Katie Hall Turns Mammoth Lakes Spring Stay Into Cycling Success
If you’re a Mammoth Lakes local you’ve probably seen the blue and white colors of Katie Hall’s UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team jersey flash by at some point in the past month while she’s been out logging some hefty training miles in preparation of a full cycling season. Katie knows full well how much of a benefit altitude prep can make, which is why she’s spent her spring soaking up the thin air and enjoying a relaxed stay at The Mammoth Lakes Crib.
We caught up with her just after she returned to Mammoth Lakes after starting the season off with two huge wins ahead of the Amgen Tour of California, one of her season’s biggest goals.
The Mammoth Crib is a hotspot for endurance athletes during the summer months, but you’ve come a bit earlier than most with a springtime stay. How has that worked out with your training?
Katie Hall: I’m here a bit early because I’m focussed on some early season races at altitude. So far my altitude block has been really successful and I won the first two stage races of the American calendar. One thing about being here so early is that not all the roads are open yet but there are still tons of options for routes to ride.
On snow days, we’ve just driven down to Bishop and ridden in the rain down there. I can ride the trainer indoors on snow days but I hate it so much that I’ve opted for the rain in Bishop. I’ve also done some pilates and yin yoga at Snowcreek Athletic Club.
Do you have a favorite ride in the Mammoth Lakes area?
KH: I have a lot of favorite routes but right now I am really excited to ride up Tioga Pass into Yosemite while it’s still closed to cars. It looks like the road is clear and dry but closed to cars. For training, I have 5 hrs of just riding and my husband is coming up for the weekend so we’ll ride from Mammoth Lakes out the scenic loop, around June Lake and up to the top of Tioga Pass, and then back! Should be almost 100 miles and just a little over five hours with some really beautiful views!
You’ve had an incredible start to the season, how did your stay in Mammoth Lakes help get you to that point in fitness?
KH: It’s important for me to spend two weeks at altitude before racing at altitude, like at Tour of the Gila. I spent a little over two weeks here but the really amazing part of staying in Mammoth Lakes is that you can still train at a relatively low altitude. If I spend too much time at altitude and only train at high elevation, I can lose some of my top end power because there simply isn’t enough oxygen to train that system. Here, I’m able to live high and train low and experience the best of both worlds. The altitude block was so successful for me in March that I’ve come back and will be here until we head to Redlands Classic [May 2-6].
When you’re not out training or recovering at The Crib, are there any hotspots in town that you frequent?
KH: I really like the Eatery at Mammoth Brewing Company. They’ve got great burgers and it’s a fun way to end a big day of training!