LaMarmotte, how would you pace yourself?

Loved the Izoard! We did a loop from Briancon, the first section to Guillestre is a dull section of main road, but out of Guillestre it gets good and you follow a beautiful valley road alongside a river before the climb starts proper. The top half of the Izoard in particular is a real treat!

I’m afraid I didn’t do any hiking, only cycling and eating :laughing: There are plenty of beautiful places to hike though, so well worth looking into.

As mentioned above by @Greased_Flea, the Pas de la Confession is well worth a ride, stunning balcony road that looks down onto the valley below. And as mentioned numerous times, the ride up to La Berarde is stunning.

I did a few in Ecrins as we were staying on the road to la berarde… Many days biked in morning, hiked in afternoon. I have some on my Strava page with a lot of photos from hikes and rides. The one on June 12th was awesome, but didn’t help my cause for the Glandon and Croix de Fer combo the next day!

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Ps - pas de la confession was nice but there is another amazing balcony road on east side of Alpe d’Huez that you shouldn’t miss… Also the loop up to Villard notre dame is another good balcony road option if hot and you have a powerful light for the unlit tunnels. It’s out of the sun. And the descent back down to Ornon is awesome!

Yea, I think lesson learned for me was take it easier earlier on those long days, and the many hikes probably took a lot more out of me than the cycling alone. I was already negative 30-40 on TSB many days not counting all the hiking!

Hopefully all the work helps my long term endurance - started another thread looking for advice on what training to do next as this was basically an absolute ton of z3/z4 and very little intensity. Is it as good as SS base and go into build again, or go back to structured SS base?

@djreynolds Cool, will try to do the Izoard as well! Eating sounds like a very good idea :smiley:

@hvvelo Awesome, will checkout your strava and pick some hikes. And I am staying in Auris so the above mentioned balcony road will be actually my everyday ride :wink: Also the Villard might be a good option, will keep it in mind and see if my daylights will be enough.

Did my first la marmotte in 2013. No power meter, just a hrm. The plan was 160 bpm (195 max), but got carried away up the glandon, nearly hitting 170, following some very fit European female riders… They soon dropped me. After the exhilarating decent I recovered but got into a group in the maurienne valley that was too quick, but I hung in there. Went well up telegraphe but it was getting seriously warm, hit valloire, then hit the wall/bonked on the first few km of the galibier. It made that climb a real beast but luckily the feed at valloire kicked in and I recovered enough to get into another ‘too fast’ group on the descent. Hit dhuez blown but crawled up, in 9hr 16 and a silver medal. Vowed to return with a power meter and claim a gold medal time the next year.
Planned 210w vs 265ftp, about 80% but was hitting 230 on glandon. Eventually settled down but think I burnt too many matches and ended up bonking/hitting the wall in almost the identical place on galibier and had to settle on 180w. I think that saved me and finished in 8hr 35.
Several years later I like to think I can pace these events right now. I did the Dragon devil a few weeks ago and stayed at 80-85% on the climbs and 70-75% on the flat, never once going above threshold and eating religiously. Eating/fueling is as crucial as pacing for me. With an hour to go I feel I’m in a position to up the pace but never before.
I loved the marmotte and next year may do the pyrenees version, which I chose not to do in year one, and opted for a full week of cycling instead.
Next week I’m having a crack at le tour de mont blanc cyclo and am wishing I have learnt from all my past fondo pacing mistakes.

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That is a great idea! Everything around Lac du Bourget is great for going uphill. Here are some training rides I did 2 weeks before Marmotte:

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Thinking about this or the Transalp next year, have you organised things yourself, or gone with one of the tour operators? Any that you would recommend?

Thanks everyone for the tips. I haven’t done La Marmotte in the end but I have enjoyed riding in the French Alps a lot. I was there with a girlfriend and we did some hiking as well. More activities meant that recovery wasn’t optimal :wink: And frankly, after riding for 5 hours I couldn’t imagine riding another 4-5. Except some short rides, I did:

@alhan Your tips were very timely indeed. I didn’t have time to respond but I didn’t know about Le Revard - nice view!


is there a decent training plan from trainerroad for this event?i dod it twice using Tacx RLV and it was really close to reality so wonder how good trainer road really is

A TR base, sustained power build, and century speciality plan would get you in pretty good shape for this. You’d maybe want to supplement the plan with a few big days in the saddle, not just for fitness reasons but also mental preparation, and seeing how your kit, position, nutrition, etc hold up on a long day.

Haven’t used Tacx RLV but from what I understand it’s basically like riding the course. Which is useful mental preparation so you know what’s coming, but not a particularly efficient way of building fitness. E.g. long descents where you can’t lay down much power aren’t a great use of your training time indoors, you’d be better off doing structured intervals. You may need to practice your descending skills, but that obviously needs to be done outside!