Monday, February 14, 2011


It's that time of year where I try to build my fitness up for the demands of a full season of endurance racing.  On Saturday I did 12 laps on my mountain bike around the 5 mile loop at Wilsons Creek National Battlefield.   To me it's a great place to train when the trails aren't ride-able.  It's a one-way paved loop with minimal traffic and has a great elevation profile.  It starts with a mile or so that's mostly downhill, followed by about a half mile gradual climb, then a short steep climb followed by a couple miles of flat road.  Then another gradual climb, quick descent, followed by bloody hill which is a LONG hill that starts gradual, gets steep, levels for a short section then goes back up with a pretty tough climb at the top.  That's followed by a couple rollers before the end of the loop.  

I guess the point of this post is to offer a bit of advice to others that are thinking about getting into endurance riding/racing.  You will get to a point when you're riding hard where you're weaknesses will rear their ugly head.  It may be soreness in your lower back, it may be burning in your quads or hamstrings.  It may be all of the above.  The thing is when you get to that point, don't stop.  For me this weekend it was around 2 and a half hours.  Riding the bike got uncomfortable and I wanted to stop.  But I just backed off a little, and kept going.  Eventually the pain went away.  It always does.  Then I sped back up.

Riding through the discomfort will make you sore and you have to make sure you give yourself time to recover afterward, but each time you do this you'll be better.  

Don't think about how something is going to feel.  It will hold you back.  When you're on the bike focus on the moment, do the best you can right now and above all, don't quit.  You'll deal with the future when you get there.