T-Minus Four Days: Prep for Race Day Success with Neal Henderson

Your training is done. It’s only a few days to your big event. This is when many athletes unravel months of training with a few bad choices. Top coach Neal Henderson discusses with us how to avoid the pitfalls and get the most out of those final days.

Coach Neal Henderson

Hello and welcome to Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance performance! I’m your host Rob Pickels here with my Co-host, the Curious Canadian Coach Trevor Connor.

Many of us spend months training hard and planning perfectly for our big event. Everything goes well and we reach the big week with the best legs we’ve ever had. And then, in those final few days, it all comes apart. 

This is a common story. Everyone on this week’s episode had no problems sharing stories of an event they cared about being ruined in the days leading up to it. Event preparation is a very important step in maximizing our potential and in many ways it’s a skill that we need to develop and train.  

Our guest this week is Neal Henderson, the Head of Sports Science at Wahoo and an elite coach who’s worked with World Champions and every day athletes. He knows all too well what’s involved in getting an athlete ready for race day – particularly when they have to deal with travel and the stress of what could be the most important event of their careers. Neal shares with us his wisdoms on planning those final days, How to establish a routine, what sort of training to do, nutrition, warm-ups, and how to deal with travel. 

Along with Neal Henderson, we have a host of top experts share their thoughts on event preparation, including World Tour Pro with Trek-Segafredo, Toms Skujins, physiologist and head of performance for UAE Team Emirates, Dr. Inigo San Millan, author of The Athlete’s Gut, Dr. Patrick Wilson, CTS Premier coach Renee Eastman, and top cyclocross rider and coach Rebecca Gross.  

So, fill up your water bottle, put your legs up – – and let’s make you fast! 


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Episode Transcript

Rob Pickels  00:04

Hello and Welcome to Fast talk your source for the science of endurance performance. I’m your host, Rob pickles here with my co host, a curious Canadian coach Trevor Connor. Many of us spend months training hard and planning perfectly for our big event. Everything goes well, and we reach the big week with the best legs we’ve ever had. And then, in those final few days, it all comes apart. This is a common story. Everyone on this week’s episode had no problem sharing stories of an event they cared about being ruined in the days leading up to it. Event preparation is an important step in maximizing our potential. And in many ways, it’s a skill that we need to develop and train. Our guests this week. Head of Sports Science at Oahu is an elite coach who’s worked with World Champions and everyday athletes. He knows all too well what’s involved in getting an athlete ready for race day, particularly when they have to deal with travel and the stress of what could be the most important event of their careers. Neil shares with us his wisdoms on planning those final days, how to establish a routine, what sort of training to do nutrition, warm ups and how to deal with travel. Along with Neil, we have a host of top experts share their thoughts on event preparation, including World Tour pro with trek Segafredo Tom squinch, physiologist and head of performance for UAE Team Emirates, Dr. innego San Milan, author of the athletes got Dr. Patrick Wilson, CTS premier coach Renee Eastman and top cyclocross rider and coach Rebecca gross. So fill up your water bottle, put your legs up, and let’s make you fast. Listeners, we have an exciting announcement, we’ve lowered the price of membership by 75%. Now you can enjoy all the training science at Bastok laboratories for just $60 a year. Join today at fast talk labs.com/join. Neil Henderson, welcome to the show. And as the listeners know, I tend to gush about people because I have a lot of man crushes. And Neil might be the ultimate man crush. And I say that in great deference because Neil Henderson is the first person to give me my chance out of grad school, Neil was really my first sort of mentor, he hired me at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, he taught me 105% of what I know. So we’re lucky. You know what I also think that Neil and Trevor and I were really aligned on having Neil here, because the topic we’re covering today, four days preparation before your event is the perfect topic to cover with a coach who also has a sports science background. So we’re really looking forward to the talk today. Thank you guys. And Rob, I actually just realized something you were the first person that I actually interviewed via electronic means we were actually on a


Neal Henderson  03:10

Skype call. We’re on Skype. And yeah, this is way before any of this stuff was necessary for doing normal. I mean, this was in the early 2000s, mid, you know, yep. 2009 to 2000 Arts column, I think. Yeah. And so way before, you know, 10 plus years before, it was the standard way. So it’s pretty cool to be here with you and with Trevor and to be able to talk about some of the stuff


Rob Pickels  03:34

and full disclosure, I might have been across the country in Lake Placid, New York. Yep. And I was in Boulder. Yeah. But I really only had a button up shirt on the top. And I was definitely wearing like shorts or something on the bottom that flip flop. Exactly, exactly. But I’m glad that we’re here together today.


Trevor Connor  03:51

Well, Neil, you didn’t give me my first shot out of grad school. So welcome, I guess.


Neal Henderson  04:01

I’m here for you to Trevor?


Trevor Connor  04:02

Oh, you are actually you know, what I was writing with REO, and manager of REO out of grad school, and you are our coach. So I got to take that back. You were great. Appreciate it. Always love having you on the show. So Rob, where do we want to start here?


Rob Pickels  04:17

You know, I think that the idea is this. We talked so much about training, we talked so much about all of the things that you can do to improve your performance. But what happens when the hard work is over? What happens in those final days before the event where you’re just trying to not screw up all of the hard work that you did? How the heck can you apply a strategy that makes you better or optimizes your performance in the few days leading up to a race?


Trevor Connor  04:43

And let’s just emphasize that because I’ve seen a whole lot of athletes spend months during the perfect preparation. And then they’re four days out from the event. They get nervous. They get into that exam, I gotta cram mode and undo all that training. In four days and Neela, looking at the way you’re nodding your head, you’ve seen that


Neal Henderson  05:05

before, it’s amazing. There’s actually a phenomenal runner from us who kind of ended his career During a taper. So big picture, we always think about, you know, you have to back off your training to be able to be ready to perform at your best. So you can’t keep training at your highest level all the way up to race day. So there’s always going to be some reduction, there’s a few different ways, you know, there’s lots of research out there on tapering strategies, I would say I tend to follow something more along the lines of about a 30% reduction, two weeks out, and about a 50% reduction, kind of the week leading into an event. But it does definitely vary depending on the kind of event somebody’s doing. But there is this reduction in training that you’re doing. And so that leaves athletes feeling typically pretty good. And if you don’t have a plan for what to do, and those last few days, you might go off the rails and this runner, took on a massive landscaping project at home had all kinds of time the week before the race went out, and basically dug up trees, moved rocks and sustained an injury that pretty much ended their career. And this was, you know, an Olympic level runner who just made a series of poor choices and didn’t manage that taper period very well. So I think we can hopefully help some of you who you know, I don’t know if you’re going to the Olympics or not, but you know, help you not undo all the great work that you’ve done in your season or potentially even know your career and be able to have your best performance.


Rob Pickels  06:29

But hey, at least his yard looked great as he was sitting there


Neal Henderson  06:34

lots of recovery time to enjoy that beautiful backyard. Brutal Oh, that’s


Trevor Connor  06:40

just painful to hear. I actually killed a target race just a couple years ago Chris and I were really focusing on the sunshine Hill Climb just for fun the day before I went god wait just


Rob Pickels  06:51

for fun the sunshine hillclimb Yes, just for I just I just go out and I do that for fun. Yes. Okay. Well, that’s I don’t get


Trevor Connor  07:00

paid anything I do on the bike now just for fun. So


Rob Pickels  07:03

my only experience with this not that I wanted to rail it is that where Neil and I used to work boulder Center for Sports Medicine was literally the starting line of the sunshine Canyon hill climb. And I watched people line up for it never crossed my mind that I should raise that. Yeah. But like, Neil, I think we’re more sprinters. As you know, Trevor, does that climbing? Well, the worst


Trevor Connor  07:25

part of that is actually registration was at bcbsm. Yep. And the segment on Strava was a little further down the road. So even though I did my fastest time ever up, sunshine, the 40 minutes I spent registering standing around waiting for the race to start all counted towards my Strava segments. So it’s actually my slowest time on Strava.


Neal Henderson  07:51

Man, that that’s a harsh reality coming at you there.


Trevor Connor  07:56

But here’s my way of ruining that race. We were focusing on it, we were actually I was going to work for Chris to try to get him the win. And the day before I went to a town north of Boulder called Fort Collins for a race up there. And a guy that let’s say I’ve had a rivalry with for a long time broke away with another rider. And everybody’s like, they’re up the road. There’s no way we can catch them on like, not gonna happen. I got on the front, it did an hour and a half pole to bring that breakaway. So the next day I get to the race and Chris is like, how are you feeling? I’m like, I’m not gonna be able to help you at all.


Rob Pickels  08:34

I’ve never actually ruined my own race before a taper but I have ruined somebody else is a guest that we’ve had on the show, Dr. Jason clowny, who I think that we’re all familiar with. He and I used to ride a lot together. And one day I was feeling pretty good, pretty spicy. We were riding north of town on the flats, and he was sort of sitting on my wheel which usually let’s be honest, I sat on his wheel. Typically he’s very strong, but I was feeling good. And so I dropped down into a semi aero position. I had my forearms on my on my bars, and loud he said as soon as I saw you do that I knew that tomorrow wasn’t going to be much fun for me and I proceeded to hammer as hard as I could. And he just tried to sit on my wheel and we finished and he was like, bro, man, I got a race tomorrow. So unfortunately, I apologize. Dr. Baloney. If you’re out there listening, it’s all my


Neal Henderson  09:26

fault. Yep. And even though we might just talk about the last like four or so days here before your event, I know I destroyed one of my exterra world championship races myself seven days out. I was at Ironman Hawaii cheering on athletes that I was coaching and working with and man the motivation you get from seeing the best in the world out there competing in a world championship is absolutely like hard to contain. And I was young I was in my 20s I was excited. I had placed second in my age group at external world championships the year before which back then you had Ironman Hawaii and then just a week later was the extra world championships over Maui. And so I was there in Kona watched everyone Saturday and Sunday, I had my last kind of efforts to do. And I went so overboard because I was just so jacked up on watching everyone on Saturday. Also, I had been out there, you know, in the sun for 10 hours. On Saturday, I came into it probably less than rested. And I proceeded to just absolutely put on the workout of my life on Sunday, and the following Sunday on race day at exterra. Worlds. I was flat as flat as could be I went from second the year before, even with a flat tire on the bike that I fixed and rolling my ankle. I still finished second in my age group that year, where I went to Kona and watched everything and blew my race a week before I finished fourth hard lesson to learn


Rob Pickels  10:49

no way no wrong way. I think the takeaway out of all of this right is we’ve all been there, every one of us have messed this up, I’m sure a lot of the listeners have. So how do we how do we get around this? You know, how do we prevent those last few days from undoing everything.


Trevor Connor  11:07

And you talk to us right before we went on there, I think you called it your your sequence. Yeah, sequencing. So tell us a little bit about this. So you create a whole plan for those final days for your athletes.


Neal Henderson  11:17

Yep. So the planning is really about helping an athlete be prepared, both physically and mentally. And so the sequencing is a series of training sessions, but also other elements that we put into that schedule to take up some of that time that would normally be spent training. So a great example of this actually, with Roland Dennis for is our record. We went to a matinee movie one day, it was half an hour away from where we were staying, the movie itself was over two hours long, half an hour drive back. So that took three plus hours of time in the middle of day on on what was scheduled to be a rest day. So that he wasn’t just thinking about that because the the one thing that often happens when you don’t have a plan to do something else with your time is you fill it sometimes with just spinning your wheels in your head and thinking too much and getting in your head if you don’t have really good foundation of mental training that you’ve been doing. And then you start to go into that place. Oh my gosh, you can be in trouble. And some of that might be an elevation, an escalation of your energy inappropriately in the days leading up to it, which means then you’re kind of empty on race day, I’ve seen that coaching collegiate athletes, a lot of times we would, when I was coaching the CU triathlon team, we would go out to California for the National Championships, which were there every year at the Wildflower triathlon, we’d have athletes, you know, we’d be leaving on Thursday, and they were already at, you know, 10 out of 10 level, and they dialed it up over the next few days on the drive out there, they get there. And then by the day before the race, they’re coming off a high because they’ve just been so jacked, and they didn’t, they didn’t manage that energy. And on race day, they were just flat, because they literally had just been running that psychological side, at maximum for days, and then had nothing left when it really mattered. So sequencing is about having certain things that you’re doing in training, but also making sure that you’re addressing all the rest of the non training time and making sure that there’s attention being paid to that, and discus not just letting it up to chance.


Trevor Connor  13:22

So is this something that you write out is is a plan that you create for Yeah,


Neal Henderson  13:25

so in a training schedule, there’s certain components that we’re going to practice this, in advance of that, you know, let’s call it an A race, you know, very high important race, whether that’s a National Championship or a qualifying event, we’re going to go through this process, typically a couple times, in the lead up to that starting many months out. And one of the best ways to do that is when you’re doing some of your testing type efforts, just to see where your fitness is at, if it’s kind of a, you know, power testing day that you’re going to be doing, I will actually use the same sequence in the last three, four or five days that they’re going to use in their competition, and taking into account like when the travel days might be so in some cases, you know, you can just train you know, you travel three days, you know, three days before you do opener, and then brace. That’s a kind of typical standard. If you’re only traveling a couple hours, if you have a longer travel, it might be happening five days out is that travel day, and so we might take that day completely off, and then think about okay, riding easy, and then doing some openers and event having basically a schedule for that relative to actually what that travel schedule looks like if you’re doing big international travel. Ideally, you want to have that scheduled earlier, but very often it’s just a matter of what’s available flights or what you know, what the timing of things is, what are the events you’ve got going on or work responsibilities that you can’t leave until this point or family and so you may not be working in the ideal situation. But if you run through that consistent type of schedule in those days, you have a familiarity with it. And so there’s not an absolute rigidity, but there’s some consistency.


Trevor Connor  15:06

Let’s hear from World Tour pro Tom’s going to talk with us about the sequence he uses as he builds up to key events.


Toms Skujins  15:14

As pros, we do race a lot, it is really different for race to race. But if we are talking key races, then as with anything, you always try and look back from the race day kind of backwards. And usually, in the perfect scenario, the day before would be a two hour ride with some harder efforts, maybe some sprints thrown in there as well for good measure, just to wake up the body, because the day before would have been a rest day or a very, very easy day. So it’s at least two days of pretty easy training. And depending on how big the training sessions have been, in, let’s say, 10 days out, day three, and four can be either maybe day four would be still fairly intense, but short, but say some three hours or four hours, which is short for us, I guess, with some time behind the scooter, I am always one that enjoys or not really enjoys, but benefits from the time behind a moto, from the time at speed at race speed. Because in training alone, it’s hard to do it. And then yeah, maybe that three days out would be just the leisurely easy ride. But that would be longer than two hours, let’s say three hours of just writing and enjoying hopefully some sunshine instead of some Belgian rain.


Trevor Connor  16:36

Is there anything you change about your sleep, your recovery or nutrition?


Toms Skujins  16:41

Not really, I mean, for sure if especially if it’s a big day coming, you definitely start making sure that you are feeling well enough, two days out, you got to replenish the tank, especially for a race like Kobe or something where you’re on the pedal the whole day. And it’s yeah, sometimes seven hours on the bike three days out, you can maybe on that long ride, you can really not go crazy on ingesting a lot of carbs, sort of let that tank run lower. But that intense day four or five days out that I would do behind a moto, I would make sure that I do pretty much the same fueling of let’s say, grams of carbs per hour that I would do in the race, just so that the body remembers how to utilize the carbs that are given to Yeah, hit that 90 grams of carbs or whatever, per hour, maybe even some gels, maybe even take some caffeine gels, because that is Yeah, always always comes in handy to make sure that hard sessions are hard and you feel good in them not enough, come back just right.


Rob Pickels  17:46

It seems obvious to me, you know, and I always bring up the one person that I coach, which is my wife, we build her training around that travel schedule, we get her used to sort of not necessarily being able to run much X days before. That’s all built into training in the weeks prior. Yep. But this is a whole nother level I am I am so beyond. I’m so beyond impressed. Thank you.


Trevor Connor  18:07

It’s also really smart. I mean, I actually think so one of my last big target races that I always look back on was 2011 Canadian nationals. I was on some of the best form in my life. And the previous year, I just missed the podium. So was feeling really good about this race. And it was near my parents house. So I stayed at my parents place and plan nothing for the two days before the race to get ready. And sitting around my parents house doing nothing. I just got stressed. Because all I could do was think about the race. And I’m listening to go on that was so obvious, why didn’t I think of that just go to a movie.


Neal Henderson  18:49

Yep, you just pressurize yourself unnecessarily, you didn’t have a relief valve planned, right. And so that’s one of those things. And in working with athletes, I always talk about in those final days, we’re going to have a plan, but we have to be able to adapt. So having a plan is important. Being able to adapt is critical to success because things are going to happen, whether it’s at a you know, based on the weather, you know, logistics and things like that with the Olympic Games, even though you know, there’s a lot of things in preparation that happens all the sudden, there’s like, you can’t do this now, or that can happen at this time. And you need to be able to be okay, we’re gonna do this, that and not I want it this way. Like it’s just not available. Like we have to adapt and go forward. And that’s really important part of like, learning how to be flexible because, you know, the ideal preparation may look like something the reality is something else. I remember with Florida a few several years ago when she was really kind of starting her rise in the ITU racing world and she got food poisoning. She flew, you know, flew over to Sweden. She had won the race before that or have been on the podium, and she flew over and got sick. It’s like okay, what do you do now? It’s like, we’re just going to rest for several days, because you’re depleted, like any training you’re going to do is only going to slow you down for those first two days. And she did a little bit of exercise basically the day before, nothing in the normal. But she ended up winning the next day, because she just adapted, adjusted and didn’t stress about the things that weren’t done the things that weren’t perfect and just executed a race and it worked out and she took the leader of the ITU, you know, lead after that event, which had never happened. I mean, it was an amazing ability. And that was over years of time that we develop that kind of a plan and ability to just adapt and adjust and trust. Trust is a big part of it.


Rob Pickels  20:40

I think athletes and coaches can both look at this adaptability and realize the importance, but also work with it, right? If you’re an athlete, I understand if you have a routine, I know people you know, they’re they’re really rigid, and that they have to listen to the exact same song at the exact same time, because that’s part of the preparation. And that gets them to 101%. But maybe what you need to do is practice not doing that, because a day is going to come where that is not going to happen because your phone died, because who knows what it is. But and then also on the coach, right as as coaches and as people. We’re trying to work with athletes and say, Hey, this is what’s best, this is what I’ve researched, this is what I think that we ought to do. But maybe language shouldn’t be absolute, this is the only thing this is the absolute best way to do it. Because if that plan doesn’t go, the athlete is going to be like but you said why ha and that could spin somebody out of control.


Trevor Connor  21:36

I think one of the ways you can help with that is well, it’s great to have this very detailed, you know, Do this two days before the event, do this 20 hours before then do this 18 hours for the event. As you said, it’s not always going to play out that way. So I understand what you’re trying to accomplish and what the goals are like, I want to make sure my legs are rested, but not too rested. So I’m rusty, you have your goals for nutrition, have your goals for these different things so that if you have to adjust, you still know what you’re trying to accomplish.


Neal Henderson  22:02

Yeah, a lot of those things are developing confidence.


Trevor Connor  22:06

Yes. So with that, why don’t we dive into some of these different aspects. And so let’s say three, four days out from the event. So training is over, you’re not going to get any stronger you have what you have. What should you be doing in terms of continuing to, let’s say, exercise? So runners, cyclists, triathlete, whatever your sport is, what should you be doing in those four days to have your body ready?


Neal Henderson  22:33

Yep, from that point, there’s typically going to be a complete relative rest day, and that relative rest does vary, that might be a complete day off. For a lot of folks, a lot of amateur athletes are used to having a day off, you know, once a week or every couple of weeks, and do nothing like that. That’s not uncommon, a lot of professional athletes, they don’t have as much of that complete day off in the week and, you know, three or four days before the event. So for them going for a 30 to 60 minute easy ride or an easy 20 3040 minute round, even in some cases, is going to be relative risk that you have that big reduction somewhere earlier in that that’s kind of a starting point. So you have that kind of pull back bit of a reset rest. And then there’s typically some level of building into the event a little bit that you know, the typical term people use, you know, you have openers, pre race openers the day before often are where somebody is going to be kind of running through the effort. It’s a little bit pushing somewhat hard because, well, most races aren’t, you know, at an easy intensity. I mean, I’ve never done Ram and I’ve never coached somebody who’s you know, been successful at RAM.


Rob Pickels  23:41

Have you coached someone who’s been unsuccessful, actually, I haven’t coached


Neal Henderson  23:46

him either. So I’m still out of my element there though. I did work with some athletes doing some multi day Paris press Paris and some of those kinds of things. And so we didn’t approach the training totally differently that way either. But you do have to have a little bit of a series of efforts to run through the physiological gears as well as test your equipment as well. If you’re cycling you know, you want to make sure everything’s working perfectly and I always like to have some test efforts not just that day before but a couple of days before in your full race setup, everything as you’re going to be racing, it doesn’t have to be super long. You don’t want to go out and do a you know, three hour TT bike ride and your skin suit and you know with your race wheels and your race tires, but you could warm up go out and do 20 minutes of effort 30 minutes, maybe an hour on the full get up and make sure everything works as appropriate. If you need to make adjustments make sure that you have those couple of days to do that. We had a rule with like the our record both Rohan and Evie have 48 hours nothing more change. No equipment, no anything no clothing, no helmet. No this that we had a company that delivered. We have a new skin suit. Sorry, it’s it you know it arrived 24 hours before the event. It’s not going to be used like we have not tested it. We have not vetted it. We don’t want to introduce any kind of question mark in that last bit, that we don’t have to it. This


Rob Pickels  25:10

reminds me of a really interesting story. Cameron die. Somebody I know, Neil, that you know, extremely well. There was one day Cameron, I forget what race it was. It was a big race. A lot of money was on the line, maybe a series lead something like that. He performed horribly, and just really, really bad. And if you know, Cameron, he was an exceptionally strong cyclist. I mean, that is how he crushed people in triathlon. He could not ride his bike, as he said, I was working so hard and going nowhere. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Well, a day or two later, after this race, I’m sitting in my office at bcbsm. And Cameron walked up to me white as a ghost. And he said, Can you can you come down here and look at something with me, and we walked down and his bike was in the studio, he was going to do some training. And he showed me the chainstay of his bike had been worn all the way through the paint. The tire had not or the wheel had not been put in straight. He was literally just grinding the tire against the chainstay the whole scene that time. Yep, check your equipment. And honestly, the thing that sticks in my heart right now is just the look on his face. Like he, he couldn’t deal with the fact like, Oh, my God, it was just this simple. There was nothing wrong with me the whole time. Yeah, checking that equipment is super important. Now, one thing I want to bring up not not to jump topics, Neil, we’re talking about checking this equipment. We’re talking about getting out on the road, we’re talking about doing these efforts. Are they on the course? Are they not on the course on the course if possible in the course for certain events? How do you make that choice if possible


Neal Henderson  26:47

on the course. And again, it’s even more possible at about the same time that you’ll be competing on that course. Because conditions vary, whether it’s the temperature, whether it’s the wind, whether it’s, those kinds of things make a difference. And so in an ideal world, we say you would like to be out there doing some of those efforts, at the same time a couple of days before, make sure everything is as expected. And if not as expected, you can make those adjustments in those next day or two, then sometimes the adjustment is just your head, I need to plan for this and expect it’s going to be really windy in this section, I might be better off on my bass bars through here.


Trevor Connor  27:29

That is a critical part of my prep that I teach my athletes if if it’s in a race, and I can get out to the event ahead of time, not the day before the event, but two days before the event. Going out and riding the course as you said, doing some effort seeing what a particular Hill feels like that both mentally and physically, I find is the best way to get myself ready. Yeah, we had a chance to talk with top coach and physiologist Dr. Enugu saw Milan, but what he does with his athletes leading up to a big event, he told us his plans in terms of exercise, but then took it further into travel and nutrition. Let’s hear what he had to say.


Dr. San Milan  28:06

Yeah, so that’s the whole tapering thing. Right. So I mean, I don’t think there’s much in my humble opinion, much more mystery about tapering is not it’s not a science, right is is about making sure that you don’t overdo it in terms of training the days before, but at the same time you activate something, right. So I think that at least four or five days before the race, you want to start in entering in that tapering mode to start taking it easy and reducing the amount of hours intensity duration, so that you can start assimilating in Super compensating all the previous training that you have done the weeks prior, but then just you still need to stimulate something. So I like I like to have like, like, the day before a race, for example, to have some openers, you know, so that you can stimulate whether it’s like, like a two three minute intervals, or maybe like a 10 minute claim that you can do more zone threes and four. But having some openers for that. The, the body’s a little bit used to that. Because otherwise, this is again, this is trial and error, right? And this is the feedback that I get from any writers right that if they don’t do anything, or any any activation that they for the day of the race, like they feel there’s something missing, you know, it’s like, I know it sounds old school, but it’s like, Oh, I couldn’t open up today the engine, you know, or the carburetor is not working well. You know, but it fell. Yeah, I think it’s important to do some openers the day before, at least


Rob Pickels  29:37

perfect outside of training in the last few days. Is there anything an athlete can do? Say from the massage, nutrition, other factors that are at the time they’re spending on the bike or out running?


Dr. San Milan  29:50

Yeah, I think that it’s just you know, prioritizing recovery and just try to be as least stress as possible. Travel. It’s something that I Many times you will want to have to do if you want to, you know, if you travel for competitions and travel, it can be it can alter right your routine because we think that, Oh, I’m taking a day off because I’m traveling. So it’s a day off. But actually traveling is not necessarily a day off, right, and you have to get to the airport earlier, the flight might be not numb, it might not be comfortable the food, but you know that they might be disrupting your diet, you know. So I think it’s really important to pay attention to the days you travel, make sure you hydrate well, you eat well, you try to stay as steady as possible. Try to choose other also, flights are not early in the morning or late in the in the evening. Something is happening in the middle of the day, if possible. Because again, sometimes you have an early flight, and you say oh, great, I’m gonna get an early flight to wherever, Tucson Arizona tomorrow. So I can be there by 11 and be at the hotel. Yeah. But it means that you’re going to have to get up at 430 or five to be at the airport at seven and gets the flight at nine. Right. So that’s going to be a really could be a wreck, you know, in the days before competition. And whereas you can maybe sleep team that day, you can take a noon flight, right? And get there early evening or so, or even go on a bike ride in the morning, you know, and then flight afterwards. But I think the planning of traveling is it’s very, very important if you have to travel. And then in terms of nutrition, yeah, it’s like, don’t overdo it. We’ve been thinking also about oh yeah, now I have to carbo load, and really eat a lot of carbohydrates. Well, if you have already been having a proper nutrition, and a proper training and recovery, those days, or you’re going to be tapering, you’re not going to be using much glycogen or carbohydrate. So don’t overdo it, right? So you don’t need to eat much. You know, like normally in the full high intensity week, you know, you might be it depends on your level, right, but let’s say six to 10 grams per kilogram per day, you know that tapering where you might need maybe four to six. Right, so it’s important, don’t overdo it in terms of nutrition those days.



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Rob Pickels  32:40

Oftentimes, as racers were afraid to not perform at our best for every single race, but with race prioritization, maybe there are a level things that you know you want to perform for, but maybe there are A, B, and C level things that you’re either training through or that you can use for experiment. And when you’re mapping out that season, it’s really important that we are identifying the ones where we can try something new. And experimentation is okay. Because ultimately that could make you better for your A races. That’s the


Neal Henderson  33:11

repetition, you have to practice something enough you have to trial it enough time to see this seems to be working well, you can make those tweaks and adjustments adaptations are 2012 women’s team pursuit squad that I did a lot of work with. So I was I’m going to consult and roll with them. As you know, Coach, we had been sharp as the head coach. After the World Championships in 2012. The team actually had a very bad result in Melbourne at the World Championships, like way down, and it’s like, well, relative to our goals, like we’re off the mark and something has to change all of our lead up 2010 2011 2012 World Champs and all the other world cups were literally a one week camp before those big events. And so we could do similar things just in that last week. But as you know, in training, it’s not just that final week that matters. It’s all the other, you know, more important those, you know, two through six weeks leading up to what was and wasn’t done. And we weren’t sure because everyone was coming from a different place. It was like okay, well, for us to have success in London at the Olympics in August, we’re going to have to have our athletes training together for a longer period of time. And so, you know, we had had Jim Miller support that and so they went to my orca Beale train basically all of June all of July before we flew to London. And in doing that it also said we’re going to need to run through the Olympic program because it was different than all the other world championships or World Cups because it was qualifying round one, round two qualifying on Monday and then round one and two occurring on the same day with just a small window of time in between and so we started doing a little bit in the last World Cups of doing a second ride on a trainer after they had done the finals because all the World Cups it was you know qualifying on day one and then finals day two, not a not a third and ride So we instituted a kind of mock third ride just to get them mentally ready for it. It didn’t pan out at Worlds, but then we had more of fully tapering and practicing in June. And then in July. And then of course, at the Olympics, the entire three rides with a qualifying round one and round two. And it was going through that iterating making some adjustments in the days based on how they’re feeling because it was also a team environment wasn’t just one person trying to go well, it was getting, you know, three of those riders for basically on his part of the team to be ready for it.


Trevor Connor  35:36

So you brought up the question of openers, and I’m interested in what your thoughts are on what are good or bad openers. And I’m going to this was said to me, and I found this really interesting and been actually experimenting with this, where somebody told me, you should never do threshold work as your openers, because that depletes glycogen. And you want to be depleting your glycogen the night before a race. So openers should all be short, there should be sprint effort, something that’s more anaerobic, and is going to spare your glycogen but still give your muscles enough of a hit. What’s your thought on that?


Neal Henderson  36:09

I mean, my thought on that is actually Sprint’s are actually exclusively glycogen utilizing. And so I mean, if it’s anything more than like the first six or 10 seconds, so from that perspective, I don’t agree. But I definitely like to see folks do a little bit of below threshold and build up through threshold and have a little bit of typically a built in that, like, feel like you have that control. You know, they’re typically one to two minutes long, somewhere between four and eight of them. The way I often prescribe these is, I want you to do enough of these builds. So you feel reasonably good relative to the effort, it doesn’t mean you feel great doing them. But it’s like the effort, my perceived effort relative to the output are kind of in line. And if you get to six, say is usually I usually say like two to six of these. If you’ve done six, and you’re not feeling that you’re done, it doesn’t matter. It’s okay to not feel good. And that’s just how it is. And that’s part of the mental of expectation, not setting an expectation of, you should feel like a hero, everything should be awesome. Because if you’re like you know that song, everything is awesome. If you think everything is going to be awesome all the time, you’re going to be set up for a lot of disappointment. In most cases, you don’t feel awesome all the time. And in racing, some of the best results occur from actually you get out there. And I feel like garbage at the start. And you just turn save energy, save energy, and all of a sudden you’re making selections, and it’s like, Whoa, now I’m competitive because I didn’t blow all the energy because I didn’t feel so good at the beginning.


Rob Pickels  37:42

Yeah, all of my best efforts have come when I felt like garbage, either the warm up or the days prior to a race, every single one of them.


Neal Henderson  37:50

It’s wild how that can happen. And it’s happened at the highest levels, I can tell


Trevor Connor  37:54

you, I actually get scared when I start a race and I’m feeling no pain, that tells me a whole lot of painkillers are flowing. And the reason they’re flowing is because there’s a lot of muscle damage there. And I’m going to pay for this. And almost invariably, halfway through the race, you just start falling apart.


Rob Pickels  38:11

halfway through the race, Trevor is punching his quad it’s trying to like,


Neal Henderson  38:17

do something. So go to work, do your job.


Trevor Connor  38:20

So let’s jump to the warmup. And I know this is a big question, because there’s a lot of different types of events, warming up for a short track event versus a five hour road race. Yep, are entirely different things. But are there any general principles here? Yeah, in terms of your warmup


Neal Henderson  38:39

fatigue level going into your event is going to impact potentially how long you need to warm up to feel reasonably ready or to be able to perform at your best. So individuals when they’re in like a stage race, you know, and you’re, if it’s day four out of a five day stage race, you probably need more of a warm up, not less, it seems like I’m tired, I just can’t do much, I’m going to conserve all my energy. And I forget that there’s a pro cyclist who just doesn’t warm up ever in Grand Tours. And that’s that’s kind of wild, there are many people who most riders feel better, with a longer warm up when they have more fatigue. And the same thing goes if you were training through an event, and you didn’t taper down that you might need just a little more time to feel good. It’s kind of like in training. You know, if you go out and you’re in your third week of a block, and you’re doing some efforts, and you might not feel great the first 30 minutes, but 90 minutes into it like things start clicking a little bit. And it’s the same kind of idea that you need a little longer warm up when you’re carrying more fatigued to be ready than the start.


Rob Pickels  39:41

I think that’s interesting. You know, I mean, I don’t have any experience coaching at the grantor level. My assumption as a lay person is that we have a long race. We have a neutral rollout. Some people are a little spicy off the start, but not everybody. It seems like a warm up would just sort of be built into the Opening case of the stage


Neal Henderson  40:01

Yeah, so I have specifically a fresh warm up when You’ve rested your tapered your, you just need 25 minutes and basically a little bit of a tempo effort, a few ramps up to over threshold, and then unleash the fury. Like everything’s ready to go primed, we’ve done everything right in the leading days rested, go, I have a grantor warmup where that one is almost 45 minutes long on the trainer. And it includes a much longer tempo, it has a build, and then a series of you know, just below just above and right it threshold efforts because you need more to get going with that fatigue. And that’s been honed over many, many years with multiple athletes. And the same thing, when they don’t do when they just do that 25 or 30 minute warm up in a grand tour for TT. Enough. It’s not enough, I felt good the second half, but I was just absolutely unable to do anything in the first half. And they feel good later. It’s like, okay, we need to do more in that. And most cases in Grand Tours, too. They also do ride at least some part of the course or some kind of ride in the morning because that the races for them are happening in the afternoon. And so they go out for an hour, hour and a half in the morning. And then they’re doing that 45 minute warm up, they’re doing the race and then they’re doing a proper cooldown, because usually there’s some other hellacious mountain stages coming after that. And that’s just how it is like rest happens in a grantor when it’s over, not during it, relatively speaking.


Trevor Connor  41:28

But the race really clued me and on this was a tour of the healer, which is a five day race where basically, the first four days, they’re just trying to wear one another down, and then the entire race happens on the last day. And what you see is the first day, guys might spin around a little bit in the parking lot to get ready. It’s like 510 minutes of very slow warm up that final day, and the first time ever saw this as like, what are they doing, but I totally get it now. It’s 40 minutes to the start. And the big teams will all ride to the start line. Exactly. And it’s exactly what you’re talking about. It’s turning those legs around because they know off the gun. There’s gonna be a brutal haven’t


Neal Henderson  42:09

done enough warm up, it’s going to be very, very uncomfortable for longer.


Rob Pickels  42:14

No, do you guys take that thinking to say a cyclocross race or a crit something that’s a little bit harder from the start, as opposed to, you know, bringing this to the more normal listener, as opposed to a road race? Are there different warmup strategies for sort of different events and their requirements?


Neal Henderson  42:30

Yeah, so conditions, the ambient conditions where the warmup occurs, and how that occurs, is also going to have an impact. So if it is really warm conditions, so I’ve got an athlete at para nationals right now in Huntsville, Alabama. And it was like, okay, like the weather is a factor. So what’s the weather forecast looking like relative to your start time, because that’s going to impact which warmup we’re going to go for, it’s actually going to be in the 30s, overnight low going into the tea tea, which is on Saturday. And so we’re going to do the longer warm up, because it’s not going to be extreme heat. Whereas a lot of times we’ve been in, say, Tennessee for nationals. And it’s like mid day, it’s like, okay, we’re doing literally a 15 or 20 minute warmup, it’s going to be you know, 10 minutes, easy. Three, one minute efforts, on off on off. That’s it, we don’t want to elevate your core temperature, even in doing so it’s like try to be in the shade, have a ice vest, all of those things to prevent any core temperature rise. Whereas if it’s 30 degrees in the morning, it’s going to take more time to get core temperature up muscle temperature up being ready to go.


Rob Pickels  43:31

And this is one of those things I think maybe we can bring a little bit of science into there is almost this polling of, we want muscle temperature almost as high as we can get it but we want core temperature as low as we can get it how do you sort of deal with both of those is different. And what I think is interesting is in the science, when you look at like a passive warming up, there are things like heated pants, right can can really have a lot of these sort of warm up induced improvements in performance, you know, and so it is interesting on a warm day, wearing us some tights or something like that, you’re already getting that passive warm up that passive muscle temperature increase that gets you a good way, you know, toward all the warm up improvements that you can get now, active warm up certainly has some additional, you know, benefit on top of that. But definitely taking the ambient temperature and conditions in is hugely important in making sure this is proper,


Neal Henderson  44:26

exactly. Another part then is what the demand is going to be for the event right off the go. So exactly track cycling, we have standing starts and many of our events, timed events and things like that. And so we had to do some additional things for that kind of torque for that force production to be prepared for that. So we did actually use a vibration platform and being able to do some activation exercises with basically doing partial squats with that just for a little bit of a stimulus. But the other thing that we did that was more important because in most cases track cyclists are warming up on on pretty much stationary rollers don’t have a huge amount of resistance with those. And so we would actually have the athletes on a concrete place away from the rest of everyone else, usually a hallway underneath the Velodrome have them on their bike, we would hold it. And they would be doing a simulated four to six pedal stroke, maximal push as we’re holding and resisting them moving forward to get that torque being applied get that actual neural muscular force production that just is in no way possible on rollers. And we had no other way of doing that, we weren’t going to load up a bunch of barbells and carry them around or fly around the world with all that with the weight equipment. And so that was way we could mimic that. And the best way to do that is actually a little ramp up hill, which a lot of times at a velodrome you have those little bit of a concrete ramp here and there and just a few pedal strokes. So cyclocross probably would be a place where you would find value in doing some of that torque, part of the the last bit of your warmup doing a couple torque, efforts to mimic that start just to be ready for that activation.


Rob Pickels  46:11

Same same thing coming out of a TT Stargate, you know, so that


Trevor Connor  46:14

was always part of my time trial or crit warm up was some big gear, Sprint’s Yep, get that maximal neural activation and spot on, there’s a bunch of research in the last five, six years on warm up showing that, really, the two gains that you’re getting from a warm up are raising the muscle temperatures you brought up and getting that neural activation. But the interesting thing is most of these studies show the warm up effect really only benefits you for about two, three minutes, and then your body’s gonna end up being in the same place. So in a track event that six minutes or a 10 minute time trial, that’s a difference between winning and losing, or cross race where you have to get your position right off the gun, that’s really critical in a five hour road race. Unless they’re killing it off the gun, it’s actually not going to make that big a difference. And the interesting thing I found in these studies is they said, one of the biggest mistakes they were seeing and athletes is doing too much of a warm up and actually going into the race a little fatigued.


Neal Henderson  47:12

Yeah, it is possible to definitely overcook it. So in a stage race, looking at the profile, and that’s another thing, you know, when you look at week three, and it’s a 10k pill off the start off the gun, oh my gosh, if you have an athlete who you know, they’re a GC rider, they need to warm up because they don’t want to get dropped. I think somebody earlier this year at a big race, like popped off early in the stage and lost the race. Race later got dropped in the first climb and everything just went to the I mean, it blew apart, totally different race winner two days later, that happens. So you have to look ahead at both what the opportunities are, if you’re somebody who you know isn’t where you would think you should be, and you want to make an advancement or if you want to maintain where you’re at, you got to be ready for that start. Or if you’re trying to go in a breakaway, on a day like that, man, you literally are going to do a full TT warm up and be ready to rock it right from the go.


Rob Pickels  48:03

And I think that if we take this a little bit broader to say running, right, a lot of people are out there, they’re running five K’s they’re running 10 k’s and I think that those athletes are more in this domain of going hard off the start. It’s not like cycling, where you can roll out you’re sitting in the group you’re drafting. Exactly and so warm up might be a little bit more important to get out and do those strides and everything for your running race. And you know, it’s funny, Neil, you’re talking about you know, in the hallway below the Velodrome which which basically describes my entire you know, life as a track and field athlete and I have fond memories of running at the Armory in New York City which if anybody knows is on like the second or the third floor of this new york city block building and everybody warms up in the hallway like on the first floor so you’re running down this like polished you know surface and and then you pop upstairs and you’re out on the track and this big thing and as such this amazing experience but the other thing that happens a lot and track and field and that happened to me was it big races like Penn relays UPenn. You know, it’s such a well run event with so many people it is so scripted. You warm up it feels like an hour before you actually get on the track. And then you spend an hour you’re in one corral you move to the next corral you turn to the right you step over a line you turn to the left you step over a line, you follow a guy with a flag you stand on the side of the field. It’s amazing how scripted it is. But as an athlete, I would never expect to have good performances there because it was I was done. I was hungry by the time I was getting out there running.


Trevor Connor  49:31

Yep, one last thing I’ll throw in about the warm up Neil, I might get a good laugh out of you for this. I think one of the most important parts of your warm up a scope in the parking lot which is you bike around so I’m talking mostly cycling here. You see what all the big teams are doing. And if they are sitting in lounge chairs and you should be chatting away it’s like not going to worry about this. If all the domestiques for the big teams are on trainers with a look at death on there. Yeah, ready to go. You No, it’s gonna be hard off the gun and you better be ready.


Neal Henderson  50:03

Yep, definitely knowing what what’s going on and people will give clues like that. Yep, I can tell you from triathlon, my thing about a running warm up there was literally going to the farthest away porta Potti because there’s going to be no line. That was like a tactical advantage. I didn’t have to wait, I didn’t have to worry about anyone knowing where there’s one it’s literally a half mile over there at the boulder reservoir over by, you know, off the side, you’re not gonna have to stand in the 15 Minute line and be waiting way better. Yeah, tactics baby speaking


Rob Pickels  50:31

about that thing, you know, that can undo your race, right? Knowing where the prime portapotty is, can can really be a big advantage.


Neal Henderson  50:39

Absolutely. You got to plan you got to plan for these things.


Trevor Connor  50:42

Yeah, I’m not going to share some stories. But that is a different episode that we would never publish. But maybe


Rob Pickels  50:50

a good transition to the nutrition that you can do before the race go.


Trevor Connor  50:54

Good transition Rob. Trevor. So


Rob Pickels  50:57

happy with be right. Now


Trevor Connor  50:59

let’s let’s dive into nutrition. So four days out, what is nutrition look like? Yeah,


Neal Henderson  51:05

in most cases that that four days out, people are reducing their overall training load. And so actual total intake may be coming down a little bit, you’re not going into starvation mode, you’re not doing anything ridiculous or silly in that way. But there’s potentially a little bit of an absolute reduction in total calories. Though, at that point, I am still a proponent of having a slightly higher than typical carbohydrate intake, there was the old school stuff, and I, you know, I did this before my first Ironman of glycogen depleting workout a week out, and then you would just super compensate. I think all the studies that we’ve seen since those early days in the, you know, 80s, and 90s, is that literally, if you just bump up your intake for three to five days before an event, you know, having 20 or 30% more carbohydrate than normal, you’re gonna get fully replete stores unless you’re coming in at some extremely low level to begin with, or your daily intake is just too low. Anyhow,


Trevor Connor  52:03

really important thing to understand with that though, is if you are trying to build your glycogen stores, glycogen is basically a mole of glucose bound to four moles of water. In other words, if you are building your glycogen stores, you’re going to put on a lot of weight. So people will do this step on the scale every day and go, Oh my god, I just put on three, four pounds, I’m going to lose the race. It’s water. Yep,


Neal Henderson  52:28

growing, going into the hour, it was like, Oh my gosh, he’s gained, you know, two kilos, since he got here. I’m like, perfect. Everything’s on target. Because the typical European pro like going into race, you don’t want to gain weight. I was like, hey, there’s no hills on the track, unless you go up to banking, which in the our record, he really didn’t, he stayed pretty much on the black line. So literally two kilos is going to cost less than like a watt on the flat. But having that glycogen is going to be absolutely necessary when push it over 400 watts for an hour, because glycogen is gonna limit performance more than that, but you know, bit of water weight predominantly again that you know, those glycogen stores being topped off great carrying water, which Oh, great. And guess what, in the hour, you also don’t get to drink anything. So having some additional fluid on board with that glycogen man, that’s like the perfect situation. I was happy. The others were kind of funny, you know, funny about it. So if you are an athlete, and you weigh yourself frequently, and if you see yourself gaining one, you know, a couple pounds 234 pounds before an event. You’re doing it right it probably in terms of your fuel. Yep.


Rob Pickels  53:33

I think that bringing up the Our record is really interesting, because I spent a lot of time looking through some research prior to this on the whole glycogen loading thing. In what I saw, there wasn’t necessarily a consensus as to whether or not carbohydrate loading was was going to be effective for you or not. And great study from Dr. Burke and Dr. Holly, Dr. Noakes, all of them who are like, carbohydrate loading failed to improve 100 kilometers cycling performance. Right. And some of the takeaways from this is if you’re going to be able to feed and eat during an event, then having proper glycogen prior to the event is kind of all that you need. But I think that there are special cases like the our record, as you said, you can’t eat you can’t drink even in mountain biking maybe where you’re able to carry a water bottle. How much are you actually getting in? So mountain biking, cyclocross, our record TT all of those things, you don’t want to break the arrow position. Maybe that is an area where making sure that your carbohydrate is is as good as it can be. Maybe you don’t need to do anything crazy. But those are events that are very high power output for 45 minutes to an hour. These are the things that can deplete your glycogen. Being topped off is probably a good thing, but at the same time, if you’re able to ride longer a couple hours eat a whole bunch. Maybe being fully topped off isn’t necessary or it doesn’t have a huge effect on purpose. Orbitz, Trevor, your thoughts on that you’re the long race guy I feel. So there


Trevor Connor  55:03

are actually studies showing that if you super compensate your glycogen, so build the levels higher than normal. When you are in a race situation, your body’s actually going to rely on glucose more for fuel, he oxidizes it. And over a long event, you can actually even though you go in with more glycogen, you can actually deplete it more quickly. So I agree, if you’re doing those long events, I actually don’t think trying to maximize like you want to make sure you’re at 100% with your glycogen. But trying to get to that 130% might not be the best strategy. But I do also agree that that shorter event that one hour event, where you are going to be going in intensity where you’re naturally going to be relying mostly on glucose for fuel. Absolutely, you want to have as much as possible.


Neal Henderson  55:52

I’d say you’re right on target. One thing to keep in mind and a multi day if you actually completely deplete your stores on any day if you have the dreaded the British don’t like that word, but if you get a glycogen built the British really mean that means something else.


Rob Pickels  56:09

I’ve never been to


Trevor Connor  56:11

my apologies to all our listeners.


Neal Henderson  56:14

Why snicker every time they hear in American news that so let me just say


Rob Pickels  56:18

what they’re okay with the word hate any or No, Katie is bad. Fannie is bad too. Yeah, okay. Okay.


Neal Henderson  56:23

It’s a bumbag your Ozzy and


Trevor Connor  56:26

there’s nothing good about a Fannie. I don’t care what you call it. There is nothing good about you offended


Rob Pickels  56:32

every Ravel cyclists and mountain biker in the world


Neal Henderson  56:35

bag. It’s a bum bag. And you know, as you speak, at least, but if you do,


Rob Pickels  56:42

get over this, I’m sorry.


Neal Henderson  56:45

If you deplete your glycogen, it cannot be fully replenished in 24 hours. If you absolutely zero out, you’re in trouble for days, right. And so, it’s so important. And that’s the thing, you know, in a grand tour, if you if somebody bottoms out, usually they’re in doo doo for not just that day, but in the coming days, there’s going to be a reckoning because you just can’t get it all back in no matter what you do. It takes several days of of a little bit of overfeeding to get back to fully replete,


Trevor Connor  57:15

which is why when you’re especially when you’re in that stage race fueling during the event, yeah. And so often critical,


Neal Henderson  57:21

you’ll see guys taking models in the last, you know, 15 minutes, and it’s not for that moment, you know, even though yeah, there’s the carbohydrate, mouthrinse, all that kind of stuff, it’s literally they’re starting their recovery, making sure that they’re not bottom now, making sure they don’t get down to that bankrupt and zeroed out. I think


Rob Pickels  57:37

for a long time, people didn’t realize how much cyclists were actually eating, you know, in in these races, I think maybe recently it’s become a little bit more to light. But you know, oftentimes I view I love doing longer races, I’m not really cut out for it. But for me, it’s oftentimes an eating competition more than a writing competition tell you the truth. So I remember working


Neal Henderson  57:57

with an Ironman athlete who’s a bigger, bigger guy, you know, in the whatever, close to 180 pounds, 170 Psalm and, and we did test it in the lab where Rob and I worked, I was like, You need you should be taking in about 120 to 150 grams of carbohydrate an hour. He’s like, uh, you can’t eat, which is a huge number. And it’s like, well, nobody can do that. And it’s like, well, the research, I’m pretty sure it’s a little bit behind. Like, we’ve seen people who’ve been doing this and that guy won a big race. He was top 10 at Ironman Hawaii, it’s like intake, relatively the expenditure with that capacity, it just you have to train your stomach. And again, you can’t eat certain types of carbohydrate to get it all it has to be from a mix of mixed carbohydrate sources is part of that, but it worked. And again, big guy, you know, he can hold 350 watts for you know, many hours. And so you just have to scale things,


Trevor Connor  58:52

often digestive issues, Dr. And athletes nutrition strategy more than performance of the 24 hours leading up to an event. Let’s hear from digestion expert, Patrick Wilson on things we can do to make sure our guts function at their best in the event. Are there things that you can do and those those days leading up to make sure that your your gut is going to work with you and not against you as you’re getting ready for a race?



Yeah, I mean, you could take a look at a couple of those dietary approaches. I mean, a few days beforehand, you gotta remember stuff is moving through your gut, it takes anywhere from a day for some people upwards of five days for others, I mean, they hold transited the gut in terms of once you ingest it and the residue ends up at the other end, that’s kind of the timeframe you’re looking at. So that’s generally the window before an event where you can have some impact on some of those things nutritionally so that can include you know, reducing fiber intake if you’re worried about kind of having to use you know, the restaurant too many times. fiber intake is directly correlated with stool a mountain weights on a given on a given day. So, I mean, that’s obviously one thing you can take a look at is tapering your fiber intake if you’re a little bit worried about that, I’ve been sad recently on Twitter, a scientist publishing something about tapering fiber intake and its impact on cycling weights. And the study is not out yet. But they were kind of indicating that there were some interesting findings there. So you know, we’ll see what happens is that the FODMAP thing would be another one, potentially targeting FODMAPs for a day or two beforehand, if you are especially experiencing like bloating and cramping, loose stools, that sort of thing. That could be a potential strategy, they’re avoiding way too much of NSAIDs. I mean, obviously, endurance athletes have a lot of lingering ng injuries in some cases, or just nagging pains. And if they’re anticipating they’re going to have an exacerbation of those injuries during the event, they might try and proactively take a lot of NSAIDs. And that is certainly a recipe for gut problems if you take it in a high enough dose. So I think that would be something to be aware of and careful about. And if you can find ways to get through the race without using them, that would be you know, generally my recommendation. And the other thing is, if you’re the anxious type of person that gets really worked up before races, try and figure out a way to center yourself a little bit better, and maybe implement some strategies to dampen that stress response, whether it be slow, deep breathing, you know, listening to relaxing music, practicing some mindfulness strategies, I think the combination of those things couldn’t be a strategy to at least reduce the severity of the symptoms that someone might experience or the likelihood depends on again, what their underlying causes are for their problems. But those are at least you know, three or four things that I think practically athletes can take away and maybe utilize in that pre event period.


Trevor Connor  1:01:56

We’re about halfway through this episode with Neil Henderson on race week preparation. When it’s all over, don’t stop learning. Head over to fast talk labs.com, where we have articles and more fast talk episodes on pre race warm ups, what to pack for mountain bike races, how to prepare for events at altitude, and more. See more on race preparation of fast talk labs.com. So let’s dive a little more specifically into nutrition strategies for the day before and the morning of because this is one of the places where you can see a lot athletes absolutely destroy the race.



Yep. So


Neal Henderson  1:02:34

again, you’re not going to try to institute any new foods that you haven’t done. So this is a pattern that you should have been practiced multiple times and know what is available. And if it’s not available, where you’re at, you had to bring it. So again, people traveling International, a lot of times like, oh my gosh, they don’t have X, Y or Z available. I did a race in the Caribbean once and our pre race meal was basically KFC not recommended, I did not perform very well off of fried chicken and like I did not have adequate carbohydrates. That was a hard lesson to learn. So if rice is the only thing you eat great, if you’re racing in Asia, gonna be super easy. If you’re in Norway might not be as easy. Make sure that you either know what you are used to is available or you bring your own, I would always say bring some of your own anyhow. Because even if it’s supposedly normally available, if whatever kitchen in your hotel doesn’t open up until 6am, and you got to leave at five, you have to be prepared. So low residue is something that people have been doing a little bit more of and that’s having less fiber. Yep, go into more simpler carbohydrate to reduce some of the GI side of things. So white rice, better than brown rice and white bread better than brown bread, or wheat bread, some of those type in terms of low residue idea.


Trevor Connor  1:03:54

Just keep in mind, low residue diet can help your performance, prevent GI issues during the race, but it’s not your healthy diet.


Neal Henderson  1:04:04

This is not something that you should be doing 365 days a year, this should be for your big events for just a couple days. And that’s for your performance and then you go back to a better healthier diet for sure.


Rob Pickels  1:04:16

And that should be eating in general, right like eating you’re doing should be up for a purpose. You’re making choices with the food that you’re eating. And sometimes that choice is just I need low GI distress so I can perform tomorrow. And then your choice later is healthy lifestyle, reduction of disease risk, so on and so forth.


Trevor Connor  1:04:34

So what about the morning of Yep,


Neal Henderson  1:04:36

morning of timing is important relative to the intensity and there are some folks out there with cast iron stomachs that an hour and a half beforehand can eat some solid food and be good to go. I would not recommend that I typically higher the intensity the longer out you want to go from from some sort of meal with solid so at least two typically three hours is a safer place. And those solids are typically Again, gonna be fairly simple, a plain, you know, a bagel with some sort of jam or fruit of banana and a plain bagel. Pretty easy on the stomach for most folks, but practice this. So again, oatmeal for a lot of folks is is one of those things, but you can’t just do it, you know, two hours before and have no problem in most cases.


Rob Pickels  1:05:19

And that’s where practicing that is really important, right? We know a lot of things you shouldn’t leave to a race day decision. But you should know ahead of time based on workouts based on your sequencing based on other races, what’s going to work for you and my favorite story here and I might have shared this before is I had an athlete, I coached a UCI level Junior cyclocross team. And we were flying to a race, this athlete knew exactly what worked for him as a pre race meal. And so he took it with him in his carry on. And so when we went through security, even though every it was it was hilarious, they couldn’t not let it through because it was all canned like prepackaged things, or whatever. But we’re standing there and we’re watching the conveyor belt of the X ray machine, here comes a can of corn. And then like two feet later, a bag of rice. It took like minutes for everything to come through. I was dying, laughing.


Trevor Connor  1:06:11

My worst ever in that scenario was I went down to the Caribbean to do a race and I was team manager for our team. And we are in a place where there’s no bike shops, you got to bring whatever you need. And I had to figure out the whole weight thing. So I knew the heaviest stuff, I was going to put in my shoulder bag, and I was bringing down the Gatorade for the team. So I didn’t think about this, but I bought like 20 of those little tubs of Gatorade. And I’m like what can’t fit all these tubs into a shoulder bag. So I got big plastic bags, dumped all these Gatorade into these plastic bags. I get down there and I they go through the security and they see giant bags of white powder


Rob Pickels  1:06:56

wrapped in duct tape for some reason.


Trevor Connor  1:07:00

They pull it out. They’re like, what is this? And I’m like, honestly, it’s Gatorade. I swear to you drink mix,


Rob Pickels  1:07:08

man. Yeah, you’re like, well, that’s lemon lime. And that’s


Neal Henderson  1:07:12

different flavors. Important stuff. Yeah, I think one of the easiest prerace are easiest on the stomach for a lot of folks. Rice, scrambled egg, little olive oil, little salt, you know, you can put a little bit of parmesan cheese or something like that if you want a little bit of flavor. But that’s pretty much a super simple go to furler. That works well. I can’t tell you how many athletes over time that I know that they go to a rice based pre race meal is their simplest easy can get it can do it almost anywhere without too much difficulty.


Trevor Connor  1:07:43

But I am going to point out these things are trainable. So if you are somebody who has that issue of if you eat within three hours of the race, it affects your race, don’t train it for during the races. But Saturday morning group ride before a workout, start practicing eating really close. And it’s going to be a little uncomfortable at first, but you can train it, you can make it better.


Rob Pickels  1:08:05

Yeah, the other side of this too is that your body can change. I know for a long time I was an Iron Stomach type of person. And a couple of years ago, that changed for me. And I was having a lot of GI distress stomach pain in cyclocross races, and it would really limit me from being able to go the workload that I otherwise could have. So if you had something that worked for you in the past, and it doesn’t work for you anymore, it’s time to re experiment, it’s time to re change,


Neal Henderson  1:08:31

adapt and adjust. And one of the big things I would say in all of this is take notes. Now I’m an analog guy, I still write stuff down. But on a training log, if you have you know, whatever training software you like to use, when you have your files of workouts that you’ve done, if you can also add notes in there, that is some of the best place especially if you can search by word, then you could go back and see what you’ve done previously. So you know, way, way, way back before we had any of those kinds of you know, software training things that you could save all that stuff and reference and anywhere in the world which is awesome. Now I can go look back at stuff 20 years old and see what I did, because I kept fastidious notes in the electronic format as well but when I turned pro in 2001 I went through my written training logs of things that I did training wise as well as looked at you know, good days and what did I eat I often had notes when I was very, very early on of what I ate when I ate when I ate that. So I knew like okay, repeat this do not repeat that like this definitely worked. This definitely didn’t. And over time, you will have a better understanding of your job your own N equals one.


Trevor Connor  1:09:39

Any other thoughts on nutrition strategies?


Neal Henderson  1:09:42

Always make sure your water sources good. So so the audio will raise are so many things and we’re back to the board of honor quality side that may affect you on the day itself. I did a race once where I filled up from a hose that At the end Well, I don’t know how long that water had been sitting there in and out of Sun baking cycles with whatever kind of plastics and rubbers and everything leaching into it. But it ended my day as a performance, I was able to finish that race, but move water quality, make sure you’re saying that. And again, when you travel, certain places, bottled water only never, never eat an ice cube, all those kinds of things are real.


Trevor Connor  1:10:25

Being careful about the water you drink is one thing you can do. But as coach Rene Eastman discussed with us, the best thing you can do in general is to focus on the things that you can control.



Focus on the things that you can control, you know, going to bed early, taking care of your hydration, taking care of your nutrition, the nutrition, the specifics of it, are really, you know, a little bit dependent on what it is, is it you know, led dill mountain bike race is going to be nine hours long? Or is it a criterium, where, you know, glycogen depletion is not an issue. I would say, don’t introduce new things into those last couple days of the nutrition plan of start taking supplements or cut out all your coffee just in the fourth, last couple of days. Plan ahead. That’s one thing to do in those couple of days before your race, especially if you’re having to travel to your race. Where are you going to eat dinner? When you’re going to eat dinner? How are you going to get breakfast before the race, and what time you’re going to eat breakfast before the race and in those kinds of things, to maybe pack your own food. So it’s all taken care of, or you know, where you can, you know, get your favorite thing to eat the night before your body good to come up with a checklist. I think I’ve been doing this a long, I’ve got my own mental checklist. But the things that I personally do race week, and I encourage my athletes to do race week, or the same things that I encourage them to do week in and week out during their training, that, you know, on race day, it shouldn’t be a whole lot different than how you would treat yourself in the day of or the days leading into a really hard training session. You should have already by the time you get to race day, have had plenty of really hard training sessions that mimic the demands of your race. And you know, maybe if it’s Leadville, you didn’t do a whole 100 mile mountain bike ride, but remotely, really exhausted long rides. So it’s just maintaining those good habits. So that idea of a specific thing that you do on race week versus training week, I don’t think it should really be a whole lot different to be honest.


Trevor Connor  1:12:57

Love. Aaron, you say that? That’s that’s a question I give athletes all the time where they figure out a routine. They’re, you know, they have their Saturday morning group ride that they’re doing great at and then they get to a race and go, Oh, no, I got to change everything that I do is go Why would you take something that you know, works for you throw that out the window and do something you never do? On an important day?



Right? And then you get to practice on those group ride days of, you know, what works best for you pancake breakfast, or oatmeal? Or is it three hours before your ride or two hours or, or whatnot.


Trevor Connor  1:13:37

So at the time we have left, there’s two areas that we still need to address. One is sleep and rest. And the other one is travel if travel is part of getting to your event. So what are your thoughts on sleep and getting rest?


Neal Henderson  1:13:50

Yeah, so sleep is a secret weapon for athletes habit. And if you sleep well, you are much, much better odds of being able to perform to your best than if you’re not sleeping well. So being able to sleep well is kind of a weapon. There’s also some evidence that shows that actually if you have increased sleep, in the days leading into a performance relative to normal, you actually perform even better than if you maintain your normal sleep cycle. And the exact opposite of that if you reduce sleep over several days leading into it, you’re going to have even more further reduced performance.


Rob Pickels  1:14:24

It’s interesting because that’s a total contrary, Neil, to what I’ve experienced tell you the truth. I do think with the research I looked at essentially and I think that anecdotally if you talk to people, insomnia, difficulty sleeping before raise it, the struggle is real. I think that happens to a lot of people that maybe that’s something that you can’t necessarily control because of anxiety and nerves. You have to control those things and then maybe that helps your insomnia. The other thing that I found really interesting though, in a review study was that sleep hygiene tended to get worse, the anxiety the People had caused them to make poor decisions, they spent a lot of time on their electronics before bed to kind of fill that time, which makes it harder to sleep, or they’re doing other things traveling in a hotel. So I think that sometimes there isn’t a choice, but sometimes there is and the factors that you can control are really important for you to create a good environment for sleep to make those strong choices to maximize whatever potential you’re gonna have.


Trevor Connor  1:15:27

But look, this is an important one. And, you know, I was somebody early in my cycling career, the night before key events, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all, I can’t tell you how many races that were important to me, I did on zero sleep the night before, because of stress and anxiety. I did get over that. But it was an issue. And it was helpful for me to see research showing that one bad night asleep has pretty minimal impact on your performance. I think what has a bigger impact on performance is going to the race. It’s an important race, and you just had a sleepless night, and you’re nervous about what that does to you. So what I have learned, or what I learned was, when I have those nights, don’t lie in bed stressing about oh, no, my race is now ruined, get out of bed, go read a book and just say, I’m not going to get a night of sleep. But it’s actually not going to affect my performance that much. Read a book, watch a movie. And just remind yourself This isn’t as devastating as I think it’s going to be.


Rob Pickels  1:16:30

And as a coach, I think that you can downplay, you know, the effect that it might have on the athlete, my one athlete that I coach always, you know, maybe has some trouble sleeping. And I always no matter what insistence that I had my best races after my worst night of sleep, whether or not it’s true, doesn’t matter. But as you’re saying, it’s the psychology side of this, it can have a hugely detrimental effect. So really being able to support your athlete in their confidence is is going to have a big improvement.


Neal Henderson  1:16:58

Definitely. And that’s the biggest thing that confidence comes back to that and so not panicking as an athlete if you’re disrupted if it’s less than ideal, okay? manage the stress. And that’s that like reading a book at that point, if you’re awake, okay, that’s going to help kind of reset you and not just send you in that cycle of continuing to escalate and elevate that that stress response that anxiety. Exactly. Jean, that new coach, the same thing, you know, okay, you didn’t sleep as well, you know, there is research that will say like the night before is not that important, right? From from some of the different army studies and things like that. That’s I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say that like night before, it really doesn’t matter at all.


Trevor Connor  1:17:39

But the thing that will kill you is lying in bed for eight hours stressing correct, that will impact you


Neal Henderson  1:17:45

the anxiety associated with that, because that’s yeah, all the cortisol disturbance, everything there.


Trevor Connor  1:17:51

So let’s move over to travel, which I know you have dealt with a lot yourself and with your athletes. So you can talk about the perfect four days preps for an event, but often you’re on a plane, or you know, from my experience, you’re driving for 22 hours


Rob Pickels  1:18:07

a day and with stinky other people. Yep.


Trevor Connor  1:18:10

Yeah, I could deal with all of it except for being in a van with a 22 year olds


Neal Henderson  1:18:15

anymore. You gave that up? Yeah, no, I


Trevor Connor  1:18:17

can’t I just can’t do that anymore.


Neal Henderson  1:18:19

I’m sorry. Yeah. So having again, a plan with your travel, looking ahead, and what are your connections and a lot of cases people book poor travel, because it’s cheaper to save is $30 dollar difference worth three layovers and a potential for your equipment to get wrecked and more time to lose a flight and to get there later or miss your race. All those things always look a little bit from the practical point of view, a nonstop flight is better than having a stop, especially in the transcon continental ones, you know, for myself going back and forth to Europe for a period of time I was doing that. You know, I don’t know how many times here too many. And it was like I need to do the Denver to Frankfurt or Denver to London, I have to do that as my first leg. That way I can get some sleep, I usually do an afternoon flight. So it is a potential for me to be able to get sleep land there in the morning, I’m closer to the cycle because there’s daylight when I land, I may travel a little bit more maybe a little more difficult to stay awake. But managing some of the things with jetlag is about the schedule and scheduling, you know, putting yourself on flights that are going to fit that schedule pretty well. Other couple of key things to keep in mind hydration when you’re on a plane, it’s a fairly dry environment. Those of us who live in Boulder we’re kind of used to dry but if you are, you know from a humid area you get on the plane, it’s very dry air and is actually only pressurized to if you’re on a new 787 I think they get it down to about 4000 feet of elevation, effective feel if you’re on some of the older planes, it’s more like six 7000 feet of elevation of impact while you’re in that plane. So if you’re on a long flight from here to Australia, you know 10 hours, 12 hours, 15 hours. That’s a stressor if you’re not already coming from altitude, and if you’re not hydrating, so you have to stay hydrated, so avoid alcohol. I’m not a big fan of any of the sleep aids and the sleep drugs and things like that. In any case, and especially with travel, especially if it’s not something you do consistently, you’re just going to be throwing an element in there that is probably going to cause you some problems, some of that being your, your GI with some of those. So, plan, take a look, sleep when you can on that flight as best you can. So bring whatever you need a pillow and inflatable thing and eyemask noise cancelling headphones and or, or your you know, pods whatever you do in that way, all of those things will help you.


Trevor Connor  1:20:44

Other thing I’m going to add is whether it’s a flight or you’re in the van during the 20 hour drive, good food is not going to generally be available to you. And this was particularly an issue on the van where we would stop a gas station the gas station food is horrible pack some food.


Neal Henderson  1:21:00

Yep, bring what you want there. Compression gear, you know, compression socks, definitely good on those long flights or long drives especially those things would definitely help you know, I’ve never been able to bring on like a normal text or anything like that on a plane but in a car. A new thing. So this year I was last year I did the lead boat, so Leadville on Saturday, and then I had to go from Leadville to steamboat and do steamboat gravel. 144 miles on Sunday, my wife was an angel she drove from Leadville to Steamboat, I was able to sit in the backseat with the NormaTec boots home for like an hour, I love them and using the you know, their gun to be able to just massage and spend some of that time in the car, actually helping to accelerate that recovery process. That’s not your standard. But if you can plan ahead, you know, and be ready to be able to do some of those things. It’ll just make it a little bit better.


Trevor Connor  1:21:54

And I would say once you’re off the plane or you’ve arrived doing those Norman Texas great, I’m actually interested in your opinion on this, I’m a big fan of get on the bike and do a little narrower, there’s some high cadence spreads, get that blood flowing in the legs again,


Neal Henderson  1:22:08

yeah, on that day of landing. So normally we I again, I try to do the overnight flight you land sometime in the day, it’s usually you know, sometimes afternoon till you’re at where you’re going. Put your bike together because you need to know if there’s a problem. If you don’t wait the next day you’ve lost again so many hours of time of being able to troubleshoot come up with an alternative. So ASAP is unpack your bike. Also reporting if there are any damages that you can report that if you wait too long, you’re actually miss out on some of that window. So get that bike together, get out and ride, extend that first day and try to stay awake. Don’t try to go to bed at two in the afternoon and try to sleep to the next day. That’s trouble, you’re gonna never get your clock reset. If you really don’t try to work on it,


Trevor Connor  1:22:51

you have to have the one miserable day and then take


Neal Henderson  1:22:55

a longer day and then get into the rhythm and wake up in the morning. Get into the sunshine actual sunshine. And I know when you travel over to Europe in the winter, it’s a little bit harder because there’s a little bit less sun we used to do that we used to travel with, you know, one of the happy lights basically get get that extra UV exposure early to try to get that body clock reset he never did really well with with international trouble. These big timezone delays took him a week, at least going from here to Europe to feel reasonably good. Some folks can do it in three or four days. But by and large and a day per hour on the timezone change is a good rule of thumb.


Rob Pickels  1:23:33

What about on the domestic side of things, you’re traveling to another state? Maybe you’re traveling across the country? How early? Are you planning on going out to maximize your performance? So you can go too early?


Neal Henderson  1:23:45

Yeah, yep. So conditions. So the ambient conditions, if you’re traveling to the southeast, and it’s going to be swampy and you’re used to, you know, arid Colorado, or Utah, that’s a big shift, and you need to have some heat climatization in terms of that heat and humidity, specifically, the humidity is a big thing. And so even before you leave potentially doing some overdressing, so you actually have a little bit of a humid layer on you while you’re doing some of your training in the last week or so would be good because some of the heat adaptations, you know, seven to 10 days of exposure will give you you know, your primary adaptations that are possible. But that humidity aspect is quite different. Somebody who’s coming up to altitude from sea level, that’s also now there’s ideal situation seven to 10 days, but realistically, then maybe better just one or two days. In that three or four days. In most cases, your body’s trying to adapt to that. And you’re at the most


Trevor Connor  1:24:36

URLs point four or five days after arriving at altitude.


Rob Pickels  1:24:40

So people coming up to Boulder Iron Man, it’s either come up more or immediately before, right? Yeah, and you


Neal Henderson  1:24:47

always have those. You have to be here to pick up your packet by this time. It’s like okay, so with that in mind, what’s the minimum or what do I need to be for the longer term that seven to 10 day so either basically less than three or greater than seven. It’s kind of the best in those dramatic changes in environment of elevation, heat and humidity compared to what you’d be used to now going to somewhere colder. Now, you’re not going to have an you don’t really have cold adaptations other than your potential tolerance or how long it takes you to grow beard if you’re a guy that helps keep your face from freezing off. That’s, that’s one of my things that I do. On top here, I’ve got no hair on the top of my head. So getting some facial hair helps in the winter, it’s good


Trevor Connor  1:25:28

to say my thing in the winter and like I let my hair grow long, I get a big bushy beard like I’m I’m total bushman. And that helps me a lot.


Neal Henderson  1:25:35

Exactly. It’s an attitude. Yep.


Trevor Connor  1:25:39

But you know, most of our listeners, just like us have full time jobs. They might have a race on a Saturday, and they’re usually traveling on the Friday.


Neal Henderson  1:25:49

And so with that in mind, it’s just have had your relative rest. Sometimes folks, you know, they do openers on the on the trainer in the morning before they leave and travel. Next morning, you’re right at it, let’s


Trevor Connor  1:26:03

go something it’s a long drive. Something I will recommend to my athletes is either time it so that you can get there to do that spin or if you can’t literally stop partway on the drive. Get on the bike. there before. Yep, yep, do


Neal Henderson  1:26:17

that. 30 minute, I’ve pulled a trainer out in a parking lot randomly, somewhere in the middle of nowhere in done 20 minutes with a couple little builds and throw back in and continue on.


Trevor Connor  1:26:27

I did this in Wyoming before I understood Wyoming wins. We were driving up the Cascades and got out got on the bikes were like wow, we’re going so fast. So we planned like an hour spin. Yeah, oops, we went 2025 minutes one way. And then it took us like an hour 15 To get back logging to go in eight miles an hour into the most unbelievable headwinds we had ever experienced in our lives.


Neal Henderson  1:27:00

Yeah, those can be absolutely amazing. So best on those days when you notice there is wind head into the wind to start. Yes, it’s better to manage it that way.


Trevor Connor  1:27:09

Yes. We actually asked Mike for a minute because Rob was complaining that he’s a little glycogen depleted so he didn’t do his prep work for this event. And I kid you not Neil pulled a bag, a smaller bag out of the bag that he came with that had race food, various painkillers and kisses Oh, no pain, no


Neal Henderson  1:27:31

Benadryl die. We have Sudafed, in case you have a sinus issue. When you’re on a plane. Those kinds of headaches are the worst. It’s another student they are bad. And well, we got an emergency meeting,


Rob Pickels  1:27:46

you know, got


Neal Henderson  1:27:48

a bar, we got a bag of almonds. We’ve got earplugs and in case you forget your headphones or you have a snoring roommate. When you room with people you don’t know you’re often gonna need those. We got some hand sanitizer. We got Imodium if you have a bad gi issue. That’s the other thing there. We have a packet of oatmeal. We have some lip balm, again, very dry, have a toothbrush and toothpaste in there. Have some tissues, and most importantly, a small packet of Cholula


Rob Pickels  1:28:18

which can do anything for you. It can probably sanitize your water. If you’re drinking. It’ll


Neal Henderson  1:28:24

put you in a good headspace too. If you’ve had bland food and you need to spice it up, you go to that your little it’s like bam, I’m ready for anything.


Trevor Connor  1:28:30

All I can say is we have picked the perfect person for this episode. Because they’re right there is his like prep for anything be ready to fail.


Neal Henderson  1:28:44

This backpack goes with me ever when people pick it up. They’re like, what do you have in there? I’m like, what I don’t have in there and it’s nothing. I don’t not have anything. I have everything. I need this to exist for at least a week in a foreign land in money, coins, bills, all kinds of currency. I’m ready.


Rob Pickels  1:29:03

Oh, as I say if we’re ready to jump Are we ready to jump?


Trevor Connor  1:29:06

Jump into our takeaways and I think the takeaway is do as Neil does


Rob Pickels  1:29:10

plan, plan and plan practice the guy plan so much he took the travel bag to the preparation podcast recording because that’s how much he plans


Neal Henderson  1:29:22

you never know. So


Trevor Connor  1:29:24

Neil with that, do you have any more one minute takeaways or have you demonstrated like this is where you should just your takeaway should just be dropped the mic.


Rob Pickels  1:29:33

Drop the Cholula


Neal Henderson  1:29:34

I think that says it all right there. Yeah, plan it out and be adaptable.


Trevor Connor  1:29:41

There we go. Rob, can you even touch? No, I got I gotta try. I


Rob Pickels  1:29:45

have nothing more. It’s the same for me. Plan ahead. be adaptable.


Trevor Connor  1:29:50

Okay, I am scared to touch any of this. I am just going to add the learn yourself. Learn what works for you. You have to do experiment as you said use this at smaller events. Play with those four days and then yeah, come prepared and I’m still shocked at what I’m looking at on the table here.


Neal Henderson  1:30:13

This is the NADA Paul just shocked


Trevor Connor  1:30:15

I think we have to take a picture of this and we will put this on the website do you bring your phone down I


Rob Pickels  1:30:20

have my I have my phone we’ll do this as the


Trevor Connor  1:30:23

our takeaway is going to be a visual. We’ll leave it at that this is Neil has prepared for any possible situation in his race travel. This is amazing.


Neal Henderson  1:30:35

You should be see what else is in the rest of my backpack?


Rob Pickels  1:30:39

That was another episode of Ask. That was another episode of fast talk. Subscribe to fast talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcast. Be sure to leave us a rating and a review. The thoughts and opinions expressed on fast talk are those of the individual. As always, we love your feedback. Join the conversation at forums dot fast talk labs.com to discuss each and every episode. Become a member of fast talk laboratories at fast talk labs.com/join and become a part of our education and coaching community. For Neil Henderson Tom squinched Dr. Indigo San Milan Dr. Patrick Wilson. Brene Eastman Rebecca gross and Trevor Connor. I’m Rob pickles. Thanks for listening.