Practicing for a Stage Race

2020 was supposed to be my first year of road racing. Every race I had planned has been cancelled, causing me to tweak my training plan. I also might have overreached just a bit during lockdown since I had the time to ride. I decided to take 2 weeks completely off to rest the legs and the mind and came up with a brilliant but not completely thought out plan.

My next (and first) A race is a 3 day/4 stage stage race called Baker City Classic. Stage 1 is 70ish miles with a few punchy climbs on Friday. Stage 2 - 10 mile TT and Stage 3 - Crit are on Saturday, and it concludes with a 70+ mile stage with an hour long climb at around 8% to finish on Sunday.

On December 15, I will start the path of SSB I,2 --> Sustained Build --> Climbing Road Race.

Today, I am doing a ramp test in preparation of a SSB 1,2 --> Climbing Road/40KTT which I will follow up with a 3 day simulated stage race. The goal of this is to see how my body will react to what I expect to be about a 700TSS weekend, and to test out my nutrition and recovery plan. I am trying to decide between doing the Climbing RR specialty and the 40KTT. The climbing RR will best simulate the fatigue my legs would be under for the race, while the 40K TT should provide a slightly different but still useful adaption while approximating the same fatigue. I realize that I am leaving the power build out of this 20 week block, but figured that a specialty plan that built in the taper would be more effective than trying to do a build plan and managing my own taper.

I have thought of a few of the variables that I need to test, but I am sure that I am missing some.

I used workout creator to simulate the stages as best I could. The crit and the TT were easy to do, but since I have never raced I don’t really know how to set effort levels on the two road races. I am assuming that since I will already have quite a bit of fatigue coming into the final climb of the race (where I would expect the winner to emerge) I have no idea what % of FTP I should shoot to hold on the climb. I also don’t know about what % of FTP the short punchy climbs on stage 1 might be.

Creating those workouts estimates that I will burn approximately 5000 calories. I will be topped off when I start stage one, and expect to burn 1500-2000 calories, and will be shooting to intake about 200-240 grams of carbohydrate, leaving me with a 500-1000 calorie deficit. I will consume a chocolate milk right after finishing, (60g carb) and then eat a pasta dinner of around 1000 calories. First thing in the AM I will consume another chocolate milk (I love chocolate milk if you can’t tell…) followed an hour later by a breakfast of oatmeal, banana, and scrambled eggs - about another 700 calories. (1000 counting the chocolate milk). The TT should only use 300-400 calories - making the lunch fueling before the evening crit fairly manageable. Following the crit I will again eat a good meal, and on Sunday morning will duplicate the chocolate milk --> breakfast scenario. Are my caloric demands and plan realistic, and are there any tweaks you would recommend?

In regards to sleep, I am lucky in the fact I can fall asleep quickly and can sleep for 9-10 hours with ease. My wife used to be a massage therapist as well. I was thinking that a post race massage might help recovery before sleep as well.

Are there any aspects to this simulated stage race that I am overlooking, or overthinking? Is it unreasonable to try to podium a stage race as my first attempt at road racing? I ride in a group well, and regularly practice conserving as much energy as possible. (Basically I ride the wheel of the biggest guy on the ride on the flats, and look for the wheel of stronger climbers shortly before we reach the climb) I will be racing as Cat 5. I am currently 3.2 w/kg and have about 7 extra kgs that I will drop by then.