Riding in the clouds above 3,000 feet this weekend.
Regular readers may recall I signed up to ride the Sumter Metric Dirty Century on the trails near Augusta, GA next month. I promised to share my training progress here on the blog but the truth is that I havent really been training all that much hence no updates. Until now.
I dont really have much of a formal training plan mapped out at this point but Im basically taking my cues from the marathon training plan I used a few years back to get ready for the Richmond Marathon. The jist of the plan is to run 4-5 days a week 3-5 miles each day and do one long run each weekend. The long run starts at like 8 miles the first weekend then increases 2 miles each week until youre eventually running 22 miles about a month before the race.
Since I generally stay in decent shape running 3-4 days a week and mountain biking on the weekends I figure I need about 6 weeks to get ready for the 62-mile race. My MTB training plan basically looks like this: substitute 1-2 days of running for biking each week and complete a successively longer ride each weekend. For me its basically about saddle time and not necessarily distance since I figure the hardest part of the race will be riding continuously for 5-6 hours.
I started my training about a week and a half ago with a 30 mile, one and a half hour road bike ride during the week followed by a 35-mile, 2 hour ride a few days later on the weekend. Both rides felt pretty good, though the last hill on the 35-miler had me riding at a snails pace to the top. On Tuesday last week I did something I hadnt done all winter I spun for 45-minutes indoors on my rollers since it was raining outside.
This weekend I decided to head to the mountains for a training ride since I hadnt put in much time on the mountain bike thus far but heavy rains the day and night before meant Id be sticking to the forest roads. I ended up climbing 4,000 feet over 31 miles in about 3 hours and by the end I could barely push the pedals on the flat parts. The good news is the bike held up well and I survived 3 hours in the saddle – fortunately the trails in the Sumter National Forest are much flatter than the forest roads of North Georgia.
So there you have it, my training plan and progress to date. This week Ill probably put in about two hours on the mountain bike trails during the week and then head out for a 40-45 mile road ride on the weekend. Luckily its not hard to motivate myself to get out on the bike this time of year!