2018 Leadville Report & Season Wrap

2018 Leadville Report & Season Wrap

  • August 15, 2018
  • Blog

The 2018 Leadville Trail 100 is in the books. With that, my 2018 training & racing comes to a close (with the exception of one or two final “fun” local races I may jump into over the next two weeks).

The following recap is as much or more for my own reference for the next time I attempt the LT100, as it is for anyones reading pleasure. It will also serve as the final piece of my ‘2018 training & racing recap series’ (each post listed above).

In my last post I left off with a recap of my final few weeks of training for the LT100 and my intended ‘taper’ into the big day. I was able to execute my taper plan more or less to the letter written. All the final pieces fell into place within the final two weeks. After analyzing my final few Race Prep sessions and a 90-minute high-altitude XC race my final “numbers” for my year long build of fitness looked like this…

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Final Bodyweight = 144 lbs.
  • FTP at 6000 feet elevation = 321w
    • equates to ~ 330-340w at elevations under 2500 feet
    • equates to ~ 270-280w at elevations over 9000 feet
  • w/kg = 4.92 at 6000 ft.
  • Complete Power Power Profile results July HERE

I’m really happy with this improvement from back in November coming off of a long break from serious training and racing for most of 2017. I was hoping to get my bodyweight down a bit closer to 140 lbs. but I think with the improved strength training this year I am just running a little heavier than in my early 30s. I’ll take the extra mass as it has kept me healthy and more powerful as a result.

I’ll check this off a as successful training program and diet commitment for the last 9+ months.

RACE DAY

I was able to get up to Leadville a few days prior to the race to rest, acclimate, eat, and spin around. Also to remove from myself from the the “noise” of life at home being a parent and business owner. This proved to be a great choice, and one that I was lucky to be able to pull off. Come race morning, I was ready to give it my best effort!

Leadville 100, with the exception of perhaps the very front of the race, is or becomes a time-trial effort at some point in the race for just about every rider. My goal was to ride as comfortably as possible (ie. don’t use any more energy than required) to make the front group over the opening two climbs and tricky Powerline descent, so to be within a group to hide in across the rolling middle section to the base of the Columbine Climb. It would be here that I’d begin my TT-mode (ideally with another rider or two for company) the remainder of the race. I knew I had the “power” to get over the climbs with the lead group, although it would come a greater cost than the eventual podium finishers. I figured the ‘free ride’ across miles 20-40 would be worth the cost and I would gain valuable time over my chasers.

This all played out just as that. I kept my HR and power output as low as I could while maintaining contact with the lead group. This ended up being a 20-minute, 302w NP St. Kevins climb; a 12-minute, 311w NP Sugarloaf climb; and a ‘balls out’, power-sliding, descent of Powerline! Whew! I made the split and was in the top-ten to make it to mile 20 at the bottom of Powerline. What didn’t go as I had hoped was a solid group pace to Columbine. It was more leisurely than I had hoped across the 20 rolling miles. This allowed our group to swell to about 15 as some stragglers were able to latch back on before we reached Twin Lakes.

Starting the climb up Columbine I was one for the first detach from the lead group as I knew what kind of effort (power) I could manage on this hour-plus long climb, and it was not going to be the same as the lead group. I knew several in the lead group would ride away and stay away, while others would likely overextend themselves and I might seem them in the final miles of the race later on. My goal was to ride as close to 275 watts with a heart rate around 160 bpm as I could for the length of the climb. I knew this was sustainable for me and that I’d still have some legs left later on when I need them for the two tough climbs at the end of the race.

Up the climb I slipped back to 15th position (ended up with 1 hour, 6 minutes or so up and NP of 246w, as I faded a bit in the thinning air). At the front, after Columbine, there was a lead group of five, then singles following after that all about a minute apart. At this point I was alone with 14th about a minute ahead and 16th a similar amount behind. With Columbine behind me, it was now time-trial time! I kept up on fueling, although consuming a bit less than I anticipated, at roughly around 200 calories an hour (all carbohydrate as First Endurance EFS and Coke).

The solo-TT was the rest of the story. I managed to claw back two riders over Powerline that were paying the price for going too hard too early, moving into 13th place. Kept after it from there all alone. Due to all of the solo-riding (and the Columbine ‘re-route’ that I was told added 5-10 minutes) my goal of reaching the finish in under 7 hours was looking less and less likely. Power was declining rapidly with fatigue setting in (Powerline climb was about 35 minutes, 238 NP; Turquiose Lake climb was 18 minutes and 226 NP). However, I didn’t want to give up so I pushed hard over the final climbs, down the final decent, only to feel the onset of Adductor cramping hit me as I got onto the ‘Boulevard’ for the final 3 mile drag up to the finish. I had to back off to avoid a full-on cramp, and at this time it was clear sub-seven was not in the cards today. I strolled up and into the finish at 7 hours, 7 minutes and in 13th place overall.

Despite missing my time goal, I’m extremely pleased (and exhausted) with my effort on raceday!

 

TAKEAWAYS

I feel my 9 month long build up was an ideal combination of strength, power, speed and endurance to leave me in great form for the race. On the nutrition side, I think getting in a few more calories per hour would be ideal, assuming I can stomach them, something around 250 might leave me with more power in the final two hours. Along similar lines, my racing strategy maybe could have been more conservative in the first two hours, but to be honest, if I were in same situation again I would do the same things again….hang on as long as I can before backing off into my own pace.

Now with my “A” race behind me, I have one or two more smaller events left on the calendar in the closing weeks of August. After that I’ll be looking towards September for some recovery, both mental and physical. This month of ‘transition’ between my 2018 and 2019 season will be pretty mellow. I’ll continue to ride, although it will be much more low-key and fun as I coach our local High School MTB team through their fall racing season. I will also get back to the gym more frequently. Through the last month of prep for LT100, gym time was limited to once a week for basic maintenance. Come September, I’ll bump it back up to 3 or even 4 days per week while riding volume is very low and relaxed.

As for 2019, I’m not sure exactly what the plan will be other than for sure I will get back to Base Building (following our Base Builder Program) through the Fall & Winter months. Come October it will be time to rebuild the strength, power, and speed for the next year.

Crazy to think, but I’m already looking forward to reaching new PRs and higher achievements next year, then in 41st year of life!

#fasterat40

 

Cody Waite, Professional Off-Road Endurance Athlete & Coach
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My Taper & Peak Phase For LT100

My Taper & Peak Phase for LT100

  • August 2, 2018
  • Blog

In my last post I wrapped up my 8-week Leadville 100 MTB build and was in the midst of a well earned 10-day recovery block to relax the mind, enjoy the family, and let my body absorb all the hard work from the previous 8 weeks.

Upon returning home from family vacation, I was more than ready to dive back in finish off my 2018 Leadville 100 MTB preparations. With just four weeks left until race day, this broke down into the following:

  • a BIG Volume “Over-Reach” Week
  • 1/2 Recovery + 1/2 Intensity Week (w/ Leadville Stage Race) 
  • Taper Week 
  • Peak Week

Over-Reach Week

Coming off of a nice long recovery block I was fresh (if not a little ‘flat’) and ready get going again. A good solid over-reach week (or two) is essential in creating an exceptional training load from which to recover from as you enter your taper phase. Normally in my training plans, following my 2-week mini-block progressions, the overload week comes as the final two-week block with an emphasis on the final big endurance rides. Intensity is all but eliminated to allow for maximum focus of going long, before entering the final two-week taper block into race day. 

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LT100 Build: First Half…

LT100 Build: First Half…

  • June 12, 2018
  • Blog

After a week off of training & racing in early May, I was refreshed and ready to hit it hard with a late-Spring training block as part of my 2018 Leadville 100 MTB build up. My previous post, LT100 Race Prep Plan, laid out all the details of the complete build-up to the August event following a customized version of our Ultra-Marathon MTB Race Prep Stock Plan.

The last four weeks have been focused purely on training.

Meaning, no racing over the last month until just this last weekend (June 9th) with the GoPro Vail Mountain Games XC race. This nice block of time has allowed me to focus on a re-build of sorts, building up some solid volume on the bike with longer outdoor rides while backing out the intensity in two week mini-blocks of training.

In the off-season, within our 24-Week Base Builder Program, we train in the more commonly found 4-week blocks: with 3 weeks of focused energy system training and 1 week of recovery/easy endurance. In our  Race Prep Phase we condense the training blocks into two-week mini-blocks of focused energy system work combined with increasing endurance volume.

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My LT100 Race Prep Plan

My LT100 Race Prep Plan

With my first bit of early season racing done & dusted (Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road & USAC Marathon Nationals), I’ve reached a transition point in my season. With such early early-season targets this year, I basically raced off of my Base Builder Program for my first little peak of my season. After three weeks of tapering, traveling, and racing in late April/early May, upon return home I took a week off of training to recuperate and prepare mentally for my next big block of training and racing that is on the way.

NEXT UP

My “A” race for 2018 is the Leadville 100. Along the way I will race a handful of other events, but the LT100 is priority #1. After my week off last week, I’m ready to dig into a big block of training to build my endurance and race preparation training. You can get the full run down of my Race Prep Programming in a previous post. The LT100 is an Ultra-Marathon distance event so the S:6 Stock Plan would be a 12-week buildout; however I will make some small adjustments around the stock plan to fit my other racing targets, life schedule, and personal preferences. This is perfect example of where our S:6 Custom Training Plans come in handy.

My personal program will look like this:

  • 8 Week Training Block

  • 1.5 Week Recovery/Family Vacation

  • 1.5 Week Final Endurance Build

  • 2 Week Taper

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The S:6 Base Builder Program: Onto Race Prep…

The S:6 Base Builder Program: Onto Race Prep…

We wrapped up our 2018 off-season Base Builder Program with Block 6 at the end of April.

Our “in-house” athletes that stuck it out for the full six month program experienced some solid gains in off-bike strength and on-bike power, both on the aerobic end and the anaerobic end. In fact, every single rider saw improvements to the tune of 12-36% at estimated FTP, with a “class average” of 23%. Boom!

You can read the full the run down of our annual off-season Base Builder program by clicking the series of links above. With Spring here and race season is in full effect, what do we do next? With your solid strength and aerobic base established, it’s time to get more race specific and dial your training in with in-season Race Prep training.

 

RACE PREP TRAINING

Through our Base Builder Program we build fitness up. We start at the low end of the energy system chain focused on low-intensity aerobic training combined with technique work on the bike, and the early (lighter) form-focused resistance training in the gym. From here we build our base through gradual progression of intensity through increasing intensity with each successively higher energy system, and gradual increase in resistance training loads.

  1. Aerobic Endurance/Technique, “all day” power (4+ hours)

  2. Aerobic Threshold (AeT), “2 hour” power

  3. Anaerobic Threshold, 32:00-64:00 power

  4. Vo2 Max, 8:00-16:00 power

  5. Anaerobic Power, 1:00-4:00 power

  6. Peak Power, 0:05-0:30 power

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6 Week Nutrition Program

6 Week Nutrition Program

  • April 5, 2018
  • Blog

Sessions:6 Sport Performance has partnered with Steve Acuna, nutrition & endurance coach with Do Athletic Shit, to present a 6 week Nutrition Workshop to help you achieve nutrition success.

Eat to Perform

You may already be training to maximize your performance, but are you eating to maximize your performance?


REGISTER NOW:



Workshop Overview:

Meetings are on Sundays from 4:00-5:30pm at Sessions:6 Sport Performance. Each week we will go over a new nutrition topic that will build on the past week. Each session we will go over individual successes and failures and address how to overcome the problems we have encountered. We will cover a new educational topic tailored to meet the needs of the group. Homework will be assigned each week, and coaches will be holding you accountable for action. Our goal with the workshop is to give you the tools to make smart nutrition choices and change individual behaviours that impact how our bodies look, feel and perform.

Week 1: Introduction to the program overview, awareness of what we are eating, counting calories versus not counting calories

Week 2: Adequate Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat and Hydration and Why this matters

Week 3: Food timing and Blood Sugar Regulation’s role in body composition

Week 4: What to eat; How to structure your plate

Week 5: Gut Health: How the 2nd brain impacts our bodies

Week 6: Fueling better for workouts and recovery + Supplements: pros and cons

Join us for this six week program to kick start your efforts towards improved health & fitness for the season ahead!!

The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 5

The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 5

  • March 4, 2018
  • Blog

Spring is on the horizon and we’re 2/3 complete with our Off-Season Base Build Program with the final 1/3 coming up! I’m not going to lie, the last 8 weeks have been challenging for our 45 in-house athletes training with us Monday-Thursdsay each week. The middle third of our program is perhaps the most challenging on the bike with Anaerobic Threshold intervals (block 3) and even more so the Vo2 Max intervals twice weekly (block 4). Combine that with continued resistance training on Mondays and Wednesdays and you can see how the training load is reaching a peak. See exactly how we structured our Vo2 Max intervals on the bike in our previous post in this series: Block 4.

This very same 24-week program is available as a downloadable training plan on Training Peaks ( 24-week Base Build Training Plan ). We also have a more condensed 12-week Base Build Training Plan available to those that prefer a shorter, faster build of early season base fitness. Both versions allow you to follow my programming on your own where ever you live!

Our upcoming Block 5 makes up weeks 17-20 in the 24-weeks of our Base Build Program. You can read more about each previous block from links at top.

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The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 3

The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 3

  • January 15, 2018
  • Blog

Happy New Year! January brings block 3 of our Off-Season Base Build Program with our local in-house athletes in Denver. We meet 4 days a week, most weeks, for 6 months for indoor gym sessions, trainer sessions, and testing. Weekends are for getting outside on your own and going longer to build endurance. We also offer the very same program as a 24-week Base Build Training Plan, as well as a more condensed 12-week Base Build Training Plan, to follow on your own where ever you live.

Upon conclusion of Block 2 we took a little recovery time through the New Year holiday window and returned on January 2nd for our second of 4 testing sessions within our 6-month program. Our first test was at the end of October right before we kicked off official training; test two was 8 weeks later right after the new year, tests 3 and 4 will follow in 8-week cycles at the 2/3 point of the program and conclusion of the program. We prefer testing every 8-weeks as this provides enough time for fitness to evolve and provides a carrot of sorts to keep your training consistent so you make the improvements you’re looking for.

With test results in-hand we can check progress, reset training zones, keep motivation high, and get ready for further improvements over the next blocks of training.

Block 3 builds upon Blocks 1 & 2 with continued progressions in the gym and on the bike.

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The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 2

The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 2

  • December 14, 2017
  • Blog

It’s December now and we’re digging into our second of six blocks that make up our Off-Season Base Build Program with our local in-house athletes in Denver. We meet 4 days a week, most weeks, for 6 months for indoor gym and trainer sessions. Weekends are for getting outside on your own and going longer to build endurance. We also offer the very same program as a 24-week Base Build Training Plan, as well as a more condensed 12-week Base Build Training Plan, to follow on your own where ever you live.

Hopefully a routine has been established in the first month of training, and you’re beginning to feel some level of fitness returning after your end of last season break. You can get the full rundown in the first post of the Series: Off-Season Base Training: Primer, and get caught up through previous posts in the Series Links above.

Block 2 builds upon Block 1 with continued progressions in the gym and on the bike.

In my previous post I laid out the general weekly schedule that is built around three types of sessions: gym sessions, structured trainer sessions, and endurance sessions. We’ll continue to follow this scheme into block 2 and break down the subtle progressions in each of the three domains. Block 2 makes up weeks 5-8 in the 24-weeks of the Base Build Program.

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The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 1

The S:6 Base Builder Program: Block 1

  • November 11, 2017
  • Blog

We offer a 24-week Off-Season Base Build Program to our local athletes in Denver. We meet 4 days a week, most weeks, for 6 months for indoor gym and trainer sessions. Weekends are for getting outside on your own and going longer to build endurance. We also offer the very same program as a 24-week Base Build Training Plan, as well as a more condensed 12-week Base Build Training Plan, to follow on your own where ever you live.

The following blog series will share some specifics of what each block of training is made up of and how we progress through our 6-month long base build to reach serious fitness by Spring and ready to dive into more specific Race Prep training for your goal events. The same progression occurs in our truncated 12-week version of the plan; however progression occurs at a much faster pace. This plan is ideal for the more experienced athletes with years of base in their legs or for those that don’t have the time or patience to spend 6 months building a killer base of fitness for the upcoming season.

The first of six blocks comprising our Base Building Program focuses on returning to structured training, finding your rhythm, and adapting to the movements.

There are three basic categories of sessions that make up our regular training week:

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