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hamstrichhamstrich Posts: 112
I have my first sportive (Cotswold Spring Classic, 105 miles) coming up on Easter Monday, and I was wondering what the best plan would be with regard to the next few days' riding. The terrain is going to be hiller than what I'm used to, so I need to make sure that I'm on the best possible form on the big day.

I've heard that easing off or 'tapering' is the done thing - but how much should I be cutting back on my normal training? And should I be reducing just my milage, or my intensity as well?

My training has mainly consisted of shorter (1 - 1.5 hr) interval/turbo sessions a couple of times a week, with longer (50 - 70 mile) rides at the weekends.

Any advice is appreciated!


  • You basically want to do enough to keep the form you're in but not enough to induce any training load. Your workouts should be specific as well. With a sportif that's a difficult balance as you'll be riding for a long time. However, 1 or 2 hillyish rides at a kind of 5 or 6 out of ten level of percieved effort, climbing as you intend to climb on the day should be about right.

    You need to ensure you fully recover from each effort before the ride too. You know your recovery better than I do but my normal "taper" for a long sportif efforton a sunday, for example, would be

    Monday: Rest

    Tuesday: 1.5 or 2 hours hilly. Expected level of effort on the hills, easy inbetween

    Wednesday: Rest

    Thursday: Rest

    Friday: As Tuesday

    Saturday: Rest

    Sunday: Sportif.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Tapering relates more to racing where pure performance matters more - but that doesn't mean you should overdo it just because you're 'only' riding a sportive - especially a long one.

    Basically the type of training you are doing now is fine for the next few days (shorter turbo/interval sessions). Stay away from a really long ride now until the actual day (so don't do 100 miles on Saturday!). And the day before - just rest up or go for a very easy hour long ride to keep your legs loose.

    Mostly enjoy yourself on Monday!
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    I read recently that it's better to reduce the mileage but retain the intensity, as you taper towards the big day. That way, your body is still in full-on mode but you're not that tired. Then eat loads the day before...
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • You don't ride enough to need a taper. Just don't flog yourself the day before.
    Get out and enjoy it! :D
  • celbianchicelbianchi Posts: 854
    Agree with some of the comments above,

    UK sportives aren't races are they. Just treat it as any other ride.
    I don't mean that to sound belittling, but it's not a race.

    As Alex says - I don't think your volume requires a taper either, you're getting rest between your week day sessions anyhow.
  • hamstrichhamstrich Posts: 112
    Thanks for the advice chaps :D
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