My main cycling goal for the year is now exactly 2 months away and I need to make the most of my training time to prepare for it. The race is Everest Challenge . This is a two day stage race that serves as the Cal/Nevada State Climbing Championships. Total distance for the two days including nuetralized starts and finishes is 206 miles with 29,000' feet of climbing. I am still contemplating whether to enter as cat5 or cat4, I am now a 5 but could upgrade to 4 if I want to. I am leaning stronger towards staying a cat5 for two reasons, first I really want to win, second the cat5's start an hour earlier and it's been known to really heat up in the afternon.
My question is what kind of weekly training schedule do I stick to for the next 8 weeks? I know Terry Morse has done this and told me that he climbs 30,000 - 40,000' per week for the months leading up to the race. I don't have this kind of time to train and in Orange County we don't exactly have the terrain to supply 10,000'+ days. I will make a couple of trips to Mt Baldy and Palomar Mtn so I can get in some long and steep sustained climbs.
Here's the ride/climb details from the race promoters:
Day One starts outside of Bishop at Millpond Park, 4,425'.
The first climb is up to Mosquito Flat. At 10,250' it is the highest paved road in the Sierras. The run in is 11 miles long. The first 8 miles is neutralized. The climb is 22 miles, average grade is 5%. Maximum grade lower half 9%, upper half 11%. Just prior to the top of the climb there will be a Cima Coppi Award given to the first rider. This will be marked at 1 mile, 200 meters, and 100 meters.
Back down to Round Valley for a short climb up Pine Creek to 7,420' in 8 miles, average grade is 7%, max is 9%, extended sections of 8%.
Then past the start/cars and up Bishop Creek to 9,835' in 20.4 miles, average grade 6%. While this is not the highest spot or most vertical gain, the last mile has two short sections around 15% grade and will certainly test your strength and endurance and desire to stay on the bike. Bottom half has extended sections of 8-9% grade, max grade 9%. Timing finish will be at the top after the turnoff to the boat ramp. However due to parking/narrow roads all riders are expected to ride back down to the cars/start for the official finish. This effectively neutralizes the last descent (so you can enjoy the views, bask in the unfiltered sunlight and rarified atmosphere, for the benefit of climbers, and for your safety on the way down - GO SLOW). Total climbing for Day One is 15,465' in 120 miles.
Day Two starts outside Big Pine with a climb up towards the Palisade Glacier. Starting elevation 3,940' finishing elevation 7,800'. The run-in is 4 miles long. The first 3 miles are neutralized and marshaled through the first stop sign and across the Highway 395. The actual climb is 9 miles with an average grade of almost 8% (max is 11%). There are extended portions of 9-10%. Then riders head back across the valley past the original start.
Next we head up the Death Valley Road/Waucoba Canyon to 6,545' in 8.5 miles, average grade 5% (max just touches 12% in the roller in the "narrows", 11% in one corner before that).
Back down to the cars/start and then up to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest at 10,100' in 21 miles, average grade 6% (max in the lower half is just touches 14%, max in the upper half just touches 17%). There are dozens of 9-12% rollers in the bottom third. The last 3 miles averages 10% grade. Timing finish will be at the high point a half mile before the Visitors Center. However, due to parking/narrow roads all riders are expected to ride back down to the cars/start for the official finish. This effectively neutralizes the last descent. Total climbing for Day Two is 13,570' in 86 miles. This brings the two day total to 29,035' (the elevation of Mount Everest) in 206 miles.
Here's what my weekly training schedule looks like now:
Monday: 16-20 mile recovery ride (65% or less MHR) or off
Tuesday: Hill Intervals, 30 miles with 3000' of climbing at 90-95% MHR
Wednesday: 16-20 mile recovery ride (65% or less MHR)
Thursday: Hill Intervals, 30 miles with 3000' of climbing at 90-95% MHR
Friday: 20-30 flat miles at tempo pace (80-85%)
Saturday: Usually off, occasional 20-30 mile tandem ride
Sunday: 80-125 miles with 5000-10,000' of climbing at about 78-82%
I have a double metric on Aug 20th with 10,500' of climbing. I plan to ride this at race pace and see how it goes. I also plan on following my long and hilly Sunday rides with my 30 mile hill repeats on Monday to get the feel for back to back hard days at least a couple of times. I will also be able to take off at least a couple of mornings from work and turn my 3000' days into 5000'. According to Arnie Baker's book on climbing training, I need to get in a couple of weeks with 35,000' and some back to back days with 11,000' each. This is not an option, even on weeks where I can squeeze in some extra time, I will be getting in 225-250 miles with ~20,000' of climbing. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how to prepare for this, including any tips on how to prepare for higher altitudes without having proper acclimation time. I also have gearing issues, but I'll present that in another thread as this one has gone on too long, sorry