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Santa Fe Century an early-season challenge

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A group of riders climbs a hill near Lamy in the 2013 Santa Fe Century cycling event. (Courtesy of The Photography Studio)

A group of riders climbs a hill near Lamy in the 2013 Santa Fe Century cycling event. (Courtesy of The Photography Studio)

Santa Fe is known for many attractions, but for cyclists it means one of the earliest 100-mile tour events in the Southwest.

The Santa Fe Century tour, now in its 29th year, will be held on Sunday, May 18 and organizers have already begun reminding previous participants to register online at santafecentury.com.

Originally started by a Santa Fe cycling club, the event has grown from a few dozen riders to an average of 2,800 to 3,000 annually, said event director Charles Loesch.

Many of the participants come from Arizona, Texas and Colorado.

“About 40 percent of the riders are from Colorado. It’s cold there in May and this is really the first ride of the year for them,” Loesch said.

Riders who don’t want to commit to the full 100 miles have 20-mile and 50-mile distance options.

All the routes start at Christus St. Vincent Medical Center at St. Michael’s and Hospital drives. For the 100-mile route, riders continue along the Turquoise Trail, through the old mining towns of Madrid and Golden, over the Ortiz and San Pedro mountains, through the Estancia Valley via Cedar Grove and Stanley, to the historic village of Galisteo, past Eldorado and back to Santa Fe.

Training for a century-cycle-speak for a 100-mile ride – requires time and commitment.

Here are some tips:

  • Racer Steve Matson’s tips on Active.com stress the importance, especially for first-timers, of giving themselves up to four months to prepare, building their endurance through gradually increasing their mileage.
  • Matson advises training four to six days a week mixing activities that build muscle with those that expand aerobic capacity.
  • Albuquerque-based personal trainer Adelaide McMillan recommends drills at near maximum energy output for intervals of no more than 10 seconds interspersed with recovery periods, to develop leg power.
  • For cardiopulmonary endurance, she advises longer rides at a steady pace over moderately challenging terrain.
  • In an article in Bicycling magazine, cycling fitness expert Selene Yeager, suggests starting with 15-mile to 20-mile distances twice a week, building over time to around 85 miles. She recommends doing the longer rides at a steady pace, interspersed with 15- to 30-minute intervals of pushing harder.
  • Using a heart rate monitor will help keep the training consistent by showing your effort level.
  • For event day, get plenty of sleep and eat a hearty breakfast. During the event, take advantage of provided snacks and sip energy drinks.

MAP MASTERMany of the participants come from Arizona, Texas and Colorado.

“About 40 percent of the riders are from Colorado. It’s cold there in May and this is really the first ride of the year for them,” Loesch said.

Riders who don’t want to commit to the full 100 miles have 20-mile and 50-mile distance options.

All the routes start at Christus St. Vincent Medical Center at St. Michael’s and Hospital drives. For the 100-mile route, riders continue along the Turquoise Trail, through the old mining towns of Madrid and Golden, over the Ortiz and San Pedro mountains, through the Estancia Valley via Cedar Grove and Stanley, to the historic village of Galisteo, past Eldorado and back to Santa Fe.

Training for a century-cycle-speak for a 100-mile ride – requires time and commitment.

Here are some tips:

  • Racer Steve Matson’s tips on Active.com stress the importance, especially for first-timers, of giving themselves up to four months to prepare, building their endurance through gradually increasing their mileage.
  • Matson advises training four to six days a week mixing activities that build muscle with those that expand aerobic capacity.
  • Albuquerque-based personal trainer Adelaide McMillan recommends drills at near maximum energy output for intervals of no more than 10 seconds interspersed with recovery periods, to develop leg power.
  • For cardiopulmonary endurance, she advises longer rides at a steady pace over moderately challenging terrain.
  • In an article in Bicycling magazine, cycling fitness expert Selene Yeager, suggests starting with 15-mile to 20-mile distances twice a week, building over time to around 85 miles. She recommends doing the longer rides at a steady pace, interspersed with 15- to 30-minute intervals of pushing harder.
  • Using a heart rate monitor will help keep the training consistent by showing your effort level.
  • For event day, get plenty of sleep and eat a hearty breakfast. During the event, take advantage of provided snacks and sip energy drinks.

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