UNBOUND GRAVEL - less then 19 days

Realistically did this group actually ride at a 14 hour pace at the beginning or were they getting a bit overzealous?

Way over zealous. Acted like they were trying to move up to the front! And it is so hard to just let everyone pass you. My guess is that even the 16 hour group went out too hard. My goal is to beating the sun (I think around 14 hours and 25 min). In 2019 I was way ahead of pace at the 1st checkpoint (mile 56), on target at the neutral water stop at mile 103, and then fell off because I spent way too long at this stop and the 2nd checkpoint trying to let my back recover—which I didn’t; just had to suffer back pains for the second 100 miles. Doing more yoga and core work this year.

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This is our goal as well. It should be doable physically but feels a bit daunting given how little time there is to lose with mechanicals or at rest stops recovering from the heat :sweat_smile:

Tip from experience. Lots of extra time sitting and resting at the checkpoints doesn’t really help. I would try to limit my stops to 15 min max. So that’s 30 min at the two checkpoints. And 5 min at the neutral water stop. That’s 35 min total stopping. I spent WAY to much time in 2019 trying to rest my back. My back never felt better during the race. I should have just gone ahead and after refueling.

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I am going to do my best to limit stop time. My dad is going to meet me at each check point and take me to where he is parked.

Water stop will be filling up bottles. I am going to run a hydration pack after the first rest area

An option to consider is using insulated bottles (large ones) and freezing them. The weather will be warm enough that they will start to melt relatively quickly and having something cold to drink for an extended period is very refreshing.

The downside is that you will get a fair amount of moisture on the bottles from evaporative cooling, so they will get coated in the dust kicking up off the road. It was worth the tradeoff for me, ut there was a LOT of dirt on the bottles. :rofl:

You can have your dad keep the frozen bottles in a cooler stuffed with ice. It will also shorten your rest stops as you are just swapping out bottles, not filling / mixing new ones.

I think we already talked about doing something similar for the hydration pack. Have two bladders and keep one ice cold for the second rest stop (if you are only picking up the pack at the first rest stop).

Planning your nutrition / hydration is a critical element of Unbound…and hs led to the undoing of many a participant.

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“Rest Week” but…4th Saturday in a row with a ride of 100+mi. NP of 196, IF .74. Up and out before sunrise as storms were forecast later. Got some block headwind practice in before rolling home with a great 12-15MPH tailwind for 50mi. One minute I’m doing 13MPH into the teeth of it, then hit the 150* turn back towards the house and was instantly doing 21-23MPH at a similar power.

Ramp Test on Tuesday.

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Nice job…love the payoff a tailwind home after slogging into a headwind for a few hours!!

Remember, don’t worry about the miles, it is all about hours in the saddle for Unbound. 6+ hours is great ride for a “rest week “. Don’t be afraid to stretch that time out a few times between now and race day.


Saddle time is on my radar for sure. Did almost 8hrs last Saturday, aiming at a 140-150mi road ride in two Saturdays (100mi gravel event next weekend) and a 150mi race simulation on May 8th…all gravel, looking to replicate the mile 65 stop to mile 150 gap (only taking water once in between)…have my wife set up with the SAG stops for getting used to being relaxed but fast in and out. Should give me another couple days of 10+hrs on bike before the real deal.

I’m down to 216lbs (@ 6’4") from 252 in October when I started riding again. SInce I started riding outdoors on Saturdays in Feb the weight has been flying off. Might get to 200 by the last week of May. With a couple Ramp Tests on the calendar, my LV plan will likely get me over 3w/kg by then. I’m so appreciative of what TR has allowed me to achieve in such a relatively short period of time…and at 51 years old I’m excited for what the next couple years of training will bring.


Awesome…sounds like you have a plan laid out.

Congrats on the progress!!

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Thanks for all your help and advice!

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Tad under 8 weeks till the event.

Super excited to get back at it after a rest week. Is it really a rest week if you ride 10 hours? I only managed 400tss for the week, which was the goal, that tss was higher then I wanted but I wanted active recovery to keep blood flowing. Body is feeling ready to tackle the 3 work outs on the calendar. Weirdest thing is when you take a rest week, I am mentally out of it and feel weak like I wont be able to slay these 3min @ 120% intervals. Sunday I get to do my first gravel race of the year 100k.

I have an important fit follow up tonight. Will be checking over the differences in my road and mountain cleats and see if there is any variance when im on the bike to see if that might be causing some IT band issues. I am now super focused on my PT, yesterday my 5 year old did some of the exercise with me. Daddy why are you shaking while she is sitting on my back for my 1 minute planks.

Goal is still not to ABG with these events

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Looks like everything is still on track for Unbound…:crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:


Well today did not go as planned, legs just have no snap. Might be a tad over trained, I shouldnt feel this flat after an easy week.

Hoping I have some snap for my Ramp Test tomorrow night.

Rest up, heal up @ABG

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Well I just spent 2 hours at the fitter.

I will be running spd-sl pedals for Unbound. I was able to do 175 miles last year with no issues on that pedal platform and with 50 days till the event and all my training on that platform I dont want to chance the swap to the XTR pedals.

So the issue was I thought XTR and Dura-ace pedals have the same stack. This caused a number of issues.

  1. XTR has 3mm more stack then Dura-ace
  2. My insole had a few more mm of stack in my shoes to run the XTR.
  3. This causes the flair in my pedal stroke where my knee flairs out a few mm to get worse.
  4. Over the course of 4-5 hours something in my hip loses the ability to control the lateral movement of my knee, causing it to pull on the IT band and cause the knee issue.


  1. Use dura-ace pedals that I have tested over the years and know I can ride 175 miles with no issues.
  2. Run the XTR pedals and raise saddle and move saddle forward. This set up caused the lateral movement in my pedal stroke to be minimal and gave me a better saddle pressure mapping.

With 54 days till the event, I am going to chance the Dura-ace pedals. I will revisit the other set up after Unbound.

These extra rest days make me a tad upset, but I need to remember it allows me to get 100% healthy on my IT band issue and allows me to get back to 100% recovered before the following 3 weeks where I have 2 races and few extra days off to train. With the race on Sunday ill rest till friday and make sure I am as close to recovered as I can get.

I think i’m going to do the same thing for most of the same reasons. I only have power with my road pedals and have been working to rectify that but it’s taken a lot longer than I had hoped and at this point I haven’t run my spd pedals in over a year…

It’s a risk, but I think it’ll be worth it as long as I don’t need to an unforeseen amount of walking*

*bookmarks thread to revisit in 2 months when things go sideways…

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I really need to remember I’m 51, not 31. Just finished the Ramp Test and between considerably above average work stress over the past two days and my 4 centuries+ in 4 Saturdays, I’m just not recovered enough My normal max HR is around 189-191 when I finally give up. Couldn’t get it passed 181 tonight.

FTP was 266, now 272 for a 2.78W/kg right now. I’m gonna do the rest of this week’s workouts at 272, but it’s frustrating to know should have just gone easier on Saturday and I’d likely have had a better result. We’ll see how it feels Thursday.

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The longer rides really take it out of you. That’s what I’m Noticing

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Don’t worry about getting a higher FTP…across a race as long as Unbound, it doesn’t really matter that much.

The long rides you have been doing on Saturdays are far more beneficial than a FTP test (whatever the number is). You’re doing the work…don’t sweat a number.