Hard lead up to A event?

Wondering if this is unreasonable:

I’ve got my A race this Saturday - a 150k 9k’ hilly gran fondo. My progression levels are VO2 Max 4.7 and Endurance 5.4. My adaptive training plan (at week 14 of specialty climbing) has me doing two VO2 Max sessions (30min @ 4.7) and one Endurance session (60min @ 3.6) this week.

I just bailed halfway through the first of the VO2 Max sessions (Goode -5) because I could tell it was loading up my legs way too much 4 days before this monster event, not even considering another VO2 Max session in two days. Maybe I’m old school, but I thought athletes benefited from a lead-up taper and good amount of rest the week of an A event. My plan did have a baked in recovery week last week, but going right into two VO2 Max sessions at my progression level seems overkill.

Is my plan jacked? What other info is needed to determine this?

Hard ride 2 days before, no more than 80% of the race distance. Openers the day before.

This is the way I’d go. Maybe somewhere your plan got mis-aligned or some dates didn’t shift. Here’s my week of:

I’d gladly take that. It just feels like there was no taper built in, and I don’t feel as fresh as I think I should going into this week. I think i’d tolerate some threshold sessions a lot more, which I kind of expected for a gran fondo. Here’s what my week currently looks like:

I’m probably going to skip that second VO2 Max on Thursday, or just move the Endurance over to that day.

Does the race on Saturday definitely have the “A” tag? It seems weird to have produced what looks like a taper week but have workouts that whilst short could still be quite challenging for you.

My final weeks always have the workouts that are actively described as openers.

ETA: I’ve just checked through to my taper week and the workouts are similar in the sense of they aren’t the same “opener” type workouts from before I turned on AT (and thus went on to the new plan versions). I wonder if this is a conscious decision, or an oversight. It seems to be on purpose, given the shortness of the workouts, but I’m not sure.

It absolutely does. This was an established plan before switching over to Adaptive Training, so I wonder if something didn’t work in the changeover.

Those sessions offset the intensity by keeping the rides short…they are intended to keep all systems firing w/o overtaxing them.

But if they seemed hard, by all means listen to you body first!

120K hard ride two days before an A race? :astonished: Hard pass on that…for me, two days before was always a rest day (often off the bike completely) and then one day before was an easy effort with a few openers.


I think this is a very individual question, so ideally you’ll eventually know what works for you from trial and error. Some people respond well to rest before a big event, others like to push it hard right up to the event.

The conventional taper guidance is to keep the intensity and decrease volume. For me, that means picking some workouts with race-like intensity, but cutting them short (maybe do the first 3 or 4 sets of intervals, but skip the last 1 or 2). My go-to for most race weeks would be over/unders on tuesday (cutting the last interval) and some v02max work on Thursday (cutting the last 2 intervals). Wednesday might be an easy spin. Friday would be some kind of openers, I really enjoy a short punchy race on zwift for my opener session, either find something short or just quit after 20 minutes or so. All of this can be hard, just not “my eyes are bleeding” hard. Don’t be afraid to do some hard efforts in the week prior, that shouldn’t produce any significant fatigue if you keep the volume low.

In the future, you might also look at the timing of that rest week right before your event and make sure that approach works for you. I personally prefer my final rest week to be at least 2-3 weeks prior to an event. I’m usually trying to load up pretty hard before that final rest week, then come out of the rest week right into my taper. I never feel flatter than the week after a rest week, but again this is very individual.


plan builder? custom plan? there were reported issues with that and AT.

But from what I understand - AT will only make the type of workout harder or easier, its not going to take an endurance day and make it v02max. Nor is it going to muck up weeks and shift them around. There are a lot of things that could influence this (not enough weeks when the plan was built, not selecting openers, proximity to B and C events, heck the type of event itself i’d imagine).

Email support - seems more like a plan creation/mod issue than AT FWIW

Re-reading…go search up some taper, lead up, rest week posts on this forum. You’ll find a lot of people saying they dont’ feel fresh and sometimes that just points to ‘its working’. A proper taper jacks up a lot of things for me - HRV and RHR go nutty and my body screams ‘you can’t race, you will die, quit now’. That seems to shut up after openers.

So - weirdness of the calendar aside, your body just might be ready.

Yeah, it was a plan builder plan setup before the changeover to Adaptive Training. I guess my issue was more centered around the plan builder sticking in two (relatively) harder VO2 Max sessions ahead of my A event. If anything, I expected sessions more along the lines of threshold. Thanks all!

Probably the most salient point / response…everyone reacts differently to tapers. I personally have yet to get one “right” for a true “A” event I2 full IM, 70.3 Worlds, The Rift this year) I do much better at shorter, smaller tapers before “races”.

What works for one person will absolutely not work for others…and vice versa. But you gotta be willing to experiment to find what does work for you.

THIS is more what i’m used to for tapering into an A event. Thanks. I’m just so surprised TrainerRoad would start/err on the side of a hard week versus going easier, if they’re trying to blanket a plan for the masses.

Again, N=1 here, but my best tapers have been when I have an easy week the week before my event and then ramp things up a bit the week of my event.

Obviously we’re veering off what the OP was looking for feedback on, but it’s interesting as I think about my best performances. They were always after a hard effort, or on the second day of racing etc. My biggest issue is shedding fatigue, but that is probably more an issue of not letting up enough the prior two or three weeks. Then I try and rest too much to manage the legs and end up flat.

Just to confirm a suspicion. I found a screenshot of my XCM specialty from immediately before AT was turned on.

The final week was:

It’s now:

I’m not saying one is better than the other, but there has definitely been a change to taper weeks with the recent plan updates :+1:. Presumably AT will also up those workouts to my PL levels too which would change things a lot as well.