On June 13, I'll be competing in the 31st Annual Race Across America, a 12-day 3,000-mile solo bicycle race between Oceanside, CA and Annapolis,MD. I will be doing it to resources and awareness for a charity called Hopecam.
The failure rate for Race Across America is 50 percent- and for rookies its closer to 70 percent.
So how does a 52-year-old rookie close that gap? Focus on the things you can control. In November, I hired Susan Hefler, of HPC Coaching to write daily workouts to build up to the volume of time on the bike and focus not just on miles, but on different types of workouts to build strength, endurance and power.
Monday and Friday, I rest off the bike and only do core, stretch and weight exercises. On Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, she has me doing two-a-day workouts, usually for 90-120 minutes each.
Some days I am doing sprints, other days cadence, or climbing. Some days I just ride at an easy pace. On Saturday, I go for a long, 12-14 hour ride that usually starts at 3:00 a.m. On Sunday the ride is closer to four to six hours.
Once a month, I take an entire week off, go very light and reduce the volume by 75 percent. This is typically after one of my practice training rides, like the 719 mile three-day ride I did last weekend between Sullivan, IN and Odenton, MD.