At the end of August I intend to participate in the Race Around The Netherlands.
This is an multi-day Ultra Endurance Race (approx. 1900km unsupported bike-packing on road bike).
The idea is to use Xert as my trainingtool so I will be well prepared.
Besides setting the Athlete Type to “Triathlon” are there any other suggestions for settings I should take into account for this type of race?
Any suggestions or tips are most welcome.
Thanks for your replies!
Gr Johan Barelds
Besides IR, I don’t think so. But, for an event like that and depending where you are now, I would think that an IR of aggressive is not very helpful. Maybe start at slow and move up step-by-step to end at moderate-2 over time?
Yes, I agree. Currently I have set my IR to “slow” also since I am in the “pre-base” phase of the training program. No need to make aggresive progress yet.
When did you learn it was postponed? Where you not close to your peak phase already, since I believe it was set for May?
Only recent after announcement of the Dutch government concerning Corona restrictions.
It was initially set for 1th May indeed. Last winter my focus was very much on short races and I had the Athlete Type set on “Rouleur”. That worked very well and only at the beginning of March I switched from “Turbo” to “Diesel” mode. The Focus graph is showing it very well:
So now I am in “Diesel” mode and have to wait for another 4 months
I am considering to set an intermediate goal with a focus back again on short races until begin Juli where I can pickup the #RATN
I’ve done the same - I now have goal for a century by the end of June, whether it will take place or not. I have subscribed, but we’ll see - the one for the end of May was already cancelled, as was my April 40K ITT. Good luck with the preparation for the RATN - that’s not for me. Not for the distance, but just not my type of thing…
In addition to ‘triathlete/ultra-racer’ you could consider:
how many hours of training you can realistically fit in per week and (importantly) how you will manage that during covid19 restrictions on the one hand (with likely more indoor training) and immune/health considerations on the other hand (you may want to limit the number of long rides you do and focus on consistency and/or intensity instead)
what base fitness you are building from (ie your starting Training Load which Xert should be able to calculate for you based on Strava/Garmin data sync)
where you want to get to by the end of August in terms of Threshold Power and 3+hour power - if you play around with the improvement rate (under dashboard > goals > improvement rate) you will see the forecast impact on both those numbers and the required weekly training hours within which to build up the training load to match that kind of improvement.
what your goals are for RATN (complete or compete ? survive or thrive ? type 1 or type 2 fun ?)
Even though at face value, 3+hour may seem most relevant for RATN, improvements in Threshold Power can also make a massive difference to all day riding speed. For example, if you were previously riding all day at 150w and had a TP 225w that represented 66% of your Threshold Power. if your TP improves to say 240w by the end of August, then riding at the same 150w all day only represents 62% of TP etc. So the same power will feel easier and more sustainable, or alternatively, you may now may be able to ride at a higher all day power and go faster and further as a result.
Plus we all know the RATN route is not totally flat and the climbs come when you already have significant fatigue in your legs… so whilst this may not affect your settings, you certainly want to work on your climbing and shorter sharper power efforts too.
Good luck with your training and give me a shout if you are looking for a coach (using both Xert and TrainingPeaks) who specialises in long distance cycling. Otherwise, see you in Amerongen (fingers crossed) !
Great to see you here
Thanks so much for your detailed and useful answer. Much appreciated!
Excellent points which made me actually reconsider my strategy.
Since this will be my first Ultra my first aim is to complete rather than to compete.
I am planning to ride on a daylight schedule and get the normal amount of sleep (~8 hours/day). I set off with an 8 day schedule which I might change during the race.
Altough it is my first Ultra I am not a stranger to long distance cycling and training.
My training load is +10hrs/wk for the last 10 years with peaks up to 20hrs. Also 200-300km rides are yearly on my schedule but I never did +200km rides for more then 2 days in a row.
For years I trained at almost 100% Low Training Load without me knowing (or paying attention for that matter). I just loved to be out on the bike
My TP was often near my peak because of the long training rides but I was just a “diesel”.
Only last winter I discovered the effect HIIT training, I did in Zwift, had on my Focus and TP.
My Xert TP was at it highest and Focus from workouts changed from “Time-Trialist” to “Climber”. I never felt as strong before.
So my first thinking was so switch back to the other side of the Athlete Type spectrum for the #RATN but your points made me reconsider that strategy. I think I will shift my Focus back to “Climber” and do one LSD ride/wk to polarize the training and get used on sitting all day in the saddle/test the setup. But I will play around with the “Improvement Rate” and “Focus” settings first to see what the forecasts tell me.
Thanks for offering your support in coaching. The fact is that I currently really enjoy self-coaching and experimenting with different training methods (which made me end up in Xert in the first place) But with these excellent tips you gave me and your personal expertise in ultra-endurance racing you will be the first to contact in case I might change my mind.
You probably already know but tonight we heard the news that large events in The Netherlands are prohibited till at least the 1th of September. Not sure what that means for the #RATN which is now scheduled for the 29th of August. Maybe start 3 days later? We will see.
Thanks again for your great reply and I am looking forward to meet you in Amerongen!
Just one thought: if you plan on enhancing your capabilities to get over the Limburg hills a little better, you may want to consider mixing focus between puncheur and climber.
Re RATN start … time will tell … I have moved all my arrangements to end of August and may need to move again. Then again, who knows how things develop here in the UK and if I can even travel to NL … It is an uncertain world but exercise gives some structure at least. Well done for all the progress you made using Xert !