First A-race completed

Not much action here on the Results forum, so I’ll give it a go. :slight_smile:

I just turned 35; I’ve been a “casual mountain biker” for about 8 years, and I’ve been roadracing motorcycles for about as long. I was a suffer-up and have-fun-down kind of guy.

Last summer (2020) a new mountain bike race series sprung up in my area (Sioux Falls, SD) and I dove in without any training. The series consisted of several weeknight short track races, plus a 90 minute race XCO race. I loved it. I was usually finishing about 10-15th out of 30ish competitors. I could see I had the skills, but lacked the fitness–the riders ahead of me trained, the ones behind me didn’t.

Last winter, at the encouragement of my new racing community, my wife (who also rides/races) and I got a Wahoo Kickr Core. After being frustrated with a program that rhymes with “swift”, we decided to try TrainerRoad at the recommendation of a few successful racer friends. After 10 minutes of browsing TR’s website I was very excited for structured training and ready to give it a shot. I began my “Short Track XC” Low Volume plan on January 1, 2021.

Results were dang near immediate! I entered some winter fat bike races throughout late February and March and I could feel my pace increasing; it felt like something was unlocked from within. In roughly 2 month my FTP went from 213 to 247. (I recognized I may have “undertested” that first test, but still.)

In the spring I sold my Giant Fathom hardtail and found a 2018 Epic on Pinkbike. Throughout my local MTB race series this summer, I was hanging with riders I never thought possible. By mid summer my FTP was 270. My A-race was supposed to be our final local XCO race on Aug. 29, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to huge rain and tornadoes the night before. So I headed out to the Black Hills of SD for the infamous Dakota Five-0 on Sep. 5, a rugged 50 mile XCM race with 5800 feet of climbing… More riding or climbing than I’d ever done.

With 700 racers (probably only 200 of them doing it competitively), I finished 46th overall, 19th in 30-39 mens, with a time of 4:41. Super stoked. Oh, also experienced cramping for the first time. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

So, thank you Trainer Road. Please know you are making people happy. And it’s not just the app, it’s the podcast, the knowledge, the outlook on training/competing/life in general.

I used to compartmentalize “riding skills” and “fitness”, and that view held me back. Now I understand they go hand-in-hand.

Jesse VanderWeide
Sioux Falls, SD