My preparation for the Redlands Classic with TR - Final Update


#1

I recently put together a blog post on how I’m training for the upcoming spring US professional stage races while living in the never-ending wintry purgatory that is Chicago, all while working full-time as a technology consultant:

While this was partly a shameless plug for our team’s new website, I also wanted to post this because it seems like there are always lots of questions like

  • Can I race when I’m only through SSB?

  • Can you be successful in longer events only doing 2 hr trainer rides?

As has been mentioned on the podcast, I’ve found that SSB is a great preparation for racing, even if the longest rides you’re doing are those 2 hour SS workouts. While I go into some detail in the post above, some more specific TR details about my training are:

  • I’ll have completed SSB High Volume 1 and 2 by the week Redlands kicks off in 5 weeks; the race will be the first week of “build.” I do alter the plans to split it into three four-week blocks because I’ve found I’m usually fried by the end of week 3. Currently, I’m in the last week of the 2nd block (just kicked off week 1 of SSB 2)

  • I do some alterations to the plans - mainly on weekends by adding on 1-3 hours of zone 2 riding after the 2 hour sweet spot rides. Also in the third block, I’ll be swapping out some of the sweet spot rides in high volume on Tuesday/Saturday for the VO2 max and over/unders in the mid/low-volume plans to get ready for those pro-level race efforts

  • My weekly TSS varies, but generally starts around 700 and builds to 900 over a single block. Training camps (over the holidays, upcoming team camp) will see TSS numbers around 1000-1100

I mentioned it in the post, but I’ve had success with a similar approach last year, in the build up for the Joe Martin UCI Stage Race so I’m hoping that things work out similar this year! Let me know if you have any thoughts, questions, or if you’re also prepping for some big races while being stuck in this Polar Vortex up North!


#2

Cool! Update or report back in March when it’s over. My team is sending a squad this year so I’ll be watching for sure!


#3

Good stuff here @jdoldham11. Nice to see other seasoned racers out here using TR and doing big events. I may do something similar for my tune up for Gila or Tulsa


#4

Uh oh, maybe I shouldn’t have been giving away all my trade secrets! :grimacing:

I’ll definitely report how this works out - so far training is progressing well and the looming race is a lot of motivation to put in the hard work!

Good luck to the riders on your team going out there!


#5

Thanks for reading! I agree - while I’m still at the amateur level, I’ve haven’t found a race yet that the TR methodology doesn’t work for me.

I hear Gila is tough and it has enough climbing to be outside my wheelhouse. You have more time to prepare than I do for sure - are you planning on doing anything special in the build up to the race?

I loved both the times I’ve raced in Tulsa, the racing is fast and tough, and the amount of spectators is incredible. The drive from Chicago to the race is the only part I don’t like!


#6

This is really great – thanks for sharing. Where do you live in Chicago? I’m on the north side of the city, and am always out riding on the weekends when it’s warm(er). But, obviously not riding out there at all when it’s -20F

If you’re ever looking for a weekend endurance ride partner, hit me up. We could call it a Vo2 max workout for me :metal:


#7

I like this thread…I’m convinced you can get seriously seriously fit on TR but this is right at the limit of whats possible when you are up against full time bike riders…love TR but it ain’t ever going to be better than 400 miles per week…good luck

Edit: just read the blog post in full and yep that’s going to get you in very good shape…looking forward to following the progress


#8

Fantastic write-up, and dig the new website! This gives hope to many aspiring racers who also have jobs - but maybe a little lower key race goals :blush:


#9

I live in Colorado and have been outside twice this year. Amateur here as well. I think solid structure is a great way to go especially considering a lot of cat 3s to 5s are just relying on natural talent, riding a lot, and seeing what happens - like me last year, haha.

After Gateway Cup last year, a few of the 1/2s on the team told me I should look into structured training instead of just riding all summer and seeing what happens. I placed top 15 every day there, was off the front quite a bit, animating the crits, but could never sustain anything.

This year I’m doing two sort of builds - one for Tulsa and one for Masters Nats. Focusing on sustained power and century to start and then rolling road race/general build after Tulsa. I’ll get my vo2/threshold work from one group ride on the weekends where we basically do a mock race on some roads that are barely used which is nice. Sundays, I’ll do the 90-120 min SS or 3-5 hour group ride at tempo or sweet spot. Reason for the sustained/century build is I also race CX and that is my true love - though road is a super close second. My base last year was garbage and that of a crit racer: great short power, but would die with a lap or two left. Also, I want that extra bang for longer road races.

For Gila - still up in the air pending we get a team house. Our sponsors are very generous to us for things like that. So, just waiting. For the climbing - I used to think of myself as a great climber, then I started racing and realized I was just average. But, then I got into crit racing and realized I could be a player - same with rolling road races.


#10

No worries! They are not pros and like you working full time or going to school etc…So not much time to worry about anything besides their own training. Most are in Tucson so they are the guys you talk about in step one! :wink: With the exception of the longer rides they have nothing on indoor training. You guys are doing the same thing and you might have a little edge on them in the quality department. Best of luck to you and the team!


#11

I’m on the north side as well, and also waiting on some warmer weather - thinking maybe this weekend it’ll finally be alright to get outside? Here’s hoping…

Will do! I also frequent some of the weekend group rides (Judson, xXx Racing) on nicer weekends so maybe I’ll see you on those as well!


#12

Obviously, your mileage may vary on what works best, but I’ve had success with just adding a little extra riding on top of the TR plans. Agreed that it’s tough going up against some guys who do this full time, but I like to think that my approach gives me a little extra mental toughness :wink:

And the best thing about bike racing is that you don’t have to be stronger than those riders, just strong enough to be in the conversation, and every once in a while you can get the better of them.

Thanks for reading!


#13

Hey get back on that trainer!

On a more serious note I recall now that Mitchelton are incorporating trainer sessions for their riders as they see noticeable increases in blood plasma (something to do with heat) so you could be on to something :+1:t2:


#14

A couple people were asking for updates on results for the race here - I ended up having a great ride in the 7 mile stage 1 TT today, taking second place on the day, and only sitting 1 second down on GC going into tomorrow’s circuit race (!!!)

You can see my ride on Strava here: https://www.strava.com/activities/2211759224

I can’t say that my prep on the TT bike was something to take away from, as this was my second ride on my teammates bike that we set up in the host house in the garage last night. I do think there is something to be said about not sweating all the details, and going out there to trust the training.

Looks like TR was good prep so far (obviously) - now to keep riding hard and see what happens for the rest of the race. I’ll try and keep this thread updated with how the rest of the race goes.


#15

Good job, both on the blog post and the ITT :+1:
Good luck on the coming stages and congrats on the " Award for Most In-Real-Life Erg Mode" :grin:


#16

Just read the blog post. Definitely a great read.

Would be great to hear more in a podcast episode similar to what the guys did with the Kona athletes. Good luck with remaining stages.


#17

Been following in strava - seriously impressive


#18

You are an animal! 399 average power for the TT!

What’s your height, weight and FTP?

Great job! Good luck today!


#19

Probably the result I’m most proud of to date if I’m honest


#20

Thanks - going to need all the luck we can get the rest of the week!

Pacing this one was really interesting with the downhill, headwind section going out made it really important to save everything for the return. On the way out I was really struggling to get myself to pedal easy enough.

I’m 6’1", 165-166 lbs, and my last ramp test (~4.5 weeks ago) had me at over 5 w/kg (I can share the exact number later, I’m thinking I should keep things a secret for the Oak Glen stage tomorrow just in case :wink:)…so I’m definitely riding well right now - we’ll see how that translates to the rest of the field!