Tell us a little about yourself
I live in Regina, SK with my wife Amy, and two kids ages six and four. Mountain biking is my main physical passion, mixed in with yoga and strength/mobility workouts to keep me balanced. I’ve never enjoyed running, however my wife has convinced me to do a Spartan Beast race with her in 2018 for my 40th birthday. I have a full-time Massage Therapy and Acupuncture practice for the past 16 years, and have started an Executive/Life Coaching business within the last three years to help individuals shift their mindsets forward.
Mountain bike stages races are what I gravitate towards, having completed the Singletrack 6 in 2016 and BC Bike Race in 2017. I love the fact that in a stage race, each day is purposely highlighted with the best trails in the local area. In stage racing you must be smart and diversified in your approach to the physical and mental stamina required, a nutritional understanding for hydration/fueling/eating and recovery, and being able to remain patient and focused while on the bike. Biking is my meditation. In 2018 I aim to complete the Breck Epic, with all its glorious-ness at altitude. I trust and use Hammer Nutrition for my racing and training, as it is the cleanest fuel with no added sugar.
It’s a privilege to age. I am thankful for the ability to pursue my passion on the bike, and like to volunteer my time in the community and on the trails.
In your physiology training, how big of a component is nutrition? What are some areas that you hope to better educate yourself?
We study a healthy chunk of physiology in College, and it has helped me understand and strategize for racing and training. Understanding the interplay of the cardiovascular system with the digestion and muscular structures is paramount for efficiency and racing success. For instance, when the central nervous system senses an increased demand on the skeletal muscle, it will shunt blood flow to smooth muscle, i.e. your stomach, intestines, bladder will constrict. As your stomach constricts during intensity, your ability to swallow and digest solid food is reduced. This is a HUGE advantage for the use of Hammer Perpetuem during a long race, as liquid nutrition is more easily accepted and harnessed by the stomach. This same constriction effect happens when we are very nervous, like the morning of race day. We are so nervous, that taking in a sizeable breakfast is extremely difficult, leaving us unable to execute our best-laid plan and leaving us prematurely vulnerable for calories. Even post-race for 30-90 minutes our stomach may remain constricted until our central nervous system starts to calm, and rebalance our internal systems. A good example of this would be when there is a post-race feast, and you just can’t immediately eat.
By studying muscle tissue under a microscope, I’ve come to respect the increased amount of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium our tissues need for power output and cramp prevention. Hammer Nutrition has the best product for mineral replacement before and during a race with Endurolytes. The more you sweat, the more you need to replace.
I myself definitely need more guidance and experience with the fine line of aerobic vs. anaerobic fitness and strategy in longer races. Pushing too hard too soon on the bike has caused me endurance issues.
What are some of the unique qualities of mountain bike training and racing in the prairies?
Yeah, mountain biking on the prairies can seem like an oxymoron, however we have a very strong mountain bike club for regular training, provincial XC races and a humbling number of steep hills and challenging trails in the valley. Don’t forget the wind, it’s your least favorite training partner. Training through the wind builds mental character and physical strength. I do a fair bit of road biking as well, for a change of pace that benefits my tempo and cadence.
What are your top three Hammer products? And why?
HEED - I use this on training rides, XC races and in my gym water bottle. I usually do one bottle of HEED the night before a race with another bottle of water, and another bottle of HEED, plus another bottle of water the morning of a race to fill up my electrolyte and hydration stores. I find if I prep my body with fluids before I ride, the need to drink while on the bike is reduced. I was first introduced to HEED from Western Cycle when I was looking to fuel my first 50-mile race in South Dakota a handful of years ago. With only 2g of sugar per serving, it is a digestive-friendly fuel source.
Endurolytes - They have saved me from cramping SO many times. If the training ride or race is going to be a hot one, I will take two capsules along with a dose of calcium/magnesium the night before, repeat the same procedure in the morning and then carry a handful of Endurolytes in a baggie if I’m on a 4-5hr gravel or road ride, and take two capsules every 90 minutes. The heart is also muscle that has increased physical demands placed on it while racing, and requires proper attention to electrolyte balance.
Tissue Rejuvenator - As I get older, recovery is paramount. In consultation with my Naturopath for recovery strategies, I was already taking several of the ingredients in Tissue Rejuvenator, like Tumeric, Yucca Root and Collagen. I take two TR capsules post-exercise and one before bed on a training day, and one capsule on a rest day.