Training for a long distance race is no easy feat, and when it comes to the Unbound Gravel, there is no room for shortcuts.
As a cyclist, I have always been drawn to challenging myself and pushing my limits, which is why I decided to take on the Unbound Gravel event again this year. I knew that I would be involved in the expo area for the two days before the event, leading group rides, and staying involved with other brands. In other words I would be busy, and tired. I also knew that in order to successfully complete this race, I needed to have a solid training plan in place, and one key component of my training was the use of H20 Audio headphones.
First and foremost, let me tell you why I chose the Unbound 50 mile event. This race takes place in the Flint Hills of Kansas and is known as one of the toughest gravel races in the world. With its rolling hills, unpredictable weather, and remote terrain, it is not a race for the faint of heart. But there is something about the challenge of this race that always leaves me looking forward to the next time I get to ride it.
The first step in my training plan was to set realistic goals. I knew that I could complete the course. I also knew that there would be an E-bike category with podium finishing spots…could I do it?
I started by building a strong foundation of base miles, gradually increasing my weekly mileage and incorporating longer rides on the weekends. This helped me build up my endurance and get used to spending long hours in the saddle. We had spent the winter in Florida and I had quite a few miles on my legs by the time that race season started. I had completed the Mississippi Gravel Cup series, Valley of Tears and Mid South with similar distances.
As the race got closer, I added specific workouts to my training, such as hill repeats, intervals, and tempo rides. These workouts helped me get stronger and faster, which would be crucial when tackling the tough terrain of Unbound.
But no matter how strong and fit you are, mental toughness is just as important when it comes to gravel events. And this is where H20 Audio headphones came into play. During my longer training rides, I would often find myself riding solo for hours on end.
While the scenery of the Flint Hills was beautiful, I needed an extra push from the music playing in my head as I held onto the wheel in front of me. That’s when I turned to my H20 Audio headphones to help me stay motivated and focused.
With its waterproof and sweatproof design, H20 Audio headphones were the perfect companion for my training rides. They are specifically designed for athletes, and are durable, comfortable, and produce exceptional sound quality. Whether I was riding under the scorching sun or in a downpour, my H20 Audio headphones never failed me.
But it’s not just about the physical aspects of training, the mental game is just as important. Listening to my favorite tunes or motivational podcasts during my long rides helped me stay in the zone and push through any mental barriers. It also gave me a sense of comfort and relaxation during my rides, making the miles go by faster.
As race day finally arrived, I knew I was as prepared as I could be. And going into the race, I had my trusty H20 Audio headphones securely in place. I placed myself as far up in the startling lineup as I could get. My plan was to ride as hard as I could, for as long as I could. I knew that if I could hold onto a wheel and take my turn pulling that I should be able to average 15-19 miles per hour.
Imagine my surprise when 10 miles from the end I came across Yuri Hurswald, Hall of Fame Gravel Rider. As I shouted out to Yuri “My singular goal is to podium today” he sped up. Next thing I know I’m getting a pull from a friend! Thank you Yuri!
Crossing the finish line of Unbound was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I had ridden as hard as I knew how to ride. I knew that I had given it my all, and however the placings ended up it was meant to be that way. Was I shocked to hear that I had won the women's Ebike category!
So whether you’re training for a long distance race like Unbound or just looking for a way to enhance your workouts, I highly recommend incorporating H20 Audio headphones into your training routine. You never know, they just might be the key to pushing yourself to new limits and achieving your goals.
Most of all…enjoy the ride!Read more about Crystal's Adventure here. 

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