The 2010 edition of 24 Hours of Moab was held precisely one year after my first 24-hour race, the 2009 edition of the same event. In one year’s time, I’ve competed in four 24-hour events with Hammer Nutrition® and learned more about this format of racing than I ever thought possible. I’ve also enjoyed some amazing experiences with great friends and co-workers. It’s made me think about how far we’ve come.
When the four of us showed up at last year’s race, I was full of confidence, but a little low on experience. Somehow we surprised everyone and placed second, but our performance still left lots of room for improvement. We rode some very hot laps early on; however, from sundown to finish, the desert waged a war of attrition on our legs. Since that race, Hammer’s fueling expert Steve Born has opened our eyes to the fact that, with the proper use of Hammer’s complete fueling advantage, we should notice almost no fatigue.
I was completely sold on Steve’s fueling protocol at 24 Hours of Canmore earlier this summer. I came into the event in fine form, and with his help, my lap times were consistent—within 5 minutes of each other, including the night laps. Steve taught us that our body’s most efficient sources of fuel and electrolytes are what it has already stored; by fueling during a race, we are really just trying to augment only with what we need for maximum performance.
Fast-forward back to Moab . . . Steve was on-site to help our “working men” team of Dustin, Matty, and myself, plus sponsored athlete Colin Cares of the Kenda Felt team for a little reinforcement. This was my fifth bike race in about three weeks, so I was feeling a little too ready for this race, if that can be said about bike racing. With the exception of a broken chain with a mile to go, my first lap was fairly fast but took a little more out of me than I had hoped. If anything, I was just a little bummed to be off the pace of the two super-fast pro teams who were putting some time into us. Luckily, Colin put in some blazing fast laps and kept us in the hunt. The U23 National Champ shared a few comments about his Moab experience:
I’ve done Moab a few times before, twice as a four-man team and once as a duo. I’ve always been able to do good laps early in the race, but I usually deteriorate pretty badly after that. This year, my laps stayed fairly consistent over the course of the race, and my stomach felt great too, which is unusual for me. After the race I took a couple of days off, and I felt pretty good and ready to train, as opposed to being wrecked for a week or so as I have been in past years. My preparation was average, so I attribute these successes to the Hammer supplements and fuels that I took throughout the race. I don’t do many endurance races, but a 24-hour race is sort of a condensed version of the train/recover cycle that XC racing demands, which is why I’ll be sticking to the Hammer plan in my day-to-day training.
For sure, Colin! Steve prepared a pre-race supplement mix—Endurance Amino, Anti-Fatigue Caps, and Race Caps Supreme—along with HEED during the laps to keep us racing fast. Most importantly, we were rewarded with a high five and a Recoverite upon arrival at the end of each lap. With Steve around, my laps stayed close together, and I didn’t fall off the wagon like so many of the riders on course.
Sure we were hoping for the win at Moab, but closer inspection of the results indicated we completed an entire extra lap compared to the previous year, which is improvement enough for us. We give a nod to the most excellent teams in front of us (some of whom were also using Hammer products). After completing four 24-hour relay races in one year, I’m happy to lend the following advice: Trust your body and don’t overdo your fueling. We’re really just talking about five or six short XC races, followed by full recovery. You can’t expect to ride as hard as you can on a full stomach. Remember, the wolf that’s fed does not hunt!
Stay tuned for “The Chronicles of Moab, Part Deux: Clint and Ben Crush The Duo.”