This past weekend we were in Leadville, pre-riding the Leadville Trail 100. It was a fun and jam packed two days. Here is a re-camp of what we did.
Short talk about the course, and the sections we were riding that day. We started at the bottom of Powerline and headed toward Columbine in the pavement and dirt road sections as well as Pipeline. We talked about thinking like a roadie in those sections, and finding people to work with, staying out of the wind, etc. We also talked about learning your heart rate and where you go into the Red Zone. You want to avoid that red zone when racing Leadville, so it’s important to know your “governor”.
Once on course, we rode well together. We stopped at each of the aid stations and talked about strategy for feeding and what to expect in the feedzone.
After 1.5hrs of riding, our feedzone for the day was at Twin Lakes. Heidi and Josephine had water, Osmo, muffins, nuts, and other yummy ride food for us. We restocked in anticipation of a 2-2.5hr round trip up Columbine and back.
We were surprised at how little snow there was above treeline and made it almost to the top where the turn around is in the race. While climbing Columbine, we counted the switch backs- 8-, and really found what our HR governor is. Also talked about gearing for the race. You want to have a big enough gear to ride fast on the pavement, but not too big of a gear to have push when climbing.
Before we descended, we briefly talked about what it’s like to have two way traffic on this part of the course.
Once back at our Feed zone, Heidi and Josephine had more snacks and drinks for us (including cokes).
Then it was time to get back on our bikes and head back the way we came. After 4hrs of riding, it was a good test to see how our legs would do and feel on race day.
Back at the house, Heidi and Josephine had Osmo Recovery drinks and quiche’s ready for us. After 6hrs on the bike, those tasted wonderful and were much appreciated.
We finished Saturday by having a short talk about what to expect on race day, how to dress, how much and how often to eat and drink, how to pace, and start corral position (very important!).
Sunday’s ride was shorter, but with just as much climbing as day one, we were in for a big day. We started in downtown Leadville, at the race start, and talked about the neutral start and how to maneuver yourself in such a large group. We found land markers and distance so we knew when the first climb started and how long it is. Up and over St. Kevins and toward Sugarloaf. We talked about thinking like a roadie again in this section and where good places to eat and drink are.
At the top of Sugarloaf, we stopped and looked at all the Powerline poles and found our “this is the top of the climb” marker, so we know when coming back up Powerline, where the top is. Our goal is no surprises on race day.
We descended Powerline to our Feed Zone where water, Osmo, and snacks awaited us. I was surprised to see the small stream at the bottom of Powerline was no longer. It was filled in.
Climbing back up Powerline, the question was- do I walk or do I ride? We talked about the pros and cons of each and came up with a plan.
We descended Sugarloaf and started the pavement climb back up to St. Kevins. We decided the stand up- sit down technique was best for this climb. We noticed the rollers along the top of St Kevins and made mental note about how they would feel after 90 miles of racing.
The Leadville 100 is actually the Leadville 103. The last 3 miles are tough and they are a big surprise if you are not ready for them. So we made sure to ride the surprise 3 miles to the finish. Once back at the house, we had Osmo recovery drinks and quiche.
It was a great weekend of riding. We had over 105 miles of riding in 10hrs. Now it’s time to rest, before another block of specific preparation for the 100.