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FEATURED BLOGGER:   Alison Powers - Triple National Champion

SBT GRVL: Getting Everything Dialed

SBT GRVL: Getting Everything Dialed

Even though today was a day off the bike away from training, it was far from a rest day.

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.

11 days to go - Wednesday, August 7th

Today was my last big/hard training ride before SBTGRVL. The last day to get everything dialed in. I tried a different approach with my dynamic warm-up and activation this morning. Since I did core yesterday, I felt pretty “activated”, but tight. I was worried that that would lead to a bike ride filled with back pain, so I rolled out (with the lacrosse ball) mostly my left side.

Then came the usual preload and BCAA’s. Today, I wore, ate, and drank everything I plan to use in the race. Race socks, chamois, jersey, bottles, drink mix, food, etc. The goal is to limit race day surprises, so plan ahead and be prepared for everything.

Kit/clothing- everything felt good (don’t plan to take a rain jacket in the race but had to use one today)

Hydration- good. 6 bottles today (4 mix, 2 water)- one bottle in the back pocket worked just fine.

Nutrition- good. 1.5 pbj’s, 2 choco-chip cookies, 2 bars

Pacing- poor. I tried to really slow down at the start and go steady up the first (and biggest climb) but 90min into the ride, I was already feeling fatigued in my legs. Without a heart rate monitor or power meter to tell me to slow the F down, I will really need to be so patient on race day.

Frame bag- bad than good. I have been unsure what my plan will be for holding all my food/drink. Yes, the race will have a lot of aid stations, but I don’t want to stop every 25miles for water/food. I tried a smaller frame bag today, kind of like a giant bento box (which is embarrassing as I’ve made fun of people with bento boxes on their bikes). Every time I got out of the saddle (which is a lot) it rubbed my inner thighs. I ended up turning it upside down and that was perfect. As long as the zipper stays put (and my snack don’t go flying) that will be what I will use for race day.

Body- not bad. For the past few months, I’ve been battling left side hip, low back pain and today it was my right side (the side that didn’t get rolled out). Interesting… Otherwise, once I moderated my effort a little more in hours 2-4, I felt strong. I felt like I could have ridden more and I still had power in my legs. This is promising as today was only about 1/2 of race duration length. I’ll need to be even smarter with my effort on race day.

Home and recovery drink, bike wash. Good day.


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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