What do you eat the night before a race?
Everything!!! Ok, maybe not everything. I am pretty boring, but I like to eat Thai food or Indian food if I have a choice. Otherwise, it’s protein and rice, something like Chicken Teriyaki. A light pasta is a great alternative too, I’m not locked-in to a specific pre-race meal.
What do you eat race morning?
Oats… I am a creature of habit and love to eat Oatmeal with scrambled eggs and a touch of peanut butter or apple slices each morning. Race morning is no exception.
How do you go about your nutrition for eating & drinking for a long race effort such as the BWR? How many bottles do you try and consume during the race?
Fueling is paramount in gravel racing because it helps preserve performance. But it’s not easy to eat or drink when bouncing down the trail at break-neck speeds! We have to consume roughly 250 calories and at least one water bottle per hour at the very minimum. Most bodies demand more than that… What’s more, you have to drink more than just water, that’s why I’ll be reaching for my Monster Hydro bottles throughout the race! Electrolytes are going to be key due to the altitude, and the caffeine boost will help me stay focused on the rocky trails as fatigue sets in. During a race, I like to water down my Hydro and split it 50/50 with water. This way I get all the electrolytes I need and just the right amount of caffeine. Even at 50%, Hydro is still #HardChargingHydration!
What is one tip you would give to an amateur cyclist today looking to improve fitness?
You can’t limit a coach to offering just one tip, there is so much to share! If I had to offer one tip, it would be two parts, I encourage Athletes to do a few events in the lead-up to a big race so they can test equipment and develop their fitness. As an old-roadie, I still believe in the adage, “racing is the best training”. But beyond that, the purpose of these prep-events is to teach an Athlete about pacing. When Athletes feel good, they ride hard, but as Vince Lombardi said, “fatigue makes cowards of us all”. So, I implore Athletes to learn more about themselves, where they are strong, what weaknesses they have, and how they can pace themselves to have a great performance on the event day. Consulting a coach can help you refine your preparation and pacing.
Looking back on your racing career, when did you first know that you wanted to make a career out of being a professional coach?
My wife, Joy quit teaching to pursue coaching or what she thought of as “P.E. for adults”, when she saw her students’ parents gaining weight and losing their vitality due to inactivity. That’s when Big Wheel Coaching was born. She built the business while racing professionally and somewhere along the way she looked at me and said, “you would be a great coach.” I laughed, but she was serious, I was already leading and supporting my teammates at the professional level, helping a local junior development team with their coaching, and studying/reading in my spare-time. After mentioning it to my Coach at the time, a great racer and coach himself, I was surprised to get the response, “you are natural, absolutely you need to coach!” So, I took the leap, left my job in the construction industry, and joined my wife in the family business. I am excited to report that we have been in business for more than ten years and are excited about the future!
What do you love most about coaching?
To me, Coaching is two things, 1- the opportunity to reveal the potential in others that they don’t see in themselves, and 2- develop confidence through fitness. Confidence is earned, never given. Helping an Athlete conquer challenges they thought impossible is my favorite part of Coaching. I love seeing Athletes earn success and glean with the confidence they earned by doing hard work!