“I Was Shocked” Hannah Otto Smashed the Whole Enchilada FKT by Nearly an Hour

Hannah Otto shares how she set the fastest known time for riding the Whole Enchilada from town and back, and gives tips for going fast.
Hannah Otto (Finchamp) sets an FKT on “The Whole Enchilada” route, riding from town, into the La Sal Mountains and descending to the trail’s end near the Colorado River, in Moab, UT.

Hannah Otto is a World Cup mountain bike racer, FKT record holder, and Leadville 100 winner who has been racing since the age of 9 years old. Last month she set the fastest known time for riding the Whole Enchilada from bottom to top, and top to bottom in a time of 5:50:38.

You can watch a short film about her FKT attempt here and follow Hannah on Instagram @hannah_finchamp.

In this episode we ask:

  • How did you first get into mountain bike racing? 
  • How do FKT attempts compare to races like the Leadville 100 or even a World Cup XC race? Is one more stressful than the other?
  • Tell us about your Whole Enchilada FKT attempt. Why that route?
  • Was this your first time riding this exact route? Had you ridden the Whole Enchilada descent before?
  • According to Strava all the fastest times on the Whole Enchilada were posted by men. How did it feel to best all of them by nearly an hour? 
  • Which was more challenging: the climb or the descent?
  • Was the weather a factor when you made your attempt?
  • Did you do any training specific to this trail, and this FKT attempt?
  • I assume all of your gear held up well. Any surprises out there?
  • What have you learned by working with bike coaches over the years?
  • Do you use caffeine before or during races? Why or why not?
  • What does your rest and recovery routine look like?
  • Which races or FKTs are you targeting for 2023?

This episode of the Singletracks podcast is sponsored by Explore Brevard.

Professional mountain biker Adam Craig says it’s one of the top three places in the universe he’s ever ridden. Where is this magical mountain biking nirvana? It’s none other than Brevard, North Carolina, home to Pisgah National Forest and DuPont Recreational Forest. The area boasts over 300 miles of peerless singletrack, not to mention hundreds of miles of gravel roads, creating a near endless array of routes, terrains, and challenges to explore. Four vibrant bike shops will get you sorted, whether you need gear, service, or a top notch rental. Top it off with an array of craft breweries, cafes and gathering spots that have earned Brevard the title as one of the best small towns in America in 2021. It all adds up to a premier mountain biking destination you’ll want to experience for yourself. Find out more at ExploreBrevard.com.

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Jeff 0:00
Hey everybody, welcome to the Singletracks podcast. My name is Jeff and today my guest is Hannah Otto. Anna is a World Cup mountain bike racer FKT record holder and Leadville 100 winner, who has been racing since the age of nine years old. Last month. She said the fastest known time for reading the whole enchilada from bottom to top and top to bottom in a time of five hours, 15 minutes and 38 seconds. Thanks for joining me, Hannah.

Hannah 0:31
Yeah, thanks for having me.

Jeff 0:33
So nine years old. Tell us how did you get into mountain bike racing at such a young age?

Hannah 0:39
Yeah, so I started racing, like you said, when I was nine, and I started in the sport of triathlon, actually. So I was I played soccer. Yeah, I played soccer, which is a much more normal sport for a nine year old. And I would always ask my mom, if I could get to the field early to run laps. And so eventually, she said, Well, gosh, if you just want to get to the field to run, would you rather do a running race? I said, Yeah, that sounds that sounds good. So I went to a running race. And after the race, there was a booth advertising a triathlon. And I saw it and I pointed to and I said, actually, that’s what I want to do. And so she signed me up for a kid’s triathlon camp and then I raced track on for the next 11 years, so I raced triathlon from age nine to 20 years old. I competed in onroad draft legal I raced in races like Escape from Alcatraz, the Pan American Championship for juniors, and then I raced exterra, where I found mountain biking, I raced NICA, the high school mountain biking as a way to train for triathlon. And I discovered this love for mountain biking. And at 20 years old, I was on the cliff pro team, which was then the Luna pro team for the sport of triathlon. And they said, you know, we’re discontinuing our support of a triathlon program. But if you would like to continue on as a mountain biker, then we’d love to support you as you make that transition. And so I had discovered this love for mountain biking, I had been an endurance sport for a really long time, I had this amazing opportunity in front of me, and I took the lead. And I’m so happy I did. And now I’ve been racing mountain bikes professionally for about six years. Wow,

Jeff 2:31
cool. Yeah. Really interesting. Like how that works out that yeah, like, never, that wasn’t like your intent to start out, like as a mountain bike racer, but like, that’s just kind of where you ended up. And obviously, you’re super talented. And yeah, like a fierce competitor. And so that’s awesome. So we’re here to talk about your FKT of the whole enchilada, how do FKT attempts compared to races that you’re in like Leadville, 100, or even like the World Cup, cross country races is one of them more stressful than the other or, like more difficult or like, what are kind of the differences for you,

Hannah 3:10
they’re very different experiences. And this, you know, I’ve done a lot of my own personal FKT type of things, you know, everyone’s gone off gone for that big QOM, or KOM, on Strava. But this is my first time doing a really large scale one, where I hope to create a whole story around it. And it was a very different experience, I didn’t know quite what to expect, I thought that it was going to be less nerve wracking. But I’ll definitely admit, the morning of I was all kinds of nervous, because you’re the only one out there. And that’s a very different feeling. And you are, in many ways, fully in control of the outcome, even the uncontrollables that come you’re in control of how you manage those. And by that, I mean, you know, in a World Cup in any of like the lifetime Grand Prix races, gravel races, you’re very much at the mercy of others. And sometimes that can take stress away. Because if someone attacks you follow, and if the pace is too hot, you have to follow anyways. And there’s not as much thinking involved as that in that it’s, it’s more tactical, it’s just, I’m more used to it, I suppose, in this scenario, being the only one out there. I had to be the one to measure my effort constantly. And then I did it unsupported. So I carried everything I needed. And I was in charge of any obstacles or mechanicals or anything that I would face I would need to make those decisions. And by that, I mean I did have a camera crew out there, but they did their best to never even be seen as much as possible. And they never spoke to me. So I know I was given no information, nothing of that sort. And so yeah, it’s just the second I took off. I was in my own world, and it was just me and my thoughts for the next almost six hours.

Jeff 5:16
Wow. Yeah. Do you? Do you like get strength or energy? Like from crowds? Like when you’re in a World Cup race or Leadville? Like does that does that energize you? Or does that add stress to it?

Hannah 5:29
I would say it’s energizing. I feel like the crowds are energizing. And it’s exciting and fun. But I think the biggest energy comes from those individual people within the crowd, who know your story, and who know your goals and what you’re after. So it’s really crazy how, you know, even in those loud World Cups with 1000s of spectators, all the voices are blending together. But this second, there’s a familiar one, you can pick it out. And I think that’s really energizing for sure.

Jeff 6:03
Yeah, that’s awesome. So yeah, I mean, you mentioned like Strava and QOM, like, do you? Do you go after those? Like, do you have some of those and that you like have worked toward getting or is that just like a byproduct of of your training. And just like some of the rides you do for fun?

Hannah 6:21
A little bit of both. I think that on the mountain bike, the Strava QOMs and KOMs can actually be really helpful, because it’s a little bit harder to measure them measure trails perfectly in terms of power, or effort. So if I’m doing an interval workout, then I’m usually on the road, measuring my Power with My power meter. But sometimes as a mountain biker, you want to also measure your ability to handle the technical trails and the flow and how efficiently are you riding. And that’s when I feel like timing myself and measuring my own time, over and over and over again, can be really helpful. And that’s where I do have different segments on trails that I sort of use as benchmarks year over year.

Jeff 7:13
Yeah, interesting. Yeah. So it sounds like you’re also sort of competing with yourself. And yeah, that’s a super convenient way to do it.

Hannah 7:21
Absolutely. And that’s something I love about the FKT format, in general, is I feel like it’s an opportunity to compete against yourself. And I think that that really opens it up for everyone to have a place in this competition, because whether or not you can set the fastest known time, you can set your fastest time. And so right looking back, I mean, there’s things that I know that I know, I can go even faster on an even better day. And that’s exciting to me, because in mountain biking, there’s so many elements, there’s fitness, there’s all of your equipment, there’s environmental conditions, there’s your technical ability, and so there’s so many places to improve that. It just feels like improvement is endless and limitless. And so I think that’s a really fun thing that I hope people take away from this film. And this experience is a challenge to whether or not you think you can beat my time to try and beat your own time.

Jeff 8:26
Yeah, yeah, that’s super cool. So tell us about the whole enchilada FKT attempt. Why that route? Why the whole enchilada?

Hannah 8:34
Yeah, the whole enchilada, because I think it is just the most spectacular trail in the world. I think that this started as a little bit of love relationship with me and this trail. I started riding this trail probably five years ago. And the first time I wrote it, I just felt totally in awe. It’s starts, the actual descent starts above tree line dips down into aspen trees and groves, goes through a rooted steep descent pops out in a meadow that’s very flowy with big berms, and even some jumps. And then it comes out in this harsh desert terrain with really rocky, Sandy sharp rocks, then it comes out into slick rock and ultimately ends at the Colorado River. And the experience to me just felt like everything that mountain biking is supposed to be it’s a chance to handle all types of elements a chance to adapt to your surroundings. And so I just fell in love with this idea that this trail really pushed me to my limits as a mountain biker because every time I rode it It was different. And it forced me to adapt and watching other people ride it being a very famous trail, watching other people ride it, I discovered, it took other people to their limits as well, but in different ways, which shows me that it was exposing people’s strengths and weaknesses. And as I got this idea of the FKT, I thought, well, the only thing that this is really missing is that physical fitness element of getting up there. And so that was one reason I want to add the climb was I felt like with the climb and the descent, it was everything that mountain biking is to me. And by doing it as an FKT. On my own, I also added that sense of adventure and self supported empowerment. And to me that was just the full package.

Jeff 10:54
Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, you said you you first wrote it five years ago, did you first write it as a shuttle? I mean, that’s how most people would write it, or did you? Did you decide to climb up there?

Hannah 11:07
I, the only time I’ve done the full thing as the climb and descent was in the FKT. I’ve ridden up parts of it. So I’ve like ridden up to UPS before. But climbing all the way top to the top of burrow was the very first time in the FKT.

Jeff 11:27
Wow. Yeah. And so how many times would you say you’ve done the dissent? Or like some portions of the dissent?

Hannah 11:35
Oh, gosh, a lot. Probably at least a dozen. I mean, I did the dissent. I did the dissent four times, just in preparation for this project. Wow.

Jeff 11:47
Cool. That sounds like a lot of fun. That sounds like a lot of people would be into.

Hannah 11:53
Exactly, exactly. It was a big project. But every time it would feel tiring, or, you know, whatever emotion you can imagine, I would just pause and look around and see the red rock. And I would just feel totally blown away by gratitude that I get to do this.

Jeff 12:13
Yeah, that’s so cool. So I was looking at Strava for this route, you know, climbing up the fire, road descending, whole enchilada. And as far as I could tell, all of the fastest times were posted by men. So how did it feel to best all of the all of the men who’ve attempted it by nearly an hour, really close to an hour, this is how bad you beat the next close.

Hannah 12:41
I was shocked. Because I had never ridden that full climb, I really didn’t know what to expect. And that trail, like I said it, it just, there’s so many elements involved, it felt hard to believe that I would get a clean run. And so going into it, you know, I felt like, you know, about a month out, I said out loud, okay, I think I can break seven hours. And that became my goal. Then when I went down there, and I started prewriting. I said, you know, on a really, really good day, I think I could break six and a half. And the night before the film actually was the first time I said, I think on the best day. I could break six. Yeah. And even then I thought, oh my gosh, I think I even said to the film crew, because I set it on camera. And then I said, Oh my gosh, I think I just set myself up for disappointment. And the climb actually took longer than I thought it would. So when I reached the top of burrow, I put that idea of breaking six completely out of my head. And I stopped looking at the time all together until 10 miles to go. I flipped the page on my stages cycling computer. And that was when I realized I could still break six hours. So it wasn’t until 10 miles to go that it really hit me like, oh my gosh, I’m on pace. So that was really when I got that big boost of adrenaline of what I can do this.

Jeff 14:23
Yeah, yeah. And it sounds like though you’re already thinking, you know that you could improve that time. So I mean, what do you think? What do you think now? What is like, the possible on your best best day? Your very best day? I mean, apparently this wasn’t your best day. You’ve got you’ve got more in store. So what do you think now?

Hannah 14:41
Well, yeah, I think for me on this day, I definitely put forth my very best effort. I took myself to the absolute limits. And I had a flawless take at it. And by that I mean I had no crashes and I had no mechanicals which I think for this trial is a major, major accomplishment. Yeah, for sure. There were three factors that I know that they did add a little bit of time. So it could be more perfect whether or not I’ll ever achieve that perfection. You know, because one thing goes better. Another thing goes a little bit more askew, you never really know, right. But those three factors were going out of town, I had a pretty big headwind, which was the thing that really kind of if I had to calm myself down from the start, because I took off out of town. And one mile later, you kind of make a turn. And the headwind just felt like it slapped me in the face. And immediately sense it. It’s not a race where in a race, you’d be thinking thoughts, like, everyone has the same conditions, everyone’s dealing with the same thing. Instead, you have thoughts of, oh, my gosh, maybe I should have picked a different day, this wasn’t the right conditions to go for, you know, because you’re in control of those things. So quickly had to push that aside, and just not worry about the fact that I was moving a little bit slower in those initial miles. The next obstacle I had to meet was, since burrow paths, tops out at 11,000 feet, anyone who’s ridden this trail will know that conditions up there change fast, and they’re almost never perfect. Hitting the window of being able to get to the top of burrow pass in general, is really hard to hit. Because the snow comes, weather comes thunderstorms come. And so I think it’s difficult to get good conditions up there anyways. But I did encounter a lot of mud mud that was, you know, kicking up my bike where it was very, very difficult to ride. And that was for about two miles. And then I think this is the most hilarious thing that happened was as I started to come down burrow paths, there’s a lot of cows in that area, which is, I think, really funny, because it’s so out there, if you’ve ever been out there you see, like in the middle of nowhere, but there’s all these cows. And while I was on a really narrow section of single track with a steep wall, and then a steep drop off, and the cows were just walking in a single file line on the single track. And it was so steep on both sides that they couldn’t get off the trail. So despite my best efforts to kind of encourage them along, go, go get out of the way, come on getting getting really close to them to encourage them. They just kept looking back at me, and then continuing on their way. So I had to actually get off my bike and walk behind these cows for probably about five minutes also. So just little things here there that you know, nothing major, which I think is so I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t have any major issues out there. But I think just these small little elements show that this trail has so much going on that I think that’s a cool thing is anyone who attempts this, we will all have different stories to tell.

Jeff 18:11
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I’ve seen those cows up there, too. And yeah, I mean, you’re saying it’s funny, I’m intimidated, like, some of those are kind of scary, especially when there’s like a bowl in the area or you don’t know if like one of them’s a bowl or some of them are bowls. And yeah, that can be kind of scary, in my opinion.

Hannah 18:29
That you know, it’s so funny out that is and this kind of shows how much thought I put into this FKT was that I was actually a conversation I had in preparation is how dangerous are these cows? And how close can I get to them? So I even thought

Jeff 18:46
process. That’s great. Oh, my gosh, yeah, I mean, that’s perfect. Segue into my next question about like, what type of specific training you did to this route? I mean, you mentioned doing the descent several times. But yeah, was there other like specific training in terms of the climb or the conditions or anything that you did?

Hannah 19:09
Yeah, I mean, this came at the end of my very long race season. So in terms of like training for fitness and things like that, I felt like I really had that dialed in to the best of my abilities at this point. You know, I think an effort like Leadville, definitely prepared me and made me feel confident that I could handle the physical aspect of this route. So for me, the preparation was very much a matter of dialing in this specific terrain. So I think the most unique thing that I did to prepare was, I actually rode the descent on two different bikes. So the first time I rode the descent, I wrote it on my pivot Firebird, which is an enduro bike, so it has a lot more travel, and I did that In order to really be able to feel confident and secure on the trail, because there’s some really difficult features, so my first goal was to get out there and establish confidence. And then after I did that, I took out my pivot mock for a salad, which is what I ultimately did the attempt on. And I use those skills of confidence that I gained on the bigger bike in order to then feel that same level of competence even on a smaller travel bike.

Jeff 20:32
Yeah, interesting. Yeah, I mean, it sounds like all your gear held up really well, to no mechanicals on the trail. Was there anything else like in addition to the bike that you were like, really glad you had? Or were there things that you were like, oh, man, like, maybe I should have had a longer travel dropper posts for the next one or wider bars? Or was there anything like that, that you would have changed or anything that you found work really well,

Hannah 20:57
gosh, I feel like given the fact that I had no mechanicals and it all went so smoothly. In terms of equipment, there’s nothing that I would change. So I typically ride a 32 step cast from Fox, and for this, I wrote a 34 to have 120 millimeters. So that was a change that I made to my bike. And then I rode a Kenda 2.4 SCT booster tire, which I felt like just gave me a little bit more confidence. And then I had a cush core in the rear, which I felt like was also very important for some of these hard impacts. But you also can’t always anticipate them, there were several kind of, oh gosh, moments as you’re coming up to an edge, and you’re like, Oh, this is a drop, and you’re just, you know, adjusting your body weight and sending it kind of last minute. And so I felt like those were really critical pieces. For me. I would say one thing that in retrospect, I might do slightly different, was I think I carried all the right amount of fluids, but I was a little bit nervous about running out. And so I rationed my fluids a lot more at the start, than I maybe should have. Because on the descent, I realized I didn’t need as much fluids as I did on the climb. So if I did it again, I would be a lot more liberal with my drinking on the climb. Knowing that on the descent, I won’t feel the urge to drink as much.

Jeff 22:31
Yeah, what how much did you bring? I didn’t even think of that. Like how much how much fluid did you bring with you? Because like a normal Camelback? I mean, I would think maybe that’s enough. But I don’t know everybody’s different. So yeah, did you carry like a ton of water and hydration drinks. This is

Hannah 22:47
something I had to debate for a long time. Because I think for anyone listening, if you go out on the whole enchilada trail, especially depending on the time of year, water is so essential people get taken out of there because of dehydration. And so I wanted to be really smart about it. And they’re

Jeff 23:06
just doing the descent. Exactly, yeah. At a time going up.

Hannah 23:11
Yeah, yeah, it can be a much longer day than people anticipate. So I think for the average individual tackling this more, is better. But since I had to climb for three and a half hours, I didn’t want to carry unnecessary weight. I only wanted to carry what I needed. And so I carried a pack. That was one and a half liters. And then I had a bottle. So essentially, what I had was two liters of water.

Jeff 23:37
Wow. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a lot to a lot of people. I’m sure. Right, like, trying to say I haven’t worn a hydration pack in years. But I mean, a lot of them are like three liters, right? Like, are those the biggest?

Hannah 23:50
It’s a very small Yeah, it was the it was the use way Outlander pack, and it’s really small. It’s a very low profile, sort of race design. So yeah, it’s not a lot at all. But like I said, I was hoping to be out there for just under six hours. And I had calculated it. But the other really interesting thing to consider is starting at 4000 feet, topping out at over 11,000 feet and then coming back down the temperature swing was a massive Yeah, so I started just after 7am. So it wasn’t hot at the start. And then at the top. It was, I think just under 40 degrees. So it was in the 30s at the top, the roots were iced over still in the morning, and then finishing back down in Moab at the Colorado River. It was 80 degrees. So there’s a big temperature swing out there that you have to anticipate. Yeah.

Jeff 24:50
Wow. That’s amazing. And I mean, it does seem to though that I mean, October is probably about the best conditions you can hope for right In terms of like, there’s not snow hopefully up top yet. And yeah, the temperatures aren’t aren’t too hot or too cold. So yeah, definitely like a narrow window. Yeah, there.

Hannah 25:10
Yeah, definitely. I think October is the most popular time of year.

Jeff 25:15
Yeah. Did you see other folks out there when you were making your attempt,

Hannah 25:18
I did see a few. I actually intentionally tried to time it with the shuttles where I wouldn’t have a lot of traffic. But certainly in the days leading up where I was shoveling, there’s a lot of people out there. And on the climb, the shuttles were passing me on the way up, which was kind of a fun experience, as well to see them on shuttling up and making the climb. But so I saw I saw a few people, but not a ton.

Jeff 25:44
Yeah. Interesting. So in addition to being a world class athlete, you’re also a coach. So how important is it to have a good coach? Have you had coaches that have like made a big difference for you? And in terms of being an athlete?

Hannah 25:59
Yeah, I have been working with my coach, Chris molesky, for seven years now. So he’s been really integral in my career and my success, and he’s been on like I said, I’ve been a professional mountain biking for six years. So he’s been on this entire journey with me. So I think I think it’s essential even for me, like you said, I am a coach, and I still lean heavily on my coach, because you need that extra set of eyes, and you need someone to guide you. Because even if you have the knowledge, it’s too hard to be within yourself and subjective. You need someone that you can trust to look outwardly. And objectively.

Jeff 26:42
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, what have you learned by watching other coaches over the years? I mean, not just your coach, but maybe like other professional athletes, you know, like in terms of how they work with their coaches, like, what? Have you seen some things that maybe aren’t good or things that are good? What’s kind of your takeaway from, from what other coaches are doing?

Hannah 27:04
Yeah, I think that throughout my career, working with athletes, being an athlete, working with my coach, and watching other coaches, I think one of my biggest takeaways is how important the relationship between the coach and the athlete is, because a lot of as a coach, I think, in school or in training, there’s a really large emphasis on the physiology, the science, and you need that. And definitely, it’s really important. But the piece that is often missed is that you’re working with people, it’s never just numbers on the screen. And everyone has a different story and a different life, and different obstacles. And so meeting people where they’re at with the things going on in their life is what makes a really good coach is one that can adapt and be flexible enough to make someone the best they can be even in less than optimal situations and scenarios that they go through in their life. And then that same way breathing belief into the athlete, I’ll often say that I feel like the second an athlete comes to me before a race or a big effort and says, I’m not sure I can achieve my goal. I feel like that’s when my job becomes the most important, because that’s when I need to back up everything we’ve worked on and show them. Look at everything you’ve done. I know you can do this. And it’s not enough that I know, I have to find a way to get them to know. And I think that’s one of the most important parts of coaching.

Jeff 28:46
Yeah. Did you have that conversation with your coach before the FKT? Like, you know, it sounds like you were kind of going back and forth. Like I don’t know how fast I can do this. Maybe under seven, maybe under six? I mean, was was your coach, kind of feeding that to you? Or how did that conversation go?

Hannah 29:03
Yeah, so we talked, my coach and I talked a lot about the power numbers on the climb. Because I sensed I was going to need to pace myself and I didn’t have any other athletes to sort of lead the charge or respond to attacks or lead the attack, I had to be fully responsible for the pace. And so my coach and I talked a lot about the power numbers that I would hold and also the interesting element of sensor you’re going from 4000 feet to 11,000 feet, there’s a difference in elevation and therefore oxygen and therefore power output. So also trying to anticipate how I’m power might shift throughout the climb and mentally preparing for the fact that your numbers will likely start to drop but that doesn’t mean that you’re bonking or getting slower. It’s a natural progression of this type. I’ve arrived. And my coach, when he told me the numbers that I should hold, I thought, Okay, wow, I that’s a little bit more than a thought. And then sure enough, within 30 minutes out there, I was already above that power having to hold myself back. So it was an I think actually, when I got to the top, I was like perfectly at the number that he had given me. And so massive kudos to him for being anticipate that whole swing because, again, that’s another place where I think, like I said, you need that objective outsider. Because when he said those numbers, I thought, is that really something that I can do? But as someone who knows me and who believes in me, he could say yes,

Jeff 30:47
yeah. Yeah, that’s so cool. So you’ve studied physiology and nutrition. And you recently wrote an article about how caffeine affects athletic performance? Do you use caffeine before or during races? And especially during this FKT? Like, was caffeine a part of that for you at all?

Hannah 31:08
So I have a degree in athletic training, which is a health care professional and Exercise Science. Yeah, so I don’t have I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ve certainly done my fair share of research. And I really enjoy that. So that’s something I’ve done a lot of writing on this year is different nutritional interests, because I think that’s a huge part of these long races, too, that often gets messed it’s really the one of the most important pieces out there because you can be the fittest in the world, and still fall so short, if you’re not feeling properly. So all that to say, I do use caffeine as a longer attempt. That wasn’t a major factor in this where I wasn’t necessarily calculating that out. But I did have caffeine in the morning, you know, just to start off the day.

Jeff 32:07
Yeah, well, so then, yeah, that makes me think that then is caffeine more for those like shorter efforts, and like, you know, almost like sprint type races, whereas you see a longer six hours of writing is caffeine less of a factor or like less helpful for you personally, anyway,

Hannah 32:25
I mean, caffeine can help with focus and lowering rate of perceived exertion. And so it really does have a place in both long and short events. For me, personally, I tend to use it for the shorter events, because the loading process can be a little bit different than trying to sustain something across a six hour effort. But it’s different for everyone. I think that depending and that’s another thing about caffeine is it does everyone responds to it differently. There are non responders as well. And then there are hyper responders. And so it really depends where you sit in that sort of framework as to whether or not you want to take that on.

Jeff 33:14
Okay, interesting. So let’s talk about rest and recovery. Did you have a routine that you use after every big effort? And if so, what is what does that look like for you?

Hannah 33:27
Yeah, it’s an interesting question. I think that the answer is yes. But I think that part of that routine, actually starts with the knowledge that you’re going to feel pretty darn bad. And being able to accept that. That’s something that I think I’ve had to learn, actually, in the recent years, as I’ve done some of these longer events. Because, you know, after a race, like Leadville are one of these attempts. Sometimes I’ll wake up the next morning and actually feel almost ill. It’s not just soreness, it’s your whole body, just having complete and total fatigue. And so I think that part of recovery starts with acknowledging that that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you’ve dug yourself a hole you can’t get out of. But it’s also signaling to yourself that it’s time to recover. It’s not time to push through. And so for me, the first place that I look for something like that is the nutrition. So a lot of the time rehydration is really huge for me, so that’s a big focus. And then, you know, if you’re talking about recovery modalities, stretching, foam rolling, I think that actually napping is one of the best things that you can do for recovery to get in just a little bit extra recovery in the middle of the day. It’s almost like a little cheat code to add into your sleep, and then just not rushing back into it too. quickly this type of an effort one off day is not that’s not all that it takes. And so you can’t expect your body to come back after an off day. And then why do I still feel this way? It’s a several day process for sure.

Jeff 35:15
Yeah. Well, how did you feel after the FKT? Was it like, did you feel better or worse compared to like some of your other races this year?

Hannah 35:23
I would say, it’s funny because the film crew asked me that that night at dinner is how do you feel like physically? Is it like a big training day? Is it like a World Cup? And I would equate the feeling after this? FKT to similar to the feeling after Leadville, it was that type of effort.

Jeff 35:43
Okay, yeah, yeah. Well, in similar, I guess not distance, right. But maybe time on the bike. I mean, let goes a little bit, it would be couple hours longer, I’m guessing at least. Right. So

Hannah 35:55
vaudeville was just under seven and a half. So this was about an hour and a half.

Jeff 36:01
Very similar. Yeah, but within an hour, wow. Okay. Yeah. So which races are FKT? Is are you targeting for 2023? Have you thought ahead to that? Are you just like, I’m not thinking about that. I’m just gonna rest for a couple of months.

Hannah 36:18
I’m trying to rest. I mean, my brain, I feel like is always reeling with ideas and excitement. And so, you know, I do have big goals for Paris. And so prologue, CTS and World Cups will definitely be at the top of my list. But I think the lifetime Grand Prix series will be coming out soon, what races they’ll be including in that, and I hope to be able to make that a part of my schedule as well. And yeah, I like I said, this was my first large scale FKT and I love this trail so much that I went into it, having no idea what to expect just wanting to kind of do like an ode to the whole enchilada sort of thing. And having walked away from it with such an incredible experience. I am starting to dream of what could be next. And I don’t know what that is yet, but I will definitely keep you in the loop because I’m sure it’ll be something.

Jeff 37:19
Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, yeah, I mean, this film is it really is. It’s an ode to the whole enchilada and hopefully lots of people will see it and yeah, congratulations. Thank you so much. Well, we will have a link to the film which will be out by the time this episode airs. That’s all it got this week. We’ll talk to you again next week.