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Is there any need to taper and if so, what should it be?

barrybridgesbarrybridges Posts: 420
If you're building up your training towards a single event (e.g. sportive) and the volume and intensity has built up closer to that date, is there a requirement for a taper?

In marathon training, you'd taper between 2 - 4 weeks before the race.

Does the same principle apply in cycling when training (hard) for a single big event, and does it depend on the volume of training/intensity you're doing?

If so, when does a taper actually become useful.

Finally, if a taper is useful, what should it be: low long, what sort of intensity/frequency etc?

Up until now I'd assume I wouldn't need a taper - and that a few easy days before the event would be fine, but would be interested to get other's thoughts.

Just to clarify, we're talking about marmotte or etape here, not an evening '10'. E.g. something you're doing high volume and high intensity training for.

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,051
    Depends - although my guess is that you are very unlikely to need to 'taper' anything at amateur level. Maybe take it easy the day before the event.

    What kind of training load are you defining as 'high volume/high intensity' ?
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Could be useful if you're training everyday of the week.
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 931
    last year before the etape I spent the week riding 5 or 6 hours a day with some high mountains too.
    I rested the Saturday before the etape and went great on the Sunday.
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  • grazza_egrazza_e Posts: 36
    There is quite a bit of science that tapering is a good thing, a lot of it focused on running, but I can't see how it would differ to cycling. I haven't used much in the past, but this year i'm doing a 5 day event, with days up to 140 miles and serious climbs, meaning i've got pretty high volume training, which brings on a fair bit of fatigue.

    I'm working on 2 weeks (i.e. my training plan builds to 2 weekends prior to the event, which is my last full weekend). After that I move to shorter efforts at same or slightly higher intensity, which in theory will maintain my fitness, but reduce my cumulative fatigue. If it's just a 1-day event i'd probably recommend something a little less, but i'm not an expert, I use a software program which recommended it all for me:)

    BUT in line with Imposters comments - from what i've read, the benefits of tapering from various studies all come out at <10%. So as an amateur, i'm still not convinced whether it's worth it. I am just figuring because my event is 5 days (and pretty much my singular goal for the year) I really want to be pretty fresh vs still recovering from busting out 100 miles 2 days prior.
  • grazza_e wrote:
    There is quite a bit of science that tapering is a good thing, a lot of it focused on running, but I can't see how it would differ to cycling. I haven't used much in the past, but this year i'm doing a 5 day event, with days up to 140 miles and serious climbs, meaning i've got pretty high volume training, which brings on a fair bit of fatigue.

    running isn't cycling. running produces lots of mechanical stresses that don't occur when cycling, and so from *this* aspect running is tougher. However, tapers are used in cycling. Whether you need one or not i can't tell from the data you've presented. i'd use power data and look at CTL for this.
    I'm working on 2 weeks (i.e. my training plan builds to 2 weekends prior to the event, which is my last full weekend). After that I move to shorter efforts at same or slightly higher intensity, which in theory will maintain my fitness, but reduce my cumulative fatigue. If it's just a 1-day event i'd probably recommend something a little less, but i'm not an expert, I use a software program which recommended it all for me:)

    BUT in line with Imposters comments - from what i've read, the benefits of tapering from various studies all come out at <10%. So as an amateur, i'm still not convinced whether it's worth it. I am just figuring because my event is 5 days (and pretty much my singular goal for the year) I really want to be pretty fresh vs still recovering from busting out 100 miles 2 days prior.

    no idea what the programme is that you use. but given that you're reducing the load and upping the intensity, you're tapering the training right there.

    if the programme is suggesting that you do 100 miles of riding 2 days prior to your goal event, you likely have an answer right there. not necessarily a taper answer, but certainly an answer!

    ric
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