Thursday, June 27, 2013
Frequently I hear a lot about proper hydration on race day, soreness after the race, or even feeling fatigued on race day. I thought it would be easier to explain what I’ve found works well for me. We all hear and are bombarded with the new products out there that are supposed to make you stronger, better, and faster, but I can say I’ve had the best experience with Hammer Nutrition products. I used to struggle with fatigue, headaches, sluggishness, arm pump, and various things that slowed me down on race day and during the week. Hammer Nutrition has alleviated a lot of this. Below I’ve listed some of their products I use along with how they’ve helped me.
I’ve tried Clif Shots, Gatorade gels, and a few other energy bars, but Hammer Gel is by far my favorite Hammer Product. It comes in a small packet for a fanny pouch or a five serving flask that can be filled with their large 26 serving container. It provides the right amount of energy after a section or mid-race. If you watch closely in the GNCC videos, you will often see riders take a hammer gel during their pit stop. I use the flask with the vanilla flavor which is easy on my stomach. I take one serving after each section in order to stay energized.
HEED was the third Hammer product I’ve tried and I’ve used it ever since. Prior to Heed, I used water, Gatorade, or Powerade but often lacked energy with it. Now that I know Powerade and Gatorade are mostly sugar and water, I tried HEED. At each race, I will mix two scoops of HEED with two water bottles and half to a full container of powerade. The main reason I still use Powerade is for flavor as my stomach is so used to the blue flavor. HEED has eliminated my arm pump and more efficiently kept me hydrated.
I often refer to Recoverite as the “magic” solution. It is pretty much whey mixed with complex carbs and put into a simple packet. I often mix it with one water bottle to dilute the flavor. Recoverite should be taken immediately after exercise or within 30 minutes for best use. It has cured any soreness after race day and brought my energy back a lot faster. I usually take the vanilla flavor as it is easiest on my stomach.
Fizz was something that I just threw into a water bottle one day to try. It is purely electrolytes with about ten calories in each tablet. I throw one tablet into my camelback or one into a water bottle. It has a light flavor (I prefer grape) and gives a carbonated taste. I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference with Fizz but I haven’t had any problems with it either. The grape or grapefruit flavors are my favorite.
To get 15% off an order of Hammer Nutrition, use the code: 214793, my name and my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Race: ECEA Round 9: Foggy Mountain National Enduro
Bike: 09 KTM 200
Result: 1st A-200, 40th Overall
Sponsors: I would like to thank Stickman Graphx, Unabiker.com, EKS Brand Goggles, Kriega USA, Rekluse, All Balls Racing, EBC Brakes, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters, Works Enduro Rider, FMF Racing, Vertex Pistons, Powerseal USA, Matto Cycle, Clockwork KTM, Torc 1 Racing, Motorex, G2 Ergonomics, my family, Erin Fisher, and my Dad.
|Photo by Erin Fisher|
The past few weeks of racing have been awesome for me as I’ve accomplished a few things that I’ve always dreamed of. A few years ago, I never expected to do well in racing whether it be at the A, B, or C level. But the past year, I’ve stepped it up and continued to improve slowly. I’ve always been a consistent rider, but this year has been great. Two weeks ago, I won my first Overall A at the HMDR Enduro and took a season best of 9th overall. This weekend, I checked off another milestone.
On Friday, we headed to Foggy Mountain which is one of my favorite tracks on the ECEA circuit. It is usually rocky, but the trail flows really well. It can be technical in spots but it is a blast overall. I mounted up a Vee Rubber trials tire along with a M59 as I expected the track to be rocky and hardpack. On Saturday, I had the chance to walk the track with some fast AA and Pro riders which was a good learning experience. We walked the start of five out of six tests.
Sunday morning, I was excited to race, but nervous as I wasn’t sure where my current speed would place me in the overall. At the NEPGs earlier in the year, my best finish was 70th overall. I had a lot to prove in the rocks, and I wanted to be in the top 40 at the end of the day. The first two sections of the day went great as I rode awesome. I avoided arm pump by using HEED in my Kriega hydration system. The 3rd section ruined my overall for the day as I missed a turn and got stuck in a ravine. Now that I look back on it, I could have saved myself a lot of time in there but I wasted time turning around (too many logs in the ravine). I was able to regroup myself for the last 3 tests where I landed in 33rd, 33rd, and 38th overall. I still made some small mistakes but I felt great with my riding and fitness. After 6 sections, I was able to win the A-200 class and place 40th overall. This was also my first ever National win which is something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
|Photo by Joann Hauser|
Race: ECEA Round 4: Greenbrier Enduro
Bike: 09 KTM 200
Result: 1st A-200, 18th Overall
Sponsors: I would like to thank Stickman Graphx, Unabiker.com, EKS Brand Goggles, Kriega USA, Rekluse, All Balls Racing, EBC Brakes, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters, Works Enduro Rider, FMF Racing, Vertex Pistons, Powerseal USA, Matto Cycle, Offroadviking.com, Clockwork KTM, Torc 1 Racing, Motorex, G2 Ergonomics, Joann Hauser, my family, and my Dad.
I have been looking forward to racing the Greenbrier Enduro for a few months now. It is always known to have great trail that separates out the competition fairly well. I have been working hard to make subtle changes on the bike this season so that I am more prepared for the races. Sunday morning, my dad and I drove down to the race. I rode on row 28 with Ben Smith. My plan is to ride the rest of the year with Ben as I am hoping to learn a lot from a AA rider so that I can hopefully race AA next season.
My day started off a little slow as I shook out some cobwebs and missed the first couple flips. Total, I missed 3 flips by fewer than 10 seconds which is frustrating but shows that I am on the edge of taking my speed to the next level. Early on, I decided that subtle suspension changes were needed since the trail was smoother than previous weekends, and my front end seemed to be diving too much. Once those changes occurred, I was able to finish the rest of the day strong. I was surprised at my conditioning for the 15 mile section which I set a fairly good time in. I am learning to keep my intensity up which can be tough in a 15 mile section.
I am going to keep this week’s report short as I am in my final two weeks of school and finals are next week! Yikes! But at the end of the day at Greenbrier, I came out with another A-200 class win and was able to finish 18th overall in a stacked class. As long as I finish top 20, then I am happy with my riding because consistency is key for me making AA. I want to thank everyone for their support as well as the Hammer Nutrition Recoverite product which got me back on my feet by Monday! It is magic for the body.
|Photo by Joann Hauser|
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
|Photo by Joann Hauser|
Race: ECEA Round 3: PBER Enduro
Bike: 09 KTM 200
Result: 1st A-200, 14th Overall
Sponsors: I would like to thank Stickman Graphx, Unabiker.com, EKS Brand Goggles, Kriega USA, Rekluse, All Balls Racing, EBC Brakes, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters, Works Enduro Rider, FMF Racing, Vertex Pistons, Powerseal USA, Matto Cycle, Offroadviking.com, Clockwork KTM, Torc 1 Racing, Motorex, G2 Ergonomics, my family, and my Dad.
Since the last enduro, school and my other commitments have taken up most of my time. Unfortunately, I did not get to ride at all, but I was able to focus on some training. Prior to this weekend, I have been mountain biking close to ten miles each day. I am hoping this helps with my results on the weekends. Coming into Sunday, I was hungrier than ever for a top 20 finish. I just wanted to put in a solid ride where I could showcase my speed and progression.
Sunday morning, my dad and I left for the PBER enduro. Once we arrived, I got prepared for a good day of whoops and made sure my bike was all ready to go. It was ready to hit some sand whoops and prepped to withstand the sand with my DT-1 triple layer air filter. The first 20 miles of the day consisted of time keeping which I luckily only lost 1 second on. The second loop of the day was where the majority of the racing occurred. The first section was close to 13 miles long. This wasn’t just any section, but the roughest section of sand whoops I have ever been on. It was just whoop after whoop after whoop which caused me to get arm pump. I made a few mistakes in here as I got lost twice and missed a turn. Needless to say, this cost me valuable time and my poor score reflected it. Additionally, I decided I needed to go in a new direction on suspension settings. They worked great in the whoops the weekend before but the trail was so beat up that even stiffer settings were needed. One thing I have learned is to not be afraid of making changes. These helped a lot as we headed into the next section. This time, I rode great with strong intensity throughout the section. I felt awesome and my changes helped a lot. I was unlucky though and missed the flip on the way out by 3 seconds.
At the 2nd gas stop, I did something I have never done before. Because of the rough trails, my stomach was in knots and ended up puking. Now that is what rough whoops do to you! The rest of the day was uneventful as we hit another sneaky check and then rode back to the finish. At the end of the day, I won the A-200 class and finished 14th overall. This is certainly an improvement but I feel I haven’t been able to showcase my full potential just yet. We will have to wait until the Tri-County Enduro this Sunday. Thank you to my dad for his pit support and everyone behind me!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
|Photos by Joann Hauser|
Race: ECEA Round 2: Curly Fern Enduro
Bike: 09 KTM 200
Result: 1st A-200, 18th Overall
Sponsors: I would like to thank Stickman Graphx, Unabiker.com, EKS Brand Goggles, Kriega USA, Rekluse, All Balls Racing, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters, Works Enduro Rider, FMF Racing, Vertex Pistons, Powerseal USA, Matto Cycle, Offroadviking.com, Clockwork KTM, Torc 1 Racing, Motorex, G2 Ergonomics, my family, and my Dad.
One thing I am hungry for this year is success and it is a hunger that is going to be hard to feed. Going into the first round of the ECEA series, I was disappointed with all of the mistakes I made on the riding side, but happy with the glimpses of speed that I had shown. Going into this past weekend, I was excited to hopefully improve on my previous result. I knew going into the weekend that it would be tough because the event was going to be a lot of time-keeping (I lack experience on this side) and I would be riding alone. Normally, I try to ride with an AA rider which helps keep my intensity up and minimizes stupid mistakes.
My dad and I left at 5:30 am to head down to Curly Fern. Once again, it was another freezing morning with no hopes of warming up. I got ready and made sure I ate a good breakfast to fuel my body for the day. I also decided to wear a heavy jacket which was a blessing with all of the road we had to ride. The first half of the race was fairly basic but featured a ton of emergency checks which are hard to zero on the 30 second mark. A few of them were in tricky locations so my times weren’t looking that well. Because of this, I knew I had to ride well in the points taking sections. The end of the first section ended with a 3 mile piece that was muddy, rooty, and featured an endurocross section. I felt good in here except I stalled on the tire section and ran out of gears on the wide-open sections. I missed the flip by 4 seconds which was disappointing as my times were close to some AA.
After resting at the gas stop, I geared up for the second half of the day. I continued to focus on improving my day and rode well in the second half. I zeroed most of the emergency checks. I also felt I had great speed and my WER suspension worked awesome with some of my adjustments. One thing I have learned is to not be afraid of making changes during a race. I think you learn a lot and it is a good experience. Towards the end of the day, some points taking sections were thrown in. I made a costly mistake of not going into the check early which cost me two extra points. After this, we headed back for another crack at the 3 mile section. This time, I increased my intensity and hung it out. I rode flawless except for getting stuck behind a rider who fell across the trail and getting pointed to a wrong line in a muddy section. I was able to make the flip this time and match some AA times. I feel I had a lot more in me and will be back to give it my best next race.
At the end of the day, I won the A-200 class by a point and finished 18th overall. I think I could have scored 3 points less on the day which would have put me inside the top ten overall. We will race the PBER Enduro in a couple weeks where I would like to get another win and finish inside the top ten. Until then, I am going to test some jetting, change gearing, and find a better sand tire. Thanks to all for their support and especially my dad for pitting for me!
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
|Netraphotos.com by Art Pepin|
Race: Round 1: Sandy Lane Enduro
Bike: 09 KTM 200
Result: 1st A-200
Sponsors: I would like to thank Stickman Graphx, Unabiker.com, EKS Brand Goggles, Kriega USA, Rekluse, All Balls Racing, Fly Racing, Mika Metals, DT-1 Filters, Works Enduro Rider, FMF Racing, Vertex Pistons, Powerseal USA, Matto Cycle, Offroadviking.com, Clockwork KTM, Torc 1 Racing, Motorex, G2 Ergonomics, my family, Netraphotos.com, and my Dad.
After starting the season off poorly in previous years, I was determined to change that for 2013. Over the winter, I made sure I had everything prepared for the season. I took the opportunity to race the first two NEPG races which were great practice for the opening round of the ECEA Enduro Series. Needless to say, I felt ready for the first enduro this past weekend. Unfortunately, it was extremely cold but I was excited to ride.
The first section of the day was the tightest but somehow I escaped arm pump. I made a few mistakes along with a superman dive after bouncing off a couple trees. I scared myself at the end of the section when my clutch started to slip (got a little too hot). I was able to drop a 5 which was what Jeff Melik and Ben Smith dropped as well. My goal this season is to drop scores similar to AA riders so I was happy with the result. I certainly had it in me to ride better though.
For the next couple of sections, I struggled to ride mistake-free but I was riding fast. At the Georgia NEPG, I didn’t crash a single time but my speed wasn’t there. I was glad to have the speed but frustrated with the mistakes. If I can eliminate mistakes and keep the speed, I know I can be in that top ten overall group. I continually stayed fueled throughout the day with Hammer Nutrition gels and stayed warm thanks to the Melik family.
In the last two sections of the day, the trail opened up a bit more and I was able to find a groove. With the help of Ben Smith as the leader on my row, I was able to keep my intensity up. I stayed with him for close to 2 miles but he eventually pulled away. It is my goal to try to latch onto AA riders for as long as possible. At the end of the day, I was able to finish 1st in A-200 which is a lot better start than last year. I will carry this momentum into the Curly Fern enduro next weekend! Thanks to everyone for their continued support.