Taper Week - Question from the latest Podcast

Just listened to the latest podcast that discussed the differences between rest, recovery, and taper weeks. Very appropriate because I’m targeting an early season crit on Sat 3/9.

The question I have is how to set-up the taper week. I’m into the 7th week of a mid-volume general build plan and for my last week (a recovery week), I’ll be in Park City, skiing and snowboarding with the family. I’m not sure if I’ll have access to a workout/room exercise bike, but if I do, I’ll try to get some time on that type of bike to get some of those rides in. Alternatively, same if there’s a treadmill, maybe I’ll do some running.

When I return, I’ll have two weeks leading up to the crits on 3/9. I plan on doing 2-3 races on race day. I was planning on starting a mid-volume short build phase program, but I’m wondering how I should change the week leading up to the race to taper correctly. Should I reduce each workout by choosing a variant that lowers the TSS and duration or should I use the calendar to swap around the 2nd and 4th weeks to use the recovery week as the taper?

I’m not sure I’m ready for a specialty phase since I have other goals later this spring, but the majority of races from this crit week on are shorter circuit races that last about 1.25 to 1.5 hours and I think the short build phase program looks like the right plan to take on.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Are these crits on 3/9 your A race priority, or do you have events later in the season that you’re targeting? I ask because we usually recommend training through early season races if they’re C or “training” races. However, if you want to taper for that weekend full of crits, I’d recommend swapping around the 2nd and 4th weeks of the Short Power Build plan, since that will build in a taper for you with a little less training stress leading up to race day. Depending on how long your crit season goes, you can follow the Short Power Build > Criterium Specialty plan progression.

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Thanks for getting back!

This particular weekend is close to an A with one of the races more important than the other 2. The preceding weekend and weekends after are closer to C. With another A event happening later in April (a true RR, not a cirt) and May (another crit).

On the note of training races during the short build or specialty plans - should these be in addition to or replacement of the workouts of the plan? My assumption is the later and also tack on a little endurance post race.

Thanks again,


Just keep doing what you are doing and have fun with the races. Maybe take a day off two days before the race and do Huxley as a tune up the day before. You should time your A race to be around when you finish the specialty block as that is when you will be in peak fitness.

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You’ve got it, the races should replace the long weekend rides of your plan.


Thank you, both.

On a slightly different vein, but same topic.

When choosing workouts we can select various characteristics: Endurance, Tempo, Sweet spot, threshold etc. But there is no specific trait for “tapering”.

Would that be something like looking at the kind of workouts in the plan, leading up to where I want to taper, and trying to find shorter versions of the same intensity level? Something like “Threshold”, but “45 minutes or less”. Sweet spot, but shorter than usual, Anaerobic, but short.

Choose the variations that decrease the time if they are available.

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Thanks. It’s only in the last couple of days that I’ve started to understand the difference between the concepts of rest, recovering and tapering.

This makes it easy to understand tapering. A good workout to keep fitness in line, but don’t tire yourself out.