Training for a Bike Race

As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I registered for several spring, summer, and fall bike races and events. I’ve never raced on a bike, but it’s been a goal since I got back into cycling with more consistency in the summer of 2020. Don’t be impressed, I’ll still be at the back of the pack; the only real difference is that I plan to train harder, and not spend as long at the aid stations socializing with friends during the race.


Our first race, a 100-mile gravel grinder, is in ten weeks. I’m a running coach, not a cycling coach, but I’m learning quickly how to set up a training plan for a bike ride/race of this nature. Boy, oh boy, am I glad my goal was to ride outside through the winter so I have a little bit of a base going into my training cycle.

The highlights of our training cycle will be to start training immediately, ride three to four days a week with shorter, harder weekday rides and longer, easier weekend rides. I haven’t gotten too deep into the weeds of suggested training plans, but I plan to have every other weekend be a cutback week like during marathon training. I suspect my plan won’t look that different than a training schedule for marathons.


Overview of the Week

Before getting into each day’s workouts, here’s an overview of my workouts from this past week. Scroll beyond the infographic for daily details…



Drive home from farm

Physical therapy stretches: every 3-8 hours

While I was making a huge southern breakfast that would make my grandmother proud, my husband took Pablo for a nice long walk on the farm. Pablo’s excitement for being at the farm was only eclipsed by seeing his humans who met us there for the exchange after their return home from their trip to Japan.

Between doing a bunch of things around the house at the farm, spending six hours in our car, and not getting home until very late, there was no time for me to work out.



Strength training: 1 hour of total body

Walking: 5K
• Average pace: 14:47 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: 173 feet
• Start time: 7:57 AM
• Location: neighborhood circle
• Weather: 38° and sunny, climbing to 45°
• What I wore: capris, l/s shirt, down jacket, ear warm headband, gloves, and mittens (took jacket and mittens off after 1 mile)

Physical therapy stretches: every 3 hours

I had a client cancelation and took advantage of my newfound time to go for a walk. While out I noticed even more styrofoam peanuts than I found last week spread all over the street again (the garbage truck had just picked up the trash and I guess they’d blown out). On the next loop I went into our house and grabbed a plastic bag to clean up the peanut litter and save for my gardening projects.



Cycling: 32 miles
• Average speed: 13 MPH
• Bike: Salsa Warbird
• Surface: paved and gravel
• Elevation gain: 1,476 feet
• Start time: 10:08 AM
• Location: W&OD Trail to Thomas Mill/Canby/Diggs Valley loop
• Weather: 56° and partly cloudy, climbing to 58°, windy, and overcast with drizzle the last quarter mile
• What I wore: bike pants, s/s jersey, arm warmers, jacket, and fingered gloves

Physical therapy stretches: every 3 hour

Spring training officially started with my first ride up Thomas Mill Road and down the gravel roads on the other side. We’ve got plenty of gravel rides with lots of climbing on our spring/summer schedule so there was no time like the present to start training.



Strength training: 1 hour of total body

Physical therapy stretches: every 3-4 hours



Walking: 4 miles
• Average pace: 15:01 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: 254 feet
• Start time: 6:07 AM
• Location: neighborhood circle
• Weather: 30° (feels like 25°) and clear
• What I wore: tights, l/s shirt, down coat, knit hat, and heated gloves

Physical therapy stretches: every 3-6 hours, plus 1-hour of physical therapy

I’m still not comfortable running so I walked during my virtual workout with Kim. Because of my age and the importance of weight-bearing exercises I try to fit in walks whenever I can, especially while I’m not running.

Collage credit: Kim


Strength training: 1 hour of total body

Balance and stretching: 45 minutes

Cycling: 14 miles
• Average speed: 16.2 MPH
• Bike: Life Fitness Lifecycle GX Spin
• Surface: N/A
• Elevation gain: N/A
• Start time: 8:29 AM
• Location: basement
• Weather: 65°
• What I wore: bike shorts and jog bra

Physical therapy stretches: every 3 hours

I had some spare time so I hopped on my spin bike for a few miles before heading to the gym to teach my balance and stretching class.



Walking: 2 miles
• Average pace: 14:42 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: N/A
• Start time: 9:01 AM
• Location: basement
• Weather: 65°
• What I wore: bike shorts and jog bra

Cycling: 5 miles
• Average speed: 16.1 MPH
• Bike: Life Fitness Lifecycle GX Spin
• Surface: N/A
• Elevation gain: N/A
• Start time: 9:39 AM
• Location: basement
• Weather: 65°
• What I wore: bike shorts and jog bra

Elliptical’ing: 1 mile
• Average speed: 15.51 MPH
• Bike: Life Fitness x5 
• Surface: N/A
• Elevation gain: N/A
• Start time: 10:11 AM
• Location: basement
• Weather: 65°
• What I wore: bike shorts and jog bra

Physical therapy stretches: every 3-6 hours

Cold and rainy outside, we skipped the opening ride of the season with the VeloPigs. It would have been tough to join them anyway because I needed to be at the gym by 12:45 to teach a fitness orientation class and the ride didn’t start until 10 AM. Instead, I did a cardio medley in our basement on the treadmill, spin bike, and elliptical while watching Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.


Last Week’s Blog Posts

In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…


  • • Runners/cyclists, do you plan your own running and training schedules or do you work with a coach? ~ For years I used the NYC RRCA intermediate marathon training plan (it had me running 50 miles per week), but I eventually switched to using plans from Run Less Run Faster.
  • • Have you watched Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy? ~ I just discovered it and loved it. I mean, who doesn’t love learning about Italian food?
  • • Did you run in race this weekend? ~ no


And that’s my rundown… Have a great week!




I’m linking up with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim from Running on the Fly for their Weekly Run Down. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but those of the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!


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