August 02, 2019
by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching
In February, I wrote a blog post called Training to Train and in it, I disclosed that I had signed up for a bike race-Steamboat Gravel (SBT GRVL), a 141-mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads. Now, 3 weeks out from race day, I thought it would be fun and interesting to blog every day leading up to the race. I will blog about the specifics of my training, my preparation, my headspace, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.
21 days to go - Monday, July 29th
Day 2 of our annual tour of Colorado went from Aspen to Carbondale by way of Maroon Bells and Ashcroft; two amazingly beautiful climbs. I was support and van driver today (coaches Paddy, Brie, and I take turns driving the van and riding). Because we had 2 out and back climbs, I was able to squeeze in a little riding between van stops. I was tired today but felt surprisingly better than I thought I would after yesterday. After sending everyone on their way and getting the van to the proper location, I was able to ride a steady tempo toward Maroon Bells. Once the first riders started coming back, I flipped it and was ready for a fun pedaling descent to meet them at the van with food, water, goodies. Unfortunately, my Di2 battery was dying and I couldn’t shift into the big ring (apparently I need to charge the Di2 far more often…). Fortunately, while everyone was refueling at the van, I was able to charge the battery just enough to get back on my bike for the second climb before driving again.
Our van stops are some of the most fun parts of our Tour. Yes, the riding is amazing and the people are great, but at the van, it all comes together. Stories of riding, eating, Boom in our Belly sandwiches, laughing, etc. It’s like a mini-party and it’s really fun to be part of.
Once everyone was on their way toward Ashcroft, I was able to ride a bit more. This time, to avoid any battery problems, I left it in the big ring and only shifted the back between 3 gears as little as possible. This proved to be a solid challenge, one could call it intervals. I used to prescribe single speed rides/workouts and, after today, I think I'll start doing it again. You get it all in one-big gear intervals, high cadence intervals, standing intervals, etc. All in all, I got about 1:45hr of riding and that was just fine. Today was not my day to ride, it was my day to support.
Once at the hotel, with bags unpacked and riders taken care of, I was able to do some much-needed lacrosse ball rolling. Then we had our nightly happy hour followed by dinner, which was a gigantic hamburger.
Tomorrow is our last day of this year's ToC (I will ride all day while Paddy and Brie split up the driving/support). It always goes by so quickly. It's so much fun and we are already planning our 2020 route.
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ABOUT ALISON POWERS
Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).
About ALP Cycles Coaching
ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Shawn Heidgen, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoach
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