I spoke with 24hr Solo Champion Josh Tostado about the race, his training tactics, and how free-style skiing helps prepare him for the racing season. Here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been mountain bike racing? I know you were a free-skier huckin 90 foot tablesÃ‚Â and hitting 55 degrees slopes only a few years ago. You won the 2004 US Free skiing open. Nice.
I raced my first 24 in 2002 and that was my first mountain bike race. and at that point I was really into the free-skiing but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t win the 2004 us open, the best I ever did was 8Th in an X game qualifier.
Ha! Then the internet lies!
How does free skiing transcend into Mountain bike racing, specifically 24s?
The sports of skiing and mountain biking are very similar. You just get that feeling of flow with both and they are lifestyle sports as well, but as far as the the competition side free-skiing and 24 hour racing couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be more different.
Click ‘more’ to read on…
Why/When did you stop skiing competitively?
I stopped competing because hitting 70 foot jumps everyday is hard on the body and I was 30 years old so I figured enough is enough. itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a kids sport, you are over the hill at 25, so I started a little late.
I know you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a coach, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d call you a soul rider. How do you self train?
I just really like going on long rides and I like going hard so I just go riding and call it good I never have to force myself out the door itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more like therapy for the soul, so if I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go riding I am a little off.
There are many things to love about Breckenridge. Give me 5 great reasons to live in Breck.
biking, skiing, friends, community it never gets hot.
Do you have a road bike? Betcha donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have any gadgets (power meter, GPS )
I do have a road bike but I only use it out of necessity. This year I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t touch my road bike after the beginning of June. I never do specific training I just ride. Nope, no gadgets.
What was your training like 2 weeks out from the 24hr Solo National Championships?
I usually ride 24 to 30 hours a week I cut back to about 20 the month before the race. I could just feel my body getting tired so I just try to maintain my fitness and not go too hard.
WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the darkest thought you had during the race?
I was in a dark place in the morning at about hour 20. I had gone hard all night and had a big lead but when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m really spent I get emotional and when that happens I know IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m tired, so the end better be near.
Why do you think you puked a little, b/c your were pulling hot laps with Kelly?
I was really pushed to the limit by Kelly on the first couple laps and then I started cramping and my body was not very happy, then I puked all over my bike and I just had to slow down and regroup .
From your race report it sounded like you burned alot of matches early, how would you change your tactics in hindsight? if at all…
The pace early really hurt me. Then, in the night, I went really fast so the combo really did me in. I should have gone a little slower in the beginning, but when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in the moment itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to pull up.
Did you have a race plan, and did you execute it?
Yeah, my race plan was to win and to finish with nothing left–and I definitely accomplished both of those things.
Did you make any mistakes?
My big mistake was not taking enough calories. My new nutrition is called Infinit. It works really well but it was my first 24 hour on the stuff and I was a little short on the calorie intake.
Was there any part of the 24hrs of Moab course that you looked forward to each lap?
The backside of the course flows really well. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rollie and fun.
What did you have for breakfast that morning?
I know you ride a Santa Cruz–spec out your bike
My carbon Blur is the shit. Not only is it a great race bike, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just an every day fun bike. I run all Shimano components because they work the best, Ergon grips, WTB saddle and StanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wheel set.
Is there a 29er in your future?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s definitely a possibility. Santa Cruz has a new bike called the Tall Boy. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basically a carbon Blur 29er so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking forward to try it out.
(Read Bikerumor’s review of the Santa Cruz Tall Boy 29er)
How did you fuel during the race? and what are your obstacles and challenges for fueling for 24s…
My nutrition is an all liquid diet of Infint and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all I had the whole race .
Despite owning the breck 100 and now 24 Hours of Moab, your results on National 100-milers havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been as great (even though you beat fast 100 Miler Chris Schalk at this yearsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Breck 100). Any comment?
I actually had a great result in my last NUE east coast race, I got 4th at the wilderness 101. It was super tight, 7 minutes separated the top 5. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done as well at some of those races. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t start riding again until mid February so by the time IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m starting the season IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m usually not 100% until about mid June so alot of those races are warm up races. Also, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had some bad luck at some of them getting lost. One time I had 3 flats and still got 6th. speed is not my strong point. At some of those races there is a lot of dirt road sections and sometimes flat sections, so that really doesn’t suit me. I do much better on trails and climbing. But thats why I keep going back to some of these races, because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not my strong point, so it forces me to go all out.
What did this race in particular teach you about yourself?
This race was really hard for me. I was in a bad way but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give up. I had to dig really deep. A lot of time you surprise yourself, and thats what I tell people when they say they could never do something. The human spirit is a lot stronger than people think. When faced with a hardship you can really push through a lot.
Having a pimp support crew is key: give me 5 things you require in your crew.
The only thing I require is they show up, I have been lucky to have a great group of friends that really have a good time coming to support me. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a little easier to get a crew for Moab because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only 5 hours from home. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve races with a one man crew and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really hard, luckily my buddy Ryan has been with me from the beginning and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably the best mechanic in the world so If I only have one guy its him.
WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your winter training program like?
My winter training is skiing. No riding at all. I nordic-ski, backcountry ski, and just have fun skiing. I basically take about 3 months off the bike. It probably is not the best thing for race fitness, but I love skiing too much to give it up completely. Plus, the time off the bike is good in different ways. I am really excited to get back on the bike when I do start riding again.
Are you doing the Breck Epic in 2010 or are you on recon again?
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure about the Breck Epic. The stage racing is cool, but they all have really high entry fees so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to wait and see. Doing the pre-ride every day was awesome. I really liked seeing how much work goes into these things. It takes a lot to run everything smoothly .
You mentioned this was the hardest race you did in a long long time. What made this race harder then last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s where you did the same amount of laps?
My fitness wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as good as last year. I was definitely on the down slope. I missed my peak by about a month. Last year I was peaking and felt really strong. This year I did a race called the Vapor Trail 125 a month before Moab and felt the strongest of the year for that race.