TrainerRoad came into my life at a time at a time that I was really struggling with both motivation and my health and I’ll be forever grateful for the progress that it’s enabled. In the summer of 2015, I was at an all time high weight of 205lb/93kg due to a really difficult year from a number of different perspectives. It had been a goal for a long time to try and qualify for Leadville so I signed up to ride the Tahoe Trail 100 (a qualifier race).
I came into the race way underprepared and I really struggled, finishing 379/386 and barely making the time cutoff for the lottery.
After that experience, I had one last planned charity ride and I bought a Wahoo Kickr on a whim as a last ditch way of trying to scrape together some fitness. One of the apps that was recommended was TrainerRoad so I signed up, downloaded the app, and started the Sweet Spot Base training plan. The combination of the Kickr and TrainerRoad was incredibly addicting and I started to see some real progress in the way that I felt on the bike.
I continued training throughout the rest of 2015 and into 2016, with the goal of giving the Tahoe Trail 100 another shot. I went into 2016 with a lot of jitters, but my FTP had risen and my weight had gone down quite substantially from the consistency of the work on the trainer with TrainerRoad. The difference in my result was pretty dramatic!
- 2015: 7 hours 51 minutes, 93kg, 250w FTP
- 2016: 6 hours 19 minutes, 79kg, 275w FTP
Not only did I drop more than 90 minutes off my finishing time, my number got picked and I was officially headed to Leadville!
I really wanted to go for the Big Buckle (sub 9 hours) so I hired a coach and continued using TrainerRoad to help prepare for a long and difficult race. We would use a combination of the workout library and the Workout Creator to help me prepare and raise my FTP for the demands of such a long event at altitude. It also meant that I needed to head back to Tahoe to try and improve my corral position.
2015: 7 hours 51 minutes, 93kg, 250w FTP
2016: 6 hours 19 minutes, 79kg, 275w FTP
2017: 5 hours 46 minutes, 72kg, 300w FTP
Another 34 minutes meant that I moved from Purple to Green Corral and I was headed into Leadville with a really good shot at the big buckle.
I lined up at Leadville and it was a difficult and incredibly challenging day, where I would execute my race plan almost perfectly for the first half of the race and getting to the top of Columbine in a good position to get a big buckle. Unfortunately, I had a few issues go wrong on the second half of the race that weren’t fitness related and I ended up with the small buckle instead.
I’m tremendously grateful to the team at TrainerRoad for the work that they put into the product as its helped me get further than I ever would have expected towards my goals. I’ll be focusing on XC olympic length for the next few years but I’ll definitely back to Leadville some day to claim my big buckle!