Wheels Asia - - // richie porte unchained -

coach, Rob Wake­field, ex­plains how to get to the point in your train­ing where you’re race-prepped, with a high level of fit­ness and a low level of fa­tigue

Why Taper?

Ta­per­ing en­cour­ages use­ful phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes that can im­prove per­for­mance. Mus­cle glyco­gen lev­els in­crease so there’s more fuel to ride with, and ta­per­ing lets the body re­pair and heal, for in­creased strength and speed. In ad­di­tion, a re­duc­tion in train­ing vol­ume can ac­tu­ally help to in­crease both aer­o­bic me­tab­o­lism and max­i­mum oxy­gen con­sump­tion.

Taper Down Train­ing

Your train­ing load should be re­duced 7-10 days ahead of an event, al­though there’ll be dif­fer­ences in this, based on your age, fit­ness and the type of ride. Your train­ing fre­quency should be main­tained, so if you train four days per week then keep do­ing that. How­ever, the du­ra­tion should be re­duced by 50-60 per cent, so if you train 10 hours per week, re­duce that to 4-5 hours.

Train Above Race In­ten­sity

Train at, or a lit­tle higher than, race in­ten­sity. Your body adapts to a lower in­ten­sity very quickly and ‘de­train­ing’can oc­cur when ta­per­ing. For sportive riders, 2x10 min­utes at or slightly above thresh­old is a good work­out in the taper, as is 3x3 min­utes at VO2 max. A very small dose of sprints on the day be­fore your event will keep your mus­cles used to hard ef­forts.

Out Of The Sad­dle

“On train­ing rides the weight of your equip­ment won’t dra­mat­i­cally af­fect your per­for­mance,” says Dani. “But for longer rides or sportives, try to con­dense the in­creased amount of kit you’ll need and split it be­tween pock­ets and a bike­mounted bag.” Pack or mount a patch kit, multi-tools, lights and ex­tra fu­elling. “Carry enough food and drink to get you round the course – don’t de­pend on feed sta­tions.”

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