With just over one month to go until the start of the epic Transatlantic Way ultra-endurance race, our Social Media expert - Laurence - is in the final stages of his preparation. Following an initial insight, he gave us an update on his training so far and the kit needed to complete a parcours of over 2000km.
TIME TO TRAIN
“I knew I’d be racing the Transatlantic Way since November, but I didn’t do any really long rides until the middle of March”, says Laurence. “I needed a way of training that met both the needs of the event and the road racing I had scheduled for the rest of the season. This meant planning, consistency and adaptability were key.”
“November to January was spent doing tempo and sweet spot work to establish a base. From here, I could begin to refine my fitness. Although the racing in Ireland will mostly be in zones 1 and 2, I wanted to raise the level of what these numbers would be.”
“By working on sustained threshold power, I could be time efficient during the winter months and raise my FTP figures, meaning I could ride harder at lower intensities as a result.”
“I’m in the final few weeks of my indoor-based training, so I’m currently priming myself for road racing and refining my top end conditioning on the Wattbike Trainer during the week. These sessions are shorter but painful, working at aerobic and anaerobic capacity."
“During weekends I’m doing rides of up to 140 miles to get my mind and body used to the demands of long distances.”
MAKING A PLAN
“I like to be meticulous in my approach to training, kit and racing. As a result I have a few rough schedules for June already. These are based on what I think is achievable in a variety of scenarios. My A and B plans are written with my goals in mind: riding hard and getting a good amount of sleep.”
“My strategy is based around staying in hotels for the majority of the distance, but I have a bivvy setup just in case I get caught out or I end up battling for position in the final stages of the race.”
“Ultimately, I accept there will be setbacks and the Transatlantic Way is a living organism. The weather can change, accidents can happen and plans can be scrapped. This is where mental resilience comes into play. For me, that’s the most daunting part of the race.”
DEVIL IN THE DETAIL
“I’ll be using Apidura bags for my bikepacking equipment. Their expedition kit is perfect for the inevitably wet conditions I’ll face. I’m trying to go as light as possible on gear, so I’ve deliberately used smaller bags to limit my storage capacity. This forces me to be ruthless with what I take."
“There are still some details to sort and refinements to be made. This final month will be spent experimenting with my setup so I know I’m confident in my gear once I roll off the start line in Dublin.”
“VeloSkin have helped out with skincare products to support my on-the-bike comfort. I won’t reveal too much, but spending more than eight hours a day in the saddle definitely requires some… sensitive attention.”
“I’m a sucker for punishment and love intervals working just above FTP. One of my strengths is climbing long, steep lanes - Mam Nick in the Peak District, for example - and it’s something I like to work on in training. A favourite session of mine is 5 x 8 minute intervals at 105% FTP with six-minute recoveries in between. It’s tough, painful but very rewarding.”
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