ROAD TO LEADVILLE: RUN FOR THE HILLS
by Dave Wiens
Tuesday July 13, 2010 – 4am and I’m up. On the road by 5am. Worked all day in Grand Junction, then finally rolled back into Gunni around 7pm. I did manage to make a stop at the Great Harvest Bakery for 8 loaves of our favorite bread and a cookie.
It’s still 99 degrees in Gunni when I hopped on my mountain bike around 730pm. Headed north-east of Gunnison into the Signal Peak area. It was an amazing but typical evening in the Gunnison Country. Sun getting low, clouds, sage and everything starting to glow.
After warming up, I did a set of 20-40’s. 20-40’s have been a staple workout of mine since 1990 when I lifted them out of a magazine from an article titled “Ned Overend’s Training Tips.” They’re easy, hard, short and an extremely effective workout. Here’s how I do them:
Find a consistent climb of at least 4 minutes. I like it much longer if possible but you really only need about 4 minutes of climbing to complete a set of 4. Start your watch and sprint your guts out as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Recover for 40; yes, you are still climbing.
Repeat at one minute on your watch, two minutes and at three minutes. Bam! One set of four done. I’ll do them on my road bike or my mountain bike and I like to do two sets of four.
That’s the most I’ll ever do. Back in the day, though, once I did three sets of four and on another occasion I did two sets of five, but was kind of zany like that (Sarcasm. I have always been more into quality than quantity.)
You can also throw a set into a ride at anytime, early on, toward the end, etc. I start standing and stay standing, until about 15 seconds on the first and third, while the second and fourth are done entirely in the saddle.
So on this ride, I did a set of four toward the top of a 1,000 vertical foot climb. I got 169-170 for my max HR. I then cruised down a trail, losing most of the elevation, turned around, and did another set up the trail I had just come down. I like to have at least ten minutes between sets.
The second set on the singletrack was a bit funky; singletrack is not the best place to do these, but it was getting dark and it was all I had. Same thing, though, good HR’s near 170.
Then I climbed a really steep double track and had to push the last bit. It was such a great evening to be out riding. I was having a great time when a classic Iron Maiden song came up on my Shuffle. It wasn’t “Run for the Hills” (although that would have been fitting), but that one of their darker, slower ones.
The ride was an hour and a half and I climbed around 2,000 vertical. And one very long day.