- Home Branden Rakita
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What does your standard training week involve?
4-5 days of staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool, 4-5 rides a week, a few days following the white line on the road and a few days ripping round the mountains on the Colorado singletrack. I will do 4-5 run sessions as well; mixing it up between the road and trails, a couple of days in the gym and a few yoga sessions as well.
Where is your favorite place to train?
Colorado Springs is a great place to train, you don't need a car or even the roads that much to access the great trails around the city. Tucson is a great location for winter training if I want to get away from the colder weather and possible snow. If it were not so secluded then I would easily be in Durango for training, the community and lifestyle is perfect.
What is your favorite race?
It is hard to pick one, between the XTERRA's the Nationals course in Lake Tahoe, the Southeast Championship in Alabama and the crown jewel of Saipan are all must do's having the most complete courses out there. On the road the Escape from Alcatraz hands down for the uniqueness of the race for a shorter distance and Wildflower with the camping and atmosphere for a half.
What is your favorite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
The Compression Leggings are my favorite by far, and one of the most versatile. You can slip them on for recovery under a pair of shorts when you’re around the house or under a pair of pants if you’re on the go or traveling. They can also be used as leg warmers on the bike and get the advantage of the compression during workouts as well in the winter.
What is your favorite training accessory?
As an engineer I love numbers and data and there is nothing better for instant feedback than my SRM on my Rotor 3D+ crank with the Rotor rings. It allows me to dial straight into what I need to be doing in my workout to get the most from it. I make sure to not just be looking at the numbers though and pay close attention to how my body is feeling at the different intensity levels so I am in tune with the race that is happening around me and I can react and not just be focused on a number.
What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
Far and away injuries and staying mentally sane when things are not going the way you want them too. One of the toughest is when an injury reoccurs after you think you have beaten it.
What is the most common training mistake you see?
Jumping into someone elses training instead of following what you are supposed to be doing.
What motivates you to train and race harder?
I want to see how far I can go, where my personal limits might be and then I want to push past them.
Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
My diet is pretty simple, I avoid as much processed food as possible and eat as naturally as I can. I want it to come from the earth to my plate and visit as few buildings and any modifications possible. I don't have any particular meals going into races but generally will try to get a few more carbs in a couple of days out and really be on top of my hydration especially in hot climates. The day before, I just make sure I’m eating small portions consistently and not overloading in any meal.
How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
It’s hard to get away from the sport since I work at Pro Cycling which is a bike shop in the Springs, but I also love getting more people into active lifestyles and being able to relate my experiences in to exciting possibilities for them down the road. I spend as much time as I can with friends and kick back and relax with them to get away from the sport. Bbq's in the back yard, going to movies, hikes or local events and surrounding myself with great people.
What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful?
I am hooked on all of the First Endurance products, it is far and away the best sports nutrition out there. Everything in Ultragen and the EFS drink and liquid shot are specifically formulated to help my performance, it contains everything I need and no extra gelatin or unnatural ingredients.Getting to do what I love for a living, also traveling and getting to meet and connect with people all over the world is the best part of being a Professional. I have been to some amazing places so far and you never know who you will run into along the way.
What is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
Getting to do what I love for a living, also traveling and getting to meet and connect with people all over the world is the best part of being a Professional. I have been to some amazing places so far and you never know who you will run into along the way.
What is the worst thing about being a professional athlete?
Missing out on some of the fun activities with friends that are home, going to concerts that are coming through your town when you’re out racing. It takes a lot of dedication to focus and turn down some fun crazy times with friends when you are in the competitive season.
In five years time, I will be:
Continuing to do what I love to do whatever that may be, with an XTERRA World Champion title next to my name.