It's been just over a week since we learned we were selected in the lottery for Ride the Rockies 2012. In those nine days I have ridden a total of 135 miles, 125 of those on the road! That has been an unexpected treat as we have been enjoying spring-like weather in Castle Rock a little earlier than normal. Typically, March is Denver's snowiest month, averaging 11.7 inches of snow.
My goal is to ride 100 miles per week in March, either on the road or my Cyclops Fluid2 trainer. Its a lot easier to get the miles in on the road and, as my buddy Troy observed on our ride today, "There's nothing like riding on the road to train for riding on the road." I totally agree but indoor training is a must during the winter in Colorado. And the Fluid2 helps me practice on spinning a perfect circle, which is probably the number one thing I need to work on to improve endurance and get faster.
But there is nothing like riding on the road and climbing the hills around my home in Castle Rock for pure pain and enjoyment! Those 125 miles on the road consisted of three rides: 42 on Sunday the 4th, 48 yesterday and 35 today (Sunday the 11th). The total elevation gain: 5,699 feet; Calories burned: 8,076 (according to my Garmin Edge cycling computer).
I have the good fortune of living along Hwy 105 which runs for 33 miles along the front range of the Rockies between Sedalia and the Black Forest. The views are amazing and their are plenty of good climbs to simulate the grueling mountain passes we will tackle in June. The roads around my these are range from 6,000-8,000 ft. above sea level.
I now live at 6,400 ft. However, the first two years I trained for Ride the Rockies (2005-06) I was living in Kansas City at 1,000 ft above sea level. So how did I simulate the hills? Well, first of all Eastern Kansas is NOT flat. We may not have the sustained climbs of a mountain pass but we have hills, lots of them. Second, I really think the key to finishing every mile of Ride the Rockies is to get in as good shape as you can, not matter where you live, and stay hydrate during the ride (more on that later).
The other key is to fuel your body properly. As you may have guessed, my fuel of choice is beef. Of course, man cannot live on beef alone (although I come pretty close). They key is to enjoy a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs to sustain and recover from long workouts. Lean beef provides the power athletes need with nutrients like protein to build muscle, iron for healthy red blood cells (which transport oxygen from your lungs to your vital organs and muscles, pretty important at the summit of Independence Pass!), and B vitamins for energy.
|Threw these ribeyes on the grill last night to fuel my ride today (no, I didn't eat BOTH of them!)|
Of course, one of the reasons I do things like Ride the Rockies is so I can enjoy the foods I love, like ribeye steak, red wine and chocolate! It just doesn't get any better than that after a long ride and a nap on the couch, which I am fixin' to do right now!