August 06, 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.
18 days to go - Thursday, August 1st
I woke up in the middle of the night worried about what I was going to do for hot water (coffee) and bathroom while in Steamboat for the race. I plan to #vanlife it for the race- a quick in and out trip with one night spent in Steamboat. But that one night is important and that one morning (race morning) is most important. While figuring out how to make hot water and what to do for a bathroom isn’t that big of a deal, in the middle of the night it seems like it is. So, I have 17 days to figure out what to do for hot water and bathroom.
Moving on…. today was another recovery day from the #alptoc. I already felt a lot better today. I’m lucky in that my job as a cycling coach and business owner involves a lot of computer time. That means I sit and sit and sit and sit. Sitting and staying off the feet is good for recovery. However, sitting too long can cause things to start to tighten up and I was starting to feel my legs, hips, and back starting to tighten up this afternoon.
We have a great group of friends and almost every week we ride mountain bikes together on Thursday evenings. Before I left for the ride, I did ~25-30min of core strength and push-ups. This involved Foundation Training, planks, and green band glute work. It felt really good and it’s been a while since I did an actual core workout (other than activation before riding).
For me, mountain biking is a great test to see how the legs and body are doing. Unlike the road bike, you can’t just sit and spin. Mountain biking requires pressure on the pedals to get through technical features, and focus and coordination to get through technical features. If I’m any bit tired, either mentally for physically, my MTB riding is pretty poor. Also, a sign of fatigue is burning legs (from the get-go, not from intervals) that don’t produce power. So, if my legs are burning with any effort on the pedals, then I know I my body is tired. Tonight would be a good test as our friends are good riders and we usually ride challenging, technical trails. The good news was my legs felt good and climbing with the big bike felt easy. And, for not riding the MTB in about a week, my skills were also fairly good. This shows me my body has recovered from the Tour and I’m ready for training.
No Garmin on the MTB, but I would guess our ride was ~2hrs. We were out there for 3 hrs but we stop, laugh, wait, chat, B.S., drink beers, etc. It was fun.
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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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