SBT GRVL: Are the Legs Ready?

SBT GRVL: Are the Legs Ready?

"Moving was another recovery day from the #alptoc."

by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching

In February ALP Coach, Alison Powers, announced that she had signed up for SBT GRVL, a 141-mile race with 100 miles on dirt/gravel roads in Steamboat, Colorado. With race day approaching, she’s been blogging every day leading up to the race. She blogs about the specifics of her training, her preparation, 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.