Congratulations on your ride, and good race report!
I’m chiming in with my own Trainerroad Dirty Kanza endorsement.
I completed my 5th Dirty Kanza; this year I basically followed the suggested Trainnerroad progression:
Started with Sweet Spot Base, mid volume, in December. Then moved on to Sustained Power Build, mid volume, at the end of January. Finished off with the Century, high volume, starting at the end of March. Finished that plan two weeks before Kanza and just did a two-week taper of low intensity endurance rides (Petit, etc). At least, that was the plan for my taper. More on that later.
I spent more time on the trainer this winter than in any of my previous four Dirty Kanza attempts – some of that was due to time obligations but it was also because we had terrible weather this spring.
However, despite having less total miles under my belt this year than in previous years, my fitness felt like it was much better. I did a 125-mile race about 6 weeks before Kanza and I was extremely pleased with my performance and my training at that point.
I rarely follow the Trainerroad plans to the letter–typically I follow the two high-intensity intervals during the week and the on the weekend I would do longer, unstructured rides either on Zwift or outdoors, weather permitting. This was mainly to keep from getting burnt out.
On the high-volume century plan, I would often skip the Wednesday endurance ride in favor of getting more sleep. (I generally have to train early in the morning during the week, and I tried to focus on getting more rest this year than I have in the past.)
2 weeks before Kanza I came down with a vicious respiratory infection that laid me out for a week. I ended up staying home from work for a week and I legitimately doubted whether I would even be able to start the race, let alone finish. I finally started to recover and decided I would line up and give it my best shot, but the upshot was that I still only felt like I was at about 80% when the race started, and I only had about 3 rides under my belt in the last 2 weeks before Kanza.
I was able to finish but it was brutally hard. I felt weak the entire race and I was never able to put down any power and had to dump gears and spin up even the easiest of climbs. In the afternoon it got unexpectedly hot–my computer said it got into the mid-90s out in the hills-- which further sapped my energy and will to live and made me question all of my life choices leading up to that point.
I finished in about 16.5 hours–I think I had a legitimate shot of finishing around 15 hours before I got sick. However, I think it is because of my Trainerroad training and preparation that I had the fitness to even finish at all.
Also I lost 35 pounds since December, which didn’t hurt.
Now I’m waiting for the Trainerroad weight lifting recommendations because I have completely ignored my core over the last few months and now it hurts to sit in my office chair
(PS no one should do what I do because I’m slow and undisciplined and I tend to ignore my own advice and the advice of others.)