Tuesday Topics | My first PeloFondo

This week, I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics again and since we don’t have a topic this week, but are free to choose what to blog about, I thought I’d share my first PeloFondo experience with you. 

What’s a PeloFondo?

PeloFondo is a free Gran Fondo-style endurance challenge for Peloton riders. In the world of road cycling, a GranFondo (which is Italian and roughly translates to “big race”) is a long-distance mass cycling event that starts at 75 miles (120 km).

The event takes place four times per year and provides multiple distance opportunities. The main goal is to ride a designated amount of miles in a sitting, a day, or over the weekend.  You can join individually or as a team, you choose a total mileage goal between 35 and 120 miles, and you can decide if you want to complete the mileage in one day, or if you want to split it up over two days. If you pick two days, your mileage can be split up however you want between those 2 days and over multiple rides.

The recommendation for Peloton riders, who use classes, is to not follow the instructors’ cues, but instead maintain a steady, sustainable pace (zone 2, if you know your power zones) throughout the rides. I believe you can participate as an app rider, as long as you’re able to track (and then manually report) your mileage on your non-Peloton bike.

Tanja and I signed up together with our Streakers Team (the same team we join for the Power Zone Challenges). 100 riders signed up, together we pledged to ride 3000 miles and we blew that goal out of the water and collectively rode 4786.9 miles.

In total, 7565 riders from 30 different countries participated this time.

How the weekend went

You do need to prepare for a PeloFondo. You can’t just get on the bike and expect to crush your mileage goal, if you haven’t cycled more than 20 minutes before, even if you think ‘oh, I am just leisurely pedaling’. This is an endurance event and it will tax your cardiovascular and muscular system. Even if you pick the shortest distance, which is 35 miles, you’ll be in the saddle for a minimum of 2-3 hours. 

I pledged 75 miles and even though I am currently in power zone training and have had a regular exercise routine for a while, it’s not a distance to take lightly. You also need to think about hydration and fueling.

If you’ve never done any type of endurance event, this is something you need to “practice” and work on ahead of time. I am by no means a nutrition expert. I am known to run my half marathons on little more than a protein bar and some chews along the way. However, it is important that you hydrate (!!!) before and during the event (ideally also ingest some electrolytes) and that you do take in small amounts of fuel along the way to avoid bonking ( which means “hitting a wall”). When you bonk, you’ve reached the point at which the body’s glycogen stores are depleted and the body starts to fatigue, making each step/movement feel impossible. It’s very uncomfortable – legs feel heavy, body drained, and heart racing.

I thought I’d split the 75 miles over both days. The PeloFondo Team provides a ride schedule for the weekend to include live classes and an assortment of on-demand classes, so people can ride together on the leaderboard and support each other with high fives. My team, the Peloton Streakers, also came up with a ride schedule for the weekend, but I decided to tackle the first chunk of miles by choosing the “just ride” option and pedal away while watching Netflix.

I initially set my goal to ride for 2 hours, then I decided to finish 40 miles, then I was close to 1000 kj output, so I wanted to hit that, and then I thought, what the hell, just finish the 50 miles. Yes, you can get carried away a bit. Fair warning!

I was on the bike for 2 hours, 53 minutes, and truth be told, my legs (and butt) were tired. I finished three 24-oz bottles of water/electrolytes, a banana, a half protein bar, and a handful of gummy bears during my Saturday ride. Stretching and foam rolling afterwards helped immensely. So did a post-ride meal and good night’s rest.

On Sunday morning, I had a scheduled 60-min power zone ride to accomplish, and then a few miles left to hit my goal of 75 miles for the weekend. Well, let’s just say that my ambition got the better of me. I felt good, I jumped on a couple of the scheduled classes, and completed another 50 miles for day two in 2 hours and 50 minutes. The sense of support and community during this event was overwhelming and it really helped push everyone along!

This truly was a lot of fun, but one thing I’ve learned is that you have to be a bit strategic about how you’re going to approach the distance goal you’ve set for yourself. Now that my first PeloFondo is behind me, I know how to even prepare better for the next one.

Because there’s going to be a next one in April and needless to say, I’ll be doing this again!

Congrats to everyone who pledged miles and also got the work done this weekend. You all inspire me every day to become a better version of myself and I love being part of this community.

Have you participated in an endurance event? How did you like it?

  1. That was so much fun. I have to admit I was surprised how „easy“ it was to get carried away. I can’t wait for the next Pelofondo!!

    1. I loved doing this with you, friend :)

  2. So happy you enjoyed this and the lessons taken away are priceless! Best of luck as you prepare for April’s challenge!

  3. I have run halfs, and one 18 mile race. I only heard about this event after the fact, but I have to say, 3 hours in the saddle (and I’m an app person who doesn’t have the Peloton bike) doesn’t really sound that appealing to me.

    Everyone I know who did it enjoyed it! You did great — congrats!

    1. I totally get it’s not for everyone. But thanks for the kind words :)

  4. WOW 100 miles!!!!! I decided to do the PeloFondo, kind of last-minute because our daughter was visiting and hanging out with her took priority. I also had a race Saturday morning, so I had to gauge my time on the (outdoor) bike. I “only” did 40 miles, but will definitely aspire to do much more in April…I just hope it’s not the same weekend as my half marathon. Great job!!!!

    1. So awesome you participated as well, Kim. 40 miles is nothing to cough at! Great job! Hope to “see you” in April :)

  5. Congratulation on 100 miles! I found out about PeloFondo pretty late (Wednesday of last week), so I didn’t really have time to train, but often do 30-60 minutes of cycling so I knew I could do the minimum distance. I’m also planning on doing it again in April and hope to do the same mileage but beat my time!

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. So exciting to hear you jumped on the bandwagon too. Congrats on the PRs and crushing your mileage goal!

  6. Wow 100 miles!! Well done – that is amazing!
    I’m sure you are looking forward to April, sounds like alot of fun.

    1. Thank you – I really appreciate it! :)

  7. What an accomplishment! I’m so proud of you! Great job! I couldn’t believe when you said you were so close to 1000 output, I mean, IN MY DREAMS MAYBE. That’s so great, San!

    1. Thanks friend. I know you can appreciate this – spending so much time on your bike yourself. I honestly never thought I’d be able to hit 1000 kj but if you spend long enough on the bike, it’s bound to happen. Haha. Hope we can ride together sometime (I always check if someone I know is riding when I get on, so watch out!)

  8. Wow, 100 miles! That’s awesome. I can totally understand getting carried away when you have a whole group of you logging in the miles. Great job! Can’t wait to see what you’ll accomplish next time!

    1. Thanks so much, Virjinia. It was really fun.

  9. 100 miles! That is impressive! There are some century rides here in MN in the summer time, but I have never been tempted to train for one. I think the longest I’ve biked is about 35 miles in a day? I biked to a nearby town with a friend and back so it was split into 2 biking sessions with a yummy lunch in between. But the only endurance events I’ve trained for are marathons. I’ve done 4 and can say with quite a bit of confidence that I will never do another one in my lifetime! But I am glad I did them when I was younger and didn’t have kids!

    1. Thank you – breaking up the mileage definitely is a good idea and I will think about that for the next long-distance event (lunch with a friend sounds even better ;)). For some reason I am less intimidated by a long distance ride as I am by a marathon – I still think about tackling that goal sometime. You can luckily make a checkmark on that one :)

  10. Wow, this actually sounds really fun! i like endurance challenges like this- just not on the bike usually. : ) But I can see how this would be do-able, with the classes and community support. You totally crushed it- can’t wait to hear about the April event!

    1. Thanks so much, Jenny. I am taking all the challenges I can get right now…

  11. 100 miles in two days?! San, that is so impressive! Way to go on accomplishing such a huge goal. This sounds like something that would be fun to try to attempt if I ever get myself a real Peloton bike. But at, like, a much reduced scale, hahaha.

    1. Thank you, friend. I am the last person to tell you to NOT get a Peloton… obviously ;)

  12. Great job! Proud of you!! I am excited to do this in April. I will definitely start with the minimum based on where I am now. Maybe by April I’ll be in better shape. Who knows? I like that you can do this in 2 days versus just 1 day.

  13. I’m so mad that I keep forgetting about PeloFondo weekends. Way to go on your first!

    1. Thank you. The next one is at the end of April. Do you want me to remind you? :)

  14. WOW. Go you! And thank you so much for sharing the story of the name – I was so curious!
    I would totally fall into the “what the heck, I did 75 miles, what’s 100?” camp, too. :)

    I honestly don’t think my bike’s mileage is accurate so hesitate to base any participation in any activity like this on that. I need to figure out if it can be calibrated or something…

    Anyway, congratulations. You’re amazing!

    1. You’re too kind, Anne. Thank you :)

  15. Wow I can’t say enough how impressed I am with all your exercise. I can see why you enjoy it but for me endurance challenges or long distances sports have always had the least appeal. The community sounds like a lot of fun though. Enjoy your next GranFondo.

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