Lauren de Crescenzo: Mid-South Power Podcast

FasCat sponsored athlete and gravel privateer, Lauren De Crescenzo won The Mid South with a new course record, beating her own record by 7 minutes on an slower course with a lot of sand. I am coaching her this year, and here we dive into all the training details, numbers and race strategy on how LDC prepared for and won the race.  

To hear Lauren talk about her training and the race with Ben Delaney and I, give our podcast a listen 👇

Training Blocks / Highlights leading into the race

  • 11 weeks of base phase (11/13 to 1/29)
    • Endurance miles, tempo, Sweet Spot
    • Totals: 211 hrs, 9752 TSS (19.2 hrs/wk avg)
    • Training load from 93 to 133 during this phase
  • 3 weeks of VO2 (2/1-2/18) 
    • 9 key workouts over ~3 weeks. Volume stayed high (23-25 hrs/wk) and training load continued to increase 
  • Raced the local BorderWars on 2/24 as a practice race with a similar distance/duration to Mid South
    • Border Wars 2024 v Mid South 2023 numbers comparison
      • BW 2024 - 100 miles, 5hr 4min, 0.84 IF, 253w NP, 4134 kJs
      • MS 2023 - 100 miles, 4hr 51min, 0.83 IF, 257w NP, 4134 kJs 
        • Won by 14 mins
  • Did a mini altitude camp (not really by design, she was at my wedding in ABQ) with some high volume (26 hrs, 1078 TSS) followed by some threshold work, over/unders for the next few weeks. Example workouts:
    • Hard start Sweet Spot (5x10’) - 1’ 120% threshold and then 9’ at sweetspot power
    • Threshold w/Micro Recovery - 5x4’ threshold with 1’ recovery in between
  • Numbers are looking great at this point for a good Mid South performance considering this has not been a main target (B priority):
    • About a 15w bump in power 
    • Very high training load which peaked in early March around 145
    • We’re seeing high fatigue resistance and durability. Ability to reproduce peak efforts (short and long) late in the ride
    • Quick recovery after big weeks and capacity to hit 1100 TSS weeks consistently 
    • Aerobic efficiency with long endurance days. 180-200w (.70 IF) with less than 5% HR drift 
    • Slight shedding of fatigue (drop in training load) over the last two weeks with the incorporation of some high intensity work to have a good balance of rest, intensity and volume coming into race day.

Week-of Strategy Talks


Lauren arrived in Stillwater on Wednesday evening. She didn’t need a ton of recon since the course is the same as last year. We focused on checking out a few key sections with Thursday/Friday pre-rides.

Mile 13 and 40 are some key areas of focus (water crossing and Gnarnia section). The race might not be won here however we didn’t want to be out of position and chasing after it.

Feed zone at mile 50 Course generally heads north to feed and then south. 


Tire selection was probably the most considerable thing here. Lauren is working with Maxxis in 2024 and has a wide variety of tread and width options. We’ve been paying attention to the weather and now the course is pretty dry and hard pack. Full slicks (40c Velocita) or semi slicks (40c Reaver) were the options we considered and traveled with. Lauren has ridden both on course and is leaning on the full slick (as of Friday AM). A slick will also be a few watts faster with rolling resistance. This could help with the potential tailwind into the finish with higher speeds.

Tire pressure 36/38 - per Silca pressure calculator and a confirmation on Thursday/Friday recon.


Lauren is pretty dialed on fueling due to her partnership with The Feed. She’ll use an assortment of products (ex SIS, Skratch, Neversecond) targeting 100-120g/hr towards the beginning then tapering to later 90g/hr. Overall this will mostly consist of fluid calories (maybe 60-70%). 1 to 2 gels per hour towards the beginning to hit the higher fueling rate to accommodate for high intensity early in the race.


I use and their forecast discussions plus (gives you a visual picture of wind/direction as it pertains to course and specific sections/roads) to get an idea of the forecast. Mostly paying attention to temperature (start and finish) and winds. Especially on a course like Mid South. Start temp 44 deg, finish 64 deg. This will factor into clothing choices. Maybe plan to shed layers in the aid or start cold. Functional underdressing (ditch excess clothes early to prevent overheating) for the final few 2-2.5 hours of the race will be key. Wind relatively calm, 3-5 mph steady from N-NE. General headwind to start (likely to slow speeds and keep pack together) into a general tailwind into the finish. This favors pure speed and raw power. Both of which LDC is a master of and we are hoping to use to her advantage and sail in for her third Mid South win. 

Lauren's Winning Power Data at The Mid South 2024

  • 4 hr 47 min (course record by ~7 mins)
  • 260w NP, 233w avg power (4.3 w/kg), 0.87 IF, 4068 kJs, 21 mph
  • Peak 5 min 342w NP, 30 minutes in (5.7 w/kg)
  • Peak 20 min 303w, 30 mins in (5.0 w/kg)
  • Peak 60 min 290w, 13 mins in (4.8 w/kg)
  • Final hour 262w (4.4 w/kg), 0.87 IF
  • Final 30 minutes @ 275 watts 🤯
  • Nearly one hour spent over 105% threshold

Race Analysis

Really impressive power numbers here, notably 4.8 w/kg for 60 mins for about the first hour of the race (this effort really started 13 mins in and goes to 1:13). Lauren also has the power to sustain a high output for 5 mins which allows her to distance herself from the other female competitors and build the gap.

Lauren's Strava Ride 

Lauren can sustain a high percentage of her threshold for a very long period of time with minimal power drop (showing incredible fatigue resistance and durability) averaging around 262w for the final hour (nearly 90% of her threshold power) and 275w for final 25 mins (exit of singletrack to finish).

This is what allows her to grow her winning gap over the duration of the race and continue to put time into her competitors as they fatigue and she continues to hold a steady power output.

If you compare Lauren’s time splits to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers we can see how this plays out. Through mile 34 and 50 Lauren holds a steady ~2 minute gap to the chasers.

Once we get into the second half of the race she begins to expand this gap. This grows to 5+ mins at mile 89 and then Lauren continues to put an additional 2 minutes into the chasers from there to the finish, giving her a winning margin of nearly 7 minutes.


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