I was asked twice this week how I taper athletes for their A-priority races, once by an athlete and also by a coach. I told them that I would write about it in my blog, but later realized I had already done so several times. So rather than do it all over again I’ll just provide the links to four posts on the topic. I’ll also summarize each so you can pick out the one that best matches your interests, should you want to read about it (click on the title to go to the post).
In this post from 2009 you will find an explanation of the three elements of race preparedness – fitness, fatigue and form. This is essential to understanding what’s happening when you peak properly. It goes on to describe the basics of the peaking process through the interplay of intensity and rest/recovery with an emphasis on the latter.
This post is also from 2009 and is a follow up to the one above providing graphic illustrations of how I taper and peak athletes. This will make much more sense if you use a power meter (bike) or speed-distance device (run) along with the Performance Management Chart (PMC) at TrainingPeaks or WKO+ software. The two charts show the actual peaking design for a road cyclist and an Ironman triathlete.
Here you will find a discussion of how I was preparing a road cyclist for his A race. The PMC for the athlete is also provided along with more subtle nuances of the indicators of race readiness.
As the title implies, this very short piece uses two of the athletes I coached in 2010 – a 70.3 triathlete and a road cyclist – to compare graphically how their bike power was distributed by training zones as they went through their final preparations for their A races.
If you search for “peaking” on the home page of my blog you’ll find much more detail on peaking including topics such as projecting race readiness, strong and weak form, and peak performance predictors.