Unbound Gravel 2023

Hi everyone,

I realise this is a very early query given the 2023 lottery hasn’t even opened yet however for those that know they will be going in 2023, like myself due to a deferral or other means, or have been previously, I’m just wondering how everyone is approaching training or had approached it and whether it got you where you wanted to be in terms of fitness/prep for the event. Would you change anything? (tyres and kit will be a question for later! :sweat_smile:)

I’m new to the Fascat training community so I’ve been listening to lots of the awesome podcasts and have just committed (1 week in) to the new for 2022 30wk off season, weights and sweet spot (intermediate plan as I can’t easily commit to over 10hrs per week every week). This will prep me right up to the Traka 200K in Girona and then it’s about 4 weeks out from Unbound when I’ll possibly bolt on the Gravel specific (flat) plan for final race (read, survival!) training.

Anyone doing something different or see a major flaw in my plans?

This will be my first time at Unbound, or even riding 200miles on gravel. I live in Jersey in the Chanel Islands (a 9mile x5mile rock in the English Channel between south of England and France) so I do plenty of loops on the roads and turbo training and have very little real gravel to play on. I have however competed in BWR Cali twice and also the Rift in Iceland this year.

Thanks all!

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I think you’ve got a pretty good plan, Nick! I’d just add that I think simulation rides are pretty important. The Traka itself works great as one, and maybe you can squeeze one more in between the Traka and Unbound. But, I might add one or two more before the Traka, especially as you don’t get to ride much gravel. Perhaps you could pop over to France on the ferry on a weekend or two and do a big ride in the 120-140 mile length. These are important not only for your fitness but also to test your equipment, comfort on the bike during long efforts, and how you tolerate eating and drinking during such a long ride.

Thanks so much Christian, that’s reassuring! A great idea, I’ll look into popping across to France, the ferries aren’t great in winter but I’m sure I can work something in pre Traka. Anything will be more stimulating than riding in small circles around the rock! :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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Another UNBOUNDer here!

Thanks to FTFP of the “16-week sweet spot program” & reading “Gravel!” (by Selene Yeager), my almost brand new gravel bike, “Dirty Gertie”, & I made it through 200 miles of gravel (& the peanut butter mud) to the finish line in 2022 just before the cutoff time. Yay!

Heading back in 2023 with a little more experience, but not much more sense, hoping to crush the course (or at least not be so close to time cutoffs!) Thinking about how to best prepare for UNBOUND 2023. I’ve already booked into UNBOUND camp in March. Most of my rides from November to March will be indoors (snow is coming!) at home so ready to get back onto the trainer with Zwift.

I want to be stronger to reduce my risk of injury (& maybe even feel myself go faster). Should I repeat the 16 week program & add a weights program, or do a combined “weights plus base” program? Then finish up with the “gravel training plan”.

Thanks in advance for your advice, coaches.


Weight Lifting For Cycling :boom: New – FasCat Coaching before running the 16 week Sweet Spot plan again would be perfect.

Thank you, coach Christian!

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I’ve done unbound 200 twice now and I’d just like to add a +1 to the importance of the “simulation” rides. In long races it’s never my fitness that almost takes me out. It’s the things you won’t know about unless you do rides near the length of your goal event. Like my right foot hurts after 8 hours if i wear a sock thats too thick. After about 6 hours if its over 90 degrees I can’t get down liquid carbs anymore. My hands get numb after 10ish hours, unless i wear specialized dual gel gloves. There’s a long list of things you don’t want to figure out for the first time on race day.

And It’s defiantly not too early to be thinking about Unbound, it’s frustrating that for most of us we have to train for it long before we will know if we’ll get in or not.


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