The 8-stage Amgen Tour of California road race starts on May 11, 2014 and I’m very much looking forward to watching it! Running concurrent with the Tour of California, for the second year in a row TrainerRoad is holding their own 8-stage indoor cycling challenge: “8 Days in California” (8DC).
I completed the 8DC challenge last year, and it was probably the toughest eight days I’ve ever spent on the trainer. The workouts were extremely well designed, and the compelling backstory kept me interested and engaged as I rode and suffered–and I definitely suffered…
Total ride time was 9 hours, 14 minutes and 12 seconds. My total Training Stress Score (TSS) over those 9+ hours was 855; I spent more than 26% of the total time riding in the Threshold zone, almost 13% in the VO2 MAX zone, more than 5% in the Anaerobic Capacity zone and an agonizing 2.12% of the time was spent in the darkest reaches of the pain cave, Neuromuscular Power.
I wrote about each stage as I progressed though the challenge last year, and I’ll do the same this year. You can check out my 2013 8DC wrap-up, which includes tons of stats (and an amusing “aftermath” photo) here.
Check out this page for preview of each of the eight stages that I’ll be riding in the 2014 8DC.
Here’s a short video promo for this year’s 8DC:
Just hearing the “beep… beep… beep… BOOP!” in the video spikes my heart rate (my fellow TrainerRoad addicts know exactly what I’m talking about).
So, starting Sunday May 11th I’ll be spending eight straight days holed up in my Bike Torture Chamber, “enjoying” some quality enterpainment, courtesy of TrainerRoad.
When I completed last year’s 8DC, I was unquestionably in the best cycling condition of my life. Yes, it hurt–a lot–but the results were worth it. This year’s challenge looks to be even more difficult than last year’s (and my FTP is higher). If I survive, I expect that once I recover from the grueling eight-stage “race” I will reap the benefits of “supercompensation”:
“In normal training you stress your body a bit, then recover and make incremental steps forward.
Once in a while, riders can experience an elevated ‘supercompensation’ phase. This is where big gains are made and riders ‘level up’.
This happens with extremely hard training blocks, training camps, stage races…and TrainerRoad’s 8DC challenge! You can’t do these things kind of blocks every week, they have to be limited to just a few times a year.
8DC riders will earn an estimated 834 TSS over the course of 8 days. That’s about equal to the stress a competitive Cat 1 or pro rider would accumulate weekly!
For the majority of us, that 800+ TSS is going to put us in that elevated super compensation phase and push us to the next level.”
New for this year, TrainerRoad is offering a nice looking jersey (available in club fit and race fit) at a reasonable cost ($65) to all participants who complete the challenge. I’ll definitely be picking one of these up (click to enlarge):
If you’re not on TrainerRoad, now’s a great time to check it out. For just $99 per year (or $10 a month) you get the keys to the TrainerRoad kingdom. You will become a stronger cyclists, guaranteed or your money back. I am not in any way sponsored, compensated or affiliated with TrainerRoad, I just think it’s the best deal in cycling training around.