Recovery week before tapering - go or no go?

Hi all,

Long-time lurker, first-time poster. Happy TR subscriber for 2 years now. I’ve been training for >6 months for my A-goal this year: the Marmotte Gran Fondo (175km, 5000m+ climbing). I’ve gone through a full base and build cycle through Plan builder. The last 3 weeks it had me do the first 3 weeks of the Gran Fondo Speciality plan. I’m on a low-volume plan that I supplemenent with a lot of endurance riding to get to ~12 hrs per week.

For the final 3 weeks Plan Builder had cooked up the following:

  • 1 recovery week (endurance only)
  • 1 training week (similar in TSS to my last 3 weeks - close to an all-time high for me)
  • 1 taper week (an easy threshold session, recovery rides and openers)

I’m wondering if this is truly the best approach for me going forward as I 1. don’t feel very fatigued at the moment, 2. am worried about the big week 1 week before the event.

I’m contemplating changing my next 3 weeks into a bit of a progressive taper:

  • 1 training week where I lower the volume slightly
  • 1 taper week where I reduce the volume a bit more and take a few recovery days if I feel fatigued
  • 1 true taper week, same as above.

Would love to hear your experiences with this. I understand this is very much a balancing act between doing too much and doing too little, but I can’t shake the feeling that the current plan feels a bit weird.

Trust the algorithm.

This is one thing I don’t think the algorithm handles well. Like scheduling time off the week after a recovery week - there’s no need for that recovery week.

If you can handle 12 hour weeks just fine then you don’t need the recovery week here. My personal (again this is very personal) idea would be similar to yours. Full training week 3 weeks out. Mostly full training week 2 weeks out and then taper week leading in to it. If you are feeling tired then skip a workout to be sure or sub in endurance in place of intensity. Just listen to your body - you know it better than any of us schlubs on the internet.

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If it makes you feel better, most of what you do right now isn’t going to make you faster by race day… but you can definitely make yourself more tired. More rest is more often than not not a bad thing. But as posters above said, only you really know how fatigued you are.

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I’d suggest to skip the recovery week and instead either repeat week 3 from the speciality plan or move to week 5.
Then do the two taper weeks.

Good luck!

Thanks for the input all! As expected, nailing this balance seems very personal.

Sticking to a plan that you have full confidence in is probably more important than trying to find a perfect solution that works for everyone and your input does help in building that confidence.

Hey @rrou!

Good question :slight_smile:

I agree with @Barry_Bean; trust the algorithm! :slight_smile:

I took a look at your account, and it looks like on May 15th, there was an edit to your Calendar that triggered a plan rebuild? I ask this because you mentioned you did a full Base/Build with Plan Builder, but your current training plan shows a Start Date of May 15, 2023, and an End Date of July 2, 2023.

Due to the timeline of your current plan and its time constraints, Plan Builder added in the Recovery Week before the final 2-week taper leading into your A Event because you had been training for 3 weeks in a row.

As @kurt.braeckel mentioned, in those last few weeks leading up to your A Event, you should focus on maintaining your legs fresh and not tiering yourself with extra work because, really, you’ve done all the hard work already.

Plan Builder recommends specific workouts to give “A” races up to two two-week tapers leading up to them. This is super important because it allows for a reduction in Training Stress and an increase in Freshness, all while maintaining Fitness to create this elusive “Peak.”

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