Friday, May 18, 2012

Prep summary for 2012 Storming of Thunder Ridge

     Looking back HERE at a previous post where I defined my fitness goals, I made the mistake of not including a long distance (100 mile +) cycling event as the alternative endurance goal. My ultimate goal for a "just finish" endurance event, regardless of time,  will be the 70.3 mile half iron, but for the foreseeable future I doubt I'll be able to commit to the sort of training that would enable me to sign up for a 1.2 mile OWS with the kind of confidence that I would need to complete the event.

     That said, I decided to do a repeat of last year and signed up for the 2012 Storming of Thunder Ridge. My cycling mileage has been above average this year and in the 4 weeks following the Blue Ridge Half I have steadily been building up my weekly long slow Friday ride from 40 miles on Apr 27th to 50 miles on May 4th and then a 60 miler on May 11th. I also threw in a short fast Tuesday ride of half the upcoming Friday ride distance and in addition I also managed a few ultra short high intensity rides to the gym or a trail on the few days that it hasn't been either raining, miserable or both.

     I'm not going to call anything I've done "training". Technically, it probably would fit many definitions, however I associate "training" with targeting a high caliber performance (currently 18-20 mph is what I consider a peak effort). My only goal for the 2012 SOTR is to complete it uninjured and feeling strong so I'm going to refer to my base build up as prep work. Here are the links to the Garmin data for the key Tues and Friday prep rides:

Week 1: Tues: 20 miles  @ 12.9 mph avg  Fri: 40 miles @ 13.9 mph avg
Week 2: Tues: 24 miles  @ 18.1 mph avg  Fri: 50 miles @ 13.6 mph avg
Week 3: Tues: 30 miles  @ 16.7 mph avg  Fri: 60 miles @ 14.0 mph avg
Week 4: Tues: 40 miles  @ 15.3 mph avg  Fri: No key mileage                  Sun: 75 or 100 mi SOTR!


     So with just a token effort at preparing for the event I find that I am well positioned to say that riding either the 75 or the 100 mile course will definitely be something I can classify as a high endurance test. I recall last years SoTR and hitting about mile 50 and thinking "Wow, this is really taking a marathon quality effort." I haven't had that same feeling of exhaustion on this years 50 or 60 mile training rides, so maybe I'm in better shape to tackle the full century course this year.

     A modest eye for detail might reveal that I am still referring to the 75 or 100 mile course. With 2 days till the event I remain undecided. After initially leaning towards the 75 mile course with modest 15 mph goals I now find myself leaning towards the 100 mile course with an as of yet undefined goal other than to complete the course. It may come down to a split second decision on Sunday when I reach the point where the two courses split around mile 65.

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