I’m doing Marji Gesick 200 in Sept. of 2024. There is around 26,000ft of vertical gain and it’s all very punchy, nothing sustained, mostly single-track. The cutoff is 48.5hrs (my fastest Marji 100 finish is 20:30:xx). My longest race to date was 242 but half the elevation gain and it took me around 31hrs. I reviewed a training plan for the MG200 but it was 15hrs a week and I just don’t have it. I realize I will need to be in the gym as well as on the bike but 15hrs is just too much with my family life. I’m unable to create an event in TR as long as this event so I created a stage race with two 23:59:59 stages and set them to tempo level for TSS. I’m unsure which specialty phase to pick for something like this and whether low volume with added rides/gym days would suffice or if I need to go mid-volume and just suck it up. Thoughts and advice is greatly appreciated.
Bro, I would not be seeking training help, I would be seeking professional help because that is madness. Who hurt you so bad that two Marjis at once seems like a good idea?
Joking aside, good luck. That is a tough one
How much time do you have to train? I think you’re going to need all of it.
Specialty phase is meaningless for this sort of race. You need saddle time, a huge base, and an ability to consume enough fuel on the bike.
Fortunately, we have you covered.
Our main takeaway here: athletes can prepare for long-distance races by training smart, even with limited available training time.
Following a TR plan – even a Low Volume plan – will help you build the fitness you need for your race by targeting the energy systems you’re going to be using.
Any additional volume you can add on from there would be considered a “cherry on top” – longer rides, for example, could be a great way to test out your nutrition/hydration strategy, your equipment, and your bike fit.
The Gran Fondo plan would probably be your best bet for your Specialty phase, which generally focuses on longer, more sustained efforts. Even if you don’t plan on being above Z2 for much of this long race, the efforts you’ll do in your build-up to the race will still help to prepare your body for what’s to come.
Good luck and feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!
I second the question - How much time do you have to train? Can you fit in double days for strength and riding? What was your limiter for your 20 hour Marji? If it was riding the technical terrain I would say spend a lot of time pre-riding the course or practicing on similar terrain. If if was fitness, spend your time there. Just try to figure out where the biggest gains are to be had and start there. That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider all aspects you can improve on, but its a starting point. With 1 year to go and such a daunting event, you have time and the need for a really good plan.
It’s not that I don’t have 15 hours, I guess I’m just not willing to spend it. I’m a dad w/ 4 kids and a job. I’ve done a 200+ mile race similar to this in 31hrs and could have gone faster. I’m not trying to be competitive, I’m just trying to finish. I did the Marji Duathlon this year and finished in 21:10:15 with 9ish hours a week of training (I just looked, didn’t realize I spent that much time ), good enough for a buckle and I’m not a runner, though 43 miles of it was on foot. Anyhow, I agree, I’ll probably need at the very least 10hrs a week and likely more. I guess it just freaked me out when I saw 5hr rides during the week, that just doesn’t work for me. I do these events to push myself, not set a record or try to podium so finishing the MG200 is good enough for me although I’d much prefer to finish long before the 48.5hr cutoff.