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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the low_fitness tag

I am now faced with the same decision many of you have to make at one point or another in your training and racing journey. My fitness stinks, should I do the VE100 (Vernal Equinox 100 miles) anyway?


Within the past month, I had a block of travel and I got a cold. That translates to about three weeks with very little training. One of those weeks saw total training hours of 1:35 (a very weak 1:35 at that). My last long ride was March 6th (ride time 3:35, “out” time around 4:00 – 55.43 miles, 3,700 ft of climbing).


The VE100 is less climbing (3,100 ft over 100 miles) and will take about 5:15 ride time – that is if I’m lucky enough to have someone pull me around through a good chunk of it. If I have to do it solo, it will take longer.


Should I do the century or something shorter?



- A rule of thumb I use is that if you’ve done 50-80% of the time and/or distance within the last month, the longer distance is doable. It may not be pretty, but it’s doable.

- An extended long ride could jump-start my fitness, similar to a crash week of training.

- I will have people to ride with and that’s always motivating.



- There is some risk of overdoing it on this ride. (Saddle sores, knee pain, getting run down again opening up the door to another virus, etc.)

- This isn’t an important race, but only a training event – is the risk worth the return?

- I don’t like suffering when I’m lacking fitness. (I don’t mind suffering when I’m fit. I know, strange.)


What will I do?


I’ll start the ride, remain aerobic, and decide along the way if I should do the century or cut it short. I have about four “bailing points” where I can head back home if I don’t feel good. The main question I’ll be asking myself along the way is…


By doing this ride, by going further, will it help my fitness and get me closer to my season goals or will it cause a setback?

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