Training for the New Year

Time to get serious

It’s time once again to start thinking about our conquests for the new year. While I’ve marked quite a few events on my calendar for 2013, the 300 lb Gorilla on my horizon once again is the Dirty Kanza 200. I rode my 100 miles of the 2012 race on 8 weeks of prep. This year I’ll be aiming for the full 200 miles and adding an additional 12 weeks. Yup, that’s 3 extra months of training for an extra 8 hours of racing.

I’ve scoured all of the blogs, ride reports, forums, and websites for DK training plans and come up empty. There are plenty of people writing about their experiences in the race, but hardly any mention of what they did to prepare. So, as a FREE service to all future DK riders in my position, I’ve decided to post my plan for prepping for the race, how the plan’s execution goes, how the race goes, and a follow up review on what I think worked and what I would change.

Now, I don’t claim to know much about this training business. I’ve read Friel and Carmichael and taken what I think sounds good from both. The only actual training plan I’ve ever followed was Carmichael’s TCP last year. So if for some reason you think what I’m doing here will work, you try it, and you end up crying for God’s mercy, curled up under a scrub brush somewhere out on a dirt road in Kansas, don’t blame me. In fact, if you follow this plan and find yourself in that position, my bonked carcass will probably being lying in a ditch nearby, so be sure to say hi.


Don’t let this be you.

       Here is the basic outline. I will post more detail on each phase as they draw near.

Dec01-Jan01 -Transition

Hikes, runs, ski machine, fun rides, and general fitness stuff. Non structured, frequent workouts aimed at preparing for Base 1. Also, develop a thick, robust beard to increase manliness and gravel grinder street cred.

Jan 01-Jan 20 -Base 1

2 weeks on, 1 week active recovery. These rides will focus on keeping the heart rate down and just getting me used to regular training and the spin bike again. Think of TITS. (That’s Time In The Saddle, people) This is also where I lock down my diet, caveman style.

Jan 21-Feb17 – Base 2

3 weeks on, 1 week active recovery. Same as Base 1, but with the addition of longer rides, some speed work to try and get my average cadence up a bit, some single leg workouts, and the occasional sprint as I get the urge.

Feb18-Mar24 – Base 3

3 weeks on, 1 week rest, 1 week on. Still some elements of base 2, but with a focus on longer sustained efforts. This will also include a week of altitude training in Colorado (chasing kids on vacation).


8 weeks on. Here I’ll be revisiting many of the TCP workouts. Think power intervals, Sufferfest videos, and long hard efforts. This is where the magic happens and I will either reap the benefits of my clean diet, or curse my lack of self discipline.

May25-May31 –Peak/Taper

1 week active recovery. The week prior to the race will be easy spins with a few light intervals.

June 1 – Survive DK200

So there you have it. As much as I would love the plan to be executed in the fashion of an 80’s montage, it’s just going to be a lot of time on the bike. I’ll be sure to post updates and more details as things pan out, or I may just fake an injury and sit around all spring. It’s hard to tell at this point.

Do you have any big events planned for next year? How are you planning on training? I’d love to hear any questions, comments, or suggestions.

4 thoughts on “Training for the New Year

  1. Looks like a great plan! Curious if you will add in any other big gravel events, like the Almonzo 100? With this being my 4th year racing the DK, I’ve trimmed my training plan for the first 6 months to be solely focused on finishing in under 13.5 hours. I have a few races/events on the calendar but not nearly as many as years past. Miles, mile, miles, and more miles ramping constantly from early February through June.

    • Thanks for chiming in! It sounds like you have some flint hills miles under your belt. I do have a couple of other gravel rides between now and the DK. The first is Bonk Hard Racing’s OGRE on April 20, which is 150 miles in southern MO. It’s going to be a huge challenge with the hills in that area. Not sure how I’ll fare as it is a bit early in the training still. After that comes the Cedar Cross on May 4, which will be a good kick in the pants as well. I started it last year and blew a derailleur not far in. You can read that report on the Monster Bicycle Co. blog. I plan for sweet redemption this year. If I can finish both of those rides, my DK optimism will see a big boost. I’d love to ride the Almonzo some time. It’s a long drive for me, but we have some family in that area.

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