Mountain - Plains - Leadville 100
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03-06-09, 08:24 AM
Hello All. Newbie here. I was wondering if any of you have participated in (and completed) the Leadville 100? I live in Castle Rock and I ride the front range trails currently (Mt. Falcon, Apex, Green Mountain, Deer Creek etc). I would love to finish the Leadville 100, but I'm not sure I have any business trying. I wondered if its too late to start training with the ride happening in August (I think). With an elevation gain of 14,500 over 100 miles I'm just not sure if I have any shot finishing. I think 65% of riders finish in under 12 hours. What blows me away is that it takes 3-4 hours to run a marathon (comparatively). I've done a century before on a road bike but my sense is that this would be equivalent to 30-40 miles on a mountain bike. I would consider myself as a technically sound rider, with average climbing ability (42 minutes to finish Mt. Falcon). If any of you have finished this race, what was your training regimen? I have friends that do mini triathlons (10k, 1 mile swim, 50 road bike). Should I start with this? What is the maximum allowable time to finish the Leadville 100 (12-15 hours)? Thanks for any feedback.
03-09-09, 08:23 AM
I am pretty sure it is closed already because a friend told me he didn't get in this year. He rode last year, but got dnf because of time up to a checkpoint. They don't let you go into the later stretches if you don't meet time for the checkpoints.
03-27-09, 12:06 PM
As the previous poster said, registration is probably full for this year. There is some sort of lottery.
I did this race once. It sort of consumes your entire life for several months to prepare for a race like this. Otherwise it will be pure hell. You've got to be prepared. Your estimation that one hundred miles on the road is roughly equivalent to 30-40 miles on the dirt is about right. So figure Leadville would be about like riding 200-300 miles on the road with tons of climbing. I would guess that Lance Armstrong put out more total watts during Leadville than he did during any single Tour stage.
If that sounds like good times to you I would suggest going up to Leadville and riding the first half of the course (which is 50 miles out and back). If you still feel like doing it after that, and also understand that you'll be asked to walk your bike straight up a mountain after mile 70, you're good to go. You will then need to train your neck and back muscles to deal with that long of a dirt ride, because that's where the pain sets in with a vengeance in the second half.
It sounds like you have a good base to train hard and finish this race well under the time limit. Whether this is actually fun or not, however, will depend on a wide range of factors including your definition of fun. It takes a lot of time (and money) to prepare for and finish this race. May or may not be worth it.
03-28-09, 09:58 PM
The majority of the race is all in your head. Remember, you can rest when you're dead!
I did this race a few years ago, and my training regimen involved three rides a week, Mon, Wed, and Fri. Two of those rides I spent riding up and down Lookout Mountain, endlessly, with a backpack full of dictionaries. :) The third ride was a looong ride--I think I started at 5 hours of trail riding, and worked up to 8 or 9. Then I did a road century or two thrown in during the summer to get the miles on. Oh, and as for the Lookout climbs, I think I started by riding from Denver (downtown area) out to Golden, and up and down Lookout merely once. I worked up to doing the same ride, and then climbing it four or five times in a row. Yes, it DID become psychological drudgery! I rode sections of the course beforehand, too, but not the whole course. I did the major sections--the powerline a coupla times, and then the Columbine Mine climb a few times.
I think it's really important not to overtrain for it, as many people overenthusiastically do. And pick your fuel early on, and train w/ it. I think I did Gu, water, and Cytomax, with turkey sandwiches thrown in.
It was a grueling, though fun, race! A little over the top. Chlouber's spaghetti dinner the night before was nice, though, and seeing that guy who wins every year was nutty.
With my very unscientific training program, I finished in 10 hrs, 50 min. Not fabulous, but respectable.
You can definitely finish it, if you have the right mindset, if you don't overtrain, and if you tell absolutely EVERYONE you know that you're doing it, so you CAN'T drop out for fear of being labeled a quitter. You did miss the deadline for this summer, though. :( Next year, my friend, next year.
03-30-09, 05:11 PM
If you don't call riding from Denver to Golden and back with 6 repeats of the mountain with something like 680 pounds in your "backpack" overtraining then I'd really like to see you overtrain sometime. You're a real underachiever. Laughs. REB
04-01-09, 09:49 PM
Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I can't say I'm too disappointed in missing out this year. Reading some of your comments makes me think I need to start with something a little less challenging. What an accomplishment though to finish something like this. I like the idea of riding with a backpack full of dictionaires. I think I could do that; at least up my driveway:)
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