Sunday, 21 October 2018

What are your time goals for Munga 2018?

Munga, unlike the Freedom Challenge, is a numbers race. It's the sort of event you can plan with the aid of a spreadsheet or simple mathematics. The Freedom Challenge is exactly the race to crush you if you have crunched numbers to figure out your moving time over distance. For example, the last day of the Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa is only 56km. Tucked in there is a section of 7 km that typically takes 7-9 hours but has entrapped some riders for 32 hours. The varied and difficult terrain over the whole route makes average speed calculations of no practical use. By the way, those last day 56km take anywhere from 9 to 13 hours depending on the weather. It took me 16 hours this year. Partly miserable weather and partly because I was properly hollowed out after 12 days of racing at my limit.

But the numbers methodology can and has worked for the Munga. There are one or two (or perhaps 3 or 4 depending on your fitness and strength) climbs that necessitate a portage but they only take 5 to 15 mins each before you are back on the saddle.

Let's start with a few basics. A weekend ride with your buddies on a road bike will typically involve 1% ascent. That is, if you ride 100 km you will do something in the order of 1000m of total ascent. An off-road MTB trundle with bud's will typically yield 1.5-2% of ascent. Meaning that 50-60km of riding will give you 1000m of ascent. Before you start paging back through Strava to dig out your past stats to prove me wrong understand that these are broad stroke numbers.

The Munga is 1080km long with just under 7500m of ascent. That's a lot less than the 1% of a typical road ride and about 1/3 of the typical ascent for a typical mountain bike race. It's flat and it's fast - calculators at the ready.

Race distance = 1080km
Cutoff time = 120 hours
Overall speed required to make the cutoff?
Yup, your calculator is not malfunctioning - it's 9 km/h
In the next post I'll unpack the data from my previous Munga's and the numbers should give you a good heads up on how to target a reasonable finishing time.

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