I have a confession to make: I’ve been mountain biking for 12 years, and have been riding fairly seriously for the past 5. I currently ride 4-6 days a week but despite all this riding, I have never done a 100-mile ride. A century ride is a big milestone for any rider and I’m long overdue to complete this goal.
14 days before the Leadville 100, one of the toughest races in the country, I got a call from the “Leadvillians.” “Hey man, we have an extra spot this year if you want in!” Of course, I can’t pass up an opportunity like that! Although I was totally unprepared, I accepted without thinking twice.
All of my training this year has been focused on XC Nationals in West Virginia. My training rides were focused on two-hour hard efforts and intervals rather than long, extended rides. I had no idea what to expect and was worried that a ride of that length was going to destroy me. I didn’t know how to handle nutrition or how hard to push myself (or not push myself). 103 miles is hard. Add 12,000+ feet of elevation gain and it gets harder. Don’t forget that the race takes place at 10,000 to 13,000ft. where there is 40% less oxygen than at sea level. I think I’m in for one heck of a day.
I invite you to watch the video above and check out what the Leadville 100 is all about. Can I finish 103 miles with 12,000+ feet of vert with no long distance training?