You gotta start somewhere, and a novice line graph is as good a place as any.
The graph below represents my path to not embarrassing myself too much next July 18th. It’s based on the Alpine Cols training outline that I’ve talked about before and definitely does not look like what will actually happen in real life, but it’s a place to begin.
It’s quite a simple plan since much of it involves me just finding mountains and climbing them for hours. The basics:
- Each block up there is 4 weeks: 3 weeks of (usually) increased hours/mileage and 1 week recovery.
- From now till mid April is what AC calls the ‘Preparation’ phase, which is a lot of Zone 2 riding (with climbs) with one day a week of Zone 4 intervals.
- From April till 2 weeks before the event is ‘Pre Competition’, which involves progressively longer rides twice a week (up to 10 hours each), with recovery rides in between. As you get close to the event, your rides start to look more like what you are training for.
- The last two weeks are the famous ‘taper’, which I always stress about far too much. Their guidelines are similar to what I’ve read/done in the past: two or three weeks out you reduce your training volume by 25% or so, then by 50% in the week before the event. This should, in theory, bring you to the day fresh and with still enough juice in the legs to finish.
- The plan above gets me to 400 hours in the 8 months to the event – 50 hours a month on average. Someone who has some knowledge of these things can let me know if that’s enough or not. This guy, in the same 8 months running up to the event, tallied nearly 500 hours. His plan was also a little different from what I’ve outlined above – although he said that he ended up in Z1 and Z2 for 320 of those 500 hours. Endurance is the name of the TMB game.
But back to reality. It will take a lot of discipline to adhere to a plan like this, especially the ‘zone 2’ rides. I was just out with John today and hardly any of that ride would have been given the Z2 approval.
We’ll see. It’s a long road to July and we need to get this pandemic over with, too. But a wise man once said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single line graph. I’m on my way.