How many weeks are you into your training?
11 weeks into training and 7 left to go.
What is the biggest challenge that you have faced in training so far?
I'd say just getting comfortable with the bike. I still have to make a conscious effort to keep my body relaxed. If you don't, your neck and shoulders get really tired and tense because you are holding the same position for 3-5 hours at a time.
What has been your longest ride?
The longest ride was two Sundays ago (75 miles) when we rode out to Ramona.
What's one key piece of information that you have received during training?
I'd have to say the focus on hydration and calorie consumption during the actual rides has made the biggest difference. You burn 4500 calories on some of these rides so if you're not refueling your body, it just stops working. You have to continually sip the water bottle and eat while riding even when you don't feel thirsty or hungry.
What are you enjoying most about this endeavor thus far?
There are a few things:
1. It's pretty cool to learn about a new sport and meet a subculture of people that are die-hard passionate about it. I like learning all these little quirky things that cyclists do.
2. Exploring San Diego County has been pretty cool too! There are a lot of cool places I've been during the training rides in the last 2 months. Without the rides, I probably never would have seen these parts of San Diego.
How do you stay motivated?
It hasn't been too hard to be honest. I love riding my bike so it's pretty easy to get motivated. Not to mention San Diego is probably one of the best places in the US to ride a bike.
Do you typically ride solo or with others?
I typically ride with others. It's more social and it's safer as well. Cars tend to notice groups of cyclists vs. solo riders. I also learn a few things every time I ride with someone else.
Do you currently participate in any type of cross training? Why?
I still weight train at the gym about 3 times a week and jog occasionally as well. I think it keeps training more interesting.
What is your routine before and after riding?
I tend to do a lot of carbohydrate loading the night before a ride, which seems to be working pretty well. The rehab is a lot of relaxing, napping, and eating which is kind of nice. Occasionally I'll get a massage too.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being you could do the 620 mile Million Dollar Challenge bike ride tomorrow) where do you feel you are in your training process?
I'm going with a 7. We've got a back to back century ride coming up in a week (200 miles in 2 day) so after that I should have a better idea of how I'm feeling. For the most part, the rides keep getting longer but they feel easier and easier so I think that's a good sign.
Mike Carlson is SKLZ VP of Sales. He is participating in his first Million Dollar Challenge ride. The Million Dollar Challenge bike ride is a 620 mile ride down the California coastline that takes place in October to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation.