We're currently in the midst of an exciting Styrkr adventure, crisscrossing the UK and fuelling up various events to keep everyone fired up!
Last weekend proved to be our busiest yet, featuring the exhilarating MAAP Summer Cyclocross and Grinduro races. As you may have guessed, we never settle for half measures.
Fortunately, I have the privilege of blending my racing career with my full-time role at Styrkr. This weekend, however, was all about having fun, as the two racing formats offered a refreshing change from my usual professional gravel racing endeavors. I participated in both the MAAP cyclocross race and Grinduro, finishing in 2nd place in both events.
MAAP shines in the thrilling world of Cyclo-cross racing
For those unfamiliar with cyclo-cross, let me fill you in. It's an intense race where you give it your all for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The course is short, off-road, and filled with technical challenges that demand bursts of energy in every corner and section. The racing experience is both demanding and thrilling, providing a snappy and enjoyable atmosphere.
Anticipating a challenging weekend ahead, I recognised the importance of maintaining optimal hydration and energy levels. On the day of the MAAP cyclocross race, I stuck to my regular routine of three meals a day, but with additional snacks in between, including fruit, nuts and breakfast bars. To further enhance my energy reserves, I consumed two servings of MIX90 drinks.
Two hours prior to the race, I focused on topping up my electrolytes by incorporating SLT07 and SLT05 into my hydration routine. Additionally, I took advantage of one of our BAR50’s to provide an extra energy boost. Given the hot weather, with temperatures reaching the mid-20s, it was crucial for me to ensure I remained adequately hydrated.
Just before the race commenced, I seized the opportunity to utilize our Nitro+ gel, which not only contains 30g of carbohydrates but also natural nitrates designed to deliver a powerful surge of energy. The race was so short that I didn’t need to eat or drink anything during it. But I managed to have half a bottle of water to at least quench my thirst.
Once we wrapped up the MAAP race and the clock struck 10:30 pm, it was time for a long drive to Wales to get ready for Grinduro the next morning!
Conquering the ultimate Grinduro Race experience
Grinduro offers a one-of-a-kind gravel format, where the day is divided into two parts. In the morning, we tackled a thrilling 43 km gravel loop comprising of two timed sections. Then, in the afternoon, we embarked on a 27 km course with another two timed sections.
The strategy is quite straightforward: take it easy and relax between the timed sections, and when it's time for those segments, go all out and give it everything you've got!
Fuelling for this was stress free, because I knew I could easily take on drinks, gels and solids in between the timed sections without having to stress. Luckily the Styrkr team were out on course at the feed stations too!
Running on a mere three hours of sleep, I was already feeling the struggle. My breakfast consisted of a Huel drink, some yoghurt, and a trusty BAR50 to get me going. Needing an extra kick, I popped a caffeine gel right before the start of the morning stage.
In between the timed sections, I made sure to keep my energy levels up. I chugged down some MIX90 caffeine drinks, devoured another BAR50, and squeezed in a GEL30 Nitro to keep the momentum rolling. Despite the lack of sleep, I was determined to power through and give it my absolute best.
After completing the morning stage, it was high time to refuel with some substantial grub. I opted for a hearty veggie pasta dish, which I washed down with a refreshing SLT05 drink to replenish those electrolytes.
As the afternoon stage loomed ahead, my determination kicked into high gear. I was eager to catch up with my competitors, especially since I found myself in 7th place. With a surge of newfound energy and focus, I was ready to give it my all and push the limits. It was time to go full throttle and leave everything on the course!
And guess what? I ended up clinching 2nd place overall, falling just a mere 14 seconds short of the top spot. Thanks to a satisfying lunch, I didn't have to worry too much about refuelling. Nevertheless, I made sure to pop another GEL30 Nitro and a SLT05 in one bottle.
As the day winded down, we kicked back and enjoyed a good meal, followed by cracking open some cold beers. I mean, it would be rude not to, right? But don't worry, I made sure to balance it out by chugging water too, gotta stay hydrated for the next day!
Now that these two awesome events are in the bag, it's time to set my sights on the next big goals. We're talking National Road Criterium Series, UCI Pro Gravel Races, and even an epic ultra endurance race called Badlands. If you want to keep up with all the action, make sure to follow my journey at @swilliamandrews.