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SBT GRVL: Rest then Go Big

SBT GRVL: Rest then Go Big

"I knew I needed another 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.

23 days to go - Saturday, July 27th

I needed another rest day for 4 reasons 

  1. I wanted one (no desire to ride)
  2. I was still tired (from the Lickskillet ride)
  3. I knew what was coming (ALP tour of Colorado)
  4. I had to finish up details for the Tour (organizing 3 days of riding for 24 people).

22 days to go - Sunday, July 28th

Day 1 of ALP Cycles Coaching tour of Colorado. The best 3 days on a road bike Alison Powers Tour of Coloradoevery year. This year, I was a bit selfish and scheduled the Tour exactly 3 weeks out from Steamboat. Three weeks out from an event is a perfect time to do a big training block. We have several riders on the Tour who are racing Steamboat and Leadville, so the timing is perfect (3 weeks and 2 weeks out).

Today was big and it was great training and preparation for Steamboat; 97 miles and 7,400ft of climbing. We rode from Avon to Aspen. The goal of today was to go hard, see what we were made of and how much we could handle. I got cooked. The first climb started a bit fast and I knew it was more than 1- I could sustain for 75 more miles and 2- the others could also sustain. But that’s why we are here, to see how much we could handle before exploding (i.e. to learn pacing and patience for a long event).

In addition to taking care of the Tour riders, I fit in the usual Foundation training, mobility, BCAA’s, and preload. 4 hours later I was questioning doing Foundation before a ride. While it does activate my “posterior chain” I started to wonder if it also pre-fatigued it. My back was dying today. My legs were also hurting but my back was very sore/tired and ended up being my limiter. This is discouraging, but all I can do is keep working and doing my best to get it ready to handle 8+hrs on the bike on dirt roads.

Hydration was good. Nutrition was good. Pacing was too fast to start. Headspace was good.

ALP Cycles Tour of Colorado Day 1



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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