When it comes to understanding training and fueling the body there is no substitution for experience. A true master athlete is always a student; constantly experimenting and adjusting their workouts and nutrition to better their game. Tim Racette is a seasoned and much accomplished cyclist with a very mindful approach to his training and diet. I asked him to share his thoughts on training, nutrition and balance. Enjoy. ~Mike
As high performance athletes, we have a love affair with improving our fitness, shaping our bodies, and pushing our limits. If you specialize in one activity in particular (such as cycling in my case) you probably devote a ton of time learning, training, and improving your skills.
I’ve spent the last decade focusing my athletic performance and lifestyle around cycling. A lot has changed throughout the years but the constant variable has been developing small habits that contribute to an all around active lifestyle.
Creating an Active Lifestyle through Habits
To be physically fit takes some combination of talent, drive, and commitment; along with a disciplined work ethic and the actions we take all come with consequences, some good some bad.
It’s easy to set a goal, following through is the hard part. The difference between those who achieve their goals from those who flounder typically lies in the routines and habits that are constructed. How well do your current daily habits align with your goals?
Creating good habits start with the intent. Simple things like setting up your trainer the night before an early morning ride, keeping healthy snack options at the office, and mapping out your training week ahead of time all play a role in developing good habits that eventually lead to bigger achievements.
I’ve found that by simply asking myself what’s working and what’s not is the best way to determine which habits are good, and which are bad. It’s an exercise you can ask yourself at the end of each week. Then do more of what’s working, less of what’s not.
You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet
It’s been said that “you can’t out train a bad diet.” When I say diet, I’m referring to lifelong, daily eating habits, not a temporary change. Every decision we make when it comes to food is important.
Cooking with whole foods and pure ingredients is so important, because without them, our bodies don’t have the right energy to train as hard, or recover as quickly.
At home, my wife and I cook almost exclusively with whole foods. Produce from the garden, grass fed meats, eggs from our neighbor’s chickens, pure ingredients.
We like to cook, but we don’t necessarily spend hours in the kitchen. In order to be sustainable and create good habits in the long run, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that things need to be simple & accessible.
Just like getting on the trainer is way easier when it’s already setup in the living room, the same is true for eating healthy. Stocking the house with good foods and having an easy way to cook them is crucial.
The same goes when we refuel after a ride. Filling a bottle with Mike’s or Melissa’s Mix Recovery Drink is quick and easy, you don’t even have to think about it.
We also have what I would call the godsend of healthy eating kitchen appliances, a Vitamix. The Vitamix makes eating healthy that much easier because you can blend just about anything, quickly, with very little clean up. This makes smoothie making a breeze! Toss in an entire banana, spinach, even half a Pineapple with the rind on, and don’t forget to add in a little Mike’s Mix Protein powder! It’s really been one of the best investments in our health.
Now I personally believe that it’s okay to take breaks, or satisfy that sweet tooth from time to time. If we eat healthy, follow a regimen, and put in the effort 95% of the time, we can get away with some indulging here or there. I never feel guilty about that pint of Ben and Jerry’s at the end of a hard training week.
Training Stress, Stacking Big Days
I like to stack hard workouts and big training days back to back. This puts stress on my body in small chunks and then provides adequate rest to reap the benefits. Every workout is followed by a Mike’s Mix RD shake.
An example of stacking workouts might be doing intervals Tues/Weds, rest up Thurs/Fri, and be ready to go again that weekend. I prefer this to alternating hard days, Tues/Thurs hard, and Weds/Fri rest. I never feel like I can go quite as hard on Thursday or during the weekend.
The most important element that goes hand in hand with training hard is resting hard. The more rested you are, the harder you can go on your next workout.
Then there’s sleep, which is just as important as the actual workout. You reap the benefits of your training while you’re resting, so I like to go hard on my hard days, and super easy on my rest days.
Coming Full Circle
In order to train hard and take your body to new heights, try creating small daily habits, routines that may seem subtle or insignificant, but make it that much easier to get on the bike, go out for a run, or eat healthy. And of course, always train and refuel with Mike’s Mix!
Tim Racette has been racing mountain bikes at the elite level for half a decade, with finishes among some of the best in the nation at events such as the Grand Junction Off-Road, Tour of the White Mountains, Mountain Bike Nationals, Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, and the Wisconsin Off-Road Series. He and his wife Evie live in Pinetop, Arizona with their dog Lucy. They spend much of their time riding their bikes, exploring the outdoors, and travelling to new places. You can follow Tim here.