an energy limited exercise. A better approach would be lower the glycogen stores on Wednesday and then try to fill them up (supercomp) on Thursday and Friday.

If I was doing a 20 mile Crit on Saturday, you better believe I would do some short quick efforts the night before. A 10-14 hour slog of a ride? Why? Most riders in these kinds of long events would be lucky to hold 70% of FTP and conservation of glycogen is an important factor in success.
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Old 06-16-22, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
The thing is this, you have been doing endurance riding for a long time and have years or decades of experience. A rolling 100 mile charity event ridden fast for you might be 5 hours (or less) and since it could be fast from the start, openers the day before make sense to be able to access power and speed from the start. A 140 mile 10,000 elevation event for someone with fewer years and less preparation makes it more of an energy limited exercise. A better approach would be lower the glycogen stores on Wednesday and then try to fill them up (supercomp) on Thursday and Friday.

If I was doing a 20 mile Crit on Saturday, you better believe I would do some short quick efforts the night before. A 10-14 hour slog of a ride? Why? Most riders in these kinds of long events would be lucky to hold 70% of FTP and conservation of glycogen is an important factor in success.
I think you are right there. My 100 mile rides are typically a hammerfest, especially in the first hour. Hardly what you would call a leisurely ride!
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Old 06-17-22, 11:33 AM
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As an update to everyone, it became quickly clear to me that opinions on this will vary. I ultimately compromised with my coach and skipped one workout and made the two others shorter. For today, I woke up at 5 AM to do the opener which is good to start shifting my wake time. I did cut if short though so TSS was 33. My dashboard is projecting a TSB of 6 instead of the previous 1 if I had stuck to the schedule exactly.

I am feeling positive and will try to keep myself within my limits. Hopefully I can find a group that rides my pace and just stick with them. I will keep everyone updated. Thank you all for the feedback.
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Old 06-20-22, 09:27 AM
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I entered a six hour mountain bike race Saturday. Last minute decision and literally signed up 10 minutes before the start time. I rode 14-1/2 miles of the course Friday night then woke up the next day and decided to race. Took 3rd place...58.72 miles of riding mountain bike trails for 6 hours. WoooEEE!!!
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Old 06-21-22, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I entered a six hour mountain bike race Saturday. Last minute decision and literally signed up 10 minutes before the start time. I rode 14-1/2 miles of the course Friday night then woke up the next day and decided to race. Took 3rd place...58.72 miles of riding mountain bike trails for 6 hours. WoooEEE!!!
I wish I had that kind of fitness. Great job man!
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Old 06-21-22, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
As an update to everyone, it became quickly clear to me that opinions on this will vary. I ultimately compromised with my coach and skipped one workout and made the two others shorter. For today, I woke up at 5 AM to do the opener which is good to start shifting my wake time. I did cut if short though so TSS was 33. My dashboard is projecting a TSB of 6 instead of the previous 1 if I had stuck to the schedule exactly.

I am feeling positive and will try to keep myself within my limits. Hopefully I can find a group that rides my pace and just stick with them. I will keep everyone updated. Thank you all for the feedback.
As a final update, I did workout during the week as mentioned above. i skipped one workout ( because life happened). Ultimately I started the fondo with a TSB of 6. I felt great. I finished it averaging 16.2 miles per hour ( not the best), but I did feel like I could've done a bit more too. It was around 8 hours 45 minutes of cycling and my legs felt great at the end still. The one difficulty I had was with the steepest climb in the last 2 miles and it wasn't about fatigue but gearing and actual power. I could've done it but I had no will to go to max heart rate at that point. I stopped for a moment then zigzacked up that part ( many were walking their bikes so not the worst). I think for my goals ( finishing), this was a great outcome. Hopefully I can make some gains over the coming year and come back next year with a specific time in mind ( and probably a bigger range cassette).
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