With only 10 days left before GranFondo I’ve been hearing lots of different views on the importance of tapering before a bike race. This will be my longest ride ever (125km), so sticking to my training plan has been key.
So with only a few days left, here are some thoughts on what’s most important now – The Taper!
Up until now hills should’ve been a major part of your training plan (look out Effingham, we’re coming to flatten you!). Of course this with your other training should have been causing fatigue on the body, so now it’s time to get you ready for race day and reduce that fatigue with a taper.
This taper should start about 7 days preceding GranFondo (so this weekend) and involves reducing your training load and your fatigue. As I know from marathon training, the temptation is often to keep the training, to cram in one more ride, but the truth is, you have to reduce your training to overcome this fatigue and give you body time to repair before the big day – this last week becomes a balance of rest and just enough activity to keep the body sharp.
Your Final Week
According to the GranFondo training plan, you should consider doing 3-4 short workouts in the final week before the race with easy rolling hills and light intensity to keep the legs moving. They also suggest a couple yoga classes during this week, so check out my yoga for cyclists post to keep those tight muscles at bay.
Your taper week is also a great time to start reflecting on your race plan. Reviewing the route and planning how you will attack it. What are your goals for race day? and how will you make real? I also like to create a race mantra so when I’m feeling challenged on course I can say these few words to inspire, motivate, and push myself to the finish. Come race day, be sure to take a few seconds for gratitude and of course have fun! Remember, this is what you’ve been training for!
Do you have a favourite race mantra? Share it in the comments below!