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Recovery between the Marmotte and the Etape?

Carpe DiemCarpe Diem Posts: 238
I have wanted to ride the Marmotte for several years, but it has always clashed with the Etape's I have ridden. Next year I intend to attempt both of these rides as there is a reasonable amount of time between them.

I know the pro's ride mountain stages day after day..But as a 44 yr old recreational cyclist that has never raced you think I have enough time (16 days) between the 2 events to recover, maintain fitness and peak again?

What type of riding and recovery strategy should I be doing/using between the events?

Also is there anyone else planning to ride them both?


  • MichuelMichuel Posts: 269
    I've ridden the Marmotte-Etape double twice. Probably 10 days separating. Riding the Marmotte probably improved my Etape time by providing a rehearsal. The first time it gave me confidence as the Marmotte was my first sportive.

    I think if you're planning to ride near your limits in the Etape to register your fastest time there may be a recovery problem that could reduce your performance. In that case you should take it easier in the Marmotte.

    If you're planning to be well-trained - ie not limited in your training in 2009 - you should be OK. Do you find you can recover easily from 100 mile rides, ie ride another the next day or so?

    Remember the Marmotte is part of a week long series 90 mile 4000m Vaujany on Sunday, 25 miles Grandes Rousses on Wednesday, Marmotte Saturday, Grimpee de l'Alpe Sunday. Many people ride all the events.
  • I do intend to be well trained for the events. Having ridden plenty of sportives, I feel i know what to do as regards training and nutrition.

    But having said that, I am knackered the next day and doubt I could do it all again!
  • Have you done any similar events, i.e. the distance & terrain? Forget the average speed for the moment, as that's affected by being in a group.

    Not knowing anything about your weight, type of riding and general health, it's impossible to say of course, but if you do the training over the winter you'll find out yourself how your body responds to periods of long and/or intense effort and so know what is best for you.

    Eating/drinking badly before and during the first event, perhaps exacerbated by weather conditions on the day and possible sleep deprivation caused by early budget flights – all will have an effect on how you recover for the second one. But also remember your basic fitness will be optimised by all the winter and spring training you are (hopefully) going to do.

    It seems a long way off, but get into virtuous habits early. Nothing extreme, but make getting out on the bike regularly part of your routine. Many people get bored or distracted during the winter and lose motivation, then regret it as summer weather arrives and the deadline draws near. Cramming it in the weeks before will just wear you down and make you slower to recover.

    Personally I like to travel out to these kinds of event a few days ahead of the big day and get acclimatised and rested. I also like to do 2 events in a 10 day trip, i.e. one granfondo or cyclosportive each weekend with a bit of slow paced touring in-between, as this seems a better use of the cost/time/effort of getting over there. It seems a number of people have done the combo of La Vaujany and Marmotte sportives on successive weekends, me included. As long as I have done the training beforehand and haven't succumbed to some passenger's cold pumped round the airport air conditioning it works just fine.
  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    IMHO, 16 days is about perfect.

    Ride the Marmotte hard. Follow it with all things recovery (drinks, m,assages, rides). Then get back into the training - shorter but still hard rides - and peak again for the Etape.
  • 16 days will be fine to recover. I'm planning the BRA and Marmotte next year so will have to do something similar.

    The only time I didn't recover quickly after the Marmotte was when the weather was terrible and the day turned into a day of just surviving. On both occasions this happened, I fell ill quite quickly after finishing the event and obviously going too far into the red zone on the day.

  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    16 days? That's fine, it will take 2-3 days to get the ache out of your legs but you can ride even if the legs ache. So long as you eat and drink properly after the first ride and then spend the next couple of days doing gentle rides rather than vegetating, then you can ride another big one in 3-4 days no problem. 16 is fine, the trick is to keep training as you'll be able to build on your first ride to get stronger.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    rapha did their 'crazy bet' last year where they rode the Marmotte on the saturday and the Etape the following day. It did help that they used a private jet for the transfer!!!
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Has the Marmotte definitely been confirmed as 4th July 2009?
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    For us recreational cyclists it is a challenge to do both

    I think the problem is that you don't get over the memory of the pain so easily

    FWIW, In 2007 aged 48 I did the Trophee Oisans series(Vaujany/Grand Rousses/Marmotte-too knackered to do the Grimpe Alpe) week, then the Etape 8 days later.

    While Alpe D'Huez on the Marmotte was hard, on the Etape, I found the (very difficult)Port de Bales, trying, and by the Peresourde, I really had had enough of the bike for a while

    Perhaps approaching it with a tapering week before the Marmotte and several easy rides between the two, would be a good idea?
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
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