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I am doing a 210km (130 mile) ride on Sunday. I assume it'd help me to taper but I'm not sure about the most effective method.

How much should I ride in the last 3-4 days before the ride? My current plan is:

  • Wednesday: Normal 40km (24 mile) commute
  • Thursday: Lunchtime ride of 20km (12 miles)
  • Friday: Lunchtime ride of 20km (12 miles)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Ride

This page (which is actually related to the ride I'm doing) suggests that I'm close, but should rest on Friday and do a short ride on Saturday.

Some information about my training:

  • I've done this ride before and I'm confident I can finish it, I just want to finish it as strongly/comfortably as possible.
  • I've done 100km+ (60miles+) for the last 3 weekends in training, along with daily commutes

Update

I ended up doing a slightly longer ride on Thursday, but other than that I stuck to the schedule above. I did feel more rested at the start of the Sunday and I was grateful for the day off on Saturday.

I also Carbo loaded.

Given the variables I'm not sure what helped, but I did feel strong for the ride and didn't 'bonk', which was a definite improvement over previous years.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would agree that a short ride on Saturday is useful to keep things ticking over, resting on the Friday, so long as the substitute commute isn't too stressful, might be more useful. Your body needs some down time and a 'clean' 24+ hours is quite important for genuine recovery.

The thing to do on the Saturday is to use the short ride as a dress rehearsal, use all the kit that you plan to take with you - you've probably got more time to do this on the Saturday.

So, if you're going to drive to the start line, then do that on the Saturday too. At least, pack the bike and bits into/on to the car and drive somewhere to do the test ride. Do your best to mimic game day. Just to let you relax knowing you haven't forgotten anything. This is especially important if there's anything new in your setup - nothing new on the day is a crucial mantra (not new shoes, socks, tyre, nothing!).

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I'm always terrified that I'm going to forget my shoes or helmet. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 12 '11 at 11:02
    
+1 I forgot my helmet :-( –  Karl Oct 17 '11 at 23:31
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In my opinion, the amount of taper you need is directly proportional to how much time you expect to ride at high intensity. The more high intensity you need, so the taper. For example, usually taper is more important for event such as short prologue, fast track rides than longer ones.

If you expect to stay at a relative low/moderate intensity for the whole event, I suspect that you may actually be tapering too much.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I feel better having had a bit of a rest the day before, so maybe it's psychological and I should be pushing harder. It's so hard to judge this stuff! –  Mac Oct 17 '11 at 3:33
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Indeed, tapering it's a very subjective matter. Stick to what you know is working for you! –  Simone Oct 17 '11 at 9:17
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