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.
25 days to go - Thursday, July 25th
I have a small group of friends who are also “in training”. Among other races, both are racing SBTGRVL. Every couple of weeks we get together and ride. I very much like these rides as they let me pick the route (usually very hard), and they are mostly ok with my “no phaffing” philosophy (No B.S.- let’s ride and then get home to work and take care of dogs). These friends are also quite strong riders and each ride challenges me; I come home tired.
When training for an event, it’s important to ride with others. Riding with others forces you to change pace (sometimes faster, sometimes slower). It can be easy to become complacent on your own riding your own speed all the time.
The morning started as usual- preload, BCAA’s, dynamic stretching, activation, water bottle fill, snack making, etc. I was very sleepy this morning due to dog drama in the middle of the night, but my energy levels were a-ok.
Today’s route was going to be a hard one. 4hrs with over 6,000ft climbing with Lickskillet (a very steep dirt climb) as the main goal. While it was a route that was totally doable on road bikes, I chose to my CX bike turned gravel bike so I could bank more time on it.
90 minutes into the ride, Daphne, put in an attack that not only hurt my legs, they stayed loaded up the entire ride. Meaning, they loaded with lactate and my body was not able to clear it. My legs never felt the same after that— a sure sign that I have done no specific interval training in the past months and if I don’t start, my SBTGRVL could be over in the first hour when separations are being made.
We climbed Lickskillet which was indeed very steep and I was thankful for my 42. There was no shortage of water today as we passed the Ward spring twice and nutrition seems to be pretty dialed now (eat early, eat often, and front load the calories with 1/2 a PBJ).
The last hour of the ride was quite uncomfortable. My legs hurt, my bad ached (but not from pain, from fatigue instead and this is exciting!), and I was mentally tired. I imagine I’ll feel like this (or worse) the last couple hours in Steamboat so this was good practice.
Home to a recovery drink, and the foam roller. I’m more than ready for a rest day tomorrow.
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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
January 28, 2020
January 28, 2020
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