BC Bike Race 2022 - low volume vs mid volume plus outdoor

I’m new to TrainerRoad and haven’t quite figured out the best option for training for BC Bike Race this year. Suggestions welcome!

For the last 10 years I’ve had a coach (skills and fitness) but always followed a more “traditional” structured training plan (Lots of long base miles in winter etc). It’s time for a change - my brother has used TR for a few years with great success so time to try it out!

I’ve set up adaptive training with my A (BCBR) and B (4Islands, Croatia) races - with Sustained Power builds and XCM as the Specialty phase.

Although I’ve started out with Low Volume, I have time to do Mid Volume in terms of riding hours - BUT - I need time outside to keep working on my technical skills and I enjoy social rides with my friends at the weekends too! Outdoor mtb rides just aren’t always that easy to include specific training intervals - even though my weekend rides aren’t always “easy”.

I think my two options are:

  1. Stick with low volume doing my 3 workouts midweek but add in 2 x weekend mtb or gravel rides. If I can do a TrainNow session during the weekend rides I will……

  2. Move up to mid volume, set my weekend rides to outdoors and try and make them work within my mtb rides (at the start maybe) even if I drop the time of the TR workout to 45-60 mins then carry on and enjoy the rest of my mtb ride?

For reference, I live in the UK. I also do 1-2 strength/core/yoga sessions per week. And this will be my 3rd BCBR so I know what to expect!



Most people, including myself, do a low volume plan and add outdoor rides. Some will do mid and exchange trainer rides for outdoor rides. It’s the same result.

You can match an outdoor ride with a TR session, so if you are someone that likes to have a full training calendar then using mid and exchanging rides may work best for you as at least there is the prompt in the calendar for riding type and intensity. (By match I mean that once you upload your outdoor ride you can select it from the calendar, and you have the option to match it with that days TR session. This technically deletes the TR session)

I normally go LV, do a longer easy Wednesday ride, and depending on the weekend ride outside either or both days. I may move the Saturday TR session to Sunday and have MTB fun on the Saturday, or do vice versa. Whatever works.

Medium volume really only pads out two extra low intensity rides. I’d rather Fulgaz, Zwift, or do the real thing on those days. But still get the benefits of the three intensity workouts.

Whatever you choose, listen to your body. Take the easy days easy, and the hard ones hard (or as hard as you are able).

Good luck

1 Like

Thanks - that’s really helpful.

AT doesn’t presently account for unstructured outside riding. So unless you can match them to an accurate outdoors workout, there’s a danger the too positively or negatively affect AT. I had a similar queerie and TR support recommended that I go LV to have AT calculate correctly and just do the unstructured rides also for now.

1 Like

Low volume plus added endurance rides works very well.


I did BCBR in 2019; Loved it! I ended up doing the high volume plans and tried to replicate the tr workouts outside; we have a fireroad climb that leads to single track where I would do my 20 minute sweet spot intervals; I found this to be a good balance of technical and work out.
If I did BCBR again I would probably include some long rides at high Z2 and maybe do a full week of really long Z2 rides 4-6 weeks pre to simulate the stage race. In addition, I would improve my hydration and nutrition as I know this was lacking the last time.

1 Like

I just finished the 2022 BC bike Race on about 2 TrainerRoad rides a week, plus gravel shenanigans on weekend. I feel the key to success was refusing to go hard; having a ceiling for effort during the race.

My fatigue hit -103% by the end, but honestly I’ve felt worse when at home with work, family, and other stress. Screenshot from Intervals.icu below, demonstrating it’s possible to succeed despite sub-optimal preparation. I hope this helps someone move forward with their goals :+1:

From the last day of the race:
Ramp rate: 25
Fatigue: 162
Form: -103%

Set a new ftp on the prologue
Set a 1hr season PR on stage 1
Set a 1hr season PR on stage 4
Completed the 7 day stage race, thanks TR team and community :clap:


How did BC go? I’ve signed up for next July.

I’m debating on doing BCBR since it’s moving to Vancouver island which makes it more easier to travel to from Seattle.

Do most of you switch your MTB on the trainer, or keep your road/gravel bike on?

BCBR 2022 was great! One of the toughest courses they have ever done - big days with lots of elevation. Amazing trails and fantastic organisation.

My training went absolutely to plan - I did a mix of mid and low volume over winter, then mostly low volume with additional MTB rides added in - plus 2 strength sessions a week. In 9 months I went from 2.5W/kg (187W @73kg) to 3.7W/kg (231W@ 62kg) using TR and am the strongest/fittest I’ve ever been.

Unfortunately my race partner didn’t have a great race week so I towed/pushed/coaxed him round and we finished. Next year I’m going solo…… :slight_smile:


I use a Wattbike Atom indoors and then any outdoor training is done on a mix of MTB, Road and gravel.

Personally I don’t think it matters what bike you use to train for your specific TR sessions - but just make sure you get plenty of time riding your race bike - both hours in the saddle and riding technical MTB trails (up and down). Get it comfy, set up your suspension and touch points. You will spend several hours each day, for 7 days on that bike……

For the specific training, just ride what you have on the turbo. If that’s the MTB then great, if it’s a smart bike or road bike, that’s fine - just be consistent with your training.

Sign up, it’s a great race.


I continued to use my road bike on the rollers, but got more race MTB time in over weekends and any other time riding outside generally (even if just riding with family).

I did put same saddle as I use on MTB onto my road bike on the trainer to get make sure I was more used to it in the months leading up to the race.


@mattscardiostuff hi - when you advised that you “would improve my hydration and nutrition as I know this was lacking the last time” - what did you do and what changes would you make?
Doing my first BCBR this year and need some advise on this matter from someone who has done it before - thanks

Sorry for the delay in responding;
When I did it; I usually ate a full breakfast (I was on the meal plan A which was the first one in the morning allowing enough time to digest); I ate a clif bar on the start line; then through each stage would try to eat clif bloks (usually just one pack) and would have one small bottle on my bike (filled with 1/2 dose gatorade for the first one) that I would fill up half way through. I for sure was eating too few calories as a couple of times I would feel deplete at the end. For the last stage (the longest that year, in Squamish) I used a hydration pack.

I was trying to be competitive (although really just competing with myself) and didn’t want to waste time with extra weight or stopping at the nutrition stops. this could have been a mistake as if I had fuelled better I may have been faster.

I ate lots of donuts and sandwiches right after each stage.

If was to do it again I would likely use a hydration pack for every stage expected to be longer than an hour or so; and a bottle for the short stages

Since the race I have tried to dial in what I can take from a palate fatigue perspective and how much I can process and usually will use the skratch super fuel. I try to take the same as one big bottle per hour and use 200 calories from that (1/2 of what they recommend) and 200 calories from maltodextran (just because I find a full dose of skratch tastes too strong)

This year I am going to experiment with glucose/fructose combinations.

I have no real expertise in this domain but I am positive that there were a few days that I had to slow as I could feel I was fading. Good luck and have fun


Having done 3 BCBRs now……I would suggest using a small hydration pack - Camelbak Chase vest or similar - for majority of days except the prologue. Room to access pockets even with pack on and somewhere to stash spares etc. Mine has a 1.5l reservoir.

This year I planned my nutrition based on expected ride time - it worked pretty well. I aimed for 75-90g carbs per hour - sometimes it was more like 65g/hr in energy product but I tried to supplement with food at the aid stations.

I used liquid fuel in my hydration pack (SIS Go Electrolyte - which is 36g carbs per 500ml). It was easiest to carry a good volume of fuel on my back. In my bottle I used water and topped this up at aid stations. On the longest days I used SIS beta fuel which is 82g per 600ml in my bottle to start then refilled with water to give me extra liquid fuel.

I mixed between Clif bloks and bars to top up to my target carbs and some days I added an SIS Beta fuel gel for a change. At aid stations I would try and eat some solid food - pretzels, flapjack, watermelon etc. whatever was offered that looked good. I always grabbed more Clif bloks at the aid stations too.

Personally I find eating Clif bars whilst racing very hard - bloks and gels are easier to chew/swallow.
For BCBR this year I will use a similar plan but probably more bloks/gels and less bars. Planning to try a couple of other brands of solid fuels like honeystinger etc too that I now know we can get in Canada as flying out with lots of fuel from the UK is an additional hassle! Whatever you decide to use - test it out under race or hard training conditions first!

Good luck with your training!


@mattscardiostuff and @DrFaffy thanks a lot for the info, it seems like there’s a lot more to nutrition for this type of race than I originally thought, I’ll start experimenting and planning!

Some extra info/ideas, from my experience last year.

I also ran a Camelbak Chase vest and had a pre-planned strategy for total volume to consume based on expected ride time, with a goal of 80-90g of carbs per hour. I used SIS Go in both a bottle and my pack, broken down as 800ml bottle (with 3 scoops SIS) and 1.5l in pack (6 scoops SIS) giving a total ~160g carbs available without needing to stop. In reality, I managed between 65g and 105g per hour depending on the day through the week.

I planned to stop on only one day (longest day, just under 4 hours total riding) and refilled my bottle at the aid station (carried extra SIS in a bag to throw in the bottle at refill point), no stopping otherwise.

I supplemented the above with either SIS gels (either with or without caffeine) and some Clif shot bloks (although I stopped using them later in the week as I found they’re too hard to eat versus a gel when going hard).

I had trained up to the event to increase what I was used to using in terms of carbs per hour, so knew it was achievable. I just swapped between normal gels and caffeine depending on how I felt, but always take a caffeine one before the start.

I have a well tested pre-race breakfast - simply 100g of oats with maple syrup/banana 3 hours before, but that is just what works for me. Find what works for you.

After finishing and then for the rest of the day, just eat everything!


1 Like

Great info @radicalwipeout appreciate all the advice from people who have had first hand experience with the BCBR or similar events


How far apart are the aid stations?
I’m going to be slow…maybe even the last one on the course. My aim is to finish. I’m just wondering whether to take a small camel back or a 3 litre bladder?

1 Like

Depending on the course length there are usually 1 or 2 aid stations. If it’s very hot they might add an extra water station. It’s probably roughly 1 aid station per 20-25km.

Sometimes there will be local trail association “cheer” areas and they might have snacks or drinks but I wouldn’t rely on these - more of a bonus stop!

You also get snacks and drinks at the finish to top up on food once the event is over.

If you think you may be at the back of the pack I would consider a slightly larger bag - especially if you find you need more fuel / water in general when riding. It’s finding a balance between carrying extra stuff in a bigger pack and it slowing you down more vs not having enough. Maybe a bigger pack (10-14l pack volume) but with a mid size reservoir (2l perhaps). That way you can carry more water / liquid but don’t need to take a massive bag.

Whatever you think might work, try it out on your rides beforehand. Make sure the bag is comfy both full and empty. I once ended up with a numb back and leg during a race when my pump was pressing into my back in my mini pack because it was so full……test out your racing kit plan during your training rides!