UNBOUND GRAVEL - less then 19 days

I just need to listen to myself, I knew driving home from work (90min drive each way temporarily) that I wasn’t feeling fresh…ego gets in the way of progress.

On a positive note, I feel like I got the most out of myself tonight for the state I’m in…focusing on the process, it was a success even if done in a suboptimal level of recovery.

It’s all just my ego frothing about.

You’re right of course about the rides and I have a 100mile gravel event Saturday so we’re going for 5 out of 5. Supposed to be wet so South Georgia red clay turns messy and slow. That will be a good opportunity for challenging myself mentally as well as physically.

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Damn egos…:sunglasses:


Also don’t dig a hole like I did.

I’m onto a 2nd rest week since I didn’t take the first rest week easy enough and wasn’t recovered.

This is a good point…in 2019, I was logging some serious miles, knowing I had a forced break abiut 3 weeks before the race (international business travel). I was extending my work weeks because of the bad timing of the trip…a week before I left, I was supposed to do 120 mile gravel ride with a lot of climbing. Fell apart on the first half of the ride and could not complete it…legs were shot. (This ended up being a good thing as a cold rain came in and it would have been miserable).

Rest / recovery is critical…


While it’s tempting think it would have been more of a “success” if you were more recovered, you likely would have attained a higher number that feels good on paper but would have been unsustainably high to actually complete your workouts in a productive way. This has happened to me multiple times (including, I think, my test a couple days ago where I set a new PR after extra rest) and it takes a lot of discipline to adjust your FTP down to account for that.

Yeah, I’m trying to avoid that as well. Not racing the 100mi gravel ride this weekend, just riding it for more Z2. Gotta make sure I feed my face enough every day and try for 8.5-9hrs sleep instead of just 8. Work stress is real right now, but should ease off starting Monday. Been running chaotic 10+hr days, no breaks at all with 3hrs commuting on top of that each day for the past two weeks. To say that training during the week has been challenging would be an understatement.

Shutting it down. Not riding at all for a couple or three days. 3x12 sweet spot intervals last night were way harder than they should have been…stopped near the end of the second one and was just miserable. Work has just been destroying me mentally and physically the past couple weeks (thanks new promotion!). I’m at the point where I don’t want to be any where near the bike right now…that was a fast transition into a small crisis. I always find it easy to get on the trainer and knock my shit out, but that’s gone for the moment. I finally get some help at work starting Monday so next week should be better.

Went too deep, time to reset.


Always good to confirm your close 100% prior to getting back at it

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Race tomorrow. Doing openers today,first hard ride in a week. Hope I feel better Tuesday

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Have you had a chance to try these out? I’m contemplating them but actual real world usage is hard to come by online. They would be near the limit of what my frame can handle but the extra width is tempting compared to what am currently thinking of running (40mm Donnelly MSO’s that measure ~38mm on my 20mm rims).

Was supposed to use them today but being overtrained sidetracked that plan. Next weekend for sure.

40mm MSO is a bomb proof tire from my understanding

Well I can’t tell if I’m recovered or just suck.

Raced yesterday. Missed the first two guys getting away 7 miles in. Bridged up to 2-3 moves in the first lap but nothing stuck and I finally understood why after I was told 2 of the 3 largest teams had someone up the road. 2nd time up the largest climb of 150’ on loose gravel I had a mental lapse and was not at the front of the race, and they went full gas and I couldn’t run through the blown apart field and close the 10sec gap half way up the climb that the front guys put on us.

I tried as hard as I could to bridge, but it was not going to happen. The final 20 miles of the race my group of 10 rolled with a decent rotation, a few guys would attack. I was able to put in attacks and get a large gap, but wasn’t able to hold the whole group off. We came into the final .3 of a mile and I choose not to field sprint for 11th. Some people think that’s a dumb Idea, if I was in the lead group, I’m sprinting, being in the 2nd group on the road doesn’t matter to me.

I ended up with .97 IF for the 3 hour race. 20mph on gravel was a pretty good pace. I had a lot of gas left at the end.

So am I out of my hole if I had a .97IF for 3 hours. First 2 hours my NP was above my FTP.

Didn’t expect to see 40min of anaerobic power being utilized.
Is that good or bad since I really haven’t worked that zone?

Take away

  1. Great to be in a large group of people doing a gravel race. Most of my gravel races have been decide by some sort of selection and I have been with a small group of 1-3 for most of the race. It was nice to get back to race craft and move amongst a field.
  2. Feel much safer toward the outside of the pack, people in the middle can get forced into a bad line or hand off bar while eating/drinking and forced into a large pot hole, and take out a bunch of people.
  3. Tyrewiz was worth it, someone said I was spraying fluid, I tabbed over on the Garmin and my pressure never dropped, easy way to assess if you might have a small puncture.
  4. Shimano blue tooth interface buttons with Garmin makes it so you can keep hands on bars at all times, just tab over on the hoods and move the screens. I
  5. I had one SIS gel, 750cals of bottle mix and 250 cal of cliffblocks, no fueling issues

40 days till the event

I have been sticking to my plan and I am doing well on my rides, but I feel like 60min or 90min vo2 work out does not help me on a 200 mile ride. Might step back from the high end stuff and go back to sweetspot till the event. Maybe mix in 3-4min vo2 efforts on tuesday and the rest sweet spot.

I have a race saturday. 6200’ of climbing in 53 miles. This is just a waste for someone my size.

I’m of the same mind as well. Ditto threshold work. Could be that this far into training I’m just tired of trying that hard, but it does feel of diminishing value as the 200 mile effort gets closer?

I got out for a longer gravel ride on the new Donnelly MSOs over the weekend. Overall I liked them but they did not feel very solid when the gravel got chunkier. Unsure if it was a pressure issue or what but I didn’t really have the ability to try different options.

Stuck to my target IF of ~.60 which felt great but yielded a pretty slow pace (~13mph) on the gravel sections. Either going to have to find some more free speed during unbound or push a bit harder if we are going to beat the sun.


I think training wears you out. I bet we are all a tad over trained. I have not done a group ride that has been fun in a long time. Most of my training is pounding out intervals on the trainer or hard gravel rides with climbing.


Accurate…at least IMO. Yes, it can help raise your FTP but that only gets you so far in a 200 mile race. Muscle and aerobic endurance is where I would focus.

One other thought which I may or may not have mentioned…bring a couple of small tubes of chain lube with you on race day. There was one company handing them out in 2019…about the size of a lip balm tube. Stuff a couple in your seatpack…you’ll need ‘em if it is dry out.

After this weekends race, ill switch over and start adding more of what i feel i need.

Right now my high end is good enough to get me where I want. Ill prob do vo2 on Tuesday and the rest of the week will be longer efforts

I wax my chain, so I have to figure that out.

I wax my chain too. I plan to go in with a brand “new” waxed chain. I got some sample bottles of Squirt (wax based lube) which I will take with me. But realistically… I am hoping I can survive with just the wax.

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