I am doing the M312 end April 2023 for the first time and I am in my TR plan with SSB1, SSB2 then sustained Power Build and finally Century.
I have no time constrains so I am adding every week longer Z2 rides (+3h up to 5h).
It´s my first ultra endurance on the bike - did IM and Marathons up to 15 years ago.
Looking for any help, guidance regarding
The event itself
Input to the plans selected and alternatives
Nutrition tips & tricks (having a tough time with all that protein to digest…)
My self I did it in 2016. My nutrition tips are probably best ignored as I threw up dinner the night before then breakfast so did it on an empty stomach (on hindsight it was maybe a sign of what was to come 2 years later). I was fine for around 130miles but bonked big time after that until I was thankfully saved by a farmer giving out oranges. Its a great atmosphere though, enjoy
Regarding the race itself I’m assuming you intend to queue up and start from the start and not jump in from your hotel in the first few kms as some naughty people do (ahem). If so my advice is don’t plan to park anywhere nearby the start… avoid driving altogether. Get there early else you’ll be at the back of an 8000 long queue that can take 40 mins to clear the start line (cut offs are set in stone). And it can be cold standing around for 1-2 hours so bring some disposable clothes to throw away at the start gun. Lots of folks do this.
Event itself is great. Feed zones can be carnage at the back so you want to be in the front 25% if time/cutoffs are a concern. That’s also where the better and safer descenders are so it pays to be in front 25% of race. Further back you’re surrounded by more people, some of dubious descending ability, and will get held up by crashes and ambulances. Again think cut-offs.
Heat/direct sun is an issue after lunchtime so some sauna work might help.
Re training do whatever works for you. I got to Mallorca a week early and did some big rides, then recovered well for a couple of days and had a great race, although I only did the 170k route both times I’ve been. I’m a rapid adapter to training so binge training for one day events has always worked for me. I may grab a late entry and do the 225 in 2023, but then the Pyrenees are also beckoning…
1st year I did it I ended up at the back of 8000 riders (couldn’t get parked and being British I don’t cut queues). So it took 40mins to cross the start line after the gun. And I was about frozen solid. Then I got stopped dead by a series of crashes and ambulances. I still had a great day out but had I been aiming to do the 312 I would have been in for a long day: I’d have been behind all the strong fast groups so it’d be a solo day out once past the road turn off for the long routes.
So the second year I stayed in Club Pollentia and had a sleep in and a leisurely breakfast then jumped into the peloton at 0615 once the front end had passed the hotel. Plenty of folks do this though it is, of course, not officially permitted. Meh. You’ll get a time but it’ll probably not be representative of your real time. (The timing chip is in your start number on the bike.)
If you’re determined to do it properly then get a hotel at the start, queue early, and take lots of disposable clothes. Or pay for the VIP start pen
Love this race. Forgive me for sharing some holiday snaps
Unless you’re right at the front of the wave you’re allocated into, allow the madness to unfold around you, keep your eyes open and your front wheel clear. The number of needless crashes that happen in the first 10-15 miles is incredible.
The event itself was incredible when I did it in October 2021 (reduced field with a mass start). If possible, I’d aim to avoid the first feed station by Blue Gorge. Stay warm, keep the legs ticking over and switch on for the decent down Puig Major. Some people run out of skill very quickly and I witnessed the aftermath of a few high speed accidents. Get down this in one piece and the roads ahead, along the coast are an absolute dream. This was the first feed station I used and it was well stocked and run by extremely helpful volunteers.
Few more lumps and bumps and before you know it, you’ll see a giant yellow sign telling you that you’re half way there (312km route). This is where I think it gets tricky. If you’ve paced the first half through the mountains well, you’re in a good place. If you can feel the first half and you’re on your own, I’d slow the pace a little and wait for a group.
The second half is deceptive. Yes, there are no mountains to speak of but it’s not flat. Find a group and be honest with yourself. Are they going too fast? The group I merged into was 20+ strong just after the turn for home. By the 225km route split, that group was down to nine and only four of us were working. Finding the right group is tricky but, blowing up is far worse.
Once you leave the final feed station, you’re on a silky smooth road that gently tips you towards the finish line. There are numerous roundabouts on this section so once again, keep your mind in the game, you’ll finish well and hopefully have enjoyed yourself.
Regarding training and TR, I used the Roan High series of workouts as my foundation, coupled with Over/Unders. My outdoor rides grew in duration up to six hours and I’d aim for around 7k of elevation.
Nutrition for the training and the event consisted of SIS Beta fuel (took three packets in my jersey for the event), Jelly Babies (can also be found at the feed stations), salted peanuts (feed stations), standard SIS gels x6 and white bread ham sandwiches (feed stations). I did also have two cans of full strength Coke towards the end of the event. My gut was fine with all of the above as I’d trained with most of it.
For me, this was one of the best days on the bike. Lots of atmosphere, a great challenge and the chance to ride with new people. The beer at the end (if you drink) is pure nectar.
I hope that you have a fantastic time and enjoy yourself.
Wow - thanks for all your insides and taking the time to share…
I will line up quit early for the event so I think I should be in the pack starting fairly close to the start time. Accidents and crazy moves from others are my main concern…will try to stay out of everything - thanks again - keep riding
If you’re using two 750ml bottles, I can’t see you having an issue. It won’t be blazing hot when you set off and I doubt you’ll even start drinking until you approach the first climb.
What you really have to identify is, are you aiming for a specific time or, are you aiming to complete the event? This will define how efficient you have to be with your stops. The ones I did stop at had multiple water taps and I don’t recall being delayed. In actual fact, at the final feed station, groups of children were grabbing our bottles, filling them up and coming back to us with them, armed to the teeth with all sorts of edible treats. My feet hardly touched the ground!
In reality, when I passed the first feed station, there didn’t seem to be too many people there. I chose to skip that feed station because I knew I’d be in a rhythm and wanted to maintain that until the decent down Puig Major.
Try not to overthink things. You’re going to do a fantastic event, on a beautiful island where lots of local people will come out onto the streets to cheer you on. They are amazing people and want you to leave with nothing but great memories.
Once you hit those coastal roads, you’ll forget that your even riding a bike. The smell of the pine trees mixed with the salty sea air is something I’ll never forget.
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