Nate discusses how to use the taper to dial in your race day performance.
- Started Data Driven Athlete Coaching in 2010
- Full-time coach in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Online.
- Pre-built training plans
- Napa Valley Training Camp
- Two other great coaches at DDA
- Matt Chatlong
- Sam Bassetti
Why The Taper?
- Stop training, get faster?
- How long? How hard?
- Beauty of coaching | Science and art
- Graduate thesis
- Period of reduced training leading up to an important race/event (Mujika, 2010)
- Aim: Diminish fatigue, maximize physiological adaptations and performance (Bosquet, 2007)
Why it works
- Increase in VO2max
- Reduction of lactate at submaximal intensities
- Increase in muscle glycogen
- Generates a positive mood state
- Optimal length and volume: Likely dependent on amount of fatigue athlete carries into taper period
- Intensity is essential
Measuring training load
- Distance or duration
- HR (Strava Suffer Score)
- If Power at LT is 300w
- Then 1hr @ 300w
- Equals 100 TSS
- TSS model is a quick, easy, and convenient method for measuring training load
- Models are educated guesses
- Sometimes close to right
- Sometimes wrong
Building a smarter taper
- Step 1: Define your targets
- Step 2: Look for trends
- Step 3: Use science as a guide
- Step 4: Build confidence by modeling
- Joe Schmoe, 16hrs week to train
- Targeting Rhino Romp on 3/26
- Feature climb: Salmon Falls bridge to Rhino
- Race feature: 20 minute climb
Looking for trends
- Consistently having 20m PPO with TSB between 1-5
Science as a guide
- 1 week taper (2 weeks too much)
- Reduce training volume 50% (16 to 8)
- Maintain riding intensity and frequency
- Hang onto as much fitness (CTL) as possible with TSB between 1-5 on event day
Confidence through modeling
- Use projecting TSS to model your taper toward your target event
Tapering for skeptics
- Do you train enough to taper?
- Look for patterns in your data
- Reduce volume while maintaining frequency and intensity
- Effects of Tapering on Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Bosquet (2007)
- Intense training: the key to optimal performance before and during the taper. Mujika, 2010
From fondos to road races, learn why our cycling coaching is among the best in the industry.