MBA: What will you have to do in
order to compete in the Olympics?
Grant: Right now there are seven
men on the long team, and only one or
two will be selected to go. Currently,
the U.S. is not ranked high enough in
the international rankings to send two
athletes, but we hope to change that
this spring! We are about one spot away
from sending two riders. As for what I
have to do, well, come out flying and
be one of the two fastest U.S. riders
on the international level. That’s a tall
order. There are some seriously fast and
talented riders trying to do the same
thing. I am just going to enjoy the ride
and make the most out of a really cool
MBA: Can you tell us about your training plans for this year?
Grant: This year I am trying to accelerate my training a bit and come into spring
with a higher level of fitness than in years
past. If I want to make the cut, I need to
take it to the next level, so I need to start
the season at a high level already. I have
had a bit of a longer build time this year
after an injury this fall that forced me to
stop racing ’cross and take an early break.
I was 100 percent healthy again by the
end of November and back on the training.
MBA: What do you plan to eat this year
while you’re training?
Grant: I like to eat a variety of foods
while riding, but my go-to foods are
MBA: What kind of training are you
doing for this year?
Woodruff: For this Olympic year we are
structuring our season a little differently
with a strong emphasis on the selection
events (mainly the first three World Cups)
and, of course, the Olympics in August.
We are sticking to what we know works in
training and preparing as we have for any
other season. The year is all about keeping
opportunities in perspective and doing my
homework. Stan’s NoTubes is very supportive of my Olympic bid, and the move
The USA’s 2015 cross-country and
short-track national champion
America’s top rider: Chloe Woodruff
ended 2015 with national titles in both
cross-country and short track.
World Cups: the Mach 4 and Les 27. 5.
We are including indoor training sessions
this year as we approach key selection
races and Rio. Training indoors will allow
us to simulate hot and humid climates
and to better perform in these (potentially)
extreme conditions. Cairns World Cup (a
key selection event) and Rio both have the
potential to be very hot and humid. One
of my favorite (as in horribly grueling and
effective) workouts is to do a 5x5-minute
interval workout. The 5-minute “on” portion
is above threshold (ideally midway between
lactate threshold and VO2 power), while
The long shot
Alex Grant: Grant is considered a long shot to make the U.S. Olympic team this year,
but long shots sometimes surprise people.
Enduro Bites for my solids, as well as
Honey Stinger Chews. Enduro Bites are
made with real figs, are delicious and give
you the best energy of any training food
I have tried. Stinger Chews give you that
quick sugar when you need it.
MBA: How is that different from the way
you’ve been eating until now?
Grant: That is actually what I ate while
training last year as well. As for a general
diet, I eat a balanced diet containing all
types of foods, and I don’t have any exclusions or allergies. I just make sure to eat
plenty of all types of good food and really
pay attention to getting enough carbs
during training and racing periods.
MBA: Will you be making any changes
to your bike or riding gear?
Grant: I will have a few changes and
some things will stay the same, but I can’t
say what they are yet!
MBA: When you raced in the World
Championships, the World Cup series and
the National Championships, what did you
Grant: I have raced almost 10 National
Championships, a handful of World Cups,
and one World Championships. If there is
one thing I learned, it is that there is a lot
going on in a race. It’s chaos out there,
but you can only control what you are
doing. It is important not to get caught up
in what anyone else is doing and just focus
on yourself and riding your race. ❏
the recovery portion is painfully short, a
mere 1– 2 minutes. A block of these intervals over a few weeks is great high-quality