Tim Franklin (@tim4vets) and myself having post race beverages provided by Cannondale.
In regards to cycling and my mtb racing hobby, one thing I have been struggling with for the past few years is my weight. At the end of last season(2019) I was weighing in around 215. One metric that is interesting to me relates directly to weight, and that is my power to weight ratio. For my FTP around 250 and weight 97.5(kg) at the end of the season, w/kg is around 2.5. Knowing my FTP wasn’t going to go up significantly, the best way to improve my performance was to lose weight.
For me this was no easy task, having tried different diets, and regardless, my weight was around 215. From the research i have done, this all boils down to calories, if you consume less than you need you will lose weight. Another resource was a very informative video from Dylan Johnson (See his video below) an ultra-endurance bike racer/coach which lays the obvious out very plainly. There are calorie dense foods and calorie non dense foods, eat the non-dense foods and you will get filled up faster without the number of calories. Taking this approach a little further and cutting out meat products i was able to get below 200.
So far I have lost around 20 extra pounds and hopefully more, I have noticed an increase in my w/kg and also increased performance especially in my climbing.
First off, I have only been racing as a hobby for the last 5 or so years. I was at a point in my life where I felt if I didn’t make a change, things were going to go down hill fast. I was overweight, somewhat bored and wasn’t finding much joy in life. When I came to this realization, I hired a trainer who got me into the swimming pool 5 days a week and I swam off 40 pounds of weight. It was at this point that I started looking at MTB as an activity from my youth that I had yearned to get back into, but could never find the motivation. It was at this point that I purchased a bike and signed up for my first race.
I entered a local race called “Rumble on 18rd”, it was a local race in the desert, north of Fruita Colorado in an area named for the road that takes you to the trails, i.e. 18rd. With little training other than a few rides I suffered through 15 miles of sweat, tears, and aching body parts but completed without giving up. I also signed up for 1 other race that year, which was more of a “fun ride” and again I completed it, with again sweat, tears, probably a few cuss words, and even though I was miserable the whole time I endured.
Fast forward to today, I have a full race calendar for the summer, I have a coach that supports my growth as an athlete, writes me a weekly workout schedule. My training often exceeds 10 hours a week, Is it hard? yes, Is it time consuming? Extremely, do i make sacrifices? Of course. Am I happy? I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I race Mountain bikes, because it challenges mind and body, it takes me places that I likely would not go, and gives me goals to look forward to and accomplish. It has made me think about what I put into my body, and has strengthened my relationships, and has led me down a path that has made me a better person.
In 2 weeks i will be heading to St.George for the True Grit Epic This Race features some of the best riding St.George Utah has to offer. Here is a link to the True Grit Epic website
Upon Arriving to St.George Utah it rained heave for at least 16 hours. When it wasn’t raining heavy, it was still a light rain. For Saturday the race was postponed for a few hours due to flooding. I was in stage 4, i was fast up the first hill, I saw a few people going the wrong direction and didn’t think anything of it. Then the mud started, at first it wasn’t very bad, but it continued to get extremely muddy. My wheels were caked, i couldn’t even push my bike, the mud was so thick. I tried to scrape it off and continue on foot with bike over shoulder. I got a little further but with all mud in drive train and suspension/wheels i decided to turn around