A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

One Week to Train for Ride the Rockies 2014; What Should You Do?

Its hard to believe that the start of Ride the Rockies 2014 is one week from today. Anybody else starting to panic? I'll admit I'm intimidated by the route this year. The whole 28,265 ft. of elevation gain in six days of riding kind of freaks me out. I hope my training has been sufficient to prevent excessive suffering!

The total elevation gain of Ride the Rockies 2014 is equal to riding from sea level to the summit of K2, the world's second tallest mountain, or double the elevation of Pikes Peak!
I've ridden almost 1,600 miles towards my goal of 2,000 since January 1. I'm not going to reach my goal but that's OK. At this point it's not all about miles. Even if you are feeling like you have under-trained up to this point, there is only so much you can do in the final week.

In fact, now is not the time to try and pile on the miles. I'm believer in tapering the week before a big event like Ride the Rockies. Similar to my Two Week 10K Training Program, I ramp up the miles the week before then taper the week leading up to the start. Tapering helps your body "rest up" before the big ride. But tapering doesn't necessarily mean you should take it easy. Most experts recommend decreasing mileage but maintaining intensity in the final week. Studies have shown that this helps increase performance by reducing body fatigue while maintaining fitness levels.

My plan is to do my last long mileage day on Wednesday, riding 50 miles round trip to my office at my normal pace. Riding to and from work is really two separate rides. In the morning I go all out, riding as hard as I can, racing against my own personal times. I cruise along the Cherry Creek Trail at 20+mph usually benefiting from a tailwind and -1 to -2% grade. At night it's more of a grind it out ride. I'm tired from the day and anxious to get home but usually face a headwind blowing from the south and a net elevation gain.

On Friday I'm planning a short and fast ride, possibly riding to work but not home. Then on Saturday I'm going to do a quick 10 mile/30 minute spin on the trainer to get the blood flowing and work out some lactic acid (at least that's Bigwood Nate's theory). I never know for sure what works and what doesn't :)

What is your training plan this week?

Safe travels to everyone coming in for the RTR14. See you in Boulder!

Ride on!


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