So when you've been riding 20-30 hours/week for a while, what constitutes a taper? Good question...
A "taper" is really better termed as a peak. There are few universal practices among coaches. One of the few might be that to bring on a peak, volume is reduced while intensity is at least maintained and perhaps increased. So, after a few days recovery after the KTR effort, I figured I'd try raising the intensity a bit for a few days and see what happens...what better way than a XC race?
The Road Apple Rally is Saturday in Farmington, NM. It's the longest running MTB race in the world, and being close to Durango draws a stacked field. Ned is a perennial winner, and I'd look for Travis Brown to do some damage there too since he's a local boy these days. He will almost certainly be on his SS 69er. Let's not forget our team boyz too - Brent is always strong there, as is his rippin' pop Ralph. Miles has been riding well lately do from what I hear on the grapevine...if Fergy is recovered from the all the hammering he's been doing he'll be crushing it too.
It's been a few years since I've ridden down there, but I thought I'd give it a go this year. The best race I've had down there was on a hardtail, and I have had the same frame hanging in my garage for a few years now. With all the spare time on my hands lately, it is now a complete bike, a Road Apple Machine, 22 lbs of snappy hardtail.
But alas...the monkey wrench. Rain. The Road Apple is downright unrideable in the wet, elevator gumbo clay. The forecast is wet, wet, and wetter. Count me out if it's looking like a mud race.
Besides, I haven't ridden less than 12 hours in each of the past 4 weekends...a 2 hour race is a bit of a drastic taper, wouldn't ya say?