What to do leading up to a race - day before race day ride

Ok so I am now setting PR’s and top 10’s all time on Strava routinely during my Tue-Thursday training rides on this SS 18 plan so something is working (it helps too that I’m not working 16+ hours a day and flying all over N. America for business meetings) so at home zoom calls make for better training. Got 5th at Wild West Gravel - 100 miles/8,000 ft. climbing this past weekend and in two weeks I have the 100 mile CO2UT Gravel race (need to beat my younger brother).

A few questions for you so that I can get this right and then transition to my June Oregon Trail 5 day gravel race and then start to get ready for Steamboat GRVL and fall events like Mammoth Tuff and Bike Monkey (Levi Leipheimer) Hammer Rally.

My current SS 18 plan runs thru June 30th. So a few questions:

  1. What should I do next week? My race is on Saturday and this is not an A race - I just want to finish top 20 and have fun. I’m assuming you can see my actual plan online in Training Peaks - I have off/AR Monday/Friday and Tue-Thu is as follows: Threshold Intervals 2 x20 on Tue, Wed: SS Bursts 5 x 10, Thu: SS 3x8.

Is their a specific PREP ride that I should do on FRIDAY/day before the race?
Am I supposed to follow the plan for my Monday-Thursday rides?

  1. I will probably take off on Sunday or do a recovery ride and then could ride 2-3 hours on Monday as a solo ‘group ride’ as my Sunday ride would have been 4.5 hours free style SS. Do I then jump back into my program for the rest of the week and the week following and then what shoud I do the week of CO2UT?

CO2UT is May 22nd/Saturday - that week I see I have Monday/Friday: Off/AR and Tue-Thursday: Tue: SS 20 min 2 tempo, Wed: Endurance zone 2 ~45 TSS, Thu: Criss Cross Tempo/Sweet Spot: 3x15 min.

So my question is:

  1. Do I modify anything Monday-Thursday that week leading up to the Saturday race and is there a particular PREP ride that I should do on Friday instead of using that as OFF/AR?

a. Do you have a standard warm-up that you recommend for long/hilly gravel races ‘the morning of’ - at most I’ll have 30-45 minutes to warm up given the start times and I don’t have a trainer so it would be on the pavement and all the races I’m doing are 100 miles w typically 6-10,000+ feet of climbing.

Thanks - this will really help me out with what to do ‘the week of’ a race as I will be encountering this as I go thru other plans that I bought from you guys leading up to Steamboat GRVL in Aug and then my Fall races.

I really appreciate your help and hope all is well in Boulder. 80+ here in Napa today so sweating on rides w/o wearing arms and knees feels good again:)


Hey @mark.newton ,
Most of these questions/training advice are things that we reserve for our 1x1 coached athletes or with our subscription athletes which we communicate with/give tailored training advice to 1x per month (either of which we would love to have you join us :wink:). If athletes are not under either of these subscriptions/coaching levels, we cannot see their trainingpeaks calendar or their power data.

With that said. Since you are training through this race, I would recommend following your plan, but taking thursday off, then do an hours worth of openers (see your in season gravel plan for those) and then the morning of, just easy spin with maybe a few short efforts to wake the legs up. Nothing crazy as it will be a long day on the bike. You can follow this same protocol for the CO2UT race.

After these races, your in season gravel plan will be tailored to racing on the weekends so these things should not be an issue.

We are wishing you the best of luck and would love to hear how those races go for you!


Thanks so much very helpful. So after I get thru SS18 which I think will be in early July should I jump right into SBT gravel plan and while I may not finish it do as many weeks as I can leading up to the SBT race? Thanks!

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Coming into this thread late but here is an “opener” workout included in our race plan that I will have my 1x1 coached athletes perform the day before a race.

With regards to the SBT - you may move straight into that and as you edit to fit your timeline give the final weeks higher priority than the beginning weeks. Could chop the first week to make it fit, for example.

Good luck!

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@FRANK, Thanks for sharing your opener workout - that’s huge!

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Hi Coaches!

In general (and not including Coach Frank’s opener workout the day before), how many days should be in between a 1 day “A” race / event and an athlete’s last hard interval workout?

For example (and working backwards):

  1. The “A” race is on Saturday.
  2. Plan Coach Frank’s openers for Friday.
  3. Plan the last hard interval workout for ________________.

Thanks, Jud

tuesday or wednesday should be your last hard workout, thursday off and then openers friday :slight_smile: