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Prado spends time training Costa Rica

Manny Prado in his national champion of Costa Rica kit.

Manny Prado in his national champion of Costa Rica kit. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Manny Prado of the Sho-Air / Specialized team has been busy with some off season training at home in Costa Rica. The past week has been a good chance for the 2009 La Ruta de los Conquistadores winner to work on his climbing.

"Almost anywhere I go is up or down a hill, not very many flats here in the town of San Ramon, Alajuela, Costa Rica," wrote Prado in his blog at for Specialized. "In seven days, I have done almost 710 kilometers and about 35,000 feet of elevation gain.

"I have always wanted to improve my climbing skills, and I think this may be the trick that will make me a better climber."

Prado said his easy rides are limited to a two-kilometer area in which he has to do many laps to keep it flat. On his hillier, more exploratory rides, Prado has been taking in the scenery and the wildlife. Referring to one recent ride, he wrote, "The scenery made it all worth it. On the way back a colorful Toucan flew right in front of me as I was going up the hill on the way home."

The hard work is not over for Prado any time soon. "I have plenty more training to do! I'm looking forward to it, and enjoying the time back in Costa Rica."