There’s some big news that we’re quite excited about: Topical Edge is now an official partner of the 2018 Dirty Kanza! When it comes to cycling, the Dirty Kanza 200 is arguably the most challenging one-day event out there, and for so many reasons. Wrapping your head around just the mileage alone is hard to do, but add in the fact that nearly all of those miles are done on gravel roads through the relentless Flint Hills of Kansas and the reality of just how hard of a day it is sets in. Of all the riders that roll off the start line in the small town of Emporia, only about half are able to cross the finish line, and many of those that do finish endure things that change them as athletes, pushing them beyond previous limitations.
Preparation begins months in advance; proper training, equipment choices, and a nutrition strategy are all key in having a successful race. For a number of riders that line up on June 2nd, Topical Edge Performance & Recovery Lotion will have already played a big part in their success, even before rolling off the start line. PR Lotion’s delivery of acid-buffering sodium bicarbonate directly to the muscle not only increases the quality of the workout, but even more importantly when training for such an immensely challenging event, it has a dramatic effect on improving recovery between workouts, allowing fresher legs and the ability to let you increase training intensity and frequency (read the clinical trial data).
Even though Topical Edge wasn’t officially a partner of the 2017 event it was still an essential part in the preparation for a number of the athletes. We asked each of them to share their insight on how they are using it to prepare for this year’s Dirty Kanza.
Yuri Hauswald - 1st place overall, 2015 DK200
I first became aware of PR Lotion’s performance and recovery benefits at the 2017 Breck Epic, a 6-day MTB stage race in Breckenridge, CO, where I competed in the single speed category. Not only does the race start each stage at an elevation of 9,000 feet, and go up from there, but the intense demands on your muscles, particularly racing with only one gear for back-to-back days, puts a unique strain on your system/muscles. Looking for any advantage that I could get, I began using PR Lotion before every stage and was immediately impressed with its ability to buffer the acid build up in my legs, meaning that my muscles were able to use the available lactate for energy. Not only did my legs feel fresh each day, but they were less inflamed, not as sore, and there was no muscle burn, all of which gave me the advantage that I was seeking and allowed me to give everything I had on each race day. For my 2018 Dirty Kanza preparation, I plan on using PR Lotion on all of my training rides, something that I haven’t done in the past, as it will allow me to go harder for longer, and then be able to recover quicker for the next day’s work out.
Janel Holcomb - 3rd place female, 2017 DK200
After my first appearance at Dirty Kanza 200 last year, I'm excited to refine my training this year. My total training hours will be reduced a bit, so I will use PR Lotion for all my short, intense training sessions, and for each of my long endurance rides. Any time I am able to do multi-day events similar to stage races, I'll use it after my rides as well to help give an extra recovery boost and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Jon Hornbeck - 8th place overall, 2017 DK200
Looking back to when I was racing professionally, I never got too hung up on the details like weighing my food, sports supplements or things like that. Between the miles I accumulated, paired with the high level racing, I felt like that’s what I really needed to focus on. Nowadays though, with a minimal training regimen and heavier workload (in the office chair), I’m looking for any type of benefit I can get. Using Performance & Recovery Lotion is just another tool in my arsenal that gives me more confidence. Using it for the recovery purpose alone is what I really believe in since I no longer have the luxury of blocking out a full day to sit on the couch and recover like a pro.
The Dirty Kanza is no joke as it is still the longest event I have done even after my years of racing professionally. You want to make sure you’ve done everything possible to be ready and PR Lotion is a key part in that for me nowadays.
Chris Lyman - 10th place 40-49 category, 2017 DK200
Topical Edge PR Lotion will be an important part of both DK prep and race day. Because my job demands are erratic, I've found the most effective way to adapt is to get miles in when the opportunities present themselves. Many riders are able to do steady 3-4 week builds, but my overload periods where I do greater volume and intensity have to be condensed into 10-14 day blocks followed by a couple days off the bike when I might have to be traveling. That means recovery between workouts becomes a priority. The week leading into the race, I'll use PR Lotion every day for a loading effect, and double up on applications the day prior and morning of DK.
Neil Shirley - 4x DK200 competitor
I’ve done Dirty Kanza enough times now to know that I need all the help I can get in both preparation and on race day. Getting through the training required to arrive at a high level of fitness isn’t easy, especially with a full time job and a family. Fitting in training is always a juggling act, so making sure I get the most out of the time I am able to spend on the bike is imperative. During the volume and intensity blocks is when I notice the benefit of PR Lotion the most. It’s when I’m feeling on the edge of whether I can do one more threshold interval or add an additional training day before needing rest that it allows me to push beyond what I would have expected to be my limit. That extra day of training or additional interval each week, repeated over the course of a few months, adds up to a lot by race day.
For 2018, the list of riders using PR Lotion to prepare and compete in DK will be growing immensely.
Photos: Ian Matteson/ENVE