Question

Hi Guys – quick question for you. I have a race next Sunday (Oly Tri distance) and was just wondering if you had any suggestions for workouts next week to let me recover enough but still stay sharp – been riding a lot outside and my legs probably wouldnt thank me for a usual 60/60/90min week before an A-race!!! Thanks loads – again still loving TR!

Coach T’s Response

While I haven’t put any taper-specific workouts on TR yet, there are
several workouts that will work really well with just a little on-the-fly
modification. First, consider that a taper is just what you described: a
workout that keeps you sharp but allows you to recover in time for your
event. Staying sharp in your case – 40km bike – should focus primarily on
your aerobic capacity (VO2max) even though you’ll be riding at or slightly
below your FTP, well below your VO2max. This recommendation assumes that
you’ve already been doing VO2max intervals (115-130% FTP) though.
You’ll want to drastically reduce your volume, anywhere from 50-85% of what
you normally do, but retain the high intensity in order to keep your
aerobic power peaked. So your best bet is to pick workouts with short, hard
efforts and then cut out most of the intervals. If you plug “power
intervals” or “Billats” into the search engine within the TrainerRoad app,
you’ll get a slew of workouts with just the type of intervals I’d
recommend.

A few personal favorites are Ian Campbell, Abbot & Morgan. Ian Campbell is
my overall favorite because it includes VO2max work, some good ME work in
the form of short over-unders and plenty of rest once you alter it a bit.
You can modify it by skipping intervals in order to stick to your taper
volume reduction such that you do maybe 2 power intervals + 2 over-unders.
Abbot can be tweaked by only doing 1 or 2 intervals out of each 3-interval
set, and Morgan can be trimmed to every second or third interval, once
again reducing the number of intervals you’d normally perform by 1/2 or
more.

Finally, remember that during the week prior to your event there’s nothing
you can do that’s going to make you stronger by race day. You need rest and
maintenance (taper drills) but any regular workouts are only going to
amount to additional fatigue that you’ll carry into your event. You’re as
fit as your going to get for that particular race, so keep your workouts
short, intense, and rest plenty! I hope this helps. Good luck, Andy!

-Coach T



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Nate Pearson

Nate Pearson is the co-founder of TrainerRoad. He is an avid triathlete and cyclist, husband and father of two. His training is fueled by great coffee, BBQ and pie.