Training for Mt. Mitchell

I am doing Mt. Mitchell May 16. it will be my 10th time.
I am 61
80 fast-rolling miles with some little climbs that will put me in the red (my FTP is 260) then a long 20-mile slug to the top.

Every Saturday morning I do the BTMR flat ride on zwift in 4 hours with about 240-250 TSS.
My hard workouts in TR are Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes Sunday if time permits. After spending all winter doing SS, the TR plan is giving me only VO2 workouts during the week and sweetspot on Sundays.

I feel that when I was doing at least one Deception workout a week I was building towards the long climb.

Should I swap one on the VO2 workouts with the Sunday SS or with a Deceptiion?

Any other suggestions on how to prepare for a 6.5-hour ride with the last 2 a slug to the top.



I didn’t come to this post to provide an answer but it sounds like your long day should be preparing you pretty well. If you can hit the sweet spot workout once a week that should help out a good bit.

Questions about Mitchell. How does the ride usually play out? I haven’t done it in over 10 years and made some huge rookie mistakes then. When/ where do people stop to pee? Does the front of the ride even stop? I don’t seem to remember the first 2/3 of the race being particularly hard, but I’m curious about stops and breaks. When and where the front of the group handles this. Any input?


thanks for the post.

Yes I think that preparation is going well. I am at the end of the plan and am doing these short but hard rides. I think that all the SS and the weekly long rides have given me the “volume” I need. We will have to find out how I do in 12 days!!!

Let me answer your questions:

Peeing: If I want to stay in the front group, no peeing for me (my FTP is 260). The fast folks can afford to stop and catch back up. I can only afford to pee after I get dropped or when I get to the mountain where I no longer need the draft.

The first part can be easy at times but pretty hard (for me) on the climbs. Bills hill is at km 80 something and has 600m of 8-10 percent and another 800m flattening out. The only years I did not get dropped I averaged 350W for 5 minutes. Last year I averaged 288 and reached my max HR and got dropped before the top and could not catch them. This year I am going to do my best to be at the front when we hit it and try to hang in.

I usually don’t’ take a break for food or drink till Marion or even after.

The front front, never stops. They have teammates, friends, family, pass them stuff along the way. I have only made it to Marion with the front group 3 times. Of course I got spit out as soon as we went uphill :blush:.

My best time was when a team was trying to beat the course record and led out their climber with TT bikes all the way to Marion. It was fast but steady and smooth. relatively easy to hang in on the climbs.

I carry all the calories I will need, 2 1l bottles and a 500cc in my back pocket I can throw away. I’ll catch some of the paper cups of coke and refill the bottles on the mountain.

My best time in my early 50s and before breaking my hip was 5.50. Last year it was 6:28. Still hoping to het closer to 6 :blush:

What were your rookie mistakes?


I have been looking at this race for the last couple of years. Let us know how it goes.

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@betulla The times I’ve done it, the best option is just what you are saying. Focus on working on the power it takes to stay with the front group until the climb, then climb the climb at your pace.

I was on the team that did set the record. I was the first thru Marion and lead into the climb and then our last four guys took it over from there.

Many people got their best times that year.

I’ve had people that go up and do the climb for training and I always tell them that they are focusing on the wrong part.
Your best personal times will come by getting to the climb the fastest.
No one is going to make up a substantial amount of time on the climb.



That was an impressive ride Hump. While I managed to stay with the group i never saw the front of the race :worried:. You guys were really impressive.

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There’s a documentary out there about it.

I used to have it on CD.


Clearly didn’t eat enough, which I’m usually pretty good at. Stopped to pee, alone, on a flat section. Spent a good long while catching back up in the flatter sections. I was at the front starting the climb, but bonked with a little over 10 miles to go. Spent the rest of the time stopping at every rest stop and just death marching to the top. Still finished somewhere around 50th, but felt terrible.

No super high goals this year, just want to finish feeling like I did a good ride. There is no way I’m going to make it 80 miles without stopping to pee.


Wow, you must be strong. Maybe we will bump into each other.

50th after bonking! Impressive!

I finished 60 something without bonking :blush:

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