All – Thought I would follow up on this as I am nearing my first race of the year (and first race ever). Going big - Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder. 360mi, 34,000ft - 5day stage race. Dang. So, originally I inquired on plans to get ready for the Belgian Waffle barf-o-rama but that got bumped to mid-July. I was wait listed for OTGG but got in. I’m adding this info mostly to show the prep I felt necessary for these monsters.
So, here’s the prep that I have done. 2018 was basically off the bike - not riding much at all. 2019 - 3 month structured training using a free plan found on the Cycling Weekly site - Jan-Mar. 3,500miles that year (started toying with the notion of entering the BWR). Same plan in 2020, 5,500miles (BWR cancelled). 2021 switched to Suf - all in now.
Started in early Nov on the Metric Century intermediate with strength, yoga, and mental add-ons. BWR got bumped to July and I got into OTGG so I had 8 addt’l weeks to prepare. Took a week off as recommended. Then did a 4 week FTP block and yoga with volume rides added on the weekend, because the 200mile gravel plan recommended riding 7hours + per week. Took another week off and then got sick. So basically 2 weeks off. Then did a week off unstructured riding. Then I started the 200 mile gravel with intermediate yoga. Missed only two workouts and those were on recovery weeks. First week of 200 mile was brutal. Very difficult to maintain power. But came around and here I am. Frostbite in Jan. Numbness in right arm. Runners knee. All battled, recovered - rode through the pain. Purposely scheduled outdoor rides during the most uncomfortable conditions to train my brain/body to get used to being uncomfortable.
Used time structured eating for 6 weeks and have lost 10 lbs since January. Power has been maintained. Currently 3.15W/kg 20min, 3.92W/kg MAP, 5.23W/kg AC, 13.87W/kg NM, 170 LTHR. Started at 2.75W/kg 20min, 3.36W/kg MAP, 4.16W/kg AC, 8.7W/kg NM, 174 LTHR. Note my sprint was probably skewed low due to wheel spin on my old trainer (Kinetic R+R). New trainer is TACX Neo 2T.
Last big ?? are the fueling/hydration during these crazy events. Fortunately Neal posted Boswell’s and a Suf coach’s hydration and feeding plan for UNBOUND. So, now I have that to lean on. Thanks Coach. Have to say that the mental toughness program is outstanding, and that doesn’t take anything away from the cycling and yoga and strength - all of which are top notch. Big takeaway from everything is that if one has an accurate 4DP profile, Suf is absolutely the best at pushing to absolute limit without going over. “Do As Your Told” and you will not over train. Very very impressive. Thank you Suf for giving me the tools needed to get into the form of my life, at 45 years of age!
Big thanks to Coach Neal for reaching out and personally responding to my first post. Humbled and honored, still. And knowing that the Minions will be double whipping me as I climb up those step rocky grades is comforting, so so comforting. We are never alone Sufferlandrians!
Currently enjoying my taper, relaxing, and soaking my legs in a cold bath. The last preparations for the Hell of the PNW (my words) and Hell of the West Coast are in process. Almost time for glory, honor, and a lot of vomit!
Peace and love my fellow Sufferlandrians - may the pain be with you!