Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Endurance Season Crosshairs

So here's the deal... my BIG ride of the season is going to be the ride called City of Rocks in Almo, Idaho, July 11-14th. It's a new ride with a great management team and it  should be incredible. Its 4 days of riding, which will make the 11 hour trailer ride worth the trip.  It comes not only with scenery but some historical treasure.Hundreds of years ago, emigrants traveled parts of the trail we will be riding along. It should be a great ride. I can hardly wait.  Tom is even thinking of bringing Brego and maybe , just maybe doing a 25 mile ride one day. We might actually do a ride together. That would super excellent! My plan is to ride two 25 miles, then maybe, just maybe a 50 at the end.. or just another 25.

There's only one teeny weeny little problem.

 Basecamp is at 5700 feet elevation. Riders ride on upward to over 7000 feet elevation. Yes, I live in the Rocky Mountains, however, we have snow at those levels. Usually until late June, even into July. I can't access trails over 4500 feet right now without hitting lots of snow... Snow on steep terrain can be ... well... down right dangerous.

Yet, I know riding at those altitudes will have a signifigant impact on recovery rates for Maggie. My only experience riding at those elevations has been hunting camp. I know this much. The horses struggle at a walk. I can't imagine what it would do at speeds.

Generally I ride at elevations in the 3000-4000. That's a far cry from where I need to be training.

So, the plan??

Do as many high elevation and hill climbing as possible between now and then. There is a trail known at Columbia Mountain,  not too far from my place It's a heck of a climb..and the trail condition isn't the best but it might just end up having to be my new training ground. It's elevation is about 6800-7000 and it's one of the few close by mountains that is snow free at that elevation right now..

In the meantime, we are still building mileage right now. I took the rest of the week off to catch up on a few things at home and get some solid riding time in.  Tomorrow will be one of the harder training days I have asked of Maggie thus far this season.

Here is the plan:
12 miles with some hills. Ride it for time. 2-3 hours. I wil be riding alone so this should be doable.
Go back to the trailer- give Maggie some beet pulp, hay, and a 30-45 minute rest.
Head back out for another 8-10  miles.

Beats the hell out of a day at the office anyways..

If anyone has any other suggestions on training for altitude, please , please pass the Grey Poupon..

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