We are now 14 weeks away from this year’s El Tour de Tucson. To help prepare you for this year’s event, GEC Coach Ken Montaney will be posting regular articles on the TEPC blog about preparing for Tucson’s biggest bike day of the year. Follow along with Ken on your way to your best El Tour ever.
Last week we discussed going about and identifying your goals for El Tour de Tucson this year. We wanted to take a look at what the big picture was so that this week we can figure out how to get there. So go back to your bathroom mirror and take a look at your goals (you did write them up there didn’t you? I told you to). Lets take a look at how to get there.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. To do well at this years El Tour, you need to identify your weaknesses in relation to your goals. Here are some example goals and potential limiters that could come with them, though your particular limiters may differ.
Finish first 100 mile event
Make Gold classification in 80 mile event
-Climbing ability when group goes uphill
-Group riding skills
Finish Top 20 in 100 mile event
-Abilities in wash crossings
Another way to identify your weaknesses is to look at your previous experiences in El Tour. If you ride strong all day but fade on Silverbell, you may need to work on endurance. If you are always comfortable in the group but immediately get dropped to the next group on every punchy hill (like the foothills or Rattlesnake Pass) then you should work on leg strength and anaerobic efforts.
Well I Know My Weaknesses, Now What
Now that you have identified your weaknesses for this years event comes the hard part. Train your weaknesses. This is only the hard part because most of us like to ride our strengths all the time and ignore our limiters. But we want to rock at El Tour de Tucson this year so its time to train your limiters. Here are a few weaknesses and how to train them.
Endurance: ride lots. Really. Ride as much as possible. Do some of the prep events like Tumacacori or Silverbell centuries. Ride with other people who push you.
Group Skills: Tucson is never lacking in group rides. Find a good group or shop ride and start practice your group skills now rather than later. Check out the Grasky Endurance Coaching group rides every Saturday and the GABA El Tour prep rides every Sunday starting September 8th.
Vertically Challenged: Start climbing and climbing hard. Repeats on A Mountain. Attacking short and long hills. Cruising up Mt. Lemmon. “Don’t buy upgrades. Ride up grades.”
Now go out and make sure to include rides aimed at fixing your limiters in your preparation for El Tour this year. Embrace making yourself better and they may even becomes strengths.
Check out Tucson Endurance Performance Center's new El Tour de Tucson CompuTrainer block starting September 2nd. Last year 100% of participants set a PR at El Tour.
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