I recently signed up for MI Coast 2 Coast, a 210 mile gravel race from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. Do you have a recommendation on which plans I should link together? I am about 18 weeks out and my long ride is currently around 3.5 hours.
Yeah Michigan Coast to Coast! I had an athlete do that last year and actually my Dad did as well. I’m from Michigan and need to look into do that one as well.
But we would recommend the same thing that we would for doing DK. With 18 weeks we would have you start with Sweet Spot 2 plan, then Sweet Spot 3 plan, and finally the gravel grinder plan.
Value wise you could just purchase the 18 week sweet spot plan. This includes sweet spot 1, 2 and 3 plan with proper rest weeks built between. Then you will always have it.
You will need to add a regeneration week between the final sweet spot week and the gravel plan. You can just copy the last regeneration week of the sweet spot plan.
But the gravel plan is best to do 6 weeks out. This plan includes simulation rides where you will really test yourself, increase the distance you are riding, working on your nutrition and just like the name simulating your event. The sweet spot plans are about building up your aerobic engine and preparing your for not only the event but these simulation rides.
Thanks for the quick reply Jake! Small world if you’re from MI! You should definitely check out C2C. The RD is a buddy of mine and it is an absolutely fantastic race. I did the inaugural race in '18 and probably went a little too easy as it took us 20 hours. My buddy and I were some of the last people to finish, which means we were the last people to go through the sand sections in the national forest… at midnight. That was not a pleasant experience. Looking back, my training was all over the place leading up to it so hopefully a structured training plan will help. I coach triathletes and there is a reason my Strava profile says “Do what I say, not what I do”.
Do you have any recommendation on beginner/intermediate/advanced? I took over a couple of races last year and didn’t have much time for riding so I’m coming off a down year. I’m leaning towards intermediate as I suspect it will come back to me fairly quickly. I’ve been averaging around 8 hours per week for the last 6 weeks or so.
What do you consider to be hilly for the gravel plan? I believe this year’s route is 5-6k of elevation, so not a lot by some people’s standards but I’m a bigger guy and gravity is not my friend if I have to go uphill.
One last question… how long are the Saturday rides in Sweet Spot 2/3 and the gravel grinder plan? At first glance that would be my only hesitation. I’ve been listening to the podcast and plan on extending my Saturday ride by 30’ or so every week, assuming my body can handle it.
Yeah I typically haven’t been able to do the Coast to Coast due to other commitments and having to do the MSU Fondo. But now I do have some freedom to do this. So going to look into it for sure!
I would recommend you doing the intermediate level plan. This works for most. It is between 8 - 12 hours. If you must you can cut a few rides shorter by just doing less zone 2 after the efforts depending on your time constraints.
I would recommend the flat gravel plan. The hilly one is more for climbing races that would have climbs of 10+ minutes in duration. The best thing for you to do though is ride your weekend simulation rides on a rolling course that would have the shorter punchier climbs. This way you are accustomed to that type of effort. Both plans have very similar workouts but the hilly one will have climbing intervals, again based on longer climbs.
Most of the long weekend rides are 3 - 4 hours long. They start off at 3 hour and progress up to 4 in sweet spot 2 and 3. In the gravel plan you will have a 5 hour ride.
Hello fellow Michiganders!
Greetings from GR! C2C is on my goal list for next year. Starting the 18wk Sweet Spot today to build the motor followed by the gravel plan. Focusing this year on some of the shorter local events to get a feel for the racing. Good luck!
I did the 100 Mile “Coastal Loop” the first year of this race and it was awesome. I would recommend really thinking about tires. I had Terravail Cannonball 42mm and I feel they weren’t wide enough for the deep sand on the snowmobile trails.
I rode the 200 miler the initial year and was woefully undertrained now that I look back at my logs. We were some of the last people to come through the sand sections after the chaise picture and it was bad. There were no lines through the sand and no way to go around it b/c people had widened the trail so much during the day that the sand was all the way to the trees on the side. Hoping to be a little faster this year and might roll 47’s as well.
I did some of the ‘gravel’ roads up that way this past weekend. Sand can be deep and a slog! I had my 650b wheels on with 47mm and was happy to have them! Didn’t feel any slower with wider tires else where as well. Lots of sand up there and it can quickly bog you down.