Help me prepare - week away in lead up to a race

Hi all,

I’m entering a road race on 18th July, which mainly due to the lack of races, I’d slated as an A race.

I’ve been doing weekly Tuesday night crits for the last few weeks, so haven’t done any long and elaborate taper for the RR, as I wanted to turn up to the crits in fair condition. For the last 4 weeks I’ve been in a holding pattern of ~11 hours/600TSS to keep myself in decent condition, and having a very easy Monday to get fresh for the Tuesday crits.

Annoyingly I’ve had a week away booked for ages about 2 weeks out from the race where I’ll be on my feet a lot (a city break, so not hiking or anything). I’ve pencilled in some workouts after the week away and wanted your opinion on whether the plan looks solid. The issue is that after 5 days of no riding, I think I need to get some load in and get the systems back online, but I clearly don’t want to overdo it just before the race either. I guess I can’t really call it an A-race with this kind of lead into it, but I’d like to do well either way!

Here’s the calendar to help visualise it. I’ve not put anything in this week, but will likely do ~500 TSS Mon-Sat before the trip.



Looks solid enough.

I guess only you yourself will really know whether your body can cope with that TSS and level of effort straight after a short break from the bike.

My only observation is that the short VO2 max opener the day before looks sensible but the harder VO2 max a couple of days before that might mean that energy system has had a fair load (too much??) before your big race?

Could be you’re super capable of absorbing that level of stress and recovering adequately but perhaps worth considering a -1 version, to ensure you’ve got some extra ‘in the tank’ for race day?

Either way - good luck for your race :grin:


We’re in a similar-ish situation. I’m away on a Stag Party this weekend. I’ve got a 50 minute crit next Saturday, followed by a punchy road race on the Sunday. I’ve raced both before so I know the courses. The crit is slated as ‘C’ event and the road race is a ‘B’.

For the week leading into those events, I dropped the workout duration(s) and opted for workouts that are Achievable. My longest workout is 45 minutes. From previous experience, I know that I can reduce my fatigue via shortened duration and still keep intensity there or thereabouts.

It’s interesting to see that you’re coming off some impressive Threshold and VO2 numbers. Is there a chance the workouts you opted for in the week leading up to the event won’t have enough ‘opph’ to wake the legs up?

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Thanks for your thoughts. I thought those first 2 after holiday would be hard-ish, but do-able. I’m not on AT, so just basing it where I feel like I am. What are you thinking might be too easy (too little volume, or progression levels too low)?

Good luck in your races!

I can only base this off my personal experience :+1: :wink: I’m thinking the Progression levels have dropped far too low.

I do wonder if the two hard (for me) workouts (Threshold & VO2) at the end of the week 5-11 July might be counter-productive. After almost a week off, I’d be inclined to do only one of those. Ease the body back into things. The Threshold workout would be my focus with the road race on your calendar.

Then the race week 12-18 July looks to have a huge drop in intensity. The hardest workout being Gendarme at 3.0. That looks like a huge drop in intensity from where you’re at.

If you have been successfully completing Threshold and VO2 workouts at or around the 8.0 mark, I question whether a 3.0 VO2 workout will even get your legs/body/systems firing… I’d be inclined to opt for a shorter Threshold workout (45 minutes) and get something in the 6.0-6.5 ballpark done. I’d also look to swap out Sleeping Beauty-4 for another 30 minute VO2 workout in the 5.0-5.5 range.

Again, this is based off my experience. If I were to go into an event with such a drop in intensity, I would feel wooden. I wouldn’t be carrying fatigue but my legs just would respond.

You do know you and what ever you chose to do, I hope you have two great events! :+1:

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Thanks for elaborating. Definitely agree on progression levels feeling too low, especially for threshold workouts, which I’d consider a strength. I recently had a homemade workout which was a 7.0, and I was close to the limit near the end, so Azurite might be too tough. I did have a similar thought about prioritising the threshold workout - will probably just see how I feel when I get back to it.

Definitely going to take your advice on the week of the race… I just stole a final rolling road race specialty week, but it does look like a big step down, so I will find something a little bit spicier. As a noob racer, I’m just trying to find a routine that works - can always refine it as I learn more. Appreciate your thoughts again :blush:

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I’ve been racing for years and my two events next week are the first races I’ve done in over a year and a half. Right now, I feel like I’m new to racing. I’m questioning everything I’m doing!! :laughing:

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