Having grown up on a BMX bike in the Santa Ynez Valley before transitioning into a record-setting, All-American college swimmer and eventually becoming a professional cyclist and triathlete, Nate Loyal knows a thing or two about racing of all kinds. In 1997, he started applying his years of swimming mechanics knowledge to cycling and professional bike fitting and hasn’t looked back since.
Fine tuning his bike fitting acumen lead Nate into the world of coaching as well, where he is committed to helping athletes from beginners to professionals maximize their potential and achieve their goals.
His main rule of thumb for bike fitting has always been injury prevention. No matter where you are in your athletic career, if you’re feeling pain then you're not having fun. Comfort, efficiency, performance and power will all come after that. As an athlete, you’re trying to get the most leverage out of your legs, so a proper bike fit and position are keys to maximizing your abilities. “Better gas mileage and more power,” he says when referring to the body’s efficiency. Who doesn’t want that?
For most triathletes, they tend to look at aerodynamics and work backwards, but Nate tends to think in the reverse direction. Many times he’s seen athletes go for too aggressive of a position for what their body is capable of and they can’t adapt. By compromising their biomechanics and efficiency, they end up suffering when the going gets tough. All the hard training hours can be lost by poor form at the end of a long race. Countless times he’s witnessed athletes poorly fitted to their bikes imploding in the last 20 miles of their bike leg and in turn, destroy their run times. It’s hard to recover when your body is overcompensating because of an inefficient bike setup.
When it comes to training for your big race, Nate preaches consistency, “The guy with the coach and all the gadgets who only trains one or two days per week, isn't going to get the same amount of gains as someone who spends five days per week casually riding, even without a structured plan. Once you’re able to make training a habit, you can start focusing on technique.” The final step of mastering your technique takes a lot of time and a high level of commitment he says.
Just as important as all the training is recovery. Nate believes it’s important to rest as hard as you train, which as a coach is one of the hardest things to get his athletes to adhere to. You have to be into suffering to be good at endurance sports and to a certain extent, pain is good. But you also need to know when to rest. Teaching his athletes to listen to their bodies is critical for long term success.
He’s started recommending his athletes use Topical EDGE not only for their workouts and races, but as arecovery tool during difficult blocks of training. From a compounding perspective, if you're able to get more hard training in per building phase, then you're getting a bigger overload and ultimately bigger benefits down the road.
The performance gains of buffering lactic acid, whether during a workout or after, are huge and an advantage that shouldn’t be overlooked.
“This is something I could see changing sports in general. There could be world records broken because of Topical EDGE. And it's just baking soda. Being able to get bicarbonate into the body by bypassing the GI tract is hard, but Topical EDGE has found a simple and easy solution. This is a game changer and it’s only an unfair advantage until everyone else is using it.”
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