The Land Run 100 äventyr: The Strategy
I am a married middle manager who never gets as much training in as I would like, but I enjoy chasing personal records and achievements, like Land Run 100. I enjoy cycling more, and find I am motivated more to ride, when I have goals. I wanted to share my experience here not just for gravel riders, but to inspire anyone who rides a bicycle, and show that mental and physical training helps you accomplish goals - on or off the bike.
My training plan before Land Run was to do a mix of focused Zwift rides, along with fat bike rides outside.
I had planned a number of weekly long rides on the fat bike (up to 4 hours), but Minnesota winters are tough and they will force you to alter your plans ~ multiple weeks in a row. I was not able to train as much as I would have liked, especially the longer rides. But I did have some key strategies, before the event and during Land Run, that definitely helped me.
As for the race, the focus was just to finish and not burn out too early. Multiple Things helped me achieve this goal.
1. Continuously riding at a reasonable Pace and never letting enthusiasm get the better of me. My average heart rate ended up being 136 bpm, in the green zone, but just below the yellow.
2. Spin up the hills. Gravel events have thousands of feet of climbing. If you power up the hills, you will fry your legs (ask me how I know).
3. To help keep focus and motivation when you are going to be riding 6-7+ hours, break the race down into small increments, even as low as a mile. You always want to have these small goals you are achieving to get to the next hill while you are monitoring your output. Breaking up the ride into achievable mental increments is important, otherwise 100 miles+ is too damn long.
4. When you are feeling a little anxious about how tired you are and all the miles to go, use meditation techniques to calm your mind, regulate your breathing, and maintain your focus. I do it, it works.
Lastly, focus on YOUR finish because you are not competing.
Whenever I had a difficult moment on Zwift, or started to feel like my long rides were too long during training, I always went back to my mental zone. I told myself, 'you can't quit in Land Run, so don't do it on this ride'. D and I are both big believers of the mind body connection of cycling, and all the benefits being on a bicycle can bring.
After finishing Land Run, I told D, "In my bicycling career, today was the highest." As you can see from reading my Land Run 100 posts, there is so much more to this ride than just the day. I hope you can take some inspiration from something I have said or done, and take it with you to accomplish your goals ~ on or off the bike. ~Kurt