Workout of the Month: The Big Loop
by Marilyn McDonald
Pretty much everybody who decides they want to do an ironman knows there are going to be some long rides. It usually varies on how many or how often for different people and different programs. Each athlete's ability and experience level also dictates the length of the long ride.
I am a cyclist at heart. I love riding my bike. The beauty about cycling is generally the more you can ride, the better you get. There does come a point where the work rate itself within the total hours of riding becomes key, but nobody can argue the importance of the big epic ride within the ironman build. It gives you the chance to practice pacing and nutrition, builds durability and endurance, and helps you embrace the mental challenges of being out there a long time.
When seeking out your big loop, think of something that is close to the terrain of your key race and will take approximately six to seven hours to complete. It's good to rally up three to five of your good buddies to join you. Company on days like this build memories and friends for life.
Here are two Big Loops I enjoy in my training bases:
It's fun to explore! You get to see a lot of things from your bike that you won't see by foot or car. So find something epic you'll be challenged by and you'll remember for years as war stories with your friends.