Friday, May 30, 2008

Tapering for the BIG Event

Ok, you've got a BIG race coming up and you're wondering how much/how little training you should do with the remaining days. Train too much up until the event and your legs will be tired, train too little and you'll be stale. But, what is too much...or too little? To peak for the BIG event, you want to reduce your training volume the week before but maintain the intensity. So, if you've been averaging say 200 miles per week on the road, cut it down to less than half of that..around 75 miles per week. Continue doing interval training because that will help retain muscle enzymes that help you process lactate. This type of taper combines rest with intensity. It allows recovery but encourages speed. Fast riding will also allow your neuromuscular system to stay accustomed to going fast when you ask it to go fast during the event.

Say you have a 40k TT coming up. If so, do 5 min. intervals at race pace intensity (L4/L5). If you're doing a shorter TT or a Crit, do 3 min. intervals instead. Remember, you don't want to do too many of these intervals. You're just trying to give your legs a wake-up call without tiring them out.

Here's a sample pre-week interval workout for a 10 mi. TT I have coming up. Don't forget to warm-up for at least 15 minutes prior to the intervals:
Day 7- 5x3 at L4/L5
Day 6- 4x3 at L4/L5
Day 5- 3x3 at L4/L5
Day 4- 2x3 at L5
Day 3- 1x3 at L6
Day 2- 30-60 minutes of easy riding at L2/L3
Day 1- Race Day

Go Fast! Good Luck! Have Fun! Coach Rob

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