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Awesome cardio workout at Mt. Dora

Friday, February 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

Resting between laps at Mt. Dora trails.

Resting between laps at Mt. Dora trails.

Yesterday morning I found myself in a position to break away from work for a couple of hours, and so I decided to head over to the new trail in Mt. Dora for my cardio. I checked out this trail once before right after it opened to the public, and my recollection was that it was a particularly tough cardio workout. My memory of the place was spot-on. I know most of you think of Florida as nothing but flatland, but there are exceptions. This trail is only about 1.3 miles in length, but over that short distance there is about 100 feet of elevation change (from -18 to +81 according to my GPS). Some of the climbs are very challenging from a cardio perspective. Near the top of one of the steepest climbs there’s a ~6″ log across trail. Trying to hop over that while still on a fairly lengthy, sandy and steep uphill is really tough.

While this trail doesn’t have much in the way of technical challenges, from a cardio perspective it’s the most difficult of the ones I frequent. Throughout most of the ride my heart is pounding out of my chest, my legs are burning and I’m breathing very, very hard. Unless I’m loafing it I simply can not do more than one lap without stopping for a few minutes to rest.

It’s not entirely cardio, however; there are actually a couple of pretty fun areas on this trail. The nice part about steep climbs is that there are also downhills, and boy do they feel good after a hard climb!

Composite photo - riding the fishbowl.

Composite photo - riding the fishbowl.

Probably the most fun feature on this trail is what I call the “fishbowl”. The fishbowl is basically a big scoop out of the earth: a rapid ~8 foot drop followed immediately by a steep ~8 foot accent. It’s fast and it’s a blast to ride.

By the way, Lisa saw the composite image that you see on the left, and asked me who I was riding with. I was tempted to tell her how shocked I was when I saw three other guys there who looked just like me, rode the exact same bike and wore the same clothes! Instead I choked back my laughter (tears?) and told her that I didn’t know who they were because I didn’t really talk to them.

Anyway, that was one serious cardio workout. I’ll be hitting that trail a lot on this cut.

By the way, I think Florida is one of the few states (the only state?) in the continental US that had temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s yesterday. I understand if you feel like killing me for wearing shorts while you were clearing your driveways of snow.

John Stone Fitness Comments

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