Author Topic: Tapering  (Read 1738 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Tapering
« on: March 23, 2018, 10:51:54 am »

I'm doing my first ultra race on 1st of may. I'm doing lots of training, but I'm wondering how I should handle the taper before the event. The race starts on a Tuesday, and it's a 4 day weekend immediately before the race.

What do people advise?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Tapering
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 01:12:52 pm »
the idea of tapering is to recover from hard training and still maintain the level of fitness. i would do my last long(ish) ride the weekend before (~10 days out) and then keep riding (up to 1hr/day) easy pace the following week, but also include two short sprint/hill sessions* - this will keep you sharp without any fatigue. the obvious things like eating wholesome food and sleeping well are v.important too, and not to be overlooked/neglected.

* e.g. 10 x 30s all-out intervals with warm-up and cool-down

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Tapering
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2018, 02:15:13 pm »
Methinks getting glycogen stores optimally charged is a major factor in tapering. You don't have to eat ENORMOUS quantities but you should make sure you recarb well after any exercise, rest well and dine well in the run-up to a big event.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tapering
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2018, 02:58:32 pm »
the idea of tapering is to recover from hard training and still maintain the level of fitness. i would do my last long(ish) ride the weekend before (~10 days out) and then keep riding (up to 1hr/day) easy pace the following week, but also include two short sprint/hill sessions* - this will keep you sharp without any fatigue. the obvious things like eating wholesome food and sleeping well are v.important too, and not to be overlooked/neglected.

* e.g. 10 x 30s all-out intervals with warm-up and cool-down

Excellent. That times nicely with my plan. I'm hoping to do a 300km audax the weekend before, then I have 10 days to recover. The 1 hour a day then fits nicely round my commute. Perfect!


Methinks getting glycogen stores optimally charged is a major factor in tapering. You don't have to eat ENORMOUS quantities but you should make sure you recarb well after any exercise, rest well and dine well in the run-up to a big event.

Does it matter which carbs? I can't eat pasta, so am limited to rice, bread and potatoes. Is eating calories roughly equal to my ride enough, or should I be going a bit over? So if I have 1 hour 500kcal rides as suggested above, is eating 500kcal of carbs enough? 

Cheers

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Tapering
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 03:44:02 pm »

Methinks getting glycogen stores optimally charged is a major factor in tapering. You don't have to eat ENORMOUS quantities but you should make sure you recarb well after any exercise, rest well and dine well in the run-up to a big event.

Does it matter which carbs? I can't eat pasta, so am limited to rice, bread and potatoes. Is eating calories roughly equal to my ride enough, or should I be going a bit over? So if I have 1 hour 500kcal rides as suggested above, is eating 500kcal of carbs enough? 

Cheers

J

I don't think so. Just don't miss meals and eat soon after any exertion.

Re: Tapering
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 11:56:21 am »
I do wonder if we get hungup on replenishing glycogen stores.  I think this is a bit like the drink 8 pints of water a day.  your body is superb at taking in any food, fat, protein, carbs and doing the necessary with it.  There are trace elements, vitamins and some amino acids that you cannot make in house but i would not change my diet at all.  You have been doing intensive training and your body amazingly replenishes your stores from one session to the next, sometimes even just overnight!!!

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Tapering
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 01:06:41 pm »
I know it's AGES ago and I did next to no racing but in the days that I averaged 200 miles per week I didn't obsess much about food in general. I did however have to commute to work (25km per leg but there were zero alternatives) and get round any ride I was doing at the weekend.
I became very aware of the effect of missed meals, tea with Gran etc.
It's all rather n=1 but others may call that 'experience'.

Re: Tapering
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 07:31:48 pm »
the idea of tapering is to recover from hard training and still maintain the level of fitness. i would do my last long(ish) ride the weekend before (~10 days out) and then keep riding (up to 1hr/day) easy pace the following week, but also include two short sprint/hill sessions* - this will keep you sharp without any fatigue. the obvious things like eating wholesome food and sleeping well are v.important too, and not to be overlooked/neglected.

* e.g. 10 x 30s all-out intervals with warm-up and cool-down

Excellent. That times nicely with my plan. I'm hoping to do a 300km audax the weekend before, then I have 10 days to recover. The 1 hour a day then fits nicely round my commute. Perfect!


Your biggest risk is probably that, in seeking to carry your absolute peak fitness into the event, you overdo it a bit in the fortnight before - stressing your immune system - and catch something that knocks you for six.

Re: Tapering
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 09:19:00 am »
Two weeks is generally what people advise, and what I've done in the past.  More or less as ZZ says - cut back on the distance but have one or two short but hard sessions. 
And definitely keep eating - it's not the time for a diet!

Re: Tapering
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 02:51:07 pm »
In terms of feeding during the taper period I'd largely continue with what you were stuffing before tapering.  Given that you'll do less training during the taper period this will automatically give you a modest calorie surplus of the type of food your body is used to.

If the event is on Sunday I'd have a decent feast on Friday and drink plenty of fluids on Saturday (but eat normally) to ensure you're well fed (but not stodgy) and hydrated ahead of the event. 


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Tapering
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 03:15:23 pm »
In terms of feeding during the taper period I'd largely continue with what you were stuffing before tapering.  Given that you'll do less training during the taper period this will automatically give you a modest calorie surplus of the type of food your body is used to.

If the event is on Sunday I'd have a decent feast on Friday and drink plenty of fluids on Saturday (but eat normally) to ensure you're well fed (but not stodgy) and hydrated ahead of the event.

Would you change this approach if the event was on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, all the way through to the next Saturday?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Pedal Castro

  • so talented I can run with scissors - ouch!
    • Two beers or not two beers...
Re: Tapering
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2018, 09:22:13 pm »
I agree with most of the above:
1. Reduce quantity but maintain quality, i.e. drop the endurance sessions but continue with the interval sessions.
2. Personally I rest with 2 days to go and do HIIT the day before to enhance blood plasma. Some people do this the other way round.
3. Latest research suggests that you don't need the no carb three days before the three high carb days for Carbo-loading but I'm not convinced by that. Certainly the old way seems to work best for me, but as said above, don't overdo it, the overcompensation of glycogen storage is not unlimited!

Re: Tapering
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 08:25:17 am »
For this weekend's 12hr the plan has gone as follows :-

Sat - 6hr road ride on TT bike - 12hr effort
Sun - 90 min turbo
Mon - Brisk commute in, lunchtime 45 mins steady, brisk ride home, 30 mins TT effort on the turbo
Tue - Easy commute
Wed - Brisk commute in, hard ride home, 30 mins TT effort on the turbo
Thu - Easy commute
Fri - Very easy commute - start carb load
Sat - rest up and eat more carbs
Sun - race day

Go to bed early every night and endeavor to get some proper sleep.

Re: Tapering
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 08:35:55 am »
In terms of feeding during the taper period I'd largely continue with what you were stuffing before tapering.  Given that you'll do less training during the taper period this will automatically give you a modest calorie surplus of the type of food your body is used to.

If the event is on Sunday I'd have a decent feast on Friday and drink plenty of fluids on Saturday (but eat normally) to ensure you're well fed (but not stodgy) and hydrated ahead of the event.

Would you change this approach if the event was on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, all the way through to the next Saturday?

J

Good point - I overlooked the multi-day nature of your endeavour. The advice I gave should get you to the start line in great shape for day one. After that, success depends on your ongoing hydration and nutrition strategy.  If you've practiced that then don't change anything for the event - stick with what you know is digestible.

You could try tweeting up @Conway_Sean who has just broken the record for cycling across Europe.  He's pretty friendly, responsive and encouraging and might have some smart advice, given that he's also swum, run and cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats.