It’s safe to say that Angela Naeth knows a thing or two about endurance. The 40-year-old Canadian entered her first triathlon competition in 2008. Since then, Naeth has earned more than 30 podiums in the 70.3 Ironman distance, and has logged three sub-nine-hour Ironman finishes. And despite her diagnosis of Lyme disease in 2018, she placed eighth at the Ironman World Championships that same year, and continues to dominate the sport today.
Recently, Naeth also took up gravel riding. “I fell in love with it after the first few pedal strokes,” she says. “Riding a bike where terrain doesn’t matter is one of the best ways to adventure.” In 2021, Naeth placed sixth at her first gravel race, Unbound Gravel, a 200-mile odyssey held in Kansas which she describes as “way more fun than a triathlon!”
Living such an active lifestyle requires Naeth to be diligent with all aspects of her training on and off the bike. “For me, the quality of my workouts is more important than the quantity or duration,” says Naeth. From lifting and recovery to nutrition, here’s how this elite master’s athlete stays at the top of her game and ensures longevity in the sports she loves. Follow her tips so you can too.
Strive for Strength
Cyclists are always looking for ways to log more hours on the bike and Naeth accomplishes this with a carefully planned training schedule.
“Cycling and triathlons are endurance sports that require strength,” she says. “Lifting weights keeps me injury free while also building the strength I need to generate the wattage for uphill riding.” Naeth lifts two days per week, and focuses on exercises specific to running and cycling, such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, and step-ups.
She also likes to use the bike as a strength component. “Hills can and should be your friend,” she says. “Low-cadence work — anything below 60 rpm — is a great way to increase strength while improving endurance and is very specific to cycling. I do this kind of training at least four times a week. ”
To stay competitive and healthy, Naeth takes her recovery as seriously as she does her training. “If you don’t have proper recovery, you just can’t make gains, especially in endurance sports,” she says. Optimizing her downtime also means Naeth can continue to excel, regardless of her age.
Naeth follows a periodized schedule, a plan where several weeks of hard training are followed by one week of easier workouts. This allows the body to recover and ultimately helps prevent injury. She also blends lighter workouts into her week to balance out her more intense training. “I take two easier days each week to swim, which allows me more recovery between my‘ on ’days when I log more time cycling and running,” says Naeth. In addition, nutrition is always on hand. “I typically carry sports drinks, gels, and Ketone IQTM, ”Naeth says. “These are all essentials to keep up with the demands of exercise and recovery.”
Ketone-IQTMis an exogenous ketone drink that can help put your body in ketosis — a state where fat instead of carbohydrates is tapped for energy. Ketones, which help fats become the primary source of fuel in your body during ketosis, can be increased by starvation — something an athlete should not do — or supplementation. Preliminary research found that supplemental ketones may help recovery during high-volume training periods. According to the study published in Journal of Physiologyresearchers found that at the end of the 3-week period where subjects were participating in an overload training program, those who drank 25 grams of a ketone supplement after their workouts experienced a 15% increase in power output during endurance exercise.
And nothing is more critical to recovery than sleep. “I get eight to nine hours of sleep every night,” Naeth says. During your sleeping hours, your body repairs and rebuilds itself, improving strength, endurance, and athletic longevity.
Know Your Nutrition
No matter your sport, nutrition is a vital component for high-level performance. “You need to fuel with the right nutrients to get the most out of your body — leafy vegetables, fruit, carbs, healthy fats, and lean proteins,” says Naeth. “Getting this right is just as important as the training itself.”
Naeth admits that she didn’t know much about nutrition when she started competing, but during an Ironman in Australia, she learned her lesson the hard way. “While I was on the bike, I drank plain water and had a few gels and a cola along the way,” she says. “Then, during the run, at mile eight, I really had to go to the bathroom. I literally lost the ability to hold it, and ended up running / walking the remainder of the 26.2 miles — soiled. ” After that experience, she made it a point to learn more about nutrition and devised a formula that works for her.
Consider More Fuel Sources
Because of that nutritional education that she underwent, Naeth recommends an alternative form of fuel when training. “I started using Ketone IQTM, and after just one or two rides, I was hooked, ”she says. Ketones may help in recovery, race prep, as well as other activities off the bike. This is where ingestible ketones may come in handy.
“Ketone IQTM is a good adjunct to fueling with carbohydrates, and is another energy source I can tap into during training and competition, ”says Naeth. “It gives me sustained energy and increases my ability to focus, especially during long training days. It also keeps my blood sugar stable, and I have no extreme ups and downs with my energy levels. ”
Naeth takes a little more than two servings of Ketone-IQTM 45 minutes before a workout or a race and another serving every 90 minutes after that. Even when she’s not training, Naeth sips a bottle of Ketone-IQTM all day long to improve her focus and recovery, and keep her energy high.
For aging, non-elite athletes, Naeth suggests drinking it in the morning and trying to drink two to three servings throughout the day. “See if you notice a difference in your energy, mental clarity, and overall feeling of alertness,” she says.
Next up for Naeth is the Lifetime Grand Prix and the Ironman World Championships, and, of course, more gravel riding. “The longer the time on two wheels, the better!” she says. With her winning training strategy and intimate nutritional knowledge, she is sure to stand on many more podiums in the future.
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