To taper or not, that is the question.
The research is inconclusive. There are many different methods of tapering and many more opinions. In the end, it is a personal matter. There are so many variables; your current level of fitness; your compete level; the current state of your health; and, your objectives. I am preparing for the 2014 Pacific Populaire, an annual 100 km group ride, and because of unseasonal inclement weather, have not been able to get out on the road as much as I would have liked. There is no better way to prepare than time in the saddle. Instead, I have combined intense indoor spinning, time in the gym lifting and more relaxed outdoor rides when the weather permitted.
Am I adequately prepared? I am not certain. And, for that reason I question whether to taper. Perhaps it makes more sense to continue training at the same intensity until the day of the ride. This is not a race, at least for me. My objectives are simple – complete the ride, enjoy the experience and, better last year’s time. That’s the key. I know I can complete the ride and enjoy the day. But can I improve on last year’s performance? That is what I have been working toward for 3 months.
With a week left to ride day, this is what I have decided. For the next 5 days, I am going to continue training at the same frequency and intensity as usual. That means a mixture of indoor spinning and a couple of road rides. It looks like it will be warmer and sunny at the beginning of the week so I can get on the road. Thursday evening I will do the spinning class I enjoy. It is intense but only an hour long. And then, Friday and Saturday I will rest – stretch, tune the bike and prepare my clothing for the ride on Sunday.
Is that a taper? I am not sure. Is a 2 day rest sufficient? I am about to find out.
What do you think?