Fitness

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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