Lael’s an ultra endurance bike racer who clocks up around 20,000 miles a year – the distance she rides is almost equivalent to riding around the circumference of the earth each year! Theoretically races can be classed as ultra endurance events from 100 miles up but Lael’s race distances have gone from 400 miles to 2750 miles. True ultra endurance bike races (the ones Lael rides) are non-stop i.e. no stages, with no support crew for the riders. Most riders will have only 4-5 hours sleep but Lael survives on less.
So how does this extreme form of bike racing help us? Well it shows us the capacity the human body has to keep going. I highlighted an opinion piece by Jonny Thompson on intensity recently (in Music Enhances Athletic Performance), in which he speaks about how elite athletes learn to push themselves through the usual safety nets our bodies put up. If proof’s needed, forward 2 minutes in on the below Silverline Tools TV video to see Rachel Atherton groggily talking about how she prefers to faint than be sick after she’s completed a fitness test.
Now while I’m not suggesting everyone should be pushing themselves to the extent of Lael and Rachel, if your thinking you probably should be out practicing on your bike but you’re a bit tired and you don’t have the time, these two prove you’ve got no excuse.
If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.