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Wahoo Ambassador, Andrea, Runs the Leadville Trail 100 Part 2

Andrea - Leadville Trail 100 Run

We learned all about Wahoo Ambassador, Andrea Carollo’s training for the Leadville Trail 100 Run in our last blog post. So, how did the run go? Here Andrea shares her experience with us:

My race was going exactly as I had planned until the altitude crushed me on Hope Pass. I had run practically the entire course back in June when I attended the Leadville Training Camp. When planning out my race, I used the exact data from Leadville Training Camp and then built in additional time allowances to account for the fact that I would be running all of the distance at once. I created a chart that had my target pace/target arrival time at each aid station as well as the cut-off times at each aid station.

Leaving Twin Lakes Aid Station to head out over Hope Pass, I was right on schedule. I felt wonderful! I had just crushed the downhill section of the course coming into Twin Lakes. I was taking my Vespa, Base Salt, Gu & hydration exactly as I should be. I had ZERO issues.

On the ascent up Hope Pass (up to 12,600 ft) I began noticing extreme difficulty breathing. The altitude was definitely affecting me. Every step I took felt like I had just sprinted for a mile. I was panting and gasping for air.  I still made the Hope Pass time cut-off with plenty of time to spare but I was now behind my planned schedule. I became concerned as I knew from having been on the course before that the climb back over Hope Pass to Twin Lakes was WORSE. The dizziness and shortness of breath continued & I was definitely not moving as fast as I had planned. I made it in to Winfield Aid Station around 5:30pm (a half hour ahead of the cut-off time) but I knew that making the journey back over Hope Pass to Twin Lakes before the Twin Lakes 9:45pm cut-off would be tough.

I pushed as hard as I could back over Hope Pass. A pacer (whose runner did not make the Winfield cut-off) joined me. I was sort of a disaster as my breathing was getting worse and I was having to lean hunched over my mountaineering poles every few steps. When we reached the Hope Pass aid station we stopped by the campfire to warm ourselves. It was apparent that making the cut-off at Twin Lakes was no longer humanly possible. Nothing like having several more miles to go (including back across a river in the dark) when you know you’ll be pulled from the race upon arrival there anyhow. I thought about how having your own private helicopter would have really come in handy as there is NO OTHER WAY OFF THE MOUNTAIN.

Arriving at Twin Lakes (the 60 mile mark) after the cut-off time, I was disappointed but knew that I had done the best that I possibly could have. My crew and pacers were waiting. It was amazing how much better I felt once I got to a lower elevation.

Kudos to all of the athletes who crossed the start line AND the finish line. It is a brutal race and even with the best planning, you never know what can happen – especially at a high altitude! I am very fortunate to not have injured myself. My toenails were all still pretty & I went for an easy shake-out run two days after. I plan to run the Leadville Trail 100 Run again next year – as I want that belt buckle! My next 100-miler is Rocky Raccoon 100 in TX in February.

– Andrea Carollo, Wahoo Fitness Ambassador

We are so proud of Andrea for giving this race her all and so happy she is a part of our wahooligan family! Leave a comment below to congratulate her for her accomplishment.

Learn more about Andrea’s training with the TICKR X heart rate monitor leading up to the Leadville Trail 100 in our last blog post – Wahoo Ambassador, Andrea, Runs the Leadville Trail 100 Part 1.

Wahoo Ambassador, Andrea, Runs the Leadville Trail 100 Part 1

Leadville Trail 100 Run - Andrea

Running any number of miles is no easy feat. Running 100 miles is challenging. Add in the Colorado Rockies terrain with elevations ranging from 9,200 to 12,600 feet and that is extreme.

Wahoo TICKR X Ambassador, Andrea Carollo, ran in the 2015 Leadville Trail 100 Run on August 22 in Colorado. She trained with a TICKR X heart rate monitor for the 4 months leading up to this long-run and we had the chance to ask some questions about her training for the race:

Q: How have you been using the TICKR X in your training?

A: My favorite part about the TICKR X is its ability to gather data and store it without having a watch/iPhone nearby. I can easily download this data later from the TICKR X making heart rate training even easier. In preparation for the LT100 I incorporated a lot of cross-training activities into my training schedule. I love knowing my heart rate/calories burned and cadence (all captured on the TICKR X) during spin class. I also love knowing my heart rate/calories burned during swimming and barre/cardio barre classes.

Q: Do you feel like using the TICKR X has changed your training?

A: I dislike wearing a watch or carrying my iPhone when cross training so before I had a device which could independently track/record/store heart rate, I was unable to have heart rate data for many of my workouts. Having those missing pieces of my training data has helped me better plan nutrition and monitor training progress.

Q: Can you share some of your training plan with us? What does a typical training week look like?  

A: I have been following Hal Koerner’s 100 Mile Plan plus adding in additional strength training/stretch activities & cross training (swimming and biking). It isn’t realistic to try and run anything close to a 100 mile training run to prep for a 100 mile run. So, instead I trained back to back days with heavier mileage (20-30 mile training runs) to get my body used to running on “tired legs”. I ran often at night (which I actually LOVE) to prepare myself for the fact that I will be running in the dark during the race. I also put a big focus on nutrition during my training. An ultra is like a Vegas buffet in which you need to make sure that your body is sufficiently supplied with food/energy. I love VESPA products and try to follow the OFM diet.

Q: What are your favorite cross training activities?

A: In addition to swimming and biking (which I do to prep for Ironman Louisville in October), I take Barre classes (both traditional, cardio and stretching) at least 4 times a week and also use the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app. I credit exercises such as planks with helping strengthen my core and exercises such as chair/wall-sit, squats and lunges with strengthening my glutes and thighs… all making me a stronger runner and less prone to injury.

Q: What was it like in the days leading up to the Leadville Trail 100 Run?

A: I arrived at “Basecamp” in Leadville on Tuesday. I was taking things easy and trying to adjust to the altitude. I was able to get a 7.5 mile run in on Wednesday with a mid-way stop to watch Stage 3 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge zip through Leadville near the Father Dyer campground site.

On Thursday I ran to town, enjoyed an amazing cup of coffee at my favorite mountain coffee spot and then I checked in! No medical weigh-in this year!

On Friday I attended the athlete briefing. In addition to being briefed on key details for the race, it was also an amazing pep rally. Ken and Marilee (the founders of the race) spoke and reminded us to “dig deep” during the race. Following the athlete briefing, my crew and pacers joined me to attend the crew and pacer meeting. This meeting informed them of specific rules they must follow and what roads they can not drive on. The course goes through extremely remote areas where there is either NO access or very limited access.

Q: Have you done a 100-mile run before?

A: LT100 was my first 100 miler! My furthest trail run has been the Black Canyon Ultra 100K in AZ in February 2015. I have run numerous marathons in 33 states thus far. There were so many incredible runners that stood at the start line with me on Saturday. It was very exciting to be a part of this event!

Q: Do you plan on running a marathon in all 50 US states?

A: Yes! I hope to complete all 50 states when I turn 40…. working on it little by little.

Q: What advice would you give to other people wanting to do a long run?  

A: Start increasing your miles slowly & listen to your body to avoid injury. The best part about long runs is being out on the trail. Enjoy this time to yourself.

How did Andrea do in the race? Check out Part 2 here – Wahoo Ambassador, Andrea, Runs the Leadville Trail 100 Part 2

Andrea has participated in multiple races this year. Early 2015 she competed in the Mississippi Marathon and The Black Canyon Ultra 100k in Arizona. She did a “4 marathons in 5 days” trip in May where she ran the Vermont Shires Marathon, Pine Tree Marathon (ME), Red Island Marathon (RI) and Nutmeg Marathon (CT) and finally, she attended the LT100 Training Camp in Leadville, CO in June.

After the LT100 Run, she is race directing the 2nd annual charity 5K Race “Run on the Town” in Birmingham, MI (benefiting LLS & Hope for the Warriors) on September 12th and she will be competing at Ironman Louisville on October 11th.

The Leadville Trail 100 Run is a 50-mile (80km) trail out-and-back course that began in 1983. The course record is 15 hours and 42 minutes and the female record is 18 hours and 6 minutes.

 

 

5 Reasons to Join a Group Ride – by Performance Bicycle

Group Ride

If you’re like most cyclists, then riding alone is the default when you first start riding. If you’re not competing, racing or part of a club, the easiest thing to do is to get on your bike when you feel like it and ride for as long as you want. You might push the distance every now and then, but basically you ride for the joy of solo excursions; the freedom to let your thoughts wander, to let your legs dictate the pace, and to go in any direction that you want.

But if all you do is ride alone, eventually you’ll realize that you’re not growing much as a cyclist – without the challenge and camaraderie of riding with other people, you can quickly fall into a rut!

So it’s time to join a group ride, but that can seem like an intimidating experience. Will you be fast enough? Are there some secret rules you don’t know? Is your bike good enough? Do you have the right gear? Will you be secretly judged, or dropped, or worse?

In some ways, joining a new group ride can seem like the first day at a new school. And just like school, once you get over that initial apprehension, you’ll find out that it’s not so bad, after all. Sure, there will be people there with much more expensive bikes, flashier kits, and legs that look like they could dish out some serious hurt. But usually you’ll find that everyone is friendly and nobody will comment on your bike or kit or helmet (and if they do, it’s probably time to find another group ride).

If you find the right group and stick with the ride on a regular basis, you’ll find that joining a group has a lot of benefits for your growth as a cyclist, whether you consider yourself to be recreational or competitive:

  1. You’ll Get Stronger: It’s almost a guarantee that many, if not most, of the riders in the group will be stronger and you’ll have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. This leads to big improvements in your fitness.
  2. You’ll Learn More: Are you pushing too big of a gear? Not shifting in the right spots? Every group ride is full of riders who are eager to share what they know. Just try not to take offense; they’re just trying to help.
  3. You’ll Feel More Confident: You never know what you’re capable of until you try. Riding with a group will help you quickly master many of the complexities of cycling and be a stronger, more confident rider overall.
  4. You’ll Make Friends: Unless you’re that guy (and you don’t want to be that guy) that attacks when someone flats, you’ll probably make some pretty good friends on your group ride.
  5. It’s Fun: Sometimes riding can become a chore, especially if you always ride alone. Instead of always doing the same routes and struggling in the same spots, riding with a group can help spice up your riding life and give some variety to your cycling.

Learn more about how to tackle your first group ride with Performance Bicycle’s group ride quick guide. If you need help finding a ride in your area contact your local Performance Bicycle store. Most Performance stores have group rides leaving right from the store or they can help find another ride suited to your skill and riding level.

– Your Friends at Performance Bicycle

Check out our Wahoo products to help support you and your new group ride friends like smart bike computers, speed and cadence sensors, and heart rate monitors.

 

Be Cool While Exercising in the Heat

Stay Cool While Exercising in the Heat

It’s that time of year… everyone is posting and sharing screenshots of their weather apps just to prove how hot it really is. Don’t let the thermometer deter you from exercising outside! Summer is a great time to get out, enjoy the sunshine, and get wonderful fresh air in your lungs. You just have to be smart to be cool! Follow these 8 tips:

  1. Stay hydrated, but not too hydrated. You need to be replacing the sweat you’re losing without overdoing it. The amount of water depends on many factors including weight, how vigorous your activity is, and the temperature. But, in general, you can follow these guidelines:
    • Drink about 17-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before your workout.
    • Drink 8 ounces 20-30 minutes before your workout.
    • Drink about 7-10 ounces every 15 minutes during a workout and even a little bit more if you are doing a vigorous workout.
    • Finally, drink 8 ounces no more than 30 minutes after your workout.

    TIP: You can stay hydrated easily by marking your water bottle with a line for each ounce it can hold.

  2. Exercise in the mornings and evenings when the temperature is usually a little cooler.
  3. Wear light-colored, loose, absorbent clothing.
  4. Seek shade. If you are doing a workout, like the 7 Minute Workout App, then find a big tree or pavilion with tons of shade. If you’re running or cycling then try to find shaded paths or roadways.
  5. Be flexible. If the weather proves to be hotter than was planned then change up your workout. Too hot for a run? Try a swimming workout or go for a bike ride where faster speeds will give a little breeze.
  6. Avoid high humidity. Even at lower temperatures, high humidity can be a problem because your sweat is not always able to evaporate. For your sweat to evaporate, the outside air needs to be cooler than the heat your body gives off while exercising or there needs to be a low level of humidity. (See tips 2 and 8).
  7. Wear sunscreen. Protect your skin even on cloudy days. Nothing will make you overheat like sunburn.
  8. Be smart and make good choices. If it is too hot outside, then just stay indoors. If you are already outdoors, then know when to head back inside by listening to your body. But how hot is too hot? It depends on a variety of factors including temperature, humidity, what type of activity, level of intensity, and your physical fitness so you need to pay attention to how you feel. But, to help answer your question of whether or not to work out outside you can use a heat index, which uses both temperature and humidity. This will tell you what it actually feels like outside. When this number is 90 degrees or more then you should bring your workout indoors. So even if the temperature is 80 degrees, it may FEEL like 95!

 

Sarah True: Important Lessons

Sarah True

For the past few years, January to September tends to pass in a whirlwind of new places. Between training camps and far-flung races, my passport gets almost as much exercise as I do.

So far, this year is no exception; since January 1st, I’ve traveled to Boulder, Mallorca, Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Australia’s Gold Coast, Cape Town, London and France. I even managed some much needed time at home in New Hampshire. To borrow the words of the Man in Black, “Of travel I’ve had my share, man/ I’ve been everywhere”.

Through my adventures, I’ve learned two all-important lessons: be prepared and be flexible. When I travel, I tow along a bike bag, a large duffel bag and a backpack – the contents of which have to cover my needs in three sports and a wide range of weather conditions. I also have to anticipate my future needs since it can be difficult to quickly source gear.

For example, I’m currently in the French Pyrenees, where finding replacement bike parts or running shoes could be very challenging. Since experience has taught me the importance of preparation (lessons learned the hard, stressful way!), I now travel with what seems like an excessive number of running shoes and a few key bike parts. Although it means that my duffel bag can raise some eyebrows at airline check in and that non-sporting clothes gets left at home, I’m rarely left scrambling for what I need to train and race effectively. I won’t be winning any fashion contests, but I’m at peace with my lackluster travel wardrobe.

In addition to my sport specific gear, my wallet and my passport*, I wouldn’t leave New Hampshire without my technology: my iPhone, my watch and my Wahoo TICKR. Fortunately, all take up less space than that Toblerone I’m always tempted to buy at Duty-Free. With my phone and the TICKR, it’s easy for me to upload my workouts and training routes and track my fitness with the Wahoo apps. The TICKR even counts the calories I’ve burned so I know if I can add that Toblerone to my bag, too. I can share my information with my support team, no matter where I am in the world. I can also upload my training onto third party apps for folks at home to see what my training is like wherever I am. It’s not quite as good as being there in person, but it certainly helps bring us closer!

There’s an obvious limitation to how prepared one can be while traveling; if I towed along everything that I might conceivably require, I would have to bring an entourage to lug around my suitcases. I envision a scenario a la “Coming to America”#, where the pampered Prince Akeem arrives in New York City with countless suitcases and porters. Since I can’t possibly be prepared for everything, I’ve learned the art of flexibility.

Flexibility in travel requires ability to adapt without fuss and with creativity. You are descending down a mountain, the temperature has dropped precipitously and it’s now raining? No problem. Find a plastic bag on the side of the road to stick down your jersey and, if it gets really bad, consider a ride from a stranger^. Show up somewhere in the middle of the night and there’s no food? No problem. Protein powder mixed with maple syrup and raw oats for dinner it is! Bon appétit.

Likewise, I’ve been put into scenarios where I have to creatively source what I need to be able to train. Thanks to the Internet, it has become easier to find resources wherever you are. With a quick search this winter, I was able to find a nearby Wahoo KICKR studio at late notice and get in some great indoor training rides with a group. We’ve also been in a few training camp environments without a proper gym nearby. Instead, you adapt and learn what kinds of strength exercises you can do using your own body weight and whatever heavy objects you can find (rocks, milk jugs, small children), in lieu of weights. For ideas on exercises you can do anywhere, check out Wahoo’s 7 Minute Workout app. While it’s nice to have a perfect training environment, it’s even better to be able to respond to whatever situation you find yourself in and to adapt.

As any road warrior knows, travel is never as easy as being at home. With a well-packed bag and the right attitude, however, you can definitely get in some great training wherever you are. I still have a few more races, a few more destinations and even more duty-free Toblerones singing their siren songs to go. Thankfully I have all the tools that I need to adapt to wherever I am!

– Sarah

 

*I have to admit that I always pack some items that others might deem extraneous, but I view as necessary. For example, my much-loved coffee pack with grinder and aeropress travels the world with me. Even though Immigration might disagree, it’s of equal importance to my passport. We all have little things that make a huge difference when we travel!

#As a child of the 80s, this is classic movie in my mind. Fellini has nothing on this gem.

^Don’t tell my mom!

 

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