Cary Smith | Vertical Challenge

What made you participate in the challenge?

It seemed like a great way to stay motivated to put in some big days. My race season never materialized due to an injury in the spring so this was a great substitute. 

Have you ever tracked your vertical feet before? 

I look at the number when I finish my ride but I've never set a vertical goal or added them up.

What was your favorite part of the challenge?

Figuring out interesting rides that combined both cool climbs and descents. 

What did you eat during your long days?

Nothing interesting! Skratch drink mix, chomps, gummy bears, Gu, bars. 

How did the gym transfer to your vertical?

Strength training is important to complement our linear, quad-intensive activities. I feel like off-the-bike exercises allow me to strengthen my core, upper body and smaller, auxiliary leg muscles. These are the muscles that fatigue more quickly., so if they're stronger that takes some of the load off my main muscle groups. 

What’s your favorite gym exercise? 

That's a tough one. The obvious answer is the exercises that I feel like I'm good at doing. But I get more reward from exercises that involve hamstrings and glutes in combination with balance. I try to avoid doing exercises on the floor but rather on some sort of unstable surface. 

Anything else you want to add?

Thanks for organizing this challenge. Maybe there will be a winter version!

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