10 weeks from today, I’ll be lining up to ride farther than I’ve ever ridden before. 204 miles, from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole. Many a friend has tempted me to do it, but I’ve always been too scared. That’s a lot to ask of any body. But, I’m doing it… and I have a plan.
I think this will take me just over 9 hours to complete, which means I’ll have to average over 22 miles an hour. There’s 9000′ of elevation gain, but the air is thinner so that’s achievable if all goes according to plan.
The makings of my plan…
I’m going to focus heavily on two areas: nutrition and efficiency.
Today I screwed up my nutrition. It was good, until I ran out… and I ran out because I was lazy in my planning.
Do the math with me… goal 100 miles at 20mph should take 5 hours. I drink 1 large bottle per hour and like to munch a waffle each hour. See the problem? I need 1 more baggie and 2 more waffles.
I was on the verge of bonking hard… bonking is a cardinal sin of training, and suicide while racing. If you bonk hard on a training ride you might need up to 3 weeks to recover. Do it during a race, and you lose… if you even finish.
Lucky for me, as I’m cruising through San Juan Capistrano on mile 95 I see a cooler under a canopy… can I swing in to bum so water? Then I notice the girl is in a DRT kit… it’s Meghan and Brandon Brown volunteering at Casa de Ama, and they save my bacon with water and trail mix.
Bottom line, now is the time to figure out the nutrition… one thing I want to add is pickle juice – it’s supposed to work miracles with cramps, which I’ve suffered on long distances.
I was pretty efficient today. Over 50% of our ride was just 2-4 riders. Averaging 20.1mph was a good indicator of efficiency.
I’m really going to focus on Zone 2 training, going as fast as I can go keeping my heart rate low. For me, that means 20-23mph on flat terrain with little wind. Most of my miles except for Tuesday and Saturday will be in Zone 2… Tuesday and Saturday are my light it up days.
When you pay attention to your heart rate and speed you can experiment with your position… how aero are you? Get low, go fast. Find the perfect cadence. Aero helmet helps, so does an aero kit. Speaking of position… if anything is nagging at mile 10 or 20, I’ll be miserable at mile 100 and crippled before I finish. 30 miles in to today’s ride I had to adjust my saddle… fortunately Mike had a tool. Getting injured now could be a huge setback or worse.
After Zone 2 and aero, making sure the bike is perfect is key. Batteries are charged. Tire tread is great, 110 rear and 105 front today – running Conti GP400S 25c. Chain is clean and lubed – finding a lube that will go the distance will be crucial. Wheel bearings are immaculate and bottom bracket is perfect.
Boiling it down… I’ll spend the summer perfecting my food and keep my bike performing perfectly. Experimenting will take place on Saturdays when I’m riding 80-140 miles.
(My other brother from another mother… Brandon Brown)