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Multi-day bikepacking race pacing question

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    • #24758
      AvatarClark Hewitt

      Doing Huracan 300 in February; hoping to complete it in 2 days. In your training plan it seems to reference racing these events in HR or PWR zone 2. My zones don’t align neatly.

      Right now my FTP is 272 at 172bmp, (that’s the one and only place my HR and PWR zones align perfectly, of course, right at threshold) but below that, my HR and power zones don’t align well. When my HR is in zone 1 (under 138) my power is in zone 2 (150-195); and that feels like I can probably sustain it for 15+ hour days in the race. But if I tried to ride in the middle of HR zone 2, I’m actually in power zone 3 (or very high in 2), and it feels like I’m not going to be able to go past a few hours of that before spending too much energy and building muscle fatigue. I won’t have a power meter on my MTB, it’s on my gravel bike, so should I just plan to race keeping my HR all the way down in zone 1 as my race pace? Or is that too conservative?

    • #24760

      Hi Clark,

      HR and power zones do not track in a linear manner. Power results from the amount of force put into the pedals. HR changes with effort, hydration, temperature, time of day, excitement, adrenaline, caffeine, fatigue and many more factors.

      In bikepacking events after a few hours you are riding with accumulated fatigue which depresses HR. Trying to keep a depressed HR high leads to over-pacing.

      Plan to race keeping your HR in zone 1 as your race pace. Allowing HR to be higher in zone 2 during the first 4 hours of the race is ok. After the 4-hour mark it is ok to get your HR up higher than zone 1 for short periods of time when you hit a technical section or uphill. Focus on fueling, hydration, navigation and all your execution factors.

      Coach Lynda

    • #24761
      AvatarClark Hewitt

      Thanks so much. That really helps. I can’t wait!

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