Tapering for big effort

Hey everyone,

I posted a few months back about training for a huge climb that I am going for here in Ecuador. The Strava segment for the climb is here. 44.1 Miles with 12,242ft of elevation… brutal.

I have been following the Sustained Power Build plan, and I have been super happy with my progressing fitness. A ramp test here in Cuence, Ecuador at 8,500ft last week gave me an FTP of 255, which translates to roughly 290-300 at sea level, which is a personal best for me (currently just below 170lbs).

My question is regarding my taper before this big ride. I am planning to go for it on February 24th, and I want to put myself in the best position I can to drop the fastest time I can do. Any advice or ideas about what my taper should be/when to start would be much appreciated. I understand that the final week of the plan is supposed to be a taper week. Will this be sufficient? From some research online, it seems that people recommend about a two week taper before a big event, where you reduce volume, but maintain some intensity and roughly the same frequency of workouts. Thoughts? The entirety of my attempt at the climb will be tempo work between 75-90% of threshold, so I am a little confused on if I should continue to focus on some higher intensity work in the coming weeks.

Any insight or advice will be hugely appreciated!


What I’d do is start my taper 3 wks out. Idea is to reduce fatigue and increase form. Accept that you’ll lose a little fitness, but overall gains will more than compensate. Reduce volume but maintain intensity.

Working back for week of event assuming it’s a Sunday…

Wk 0 - steady rides/rest Mon - Thu. Friday 5/4/3/2/1 mins at increasing intensity with 5 mins FTP, increasing by 10% each min to 1 min full gas. Saturday 5x 1 min 150% FTP with at least 5 mins rest.

Wk 1 - usual week, but reduce number of intervals to 50%. Overall reduce hour to 50%

Wk 2 - usual week, reduced number of intervals to 75%. Reduce hours to 75%

Wk 3 - should be a recovery week.

Hope that helps👍


This is helpful information! Thanks a bunch!

I am starting my first ever taper into my big event March 2nd. Had a few questions about your advice:

@AndyGajda Is this what you were saying?

Same question for this one…

Edit: the cool downs are really long, I would probably just stop once my heart rate reached low “moderate”

My account isn’t active so can’t see the sessions you’re on about, but I’ll assume that they are either from 8th/9th June 2018, or 22/23rd June?

If so, yes, the recovery is intentionally long between the work intervals. It needs to be to achieve what the session intends. It’s about priming your body making sure you’ve recovered sufficiently between efforts. Gets it prepared for what’s ahead!! If you don’t have sufficient rest between intervals, that’s where it’ll go wrong.

3 weeks is too much for me and tapering can be fairly individual. The typical 2 week taper is what I followed for my ironmans and it worked great. Don’t reduce the # of work outs on week one, just length. Then on race week you will reduce them even more with a few hard efforts sprinkled in. You should start to feel antsy and maybe irritable. That means its working.


I’m currently 9 days into a 14 day taper and I am very antsy and ready to race. Enough waiting!

Thank you for the input, I appreciate it :smile:

Can someone do me a favour please? Can you tell me if you can see this ride in my calendar?

Many thanks

I would be happy to but don’t know how…:question:

The link takes you to a general “Taper” workout, with no calendar.