The human body is truly exceptional when it comes to its ability to adapt to specific stimuli. As triathletes, we continually subject our bodies to specific workouts in hopes of building endurance and efficiency in that discipline – at least, that is our intention. However, we are also products of our (physical) environment(s) to a degree.

Recently I’ve been reading Racing Weight, by Matt Fitzgerald, to gain more insight into how to properly fuel before, during, post-workouts and in general. After all, I’m an athlete 24/7. While I am very conscious of what I eat, I feel that I still have a lot of room for improvement and reading the book can only benefit me. So far I’m thoroughly enjoying the book, especially the featured athlete profiles. No two athletes eat the same way and that brings up the most challenging aspect of nutrition – it’s so individualistic.

I’m not as interested in the weight aspect of the book, because I’m quite lean to begin with. However, Fitzgerald’s recommendations are insightful and definitely worth the read.

Food, in my opinion, is predictive in the development of an athlete. Quality calories in = maximal output possible. An athlete’s environment is also a determinant to their adaption. While most of us train with heart rate zones, myself included, I believe there is difference between the zones and different environments. For example, I am living in a hilly area of Granada. My recovery rides include a decent amount of elevation gain, as do my runs. Heck, my 25-minute walk home from the pool includes quite a few steep hills. Essentially, I’m instructing my body to be light so I can efficiently scale any hill, while remaining as strong as possible so I can continually summit hill after hill or mountain after mountain.

Will I return from Spain a great climber? Unlikely, maybe, probably not; but I will return a much stronger rider than before.