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2020 Iowa Wind and Rock Gravel Ultra

Author

Greg Grandgeorge

All plans by this Coach
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Length

21 Weeks

Plan Specs

cycling gran fondo/century intermediate advanced power based hr based tss based strength

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Plan Description

*** Note this plan has been updated for the revised race date of 10/23/20 ****

This training plan is specific to the 2020 Iowa Wind and Rock Gravel Ultra race (IAWAR). IAWAR follows the long tradition of the Trans Iowa Gravel race, in that it is roughly 330+ miles of Iowa's hilly, windy and challenging gravel roads. The 2019 edition was 337 miles with over 28,000' of total climbing. Of the approximate 60 starters, only 6 were able to finish under the 34-hour time limit. Tri2Max athletes represented 3 of the 6 finishers, with the 2nd place male finisher and the two 1st place female finishers. Tri2Max has also coached male and female winners of Trans Iowa, 24 hours of Cumming, and age group / division winners at Gravel Worlds and many other Midwest Gravel races.

This training plan officially starts on Friday June 5th, 2020, and ends on race day, Friday October 23rd, 2020. It assumes the athlete is an experienced gravel racer and has a solid base of training (has been riding consistently for 3+ years), and starts with a Chronic Training Load (CTL) of 40+ (roughly 6+ hours of riding a week over the past month). Because this race is most likely 24 hours+ in total duration, the training plan does include a significant volume of training. As such, expect some long weekend rides (max of 10 hours in one day) and up to a maximum of 2 hours a day during the week on Tuesday through Fridays, and peak volume over 22 hours of total training in the peak week. Mondays are the designated rest day in this schedule.

This plan utilizes a combination of power and heart rate (HR) based workouts. It utilizes power for interval type work, and heart rate for endurance work (assuming many people use HR on gravel riding). In general, the interval work is best performed indoors on a trainer for most people. To utilize this plan, you will need both a power meter and a heart rate monitor.



Stats

Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
11:14 hrs 10:00 hrs
1:38 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
11:14 hrs 10:00 hrs
1:38 hrs 1:00 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week


Greg Grandgeorge

Tri2Max Coaching LLC

Your Results Matter. For most of us, we race for fun and not for a paycheck. For many, part of the fun is being able to show improvement over time... the feeling that the time you are investing will result in meeting your athletic or fitness goals. Tri2Max provides comprehensive and individualized coaching for Triathletes and Ultra Cyclists, designed to optimize your precious time and energy.

Sample Day 1

0:45:00
44.5TSS
T2M Bike Test Prep 0:45/0.77/45/10b.33a115.2.5a110.4a105.3b.33a110

Easier mix of VO2 work to prep for an upcoming test or event. Overall, this workout should stimulate your legs and cardiovascular system, without adding a lot of training stress.

Sample Day 3

1:00:00
73.9TSS
T2M 1:00/0.86/74/20 Minute Test - Plan

The goal of this workout is to determine your maximal 20 minute power. This is used to help develop your Power Duration Curve, to help with accurate power estimation as well as guide trainning and view progression over time.

This has an extended warmup period, with the actual test starting 30 minutes into the ride.

This test should not be done in ERG mode. Rather, for the warmup period, just try to follow along (shifting gears and adjusting cadence), to try to match the overall target intensities. Do not over-work the warmup. You should feel read to do the test at 30 minutes, but not fatigued. If we haven't tested for a while or are just estimating your power at this point, dial back any segments feel overly challenging or fatiguing.

The one single two minute section at 105% of FTP around around 21 minutes into the warmup should give you a reasonable starting point on gearing for the actual test. See what feels comfortable in terms of cadence, so you can start at this point during the 20 minute test.

Again, at 30 minutes, you'll start the maximal 20 minute power test. The targeted intensity shown on the workout may be quite a bit off from your capabilities. There is a lot of variation between people, and this is somewhat of a "typical" intensity based on your estimated current FTP. That said, do NOT let this limit your output... do what you can do for 20 minutes. Likewise, don't get frustrated if you feel like it's too much and need to back down, as for some this will be too aggressive of a goal. You can start at the target range for the five minute, and then adjust each 5 minute segment (or so) after that to maximize your power output. This should all be completed in the sitting position. You can vary the cadence during the test in any way that maximizes your output


After completing the test, just spin easy for the remaining time... you can spin lower than the suggested intensities... it's about recovery after that point.

Keep in mind this isn't a pass / fail, just an assessment of where you are today.

Other notes:
- If you have a wheel-on trainer, make sure you have your tire aired up to the usual level. Typically this would around 100 to 120 PSI. It is important to use the SAME pressure for all test and all trainer rides, to have accurate power levels. Make sure your tire isn't slipping on the trainer. Hold the flywheel and make sure you can't pull upon the tire and make it slip against the spindle. With higher power outputs (during the test), there is more chance of slipping. Cleaning your tire with rubbing alcohol (and letting it dry) helps ensure it doesn't slip.

- On the trainer, make sure you have at least one fan to keep you cool while doing this test. Two fans is better, as you will get hot.

- The test is ONLY the 20 minutes that start 30 minutes into the ride. That is the part you want to hit really hard. Pace yourself... this is a 20 minute test... don't use up everything in the first 5 minutes. Don't drop the hammer in the first minute or two... or the suck factor will be much higher a few minutes later. Reassess where you are every 5 minutes and adjust accordingly. Since this is your maximum effort for 20 minutes... it will feel really uncomfortable. The goal is to ride as consistently as possible over the 20 minutes. It's not unusual for the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes to be have the most power output, but don't let your power sag significantly in the middle.


- You should be somewhere between 80 and 105 cadence in this ride to maximize your power. You may shift a bit during the ride depending on how you feel. Lower cadences work the legs harder and higher cadences the cardio. It's okay to go higher and lower and alternate the pressure on legs or cardio... as long as you continue to put out as much sustainable power as possible. I often see athletes drop to a lower cadence and hammer it for the last few minutes... that's fine... use up what you have left. ;)

Sample Day 5

1:15:00
79.16TSS
T2M SS-C1 1:15/0.80/80/45/3b5b3a90

Sweet spot intervals with brief recoveries, with the purpose of building power.

Vary your cadences for added challenge, between 60 and 100.

Sample Day 6

1:15:00
49.99TSS
T2M HR End 1:15/.64/50/55/55a67

Primary focus is building general endurance.

This workout is based on HR. Note that HR does not respond quickly to changes in effort/power, so short (e.g. <3m) efforts are more likely better based on feel (RPE targets included where appropriate).

As a whole, try to get your HR values around the center of the targeted range, to maximize the benefit of this workout. As noted above, with changes in effort / intensity, HR values may lag for a minute or more so don't feel the need to "force" HR up faster (or slower), just let it build or decay down normally. It is also typical to have fluctations within the ride. HR will naturally go up when climbing, surges, etc. and will drop as you go down hills, stop, etc. Don't feel the need to micromanage HR into the targeted zone all the time when doing general endurance work... just try to keep the average / typical HR within the zone for the specified duration the best you can.

Ride safe!

Sample Day 6

0:45:00
27TSS
T2M Basic Strength-I

See T2M Strength Set 1 located here:

http://www.tri2max.com/strength1

Sample Day 7

1:15:00
82.89TSS
T2M SS-A1 1:15/0.82/84/50/5b10a88

Sweet spot intervals with minimal recoveries.

If your knees are okay with lower cadence efforts, maximize the benefit of this workout by doing the 1st, 3rd, and 5th of these at 60 rpm, and the 2nd and 4th at 95 rpm. The low rpm efforts add more focus on the legs, while the higher rpm efforts put more focus on the CV system. Varying outside your normal cadence comfort zone increases cadence flexibilty over time.

Sample Day 8

0:45:00
27TSS
T2M Basic Strength-I

See T2M Strength Set 1 located here:

http://www.tri2max.com/strength1

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