That’s a really good idea. Think I’ll add a few to my plan.
Put at the end of a 3 week microcycle so you can take a recovery/adaptation week after the long ride
Apologies if this was mentioned already, I think this wasn’t a short fall of his plan, but a fact that Nate has an inherent ability to push deeper than most and didn’t take any of his planned fueling in for the final third (?) of the race.
From my own experience I’ve had races that took a long time to recover from that was not at all related to the length of long ride etc. My recent A-Race was a bit of a disaster in terms of build up and fueling and I cramped and battled my way through the whole thing. It took several weeks to come back from and was less duration and intensity than several of my training rides I cruised through.
Very much agree.
It’s also really good chance to test out kit.
For example, my shoes were fine on 200km rides. After 300km, started to hurt. Now I have new shoes which have done 800km without issue.
Ditto for saddles, bib shorts, gloves etc.
Also a chance to find out how long your devices will last for and test out charging them on the go if needed.
The list goes on.
Possibly a contributor, along with elevation.
But here is the thing. Pre-AT an LV plan isn’t going to progress you out to 2 hour workouts at 80-90 minutes of sweet spot in a session. You aren’t going to get either. I can’t speak to AT. So if you hear “he didn’t do a ride longer than 2 hours” but didn’t bother to listen to the rest of the story, you might pick LV and think ‘science plans for the win.’ But its not what he did, pre-AT those were SS workouts from an HV plan (first TR plan I did).
I’ll take a TR LV plan over 2 spin classes at the gym (instructors are Stages certified). But I’d rather target 6-10 hours/week and do it right.
Which leads me back to this:
I tried it my 3rd season cycling and while TR plans gave me fitness, it was less fitness than what I did before TR (before TR - doing long endurance rides like the chart with red lines above). And absolutely crashing during a TR build, and I’ll take forum feedback as TR fixed this problem with AT.
Coach Tim Cusick on a WKO webinar said the secret to fatigue resistance is to go long, both long endurance rides and long sweet spot rides. Extend the duration of your sweet spot rides (there is a forum thread on it). Think Wright Peak in terms of a TR workout. And having an actual FTP that you can sustain for 45-75 minutes.
I’m an average Joe well past my athletic prime, with a long history as a desk jockey and no real endurance background. I struggle to hit 3W/kg. Absolutely agree with Coach Tim Cusick’s opinion. And I found out for myself before hearing about WKO or Tim Cusick or TrainerRoad.
Sure. I’m not going to argue the replacement of the long ride with Sweet Spot. I think it’s nuanced.
I DO believe in Sweet Spot, and I DO believe in the value of the long ride, but I don’t think that’s why Nate was cracked after his Leadville.
I always want to make sure I ride longer than my race day in training. However, I wouldn’t do that for 350km. I’d definitely want to do more than one 250km day though. Something you can recover from in a day or two, but close enough.
I’ve seen this repeated over and over on this forum. How Nate did Leadville with 2 hour trainer rides. What this leaves out is all the 5-7 hour gravel and mountain bike rides he did along with the 2 hour trainer rides. I went back and studied his Strava history. He had several long days off road in the months leading up to Leadville which were undoubtedly a critical part of his training.
Trainer time can be excellent training and good “value” if time is limited but for ultra endurance I don’t think there is any substitute for time in the saddle simulating race conditions. It’s important to dial in equipment, bike fit and especially hydration/nutrition which is critical for long events.
I just completed a 247 mile XC MTB race with 3000m worth of climbs (finished in 22 hours) using pretty much nothing more than TR’s XC Marathon plan with adaptive training enabled. I might have flipped it over to rolling road-race at some stage but not too sure anymore.
The majority of my workouts are done outside. I’m nothing special - 43 years old, 271W FTP with a weight of 76kg. No history in endurance sports and started cycling 4 years ago.
The longest ride I did to prepare was I think one 5 hour ride on my road bike and a couple of MTB races between 3 and 4 hours long. These races I was permanently in the red so not sure if that was actually productive or not. Apart from that certainly no dedicated Z2 stuff, just following whatever TR spits out and answering the survey afterwards. Depending on the route I’d maybe tack-on a 30 minute spin home after the workout, but time spent training per week would be between 7 and 10 hours.
In my experience you certainly do not have to come anywhere close to the actual time or distance in order to successfully do ultra endurance events and the TR plans are just fine. But that’s just my experience, doesn’t make it true for anyone else.
What is absolutely critical is equipment fit and dialing in nutrition. Even small niggles or gaps get amplified so much over these sort of events.