Tapering off before an event

by stepho   March 15, 2013  

I'm doing the wheelbase spring classic next sunday (my first sportive)

I have been doing regular 50+ rides over quite hilly roads for a few months now and doing intense 60 - 90 min sessions on the turbo when I'm away at work.

The question is: how much riding should i do the week leading up to the event.

Im not planning on doing much though any pearls of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.


11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

For 130km I wouldn't worry too much about tapering.

It's maybe appropriate if you've been doing a LOT of intense training, and more so for multi-discipline events like triathlon.

But I wouldn't think your training falls into that category.

You've been training regularly so just do most of what you would do - maybe 80%, just to make sure you aren't tired.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [698 posts]
15th March 2013 - 16:42

1 Like

Cheers Chris.

posted by stepho [102 posts]
15th March 2013 - 17:05


Mmm, I'm over-cautious and would go the other way - take it easy this weekend and just do a few rides mid-week.

All depends on your age and how fast you recover. When you do a 50+ (miles or KMs?) what are you like the next day?

And when you've had breaks in training what have you noticed?

I tend to find after really hard and sustained training it can take 10 days before I'm really ready to do another block of work.

shropshirelad's picture

posted by shropshirelad [8 posts]
15th March 2013 - 17:11


I'm doing that ride aswell. It should be a cracking ride and the climb up Deepdale into Kingsdale is ace Devil . My plans are a 200km Audax round the Yorkshire dales this Sunday followed by a 35 mile round commute all week. Then a days rest. Horses for courses though.

posted by jayme [122 posts]
15th March 2013 - 19:21


shropshirelad wrote:

All depends on your age and how fast you recover. When you do a 50+ (miles or KMs?) what are you like the next day?

Im 41.50+ miles and i feel exhausted that night but the next day not too bad apart from some tiredeness in the legs.

Done about 230k in 3 days a couple of weeks ago and my legs did feel very very tired, but not particularly sore.

posted by stepho [102 posts]
15th March 2013 - 19:33



Was looking at some of the pics and it looks stunning.
Really looking forward to this. Big Grin

posted by stepho [102 posts]
15th March 2013 - 19:35


take a day off. that's if you ride every day. if you don't, it shouldn't be a problem

posted by pj [149 posts]
16th March 2013 - 8:25


OK so 50 miles = 80 km, and that's the furthest you've ever been?

On that basis 130km is easily within your capabilities.

As its your first sportive you will want to do well and that means lining up at the start feeling really ready.

You can work out how much rest that means - but don't be afraid to you take too much - you won't drop performance.

Instead take more rest than you think you'll need and you'll turn up for the event ready to really hammer it!

Have a good one!

shropshirelad's picture

posted by shropshirelad [8 posts]
16th March 2013 - 8:55


I'd rest for one, preferably two days before an event, depends on whether your legs feel fatigued,

posted by gplhl [1 posts]
16th March 2013 - 9:45


Just to add a little more to the subject... in terms suited to my simple understanding the purpose of tapering is to make sure that your muscles are fully topped up with glycogen - the energy they use as their first source.

The reason for tapering is that you've been doing so much training the reserves are depleted and you need to build them up and that the event will need to use them. The most intense training period may be the one leading up to the taper so they need to be replenished. Laurent Fignon used to go out a week before an event and take no food so that he ran himself into a hunger knock.

So I would distinguish between general rest and tapering. Yes, as the advice above says, make sure you have a day or two off before the event so you aren't fatigued. But feeling your muscles isn't in itself a bad thing.

The other thing is that general advice is to reduce volume not intensity. So if you've been doing hilly sessions or turbo workouts, cut the duration by about a third but don't completely stop them.

I've got a three day stage race starting next Saturday. My week would normally be:
Friday - hard ride or race - 120-140km
Saturday - medium/hard - 70-80 km
Sunday - rest
Monday - Interval sprints - 40km
Tuesday - hard tempo ride - 50km
Wednesday - moderate rolling ride - 60km
Thurday - swim

But this week I am doing:
Friday - hard ride (hills)- 120km
Saturday - medium, steady - 60km
Sunday - rest
Monday - Intervals - 30km
Tuesday - swim
Wednesday - tempo ride - 40km
Thursday - off
Friday - travel / easy ride

So I've cut from 350km to 250km in total and I'm still doing the hrd sessions but have shortened them by about 25%.

Good luck, and enjoy it most of all.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [698 posts]
16th March 2013 - 12:45

1 Like

Cheers for the advice chaps.

Fonts of knowledge every one of you Cool

posted by stepho [102 posts]
16th March 2013 - 14:20