Just here trying to get all the information I can about LoToJa. I’m new to racing/endurance rides but a long time commuter and casual rider, played collegiate sports, and just like being active. I know I need a lot of training and nutrition knowledge. I’m using TrainerRoad to train (as of Sept '23) and hope to get in with one of Huntsman Hero’s spots. I’m in SLC so I’m training in our canyons as well, but I’ll take any advice. Thanks!
This ought to get you going. Plenty of vids on YT about this event as well. https://youtu.be/eXy3JhJor0I?si=l63LvhjrBg2p2ySi
I did LoToJa in 2021 and 2023. Its an absolutely amazing experience. I train with a friend who has done it the last 4 years. We are based in Houston. Obviously the flat ground here is an issue, but we get more heat training for whatever that is worth. In addition, trainerroad is awesome for building power and training for the climbs. It was pretty cool passing riders from UT on the climbs…all because of trainerroad.
We do the Gran Fondo training program basically year round. We usually do 2 -3 indoor rides during the week and then a 45 - 75 mi outdoor on Sat. We really ramp up our training around May / june where we ramp up to 80 - 100 miles nearly every Sat through Aug.
The race is awesome, and very challenging. Pick the right group. The group will stay together until the Strawberry climb begins and then it thins out. No one stops at the preston stop, so i carry 3 bottes to start and throw one away at preston. After that, keep up your nutrition and look for friends to draft. Make sure you have a good plan and good crew to meet you. I could go on and on, but best advice is learn nutrition, and train your body to be in the saddle for a minimum 10 hrs depending on your fitness / strength. Just finishing is awesome.
I would definitely dial in my fit for something like this too - when events get to this length, things that aren’t noticeable, can become very noticeable and very annoying. The guy in the video mentioned how his shoes and I think saddle started to bug him, etc. I like @czollinger advice and his prep sounds legit.
@czollinger Thanks for the great insight! I appreciate all the tips and insider information about the nuances of this race. I’m looking to find a similar climb to Strawberry here in UT, but it sounds like TrainerRoad climbs can suffice. I’m also on the Gran Fondo plan, so that’s good to hear it works for you. My longest ride has only been just under 70 miles up in Glacier, but nothing like a race. So it sounds like I’ll need bigger rides more consistently. Signed up for a couple centuries for the summer.
@RikkiM I ride with the Ascent Cycling Team here in Utah and some of us plan and prep for this each year. TR has done wonders for me. I’d suggest focusing on building up your time in zone. So stretch out your SS time as long as you can. Using TR or long climbs will do this.
Mirror Lake Hwy and Monte Cristo are good ones to mimic the Strawberry climb, but any of the canyons along the Wasatch front will work fine! Also, put in the saddle time. Load up on 75+ mile rides and try to hit a few at the 150 mile mark prior to the race. That way you know how your body reacts to the time in the saddle.
Nutrition is a huge deal. Eating early and often is key. I’ve targeted 85-95 grams per hour and found that works well for me.
It’s a great race that becomes slightly addicting
I am interested in racing this as well, and I appreciate the advice that folks have already posted. @RikkiM please let me know if you think this question highjacks your thread, and if so I’ll happily delete it and post it elsewhere. I am wondering which entry types / categories have the highest likelihood of getting me an entry slot. In the race event, I could register as a Men’s Cat 5, Cat 4/5, or Masters 45+ B; in the fondo event I could join as 45+ or as Open. I would rather do the race, but would be happy to do the fondo if that’s less of a crap shoot to get in. (I know these are all governed by a lottery, but I’m assuming that the ratio of applicants to spots varies by category.)
Thanks! (and apologies again to the OP if this question is not appropriate for your thread, since you’ve already decided how best to get in).
I am not entirely certain how hard it actually is to get in. If you go back and look at the results, you can get a feel for how many riders were in each category. They typically put 50 riders per group. I have raced masters 35+ and open all cat 4/5. The masters 35+ Cat4/5 gets the most applicants and has multiple groups so if there is a lottery, its for that particular one. I dont know how crowded the ride groups are. This past year, i rode with a friend who is younger, so instead of masters 45, i did the open Cat 4/5 with 2 other 1st time riders and we all got in. Rumor has it that you can improve your chances by joining with folks who have done it previously, and by purchasing their swag, giving donations to their charities.
@SeanInDC Ask away! I was hoping the conversation would bring in more questions. The more information, the better. Thanks!
Love all the info. I bike up in Huntsville after work so I’ll put Monte Cristo on the list. Thanks!
Would love to hear how people have handled logistics and travel, getting back to Logan, etc!
I’ve never done this event myself but want to this year. I have a friend who did it and basically never trained for it and finished.
The climbs make the first half tough but the second half is pancake flat, technically it gains but compared to the hills it’s nothing. Bring plenty of snacks, get your fit dialed in, and if you can do 100 miles in 7 hours you’re golden.
I’m very tempted to sign up this year for the cyclosportive category. I live in Jackson so there’s something enticing about doing a 200-mile race and then just ride home. It’s two weeks after Ironman Canada so I’m not sure I’d be recovered enough, though…
Yeah, great question. Love to hear some responses
I have family going up early to Jackson and then I’ll travel up to Logan the night before the race with my crew. After the ride, all of us will crash in Jackson Hole (although a lot of places are already booked up for that weekend) and then travel back down to SLC together in two vehicles.
Since Im from Houston, the logistics of this race make it the most challenging part. I do have family in SLC and Logan, so that makes it feasible.
I have driven up from Houston, stayed in SLC and my wife flies to SLC and drives my truck / crews for me with my sister and then stayed in Logan the night before. We then stay in Jackson through Monday and i drive back home while my wife flies. Its an adventure for me.
There are many folks who drive back on Sat or sunday with their crew or go stay in other places because Jackson is expensive.
It’s a lot smaller than LoToJa, but there’s a nice 2oo-mile race right down the street from you. It could make for a great training day!
Yea ive been debating that one actually. It would be a pretty cool ride. Its definitely a much smaller start group and they dont allow crews on the route for thr 200 mi route. It actually has more total climb than LoToJa…ive been trying to get my friends to join me. The logistics would certainly be easier.