Training for the Whistler Gran Fondo

I’m not a competitive person. You can label me as a recreational athlete but definitely not a competitive or serious athlete. I have ZERO interest in racing but I do them anyway for fun, for the experience and to see if I can actually complete them. I don’t care if I have the fastest time or the slowest time. I sure don’t want to come in last but I don’t care about placing in the top either. For me, fitness is a hobby and it’s something that makes me feel awesome.

Honestly, I’m not scared or worried about the Whistler Gran Fondo at all— I don’t plan on doing anything different than I am already doing because I have confidence in my abilities. I don’t care about placing in the top but I want to cross the finish line and have an AMAZING time doing it. Which I most definitely will.

My Gran Fondo training plan is to do exactly what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years and continue living my fit and healthy lifestyle.

In all the events and “races” I’ve completed in the past, I never had a “training plan” and always just worked out and did my thing as usual, perhaps with some minor tweaks (such as spending a little more time on the bikes at the gym for cardio when the Ride to Conquer Cancer was coming up). I know this has always worked for me because I always felt confident and prepared going into an event and I always completed it and had tons of fun doing so which is the most important part of it to me. With that being said, if you are more serious about the race than I am and want to place in the top, you should definitely come up with a solid plan that will also track your progression!

Prospect Hill | Stanley Park

Prospect Hill @ Stanley Park. Photo Credit: Shane York

I am a huge believer in cross-training. To be a stronger athlete, you must not only have endurance but strong muscles to push you even further. I do cardio but also a lot of weightlifting and high intensity interval training which not only develops my fitness but my mental toughness. Here are some of my workout guidelines and how I’m “training” for the Whistler Gran Fondo:

  • I get most of my cardio on the bike outdoors or if it’s the spin bike at the gym, it’s in the form of HIIT and Tabata.
  • I don’t attend Crossfit but I do Crossfit workouts on my own because I have all the equipment at my gym (and I love working out on my own).
  • I do workouts for time, for reps, as many rounds as possible, to failure… always switching it up!
  • I do a lot of functional movement and compound exercises.
  • I always lift heavy weights.
  • I make sure to have variety in all my workouts.
  • I don’t follow a set training plan. I train whatever body part I feel like and I rest when my body tells me to.
  • I DO outline my workouts weekly. That keeps me from messing around and wasting time at the gym because I really do not have any time to waste. Efficiency is the key!
  • Some outlines I set for myself per week (but not strictly): a minimum of 1 upperbody HIIT circuit (lots of rows, presses, cleans and usually combined with plyo or sprints), 1 deadlift day (just because deadlifts are my absolute FAVORITE lift and it’s usually combined with core and light cardio), 1 lower body day (lots of squat varations, glutes, etc), 1 full-body conditioning day (crazy intense workouts that I always dread but love at the same time; wall balls, burpees, double-unders, kettle bells, bike sprints, everything my gym has to offer).
  • I stretch and foam-roll after every single workout.
  • I make sure to rest. If my body is not up for it, I will take a day off.
  • And of course, I’m trying to spend as much time on the saddle as possible while balancing it with all my other physical activities and a busy life.

I am committed to staying fit year-round so I know I will always be prepared for anything. I go into every event with a confident mindset knowing that I have the ability to finish which makes the experience that much more positive and bearable because I never get stressed out. Training and staying fit is already integrated into my lifestyle and while it is easy to maintain, being able to love and embrace the pain definitely helps too!

How do you train for a race?

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    Workout Recap 06.24-07.01

    GOOD girls do it better!!

    GOOD girls do it better!!

    • MONDAY –  Lowerbody; deadlifts, bulgarian split squats, sumo squats, etc. Legs were sore for the next couple of days.
    • TUESDAY – Upperbody; bunch of circuits with different types of compound movements, rows and TRX combined with sprints on the bike for a super sweaty and satisfying workout!
    • WEDNESDAY  – Rest day.
    • THURSDAY – Warmed up with an easier version of our Burpee Circuit (but it was not easy!), then my favorite workout: 5 rounds of 50 Plank Jacks, 40 Double-Under, 30 Jump Squats, 20 Wall Balls, 10 24kg KB Swings. This one is hard because I try to make each rep consecutive and no breaks— huge mental challenge! Ended with bunch of rounds of HIIT on the bike but I used high cadence with just a tiny bit more resistance since I already had 2 hard workouts and knew I wouldn’t be able to give it my all like usual.
    • FRIDAY – Grouse Grind in the morning then went to the gym after lunch for a quickie glute session. Glutes were on fire!!
    • SATURDAY – Rest day. I literally did “nothing” all day except for a tiny bit of client work, eat, clean and laying around watching Netflix. Totally needed this day!
    • SUNDAY – Grouse Grind. I was HR training but this guy screwed me up my first split because he was literally breathing down my neck so I slowed down to let him pass but he wouldn’t!! So I sped up hoping to lose him and he held on for a while but he eventually fell behind. I ended up pushing way too hard in the beginning and couldn’t get my heartrate down again. Again my fault because I didn’t want to stop… I need to learn patience!! Will try again next time. I woke up with sniffles that morning and when I got to the top, I got chills and got a little freaked out because I thought I was getting sick.
    • MONDAY – 146km bike ride to celebrate Canada’s 146th birthday! Happy Canada Day! Is it bad that this was the first year that I knew how old Canada is? But now I will always know because of the the Canada Day Populaire! Too bad it happened on the hottest day of the year because the ride was HARD. The first part was fine and we were crusing along at around 35kph easily and I had plenty of energy but by the last 25k, we were down to 20-25kph because we were running out of water and it was scorching hot. It was kind of our fault though because we could’ve stopped to get water (or drink from my second bottle which pretty much had boiling water but I didn’t want to). Harhar. I just wanted to go home, shower and have a giant protein shake (which I did before passing out while right in the middle of Instagramming).

    Other notes:

    • I think I overloaded on the cardio this week! But I guess it’s alright because I ate like a beast.
    • I’m coming to realize that I have a fruit problem. I cannot stop eating fruit! All that sugar in it is definitely addicting and it doesn’t help that I have so much around. Plus summer is the season where all my favorite fruits come out to play.
    • I discovered I really love doing the Grind in the morning… plus there is a lot less people.
    • I don’t care when I get passed at the Grind in the morning because that’s usually when all the hardcore fitness people are up there but in the afternoon, I find that I make more of an effort to pass people and stay ahead of them. But then it’s a lot easier! Harhar.
    • I’m quite sad because I may have to back out of a long-anticipated bike ride at the end of July…
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