LOTOJA - the longest one-day USAC-sanctioned bicycle race in the US

Relatively new TR user and podcast listener, love the software and content. :star::star::star::star::star:

I am surprised that I have not heard or read much from any of the users in the forum or podcast about LOTOJA. It’s an awesome event. https://lotoja.com/

Are there any users that have done a majority of your training for LOTOJA on TR as your A race? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Did you do your long training rides outside and just swap out a TR workout?

Also, are “teams” in TR still a thing? I set up a LOTOJA team, if you plan on riding it come join that group.

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I’m planning on doing LOTOJA again this year, though I’ve only started using TR a couple weeks ago so this will be my first time using it to prepare.

I live in Tucson which has brutal summers which is right when you’d traditionally be putting in big mile days for an event like LOTOJA. So, in the past I would do the local Saturday group ride (~4hrs) then come home and get on the trainer for 1-2hrs to do more endurance riding without frying in the heat.

-Kyle

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Awesome. I think using TR for my the majority of training and outside for some longer rides will be a great plan.

Haven’t heard of LOTOJA but in terms of training I can’t imagine the approach would be much different from other long races like DK, Paris- roubaix or the dirty reiver here in the U.K.

Once you start going ‘long’ it’s about pacing, nutrition, and managing your body… basically having a strategy to get you through the race and manage the increasing toll of fatigue. From experience I know that If you can do 200k with 3500m of climbing, then with the same fitness you can ride a 400k with 2000m of climbing. But a 350k ride with 5500m of climbing you are going to have to manage very, very carefully

I train for long distance races and run the standard plan approach with some longer outdoor rides thrown in that take in a lot of hills.

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Very true. The hardest part for me is usually the pacing and the nutrition. I really need to work on those this year.

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Yeah nutrition is key in these long races, if you fall behind in your nutrition you will pay for it. During my first LOTOJA I really struggled to eat the food I had starting about 50 miles from the finish and I went from feeling pretty good to being completely wasted. My second time racing it I got my nutrition dialed in, ate 350 calories an hour (sometimes more in the beginning hours when the pace was easy) and stuck to gels/liquids for the last 1/4 of the race since I could force them down before my brain had a chance to reject them.

The hard thing with racing road races like LOTOJA is that pacing isn’t completely up to you unless you are off the front or out the back. So you just need to be as fit as possible so you can try and handle the pace the group decides to set.

-Kyle

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Hey just wondering how each of you did that entered LoToJa in 2019? I’m from NY state but actually did LoToJa in 2018… I’m looking to do it again, and was wondering if you felt the relatively short time demands (even for TrainerRoad’s longer weekend rides) prepared you for the event. 2018 was the first time I had completed a single century, let alone the double century.

Ideally I’d like to finish in around 12 - 12.5 hours next year… completed it in 13:10:37.

Appreciate your insight!

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Nice job on finishing in 2018! I did well, not fast but I was happy with effort. Admittedly, I was not great at sticking with the TR plan. I road outside with our local club way more often then not. Having said that, I am completely convinced that if you follow the plan and get in some longer outside sides, you will be very well prepared.

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Nice work finishing! I follow the low volume plans somewhat consistently. i’m more of a crit and cross rider. I got goaded into joining the LOTOJA relay this year. Then, my teammate bailed on me and i partnered with an unknown rider. Because of this i opted to ride legs 1-3 so 130 miles and 7500 vert. Logan to Afton. Longest i had trained all summer was three hours and 50 miles. I made it, but worked through cramps and extreme fatigue. I chock it up to hitting the first half too hard. 25% of the first three hours spent in anerobic and sat at 0.8 IF so it wasn’t consistent at all. I paid for it in the last two hours…

To answer your question, if i was to train specifically for LOTOJA using Trainer road- i’d do a mid volume plan if you can handle the time. I’d train most of the winter/spring and once summer hits- go do your weekend rides outside. I rode the full LOTOJA 10 years ago exclusively with outside training (not sure power based training was available to the masses then). My plan was two rides during the week with intensity and climbing. Then, on the weekends i’d plan to go for a long ride somewhere. you could consistently increase the duration of the weekend rides until in August you can go crush 100 miles a few times. think of it as honing a two edged sword- hone your power during the week then hone your endurance on the weekend. I do believe that omitting the long weekend rides would be a mistake. Good luck!

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i wish there was twice the climbing, then I’d consider the journey to WY

Brendan

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Sorry for the late response but I figured it could still be helpful for next year’s Lotoja.

I used TR HV plans as my training guide for all of 2019, religiously following the weekday plans and then swapping the Saturday ride for a group ride which acts as a great race simulation for road races plus tacking on extra time at endurance pace (shooting for 4.5-6 hrs total). Sunday’s I’d either do the SS workout outside or simply ride endurance/tempo pace up the local mountain for ~2.5hrs.

Overall this worked well for me, I was 10th this year in the 1/2/3 race losing contact with the leaders about 20mi from the finish (finished just under 9hrs I think) I do think there was a bit too much intensity at times and the hard weekday rides could really gut me due to residual fatigue. Sundays probably should have been strictly endurance pace to help reduce fatigue for the key weekday workouts. Also shifting the endurance workout from Friday to Tuesday seemed to help since it gave me an extra day to recover from the weekend, and doing a moderate workout on Friday helped prime my legs for the hard portion of the Saturday group ride.

I hope this is helpful.

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thanks very much to everyone that has responded. I’m likely to do the mid-volume, and follow your advise with the Saturday ride being a group ride, with some added distance.

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I rode Logan to Jackson this past year. Had a total blast doing it. My approach was low volume and I added additional workouts/group rides outside on the weekends. Come the big day I felt completely ready and had great legs all day. I felt that TR low volume + outdoor rides on weekends prepared me sufficiently. FWIW, I live in Northern Utah and have great access to hills so the elevation and climbing was no shock to the system. Below is a snippet from my fitness chart for 2019. The screenshot details my hours/week from base, build & specialty leading up to the event.

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Thanks for this Aviatorjensen - gaining confidence everyday. I live in the Adirondacks in NY, so while we don’t have the long sustained climbs similar to LotoJa, we’ve got a lot of hills within riding distance that are 5+ miles long with average grades of 8-10%… great for doing intervals (ride up, recover on the ride down, repeat…).

Glad to hear of multiple TrainerRoad success stories with LotoJa. After 12 weeks of base (mid-volume) behind me, I already feel stronger than when I rode it in 2018.

Quick question - do the hours per week include the weekend outdoor (long rides)?

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@magermajor - Yes the hours DO include weekend rides. Not much volume at all, really. That is right out of an Excel spreadsheet I’ve created and it’s just adding up the time on the bike week over week. I have a goal to do more volume this year. Figure it’s a slow progression year after year balancing the bike, home and work life.

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