Little 5 riders train for races with different methods


Every day students are biking laps around the Green Center for Performing Arts in groups, dressed in matching uniforms. It is the time of the year again when students take the streets to train for the annual Little 5 bike race.

Junior Reza Slivka is riding for her first time this year to continue a family tradition.

“My dad and aunt, who both went to DePauw, rode in little 5 all four years, so I figured I should do it at least once to continue the family tradition,” she said.

Slivka has always included biking into her workout routine, but when she decided to do Little 5 she started training specifically for the event about two months prior. Depending on the weather, the athletes either train inside or outside. This year, most of Slivka’s training took place indoors.

“Since it took forever for the weather to warm up, the majority of my training has been indoors doing peloton classes,” she said.

However, she tries to get outside a couple times a week and does exercises to improve leg strength because the race is so long that it requires more than just endurance.

“I try to do [leg strength exercises] three to four days a week accompanied with an outdoor ride one or two times a week,” Slivka said. “I try to incorporate some leg strength circuits two times a week as well.”

Sophomore Eric Spehlmann has raced bikes his whole life, so doing Little 5 was no question. He has forced himself to train outside to prepare for the race.

“We started training indoors starting mid-February, then transitioned to outdoor riding once the weather became nice enough to ride,” he said.

Spehlmann said that he never does the same workout two days in a row because there are so many different aspects of the race you have to prepare for. In order to train for all of these aspects, he has to mix it up every day.

“Training can be various routes designed either for endurance training, hill work or speed work. Proper training is accomplished by varying the length and amount of elevation gained in the ride,” Spehlmann said. “[Our team] tend to try and average 18-plus miles per hour during our rides.”

For sophomore Jon Tebbe, this is his second year participating in Little 5. Similar to Spehlmann, he also rides all year round but his training increases intensity once the second semester begins.

“I ride six days a week for about 20 miles [a day],” he said.

All of the training the four teams have put in will be put to the test on Saturday during  the Women’s Criterion at 1 p.m. and the Men’s Criterion at 2:30 p.m.