A Peek into my Neurotic Mind During Taper

I doubt I am the only one. I also doubt its healthy, but:

Starting my taper for a race coming up. Not really my “A” race, but it is my last known race for a bit, so by default it has become my A. I am sure I will do fine. And the stakes are not high… i do this for fun!

I’m not going to call any of this a “fear” as in it keeps me awake at night, but it is something I think about every so often.

Doubt. Doubting my true fitness, doubting my taper etc. Do any of you sometimes think “am I truly this fit? What if these last PRs were a fluke? What if my powermeter has been giving me wrong information? Is trainerroad lying to me to push their successful product?” A million reasons why I may not be as fit as I’d like to believe.

Or, a week long taper will set me back MONTHS of training, and I’ll be starting fatter and slower in one week.

Of course those things are not true and the logical mind knows that. It is just crazy that our brains work in such a way and I would imagine it gets worse as you get to higher level events.

I think this is one area where a real human coach is paramount. That they can answer these questions and allay those fears.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Curious if this is a common theme with the group here.


Doubt in general is normal even for elite athletes. Juli Furtado, Nate Brown and Tyler Hamilton were team mates of mine (different sport) and each one, while confident with many aspects of life, worried about performance more than people think. At least from my perspective. Also, a friend of mine is a sports psychologist who works with top NFL and MLB players and has mentioned that many are just a wreck mentally. Full of doubt to the point he’s had to talk them out of bed etc…

Regarding tapering, however, I’m pretty sure only new riders worry about this. But, I could see why they think that. Cycling takes a bit of trial and error and time to see results. In this day and age with too much information it’s no wonder you guys can figure anything out. I’d be lost if I started training today. I do agree this is where a good coach can steer you right. Not necessary but, helpful. There are really sh!t coaches out there too. Be wary as they can waste years if not careful. This is why I think coaching too soon is a huge mistake. A bit of trial and error, learning on your own for a few years is more important than people think.


Have you read “endure” by alex hutchinson and “how bad do you want it” by Matt Fitzgerald? Both excellent and address many of these concerns.

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Your thoughts are normal. You just need to figure out your way of dealing with them (a good coach can help a lot as a good coach is as much psychologist as physiologist).

People think athletic competition is physical. It is, but dealing with all the mental stuff you mention is just as important. There’s a lot more to being a successful competitive athlete than just FTP.

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Definitely. I love training. Reducing training because life/work needs to take priority seems natural. Reducing training by choice goes against every fabric of my being😂.

I’ve ruined many a taper by trying to squeeze in one last hard session. Takes a lot of discipline to stick to the plan, but a well executed taper is well worth it.

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Thanks. That’s really what has steered me away from some coaches… I know some good ones are out there but you’re going to pay. Some great ones probably exist that are fairly priced but you have to play the odds and who wants to do that with time and fitness?

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