Dirty Kanza 100 Training Advice

I am participating in the DK100 in 2020 and was looking for some advice on how to best utilize the TR plans to set me up for success.

I currently have the Sweet Spot Base going into Sustained Power build with the Century plan wrapping up one week out from the event.

I’m totally new to structured training so any advice or tips would be appreciated! I’m not looking to be competitive at all, but it would be nice to finish it as in as short a time as I’m capable of.

Edit: I’ve seen the other threads on the full DK and read the TR blog post. I was hoping to get input from folks on specifically the 100 distance. :smile:

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Funny enough I was just looking into this.

I would start here but look forward to any discussion

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Some additional, existing discussions:

I’ve seen this from other threads on the 200 and read through it. Definitely some good guidance in there! I was just hoping to start a discussion on the shorter distance to see if anyone had other thoughts on how to tackle that type of training.

It may be as simple as “treat it like a century and ignore the gravel”, which is understandable.

Are you throwing your hat in the ring next year @cub?

DK200 is a bucket list ride for sure. I’m doing Both Barry Roubaix 100 and Rough Road 100 in April so I’ll know more about my fitness after the events. I’d imagine Barry Roubaix and DK100 would be similar. If all goes well there’s a good chance I’ll attempt DK200 in 2021. My main focus this year is the Intelligencia Crit series so my training is more geared around that.

If I were to begin training now it would probably look something like Traditional base → Sustained Power → Century. Probably all mid volume since I have a new baby in the house. I’d also incorporate 1 or 2 days of core and strength work. Gravel tends to beat me up more than I’d like to admit. I’ve never struggled with nutrition or hydration but I’d give it a big focus. Driving all the way out to the middle of nowhere Kansas just to bonk would be a nightmare. I’d like to know how many carbs an hour (and the make up) my body can handle and try it out in a few practice races. I’d love to hear some more advice from folks that have participated or in the stages of planning.

Edit: btw I see it’s your first post. Welcome to the TR community. People are pretty friendly around here.


Definitely not that simple…I haven’t read all the threads linked to above, but my piece of advice is to not train by mileage but by time. There is a BIG difference between doing 100 miles on most mixed roads and 100 miles at Kanza. Don’t train to do 100 miles, train to be able to do 6-7+ hours on the bike at your targeted power.

Hydration / fueling strategies are critical…last year was brutally hot and it looked like a death march out there. For those of us from the northern climes, it made a tough event much tougher. The week before DK I was still doing local AM rides (Chicago) in long sleeves and knee warmers. Definitely work in some heat acclimatization, if you can.

Definitely concur with the advice to do some upper body strength work…while I didn’t think the gravel was as bad as I had heard, the roads out there are pretty relentless in beating you up. You don’t have to be able to lift huge weights, but focus on smaller weights with a lot of reps.


Solid advice on training for time and not mileage. I am doing the low volume of all plans and plan to throw in some Zwift rides as well as outdoor rides in between to supplement. Personally, I need to see things move past me every once in a while whether they be digital or real for my mental health.

I only live 90 minutes from Emporia so I’m familiar with the heat and humidity that will likely be there on race day, but I’ll definitely be on top of hydration and nutrition as much as I can be. I’ve had plenty of friends tap out of this race because they weren’t handling that right early on.

I think my normal 5X5 strength program combined with riding the gravel in this area should suffice in keeping my upper body from falling apart. I imagine you don’t have nearly the opportunities to ride gravel in Chicago @Power13, eh?

I’d be curious if anyone had any thoughts on finishing a plan just seven days out from the event. Is that too close, or is finishing at that point and then just maintaining through the week plenty?

If I remeber correctly what I’ve read here somewhere that’s quite perfect. Complete the last week of your specialty plan the week leading up to your event and maybe reduce volume. If you’re on a LV plan you might not even need to taper for your race. Good luck!


Not really…we have the Des Plaines River trail, but it is very non-technical and just packed sand / gravel. Damn near paved…ridden my road bike on it plenty of times with no issues. But it also floods very easily the last few years, so riding it in the Spring with the snowmelt and rain can be challenging.

There are some great roads out to the west by Galena, but that is a full day commitment to drive out there, get a decent ride and then drive back.

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You could take that to the Prairie Path or Great Western Trail our west. I’ll ride that up to Wisconsin (via fox river trail) once in a while. Like you said nothing technical but it’s a fun trip going through the little down towns and what not.

Now Michigan on the other hand I feel like is the gravel Mecca of the Midwest and that’s only an hour or two drive.

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Yeah, both of those trails are pretty far south for me…I’m up in the Northern burbs. So when the DPR gets high, it is a mess to head south. As a DPR option, I’ll head over the Millenium trail and go north up through Rollins Savanah, McDonalds Woods, etc. Even less technical than DPR, but at least most of it is dirt.

Have not yet ventured over into MI for gravel roads…open to any suggestions.

My daughter is in school down at Indiana and there is some wonderful gravel riding down there. Kanza-esque in terms of the gravel.

check out gravelmap.com, I live in Chicago and frequent Michigan. I use it for route planning if I end up bringing my gravel bike along. Also, check out this series if you want to get any DK prep in https://www.michigangravelraceseries.com/

Thanks…have used gravelmap to cehck out stuff before, thanks for the reminder.

No DK prep needed for me…same weekend as middle school graduation next year. My shot at redemption will have to wait until 2021. :pleading_face: But I did sign up for Barry Roubaix next year. :sunglasses:

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I did DK200 last year off of SSBMV, Sustained Power Build and then had @brendanhousler coach me for two months (definitely worth it). Finished in 16 hours when target was to beat the sun.

If and when i do it again, I wouldn’t change anything about the cycling training but I would add yoga/Pilates/strength training for the back. My lower back was shredded and I pedaled in pain the last 80 miles. The legs wanted to go but the back didn’t.

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That’s definitely a little more important! :wink:

I’m hoping the combo of my current strength training and doing the 100 distance will set me up for success here.

I’m going for the 100 the first time out to get a feel for the ride and to enjoy the after-race festivities a little more. I’ve had a few buddies cross the finish line too torn up to open a beer. :beers:

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