Using TR to prepare for Dirty Kanza 200



Posted this on Reddit a few days ago and did get a response from TR and one person. But would love to hear if anyone has personal experience using TR for DK200.

I’m hoping to do the 200 mile version of Dirty Kanza next year, with the goal being to beat the sun. I’m not trying to hang with the lead pack even for the first few miles.

I’m wrapping up climbing road race this week and have my A event on 9/30 (Six Gap century). I’ve got a hundred mile gravel/road ride in mid October and then a 60 mile gravel race November 3.

If if work from June 1, 2019 (DK date) backwards, my 28 week block (with a week or two off for family vacations) starts Nov 5 so that lines up well with my final three events this year.

The base and build phases are pretty obvious to me (SSB mid and sustained power mid volume). [Note: the TR recommendation on Reddit was maybe to try Traditional Base along with some LONG rides outdoors mixed in]

My first question is 1) what’s the best specialty phase for DK200? I can see arguments for 40K TT, Century on the road size or even Cross-Country Marathon in the mountain side. Anyone have experience using TR for DK200? Or opinions?

My second question is whether to do any plan in October or should I just ride and do my events to avoid burnout? Any benefit from doing 4 weeks of traditional base (knowing that I probably be skipping some days and riding outside).



Paging Coach @chad !!


Here’s a great blog post we wrote specifically about training for Dirty Kanza, back in April 2017:

Additionally, we sat down with Geoff Kabush, who raced to 3rd place in 2018, in this podcast episode to analyze his race using Performance Analytics:

Hopefully you find this helpful, and it helps fuel your fire for your own DK200! I look forward to seeing if anyone has personal experience to share regarding using TR to train for Dirty Kanza.


Hey Aydraper,

No personal experience at DK200, but I’m happy to weigh in on your questions. Any of those specialty plans are appropriate, so I’d choose the plan you find the most interesting, the one that’s likely to keep your training consistency as high as possible. For DK, I’d lean more toward Century simply because the efforts are the most similar to the Kansas terrain, but the 40k TT plan could work just as well if you swapped out one of the weekend workouts for some longer, outdoor mileage done at your intended DK pace.

You could definitely see some return on a bit of Traditional Base in those final 4 weeks, especially if you weigh its demands against whatever events (and outdoor riding) you face during those 4 weeks. Don’t overdo it and head into DK with any residual fatigue. It’s far better to feel a little over-rested than still clinging to a bit of fatigue; it’s a long day out there.

Best of luck! Let us know how things go, if you get a chance.


My long distance season starts earlier than DK, so I’m starting base training any day now. Last year, I didn’t start base early enough so I never managed to complete a build phase plan. This didn’t hurt me too much. Then I managed to develop a knee problem and ended up doing recovery rides all summer as it got better. I still managed to finish a 760 mile ride at the end of August

We’re all different, but my criteria for selecting a plan is twofold: one, will I complete it, and two, does it have enough intensity workouts. I know I’m not going to complete a plan that has too many 90 minute to 2hr long workouts. Making progress on a plan holds my interest, and I think that is what avoiding burnout really is for me.

As far as riding outside goes, 60 miles seems to be a really good distance. The only reasons to go longer in my
mind are to make sure your position is good and that you have good eating strategies. Eating is the most important part of riding long distance. If you think your legs are gone, that means you need to eat. In one of the TR podcasts, they mentioned doing fat adapted workouts. I ride Taku before breakfast for that, and it does seem to help. And it’s a lot more pleasant than riding 100 miles without eating. If you don’t do any other strength training off the bike, pushups really help for avoiding shoulder and neck pain on distance rides.


I am planning on doing sweet spot base mid volume into sustained power, finishing with the century specialty plan. I have similar time goals as you so hopefully this plan works. Are you still planning on following this format?


That’s my plan. I just did. 4 week block of traditional base. During the build phase, I plan on swapping out for the longer optional ride indoors or doing a long weekend ride. Outside of a couple of centuries, I don’t plan on trying to do a 150+ mile ride before DK.

If we both get in, let’s stay in touch during training and share ideas that are working or that aren’t.


I’m actually targeting Gravel Worlds as my A race this year. It’s a bit faster and shorter than DK, so I’m hoping to target a sub 7:30/8:00 finish. I think a lot of the demands on race day will be similar between DK and GW: Tons of rolling hills and potentially long slogs into headwinds.

The Gravel Worlds course typically has about 10,000 ft of climbing over 150 miles, but all of it is in 50-100ft chunks. Looking at Best Bike Split, I’ll need to put out a bunch of a 1-2 minute close to threshold efforts over the course of the day. Based on this, I’m tentatively going for SSB MV --> Sustained Power Build --> Cross Country Marathon Specialty.