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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On March 7th I will be participating in the Warrior Society Vision Quest. This event is 56.5 miles with 11,000+ feet of elevation gain. This is not a race for me but there are cut off times. I am not in this event to win but want to finish strong and have fun. Suffering is not fun.

I have two months to focus on training. Assuming one is a seasoned rider and in descent shape how should they train? Long base miles, long climbs, hill repeats?

I plan to dedicate two nights out of the week to riding, mostly road, and have between 1 - 1.5 hours to ride. I have lots of good steep hills around my house to train on, 0.5 mile, 1 mile, and 3 mile hills with 8%-12% grades. A common weeknight loop is 16 miles with 2,800 feet of gain. On the weekends I can do centuries and/or 8-15 mile climbs on dirt.

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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mtnfiend said:
On March 7th I will be participating in the Warrior Society Vision Quest. This event is 56.5 miles with 11,000+ feet of elevation gain. This is not a race for me but there are cut off times. I am not in this event to win but want to finish strong and have fun. Suffering is not fun.

I have two months to focus on training. Assuming one is a seasoned rider and in descent shape how should they train? Long base miles, long climbs, hill repeats?

I plan to dedicate two nights out of the week to riding, mostly road, and have between 1 - 1.5 hours to ride. I have lots of good steep hills around my house to train on, 0.5 mile, 1 mile, and 3 mile hills with 8%-12% grades. A common weeknight loop is 16 miles with 2,800 feet of gain. On the weekends I can do centuries and/or 8-15 mile climbs on dirt.

Thanks in advance for your input!
VQ is a fun race. It is also a hard one.

One longer ride/week building to 6 hours should do it. Midweek focus on the shorter climbs initially with an eye towards high output for 2-5 minutes then moving towards the longer climbs of 20+ minutes. VQ has very long climbs (like an hour or more) so you want to be able to climb for long periods with relative comfort. Bike fit is key here.

There is also a hike a bike that's roughy 30 minutes, some hike training is not a bad idea either.

If you've got the training right a 2 week taper will have you comfy and happy on race day. Good luck!
 

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.......................
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I'd dive deep into DH's training advice in the 2Epic blog archives. Good, concise, clear.

I use two rules to structure training: First, that I want to be generally ready enough three months out, then do specific fine-tuning. Second, that the intensity-first, long-second strategy is the way to go.

Best bike racing shape I've managed ever was this spring. Jan-Feb has some slower long rides on weekends, and some vaguely structured interval work during the week (lots of singlespeeding). March was focused on foot training for an ultra, but had plenty of hard but fun riding mixed in. April began with some very intense focused hard efforts, time trials in the 1/2 to 3 hour range. Late April and early May had some block efforts (a duo 12 hour with a 60 mile race the next day; a 10 day road trip with at least 4 hours of hard riding every day, ending with a 100 mile day). Then a two week taper in mid May and a big race. Two weeks off, another big ride, two weeks off, then the last big race.

The only mistakes I made were not taking my geared bike on the road trip (the transition to riding the gearie for all the last three big rides was slowed by muscle adaptation that was behind the curve) and resting too much during the three taper periods. In the future I'll make a point to be more disciplined and throw in a few shorter, hard efforts to hone the edge. I was worried about under-resting, and instead ended up a bit flat.

(Nice year in review there.) The training process is so fun, the race really is just the dessert (sweetest, but not the most fulfilling).
 

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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. I like the tip about the hike-a-bike training. I've got a nice little HAB climb that's .9 miles with 900 feet of gain. This is a nice training ground and much closer that West Horse Thief.

I will start shooting for some longer grades for the evening rides working up to the 3 mile, 3,000 foot gain climb over the next few weeks. On the weekends I need to start getting used to climbing continuously for several hours again on the mountain bike. I've got some good 9+ mile climbs within a few miles of my house.
 

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Team Hardcore Cornbread
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My advice is to come down early January and ride Blackstar/Motorway. This is the first leg/cut-off and it is 17 miles and 5000 ft climb. This will give you an idea of where you need to focus plus give you a taste for the down hill sections. If you have never riden on the main divide there are some long ups. I started longer rides a bit early this year having just added a new addition to the family. Time is no longer as easily available:) . I have been getting in 20-25 mile rides on weekend with 4-5000ft climbs. By late January I will be up to 35 mile rides. This has seemed to work in the past for the VQ. I also agree with the previous post, you need some hike a bike training as well. I do hikes with the family the day after rides to build up the hiking muscles. Main advice is to have fun with it and not concentrate too much on how long the rides are taking you but how many miles you have gotten in. The day of the ride you will have so much adrenaline all of your training will pay off. Good luck!
 

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Waiting for Godot
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two months is not alot of time for building up and we don't know what kind of shape you are in or training at.

building a long ride once a week is good.

also adding two LT workouts a week to start building that part of your fitness will insure good strong endurence to finish. not to worried about sprints so high intensity short intervals won't help too much in such a short time to train.

also pay attention to nutrition during training and for the race. train, recovery, train, recovery...etc...build up slow and listen to your body.
 
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