Leadville Trail 100 2023

Earlier today the dog caught the car (I hit the Leadville lottery), now what? Right now I am thinking one week 4DP prep, followed by two weeks on-one week recovery gravel plan; followed by the mountain bike plan 3 weeks on, one week recovery; followed by a 4 week plan (maybe NM) to arrive in August. I am planing to do yoga and weight throughout and mental toughness somewhere in the latter half.

Some background I live in flat Indianapolis, am 55 years old and, I am more of a road cyclist than mountain biker. We have a dynamic trail system about 1.5 hours away. I started a new position recently so my travel availability is limited. Living in the midwest my outdoor opportunities vary year to year. Some questions:
1. Can I get outdoors when the weather breaks regardless of plan (this is a mental necessity)
as I will probably be indoors from November until Mar/Apr?
2. I have the (early June) opportunity to do a ride in Tennessee either 120 miles/ 10K feet of
vert or 62 miles 8k feet of vert. Will this be helpful training?

I am planning to use Maxxis Aspen tires 2.25 (prefer 60 TPI) on my 29er (tubeless).

Any thoughts, suggestions and commentary will be greatly appreciated as this will be a new challenge. My goal is in the 10-11 hour range. I do not care about the 9 hour buckle goal.

Thank you all in advance!!



I’d advise to reconsider the 60TPI Apsens.
The 120TPI version tested to be quite slow: Maxxis Aspen EXO TR Rolling Resistance Review
I’ve never seen any rolling resistance data to say Maxxis are capable of producing a fast rolling tyre. The 170TPI ‘pro only’ version is reportedly a fast tyre, but being pro only is hard to verify and not very useful for a consumer.

On a long course that is generally not that technical i’d be looking for a tyre that is known to be fast (at least on the rear), it could save you as much as 10W which is quite a difference.

As for training, a target time of 10hrs makes it a long event.
Your priority should be getting in as much volume of z2 riding as you can.
On the trainer long tempo/sweetspot sessions can help prepare the muscular endurance for the climbs. Sessions like The Cobbler, Thin Air, Islagiatt and some of the ‘on location’ rides fit nicely here.

Semi regular Full Frontal tests (every 8-12 weeks) will tell you how you are progressing and highlight if any changes in direction are required (for example if MAP is a limiter then a short MAP block to raise the ceiling may make sense).

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Andy, took a look at the conti, race kings w/protection. The reviews on them seem solid any thoughts?

Very well respected tyre.
Reviews well, and i believe was also selected by the Swiss XC team after their own rolling resistance testing.
If I was going to race Leadville Race King Protection would most likely be my choice of rear tyre.

Andy, looking at the Pirelli Scorpion Trail M 2.4 for the front, thoughts?