We're here to support your goals!
Does 50 miles sound like a great goal, but you've never done something like this before? Well, we have a training program you can follow and a group of local Glenwood folks you can even join for support! The program we're following is a 28-week triathlon program, so it includes running and strength training exercises to help you build fitness.
Here's what to expect most week:
- Monday - Wabash Trace ride or similar. Not too many hills, speed and pace work mixed in
- Tuesday - Run workout
- Wednesday - Strength workout
- Thursday - Bike workout - Pony Creek, Glenwood Archeaological State Preserve (GASP), or a dirt road somewhere
- Friday - Run workout
- Saturday- Bike workout - Pony Creek, Glenwood Archeaological State Preserve (GASP), or a dirt road somewhere
- Sunday - Rest day
Not interested in the running or strength exercises, don't worry, they're completely optional. Just think of those as extra rest days!
To join the Training Program, click the "join training program" button and follow the instructions on the Google Group page. You'll receive invitations to future events.
If you just want to ride, you can join the club rides, which we post on Strava.
If you just want the Saturday rides, we post those on Facebook to the Glenwood Gravel events page.
Training Program Details
This program is adapted from a 28-week half-ironman triathlon program created by Ryan Falkenrath. Due to COVID-19 I’ve taken out all the swimming and moved the strength training exercises around. The program is designed for the beginner or intermediate triathlete. Right now it breaks down to about 7 hours a week with Sundays as a rest day. If you add in swimming later, it will add another couple hours.
Adapting the program
Let me be clear, you don’t have to do everything in the training plan. If you just want to ride, just do the rides! The running, swimming and strength training is for cross-training. I’ve noticed as I have gotten stronger as a cyclist other muscles became weaker. I started getting pains because I had imbalanced strength in my legs and my back. So, for me to get better as a cyclist, I had to strengthen other muscles through running, swimming and targeted exercises. If you’re just starting out as a cyclist, you won’t need all the cross-training, although some will certainly do you good.
Again, if the Glenwood Gravel Grinder is your focus, then focus on the bike and let your body rest and recover on the off days. It’s while your body rests after a good workout that you gain strength, so please take the right amount of time to recover. If something hurts, don’t do that thing or look for ways to adapt. You can’t get better while injured, so take care of yourself and adapt this program as necessary.
Understanding Training Zones
Training by heart rate is a good way to keep your training productive and keep you from over doing it and getting injured. When I was young I would just go and workout as hard as I could and then be surprised when I got injured. When I started training with a well designed program that used pacing or heart rate, I felt like I was going really easy (at first) and wondered if I was doing any good. But, a good training plan will help you build fitness gradually and allow your body to heal and gain strength. But, you have to follow the instructions and pacing guidance.
Each of the workouts in the Glenwood Gravel program uses “training zones” to indicate the level of effort you should do. They are levels 1 through 5, with zone 1 (Z1) being easy and zone 5 (Z5) being an all out effort. Most workouts we’ll do will be a combination of Z2, Z3, and Z4 efforts with short burst of Z5 when we’re working on speed. If you have a watch with a heart rate monitor, like a Garmin or Apple watch, this will help you monitor your zones more accurately. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, you can do it “by feel”, which works well for some, but isn’t as accurate.
To get an idea of your hear rate zones, use the calculator on this page. Just adjust the slider or enter your age to get your estimated maximum heart rate. The table will update with heart rate zones for your age.