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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

4 Posts tagged with the susan_williams tag

To help 100-mile mountain bike racers with some training references, this blog is a good start. Many of the resources can help 100-mile mountain bike racers for any event. Some of the resources are Leadville 100 specific.


First, training plan help.


In my newest book, Training Plans for Cyclists, you will find two foundation fitness training plans. (You can see the table of contents online.) The two foundation fitness plans are designed to help cyclists maintain or improve fitness in the off-season. Often, there are two Levels of training plan presented in the book. Level I is for completion and Level II is more competitive. Level I and Level II descriptions are also relative to event distance. For example, I classify a Level I rider looking at a 100-mile mountain bike race differently than a Level I road rider looking to complete a century. Of course, the event route itself can have a major influence.


The book contains detailed, daily workouts. (Not just general instructions on how to assemble your own plan.) Here are athlete profile descriptions:


Level I Profile (Chapter 19)

The plan in this chapter is designed for a Level I rider. Before beginning the plan, you are riding two or three times per week, indoors or outdoors; but, your workouts are not consistent. It is not a problem for you to ride for an hour, though.


You are looking to build strength, endurance and increase your riding speed. You’d like to begin a weight training program, but don’t know where to begin.


One big issue you have is time. There is never enough time and you don’t have much of it to devote to staying fit. If you can see a training plan that would whip you into shape on three to six hours a week, you’d jump up and down.


Get ready to jump.


(This plan is available in electronic form on TrainingPeaks )


Level II Profile

The plan in this chapter is designed for a Level II cyclist that is riding three or four times per week before beginning the plan. You are currently capable of comfortably completing a two-and-a-half hour ride. Your current long ride is mostly aerobic, but may include a small amount of intensity.


You are looking to build strength, endurance and increase your riding speed for next season. You want a weight training program included in your plan that will deliver on-the-bike speed later.


Your schedule allows you to train six or seven days per week.


(This plan is available in electronic form on TrainingPeaks )


It really doesn’t matter what your season goals are (road vs. mountain) because the foundation fitness plans can be used for preparation for century rides, multi-day tours, short-course mountain bike racing, 24-hour races or 100-mile mountain bike races.


After you have built foundation fitness on your own or used one of the above plans, then you transfer that fitness to a more event-specific plan taking you right up to race day.


Keeping attention focused on just the mountain bike events for now, below are the plan descriptions contained in the book:


Chapter 16, Level I Rider, 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race, 16 Week Plan


Before beginning this plan, you are riding consistently and doing between five and six hours of training each week. Your long ride is around two hours long and it includes some intensity as well as hill riding. At least one other ride during the week contains some intensity. That ride can be an indoor spinning class.


If your current fitness does not meet the description above, begin your training journey in Chapter 19 to build foundation fitness. After the last week of the Chapter 19 training plan, begin with Week 1 of this chapter.


During the week, you are limited to an hour of training on three days. You need two days off for other activities. Additionally, you do not have time to commute to a mountain course, so the training needs to be on an indoor trainer, spin class or a road bike.



Your goal is to comfortably complete a 100-mile mountain bike race. While you want to ride in a time that is as fast as possible, you realize you are restricted for training time. You want the best time, given your limited training time.


(The biggest training week is 13:30. The online version of this race-specific plan is found here.)


Chapter 17, Level II Rider, 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race, 14 Week Plan


Before beginning this plan, you are training approximately nine hours per week. You are riding two long rides each week. One ride is around two hours long and the second one is roughly three hours in length.


You are riding two or three other weekday rides that are an hour each. You may or may not be strength training.


This plan is designed to follow the Level II Foundation Fitness training plan found in Chapter 20. After completing 18 weeks of that plan, you can move directly into the plan in this chapter. That combination provides you with 32 weeks of training.


If you are not using the Chapter 20 training plan, review the last few weeks of that training plan. Before beginning this training plan you should be capable of completing those workouts, or similar workouts, both in time and intensity.


Due to the volume of training necessary to complete this plan you will need to focus on recovery as much as you focus on accomplishing the training. Improved performance is accompanied by recovery techniques and high density nutrition. In summary, in addition to completing the training sessions, you need to get adequate rest and eat nutritious foods that fuel a high performance body. Be sure to read Chapter 3 that covers nutrition.



Your goal is to ride a 100-mile mountain bike race in a personal best time. This competitive goal is more than just completing the event, it is competing at the event. The competition may be for a spot on the podium or to beat a past personal record (PR). You want a new PR.


(The biggest training week is 22:00. The online version of this race plan is found here.)


Now that the training portion is covered, below is more information within columns and blogs:


Description of key points and challenges in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race: (Note that the entry numbers are low compared to 2009 because the column was written in 2005):

Race Across the Sky: The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race – Part I


Description of key training elements to any 100-mile mountain bike race and a few Leadville specifics:

Race Across the Sky: The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race – Part II


Two-part training-specific interview with Dave Wiens after he beat Lance Armstrong in the 2008 race:

How to Win the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, An Interview with Dave Wiens Part I

How to Win the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, An Interview with Dave Wiens Part II


Acclimatizing to altitude before a race:

Acclimating to Altitude Before a Race Part I

Acclimating to Altitude Before a Race Part II


Altitude training strategies:

Altitude training for athletic success Part I

Altitude training for athletic success Part II


Post-race analysis of items that affected one of my personal races

Snow can be on the course in the weeks pre-race

Wiens and Williams family photos – for fun


A general list of columns that can be used by all endurance athletes.


Found here is my personal training plan, unconventional for a mountain bike racer. I will often post what I’m doing for training on this blog, Twitter and Facebook. I also try to answer as many questions as I can on this blog.

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Friday night I watched some of the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. What I saw was fantastic, I think the Chinese organizers did a really nice job.


While I wanted to watch all of the ceremonies, I needed to get some sleep. I knew a 4:45 am wake-up call would be the start of a long day on Saturday at the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race.



I posted that Lance Armstrong did indeed show up to the pre-race meeting. He was discounting his race ability, compared to five-time champion Dave Wiens. Dave, however, knew better than to think Lance would do anything other than try to win.



Meanwhile, on the women's side of the race, very few people knew that Susan Williams was racing. Regular blog readers knew Susan was racing, but not many others did. When we were driving up to pre-ride the course, Susan asked what my time goal was and I told her 10:30. She said that was her time goal too, on the advice of someone that knew her.



"No Susan, you will go faster than 10:30," I told her.



She asked if she could line up with me at the start line and I told her, "Of course, you're welcome to start with me...but you ride your own race and do not pace off of me."



I told my husband after the pre-ride that Susan is well-capable of a sub-9 finish; but I don't know how she'll ride this year after running around 30 miles in a 24-hour relay the week before the Leadville event.



The rain the day before the race put the course in perfect condition. Race morning was cool and overcast, not too cold. Perfect!



Below are shots of people outbound at Twin Lakes, getting ready for the Columbine climb...



Roy Gatesman (441)





Todd Kornfield (his fiancé Jen is crewing)





More shots home bound after Columbine Mine....



Del, my husband and great race support with me





Scott Ellis





The short story is most everyone had a good race. Two guys that missed the cut-off last year, got their shiny buckles this year. They both had plenty of time to spare.



Dennis Andersen





Eric Houck





As most of you know by now, Dave Wiens was the first place male. At the awards ceremony, Lance gave a really nice speech and complimented race organizers as well as Dave. "Not many guys can ride me off of their wheel, but this guy did," Lance said. Lance continued to say something else complimentary about Dave, but I don't recall his exact words.



The women's champion was Susan Williams. Did she race faster than 10:30? Ah, yeah...try an 8:40. I guess running more than a marathon the week before the race isn't a bad idea after all.



Below is a shot of Susan Williams and her two girls, Dave Wiens, his wife Susan (DeMatti) and their three boys.





Several of my buddies got more good photos, but I don't have them yet. If you're a subscriber to the blog, you will be notified when new photos are posted to this blog or to a new one.



As for my race, I did make my 10:30 goal with a bit of time to spare at 10:27. I could have lived without an hour of rain near the end of the race, but given the rest of the day's weather, I won't complain.



My second goal was to get on the podium to score one of those nifty mining pans. I managed to do that as well.



I can't say/write enough about the incredible support I received during the race. The crowd support was fantastic. At the base of Columbine Mine there were two little girls standing on the edge of the road screaming, "Girl power!!! You rock!!!" That was really cool.



Lots of people got me to smile with their encouraging words. It's nice to smile during a ride like Leadville.



I rode with some really terrific guys that helped me achieve my race goals. I told several of you I owe you a beer post-race and I'm more than willing to pay on that promise. Seriously, you guys were awesome.



I think people can post photos in the comment section. Give it a shot. If you can't send me your photos and I'll post them in the blog.



Thanks to Ken and Merilee for another great race.









Cool video from Superhuman Magazine  - thanks for the heads-up, Scott



3,563 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: leadville, lance_armstrong, leadville_100, leadville_100_mountain_bike_race, susan_williams, dave_wiens


In just one week from today, the opening ceremonies will be held for the Olympic Games. To make it easier for you to know what is happening with your favorite athletes and sport, I've done some research for you. Below is a list of helpful links:



Homepage for the Olympic Games - Opening Ceremonies are 8-8-08.



Complete schedule by sport. Once you are on this page, you can select the sport in the left column and get more detail.



I've done a good deal of browsing on the NBC Olympic site and I have to say they've done a great job. There are athlete profiles, videos and stories for all sports. They've included athletes from several countries as well.



Within the NBC site, you can find out the broadcast schedule for your specific location. You can also sign up for cell phone alerts or email alerts for a menu of options.  



I did have a look at the transition video for triathlon and I'm not sure who put it together, but near the end of the video the commentator says something to the effect of, "Do it wrong and pay the price." The video scene is of Susan Williams crashing into the barrier on her bike.



The commentator is completely off base, relating the barrier crash to doing transitions "wrong" - but if Susan did it wrong and the price to pay was a Bronze medal...well seems like a nice price.





1,390 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: olympics, triathlon, susan_williams, opening_ceremonies

I had a hard time thinking of a title that covered all of the items in this post. I think I got it...


I got a note from Susan Williams (Yes, THAT Susan Williams - Olympic bronze medalist, triathlon 2004 Olympic Games) a couple of weeks ago asking if I was going to pre-ride any of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race course in July? If so, would it be okay if she joined the group? (Be sure to click on both hot links about Susan. One is a story of the race and the other is a nice podium shot with her daughter Sydney.)


Of course!


She missed our first July pre-ride because she was vacationing in Mexico for 10 days with her family. We hooked up last Friday and headed up to Twin Lakes for a pre-ride of the Columbine Mine climb.


Below is a photo of the gang at Twin Lakes. Left to right: Roy Gatesman, Dave Newman, Susan Williams, Ernie Wintergerst, Jeff Bruno, Scott Ellis, Stewart Pomeroy and Todd Kornfield. (Roy, Todd and Stewart work at Peloton Cycles, my favorite bike shop.)




Catching up with Susan, she is enjoying time with her two daughters, Syndey and Elysia, along with husband Tim. She is coaching other athletes to be successful out of her home base of Littleton, Colorado. She stays active by doing some racing and training.



The weekend before the Leadville race she is doing the 200-Mile Colorado Wild West Relay as one member of a six person team. While not optimal training and rest for the Leadville race, she's enjoying doing different kinds of events and staying fit. For Leadville, her biggest goal is to enjoy the event. (She says her mountain bike skills are still in the development stages, especially the downhill.)



The group enjoyed the Columbine climb that is not quite as enjoyable on race day. A map of the event can be found here, with the Columbine climb being the high pointy spot in the center.



On race day, there is two-way traffic on the road. In some places the road is in good shape (like where the hare is crossing below at about 12,000 ft. elevation) and in other places there is still snow.





Okay wildlife experts is this a common hare (I think this is not a rabbit, but is a hare - verify for me) or a snowshoe hare? Seems big for a snowshoe hare, but those are incredibly furry hind feet. What do you think?



Above the hare photo location on the mountain, remains a giant snowfield. The group estimates it is at least a couple of feet deep and we wonder if it will be gone by race day.



Roy is beginning to cross the snowfield and Todd is pushing through on the next photo. Roy and Stewart are taking in the view post-snowfield in the third photo below.









At the top is an old structure that reminds me of how hard life would have been in the rich mining times of Leadville. Imagine living and working at 12,600 feet in the late 1800s. Tough people, really tough.





A second view at the top shows surrounding peaks and clouds threatening to drop rain. Time to get off the mountain.





We did beat the rain and had enough time to stop into race headquarters and introduce Susan to Merilee (the race director). Susan is so humble and unassuming that she didn't bother to tell the race directors of her past accomplishments. I have no problem telling others about Susan's great accomplishments - she rocks!



So, what is her training secret for Leadville?



Turkey leg at Q4U in Frisco...





2,945 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: leadville, olympic_games, leadville_100, leadville_100_mountain_bike_race, susan_williams, olympic_medalist