So…totally hypothetical situation here…let’s say you just completed an A-race time trial where you dominated the entire field. Long event, 12 hours (or something like that). What would your approach be for easing back into training?
Seems like I read a lot about how to time overreach, supercompensation, tapering, etc. but not too much about approaches to ramping training load back up. Gimme some thoughts/guidance my forum ppl!
Depends on your plans after the A race surely? Do you have more races coming up, or is it another year to your next A race?
Ideally I’d have a few days off the bike, and then do some fun or social riding.
Two things come to mind though:
- Whatever you do, shouldn’t depend on the result from that race. The toll on your body and mind will be the same whether you win or come last. (Unless you dns’d or dnf’d early in the event). You recover because of that, not because hou won.
- If you trained well for an event, you might not actually need that much recovery, at least physically. It doesn’t need to be much harder than your training. Ultra long events are a bit different, obviously.
For something fairly epic which can beat you up (haven’t done a 12 hour TT but have done IMs, a 10 hour MTB and some marathons) I typically have a couple of weeks where I put no pressure on myself to train and just do what my body feels like doing. Which might be very little for at least the first week, might be some easy riding, might be something different like hiking, swimming, kayaking, lifting. Normally sleep a ton and indulge the food and alcohol a bit as well.
First IM I did, that couple of weeks turned into about 4 months and a >10 pound weight gain (first time in my adult life I’d been inactive that long or seen that kind of weight gain, the build for that race really buried me both mentally and physically!). So since then I’ve tried to have something fun in the diary in the 2-3 months after a big event that gets me motivated again. Maybe a shorter, fun B or C race, or maybe something like a ski trip or a cycling weekend with mates. Something that isn’t demanding enough to put any pressure on me or require a lot of structured training, but does act as an incentive to train regularly enough to maintain some fitness and routine until I’m ready to take things more seriously again.