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FEATURED BLOGGER:   Alison Powers - Triple National Champion

SBT GRVL: Some MTB Training

SBT GRVL: Some MTB Training

"This time of year, after riding consistently for 5+ months, the usual routes can be uninspiring."

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.

26 days to go - Wednesday, July 24th

A last-minute MTB skills clinic cancellation (I coach/teach a small group, private, big group skills clinics) meant I had a surprise free day. I was still jonesing to ride my MTB and after a rest day yesterday, I was feeling good and motivated to ride.

This time of year, after riding consistently for 5+ months, the usual routes can be uninspiring. So, I chose a route that goes high up in the mountains and one I have not done for several years. Destination, the 505; a jeep road climb that's rocky, rooty, and eroded. I used the 505 for my Leadville training years ago, and it's a hard one. 

Not knowing how long the ride would take, no water stops along the way, and it being already 80º, I started with 1.5 servings of NBS preloaded, Bcaa's Foundation Video, and my dynamic stretching/activation.

It took ~45 min to get to the 505, and during that time my pack felt like it weighed 100lbs. A good reminder of why I don't want to wear a pack on race day (plus my back was already starting to hurt). Before the climb started, I finished a bottle of mix and ate 1/2 my PBJ. That helped to lighten the load and I knew there would be no eating once climbing. 

The 505 is like one long over/under interval (over threshold/under threshold). Eventually, the overs got the best of me and I had to stop of rest (!!!). It was a hard climb and I was tired (and sweaty) once I got to the top. A fun/technical descent down lead to the trails home. Once on those trails the fatigue really set in and my riding got pretty sloppy. 

All in all, the ride was about 3hrs long (no Garmin on MTB rides). I felt good with my hydration (glad I used a preload!), and my nutrition. My back felt much better once my pack lightened. My hamstrings were a little angry today, perhaps due to bending over yesterday pulling weeds and picking up dog poop. 

No time for rolling and stretching (which is a bummer). 

Good day and good to go high in elevation and be in the mountains.


Alison Powers

Now retired from racing, Alison Powers is the only person, in history, to win all three road discipline National Championships in one year (Road, Criterium and Time Trial - 2014). These go along with two previous national championships (Time Trial 2008, Team Pursuit 2008), two National Racing Calendar titles, and a 2nd place at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race (2013, 7:26hrs). Today she is the owner of ALP Cycles Coaching where she teaches road, cyclocross, and mountain bike clinics, and high performance race preparation and tactics. Alison is also team director for ALP Cycles Racing, a professional women's road and cyclocross team based in Boulder, Colorado.

ALP Cycles Coaching

Colorado-based ALP Cycles Coaching has over 25 years of professional sports experience. Each coach brings specific strengths and personal experiences to coaching sessions while collaborating to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Learn more at

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