Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Super-Randonneur: Todd LeBlanc

When did you ride your first brevet? I did my first brevet in Sept 2008. It was the Stove Prairie 200K.

Your brevet/rando experience up to this point? I had done four day bike tours with a group called the Quadbusters for the past 10 years.

How did your previous rando or other experience help you? Because I had climbed many mountain passes I learned perseverance and the ability to overcome a challenge. I also was a competitive athlete in various sports so knew how to train and push my body.

Did you do any specific training for successive, longer SR events? I got a coach and followed the Training Peaks (www.trainingpeaks.com) regimen. I started in January of 2009 and trained 7-10 hrs a week leading up to the events. Did lots of speed work, climbing and practiced long rides on the weekends. Another big key was lifting weights and doing core work 1-2x a week.

What were the challenges moving up to the longer distances? Without a doubt sitting on the seat (I got a Selle Titanico to get me through) for 10 plus hours. Also not knowing the courses and if I could do the distances I had a big mental challenge to overcome. Having two small kids finding time to train was also a hurdle.

How many years of working towards the SR award did it take you? Setbacks overcome? Just started this year with long brevet riding. The first couple rides we had brutal weather and I wanted to quit but everyone in the group pushed me on. John Lee Ellis and other veteran riders answered every question I ever had helping me through the rides. I did try to qualify for RAAM on the 1200K ride and didn’t hit my goal but was on pace for about 600 miles. Man I hate those Kansas headwinds but got great experience on achieving that goal sometime in the future.

Any particular strategies (nutrition, pace, sleeping)? I went through each ride in my head and sometimes drove the courses. I used Infinit Drink Solution and supplemented with chocolate milk and sandwiches at stops. I rode with a HR monitor and always kept my HR Aerobic even on the long climbs. Ride your own ride and pace.

Any other tips or words of wisdom? During your training rides make sure you work up to 10 hr rides and practice your equipment and nutrition strategy. Look at the equipment of other veteran riders and ask questions of them as they are a wealth of knowledge. Make sure to taper and take it easy before a long ride. I am living proof you can go from riding 100 miles to 750 miles in one year if you are committed to training about 7-10 hrs a week. You don’t need to ride everyday and with a plan you can achieve your goals.


Ed. Note: Todd followed up his SR series by finishing the Last Chance 1200k, not quite a year after his first brevet.

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