Leadville 100 MTB 2019

I think that’s the hardest part - i.e. knowing what time to aim for. I’m 3.25 W/kg, and did 9:38 in 2017. I guesstimated my target time to be 9:30 based on my ride the month before at Silver Rush, and a pre ride of sections of the Leadville course. I was 8 mins off target, and that included a gradual meltdown over the last few hrs.


See this post for the W/Kg estimates - Leadville 100MTB FTP?

I think those are about .5 w/kg too high, IMO. I was at 3.7 w/kg when I did it in 9:11, DaveWH above was at 3.25 and did 9:38.

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Oh thanks!!! I didn’t see that thread. Pretty useful stuff right there.:+1:

Do you live at elevation at all or are you at sea level?

I’m in Texas but not at sea level, maybe 500- 1,000 feet?

Gotcha, that’s effectively sea level.

They might be a bit too high, but I think they are good guidelines for people on average to manage expectations.

I’m in Reno, around 4-5k and it was still a big difference going to Leadville last year. Due to work, I could only show up the Thursday afternoon before the race.

I should’ve added I live at 7k feet. So definitely not sea level.

how was the altitude transition showing up thursday? thats my plan this year, and i think espoused as a 48hr strategy by the TR team from their podcast.

i already booked all my travel but now hearing there might be a benefit even if showing up a few days earlier, in contrast to earlier conventional wisdom/research suggested either <48hr to shock the body or 2 weeks to fully acclimate.

I went out and rode from the start through the powerline descent on the Friday before the race, I could def feel the altitude. I think it made me race at least up Columbine, a bit more conservatively, which may have been good, but it wasn’t like I was dying. I felt pretty good all day. This year I am looking at arriving for the stage race and staying through until the 100. That would put me at about 16-17 days before.

The key to this whole discussion is to focus on elevation adjusted FTP and W/kg. I.e. @Nate_Pearson had a Reno elevation (~4600’) FTP of 324 before the race. Using a 95% acclimation put his sea level FTP at ~341, or 4.1 W/kg. At Leadville elevation (10,250’) his acclimated FTP adjusted by the Peronett study estimate of 85% was 293, or ~3.5 W/kg.

At 7000’, you’re only talking about a ~5-6% degradation in your Leadville altitude adjusted FTP.
At sea level, I’m looking at about a 15% degradation :frowning:

It seems like ~3.5 w/kg at Leadville, or ~4.0x at sea level is about the over/under for a sub-9hr. I’m hoping to get to the high 3s at sea level, putting me in the low 3s at Leadville, and maybe a 10:30 over/under.

FYI, there is a Leadville Team on the TR site (https://www.trainerroad.com/teams/8548-leadville-mtb-100-aka-lt100mtb-). It’d be great to find fellow TR users with comparable corral/fitness to team up with for the ride.


@wbendus is on the money here

Both Nate and I were 4.0w/kg at sea level, and arrived at Leadville roughly a week before hand, and we were both hitting the Columbine turnaround at 4:35 despite riding the course on different years. Nate obviously got the job done at 8:50, sadly I did not for reasons that were not performance related.

I think that 4w/kg sea level for having a good shot at sub-9 is a good rule of thumb. You can increase your margin for error by being more aero-optimized, having a better corral time, and coming out to elevation a week a head of time.


I agree with this, definitely.


Sounds close. I think it might be a bit lower eg 3.3W/kg at Leadville might get the job done for sub 9 if you have a good day.

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I don’t think you can solely judge this on FTP. I did a 9:14 without power, I went by HR up most of Columbine until I had to walk. I didn’t realize you walk THAT much, or I would have went harder from the bottom. I think you’d have to take into account, what’s your FTP like after 5-6 hours? Can you put any efforts out then vs. hour 2 or 3. I was probably around 4-4.1 sea level, 3.75ish here in Reno on my road bike. I don’t think I can produce the same power on my MTB, but I could be wrong.

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Agree. There a bunch of other things that factor in also. Nutrition and hydration is a big one, and also to what extent you can draw upon fat as a fuel, and not be overly reliant on glycogen - which has a high chance of “running out” over the course of a long tough ride like Leadville.


I agree too. I was under the power curve listed above, but I’ve never been a cramper, didn’t have any mechanicals and my food strategy was super dialed in. The weather was solid too. So there’s that to consider…


My husband and I will attempt the Leadville 100 stage race this summer via tandem mtb with hopes to qualify and race the Leadville 100 in 2020 via tandem mtb. Anyone else out there training for this stage race?

Posting this table from @wbendus showing estimated finishing times and corral placement for Leadville based on qualifiers.

If you plan on riding one of the qualifiers you can use the multiplier to estimate your time.


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