- June 24, 2019 at 9:22 am #19771
I did the Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder 5-day stage race last weekend after using the 40+ Masters MTB 3-4 day stage race training plan.
The Race: 5 days. 360 mi. 30k vertical. Gravel, although some of the gravel was quite fine. Some people call it ‘sand’.
My goal was to complete, not necessarily compete. So I needed something that would take me from the 6-10h/week riding I typically average to 5-8h/day.
Training: Out of the plans out there, I settled on this one. It seemed manageable in terms of time and effort. I’m 49, married, employed, and still have kids at home so I don’t have a ton of spare time.
I’d say I hit mileage/TSS targets about 80-90% of the time.
When I needed to make adjustments, I opted to emphasize climbing over race pace. So instead of doing 3-4 hours at race pace, I’d choose a route that gave me enough vertical to match the stages in the OTGG (3-10k/day).
Life, as usual, cut a few days/weeks short. I think my fitness level on TP ended up 5-10 lower than expected but it was still far higher than where I started.
Another minor adjustment I made was with the strength & yoga workouts. I used the Sufferfest Intermediate strength plan (2x/ week @ 20-30 min ea) and their yoga workouts too. I think that was a good modification.
Results: I finished in one piece. Not everyone could say that. Looking back, I’d say the biggest danger out there was from crashing due to terrain/fatigue. Descending 8%+ on twisty washboard gravel after 6 hard hours in the saddle was tough. It certainly took a few people out.
But overall I felt fit enough to finish strong. Final results aren’t in yet but I placed in the top 3rd of the pack every day, which I’m happy about. The training plan certainly got me in great shape to complete all 5 stages and not be obliterated at the end.
- June 24, 2019 at 12:12 pm #19773
I heard lots of reports about how hard and fun Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder was. Big congrats on nailing your goals and finishing – awesome!! Top 3rd everyday exceeds that goal! Thanks for the report and the kind words about our training plans.
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