Gap Training Advice for Barry Roubaix

So I decided this is the year for long gravel races. I am currently signed up for the Michigan Barry Roubaix Psycho Kill 100mi/6800ft race on April 13, and the Michigan Coast to Coast 210mi race on June 22nd. I started training in June and have finished both sweet spots and I am currently nearly completion of the Sustained Power Build program. Unfortunately it leaves me with 4 weeks before the first race and no plan.

I am trying to decide to I start the Century program and try and finish half of it? or Some other program to start that would have a better taper before the race? As an FYI I am new to these long distance rides, my longest prior was 62mi. My goals are really just to finish and not get left behind by my group.

Does anyone have advice?

The Barry Roubaix is a well run race. You’ll have a blast. Either the rrolling road race or the century plan would work. Because the road conditions can be rough and sticky if wet you will need to draw on some power to make the accelerations. I would personally do the rolling road race to prep for Barry and then start substitung in some of the Longer interval rides from the century plan as you prep for the coast to coast. Good luck.

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The Barry Roubaix is punchy as hell. If you think you’re just in for a long sweet spot effort, you’re wrong.

About 6 miles in you hit a climb called the “Three Sisters” – it is the first, and main selection of the race. It’s only about a 5 minute climb, but it’s steep. If it’s wet, it’s like riding uphill in peanut butter.

There are other selective hills, but the “A” group will form after that hill. And if you’re not with them you’ll never see them again.

There are a ton of other punchy hills that will drop people – and there are some pea soup sections that you will have to gut through on V02 levels where everyone will attack.

Get your intensity work in, is my 2c. Michigan gravel is fast – it rides like road. Until it doesn’t. And the hills are down right Flandrien.

Good luck! I love that race…


Thanks for all the replies, I am looking forward to both races, unfortunately I don’t have enough time to finish the century plan before the Barry, I am finishing the sustained power build this week, so I only really have 4 weeks right now with nothing planned before race day. I wasn’t sure if it was worth getting 3 weeks of the century in with a recovery week before the race or maybe part of the climbing road race to help get ready for the hills, then get the century plan done after the Barry before the Coast to Coast ride.

What bike are you using for the Coast to Coast ride? With what tires? Just curious…

I got a Canyon Grail during their Black Friday sale, seems to be a great bike so far, goofy handle bar and all. My plan is to swap out the stock Shwalbe G-One Bites with some WTB Resolutes as the Shwalbe’s aren’t so great in the sand.

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Cool :+1:

I was wondering if you were planning for the sand – I’ve never ridden that beast, but I was reading about it last year and anyone who did it said there was more sand than expected.

I’ll second, or third, the Rolling Road Race. Start it and get three weeks of work in with a taper week before Barry. See you at the start.

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Sounds like I will start the Rolling Road Race here after my recovery week this week. My stretch goal is just to finish in under the 6.5hrs and get a mug.

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Practice fueling and stay fuel during the race. Also keep pedaling downhill and try to find good lines to carry momentum into the next uphill roller. It looks like we will be thawed out for this year’s edition but it could be very muddy if the rain keeps up. I made a mistake and didn’t wear glasses when rode it. When I do it again I’ll bring a backup pair of glasses and also install a mud fender.

@MuddyPuddle you got this. Let us know how it goes!

I haven’t ridden it, but I did hear that they routed around some of the sandy portions for this year’s race. I’m not sure how much they routed around.

36 miler here and I’ve been planning on the rolling hills plans after build. +1 to the glasses. The first year I rode it, it snowed, rained and had mild hail. I was without glasses and had sand in my eyes for weeks. Enjoy the ride!

Thanks for all the advice, I’ll make sure I have some glasses and maybe even mud guards with me. Crossing my fingers for some decent weather though.

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curious for those having ridden the race what tires is everyone running?

I am doing the 100 mile race, however it appears the gravel there is very hard packed (mostly) like here in Ohio with a few random crappy spots. I was thinking about running a terreno 37 zero or maybe a 38 terreno dry (our team is vittoria affiliated). thoughts?

Aside from equipment, training wise I have just completed build sustained power mid volume and hit 330 ftp (4.5-4.6 wt/kg). I am going to hit a modified high volume sustained power build now for 8ish weeks mixing in some racing and outdoor club events. I did a 54 mile gravel race here in Ohio recently with around 5500 delta feet of elevation. Everything here is punchy short steep climbs, and from the sounds of it so is Barry, which suits me fairly well to get over and stay in a pack nicely.

I think for Barry best bet is sweet spot and more sweet spot and hopefully you are getting in some v02 work to prep for the hang on for dear life surges.

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I run the Schwalbe 35mm G One tires. Most people run those. I would say about 80% – although not sure the mix between the 35mm and the 38mm. I hear the 100mile version of the race has much more muck and sand – so, if true, more volume would be better.

The roads are fast, the hills are punchy as hell. My experience is that it behaves like a road race… the A selection happens in the first 5 miles on a hill called the “Three Sisters” – if you don’t make the selection over that hill, you’ll never see them again.

Good luck!

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Any plans on doing the Crusher this year in the UP? Considering it myself…still on the fence though

I will probably run the 40mm G-One Bites that (roll almost as fast as the regular G-Ones but have some slightly bigger knobs), If the weather looks suspect then I will probably switch to the 42mm WTB Resolutes I was planning for Coast 2 Coast to better handle the sand and muck as the G-Ones don’t shed it very well and pack up.

I find that the gravel conditions can be dramatically different based on the weather. The first time I did it it was near record warm temps. The gravel was dusty & loose. Reminded me of Strada Bianche. The loose gravel caused a lot of grooves to be made with all the riders. Getting out of the grooves could be dicey.

If the weather has been cold & wet then It can be pretty messy. But it’s a great event all around.

If you don’t ride it Todd will mock you and you don’t want that :slight_smile:
It will definitely be a challenging ride. Good luck if you do ride it. Those stories about the wolves…

I’ve got 2 different treads to choose from…

Schwalbe X-one 33mm (cyclocross; knobby) tire VS Serac CX Sand (filetread; no side knobs).

The X-one seems like the safer bet, but serac could be really nice in the rolling resistance department as long as the gravel is generally firm as I keep hearing it is. I’d appreciate any insight you could add.