By ALP Coach Alison Powers
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. We are now 4 weeks out from race day and 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 head space, etc. All the things that lead up to race day that not everyone gets to see or understand.
I used to be a full time professional athlete. So, in my opinion, my training thus far has been just “ok”. To some, it would be quite good, but because I know what it’s like to train 100% for an event, I know I have not done what should be done (I have yet to get a ride longer than 4.5 hrs and have no plans to pre ride the course).
Now, with a house, property, dogs, a full time coaching business, and a race team, I have a new and fresh perspective of what it means to train for an event with life pulling you in all kinds of directions. I also have huge respect for the athletes we work with who are able to balance training, life, and family obligations.
I worried that if I blogged about my month leading up to the event, I would somehow give my competition my secrets, and they’d have a leg up on me. Then, I realized that my job as a cycling coach is to give riders my secrets. If my blog posting helps even one rider on race day, then I have done my job. My job is no longer to win races, it is to help others have their best day on race day.
So, here goes— 4 weeks till race day.
Day 30- Saturday July 20th (each day, I will write about the day before)
Before almost every ride, I do ~10-20min of dynamic stretching, warm-up, activation. This morning consisted of 7min of Foundation Training, and ~10min of glute “wake up” (clam shells), low belly and core wake up (some people call this activation), and mobility. I do all this because it makes me feel better on the bike and helps me really focus on my core and posture on the bike (I’ve been battling back pain while riding for the better part of 2 years).
Then I met our (ALP Cycles Racing) riders for the Colorado Classic and we pre rode the Avon course. Ride time was almost 3 hrs and consisted of 2 steady effort climbs and some riding on the flats. I don’t train with power or heart rate anymore so my files and rides are not really interesting to look at. It was a decent ride and my legs were a little tired at the end.
After driving home, I rolled on both the lacrosse ball and foam roll and stretched. Not sure how long I spent on mobility but if I skip it, I pay the price in back pain.
Today, Sunday, I feel recovered and after 3 solid days of riding, that makes me pleased.