Hey there! Nice work getting through the Triple Bypass. Anything that’s 100+ miles and 10,000+ ft of climbing is pretty dang epic in my book!!
Do you recall your fueling strategy for the event? You mentioned that you thought it was “well sorted,” but I’m curious to know how much you were taking in – especially during such a long ride. Nutrition plans can make or break epic rides like this, which is why I’m interested to learn more details about what you were eating and drinking.
Regarding your training, we do truly believe you can crush a big ride like this without having done the full duration beforehand. Targeting the right energy systems is key to getting prepared. I took a look at your TR Calendar and it looks like you were generally consistent – something we love to see!
The Fondo plan looked to be a good fit – you got plenty of Sweet Spot, Threshold, and VO2 work that you needed to build up your fitness for this kind of ride. Even if you didn’t spend much time at VO2 max power during the ride, the fitness you developed from those workouts was still helping you.
To address @KonaSS’s point, we don’t try to dissuade athletes from doing longer rides, especially if their goal event is a longer endurance race. In fact, we advise athletes to experiment out on the road with some longer rides (though “longer” may not necessarily be the same distance/time of the goal event) in their training if they have the time to do so.
Getting out on longer rides can be a great way to test out your nutrition/hydration strategy, familiarize yourself with your equipment in the real world (for example: does your saddle still feel comfortable after 2, 3, 4+ hours?), and have plain ol’ fun riding outside.
Remember, though, that these longer rides can be stressful and fatiguing. While they can be helpful, overdoing them or doing them too often may be counterproductive to your overall training.
Finally, keep in mind that this was just one single day. I know I personally have had races where I should have been fit as a fiddle on paper, but just had a stinker of a day when the time came to pin on my number. If you’ve been crushing 50+ mile rides with 6,000 ft of climbing, it sounds like your fitness is on the right track – and was on the right track going into the Triple Bypass. If you’re feeling stronger than you were at the start of your training for this race, then that’s still progress and you shouldn’t let one “off” day discourage you too much.
Here are some additional TR Blog articles we have that are relevant to this discussion:
Hope this helps! Looking forward to hearing more details about the ride so we can help you dial things in even further.