Okay, it turns out I'm not very good at keeping a blog. I'm doing what I can and I'll try to get a lot of info up in the next couple posts.
I don't really like the idea of "training programs". With me they tend to get too detailed and eventually take some of the fun out of riding. If I was racing twice a week that kind of structure makes some sense. But I need to put in a lot of time and miles and to do that riding has got to stay interesting and fun for me.
But because RAAM is a pretty big race and I felt like I needed (if only for psychological reasons) to be in pretty decent shape at the start, I started out with a big-picture training plan to get ready. Plus, with winter lasting generally into April in Fairbanks I knew I needed to get the most out of the limited training time that was available. The plan had three parts:
1) Work on power & endurance all winter riding on snow. This is sort of a no-brainer. Winter riding is all high-power low cadence, and with the Iditarod trail Invitational in late February I was putting a lot of hours on the bike regardless of RAAM. For most of this time I was riding, running, and lifting weights and getting in 20-25 hours a week.
1b) Take a break in March. I mostly commuted to/from work. Maybe a couple 2 or 3 hour rides on the weekends and one or two (short, slow) runs during the week.
2) Go to Texas and get used to being on a road bike again and really work on leg speed. I figured my power would be pretty good from the winter (and I think it was), but I needed to translate that to the higher cadence of road riding.
The TX training went pretty well and my endurance was really good. In about 15 days of riding in TX I rode 1400 miles, did two group rides/races, and two trail runs (due to rain). I did 100+ mile rides 8 of the last 9 days I was there, and felt pretty decent in all of them. Generally I'd start the rides feeling a little tired and a little slow and then warm up over 2 or 3 hours and start feeling better and riding better. I think these weeks were 34 and 36 hours of riding.
2b) Go back to Fairbanks and get rested for the next training trip. The first week back in FBKS I think I rode around 18 hours, the second week less than 8 hours.
3) A final training trip to the lower 48 (starting in Colorado). This was broken into two parts. The first was a 900 mile unsupported ride from Ft. Collins, CO to to Heather's parents house in Davenport, IA. The second part is some hill climbing and elevation in Colorado.
3b) Go back to Fairbanks and get recovered and ready for the race.
I'm in the middle of part 3 now and everything has gone pretty good so far.