Regular readers of What’s Up, USANA? will recognize the name Daniel Carruthers. He is an elite cyclist who competes throughout the world. And he’s always sure to take his USANA products with him.
We received the following update from Daniel (aka BikeDan — follow him on Twitter), a USANA-sponsored athlete, the other day and wanted to share it with our readers.
If you’ve been following Daniel’s blog updates, you know what he’s been up to. But if you haven’t, here you go… We encourage you to check out his blog, add it to your RSS and keep track of all his adventures.
He’s heading to Mongolia later this week for a big race. But for now, here’s the latest from BikeDan…
Canada: World Deaf Cycling Championships in Mont Tremblant
Prior to the World Championships I traveled to Iran for an intense three-week trip as one of the official journalists for two UCI-level International cycling races. It put my training for the World Deaf Cycling Championships down several notches as I was fresh from competing in the Tour of Friendship in Thailand and was looking to ramp it up with some more good racing in a five-day tour in Xinjiang Province, West China, right before I was due to leave for Canada.
This was going to be the perfect build up. But when I was offered the trip of a lifetime to Iran, I jumped on it since Iran was high on my list of countries to visit. Although my training suffered, I still managed to get some brilliant rides up some majestic mountains.
I spent my last week before the World Championships doing short but intensive one-hour workouts on the Wattbike that allows you to do super fine-tuned training. This kept my form on track. Upon arriving in Canada, I had just run out of my USANA Essentials and had no Proflavanol C100 or Rev3 left.
I was about to begin world-class competition and I had very limited products on hand. I was a little worried, but the very next day two USANA boxes arrived at the Mont Tremblant hotel and I was over the moon! It was like Christmas Day ripping open the boxes and finding a 12-pack of Rev3 cans and plenty of Rev3 Surge, along with some Essentials and Proflavanol C100. It was brilliant.
I was impressed with how quickly USANA got the products to me and I enjoyed a nice ice-cold Rev3 can later that day after a 2-year absence from it. You can’t buy Rev3 cans in Asia yet and the Rev3 Surge is very limited. I used the Rev3 Surge in all of my drink bottles for the racing at Mont Tremblant and had Nutrimeal shakes right after I completed an event to help facilitate faster recovery.*
The full range of USANA supplements play a key role in keeping my energy levels up as well as boosting my immune system. Traveling takes its toll on your body and it’s important to have good food supplemented with the USANA products.
Despite my whirlwind several months (starting with the racing in Thailand, the Iran trip, the World Champs, and subsequently the U.S. visit for a month followed by the long, arduous trip back to China), I can report that I did not catch one cold or flu.
At the World Championships I was successful in garnering a bronze medal for New Zealand in the 1,000m match-sprint event. Feel free to read my stories about the World Championships on my website.
Racing in the United States – Texas and California
The main reason for the visit to the U.S. was to visit family and attend my brother-in-law’s wedding. Of course, I continued my training as I needed to increase my fitness for my next big challenge in Mongolia.
It was brilliant being back in Texas and enjoying the large servings of Tex-Mex foods they are famous for, especially Chuy’s! It’s always nice riding on the many lonely Texas roads with paddocks dotted with the iconic Longhorns. Texas is known for producing top road racers (this is where Lance Armstrong hails from).
There also is the famous Driveway Series in Austin that has the reputation for being the fastest weekly criterium in the United States! There is a saying “If you can win in Texas, you can win anywhere.” This could be true, as Austinite David Wenger just won the U.S. National Criterium Championships last month.
At these local races, it’s not unusual to see 80+ fields with super fast pro and category one riders all chomping at the bit. I managed to snare the crowd’s prime (where you have to sprint for the crowd’s money when the bell is rung) and also enough in the tank to finish fourth behind some top riders. As part of my training for intensity, I was doing back-to-back races! After doing the pro category, I would do the Master men 35-plus category immediately afterwards.
It was hard as I was still breathing heavily from the first race and legs full of lactic acid. I would go on and place third in this race. Of course, I had the Rev3 Surge in my bottles!
I finished my U.S. trip with a week in California where I spent time with Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) to get familiar with their company (I am helping with their PR in Asia/Pacific). I also raced four times in the last weekend there. The biggest criterium event in California was the San Rafael Twilight, which was just buzzing with tens of thousands of spectators lining the course of the pro men’s event.
I had a great start since I was second row behind the star-studded pro-men call up, but due to some events beyond my control, my rhythm was disrupted and I found myself just holding my place in a long single file of racers going at 30 mph+ average speed!
I also got out to race at the Lodi Cycle Fest the following day, a place that is famous for the wine making and vineyards. For the full stories of each of these events, you can visit my website. These races in the U.S. were my last races before my next big adventure — the Mongolia Bike Challenge.
In just a few days, I will be flying to Mongolia where I will be competing in what is arguably the toughest endurance mountain bike race in the world! I don’t know what I have signed myself up for, but it is going to be a grueling 1,200 kms (750 miles) across the majestic landscapes of Mongolia over nine days.
It will be nine stages and nine different worlds as we climb a total of 14,000 meters from the Gobi Desert and over the Khangai mountains! I will be racing on an Orbea Almer 29er S Team bike and will be up against some formidable world-class professional riders.
Along the epic route, we will be camping in small one-man tents and enjoying campfire-cooked food. In addition to the racing, I also have the responsibility of providing daily race reports! I have stocked up on plenty of USANA products for this event and know that my USANA products will be a big factor in getting me through this massive challenge.
It will be important to have sustainable energy levels throughout each stage and not spike the sugar levels too often. I’ll be consuming plenty of Oatmeal Raisin Nutrition Bars early in the stages along with bananas and figs. In the latter parts of the stage, I’ll be moving on to consuming more convertible sugars such as energy gels like GU.
I have lots of Rev3 surge that I will be sure to have access to at each pit stop. My consumption of Proflavanol C100 is going to increase dramatically during this nine-day journey across Mongolia and I could finish nearly two bottles! This, combined with the regular Essentials, Active Calcium, CoQuinone, and the Nutrimeal shakes will be essential components to help with my faster recovery each day. Most important is that I stay hydrated all the time and this means consuming at least one bottle every hour as a minimum.
The Mongolia Bike Challenge is a challenge of the scale I have never before undertaken and it will be interesting to see how my body copes under the nine days of mountain biking.
Follow the Action
I am looking forward to this challenge and if you are interested in following me each day, you can follow me on Twitter (Bikedan), check my updates on www.danielcarruthers.com as well as follow the www.mongoliabikechallenge.com official website.
If you have any tips to offer me on multi-day endurance racing, I would love to hear them. Please leave them in the comments of my website or here on What’s Up, USANA.