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, 3.5 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.
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.
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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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