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Last weekend, I was in my second race of the season. I race Sport Clydesdale (47 years young) and this is my second season of racing. Love it! I feel good during warm up, and had a good start. But when I went to press on the gas to pass, and to start pulling away from my primary competitor on the first real hill about 1 mile into the race. My legs just went dead. They felt really tired. Then, it was a stuggle just to finish the rest of the 20 mile and 3100 vertical feet race. Which I did and without crashing!
The week leading up the race I rode hard on Tuesday and Wednesday, light on Thursday, rested on Friday, the race was on Saturday morning. And I should say that, I try to train as much as my time commits will allow (Family, Work, etc). So I don't just train the week of the event, but try to target the event a couple of weeks out.

My question is: how much rest should I give myself? I now know it's more then 1 day. 2 days? What is normal? And whats a good recovery drink after training?

Thoughts anyone?

Thanks
 

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As a 50 year old rider, I find that I am strongest for a race or other hard effort if I take two complete days off immediately before. Anything less than that and I tend to get heavy legs about 75% of the time.
As for recovery drinks, I like a fresh fruit smoothy with protein powder. I also make mine with yogurt.
 

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If this was a race I was trying to do well at, I'd have gone hard on Tuesday, light on Wednesday, off Thursday, generally easy Friday with a few hard efforts. I almost always race better if I've ridden a little the day before rather than taking it completely off.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Change

I thought I figured this out and then my body changed on me this year...

Last Year:

I would ride normal on Sat and Sun, then do a longer tempo ride Mon, a short (1.5) hour hard ride on Wed (with some good efforts), take Thur and Fri off, and then feel great. This year when I tried that I would feel dead on race day, but then fantastic on the next Monday.

This Year:

Now I am doing a good block over the weekend, than taking 2 days off to recover earlier. Ride Sat, Sun, Mon, take Tue and Wed off, do a hard short ride Thur (1-1.5 hours with a good 20 min LT), friday off, and race Sat. I then continue the block by riding 2 of the next 3days....
 

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I'd say this completely depends on the priority of the race and your training load coming into the race.

If training volume has been low, and low priority, you won't need a big taper.
If training volume has been high and the race is high priority, you'll need a much longer taper.

Typically I like to keep a normal block the weekend prior, maybe take an hour or 2 off the total time for the endurance crowd. Rest up a few days, go hard on wed (short tough efforts). 2 days out off completely. Day before: "Openers"

Here's a velonews article on coaches recommendations .

BTW, If you are a power meter user or WKO+ user, Using the Performance Manager Chart (and some past history) you can fine tune your taper so that you are exactly where your best performances need be. It's an excellent tool used by athletes and coaches at the top level
 

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I always like to take a day off 2 days before the race, then the day before 1.5 hours with a few "openers" . You always to get some kind of ride in the day before the race. As for recovery drink I like Enduorox as well the one from Hammer nutrition..recoverite?
 

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merlin said:
I always like to take a day off 2 days before the race, then the day before 1.5 hours with a few "openers" . You always to get some kind of ride in the day before the race. As for recovery drink I like Enduorox as well the one from Hammer nutrition..recoverite?
pretty much the same for me. earlier in the week, normal rides. I need a moderately HARD / length ride on Wednesday, easy ride Thursday, OFF on Friday, 1 hour with "openers" on Saturday, race Sunday. Usually has the legs feeling fresh and light.

I NEED to ride the day before a race. The first day back on the bike after a day or two off is always a little flat for me, with no legs. So I need to ride on Saturday.

Sounds like you may have just pushed too hard at the start. May also be a fuel or hydration problem.
 

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I think this will vary a lot depending on the rider. Some riders respond well to extra rest, and some (myself) respond better to some shorter but more intense efforts leading up to a race. My best performance of the season saw me do a short (less than 30 minute) very high intensity effort on Thursday, a 45 minute recovery spin on Friday, a low intensity pre-ride on Saturday with a few openers thrown in, and then a solid warm-up on Sunday before the race start. A lot of it takes some trial and error to figure out what works best for you.
 

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I'm definitely not nearly as experienced as some here, but this is what's been working for me lately: mon-tues-wed normal training (whatever my schedule calls for...usually hard efforts of varying lengths). thurs 2 hours easy pace off road with a few hard efforts. fri off. sat off with maybe a very short easy ride just to stretch out (I'll usually go ride with my 5 year old son). sun morning pre-ride the course (half hour + at easy pace with a few hard efforts). my races have been in the afternoon, so this gives me a few hours to sit around, stretch, relax, eat, etc.

I've been feeling great on race day for my last few races, and heavy legs have been a problem for me in the past.
 

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It's not uncommon for me to race Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, or Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in any week, and I usually recover okay. Racing Thursday is a given and is week in week out. I'm 25yo.

However many of the older people I ride with struggle to recover from racing even once earlier in the week, on Thursday - and find that if they race Thursday, they haven't recovered enough for it to not hinder performance for a Sunday race. Seems to be mostly an age thing, though it could also be the people.
 

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AggieXCRacer said:
I think this will vary a lot depending on the rider. Some riders respond well to extra rest, and some (myself) respond better to some shorter but more intense efforts leading up to a race. My best performance of the season saw me do a short (less than 30 minute) very high intensity effort on Thursday, a 45 minute recovery spin on Friday, a low intensity pre-ride on Saturday with a few openers thrown in, and then a solid warm-up on Sunday before the race start. A lot of it takes some trial and error to figure out what works best for you.
I do something similar, but because I'm on the road, a bit more volume.

A day off is worthless for me. And makes me slower the next day. If I actually need a day completely off of riding, it's because I'm overtrained, and I'll probably be taking several days to a week off of riding.

And, if I'm overtrained, it's because I wasn't adequately prepared for the workload; meaning I was undertrained.
 
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