Ogden, Utah

Training for LoToJa is such a fickle task. I started this race a single guy with a job that gave me all the time I needed to train. But now that I'm a working stiff with my requisite wife and two kids, mortgage, yard and a dog, I have to be much more careful with my time and I'm actually much faster now than when I would just go grind for hours.

July through the first week of August, I try to get in at least 4 days per week of riding with at least 1 ride in the 3-4 hour range. I do all the local centuries and basically build up my butt and posture endurance. If you eat smart and force yourself to drink enough water your muscles will keep firing, but if you can't sit for a long period of time and if you don't learn to stretch a little while riding you suffer. Four weeks from race date I do a one hundred mile plus loop with some significant climbing on 3 of the weekends. The weekend before LoToJa, I do a two to three hour easier spin just to keep somewhat fresh. The week of the race I do a little every day.

After your endurance pieces are set I think that variety is key. I'm not too scientific. I look at what I did yesterday, gauge how I feel and do something different. LoToJa has long flats, rolling hills, and three significant climbs which require lots of endurance. You basically need a good mix of everything.

All of that being said I don't think I can stress enough the importance of not over analyzing and having fun. The first year I did LoToJa was "on a dare" on a mountain bike with four weeks of training. I rolled in at 11 hours and had an amazing time. I was surprised at how drafting and the general spirit and energy of the race and riders propelled me to Jackson. You race the LoToJa on your terms. For many, it is an end of season beautiful ride with the leaves turning, dramatic mountain scapes, loved ones and great accomplishment. For others, it is a measuring stick, heads down and seeing stars for 9+ hours. Regardless of how you approach the LoToJa, there is usually nothing but smiles that beautiful autumn Sunday morning in Jackson Hole.