What are your thoughts on the LTGP and how you have performed over the course of the series?
I don’t think I’ve had a clean run at a race since Sea Otter, but Sea Otter went well. I think it’s the first time a series has spanned this long, whereas normally you only have like 4 weeks between races. There’s a lot of varied racing across the board, with the shortest race being Chequamegon around 2hrs and Unbound being closer to 9hrs.
I feel that whoever wins, you could say, is the best bike rider in the country because of how well-rounded they have to be.
[on looking forward to Chequamegon] I haven’t enjoyed gravel as much as, I guess, the hype is. Coming from mountain biking, I miss the technical aspect to it.
How has your approach to training this year changed?
I have upped my volume by over 30% this year, knowing I’d be stepping into some longer events and away from XC. I’ve done more volume-oriented rides, metabolic rides (fasted beginning of a ride), and intervals once 4-5hr in. I probably didn’t ride much over 3.5-4hr much in the past but now I ride 5-6hr pretty regularly.
How do you maintain a balance between being a full-time employee and a professional athlete?
Alex is a Supply Planner for Specialized,
As a "one-liner", I say that my team is responsible for ordering all the bikes for the global business. As a mostly individual contributor, I’m able to shift my hours to accommodate the work. I have quite a bit of flexibility working at a bike company where the boss and company are supportive of what I do and the level I race at.
It’s a lot about time management. Sometimes it comes down to doing the non-fun stuff like working later at night or on the weekends.
What are some highlights of your year?
Sea Otter: coming out swinging and showing that I belong at the front of the big races was a great confidence booster.
Leadville 100: coming down Columbine is a big experience for me. Getting to see that amateur experience of the races is awesome, whereas a lot of [the Leadville experience] is time-oriented and there is a camaraderie/excitement for a “group result”.
I haven’t really had a social media presence in the past and this year is the first time I’ve had one. Coming down columbine, I don’t think I went 10sec without someone yelling at me.
What's Your Fueling Philosophy?
As far as racing, my philosophy is “as much as you can handle” (but obviously personalize it). I think you really have to find the strategy that gets you up to around (in my mind) 120g/hr but also gives you the wiggle room for fluid and hydration.
That’s why I use gels, so I can separate my fueling and hydration.