For more than a decade (since 2008), I’ve been fueling my athletic endeavors with First Endurance. In that time, the products have changed (oh how I miss you, Grape EFS…) and evolved (no more sucralose); new products have come (EVO1!) and gone (remember the bar?); but mostly things have stayed the same – the best, most complete endurance fueling system available has remained exactly that.
My own consumption habits have always ebbed and flowed with training blocks. But even in periods of “light” training as a triathlete, my caloric demands were high enough that I always burned through tubs of EFS and Ultragen at a pretty rapid rate. That continued with my big training blocks for Belgian Waffle Ride (7hrs+) and Dirty Kanza (11hrs+), which was my longest ride, longest race, and almost certainly the largest consumption of EFS Pro in a single session ever.
But in June of 2018, following Dirty Kanza, I switched my focus to the track and the Individual Pursuit. It was a pretty big change to go from an 206mi race to a 2.5mi race. The training, the energy systems… almost everything is different when it comes to training for a sub-5 minute event (though it’s amazing just how “aerobic” a 5min event is…).
I still rely on the same great products, just a lot – a LOT – less. I’ve also switched from EFS Pro, with its very mild flavors designed for palatability over long training sessions, back to EFS, with its stronger flavors and higher (relative) magnesium. The stronger flavor is welcome when you only go through a single bottle in most sessions and the increased sweetness helps to trick your brain a bit more when it comes to cranking out yet another anaerobic capacity interval. Jugs of EFS now last months – not weeks or even days. And I’d now say that Optygen and MultiV are the things I rely on the most. I use Ultragen sparingly – I just don’t consume the same quantity of calories, especially not in a single session, though it’s still great for recovery and, admittedly for the first time in my career, for trying to gain weight.
Overall, it’s a much less complex equation. And, on the racing side, nutrition is not even a factor. It was a bit strange at first to not even have water bottle bosses on my track bike, but now that seems totally normal. And while it was always important, I will say that PreRace has developed a renewed level of critical necessity in my race regimen. Nothing quite like getting a fixed gear rolling from a complete standstill to make you appreciate a little bit of extra punch. I didn’t sleep all that easily after taking a second dose before the evening finals of Master’s World Championships, but I managed to grab a bronze by 9/100ths of a second, and I can only imagine all the little things that might have added up to rob me of those fractions.
While the Pursuit is certainly a very different, er, pursuit, I still rely on the same great suite of products from First Endurance. I use them differently – and in far less quantity – than I did as a long-distance triathlete. But even on my new journey chasing a dream as a trackie, my fuels remain the same. Even if I do ride a bike without a bottle…
Disclaimer: I’ve been a sponsored athlete of First Endurance’s for just over a decade. I am no longer compensated monetarily, but I was in the past. I continue to receive product free of charge. I was not compensated monetarily or otherwise for writing this.