It’s getting closer: The biggest bicycling event in Southwest Colorado is less just 38 days away!
The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic brings both biking and brotherly competition to our little train town. According to local legend, the Iron House started as a contest between brothers Tom and Jim Mayer. Jim, the older brother, was a train engineer on the Iron Horse that runs from Durango to Silverton. Each day, Jim’s train passed the Mayer house. In an effort to beat his brother, Tom would then jump on his 10 speed Schwinn and try to beat the train. Tom eventually started pedaling the entire 50-mile route, and finally, in 1971 Tom beat him. The following year, almost 40 other cyclists joined Tom to race the train, and the annual Iron Horse Classic was born!
If you’re planning to pedal through this year’s road event, it’s time to get serious about your training. Whether you consider yourself an athlete in prime shape or a beginner, consider these five bicycle training tips when getting ready for the road race.
1. Have a plan.
The Iron Horse track is a tough one: Riders will climb 6,700 feet as they pedal the 50 mile mission. It takes dedication and training to be able to cruise through to the finish line. Conquer the race by working on a training plan and sticking to it.
2. Be flexible.
Even though it’s crucial to have a training plan to prepare for the race, it’s also important to have a bit of flexibility, too. Injuries and illnesses can occur, soreness will hit. Be prepared to spin through one training day and hit it hard the next.
3. Make yourself miserable.
Hate pedaling up hills? Do it anyway. These things are often miserable because they’re hard, but doing them will make them easier and more enjoyable in the long run.
4. Set goals.
Make the most of your training program by breaking your big goal — the Iron Horse Classic — into smaller goals. Don’t just log the miles, aim for improvement. Consider interval training and cadences to help you reach the end.
5. Think positive.
Don’t just train your body for the race, train your brain, too! Visualize yourself crossing the finish line and think about how good you’ll feel. Celebrate each time you reach a goal in your training. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if your attitude is on your side!
No matter whether you’re training for the race in Durango or at home, be sure to slow down and enjoy the scenery around you!