Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to the Pod!  Our feed is available on all major podcast platforms and is supported by a small number of advertisers and directly by people like you.   If you've made it this far, please consider subscribing to the podcast and if you like what I'm doing, please consider supporting financially via the link below. 

Support the Podcast: Buy Me a Coffee

Jun 19, 2024

In this episode, Craig Dalton and Justin Bowes reflect on the lead-up to the Unbound Gravel 200 race, sharing insights into the unique training approach adopted to prepare for the challenging event. They discuss the strategic training block, the importance of quality over quantity, utilizing power meters for training effectiveness, and the significance of recovery in a compressed time frame. The conversation dives into the pivotal four-day mini camp, highlighting the benefits of stacking workload and the nuances of balancing intervals and endurance rides. 

Support the Podcast

Join The Ridership 

Key themes include strategically structuring training around time constraints, leveraging prior endurance experience, the impact of power meter training, optimizing recovery for peak performance, and the mental challenges faced leading up to a formidable gravel race like Unbound.

Key Takeaways:

  • Strategic training plans can be tailored effectively to accommodate time constraints and previous endurance experience.

  • Balancing interval workouts with endurance rides is crucial for building strength and endurance for challenging events.

  • Utilizing power meters can provide valuable insights into training progress and help optimize performance.

  • Adequate recovery periods are essential for the body to absorb training load effectively, leading to improved performance.

  • Mental preparation and breaking down the race into manageable segments can help athletes.


[00:00:00] - (): Craig Dalton: Justin, welcome back to the show,

[00:00:02] - (): Justin Bowes: Craig. Thank you for having me. It's good to see you again.

[00:00:05] - (): Craig Dalton: Post Unbound. We did it.

[00:00:07] - (): Justin Bowes: That's right. You did it. Yeah, you did it a big way.

[00:00:12] - (): Craig Dalton: I appreciate you coming on board and being my muse to help me tell my story. I feel like you were an integral part of my life for a while this year.

**** - (): In our last episode, we talked about kind of what the run up to my non cycling related vacation looked like. And maybe we pick up the story post that vacation.

[00:00:33] - (): Justin Bowes: Sure. Yeah, it was, we discussed on the, on the first pod that, we, we were having a little bit uncharacteristic buildup, um, not only because you had some, prior work, obligations with, as far as travel, but we were starting quite late, um, as well.

**** - (): So we had to, be a little creative in how we wanted to, to approach your training. So, right when you were, uh, leaving, we had really built up your training load, um, because obviously we knew that you were going to be leaving and you're gonna have time off the bike. You weren't gonna be.

**** - (): Completely immobile. I mean, you were, we're going to be able to, do some running and walking and some lifting and, and, um, a few stationary bike sessions in there and things like that, but it's not the most ideal unbound training, especially when you're training for the 200 and. We're only a couple months into it or, a couple of months out from it, I should say.

**** - (): And so, uh, the thought behind, how I wanted to structure your training was to take advantage of the, the, the amount of time that you did not have to train. And so where a traditional buildup would have multiple big ride days on the weekends, um, not only that, but then also, during the week, You would have your meat and potato interval session, but also bookend it with some big endurance rides on the front and the back end of it, but you just didn't have that available to you.

**** - (): So, um, I needed to make sure that we were going to take advantage of not only the lack of time that you had available to you, but also you're, you're no stranger to endurance, um, athletics. So you had a background that I could work with. And that makes all the difference. If you were just coming to me off the street and say, Hey, can you get me ready?

**** - (): And less than four months, for a 200 mile gravel race, the hardest 200 mile gravel race in the world. It would, that would be a different story, but thankfully you, you had some background in endurance, so it wasn't. A foreign concept to your body.

[00:02:48] - (): Craig Dalton: It was interesting in my training block leading up to Cuba because we really didn't do a lot of meaningfully long rides, but I also understood like, I'd never really done meaningful intervals before.

**** - (): And clearly like the workouts you were prescribing to me that were one hour in duration. Pretty tired afterwards. Like I felt like I really gassed myself because now that we're looking at a power meter and we're really saying it's not like perceived level of exertion. It's like, here's the exertion you need to achieve.

**** - (): Um, and it was really, I mean, frankly, it was like, I was burying myself on a lot of those workouts, which was very different than anything I'd been done doing in the, the decade before, to be honest.

[00:03:32] - (): Justin Bowes: Right. Right. And I mean, it's, it's the old adage, quality over quantity. And again, I, I keep coming back to, the time crunch.

**** - (): I mean, that's what we were up against. And so I really wanted to make sure that, the lead up to your trip to Cuba, but then also once you get back, we added enough low to you. to your training so that, um, the break was needed. And so your body would be able to absorb all of that load while you're gone because, yes, you would still be active, but you weren't training.

**** - (): And so it allowed your body to recover from all that. And by the way, Um, Craig did an amazing job, um, of hitting all of his workouts. Like, I want to say there's less than a handful that were just kind of like, didn't nail them perfectly, but it wasn't for the lack of trying by any means. Um, and so, um, with that, and you brought up the point too, it's just like, you've never trained with power before, and so there was just, that was just another element to the training that we had to kind Yeah. implement. It wasn't like, Oh yeah, I've been training for years with power. So I know what my zones are and why and all of that. So kind of helping coach you through, the use of the power meters and, and the importance of that.

**** - (): I think it gave us a really good detailed picture of where the training was going and you could see. Yeah. and ultimately feel, yourself getting stronger, after each week, things just got better and better and better. So once you got back into the country, then it was time to start, we'll continue on the interval workouts, but we're going to start introducing, the longer sessions as well.

[00:05:21] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, yeah. And I remember like I definitely felt tired when I left for that week off, um, and unfortunately not incredibly refreshed after my quote unquote vacation, because there's a lot of running around with the family, but coming back and looking at the training calendar, we had a couple of things up in the air, but we knew like that next six weeks was going to be a big build of long rides, endurance rides, and continuing on some of the interval work.

[00:05:47] - (): Justin Bowes: Right, right. And so, had, had things been different as far as scheduling of the trip and things like that, we may have flipped the script a little bit and did all of your big rides be, on the front end, and then do all the more structured training, the higher, shorter, sharper stuff on the back end.

**** - (): But I just felt like with your background and what we wanted to accomplish with Unbound, um, it was better for us to, to stack those. shorter, sharper workouts on the front end and then give yourself time to relax or, absorb. And then once you came back and we figured out, some pieces as far as like, Hey, when can we get out and do back to back big rides?

**** - (): And I want to talk about that too, because I think it was really important, um, in the buildup, um, for the race, um, those, those four days of just, some really good rides, but it, it, it, It was working and from my standpoint, I could see, the fatigue building, but your recovery was also taking, it was, it was working as well, and so it was like, we'd stack the work on you.

**** - (): But then the recovery days were structured so that, those. again, your body absorbs that work. And the cool thing with watching you is he can, you, Craig, he can handle a lot of work, so I'd be looking at your workouts, every day. And I'm like, he's, he's doing this, like he's actually absorbing all this workload.

**** - (): And that's where it was really starting to fuel my confidence. And what you were going to be able to, um, accomplish at Unbound was, not only is he nailing all these workouts, but he's also recovering on the backside of it too. And that was just, again, it was fueling my confidence for you to egg you on to say, Craig, you can do this.

**** - (): Like we're in a really good position. And I didn't want to get down into all the weeds with you as far as like what I was seeing, right? Right. Because ultimately it's just like, I just want Craig, you to understand you can do this. So it was really cool from my standpoint to see.

[00:08:03] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. It's interesting. As you talk about, like, if, if we had given more time that you might've done the longer rides earlier and then that kind of high performance stuff later, right.

**** - (): I kind of feel like I might've struggled with confidence With that approach, even though like, obviously I would've had massive workouts six weeks back.

[00:08:24] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah, yeah. . But I

[00:08:25] - (): Craig Dalton: kind of, I kind of like the, the idea that we were progressively testing me Yes. On these harder and harder weekends towards the end.

**** - (): Right?

[00:08:34] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. And I, and definitely by design , but at the same time it, it, it worked out, I think, better than I even. had hoped for because, again, in theory and on paper, I'm looking at what I want you to do, but ultimately it's what can your body and, now that we're getting deeper into it, what can your mind and your body do?

**** - (): Handle. And so that's where, that's where, the coaching science and the coaching art kind of, blur the lines together of like, okay, this is what I expect him to be able to do, but this is what I'm seeing him, doing. And it's just, it's a really cool kind of blend of, the science and the art coming together.

**** - (): And again, it just stokes my confidence. And hopefully that comes across in my communication with you is like, I'm really excited. I can see this happening. And this is why I believe that you're going to be able to, perform this, um, crazy, crazy event. So

[00:09:39] - (): Craig Dalton: yeah, I think what was good for both of us was knowing that, and I'd said to you early on, knowing that I kind of put myself and you behind the eight ball starting late.

**** - (): Yes. But that, I had this, I could make a four day. Kind of mini camp whenever we needed it in May as like this option to really kind of do some big volume.

[00:10:01] - (): Justin Bowes: Right, right. And that was, that kind of gave me, that was kind of one of those moments of like, okay, good, at least. We, we, we've got it to where, it's in our back pocket.

**** - (): I've got that card to play. Um, it's going to lend itself really well. And, fortunately it was, you were really flexible on, when that could actually happen. And that, that definitely makes a, a big impact because, within the month of an event like, the 200.

**** - (): Like, we can't miss days. We can't, there's like no makeup days or anything. And each day is just that much more important for the next and the next and the next, and. Um, yeah, having you be able to go out and just knock out these four days of, big rides and, when we were talking about how we were going to do that, when a lot of, I don't want to say a lot, when, when most people have that kind of that opening of like, Hey, I'm going to do a, a mini camp, whether it's a long, four day weekend or in the middle of the week, however it works out, they're so excited to go and put in the big miles, they're, they've got free time.

**** - (): They've got the, the hall pass to go and just train. That's awesome. That's great. But the biggest mistake made by most people that do that is. They go out and do a seven or eight hour ride, on day one, and they're not used to that. And on day two, day three, they're just like, yeah, two hours here, three hours there, whatever.

**** - (): And if that, because they just completely blew themselves to the moon on day one and weren't ready for that. And so, so I prescribed to you that we'll just stair step ourself into the, into that block so that. We get the most bang for our buck out of that, that mini block of training. And. It worked.

**** - (): It worked well.

[00:12:03] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, I think that was definitely a critical weekend for me. I think I rode four hours kind of mixed terrain with a buddy of mine on Thursday, four, maybe five hours on Friday and then eight and a half or nine on Saturday and followed up by two or three on Sunday.

[00:12:21] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah, that was, again, it was, it was a big, um, big chunk of time in the saddle.

**** - (): Um, and it was a big, um, bite on your end. I mean, to take, to, to put in that much time, but again, it just, it, it just speaks to the training that we did leading into it helped. your body absorb those big days. And once you, once you came out of that, to me, like I didn't want to, I didn't want to like pile on just like the raw, raw cheerleader, like, Oh my God, he's going to do this sort of thing.

**** - (): I, I was, I was, I internally, like on this side of the screen, I was like, hell yeah. Like this is, this is going to work. Like he, he's going to He's going to do okay at this.

[00:13:12] - (): Craig Dalton: I think I got a hell yeah. In the comments and training peaks,

[00:13:15] - (): Justin Bowes: you probably did. Yeah,

[00:13:17] - (): Craig Dalton: that's sad. I think that for me, that Saturday ride was the one that I reflected on, on game day, because it was 10, 000 feet plus of climbing in.

**** - (): Very, very challenging terrain. Like in fact, like I forgot, cause I don't go so far north as much like coming across pine mountain and up San Geronimo Ridge, things that the locals around here might understand, like it was just super rocky and this was like six, seven hours into the day that I hit just these trails that I just forgot how steep they are and how rocky they are.

**** - (): So when I came home from that. And was able to get on the bike the next day. I was like, okay, like it was only 77 miles and I'm doing a 200 mile race, but I did the elevation and I can guarantee some of those miles were a lot harder to come by than what I'd experienced in Kansas.

[00:14:13] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. Um, I mean, just quickly for the listeners, just kind of given, give them some numbers behind the, uh, that particular ride.

**** - (): I'll, I'll preface this by saying, even the professionals in the 200, they're not going to be able to go out and mimic. an exact 200 mile, day. And so it's just, it's just, that's a big day for anybody. And so if you can get in, for you, we're, we're targeting, like, we had the kind of the, um, beat the sun, uh, goal.

**** - (): Hey, I'd like to get in, under 15 hours, just a couple, just high level. This is kind of what I want to do. So when you were able to clock in at over eight and a half hours in the saddle with, over 10, 000 feet of climbing. And coming in with a TSS of over 400 in under 80 miles, that's a big day.

**** - (): And you're right. It's it's it, of course it's not, a hundred miles or even 125 miles or anything like that. Like, most people will, who do the 200 who have serious training behind them. They're going to be pushing that 150 mile, training day on one of, on their last big.

**** - (): Uh, training block, but you being able to get out there and produce the power that you did, the load that you were able to accumulate and the efficiency. I should note, the efficiency factor that you were able to, um, uh, complete this ride in again, it was just like, it's just pure gold in the bank, like, not even cash, like gold, like, it's solid, it's, it's, it's tangible, like, he's going to be able to reflect on this ride when things maybe get a little dark in Kansas and be able to say, I, Look what I did.

**** - (): Like, I can do that. And so when you have a ride like that, Craig, it's, it's, it's really good. Um, and it's, it's hard to quantify from a coaching perspective to an athlete until they actually do it of like what that truly means, um, to the end goal.

**** - (): Yeah, yeah, I think it's so important

[00:16:24] - (): Craig Dalton: to have those just tough tough days to reflect back on and put in the bank and I feel like when I, when I got to Kansas, I had sort of maybe a 90 percent confidence interval on my ability to complete the event. I knew, as you said before, I knew that I had Done everything that was asked of me pretty put a pretty solid effort in, but there was always that little bit in my mind saying, like, I've never ridden in Kansas.

**** - (): I don't know what the terrain's like, and I've certainly never ridden more than 130 miles. Right?

[00:17:00] - (): Justin Bowes: Right. And that brings up an interesting, question that I don't know. I've, I don't think I've posed to you since to to unbound, but like, mentally. That week leading into it, where was your head at? Like you, you've touched on like, Hey, I've never ridden in Kansas.

**** - (): I've never ridden the 200 miles, kind of speak to, mentally where, where you were at leading into the race that like that week of.

[00:17:27] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. I think it was a little bit all over the place. Like I started seeing footage of the actual terrain and I started actually, let me step back for a second.

**** - (): They talked about the North course being chunky. And when I think about chunky, I think about where I ride at home, but I realized in retrospect, it's chunky at home, but 15 percent grades

[00:17:50] - (): Justin Bowes: and

[00:17:50] - (): Craig Dalton: Kansas chunky is chunky, but 6 percent grade, so it felt a lot different. Um, so that's a point on the chunkiness.

**** - (): And then second, I started to see some of the more, um, minimum a maintenance roads and they had these great dual tracks that. We're pretty hard pack. Yeah. And I was, I was definitely conscious that conditions could change and good God, if you were in the Facebook group, the, the amount of meteorologists that came out of the woodwork was pretty insane that week leading in, but there's definitely some rain on the calendar.

**** - (): Right. Yeah.

[00:18:23] - (): Justin Bowes: No, I just felt like I may have oversold, um, the northbound course as being as chunky and technical, um, but I think, I'd rather you go in. With a higher level of like, Oh, okay.

**** - (): This could be pretty rough. Um, as opposed to, Oh yeah, the North course is fine. Yeah, it gets chunky in sections, overall it's fine. But then you get there and you're like, Whoa, I was, you did not warn me about this. You did not, my expectation was down here. And now it's like, what is happening?

**** - (): I

[00:18:55] - (): Craig Dalton: think what it left you with, Justin was just an awareness of. This could go wrong for my equipment if I'm not careful. And I'll get into a little bit once we start talking about the ride itself, like how I rode the race.

[00:19:10] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. Um,

[00:19:11] - (): Craig Dalton: but once I got to, I, I got out to Kansas on Wednesday night, got to Emporia on Thursday, did my first group shakeout ride for 15 miles on Thursday, actually in the rain.

**** - (): Um, Start, it was nice to just get the bike on the dirt out there and start to get a sense for it. You start to understand, in any grid shaped race or race course, the 90 degree corners are what you have to be aware of because Right, while you may have good dual tracks when you're coming around a corner, it, it can be very much marbley, kind of gravel in the middle.

**** - (): So it was good to sort of just. Test the cornering a little bit, so to speak.

[00:19:53] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah, it's, yeah, a lot of gravel races. You just have that natural, flow of the course and, and everything, but yeah, out in Emporia, it truly is. a hard right, a hard left, and, and, if you get out of that line, um, or, you, you find yourself, drifting out of that corner or out of the race line and into the, the, the sides of the course.

**** - (): Yeah. It can get, it can get pretty chunky and it's, and not only that or loose too, but not only that is just the amount of. Shrapnel being thrown up at you, with that, that many cyclists, on a course, um, yeah, it's, it's tough.

[00:20:40] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, exactly. So then Friday I hooked up with the, my, my crew in the house.

**** - (): I was staying with shout out to Doug Bucko and Phil. Uh, we did a little ride in the town we were staying in and then I went into the, um, the meat, mandatory media event. Yeah. That lifetime was holding, and it was interesting because I did glean some perspective there as well, because they talked about how they felt like the first 28 miles of this race was going to be incredibly fast and actually that turned out to be a useful tidbit.

**** - (): Um, After the race started, so we can talk about that in a little bit, but I sort of, I did a little ride on Friday, felt good. The equipment felt dialed in retrospect. I sort of had tire size envy a little bit because it was weird because I normally ride like a 47 at home. And, um, we talked about this early on.

**** - (): You're a big fan of the IRC Boken and the biggest they come in is a 42. And I was like, well, I'm riding my titanium unicorn. I've got a front suspension fork. Like I don't need all that volume. And it, it seemed interesting to me to kind of go to something a little bit faster rolling potentially. But the big tire guy in me, when all the pros were talking about running 50 started to get a little bit jealous.

[00:21:55] - (): Justin Bowes: Right. Yeah, it's, it's, it's so personal. Like, um, yeah, I can give you my recommendations and, what I've seen work, for myself and other athletes and competitors and things like that, but it's, it's, yeah, it really comes down to your comfort level of, You know what you, what you, what you can ride and what feels good underneath you and, and things like that.

**** - (): And I, yeah, I'm, I'm all about my IRC tires, but at the same time, yeah, I couldn't help but be a little like,

[00:22:28] - (): Craig Dalton: Hmm,

[00:22:28] - (): Justin Bowes: 50 would be pretty nice, and I did

[00:22:30] - (): Craig Dalton: talk to the IRC guys and they said, Hey, the guys are from Japan are here. Yeah. And I'm making them listen to all these pros who are talking about fifties.

[00:22:39] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah.

[00:22:42] - (): Craig Dalton: So I feel like, like Thursday, Friday was all going swimmingly. And then through like being part of a larger group, my dinner on Friday night, we didn't end up sitting down to like maybe seven 30 or eight. Yeah, which is later than we had all intended by a few hours, right? I had been drinking a bunch of electrolyte stuff that I had picked up in the the expo area and For whatever reason and I don't really think I wasn't really in my head about the race because I was very kind of just at peace with Where I was at and what was going to unfold was going to unfold Friday night.

**** - (): I had a horrible night's sleep. I had a headache. I just kind of couldn't go down, which definitely rattled me, getting up at 4 30 AM to start eating on Saturday morning.

[00:23:30] - (): Justin Bowes: Right, right. Yeah. It's, it's tough. Um, yeah, it's, especially when you're with a group of people at a big race like that and, Emporia, I mean, they do an amazing job trying to absorb.

**** - (): Influx of what, uh, 12, 000 plus people with support staff and racers. And, but yeah, with dining options being as limited as they are, um, and then trying to, get a group to dinner or prepare dinner, whatever that case may be. Yeah. It's, it's, it's tough. And. I'm, I'm of the belief, I've always had this, in the school of thought of, it's not the night before, it's two nights before, um, as far as like your most important rest, um, and, recovery time and things like that, because even if, Craig, even if everything went perfect on Friday night, The enormity of what you're about to do on Saturday morning will keep you from having a restful night's sleep, it's just, yeah, maybe, maybe you fell asleep a little bit quicker, but, just knowing that, oh, my gosh, I got to get up at 430.

**** - (): I've got to have, double check this triple check that. I've got to start eating like immediately. I got to, make sure, everything's functioning. And so it's even with the best laid plans, it's always going to be, um, um, a rough night. So, but, again, objectively looking at it.

**** - (): And I think I shared with you on our call the other day was, if somebody just tossed this file in front of me. Um, and just said, Hey, tell me what you think, without any context or knowing who it was or anything like that. It's like, this guy had a great race and it was indicative of, um, again, I think just your confidence of, being prepared and knowing it is what it is at this point and yeah, you, strapped in and got to work.

**** - (): So.

[00:25:31] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, yeah, I think, I mean, I felt great about my equipment going in. I spent way more time thinking about hydration and nutrition than I ever had before, and I was, I was really jazzed with the way the First Endurance EPO Pro High Carb Drink worked for me. So to give some perspective, I used two 12 ounce bottles of the high carb drink, and then I had a use way backpack with water in it.

**** - (): And my plan was at every opportunity to refill those bottles. I would refill with the. The first endurance high carb mix that kind of annoyed maybe my, my compatriots a little bit. Cause I was like, Oh, I got to dump this powder in. And by the way, for any product designers out there, I need a product that will encapsulate a serving of first endurance.

**** - (): That's better than a plastic bag and faster to pour into

[00:26:24] - (): Justin Bowes: a bottle.

**** - (): So you felt like

**** - (): the,

**** - (): the first endurance high carb. That was. That was good for you.

[00:26:31] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. So I was using that, uh, trying to goal was to drink a bottle an hour and do Right. A goo or something in addition to it. So Right. Aiming around, I think 85 to 90 carbs an hour. Mm-Hmm. . And I had, I had trained on that on every one of my long rides.

**** - (): Exactly.

[00:26:48] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. And some people will say, well that's on the low side now, but, um, and, and it. It is, but at the same time, if that's what you're training with and that's what your body's used to, and again, being able to get through all the training sessions the way you did, why, why change that, and, and try to like go all pro and be like, I'm getting 120, 130 grams, of carbs per hour.

**** - (): And then all of a sudden, you're two hours in and your body's like, I. Don't know what this means, and just let's just shut down on you. Um, you were, you were talking about, um, you touched on it really quick on, um, your bike and everything. Talk a little bit more about like the equipment that you did, end up using, for the race.

[00:27:33] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. So I was using, it's basically my standard setup at home with the exception of, I was running 700 by 42 tires as IRC Bokens. Uh, as we mentioned before, I did have the RockShox suspension fork on there as well as a dropper post. I considered taking the dropper post off, um, because I didn't think it was going to be warranted, but I'm glad I did not.

**** - (): I'm glad I left it on.

[00:27:58] - (): Justin Bowes: Interesting.

[00:27:58] - (): Craig Dalton: Okay. Part of that rationale was nothing new on game day philosophy. Um, but I, I can go on and on and on about dropper posts and in the context of unbound. It certainly enabled a heightened level of comfort during any of the technical sections. So little Egypt and right.

**** - (): Call reservation. And then oddly, like on the more, on the longer kind of just gentler downhills, it just allowed me to really get in sort of a chilled out yet arrow position.

[00:28:33] - (): Justin Bowes: Okay.

[00:28:34] - (): Craig Dalton: So it, it, it turned out really well. And. Obviously there's like a slight weight penalty, uh, with it, but it just provides me so much comfort when I go downhill and so much confidence that, I was like, I'm just going to leave it on.

**** - (): And I'm totally glad I did.

[00:28:51] - (): Justin Bowes: Nice. No, I, I don't think we talk much about droppers when it comes to, to unbound. I don't think that's like any, in any of the, like the hot topics it's, it's, it's all tires and and now that they've banned, arrow bars, from the pros and stuff. I mean, it's just like all the focuses, your, your number.

**** - (): Uh, holder now, so you can keep it flat and arrow and all of that. Um, and then your tires and, and wheel choice. Um, but yeah, dropper, like I think it makes a lot of sense, especially, just from a positioning standpoint. of just giving you your body a different position for that long of a period, because if you think about how being in a static cycling position for, 13, 14, 15 hours, being able to mix it up and know that you can, like you said, just have a little confidence boost and just like a different position for those descents.

**** - (): Taking some pressure off your lower back, off your hamstrings, the glutes, all of that. I mean, the little things like that really do add up, especially over that course of, that type of distance.

[00:30:01] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I do feel like at this moment I should, I should make one admission to my, my training progress.

**** - (): I will say like the one area, Justin, where I felt like I failed down and fell down when fortunately it didn't bite me in the ass is while I did do a ton of foam rolling, I wasn't as committed as I should have been to my foundation back exercises. Truth comes

[00:30:27] - (): Justin Bowes: out. Um, it's funny because I, like I doubled down on my foundation, uh, back exercises, the, the month leading into unbound, um, I've, I've always had a really strong back, um, partly from, swim background and everything.

**** - (): But, um, as we've gotten older, um, things are just a little bit, they make themselves a little bit more aware and a day like, unbound granted, I did the hundred, not the 200. Um, it's still, It adds up. And so I was just like, I'm doubling down on my, my foundation work. So instead of, a minimum of twice a week, I was doing it four plus times a week.

**** - (): And, um, I, I, I definitely felt a difference. Um, Just finishing and standing in the finish corral with everybody. And it was like, wow, I can actually like stand straight up, normally, normally you have that pre or post race kind of like slouch and slump and you're like, and have to like come back up to, um, vertical, uh, slowly.

**** - (): Um, but yeah, big time. So interesting that you mentioned that. Um,

[00:31:42] - (): Craig Dalton: So yeah, a hundred percent. It was not a recommendation to not do those things to anybody listening to what

[00:31:46] - (): Justin Bowes: Craig did on.

[00:31:47] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, exactly. So talking about race day, I mean, so, we got, it was surprised, like it was very hassle free to kind of get to the start line.

**** - (): Yeah. Probably got there maybe a few minutes later than probably could have gotten further up in the Peloton if you, if you will.

[00:32:03] - (): Justin Bowes: Okay.

[00:32:04] - (): Craig Dalton: If I got there a few minutes early, but we were there maybe 20 minutes early and we got right to the basically to the 14 hour flag, which is where we decided we were going to start.

**** - (): Cause it was important to me. I know from, from past experience, it's important for me to kind of get swept up and make miles when miles are easy. And so I was pretty adamant with the career that I was with that, like, for me, this was like an imperative. Like I, I definitely wanted to start there and ride in a big pack for a while.

[00:32:35] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. And, we, we, we did touch on this, um, a little bit that, while you, you definitely need to be with your people, and be with those people that are going to, you. get you through those first, couple hours. Um, but be cautious of not getting swept up in the moment, of, of what Unbound is.

**** - (): And for, for anybody who's never been to Emporia on race day, um, I mean, it's a, it's a big deal and you, it's very easy to get caught up, even the days leading into the race of, Oh, we can go do another shakeout, right. Or let's spend five hours at the expo on our feet, because we're having so much fun and we're talking with everybody and things like that with, without much thought of like, Oh, by the way, the biggest race of your life is, two days away and you need to like, Chill and relax, but, um, I, I totally agree.

**** - (): Like, you, when. You have to take advantage of those easy miles. Um, with, with, with the caveat that, Hey, I don't want to get swept up and do too much too soon. But I also want to, as you say, make, make hay while the sun is shining. Right. Um, and, and put it away. So when things start to turn south a little bit, no pun intended, um, it's.

**** - (): It's you're further up and you're further along and you're feeling better than, had you been too conservative and held back.

[00:34:07] - (): Craig Dalton: And maybe, I mean, maybe because we couldn't get farther up, it was actually kind of a, the pace felt very pedestrian. The first 28 miles to me, like, I never, I never had to really, put in any meaningful effort to cruise.

**** - (): And I, I was watching some videos this last weekend about it. And a guy who had done it in 12 hours. And I saw the difference of what the 12 hour pace looked like in the 14 hour. And I was like, maybe if I'm like totally nitpicking my day out there, maybe I should have been up a little bit further, but there's something to be said for like, I definitely had a chill first 28 miles.

**** - (): And then. We hit, we hit the first technical section and it was interesting. I was definitely conscious of my equipment because I had weirdly, like I'd seen flats like barely out of town.

[00:34:59] - (): Justin Bowes: I was like,

[00:35:00] - (): Craig Dalton: God, I don't, I don't want to have a flat, there, people are flatting all over the place.

**** - (): We would hit these, the, uh, the technical descents and you'd sort of, You have to ride in one of the dual tracks. We're kind of the safest way there. And there was a little rocky kind of drop offs. Nothing too technical if you had a clean look at it, but as you were riding in a group, sometimes you're inevitably forced into a line that you wouldn't have opted into.

**** - (): I think that's where you risk, flatting or crashing.

[00:35:28] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. And I think that's where most people get in to the big trouble is, they try to, they try to switch those lanes. When they really shouldn't. Um, and that's, a couple of things, a lot of those dual track MMRs, we'll have like a, a big grass section down the center of it.

**** - (): Yeah. And the grass looks inviting, but it hides a lot of stuff in there, whether it's, a rut or a. Bigger, nastier rock that's been kicked out of the track into, it's just laying there. And so that's where I think people really make the mistake of like, Oh, this line's going faster on the left.

**** - (): So I'm going to hop from the right side to the left side or vice versa. And that's where the cuts happen. And the, even crashes just because they hit something that they weren't expecting and things like that.

[00:36:18] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, that 100 percent started to be a necessity to do those cross lane jumps for me.

**** - (): Like, as we came out of the other side of the, the first technical section, like, you would just see one group moving up and another. Kind of fading back on a climb. And I was definitely conscious of that middle section. Like this is when it could go all wrong, you feel the need to kind of keep joining groups with forward momentum.

**** - (): And yes, I was very pleased that, um, my, my buddy Doug, Was right there with me. I had kind of no sense because I was just sort of focused on saying, with that group in the first 28 miles. And when we came through the technical section, it was great to see his enthusiastic face pull through. And I was like, this is awesome.

**** - (): Like, cause I, we hadn't written together, but once or twice. So it was great to see that. We could potentially spend a bunch of time together. So from mile 30 to mile a hundred, we were riding together and riding with groups. Um, it's interesting and unbound cause the amateurs can use arrow bars.

**** - (): So you would see these guys and girls who would kind of maybe go slower on the hills, but once you got on the downhill or a flat, they were happy to have a train of people behind them. And I was, I'm not ashamed to say I was taking advantage of that as much as possible.

[00:37:35] - (): Justin Bowes: Heck yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No. Real quick, before I forget, um, I think on the first pod that we did, um, you were asking me about the climbs.

**** - (): Um, and, cause I had given you some description of like, punchy, um, death by a thousand cut because of just the, how many there were, succession and things like that now that you've done it, like what, what was your overall, um, Observation as far as like the climbing was concerned.

[00:38:07] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. I mean, everything's so short relative to what I'm used to. And I knew that was going to be the case going in, but on the plus side, you can always, you can generally always see the top of them. So you kind of knew, and you could measure your, you could gauge your efforts. When I, I think about sort of towards mile a hundred, it started, we started to get to some that required a little bit more effort.

**** - (): And actually this was, One of the, probably the darkest mental moment I had was I kind of, I lost Doug's wheel. He caught some good wheels. I was behind someone, uh, who was not moving as efficiently and we kind of separated. And I, I thought to myself, I don't feel like I want to make this effort over the top of the hill to bridge this gap.

**** - (): But I was also staring down the barrel of like the one guy I know in this race is now riding away from me. Right. Um, there's a little bit of a dark moment there, but to your question about the hills, like, I was comforted that I could always see the top. I knew they were quite short relative to what I'm used to riding, and it was really a matter of, for me, there was maybe, I think, three times.

**** - (): I ended up getting off on the last 25 percent of a climb or last 15%. Okay. Because I gauged that I could do it, but I felt like I was going to go into the red too much. And it felt prudent to just hop off real quick and walk.

[00:39:32] - (): Justin Bowes: And that was, that was pretty late on though, right?

[00:39:35] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:36] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. It wasn't like mile 30 and you're like, okay, I'm going to start saving.

**** - (): Yeah.

[00:39:41] - (): Craig Dalton: Not at

[00:39:41] - (): Justin Bowes: all. Not

[00:39:42] - (): Craig Dalton: at

[00:39:42] - (): Justin Bowes: all. Yeah.

[00:39:43] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. So it was interesting. I was, I, there was a lot of mental gymnastics between mile 100 and one 48, which was the, the second checkpoint for us. Cause I had lost Doug. Um, it was starting to get hot. It was just. I talked to a few people and you probably mentioned the same thing to me.

**** - (): Like you can't think of the totality of the 200 miles you have to do. You really just need to break it down into chunks. Yep. Right. So I started really thinking about, um, our crew chief, Phil, who was a godsend out there. He had such great. Support for us at the aid station. We had an easy up. He had everything imaginable.

**** - (): I knew he had bottles on ice for me. So I jokingly referred to miles 100 to 1 48 as project Phil.

[00:40:30] - (): Justin Bowes: Okay.

[00:40:31] - (): Craig Dalton: And. Everything I did either was a positive effect towards Project Phil or a negative effect. So if I was, if I found a good wheel or I was riding well, I was like, okay, we're making progress, we're going to get to Phil.

**** - (): And if I, fell off the pace or something, I was like, this is a serious blow to Project Phil. And I, it's funny. I started sort of naming a few of the characters that I would ride behind and, There is a guy, a guy I was calling the orange crush because he had an orange jersey.

[00:40:59] - (): Justin Bowes: Okay.

[00:41:00] - (): Craig Dalton: And every, he was like one of those arrow bar guys.

**** - (): Right, right. Which was quite helpful. And then, at one point, um, at one point I got a really nice, um, Uh, I've started following a guy with a, with a beat the sun patch on his hip pack.

[00:41:16] - (): Justin Bowes: Okay.

[00:41:17] - (): Craig Dalton: And I was like, that's a good sign, actually. Like if this guy is, has clearly beat the sun in the past, this is probably a good sign.

**** - (): So, got into a rhythm that mile 110. Or 112 water stop I'd forgotten about. And that was absolutely a godsend because, um, I need it. I just needed some relief and the volunteers there and everywhere were just phenomenal. So they poured a bunch of water over my head and just kind of cooled me down and filled me up and set me on my way.

**** - (): And so I got to mile one 48 and my buddy Doug was sitting in the chair. With Phil and I was like, this is great. Like, I wasn't expecting to catch Doug again. Right. So it was, that was a nice sort of mental jump. And, he, he had run outta water, so he wasn't feeling that great, but he's like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna head, he'd been there a little bit, I don't know how long, but Phil had taken care of him, got his bike all tuned up, and um, he's like, I'm gonna head out, but I suspect you'll catch me.

**** - (): And in my head, I didn't know whether that would be the case, but yeah, I ended up heading out of town and catching up with Doug, um, which was great to just know that I had someone to ride with. And he rebounded quite well for that last, um, the last 50 miles of the race. So we were very simpatico.

[00:42:37] - (): Justin Bowes: Nice. Did, um, I didn't, I didn't ask you this, but, um, just talking about the aid stations. Did you have, did you give yourself like any treats, like something to look forward to in the aid stations or did you just keep it strictly business? I had a vision

[00:42:51] - (): Craig Dalton: of a lot of treats. I asked, I asked, uh, Phil to get me some gummy bears.

**** - (): Okay. Unfortunately, all the gummy bears melted in the sun and he, he did have everything. Like we had like sandwiches, he got a pizza from Casey's and I, I just, I felt like my nutrition was working. And so I was kind of like, besides some, um, Lay's potato chips, it's like, I'm just going to stick with the program.

**** - (): I never rolled in feeling like super hungry or anything. So I was like, I'm doing something right. So why don't I just keep doing it?

[00:43:28] - (): Justin Bowes: No, that's great. Yeah. I know, from other athletes that I've coached for the 200, they always, we'll have. I mean, yeah, the Casey's pizza is clutch. Like I think everybody knows, like if you're coming to the Midwest, um, you got to get a Casey's pizza in your aid station, um, or, a cheeseburger or, potato chips seem to be like, high on the list as well.

**** - (): Yeah. That's, that tends to, uh, be a really fit, good favorite, just because, I mean, it's like the salt you want, the starch and the carbs and all of that goes down really easy. And then usually like a Mexican Coke to, to, to wash it down with. So how were your, um, timing wise, how long did you stop?

[00:44:12] - (): Craig Dalton: Very little amount of time. I think my, my ride time was just under 13 hours, 30 and my total elapsed time was 14.

[00:44:22] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. So two, two dedicated aid stations and two water. Yeah. And I stopped

[00:44:28] - (): Craig Dalton: at both, I stopped at both aid stations. I honestly think at mile one 12 at that neutral aid station, when they were pouring water on me, that might've been longer than my checkpoint to stop

[00:44:40] - (): Justin Bowes: looking at your file.

**** - (): I think you're right. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:44:44] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. So, yeah, it was a bit crazy. Like, I just didn't, I, like, I know myself, like I know I just need to keep going. So I didn't, I sat down for a minute and, Phil was great. He was like there with lots of stuff, but I was like, let's just swap the bottles out. He put some ice down my back, he put my pack in the cooler, like, to get ice water on it.

**** - (): And, uh, after a few things, lubing up the chain, et cetera, making sure the bike was all right. Yeah. It just felt like it's time to go.

[00:45:12] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah, no, that's good. I, that's, definitely, um, a word of caution to, athletes, especially new to the 200 of like, unless you're in a bad state, in a bad way, uh, you want to minimize the amount of time you hang around in the aid station, just because your legs start to.

**** - (): revolt a little bit and they don't want to cooperate, and so the, the shorter time you can, uh, the quicker you can get in and get out, um, with giving yourself enough time to resupply and not forget anything is always going to be better than just, standing around for, 10 plus minutes, John, John with everybody and things like that.

**** - (): Cause if you don't need to, man, Yeah. A hundred percent. Get back after it. So.

[00:46:01] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. And I think, at that second aid station mile one 48, I think Doug was a lot more conscious of the idea that we could beat the sun than I was. I think the last, the last 50 miles had been a little bit mentally hard on me.

**** - (): I was not in a dark place by any means, but I'd kind of was like, this is what it is. Like I gotta, I'll pedal as far as I can pedal and as fast as I can pedal and it is what it is. But. He, he had never beat the sun before. And I think he saw it as a really great opportunity. And as we had talked about as my kind of, my number one goal was to finish.

**** - (): Second goal was to finish healthy. And third goal was to beat the sun. Right. It was great to know it was out there. And the funny thing was my, my Wahoo was, it had 54 climbs as the listed number of climbs. And I believe by aid station two, by checkpoint two, we've done 52 of 54 climbs.

[00:47:00] - (): Justin Bowes: Right, right. Yeah.

[00:47:02] - (): Craig Dalton: Which is pretty, it's pretty crazy. So we've done like, close to 10, 000 feet of climbing already. And I think they maybe have listed it as 11. Anyway, negligible amount of climbing over the next 50 miles. So I was like, well, that's, that, that feels good to know that most of it's behind me. And, and, and everybody had said this, like getting to checkpoint two Was really the hardest part, right?

**** - (): And you just need to ride back to Emporia.

[00:47:25] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah, exactly. I mean, there's always there's always going to be, a Joker station or, segment. Um, generally, it's like the Kohola, uh, Lake climb. Yeah. Um, and, For those who don't know, um, or didn't follow the weather or anything like that, we had pretty optimal conditions all day.

**** - (): I mean, we started, um, cloud cover, cool, nice, favorable breeze, um, all of that. And, for us in the 100, it wasn't until we really got closer to Kohola Lake, I mean, it was like. After the aid station, which, we shared, um, there in council groves, um, the, the clouds were starting to thin out and you could, you see a little bit more of a shadow underneath you and everything like that.

**** - (): Um, but it, you guys were in it a little longer, the heat, the sun and everything like that, but it still wasn't like in 2021 where it was just essentially a hairdryer. on your face, the entire day. Um, and so with the Kohola climb, that can always be a spoiler. Um, and I think I mentioned this to you on our call the other day.

**** - (): It was like a lot of people, as soon as they get over that climb, you're roughly, inside the last 25 miles basically to, to the finish and. Yeah, your climbing's essentially done too and people like, oh, this is great and just like get on the gas and in a 10 mile span They're completely shattered and on the side of the road because they just completely underestimated You know, whether it be the previous 70 miles or the previous, 180 that you just did are in your legs and Any extra efforts can really put a Put you in the box really quickly.

**** - (): And a lot of people's wheels fall off after that Cahola climb. Um, because they're like, Oh, we're done. Yeah. Yeah. But you're not done. You still got some mileage ahead of you. Yeah,

[00:49:27] - (): Craig Dalton: exactly. I think we were, we were looking over our right shoulders at the sun and looking at it kind of starting to go down and we're like, we do need to keep going pretty efficiently

[00:49:41] - (): Justin Bowes: to

[00:49:41] - (): Craig Dalton: make it.

**** - (): And, you go, you continue riding the dirt roads and then you go under the highway. And then you're at the university and you've got that final paved climb before the finish line. Yep. Um, and we're like, we've, we're like, we're going to do this. We're going to do this.

[00:49:57] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah.

[00:49:58] - (): Craig Dalton: And I think we ended up finishing like 15 minutes to spare before the sunset.

[00:50:03] - (): Justin Bowes: No, it's, it's, it's awesome. And I think, uh, to, to put it in context, um, this is the first year. That a lot of people were nervous about it because The start time had been pushed back, uh, to accommodate the new, uh, starting protocol with the, the pro men. Then 15 minutes later, the pro women, and then essentially a half an hour behind them, you all started.

**** - (): So I mean, taking away 30 minutes doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're up against the sun actually setting on you, it, it, it comes quickly. Like you said, I mean, you had 15 ish minutes to, in your pocket, um, that could have easily gone one way or the other, um, quickly. So, yeah,

[00:50:53] - (): Craig Dalton: yeah, you, you could, you could see to your point earlier about the aid stations, like you could have very easily burned 15 minutes sitting around on your ass, having a pizza,

[00:51:03] - (): Justin Bowes: totally.

**** - (): And I mean, and not 15 minutes at one, you could do, Seven here, eight there. And in, in the grand scheme of things in a 14 hour raise, what's seven minutes. Right. Well, add that up and all of a sudden you're, you're finishing in the dark.

[00:51:21] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. So a hundred percent. So, yeah, I mean, I haven't finished.

**** - (): Crossing the finish line was, was great. I mean, riding down commercial street with, um, with Doug was just fantastic. That's so cool. Have us, yeah, have us both meet our goals and the crowd were great. And we've got our names announced and, uh, Yeah. It just like, it wasn't lost on me the entirety of the experience.

**** - (): The town was wonderful. It's it's, it's obviously a grand spectacle of the gravel cycling community. Right. So I think coming down that I was, I was generally genuinely emotional, just felt very fulfilled with my day and effort to have it conclude before sunset and, come down that finishing line shoot.

**** - (): It just. It felt great.

[00:52:10] - (): Justin Bowes: Oh, I bet. I mean, I, I did share this with you, uh, the other day. Um, not only did I have you, have you, uh, competing, but I had, uh, one other in the 200 and another one in the a hundred and as a coach, even though I was racing, I still have like, you know, The best I could compare it to is, being a father of three, it's just like, it's like you're looking after your kids, right?

**** - (): You're nervous for them. Yeah. And, um, and so after I got done and cleaned up and went about the rest of my day on, on, on Saturday and everything like that, now I turn my I turned my browser to the race results to see, how everybody's faring out there and projected times and, and things like that.

**** - (): And when I, when I popped open my laptop and, and pulled up the results and you were still on a course, obviously, but, uh, just seeing your splits come in and everything, I was just like. Damn right, like, look at this guy go, like, he's, he's actually doing this and, um, we can talk about it all the time, as coaches of like, I know that I was giving you the proper training, and you were executing the training and things like that.

**** - (): But you never, I mean, there's so many variables that can show up on race day and, Mechanically, uh, correct me if I'm wrong, you had a clean race mechanically, right? Yeah,

[00:53:30] - (): Craig Dalton: totally clean. Yeah.

[00:53:31] - (): Justin Bowes: And for that to happen just by itself is amazing. And then on top of that, you hit your nutrition and hydration and everything just, it worked, and so, um, with, with a race like unbound, You know that something's going to go wrong, somewhere, some way, something's going to happen. And it's, it's, it's such a rarity to have a clean run, especially on your first time, not knowing what to expect and, and all of that. Um, but for you to be so successful with that, um, And it was just, yeah, as your coach and now as your friend, um, I'm just super excited for you.

**** - (): I was just, I was over the moon, um, excited to see your finishing time and, and, uh, to, to just hear, hear it in your voice and, and at first it was, it was just in text messages back and forth, but just, getting the tone of like, Your satisfaction with everything was just, it's, it's huge. And yeah, it was awesome to, to be a small part of that.

[00:54:37] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, no, it means a lot. It's been, it's been a great journey working together. It's been very fun. I, I haven't had proper coaching in ages. Um, and I recommend it. I recommend you, I recommend fast cat. It was just, it was enjoyable to just Go through a process, see improvement, uh, along the way, build confidence to do something that I'd never done before.

**** - (): And frankly, that I was, a bit scared of this whole journey started because I wanted to do something that scared me. Um, and, and to come out the other side of it, just, I'm very grateful for the entire experience, the last six months

[00:55:18] - (): Justin Bowes: Oh man, Craig, it's, it, again, it's been a privilege and Just exciting to, to, to see how you developed and just your professionalism with, with regards to your training and, accepting some new guy that you've never met before, be like in charge of this craziness.

**** - (): Um, and, um, yeah, it just, you, you didn't flinch. Um, I, I appreciate you being cautiously. Questioning about hate, why are we doing it this way? Why, where are we going? Um, why would you have me do this instead of that? Um, I mean that, it wasn't like I ever thought, Oh, he's questioning my ability or anything like that.

**** - (): He just generally wants to know why we're doing the training that we're doing. And, um, and I appreciate that. Like I love, when, when, when my athletes are like engaged. To the point that they want to know, I mean, it's, it's nice to when you just blindly follow the plan, but, when, when you're so engaged and you're so invested in the outcome of this goal that you've set for yourself and you're like, Hey, I just want to know what's going on and.

**** - (): It, it just, it tells me again, it's just another little, box to check, with, with my coaching hat on of like this, this athlete is he, he's invested, like he cares and he wants to do what needs to be done to, to, to succeed at this goal. And that makes a big difference on my end, um, because then I know, yeah, these are going to be hard workouts and they're going to put them in the box a couple times.

**** - (): But because he wants it and he's, he's, he's wanting to follow the plan, um, and be consistent with it, he's going to do really well. And, um, yeah, it showed. So, um, one, one final question. If I can, um, and I, I touched on it on our call the other day is like on a scale one to 10, how would you rate this overall experience from training to the event to your, your overall experience with, with Unbound here?

[00:57:34] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah, I said it last week and I think I'll stick to it. It's a 10 out of 10 for me. Okay. And. Yeah, the only, I hesitated a second there, Justin, because I might've knocked it down to a 9. 5 because I, again, like I watched someone else's video and I was like, Maybe I could have pushed a little harder early on, but it's in the grand scheme of things, neither here nor there.

**** - (): Like, I think again, like the, I learned a lot along the way. It was fascinating, working with a power meter, thanks to SRM, uh, using their power meter pedals. It was interesting to me going carb journey and trying to figure out, would that work for me? Along the way, everything was, great on the training.

**** - (): Like we had to cram a little bit, but that was all good. The family was super supportive of it. And then, getting to Emporia and having that bluebird of a day, um, was something, that it couldn't have counted on at all in terms of the weather. The, the mileage came easy and fast. The technical elements of it were no issue for me whatsoever.

**** - (): And I felt like I had the right bike to take a few hits harder than I might have wanted to, to keep the pace going, but never had any issues there. And then to, to ride with my buddy Doug and have the experience with the, the whole crew. We had a number of guys doing the hundred and one guy doing the three 50.

**** - (): Great to make some new friends out there within the houses we were staying at. And the overall experience, yeah. 10 out of 10.

[00:59:06] - (): Justin Bowes: Nice. Okay, good. Yeah, it's, it's, it's, yeah. When, when you shared that with me the other day, um, yeah, I got off our call and I was just like, Um, I was just like, all right, I, I, it just, it's, it's, it's so rewarding, um, to see an athlete just like check all those boxes and, feel good about, what they accomplished.

**** - (): Um, because yeah, I can put together the plan for you. Um, but it's ultimately all on your shoulders to execute. Yeah. Take care of all this, the variables outside of the training plan that is, you know, recovering responsibly, being, diligent to, the consistency of, following the plan and all those little things that I can't, I can't even like begin to.

**** - (): Yeah. Help you with, that's just your wife, and so, um, again, Greg. Congratulations. It's, it's so cool to, to see and, and have a time like that. Um, I'll, I'll give the listeners, a little, uh, number crunch here real quick. You're right. I mean, you were just in under, um, 1330 at 1327 for 203 miles.

**** - (): Um, TSS, obviously off the charts with 645, um, that's, to be expected for sure. Um, average speed, I mean, just over 15 miles an hour for the 200 miles over that type of terrain is fantastic. Um, your normalized power, um, was so good. Um, Yeah, it was just the only thing that we didn't capture was heart rate.

**** - (): Um,

[01:00:48] - (): Craig Dalton: yeah, I failed to talk about that. I was so mad for so long that my strap wasn't working.

[01:00:54] - (): Justin Bowes: It's the worst when it's on and there's just nothing you can do about it. I kept

[01:00:59] - (): Craig Dalton: thinking like by the first aid station, I would take everything off and recover it, which I did. And then it still didn't work. Yeah.

**** - (): And like halfway through. The next segment, I just like ripped it off my body and shoved it in my pocket.

[01:01:12] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. I mean, just, I mean, that's, that's one like little nitpick on my end and sense of like, it would just been really interesting to see, um, the correlation between your power and the heart rate and where, I mean, it ultimately, it was always going to drop off and start to decouple, but you know where that was for you.

**** - (): Um, because then, for me, I can go back to the training and say, okay, yeah, this is, this is white. We went as far as we did and, and all of that. So, oh yeah, yeah. I mean, so there's, there was one less than ideal thing, pop up out of here and it was stupid heart rate monitor. So.

[01:01:51] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah.

**** - (): In the grand scheme of things.

[01:01:53] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah.

[01:01:54] - (): Craig Dalton: Justin, thanks so much for coming back on board and helping me recount this, uh, this event or this experience that's going to be in my memory for a long time.

[01:02:02] - (): Justin Bowes: With that, is there an Unbound in your future again or too soon?

[01:02:07] - (): Craig Dalton: It's a little too soon. And I think I mentioned to you that last week, it's hard to imagine having a better day out there.

**** - (): Then, then I had all things considered and with so many great events out there that I would love to do in time away from the family. I don't, I don't know if unbound would be it again.

[01:02:26] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah, no, that's fair. That's fair.

[01:02:27] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah,

[01:02:28] - (): Justin Bowes: no, I mean, it's hard to go out. And, as, as good as you did. And like you said, I mean, uh, another experience would it, taint this one, and in the sense of like, next year is like, flats on flats on flats or, body shuts down or, whatever the case may be, or the worst weather ever.

**** - (): I mean, so yeah, go, go out on top.

[01:02:50] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. I'm going out on top, I think on the 200. For me, it's either like. Go shorter and actually like, see what it's like to race an event. Cause I don't, the 200 miler, like it's hard to consider it a race for me. It was really about managing my way across the finish line as efficiently as possible.

**** - (): Or going the other way, which has always attracted me, which is like the bike packing. route and, trying some of the real long distance stuff longer than 200 miles. Sure.

[01:03:18] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. The, the 350, the XL crew, that is, that's next level, man. Yeah. I, I, I always, I always like tease myself, like, that would be so cool just like to push your limits.

**** - (): Um, And, and, and see what that's like, um, for that distance and everything. But then reality kind of sets in on me and like, you, you're not going to do that. So I'll stick with my hundred. I love my hundred distance.

[01:03:44] - (): Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like there is like an overnight riding experience that I need to have as that next unchecked box. I've sure I've done like the team racing 24 hours, but I've never done. Sort of a self supported overnight.

[01:03:59] - (): Justin Bowes: Yeah. Yeah.

[01:03:59] - (): Craig Dalton: Straight through. So I am, I am curious about that. Why don't we leave it at that?

**** - (): That'll be a mystery. And if, if, and when I decide to do something crazy like that, we'll chat more about it.

[01:04:09] - (): Justin Bowes: Heck yeah. Love that.

[01:04:12] - (): Craig Dalton: Good to talk to you, Justin.

[01:04:13] - (): Justin Bowes: Craig, it was great seeing you and congrats again, man. It's awesome.

[01:04:17] - (): Craig Dalton: Thank you.