Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 27 - Adam Feigh - PREPARE YOUR MIND - Part 3 of 3

I think it kind of answers the question I'm going to ask. So, I often see with the pros, there's this kind of back and forth, especially when you read the pro blogs, it's like I was trying to stay with this person and work with that.
Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 27 - Adam Feigh - PREPARE YOUR MIND - Part 3 of 3

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JESSE: I think it kind of answers the question I'm going to ask. So, I often see with the pros, there's this kind of back and forth, especially when you read the pro blogs, it's like I was trying to stay with this person and work with that. And to me, the race is so long, like if you're running a 5K, okay, you're not gonna be out there that long, you can kind of gut it out. But to me, it seems like with a full especially, that everybody would kind of say, okay, I know my power range and I'm going to stick to my own plan and just let people go. Do you try to race with people or are you really just like, no, this is where my fitness is today, this is my plan and everybody else will just be where they are? ADAM: A little bit of both. It's factors and a lot of factors in each race. Like a race like Wisconsin, I knew I'd be behind some people coming out of the water and I knew I had a lot of bike fitness. And I knew I had enough bike fitness that it would be hard for me to ?? 1:09> off as long as I didn't really do something stupid. So, I sort of used that whole tactics thing to my advantage, in that I tried to get other people to - up. So, I tried to make it hard on everyone else. And it's also an ego thing, a mental thing, whether it's actual benefit at riding at the legal distance or not in aerodynamics. But if you can get other people to ride harder than they're capable of, especially in a race where I knew my run would be lacking, that was the exact plan going into it. And there were a number of DNFs in that race, and whether that was a part of people writing too hard or not, I don't know. But it was, yeah, certainly part of it. And then Chattanooga was, it definitely played a factor as well. I bridged up the like Sam and Matt Russell and Andrew Polanski pretty early in the bike, which I did not expect. Once they pass me coming through transition, I expected them to be up the road and might eventually catch them. Fortunately, that one played against me a little bit because I did bike a little bit harder than I probably should have. I mean, as far as power perspective, I did about pretty much the exact same thing I did in Wisconsin, for the first half of the bike in Chattanooga. Unfortunately, it was 30 degrees hotter and you can't do that. So, that cause my second half of the bike to be way slower and just due to getting super dehydrated and I was just biking harder than the conditions would allow. JESSE: This is a personal curiosity and we’ll move on in a second because I have some other questions for you. But I was kind of reading through your blog, talking about the races and I see something about like spending time at an aid station on the run. Are all the pros, do you actually stop and walk at the aid station to take stuff in on the run, or is it a constant motion like you're just picking it up and continuing to run? ADAM: It depends on the person. I stopped between Wisconsin and Chattanooga-- well most races this year I stopped at the majority of aid stations at least a walk. I wouldn't say I stopped stop but-- JESSE: Right yeah, not standstill but just like you’re running motion is stopped. ADAM: I really didn't keep running. Like even an Eagleman where it was cool. And I mean, I took the time to walk most aid stations and just made sure I stayed fueled because I know my limiter a lot of the times even if it is relatively cool is that I sweat a lot and I need to replace that. And I simply can't get in as much fluid if I don't take the time to stop. Yeah, that's probably something I'll try to work on down the road to try to keep the momentum flowing rather than taking those little breaks. But like Wisconsin and Chat-- Well, Wisconsin, I mean, I knew with my run fitness, it might even be beneficial to take those micro breaks in there to ease the pounding on my legs. I mean, it's not like I was hanging out at aid stations, but take - steps to walk, getting in nutrition, and I feel like you really nailed nutrition in Wisconsin. I'd say it was a net positive. Chattanooga was absolutely brutal. So, I'd say yeah, I mean, there was actual stopping there. I carried the water bottle with me throughout and just refill that a lot at aid stations and that was more about survival than speed. JESSE: Yeah, that’s why I kind of wondered just like, I mean you get-- ADAM: like the coverage and stuff of the world champions, yeah, you don't see a lot of those guys stopping for aid stations. They've pretty well perfected the art of running through and getting ?? 5:29>. So, I mean, it's certainly something to work on. But with my limiters as what they are now, I certainly prioritize getting in the nutrition on the run. Yeah, I mean, Eagleman, I still maintained a really good run. I think I had the third fastest run split even doing that, so it certainly worked out. I'm glad I didn't take any additional time with fourth place finisher being six seconds behind me. But I mean, sometimes you just have to put that out of your mind and make sure you have a good race throughout the entire race and don't have that drop off. Because two years prior, Eagleman, yeah, second half of the run, I completely blew and I was run-walking out of the city and yeah had a 20 to 30 minutes slower run sweat because of it. JESSE: Yeah, it was just a curiosity because with the distance being so far, kind of almost regardless of fitness because of how hard you're going personally, whatever your RPE, is we're all trying to maintain a similar RPE. It seems like a game of survival because you're racing for so long, you know you can't just gut it out, you have to take in fluids and you have to take in fuel, and kind of strategizing all that stuff. So, it's just a personal curiosity. I do want to shift gears a little bit because I'm curious about what you do for work. I actually have a friend who is a travel nurse and she posts photos from all over the place. I'm kind of curious how you chose to be a travel nurse and then how does that work in with triathlon? Because you're going to travel a bunch for triathlon, and then you also have to travel for work. So, I'm kind of curious how your life works, I guess. ADAM: Yeah, there's certainly a lot of travel. So, I did my first travel assignment. I mean, I graduated and did a normal job, worked in the emergency room to begin with before transitioning to the operating room, which generally has better hours and lower stress than the emergency. So, I did my first assignment, it was before we had Charlie, our daughter, and I went to Phoenix, Arizona, and I worked a pretty good job there for a few months. And the schedule allowed me to-- it was really the beginning of my professional career in racing, sort of just exploring that. And I was really able to get some good, like my first stint in having real good training at what I thought would be appropriate for professional while still working pretty much full time. And I didn't have any distractions or anything like that. And the worst part of it was that my wife didn't come with me. Rebecca stayed home 2,000 miles away. So, I decided not to do that anymore. We had Charlie, and then after our daughter Charlie was born, that was sort of a point where we had some decisions to make. It was either my wife goes back to work and we pay for daycare, which is a significant expense. It’s like half of the salary in South Carolina would be going to daycare and things would sort of stay the same. I had a good work schedule for training and all that stuff. But, I mean, I do enjoy traveling and we knew that was an option. So, we decided instead to do traveling in Rebecca would not work and she would say with Charlie, and I would work full time traveling, which does pay better. That sort of allowed us the opportunity for Becca to stay home. I mean, I viewed it as the decision that would cause my racing and my training to take a step back. It was sort of a conscious decision in that it just wouldn't be as good, I'd be working more hours, I'd have a lot more on call, it would be more stressful in general. And it was but I mean, luckily my results has ?? 9:43> my training and things have continued to progress, which is super encouraging. But since we made that decision, we went to Denver for six months and after that, we went to Tucson for a few months, that's where my coach lives and it was during the winter. So, that's where a ton of guys go in the winter to train. So, a lot of ?? 10:12> have certainly been decided by what would be good for training as well as the assignments that are available. And then after that, where we're right now is Grand Junction, and I think we're about six months here. And we're actually, we're going to try to stay here because we love it so much. Another reason we decided to travel, or at least do travel nursing is to figure out where we want to live eventually. And we love South Carolina. But if I'm being honest, it's not the best thing for being a professional triathlete especially where you know where we lived, we still have a house there. I mean, it's just dangerous as far as cycling goes. I mean, there's a lot of things you can do to mitigate that danger. And I certainly did a lot of indoor training, which is beneficial. But when we see beautiful places, train places that you don't have to have that danger, and that constant sense in the back of your mind that you're risking something by going out to do what you love, then it's hard to make the decision to go back to being in that situation. JESSE: Yeah. Is it drivers, is it road conditions? I mean, what's the issue there? ADAM: Yeah, I mean, it's drivers, not only in the attitude and culture towards endurance athletes, but also just the fact that there's more of them. East Coast is more populated than the west coast in general. So, more drivers equals more chances of getting hit. I've never been hit yet. But when know enough people that it happens to its-- yeah. And I certainly don't mind doing indoor training and I'll probably still keep doing it to help sort of ease my perfectionist tendencies. But I mean we're in Grand Junction here, it's not a tiny town but it's not a huge city, there's not a ton of drivers. We're staying out on the farm right now that's where I'm at sitting here. And if I want to go time trial, there's flat farm roads everywhere and everywhere I look there's a mountain that can go be climbed on the bike or-- And I mean, there's trails everywhere and the community here is just completely different. It's the norm here to be a cyclist or to be a runner or a hiker. Whereas the culture like in places like South Carolina and most places I've been is you’re different, you’re the weird one for doing those things. Yeah. JESSE: Yeah, I know we've had mixed feelings. So, I'm in Kansas City and the city is trying to revamp the roads to be multimodal and be cycling friendly and pedestrian friendly and all those kind of things. And I went to kind of like a city planning meeting and there was like, definitely I’ll say older people, they were like, who bikes, like nobody bikes. Why would we even put a bike lane in? So yeah, there's definitely like mixed feelings. ADAM: There’s a lot of hate feelings towards or just for some reason in a lot of places. And I mean, it's never going to completely go away, but it's certainly a different culture here. I mean, even other places I've been to like bigger city it’s just hard to avoid. There's more traffic even if everyone's completely-- Everyone's a cyclist and they get it and there's still ?? 14:02> people. But I mean outside of just that, I mean, we just really love it here. There's a lot of great people, we made a lot of friends. Yeah, it's a nice place to be. JESSE: Yeah. It is nice to find someplace where you feel like you're at home and you feel like you're with other people that get it, whatever it is a year after. ADAM: Yeah, yeah. And I mean, even since being here, I’ve only been here six months and I've already partnered with a local farm here, not the farm I'm staying on. I mean, certainly have a good relationship with them but another farm that has a-- they send out like local produce, and meat and dairy and all that stuff and partnered with them with my training and racing and they find value in what I do. Whereas that never seemed to be a thing on the east coast where I tell someone that I'm a professional triathlete, and I view myself as an elite athlete at this point and I take what I do very seriously. They don't understand on the east coast what it means for us. Whereas here it's more of a, people look up to it like a little bit more, more respectable, because they do it and they understand what it takes to become good at it. Whereas like the south east it's a baseball, football type culture and the major ball sports. So, that's the kind of athletes they look up to and the kind of athletes that are role models, which is good, it's fine, but yeah, that's not the-- I've chosen this life. JESSE: Yeah, it's always easier I think when somebody has perspective. Say they've even just like to run a 5K, and they have that limited perspective to go, okay, so how long do you go and how fast do you go? And then they're like, oh okay, they get kind of the enormity of it and I'll say like the specialness of, especially in your case, how fast you can go compared to 99.9% of the population. ADAM: Yeah. No, I'm still a-- I mean, coming from South Carolina it's in my background as an athlete. I mean, I certainly wasn't a very good athlete, endurance athlete or anything for a very long time. I mean, I'm still ?? 16:45> I'm still amazed...I don't understand how this happened and how I'm able to do this, but it's pretty amazing. I mean, I still remember the times where it was so hard and I would try so hard to hit certain paces and you know, do certain things. And now it's like, I can do those things easily and it's just sort of a-- Yeah, it's just - for me that I’ve gotten to the point where I am. But yeah it's certainly nice to be in a place where people get it, they understand, people work towards similar goals. And yeah people invite you on bike rides after work, and I can walk into a room and people are talking about it and I'm not even part of the conversation. It's just a normal thing. It's a complete culture shift really. JESSE: Yeah. Yeah. Well, Adam, we're starting to run short on time. So, this year everybody that comes on the show, I asked this question, because I think it's kind of a universal. So, I like to ask people so say after a hard race or a hard workout, if you can only choose one food for recovery for the rest of your life, what do you choose? ADAM: There's a lot of answers to that. JESSE: Can you say that again, your audio cut out? ADAM: Am I only allowed to have one answer? JESSE: Yeah, you gotta pick one, that's the deal. ADAM: And I'm going to cheat and choose two instead. Well, my answer should be Team Kattouf nutrition because they're my nutrition sponsor. And Load Reload is pretty much what I use after pretty much all my workouts and even after races a lot sometimes. So, yeah, that's pretty much what I actually use. But as far as like, favorite, probably like ice cream or - or something chocolatey maybe. I like chocolate. JESSE: Yeah. I love asking that question because I often get that dual response where, this is the answer I should use and it's often the answer...this is what I get. And then I get answers like I love pizza, I get that a lot, things you shouldn't eat so to speak, but it's almost like mental recovery after you've-- ADAM: Well yeah, foregoing what I actually choose and also a bit of what of my indulgence is, I'd use a protein type of recovery like Load Reload, which is they’re like one to one. But that leaves you some additional like carbohydrates to throw in there to get to your ideal three or four to one ratio to replenish glycogen. So, I throw a lot of, whether it's sometimes healthy, sometimes less healthy sweets on top of that. So, donuts, muffins, whatever's around. If it was super hot, I'm sure something salty would be in the mix. JESSE: Yeah. That's why I love that question. I think there's this perception of, especially pros, it's like, oh, you've gotta eat like the cleanest diet ever. It's like, well, most of the time but I also love ice cream. ADAM: I mean, once you're on the limited training schedule, you get a lot less lead way in what you can choose. If you’re on the 20 plus hours a week training schedule and you burn as many calories an hour as I do like 800 to 1,000 plus per hour of working out, not to mention the burn afterwards. ?? 20:47> discretionary calories to consume. I mean, you just have to get the fuel and it doesn't necessarily always have to be the healthiest thing. You certainly want a balanced diet. But yeah, if I don't enough I'm going to wither away. JESSE: Yeah. Adam, if people want to follow you find you, see how your career’s progressing, where can they find you? ADAM: I've got my personal Facebook page. I've got my professional page Facebook page, which you can find both, Adam Feigh professional page is professional endurance athlete after that. Instagram, it's @Feighathlon, which is my last name and athlon which I thought was pretty, pretty clever. My blog is the same or website, it's Yeah, I ?? 21:37> life or race updates on there, which I think I'm due for another life update coming soon. So, get working on that. JESSE: I’ll have to keep people on the lookout for that. Thanks for coming on today, Adam. ADAM: Yeah, thanks. I appreciate it, good talking. I think Charlie enjoyed it too. JESSE: That's great. Take care. ADAM: All right. Go to Part 1 Go to Part 2

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