I have been obsessing over and watching this race blow by me over the past two years. The first year I did not have the fitness and the second year my fitness was better, but my setup wasn't developed enough. Finally, I think my fitness, setup, knowledge of the trail, and passion for the race heighten my chances of finishing. I am finally pulling the trigger on the race and received your AZT300 training plan for Christmas.
I live in Tucson and have quite a bit of experience with the trail. I will have ridden all sections by the time the race comes in April. I still have to tackle Oracle Ridge to Tiger Mine TH and anything north of Freeman Road.
I am planning on singlespeeding the AZT300 and have tackled some of the sections that are "hard" in my mind. I have had good performance on them. I am a fairly strong technical rider and a fairly new singlespeeder (less than 6months), although I was a bit of a masher before I started the SS. My AZT300 bike is a rigid mariachi and I feel very comfortable on it. My kit is becoming a bit more dialed (I am already riding sections loaded) as I have gone on about 5 bikepacking trips so far. I just have to add a handlebar bag so I can have easier access to food. I also need to make a few minor adjustments to my frame pack. I have my setup to where I am carrying nothing on my back (very important for the SS), but can optionally carry water and stuff in my backpack for some of the longer hauls. I think my bike loaded with all my gear, some food, and a gallon of water weighs in at about 33lbs.
Insofar as pacing, I want to be at colossal cave 24 hours in, Prison Camp 48 hours in, be in Oracle 72 hours in and then make my way to the finish after that with fairly sparse stopping.
Some of my times:
Parker to patagonia 7.5 hours Total Time, ended up being a very bad day on the bike
Box Canyon Road to Pistol Hill dirt road 5hrs Moving Time
Base of Redington to Top of Prison 8 hours total time
I have been trying to get in as much HAB training as possible and taking my singlespeed on rides where I know I have to walk them. I am also trying to train myself to walk hills that I know I can ride.
I typically partake of the Arizona endurance series races and have a full line up of 6-8 hour races in addition to a SS Solo at 24HOP. Here is my "race", i.e. big ride lineup. I tend to ride these and not really race. Is this too much? Some are 4-5hours hard intensity (SSAZ), some are 8-10 hours easier intensity, and of course the 24HOP is 24hours easy intensity.
1/7 – AZT Jamboree 1/2 Out n' Back -Finish, SS, loaded
1/29 – Antelope Peak Challenge -Finish, SS
2/4 – SSAZ -Finish, SS
2/11 – Tor50Lita -Finish, geared
2/17-2/19 – 24HOP SS Solo -Place in upper 50%, SS
3/10 – Sedona Big Friggin Loop -Finish, geared
4/13 – AZT300 -MAIN GOAL, #1 Priority: FINISH, Secondary goal, finish sub-4days, SS
Hopefully this is enough to get you started.