Whether you like your Whiskey neat or on the rocks, these tips will ensure you have a good Whiskey finish.
Assuming you have been training consistently and gradually building up your aerobic capacity and stamina, there are a few factors within your control that will allow you to have your best performance at the Whiskey 50 Offroad.
- Back to the idea of your training leading up to this event, you will need to be able to do 2500-3500kj worth of work. The lighter athletes will be closer to 2500 while the heavier and possibly more powerful athletes will be closer to 3500kj. During a typical endurance ride, an athlete can produce about 500kj of work per hour. So for example riding the Whiskey Offroad at a 500kj endurance pace and assuming you will need 3000kj to finish the event, the ride will take 6 hours. During a race, that number typically increases to around 700 kj and even up over 1000kj for the stronger riders.
- So how will this help you? If you know about how many kilojoules you can work per hour over the course of 50 miles, you can get a sense of how long the race will take you to finish. This knowledge can help you and your support crew prepare for feed zones and finish line times along with help on your fueling.
- Knowing the course will give you a huge advantage. You don’t need to have ridden all the course in one day unless you want to do that but going to Prescott for a weekend and riding the course over a couple of days is ideal. This gives you time to see what the climbs are like and how long they may take. This knowledge will give you some perspective on what your pace should be depending on your ability and your goals. This pacing knowledge will help with your fueling. Seeing the course also gives you an opportunity to see the more technical aspects of the course.
- Just the knowledge that your race is only 1/2 way when you top out at the Sierra Prieta overlook is a huge advantage.
- Skills are a factor. In the past, race courses have tended to be tame on the technical aspects of its course. However, the Whiskey Offroad has always demanded its participants to be skilled in the art of MTB. We all have differing levels of ability but a better MTB skill ability will keep your ride smooth and keep you as efficient as possible. Better efficiency will lower the amount of kilojoules needed to finish the race.
- Continue to practice your skills.
- Racing and riding 50 miles off road will always demand a fueling strategy to have the best possible performance. Anytime your event exceeds 1hr, you really need to supplement your ride with some calories and as that ride exceeds 3hrs, the need for a good fueling strategy increases. I assume everyone will be over 3hrs so I would suggest aiming for at least 60grams of carbohydrates per hour and 20-25ounces of fluid per hour. An example of 60 grams is approximately 2 gels per hour. If you don’t want to take in 10 gels for a 5hr race, then I would start experimenting with a variety of bars and drinks to see what works for you best. If you feel you will be riding the course at a “race pace,” then I would practice and build up to 80-90 grams of carbohydrates. It may take a few weeks to train up to this amount and I don’t suggest upping your normal amount of intake on the day of the race.
- Use all your longer rides from now to the start to experiment with amounts and types of carbohydrates.
- With Prescott being roughly 5200 feet and the course sending riders above that, most athletes will need to adjust for the altitude. It’s not a big adjustment and really an awareness that needs to be taken into account. You may experience a faster breathing rate at that altitude and you will experience the dryness of air. With faster breathing and the arid environment, you will dehydrate faster which will be happening especially through the night. Just be aware and aim to take in a little more fluids than normal. Your HR may also increase. For this altitude it may only be 4-7 beats per minute but you want to be aware as your power will decrease. Again, just be aware. If you are inexperienced with races at altitude, perceived effort is a good measure to use for pacing.
- For this long of a race, if you find yourself not able to talk early in the race, you should begin to think about slowing down to a pace that you are able to say a few words. The biggest time to be asking yourself this question is in the first 20 minutes of the race.
As sommelier’s in the art of endurance, Tenac’s coaches have the experience and science distilled down to these are 5 tips on putting together your best performance. Pay attention as these tips are very much interconnected. You can eat and drink correctly but if your pacing is off, you may find yourself sitting under a shade tree catching your breath. And even if performance is not your goal at the Whiskey 50 Offroad, being aware of these 5 tips will enable you to have a great time riding the 50 miles and have plenty of energy to engage in the after race parties.