Anyone else here doing the Dragon ride this year? (now training and prep thread)

Haha :rofl:

No not really - I think I’ll be just about Ok for the time-cut at the point where the route diverges from the shorter ride they offer.

It’s more of a personal goal to get in under the 9-hour mark, which feels like it ought to be achievable without spoiling my enjoyment of the day. The speed I saw on yesterday’s ride isn’t quick enough for that, so I’m hoping on the day I can edge up over the 15mph mark. :+1:

Thanks @Sundance - it feels like things are going in the right direction - but still a way to go yet.

The next couple of weeks will be harder threshold and sweet spot training sessions on the trainer with easy-spinning outdoors. I then go to Majorca for a week and intend to do as much climbing as a can (it’s not supposed to be a cycling holiday according to my better half :rofl:).

Then it’s a taper-week before the big day :grin: :+1:

Yep, my TR plan is threshold and sweet spot this week and next but I see that TR wants to adapt tomorrow’s threshold workout for a 30 min recovery ride (Dans). Are you finding that RLGL doesn’t like the outdoor rides and makes it impossible to follow the TR plan as intended unless you ignore all the adaptations to do recovery / endurance rides?

Enjoy Mallorca. One of my riding buddies who is doing the Dragon with me is also out in Mallorca around the same time.

Yes - to an extent I can see that the RL/GL system seems to be a little ‘conservative’ in recommending 2 full days off the bike and then an easy day, after my Saturday effort, but I guess that’s a right side failure. I imagine it’s because the level of TSS that a BIG outdoor ride generates is pretty immense compared to indoor interval sessions?

Nice :sunglasses: - we have been going every year for a while, but normally around early May - so I expect I’ll need to wake up quite early, to get a decent ride under my belt, before temperatures get too high - I don’t do that well when it gets hot ! :rofl: :sunny: :sunny:

Then time to relax. You’ve put the work in. The event will pan out how it will, don’t tie your enjoyment to the result. Enjoy each moment and be present in the ride.


I was doing it but have to drop out due to injury. Good luck! I did it in 2022, it’s an amazing ride.

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Very solid advice which I fully intend to follow :+1: :+1:

Completed McBride yesterday which was 2 hours of accumulation at sweet spot :heart_eyes:

This felt like it could be a good one to try and complete, because of the multiple repeats over an extended period, which sort of mimics the effort for what part of the Dragon will be like.

Only a modest PL increase for me from 5.1 to 5.3 for Sweetspot but I only rated as ‘Hard’ because after the end of the last interval I genuinely felt I could have done one or maybe two more.

Feels like my FTP has ‘solidified’ at its current level and although maybe not growing, the TTE and ability to hold higher percentages of effort for longer is continuing to strengthen a fair bit following the outdoor hill-reps rides I’ve been doing.

I also attempted to trial an enhanced fuelling strategy for this indoor ride, to see how my stomach fared, given my experiences on the longer outdoor rides of feeling under fuelled despite eating (in my view) a relatively large amount.

I ate a banana, a Veloforte bar and an SiS gel over the course of the ride (from 00:20 up to 01:30 of the 2 hour session) in a window roughly just over 1 hour long. Felt OK - but doubt I could have easily / comfortably taken in much more, so I’ll need to think about alternative fuelling sources to push the carbohydrate intake up a bit more.

Total nutrition (according to MyFitnessPal) was 441 calories / 13.3g Protein / 85.9g Carbs / 8.1g Fat so I have some headroom to increase the carbs level - particularly given I’m a relatively big person.

Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 10.55.33

Wow! That’s a killer workout. Well played. I could not even contemplate 2 hours on the trainer.
I’m having a wobble this week. After Saturday’s hilly 90 miler I tried the warm up of Diamond -4 and realised it wasn’t going to work. In fairness, TR had already tried to adapt to Dans recovery workout which I ignored. I then accepted their recommendation and did Dans! I skipped my normal outdoor group ride on Wednesday to stick with intensity and lower volume so did the Sweet Spot that was sheduled for Thursday. That went ok. Then I tried Isabel (mixed intervals threshold) yesterday and lasted about 47 mins of the hour and I had already reduced intensity for second set. It was only an ‘achievable’ PL as well so a sign that my legs are weary!

Unfortunately, Saturday we are attempting an old local sportive route that is hilly and around 95 miles whch probably means I’ll be knackered for TR workouts next week.

It’s a bit late now but I think I havent got things right in training for this event. I had a solid winter base behind me with 2 x TR workouts and 2 x 40 mile outdoor rides per week but with terrible weather it’s been a bit delayed doing longer rides and I feel like I am having to ramp things up quicker than I would like!

Just got to hang in there now and hope the taper freshens up the legs!

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You’ll probably be stronger than you think.

If your weekend 95 mile ride is going to count as a hard training ride for the Dragon, then maybe consider reducing your workouts next week so that you do one less intensity day, but really focus on completing it well, and instead for the other days, do endurance - but at the slightly harder end of easy, tagging on an extra 10 to 15 minutes here and there where you feel capable, so you generate productive time in the saddle?

Completed my final ‘full’ preparation training ride yesterday.

Training so far has been multiple hill reps on hills roughly between 5 and 8 minutes in length due to locally not having any really long climbs, so I wanted to go somewhere that offered a similar-ish type of terrain to that which I will face on the Dragon, where the elevation gain is spread over some longer climbs.

North Wales did the trick and I ticked off a few climbs I’ve wanted to do for some time. Managed 116 miles and 8737 feet elevation (elevation was a little less than I had aimed for but hey-ho).

The Hellfire Pass (Bwlch-Y-Groes) was REALLY tough. In fact subjectively, it felt harder than any climb of note I’ve ever attempted (Madone / Rocacorba / Puig Major / Hardknott / Wrynose / The struggle / Ffordd Pen Llech). God knows how Ed Laverack went up there in just over 12 minutes!!

I suspect this subjectivity was partly due to recency (the detail and pain of past rides fades :grin:) but also that this climb had a perfect storm of length and consistently very high average gradient with the hardest part near the top.

Overall I was pleased with my pacing - I set out to try and hold ‘around threshold’ or just under where physically possible on all of the main climbs and for the most part (apart from when the road was so steep it couldn’t be helped) I managed to stick to it.

Average speed was up slightly to 15.3mph so pleased with that aspect too. Calorie burn (according to Strava) was over 5000, but this ride I really pushed the hourly energy consumption and stuffed over 3500 calories (MyFitnessPal scanned) over the full ride, which had 7:34 moving time and 9+ hours total time including lazy cafe stops.

This is more food / energy than I’ve ever taken in on a ride, by quite some margin, and I admit I felt a bit sick towards the end :nauseated_face:

I felt tired but not destroyed at the end of the ride and feel like another 20 miles was comfortably still in my legs. Whether another 2700 feet of climbing was in there as well is debatable :rofl:

Was a fun day out - now a rest week, then a short break in Majorca where I will be riding shorter rides (50 miles or less) with less climbing (sub 6000 feet total) but aim to up the pace and intensity, with another week after that, to recover and taper, ahead of the Dragon GF.

Starting to get excited for the challenge on 23 June :star_struck:

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What a great training ride as prep for the Gran Fondo! I’ve just looked up Bwlch Y Groes in Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. It sounds horrible! Should give you good confidence that there won’t be anything as bad as that in the Dragon Ride.

I did a 100 miler with 8100 feet Climbing. It was a real struggle and I cracked on the last climb of the day. Got up it but slooooowwww! 2-3 mins behind my training buddies. Although I was eating throughout the day I’m not sure it was enough although it was definitely more than the others in the group! Like you, the thought of another 33 miles and nearly 3,000 feet of climbing does not leave me with positive vibes!

Like last week I’ve been unable to do anything apart from a 30 min recovery since Saturday’s ride. Legs so sore. Also, made schoolboy error on Sunday and helped my son and his mate with some American Football training. I went over just to throw the ball and ended up doing some reps marking my son - tweaked hamstring and hip flexor! :scream: Must start remembering my age!

I’m not sure how to play this week in terms of the long ride. Initially I had planned to do 100 although I’ve hit that a week early. I’ve done 75, 90 and 100 on the last 3 Saturdays. Not sure whether this Saturday should be another in the 100 range or tone things down and reduce to around 75-80 as the start of the taper. What are your thoughts? I know you are on a recovery week because of the Mallorca trip.

I’m finding that the Dragon is consuming a lot of time at the moment just planning and thinking. I can’t help wishing I could go back in time and take a different training approach. I don’t think plan builder and 2 outside rides have married well together. The outdoor ride volume is so great compared to the TR scheduled 90 min weekend endurance ride that I think it messes with the viability of the mid week TR workouts. It would be good if you could put your event ride time into plan builder so that it also produces an outdoor workout plan for the weekend ride!

Good luck for the next two and a half weeks!

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Devils Staircase has a nice 25% climb in there and looking at route you’ll find a few more climbs in the 15-20% range. But the scenery is lovely on those roads and I’m sure you won’t be focused on the steepness.

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I’m not a training expert, however it ‘feels’ like 3 to 2 weeks out is possibly a little early to begin recovery / taper? I guess it entirely depends on how your legs feel, how tired you are and whether or not you believe you’ve recovered and adapted from this last weekend’s efforts?

For what it’s worth (possibly not much), if I were in your position, I’d consider a similarly tough (long with lots of elevation) ride and concentrate on pacing and fuelling - so in effect aiming to trial you approach to both aspects in advance of the big day, whilst also getting in another good training effort.

Then you then have 2 full weeks to evaluate whether your pacing is OK / nutrition is sufficient and then adjust accordingly (up or down).

As for the last 2 -weeks of riding up to the event, if you follow the TR plan that shows a recovery / taper week in the run-up, then I guess you still have another week to perhaps do a couple of sensibly spaced-out intensity sessions, maybe a threshold sustained workout for 1:30 at ‘productive’ level first and a sweet spot one of a similar duration, type and level of challenge second - (towards the end of the week) and still get in a fair bit of Z2 distance work in between to keep the motor turning over?

This is what in effect my break in Majorca will be - a hard effort on the Tuesday and a less strenuous but still pressing-on effort on the Thursday or Friday. In between I will just bumble about accumulating some extra time in Z2. Then when I’m back it’s full-on recover, taper, sleep and carb-loading to the Sunday 23rd.

I’d be wary of doing too much too close to the event - but giving yourself 8 days to recover / taper ought to be enough so long as you are sensible?

Don’t sweat what you can’t change. Those progressively longer and tougher outdoor rides you’ve completed will stand you in good stead. I’d focus on making sure you make a sensible and balanced use of the remaining week or so before tapering and also get comfortable with your pacing strategy and fuelling plan. Pacing for me was a critical element to nail down - I am serially guilty of going to hard too soon on any longer ride and ALWAYS paid a hefty price in the past. These last couple of longer rides I’ve focused hard on maintaining sub threshold / mid to high sweet spot pace for the first third of the distance / time / elevation gain (roughly seems to cross correlate) unless the gradient demanded more to keep moving. This seems to have helped tremendously in keeping me fresher for longer.

Best of luck - hopefully see you in Wales :grin:

Thanks for the advice!

So I managed another 100 miler on the weekend but slightly more forgiving on the climbing front (6,500 feet). Glad that I was able to get another long day in the saddle in. Legs still felt like lead but still managing to get though it so hoping the taper will freshen them up. Did a 40 mile group ride on Wednesday (mostly flat with some short ramps that I used to do efforts just to keep some intensity). Probably mostly following the TR workouts for the rest of the remaining time. Possibly an easy outdoor ride if the weather holds. Forecast not looking too promising for the 23rd!

Not sure what your start time is (I’m 07:25) but if you see a guy in a green MacMillan Cancer Support jersey, red helmet and on a silver BMC Teammachine, that will probably be me. Feel free to say hello!

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Great - sounds like it’s all coming together nicely for you :+1:t2:

I’ve done some climbing here in Majorca this week (Col de Soller and Col de Claret on Tuesday and Puig Major today) and attempted to go a little harder / closer to Threshold numbers - which worked well on Tuesday but left me with tired legs on today’s ride.

My plan shows a taper / test week next week which I’m very much looking forward to :smiley:

Time to sleep / eat / recover and then carb load ahead of Sunday :sunglasses:

My departure time is later (07:55 wave) which I think is because I’ve been been conservative with my predicted completion time.

I’ll be on a 2017 year black Cannondale Synapse and probably wearing my club colours (blue Velo Club Venta). Expect you’ll be so far ahead of me that it’s unlikely I’ll catch up so might see you at the start / finish line :smiley::+1:t2:

Four days to go. In my taper week from the TR training plan, with short easy rides indoors and the opener session on Saturday morning.

Things I’m still faffing about:

  • fuelling plan - specifically what do I carry and to what extent do I rely on the feed stations to save carrying extra stuff

  • kit - torn between club kit (gotta represent) which is Castelli and pretty decent, or the BoC cargo shorts which are :ok_hand:t2::ok_hand:t2:for longer rides.

  • fitness - irrational anxiety that for some reason I’ve not done enough training / got myself in good enough shape (completely pointless and stupid thought process at this stage but :man_shrugging:t2:)

Weather forecast is (currently) dry, modestly warm and with a fresh breeze that changes direction over the course of the day.

Quite excited to be honest :grin::grin:

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Hope you had a great time in Mallorca. TR taper week for me as well although got a few events this week which are not ideal with Sunday in mind. Outdoor gig on Thursday night and at my son’s American Football match on Saturday ( 4 hours in the car round trip and around 5.5 hrs at pitch side!) Perfect!

I think it’s natural to be faffing. I spent about 30 mins trying to get extra stuff into my saddle bag (puncture repair kit). It’s now so densely packed if I need to open it at roadside there’s no way I’m getting it all back in. Despite a bike tune up 2 weeks ago I’m now fretting whether there is too much travel on the front brake lever. It’s normal pre event anxiety I think.

I don’t think you need have any fears about your training. Looking at your Strava rides you’ve done loads more than me!

I’m torn on which bib shorts to wear too. Jersey is easy as I’m riding for MacMillan Cancer Support. Unfortunately, though the pockets aren’t the deepest and the back of the jersey rides up which isn’t ideal for your longest ride!

Fuelling - I’m not sure I ever got this right in training and there’s only so much you can carry so I’m just taking 2 Clif cars, banana, 2 gels, a few fig rolls. I’ll have 2 bottles with carb mix and it will have to be feed stations for the rest as I just can’t fit in any more as I also need to have phone, car keys, inhaler and gilet in pockets.

I wouldn’t say I’m excited but I’m keen to get it over and done with so that I can stop thinking about it! Very relieved to see a dry forecast too!

Good luck! I’m sure you’ll smash it.

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Thanks - and to you. Might see you somewhere at the finish :grin::ok_hand:t2:

How did everyone get on?

@Sundance I did look out for you at the start but didn’t spot you :smiley:

Got round with a moving time of 07:55 (16.9mph) so super pleased with that, as my target was to go sub 9 hours.

Started strong (probably too strong), faded a little at the 85 to 90 mile mark, then had a massive unexpected second wind just in time for Rhigos and The Bwlch - smashed both climbs (for me) and felt elated - leading to a fast spin downhill back to the finish line :ok_hand:t2:

Overall time was 08:40 and change. Vast majority of that extra time (45 mins) was queueing for the toilets at two of the food stops.

Note to organisers: 4 port-a-loos at the first rest stop to cater for 4000+ potential users seems a little sub-optimal :joy: