An Interview With Dave Wiens: How to Win the Leadville 100 - Part I

Part of this array is Nordic skate skiing, which is always at a hard effort. This is done once or twice per week, lasting 1.5 to three hours per session.

For skate ski racing, there is the Alley Loop in Crested Butte, which is 2.5 hours hard. I usually do this 42K race, and in 2009 it was on January 31. I have done more skate skiing in the past but never a lot.

Included in the ski mix is randonn?e racing (alpine touring, ski mountaineering race), and it is two to 2.5 hours as hard as I can go. It is usually 4,000 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain. I did three of these in 2009 (Jan. 18; Feb. 7; and Feb. 28), which was the most ever. Usually, I'll do only one or none.

I do play hockey as well. I have recreation league games, lunch hockey, and skills clinics. All hockey sessions are short, all-out efforts, done over and over again. Generally, these last for about an hour each session. In 2008 to 2009, our season was from early November through March. I play hockey two to three times per week.

For weight training, I always do more or less the same routine: three sets of 15 reps with light weight. I do upper and lower body exercises, abdominal and back work too. The entire routine takes about an hour, done two to three times per week. I have lifted in this manner, on and off for over 15 years. I will say I get completely away from doing weights at times.

This past winter, I lifted consistent through March and haven't lifted weights since. My plan is to get back in the weight room any day now! In 2007, I began weights on July 13 and made it into the weight room 10 times before the Leadville. For 2008, I started up again on July 10 and made it into the gym 10 times again. (Not by any sort of plan, it just turned out that way.)

Stretching, like weights, I have been consistently inconsistent for the last 15+ years. I have more focus on stretching during higher impact times of the year, such as in the fall when I play recreation-league flag football. Alpine skiing and hockey each demand stretching too.

Dave-Wiens-Leadville-08
In 2008, Dave Wiens conquered the Leadville 100 for the sixth time, breaking his own course record.
AP Photo/Summit Daily News, Mark Fox

This year I have not done any stretching since hockey season ended, but I plan to begin again any day now. When I stretch, it's usually two to three times per week. I include some core body work and yoga poses.

Stretching and weights are primarily for injury prevention, flexibility and overall body strength.

After the Elk Mountain Traverse, I'll start to ride again. If the snow is good, I'll continue to ski but that is certainly tapering down. Also, I will ski a peak or two in the spring, which includes a big hike, then I ski down.

For April through May, below are some gross weekly totals from my log. The weeks are numbered. Know that compared to 2008, this year (2009) had less skiing:

  1. 6 hours skiing; 8 hours on the bike. 6,000 vertical feet (vert) on the bike
  2. 5 hours skiing; 8 hours on the bike. 3,500 vert on the bike
  3. 13 hours on the bike. Raced at Sea Otter Classic. 9,000 vert
  4. 12 hours on the bike. 9,000 vert
  5. 2 hours on the bike and travel and work- trail design. Trail work is physical, but this week included little race-specific training.
  6. 12 hours on the bike. 10,000 vert
  7. 15+ hours on the bike 10,000 vert

In Part II, Dave will finish telling us about his Leadville 100 preparation. Look forward to reading about key metrics he tracks, mental skills tips, his biggest cycling week and his passion for trail advocacy.


Gale Bernhardt was the USA Triathlon team coach at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2004 Athens Olympics. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Games in Sydney. She currently serves as one of the World Cup coaches for the International Triathlon Union's Sport Development Team. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's pre-built, easy-to-follow cycling and triathlon training plans. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.

Related Links:

An Interview With Dave Wiens: How to Win the Leadville 100 - Part II

Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong Go Head to Head in Leadville

Williams, Wiens, Armstrong and Leadville

Race Across the Sky: The Leadville 100

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