For Peter who was kind enough to request a training update...
The training plan I've created is based on the periodization method and uses a periodization interval of 22 hours a week. The plan began 11/20 and goes for 39 weeks right up till the start of TransRockies. So, for Base Prep Week #1, the calculations spit out a scheduled 16.7 hours of riding, which for this phase I broke up into the following: 55% road cycling, 30% endurance trail riding, 15% technical trail riding. I thought it made sense, YMMV.
I set the daily schedule for two weeks at a time before the start of the plan and so far am on target.
Monday - 30 miles of gravel and dirt forest roads with 1210 feet of climbing. Very vanilla Mtn Bike Endurance day. The weather fortunately held, as I was able to beat most of the rain, and threw in a pinch of extra challenge on the way back by skipping the paved route back up to my house atop the ridge, and instead opping for the spongy, soaking wet, woodchip trail. Averaged 14.6 mph.
Tuesday - pouring rain outside so I set the road bike on the trainer and did the Spinervals "Enter the Red Zone" video. It's a 58 minute anaerobic workout session during which Coach Troy makes you (as much as anybody living in your DVD player can) get off the bike every 20 minutes and do prolonged sets of squats. It hurts like hell. I followed the video up with 50 minutes of spinning in the small ring at about 80-85 rpm while watching some Seinfeld episodes on DVD. This was to help loosen myself up after the workout and to also just add more time in the saddle.
Wednesday - Did a 21 mile fast mountain bike ride with a small group of people who really worked me over. The ride had 1670 feet of climbing and was a pretty even split between gravel road and forested double-track. A couple lengthy hills, some short steeps, and basically me overheating and trying to hold on and not get lost. Averaged 9.9 mph.
As for the rest of the week, I have another 2hr trainer ride planned for today (big ring 90rpm spin), two hours of technical singletrack riding planned for Friday, another 2hr trainer ride on Saturday (unless the weather gets me outside) and then a 15 minute recovery spin on Sunday.
Some of you may be thinking that all of these 2hr rides isn't really adequate preparation for a race that will likely consist of 7 8-hour days (if I'm lucky), but just like the race itself isn't a sprint, neither is training. In order to get to the point where I can handle back-to-back-to-back 6 hour days in the spring, I need to be able to handle a bunch of 2+ hour days right now. And besides, 2hrs on the trainer feels like 3 to 4 on the road.
That said, yesterday's ride really opened my eyes and removed any sense of cockiness or over-confidence towards the TR. Seeing how much I hurt tring to handle the pace of yesterday's 2hr ride was an eye-opener. Sure, it was the third day of riding in a row and one that followed an intense trainer ride, but still. The three days of consecutive riding that I have done so far this week doesn't even equal a single day at TR, let alone 7. I have a lot of work to do. I knew it all along, but now I believe it -- 39 weeks will fly by before I realize it and I am in no condition to slack on any of this training. I'm going to need every mile in order to finish. You'd think the moniker "North America's Toughest Mountain Bike Race" would have scared me into acknowleding that already. Oh well, better I realize it now than next August.