Gearing up for the Dirty Kanza 200 in two weeks and, as the title says, looking for some affirmation regarding my training plan and also advice on how to ensure I go into the event in as good as form as possible.
Here is how my training has looked so far:
Was riding 750-800 miles per month June through August of last year. Had first kid in September and got injured in October. Still rode here and there but mileage ranged from only 420-570 miles per month October through December of 2013. I was doing more intensity/interval stuff (Sufferfest videos) on the rollers during those months though.
2014 mileage has looked like this thus far:
Jan - 608 miles, 36.5 hours
Feb -408 miles, 27.5 hours
March - 670 miles, 39 hours
April - 677 miles, 43.5 hours
May (as of today) - 574 miles, 35.3 hours
This is a mix of gravel grinding and road. I am an attorney and regularly work 60 hour weeks, so finding time to ride can be difficult. Preparing for this event has actually been relatively stressful in terms of the time-crunch. When I ride shorter on weekdays, I try to up the intensity, which means a lot of extended zone 3-4 efforts (20 minute interval efforts or an 1.5 hour ride at sustainable but hard effort).
I have done 6-7 hundred plus mile rides this year. About half of those on dirt. My longest ride was the Anti-Epic Gravel Grinder (165 miles) in the beginning of April. I learned a lot on the Anti-Epic ride. Went out a little to hard and was not using any electrolytes (you can fake your way through 100 nutrition-wise but 165 is another story). A severely muddy 4 mile hike a bike section at mile 125 and those other two factors caused a pretty rough patch around mile 130-145. Eventually was able to battle through that rode the last 15-20 miles feeling ok.
I completed my last planned long ride of 104 miles with 3150 feet of climbing on gravel this past Sunday. I tried to ride that at my goal pace of finishing in 14.5 hours. I finished in 7:15 total time and 7 hours moving time. Kept up with fluid and nutrition (including gu brew) and felt pretty good at the 100 mile point. Granted, I will have to go twice that in most likely significantly hotter conditions at the Kanza. However, I had ridden a pretty brisk 75 miler (19.1 mph avg -windy but flat) on the road bike the day before so I was carrying a little more fatigue than I plan to at the Kanza.
As a baseline, the last two road centuries I've ridden, I averaged about 18.5 hours and finished in about 5.5 hours (moving time). I am in slightly better shape now than I was for those. My gravel centuries typically are closer to 14.5-14.8 mph avg. My pace is always somewhat dictated to the group of people I am riding with so it's tough to gauge what would truly be sustainable for me over 100-200 miles, if allowed to ride completely at my own pace.
Here are my questions:
1.) How does my training up until now look? Granted, in a perfect world I would ride 20+ hours per week, but that's simply not realistic given my circumstances. Have I done enough to be prepared?
2.) How should I taper? I am lost as far as what to do/how much, ride, eat, rest etc. for these next two weeks. Please help!
3.) Do you think "beating the sun" is possible (finishing in under 14 hours, 42 minutes)? I am hoping that if the weather is works out and everything is perfect (no mechanical, don't eff up on nutrition), it's in the cards. My plan is to ride each fifty in 3.5 hours, 7.25 hours per 100 to give some room for error. I think minimizing non-moving off the bike time will be key. Plan to eat and recover as much as possible while on the bike moving. Is that a good plan? Or should I try to go out faster and build up some room for slowing. Or vice versa and try for a negative split on the two 100s?
Thanks in advance!