Taper: Easier on Paper

I’ll admit it, after 3 Haute Routes I still have to look on the Interwebs to find out how to taper for the damn thing. It seems like conventional wisdom says to still ride as you usually do, with the same intensity, but reduce your time on the bike by 50% or so.

For me this would mean riding most days next week, with probably the travel day (Friday) off.

There is unconventional wisdom, too, however, and it says you want to be as fresh as possible, so take the whole week off.

If you are riding Haute Route, what’s your plan? Be quick with your answer…I need to know what to do tomorrow!

2019-08-05 14.37.13In related news, I climbed Ventoux yesterday with fellow Haute Router, Brad, and I was happy to see myself reaching the top under 1:40. Brad did 1:36 and we probably ‘lost’ a few minutes out Bédoin, where we were chatting and hadn’t yet realized we were going to hammer it. I’m not sure an effort like this was the best thing a week from the event, but I’m glad I did it because it gives me hope for surviving the Pyrenees for 7 days straight.


13 thoughts on “Taper: Easier on Paper

    • I know others who have done the same as you. I do find that I go too hard on the first climb of the day, peetering out on the 3rd, but in general I’m not trying to hang with the front group or anything.

      Nice Tapir, btw. Haven’t seen one in a while

  1. Gerry, I’m just doing couple of 2 hour rides this weekend then a couple of short intense intervals sessions (max 1 hour) in the week. Definitely no long outings – about 50% of last weeks TSS. I’ll look out for you on Friday.

  2. I think you know my taper plan that I personally use and have shared with lots of other athletes. It’s a two week plan that sees you do 50% of peak week for week 1 and 25% in week 2. There’s some very specifics during the second taper week like a Short but very intense Wed ride combined with a high quality meal plan. At this point there’s nothing you can do to improve your fitness, but you can do something stupid that will impede your results. I always say, if you’re not sure, do less. Good luck. 🚴‍♂️💪

    • Thanks, Rob. I do have your old training programs, so yeah, I think I remembered that part. I’m trying to stay away from the beer and eat my greens this week. We’ll see how that goes. Also seeing a Chiro on Monday about my leg issues (Osteo fixed me up a little but not enough). Will be good as gold on Saturday.

  3. I’m with Rob! When I did HR, I was too worried and kept riding too much [typically beginner mistake]. “At this point, there’s nothing you can do to improve your fitness…” Just do a race opener the day before and a few either short & intense rides or a little longer & easier. You gotta be totally fresh / fully recovered (high positive TSB) at the start but you know all of this :). Good luck!

    • Riding too much is never my problem, Jan 😉 I won’t do anything more than 2 hours going forward and concentrate on being fresh. I’m going on ‘feel’ this time around, so need to calculate my own TSS, etc. One of the downfalls of not having ‘the data’, I guess.

  4. I think you know how my taper is going without going into details. I will plan a ride next Wednesday as i will be travelling Monday and Tuesday
    Best to work on hydration and the meal plan so that the body doesn’t get out of sorts.

    PS. Never forget to clean the bike as part of the taper. Good workout on its own……

  5. I’ll taper for DALMAC. I just take it easier the week before. One fast day (Tuesday) and the rest will be recovery pace, 17-18 mph. I enjoy sitting up and looking around that week. I don’t follow a strict plan, and I’ll be ridden like a rented mule by my friends those four days.

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