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Aug 19, 2019
Thank you, sir, may I have another Stage, please? I knew Breck Epic would be difficult. It is a six-day mountain bike stage race in the Colorado mountains, Summit County. In my pre-race blog I wrote about the miles and elevation gain in each day, you can find that information at this link. I pre-rode every day except stage 5, so I knew what was in store for me. I did sign up and pay the entry fee before pre-riding any of the stages and in hindsight that was probably a good thing. I had every intention of writing...
Aug 05, 2019
This ailment is very common among endurance athletes. It typically begins rearing its ugly head in the two to three weeks prior to race day. A small itch, so to speak. The worst of it begins seven days out from the race and reaches peak intensity in the 24 hours prior to when the start gun fires. Some common ailment symptoms: Retail therapy and viva la Visa! Athletes make multiple purchases online or at local stores – sometimes duplicating purchases “just in case.” In the worst scenarios, athletes will pay exorbitant amounts for next day delivery. Meltdowns over small...
Aug 01, 2019
Featured photo courtesy of Ron Kennedy The Breck Epic event has been on my bucket list for years – maybe eight or 10 years. My buddy Scott Ellis and I planned on doing the race in 2017. That did not happen so I’m doing it in 2019 with his spirit-support. What is Breck Epic? It is a six-day mountain bike stage race on the trails in Summit County, Colorado. Each stage starts and finishes in Breckenridge (at roughly 9,600 feet elevation.) At the sweet age of 61, I am concerned about simply finishing the event. I am told by...
Aug 22, 2018
A great column with good information from top riders and coaches. I am featured along with these experts: Bart Brentjens, Léandre Bouchard, Lorraine Truong, Rémy Absalon, Simon Zahner, Sonya Looney and Todd Wells See the entire story at this link.
Aug 17, 2018
Gale Bernhardt ©2018 The primary reason many athletes seek high altitude training locations is to help improve the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and to increase the chemical in the body that makes oxygen more available to the muscles. In Part I we learned how the body responds in positive and negative ways to altitude stress. In Part II, we’ll look at strategies for training at altitude. Artificially live high and train low One training theory suggests you should live at a moderately high altitude and train at a lower one. This is commonly titled, “live high and...
Aug 17, 2018
Gale Bernhardt ©2018 If you are a lowlander and have traveled to the mountains to bike, hike, ski, race, or sightsee, you may have experienced uncomfortable symptoms of high altitude. You may have gotten a rip-roaring headache, nausea, or just felt lousy all over. Still, you have heard that high-altitude training is “good” for you. Is altitude training really worthwhile? In this column I will explain the basics about how altitude affects the body, the benefits and the downsides. In Part II I’ll look at some recommendations for utilizing altitude training for sea level racing and for mountain racing. The...
Dec 16, 2017
I’ve heard some people cry out, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Or, the problem is the sky is not falling. We have had an extremely dry start to the 2017-2018 Colorado winter. Some people are happy with the dry conditions, others are not. Should we be pressing the panic button? If you want the answer now – don’t panic yet. If you want more detail, read on. One of my nicknames, given to me by good cycling buddies Scott Ellis and Bill Frielingsdorf, is “Weather Girl.” I closely examine multiple weather websites before every race and often...
Nov 20, 2017
A few months ago, I signed up to be part of a study at Colorado State University (CSU.) Researchers from CSU and University of Colorado health are examining how high levels of exercise affect your heart. I have gone through two of the three phases of testing. One of the tests is a VO2max test. Though the researchers are not looking for substrate use (the percentage of carbohydrate and fat used at each exercise intensity), these numbers show up on the results sheet. The research coordinator, Nate Bachman, sent me this result: “I am also attaching a report of your...
Oct 04, 2017
A few years back I wrote a column titled, “Liars, Cheaters and Thieves in Your Sport.” The column looked at why people lie, cheat and steal. Why do people cut courses? Why do people skip paying entry fees? More recently we’ve had drug use among these amateurs and now motors in bikes or e-bikes. People seek an advantage. They excuse themselves from wrong-doing by claiming others are doing “it” too and they are just leveling the playing field. One of the attractions of Strava is that cyclists and runners can measure best times on particular segments against themselves and against...
Sep 06, 2017
In the past, it was thought that exercise canceled out some of the negative aspects of being overweight. People carrying those extra pounds found some comfort in the thought that as long as they exercise, being chubby isn’t a liability. Wrong. A recently published study found that being overweight or obese increases the risk of coronary heart disease by up to 28 percent, compared to people with a healthy body weight. And it doesn’t matter if the overweight person begins with healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol numbers – it’s just a matter of time before being overweight catches...