Professional Cyclist Toms Skujiņš on Life in the Peloton, Training Philosophy, and Crashing


Listen on Google Play MusicIn the spirit of the current TFF theme of epic cycling, as well as celebrating the first week of the Tour de France, this week’s show is with professional cyclist, Toms Skujiņš. Toms races for Team Cannondale-Drapac, and originally hails from Latvia, beginning his cycling career as a mountain biker, quickly finding his feet and a talent for the sport. He then shifted to the road, racing at multiple world championships for Latvia and reaching a high level, turning professional in 2011. He’s won the overall title at the Tour de Beauce, two stages of the Tour of California, the overall UCI America’s Tour title, and has competed in the Olympics. Unfortunately, this year, he suffered a crazy crash in stage 2 of this year’s Tour of California, where he broke his collarbone and sustained a concussion. We caught up for this conversation right before he made his comeback to racing, placing second in the Latvian National Time Trial Championships.

This is a bit of a different conversation than normal on the podcast. Toms isn’t vegan but is focused on eating well for performance, and is interested in a plant-based lifestyle. Instead, this episode is about what it’s like to live at the top level of the sport of cycling, how he approaches training and racing and his philosophy, and his account of the crash that went viral at the Tour of California this year. I always love tapping into the mind of professional athletes to hear about how they work and how they balance everything – from the training to the competing to the recovery, and we went through all of this with Toms. I had the pleasure of riding with Toms the day before this interview, and I’m proud to call him a friend. Definitely be sure to follow him on Twitter and give him some words of encouragement as he makes his return to the peloton! Hope you enjoy the episode.

I am currently writing this post in Chambery, France, the second stop on the Vegan Alpletic trip with my friends Gruff and Ian, where we’re riding Europe’s most epic climbs on our bikes and raising money for Mercy For Animals. Be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to catch up with the vlogs from the adventure, and check out our donation page to support the amazing work of Mercy For Animals.

Hope everyone has an awesome week, so go eat some plants, and do some epic shit.

-Jackson


Show Notes

Connect with Toms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tomashuuns

On Instagram: https://instagram.com/tomashuuns

Tour of California crash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2OnYxaEtD4&t=13s

Team Cannondale-Drapac: http://slipstreamsports.com/

Follow TFF:

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Support TFF: www.patreon.com/thoughtforfood

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Follow Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli

Dr. Allen Lim on Exercise Hydration, Cooking From Skratch, and Putting Happiness First



Listen on Google Play Music

 

 

 

Today we’re pleased to bring you our conversation with Dr. Allen Lim, a Ph.D Exercise Physiologist from the University of Colorado Boulder (Jackson’s Alma Mater), founder of the exercise hydration company Skratch Labs, lover of bikes, and proponent of eating food made from scratch. As Allen puts it – his parts are from China, made in the Philippines, and programmed in America. Allen grew up in Los Angeles, California and quickly developed a love for the bike, which allowed him to discover a passion for exercise physiology. He eventually did his Master’s and Ph.D in Boulder, researching the stress involved in exercise. He then went on to work on developing the PowerTap, one of the first tools used to measure power output on the bike, and began working for professional cycling teams at big races like the Tour de France. While doing this, he started realizing that athletes were doing much better performance wise when they were fed real food. Armed with his rice cooker and kitchen utensils, he began feeding these athletes simple but nourishing meals, and they responded very positively. He then created a witches’ brew cocktail in paint buckets of the perfect mix of sugar and electrolytes that was much easier on the gut than traditional sports drinks that he shared with his team. Soon, riders from other teams began asking for this drink and putting it in their bottles instead of their team’s sponsored drink products. And thus Secret Drink Mix, and eventually Skratch Labs, was born.

Allen has had a profound impact on the nutrition performance of athletes in cycling and beyond, shifting the culture away from a reliance on Powerbars and Gatorade into one focused on understanding how important making food from scratch can be. In this episode, we talk about the birth of Skratch, what about the mix makes it useful for hydration, general hydration strategies for athletes, and why we should stop talking about diet and just eat real food. We get into business, and how Skratch Labs operates from a happiness first perspective, and how important it is to just start when you develop a passion for something. Allen is funny, engaging, and has a lot of experience with a variety of subjects, so I hope you enjoy the conversation!

-Jackson


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Show Notes

Follow Allen and Skratch Labs:

Allen on Instagram: @allenskratch

Skratch Labs: http://skratchlabs.com

Skratch on Instagram: @skratchlabs

Skratch on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skratchlabs/

Interesting and relevant articles:

Skratch Hydration Science: http://blog.skratchlabs.com/blog/hydration-science-and-practice

Allen + CU Boulder: http://www.colorado.edu/coloradan/2014/03/01/success-skratch

Follow TFF:

Facebook.com/TFFlifestyle

Instagram: @tfflifestyle

YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Support TFF: www.patreon.com/thoughtforfood

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Follow Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

Music by:

soundcloud.com/dcuttermusic

soundcloud.com/peterkuli