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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training on: August 05, 2015, 09:39:57 AM
kiwidave


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« on: August 05, 2015, 09:39:57 AM »

If possible it would be great if this was a training only thread.

I'm racing the TD in 2016 and wondering if anyone can give some details of what their training programs are or were.

Having read all the old forums and race threads, multiple blogs and all the Cordillera's, so far I've gleamed:

Ride a lot (with no definition whether this is 10 or 100 hours a week)
Ride hard
Ride with a loaded bike
Do some back to back 100 milers in race conditions (fully loaded and camping) and race pace
Stretch (and/or do yoga)
Do core strengthening exercises
Mike Hall did hill reps
JayP did 6x300w for 3mins each

The knowledge of the route / resupplies / gear & bike selection which is available is fantastic - but training programs and tips are thin on the ground.

So, with 10 months to go - does anyone have some suggestions for all of us who are going to race the TD?

Cheers,

KiwiDave

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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 03:03:57 AM
Get Mounted


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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 03:03:57 AM »

My plan was to build on my endurance base for the rest of this year (I usually race DH and gravity enduro). I struggle to stick to an actual program but my general routine for the past few months has been as follows:

Commute to work of 30km round trip per day 5 days per week
Hill climb sessions of anywhere between 1000 and 1250m vertical climbing twice a week (on commute days)
Wednesday night single track session (approx. 20km)
Technical trail ride on the weekend (approx. 30km) and some shuttles (doesn't really count I know)

As soon as my TD bike is built up I'll put 10kg in the frame bag and use that for commuting/hill reps.

Post December I was planning on striping out some of the move gravity orientated weekend riding and replacing with longer (8 hours or so) plodders, as well as padding my commutes out further. I'll also do some weekend trips to nut out gear and processes, and will do the Munda Biddi trail here in Western Australia in pseudo race mode around March. It's a 1000km off-road continuous trail from Perth to Albany.

That was the general plan, however a few weeks ago I dislocated my shoulder in a mtb crash. I'm having surgery tomorrow but I'll be out for at least a few months. Looks like my TD training is going to be on hold for a while (though I'll be on the spin bike six weeks after surgery)  BangHead

Not sure how my routine/plan stacks up in terms of TD completion. I'll be refining it as I go.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 09:39:00 AM
Dinodinodino


Location: St. Albert, Alberta
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 09:39:00 AM »

My plan is pretty similar.  Commuting 5 days a week with the average riding time being 1 hour total.  I will start training with the plan below about 5-6 months before the race.

1 extra long commute per week where I do hill repeats:  10-20m warm up; 50m hill repeats; 10-20m cool down. 
Another extra long commute per week where I do intervals:  10-20m warm up; 50-60m intervals (varied patterns); 10-20m cool down. 

Saturday is long ride day of about 7-10 hours on average at a steady pace.  There will be some weekends where I will try a 2-3 days of long rides in a row.  These would be fully loaded mini-trips to check the gear as well.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 09:56:23 AM
kj78133


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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 09:56:23 AM »

One other thing to consider ...

I was surprised at how much I had to push/drag/carry my bike.  Don't neglect your upper body strength and make sure you are used to walking in your mtb shoes.

KJ
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 12:23:31 PM
Briansong


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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 12:23:31 PM »

One other thing to consider ...

I was surprised at how much I had to push/drag/carry my bike.  Don't neglect your upper body strength and make sure you are used to walking in your mtb shoes.

KJ

Don't underestimate this. I started the GD in 2014. I was physically prepared, didn't have any issues with knees or overall fatigue. I went out in Seely Lake after the Richmond Peak snow push. Ankles could go any further. I made a really bad shoe choice. Had the weather been like this year, perhaps they would have been fine.

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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 07:55:16 PM
sfuller


Location: Central Iowa
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 07:55:16 PM »

Thinking over my training prep for this year's race (coming from a guy in the central plains)

- gradual build up of endurance with two or three longer rides per week, depending on the week. These started at 2 hours and then worked up to 3 or 4 hours mid week and  6 or 8 hours on the weekends. Bike used varied.
- Lots of time on the trainer and occasionally the fatbike over the winter doing low RPM, high wattage intervals to simulate long sustained climbs. Started at 4 x 3 minutes w a 3 to 5 minute break, and worked up to 3 or 4 x 15 with 5 minute breaks.
- More winter trainer time doing shorter harder interval workouts
- Some back to back 4 hour trainer sessions during the winter with varying resistance
-  6 months before the race, almost all outdoor rides were on my race bike with gear, no matter the time or distance
- As spring weather got dryer (not necessarily warmer). Started throwing in 4 hour post-work ride/camps on Fridays, followed up by long 6 - 8 hour ride on Saturday.
- March to early April, I scheduled some race-sim weekends. Left work at 5 PM Friday, rode for 6 hours & camped. Rode 10 - 12 hours on Saturday at a steady pace. Camped. Rode 5 to 6 hours on Sunday morning so I was home by noon-ish.
- Strength training 2 x per week. LOTS of core and upper body along with squats, calf raises and step ups.
- Hiking on local hilly mtb trails with and without the bike.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 06:44:31 PM
swighton


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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 06:44:31 PM »

I've had a hard time finding good information on this subject. For TD 2015 I used a plan developed from previous endurance experience, the Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel, The Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling, and information I had collected from the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association. There are many good articles on the the UMCA site regarding training, nutrition, recovery, etc.

I have attached the detailed workout plan I followed in 2015 below. My objective was to complete the tour divide in less than 20 days while still sleeping 7-8 hours a night since I get ill if I sleep less than that Sad. I accomplished that so I guess it was effective? I can say that fitness was not a problem for me on the tour and I had no problems with any joints, tendons, or anything like that.

The plan is divided into the typical base, build, peak, and taper phases with the workout selection geared towards endurance. There is however a fair amount of intervals, time trials, tempo, and other high intensity training. It also prescribes strength training for whole body strength, as well as special bike pushing workouts to condition the achilles. Overall it was about 5000 miles of riding over 6 months.

Not in the plan, but I also stretched 7 days a week calves, quads, hams, glutes, ITB, etc.

Obviously my plan will not be directly applicable, though I think it is not a bad starting point and I can certify it worked for me. If you haven't, I recommend reading Joe Friel's book. It will guide you through setting up a personalized training plan geared towards your goals and weaknesses. It also covers other important subjects such as injuries, nutrition, strength training, stretching, training diaries, etc.

Also note: my zones are kind of weird compared to the ones you usually see in cycling training.
Zone 1 - less than 65% of max HR
Zone 2 - 65% to 85% of max HR - build aerobic endurance
Zone 3 - 85% to 94% of max HR - to reach LT
Zone 4 - 95% to 100% of max HR - to develop anaerobic system

« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 04:43:09 PM by swighton » Logged

  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 02:40:01 AM
kiwidave


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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 02:40:01 AM »

Shane - thanks for posting, it is really helpful to get something from a strong racer. I'm reading Joe Friel's CT Bible currently and was wondering if it wasn't too road bike racing specific.

One initial question is: How did you split this between road bike / unladen MTB / fully loaded MTB?

Cheers,

KiwiDave
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 02:49:32 AM
kiwidave


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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 02:49:32 AM »

Steve - thanks for posting - it is so helpful to get some feedback. I'm the same age and I am aiming for a similar time as your ride.

Cheers,

KiwiDave
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 08:28:35 AM
swighton


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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 08:28:35 AM »

...
One initial question is: How did you split this between road bike / unladen MTB / fully loaded MTB?
...

Unfortunately I live in the heart of a city so it is impossible to find uninterrupted stretches of road for the weekday workouts so I ended up doing most weekday workouts indoors on a trainer. This was good mental prep - especially the 3+ hour rides towards the end. I did use my TD rig on the trainer, I just put a 700 x 32c touring tire on it. Long rides on Saturday and Sunday were almost always on a fully loaded bike. I mostly stuck to road because that's what's available, but a few weekends I traveled to some long gravel loops to fully test the rig / me / gear attachment / etc.

Given how much I hate out and backs, and how hard it is to get in and out of the city by bike, most weekends I would ride the prescribed distance away from the city on road (usually hitting a neighboring state), camp, ride in the local area for the Sunday ride (on gravel / dirt if possible) then have my wife pick me up :]. This was also  a good reason to carry real gear and test it.

If you're indoors make sure you train with cadence and if you can power. It's easy to accidentally train at a high cadence all the time on a trainer and get injured the first time you encounter a big hill that requires a lower cadence. (believe it or not there is a lot of this on the TD). I have a CycleOps PowerBeam trainer which allows you to give it a GPS route and it will vary the resistance according to the terrain. This is great for simulating climbs. I "pre-rode" some of the climbs on the TD (they were much harder in real life, though still helpful). You also can give it a workout such as intervals at prescribed power or a tempo ride.

On Joe Friel's book: I think it is a bit too road racing specific if you applied it directly, though it is loaded with great information and best practices for serious training. Combine it with endurance specific resources and you can make a great plan.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 08:34:39 AM by swighton » Logged

  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 07:11:54 AM
james-o


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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 07:11:54 AM »

Interested in this thread, to learn what works for others, what I could have done differently or if the same results can come from more efficient methods. I'm sceptical (w/o any expertise, but naturally sceptical..) that the 'work smarter' road race training methods can save much training time when you're preparing for 2-3 weeks of steady drain on your reserves. I thought I needed the mental and physical strength that comes from putting in 100s of hours in all weathers and you need to stay healthy and motivated while doing it.

Another recommendation for Joe Friel's methods from me, or at least reading his book and blog to help understand some of the basics. I read up on training zones, turbo sessions and volume/intensity balance there and also got some tips from a couple of friends who use coaching or formal plans with good results.

I the end did 6 months of training that started on New Year's day, off the back of a year where I'd done 2 10-day trips that I felt had built up my basic strength. the 6 months plan was based on 2x 12 week blocks. The first was mainly high road mileage at low pace - 90-120 miles at a time, 2x a week with one or 2 50-60 milers mid week, almost all at Z2 with big-gear Z2-limited hill work, aimed at getting my base ready and getting to the point where a steady 100 miles on road was just a sunday am ride. Also did 1 or 2x a week 1.5-2hr SS MTB rides, early morning before eating and some longer loaded rides every other weekend in place ofthe road Z2 miles. Added in 1x a week turbo session in Feb, generally doing 2x 15 mins at / just over threshold or 5x 5 mins at max sustainable pace with 3-4 mins rest at ~75% HR.
The second block was getting away from the long road miles and riding my MTB loaded up more, weekend trips with 2x 15hr days, etc. I kept up the weekly 60+ mile Z2 rides, the early-am SS ride and the turbo sessions, only the turbo session was set in stone and the rest was flexible. Had a lower-miles week every 4-5th week. Did a lot of 30 mins Z1 spins on the turbo am or pm just to keep the legs loose. Most weeks had a similar structure, based around a really hard 1hr on the turbo on wednesdays and the time I had at the weekends for longer rides.
I did ~25hrs most weeks with very few days off the bike so most of my training was at a steady pace, but often on a heavy bike, the 1x a week turbo sessions and SS rides were all the HI training I did.
If anything I felt strongest on a 5-day prep ride a month before the TD, maybe peaking early, but tbh had no plan to 'peak', just to have spent a lot of time on the bike getting strong and injury-resistant without wearing myself down.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 07:19:21 AM by james-o » Logged

  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #11 on: August 11, 2015, 12:14:06 PM
krefs


Location: Prescott, AZ
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2015, 12:14:06 PM »

I've had a hard time finding good information on this subject.

You're not the only one to have a hard time finding good info on training for these mountain bike ultras. None of the folks writing books about training have any experience with these sorts of races, so "ultraendurance" gets a paragraph here and a paragraph there, nothing more. And aside from a bit of research done at RAAM, 24s, and ultra triathlons, there's has bee precious little scientific investigation of the demands of cycling ultras or the physiological effects these races have on competitors.

Training for a successful run at the Divide, like for anything else, can't necessarily be reduced down to a cookbook recipe of do this, then this, and then this, and make sure you incorporate this. Everyone's prep likely needs to look a bit (or very) different. Some important considerations include TD goals, training hours during the past 6 to 12 months (to avoid ramping up volume too quickly), strengths and weaknesses on the bike, and past injuries and physical weaknesses that might need to be addressed.

Here's are a few general thoughts I have on TD training:

-- Most importantly, don't overtrain. Too many riders arrive in Banff physically and/or mentally tired of the bike from training too hard all Spring. That's a recipe for disaster in the race, and it's also putting riders at risk for adrenal fatigue. Serious stuff.

-- Don't wait until late winter to start training. This is especially true if your training volume has been relatively low in recent months. It's important to increase training volume gradually. It also takes time to build a substantial endurance base for all-day-day-after-day riding. For most folks, training should start in September or October.

-- Just doing long rides will help make you fast, but 25- to 30-hour weeks week after week isn't necessarily the most beneficial or efficient way to train. Including intensity is critically important and should incorporate everything from low zone 3 tempo to short, hard efforts. There are a whole host of reasons for this that I won't go into, but as swighton mentioned above, there are some great books from which you can learn more about the physiologic adaptations gained from different types of training and how intensity is important for endurance.

-- Training binges can promote noticeable fitness gains, but don't overdo it. I've experimented with these over the years - everything from 3 to 7 days in a row of 8-10+ hour rides, and there's definitely a sweet spot in the middle.

-- Not all your training should be on the bike. Lifting, core work, flexibility work, and hiking/running should all be included.

-- Recover recover recover! You shouldn't be riding seven days a week. For some folks, six days a week might even be too much. And recovery weeks are critical and need to be spaced through your training appropriately. This, again, will differ dramatically from person to person based on past training, fitness, age, where in the training progression you are, etc.

-- And make sure you're having fun with your training. If you're not, something needs to change.

Hopefully that helps a bit!
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 10:47:46 AM
MikPat


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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 10:47:46 AM »

I live in Pennsylvania so I plan to do some snow riding on my TD bike.  I also will push it up the double track (ca. 800ft) behind my house in the snow.

Check out John Hughes (http://www.coach-hughes.com/index.html).  Multi-time RAMM and other finisher, coach.  I have his book (Distance Cycling) which I really like.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 10:50:57 AM
MikPat


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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 10:50:57 AM »

How long of a pre-Divide taper period are people planning?  One week/ Two weeks?
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 10:59:28 AM
sfuller


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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 10:59:28 AM »

How long of a pre-Divide taper period are people planning?  One week/ Two weeks?

Mine was about 3.5 weeks from the start of the taper to the first day of the race. It was more of a tapering of hours spent on the bike vs a tapering of intensity. I was still doing some 60-90 rides w intervals during the taper. My long rides were fairly easy (road bike in power zone 2) for no more than 2 hours.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #15 on: August 21, 2015, 05:34:46 PM
krefs


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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2015, 05:34:46 PM »

How long of a pre-Divide taper period are people planning?  One week/ Two weeks?

2 weeks +/- is appropriate for something like the TD (IF your mind is still excited to be training at that point in your prep). One week is far less than ideal, and >3 is more than necessary for most folks.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #16 on: September 20, 2015, 03:07:09 PM
kiwidave


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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2015, 03:07:09 PM »

Does anyone have some good tips for making the indoor trainer interesting?

I'm using a Wahoo KICKR which apparently works with all sorts of software.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #17 on: September 21, 2015, 06:57:17 AM
sfuller


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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2015, 06:57:17 AM »

Does anyone have some good tips for making the indoor trainer interesting? I'm using a Wahoo KICKR which apparently works with all sorts of software.

I used the workouts that my coach gave me on a bi-weekly basis, so I didn't have many issues with variety. You might look at some of the stuff from Lynda Wallenfels or from trainerroad.com. Both will keep you from just sitting there and spinning mindlessly for two hours.

I was fortunate that I also own a tacx trainer that had video courses to use for longer indoor rides that weren't intervals. It would change the restistance of the trainer automatically based either on their course, or on a GPX track.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #18 on: September 21, 2015, 02:01:59 PM
Eisfresser


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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2015, 02:01:59 PM »

The best thing to survive winter on the trainer: http://www.thesufferfest.com/. Works great with the kickr and trainerroad.
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  Topic Name: 2016 TD Training Reply #19 on: September 21, 2015, 09:46:47 PM
Majcolo


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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2015, 09:46:47 PM »

Thinking about trying Zwift to make the hours pass faster: http://www.zwift.com/index
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