I’ve got 2 fairly big events coming up (Ronde van Vlaanderen & Mallorca 312), that are about 4 weeks apart from each other. Both are 150+ miles.
My main training plan runs up to the first event, but the question is - how should I fill the 4 weeks between the two?
Do I still need a taper week, or do I rest after event 1, then do a 3 week build up to event 2?
Any and all suggestions welcome!
Those look like AWESOME events! I’m jealous!
I’m not a coach, but, if it were me, I’d likely do a recovery week, then 2 weeks with some volume and intensity then a taper week.
I would have a recovery week (mentally and physically refreshing) after event 1, jump into week 2&3 of my build weeks with Tempo/SS/Sub Threshold workouts, then a fast tracked taper week with NM and AC workouts, rest day and Openers day into event 2 at the weekend.
Jings. I’m in the same thinking as Dan above.
(I don’t know the first event at all but I know the 312).
If the first one is a thing like the Majorca, that warrants a rest week as a minimum. For me the only question is whether to have more than that, but you’ll know you’re own body best (for example I take a lot longer to recover from long days than I did 30 years ago).
I wouldn’t then crush the next two weeks. So I’d likely be in some maintain mode (see Dan’s suggestion above).
The week before I’d do the FF Prep plan week (and I’d be following it to absolute letter so I had enough climbing legs for the 312)
Lotta personal preference here, no one right answer (with one exception), all good suggestions already. Couple points:
- rest: you probably do want to rest post Mallorca, how much depends on how tired you are, but it can’t hurt
- taper: this part is super personal. Tapers (objectively) do not matter as much as folks think they do (literature suggests 1 to 5% improvement, tops) and importantly for you, the longer the event is, the less they matter. Someone hitting a match sprint World Cup will taper HARD, whereas gravel racers rarely taper at all. But again this is personal. If you get a mental boost, go for it.
- weeks in between: realistically, your fitness is unlikely to change much in those two weeks. But I’d still train: You’ll get more long term improvement, you’ll maintain between events, and it’s fun! You have tons of freedom, pick whatever floats your boat
Thanks for all your replies - good to hear everyone’s thoughts.
Based on your feedback, this is what I’m currently thinking:
set up a MAP (or Tempo?) block to run between the two events, but replace the first 3-5 days with recovery work.
follow the next 2 weeks MAP block (maybe some extra miles at weekends)
a short taper to finish (e.g. Tapers, Openers), so I get a bit of freshness back ahead of the 312.
One question I have though, is whether it should be a MAP or Tempo block?
Would be interested to hear your thoughts on the benefits of each (if you can be bothered)!
Personally, I would choose it line with what you think the event is going to dictate. I’m leaning Tempo.
@Edd - Great question. It takes a while of doing absolutely nothing to lose your fitness for aerobic endurance up to your FTP effort. Like several weeks of doing absolutely nothing before you would see significant losses in aerobic endurance and FTP metrics. Also, a 4-week taper is not too uncommon for elite athletes. I’m not saying you are an elite athlete, and I’m not saying you should do a 4-week taper, but the point I am trying to drive home is that an additional build is likely not necessary and will probably put you deep in a fatigue hole. So, if you are properly trained for the first event, have done the work, and the volume is in the bank, then what I would do is have a really nice active recovery week, including a full rest day the day after event one. After the rest week, I’d start with some tolerable MAP work (don’t pick the hardest MAP workout in SYSTM - pick a medium effort like Rue the Day or 2 sets of 6x 1 min) and then toward the end of week 2 I’d also include a tolerable AC workout, something like AC Progression 2: 2 sets 6x 20/40, mix in some easy rides in between and get out and do a sub-threshold ride that weekend. I would repeat that formula for week 3. Then week 4 leading into the race I’d swap out the MAP for an AC workout, I would do a NM workout like cadence builds, and follow a typical race-week progression including the Taper efforts the day before the race. You lose the high end relatively quickly, but the aerobic power lasts quite a while, so trust your training.
Hi @WahooCoach_Corey - thanks a lot for your feedback.
I would probably have done what @Dan suggested, but your explanation makes a lot of sense to me.
I can see that a building block would probably just fatigue me, rather than deliver any real improvement. Thanks for suggesting a few workouts to use as well - much appreciated, as there are so many to choose from you sometimes can’t see the wood for the trees!
Thanks again for taking the time!
Just thought I’d post a quick update for anyone who’s ever in a similar position…
I followed @WahooCoach_Corey 's advice pretty much to the letter and can honestly say I felt as good on my second event (Mallorca 312), as I did on the first (Flanders Sportive). In fact I think I felt even better on the second one!
Big thanks to @WahooCoach_Corey for his advice - the man knows his stuff!