Training camp close to A race

I am going holiday 2-3 weeks before my A race. I will have the chance to do a decent training block, almost like a training camp, leaving myself about a week to 10 days to taper for the event.

Is a significant boost in training this close to the event likely to be of any use or will it be detrimental and should I therefore just continue with the prescribed workouts?

I will be in the RRR specialty at this point and was planning on just doing the maximum + versions of whatever is in the plan with an extra few long Z2 rides so would probably end up doubling my prescribed TSS.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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What type of event? The longer the event and less punchy the more I am inclined to say do the camp. If not your A race do it also. Good luck!

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Its a 50 mile road/closed circuit race. It should be relatively flat and not very technical. Could either be ridden for the breakaway or sit in a wait for the sprint but it is so easy to save energy on this course I’m more inclined to go for a break rather than take my chances with a load of other riders who also won’t have done any work.

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I ride well on sustainaned efforts with some fatigue in the system. I say do the time when you have the time then. Get that time in. Plan for the break. Be well fueled.

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@Fordguru thanks that confirms what I had thought

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I saw somewhere that any training you do within a week isn’t going to help your fitness; takes longer to see the benefit. It it’s 10 days, then maybe you would. I’m sure someone will know and could comment on the science.

@Jesse_Vernon1 I’m sure something like this has already been discussed in a podcast but can’t remember when.

It would be 10 days from the end of the holiday until the race so I would have at least that long for recovery/taper. And I can always do the bulk of the training in the first few days to give even longer if needed.

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I’d go for it. You’ll be bummed if you don’t take advantage of the time to do the extra riding. 10 days should be plenty for recovery, and I’d bet that’s enough time to realize the gains from the work.

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No, it won’t make any difference in that short of a time unless you’re talking about sprints, maybe anaerobic repeatability. Anything beyond that, you’re talking weeks (even months) to see meaningful adaptation.

My thought is that the training camp will add a lot of fatigue, but 10 days is enough time to shed that. I’d maintain a bit of intensity but cut WAY back on volume prior to the event. If you don’t reduce volume, you’ll come in fatigued… if you reduce volume a lot and just ride easy, you’ll come into it very stale.

Definitely a risk, but a smart taper plan can mitigate most of it. Just don’t expect the training camp to be a performance benefit with that short of a run up.


@kurt.braeckel Thanks for the advice. It would be mainly sprints/anaerobic repeatability I would be working on considering where I will be in my plan and I was planning on just doing the longer versions of each of those workouts, maybe with some Z2 afterwards.

Assuming I just do the longer of the prescribed workouts and give adequate time for recover, I would see a bigger boost in fitness for the race than if I just did the rides as they are currently programmed?

I really don’t think you’re going to see much difference between doing some and doing more. I don’t think the risk of doing more (accumulating additional fatigue) is worth the potential reward (which will be minimal), personally. Minimum effective dose is more worthwhile - do the work but not too much.

Thanks, that’s really helpful advice.