Taper before racing

MTB Aussie

Member
I never really train for racing, especially this year where I have participated in exactly 0 mountain bike races. Which brings me to the question, is it better to taper off the effort prior to a big race like Allamuchy, or keep a steady training volume right until the race?

I have put in more hours on both the mountain and road this year, and with under two weeks remaining I'm debating resting a bit versus continuing to ride pretty hard. I don't plan on doing much two days before, but what is the typical wind down you would say works best?
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
This is a tough question and only you are really going to know the answer, ultimately. And chances are you won't even really know until after.

In the next 2 weeks I really wouldn't worry so much about "killing it" out there. But I would keep the volume fairly consistent. You don't want to do a lot of high-end efforts that could burn you out at the wrong time. At the same time, you don't want to do huge volume up to race day for the same reason.

If you've been doing 1 long ride a week, do it again this weekend. During this week and next week, get some time in the saddle but don't go crazy. Don't drink much, if at all, until after the race.

How many hours a week have you been doing? What has your long weekend ride length been? Do you have a game plan for the race?
 

MTB Aussie

Member
This is a tough question and only you are really going to know the answer, ultimately. And chances are you won't even really know until after.

In the next 2 weeks I really wouldn't worry so much about "killing it" out there. But I would keep the volume fairly consistent. You don't want to do a lot of high-end efforts that could burn you out at the wrong time. At the same time, you don't want to do huge volume up to race day for the same reason.

If you've been doing 1 long ride a week, do it again this weekend. During this week and next week, get some time in the saddle but don't go crazy. Don't drink much, if at all, until after the race.

How many hours a week have you been doing? What has your long weekend ride length been? Do you have a game plan for the race?

I've been fairly consistent up until two weeks ago. Prior to that I could count on a three hour ride Sunday, with around 5 one hour rides during the week. Two weeks ago I did an 8 hour mtb ride with some short breaks, while continuing the five one hour rides. Last week I logged about 200 road miles for approx 13 hours total, with four on Sunday. Due to work I will only manage perhaps two one hour rides this week and a long ride on the weekend probably around four hours. The only thing that hurts is my arse.
 

RNG1

Well-Known Member
I recently read something that seems to make sense to me...the fitness level that you have is basically what you are the week before an event. That doesn't mean to not ride, but to mix some easy rides with some short hard efforts muscles loose and also firing. But to work hard in the week leading up to an event will not increase your fitness level and could leave you going into the event feeling spent.
Maybe this is true for you as well.
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
I always taper 10 days before the big important race or an ultra. During my taper, I may ride the same amount of days, but cut down on super long rides and super long hilly rides. Short intense is ok. This will keep your cardio fresh, but does not tax the legs or deplete gly/stores. The day before I drink a lot of water.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Eh, I wouldn't worry too much about the beer thing. The most important ride to do from now until then is a big ride this weekend. Pixy outlines a good standard taper plan but at the same time, you probably don't much want to redline in the race. There's another school of thought for enduros that has you just riding through but dropping the previous weekend's big ride a bit. Since you've already done an 8 hour ride you should be set as far as your nutrition and pacing go. At this point you want to avoid doing anything dumb, really. So err on the side of too little instead of too much. Get as much rest as you can. And as Yoda says, there is no try. There is only do or do not. I think Yoda also wondered where all the white women were at. Good luck either way.
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Obviously doing a century the day before a race is a bad idea (for some), but you'd be surprised how little having sore legs will effect your race performance the next day. Don't just stay hydrated because a race is coming up, stay hydrated all the time. Replace Glycogen stores after every ride regardless of how you feel. You know what they say, "drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry":D

-Jim.
 

NJ-XC-Justin

KY-DH-Freddy
Everything I've read is to keep riding with intensity but for shorter distances/time in the final week. Same pace, shorter ride.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Everything I've read is to keep riding with intensity but for shorter distances/time in the final week. Same pace, shorter ride.

That's more of a classic XC taper. Enduro taper is pretty individual. You'll get a vast array of opinions on the enduro stuff.

Having failed on any enduro race I've ever done, I find that pretty much nothing works for me. So I race XC instead.
 
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