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Why Reinhard Zellhuber has a bright future
This week on 32Gi Sport Nutrition, we take a look into the future! We get our glass ball out, as we speak to South African teenage mountain biker Reinhard Zellhuber. This young man is at the top end of the sport in his age group, but this is no luck. While talent comes into play as well, it’s his logic which makes him stand out. This includes already having a good understanding of the importance of nutrition.
Welcome back to this week’s addition of 32Gi Sport Nutrition. I’m Mr. Active David Katz. Challenge Roth has passed what a weekend it was. Jan Frodeno doing a 7.35 phenomenally fast, a record. The ladies race only four minutes outside of Chrissie Wellington’s record, really impressive. Well done to Mark Wolff for finishing, and everyone else who had a fantastic event. I’ve gotta get there sometime, those crowds look absolutely amazing.
But moving onto our guest and our topic for this week. Mark Wolff is taking some time off having a bit of a recovery after a hard long distance triathlon or full distance.
So it’s a great pleasure now to welcome our next guest onto the show, we’re looking at Mountain Biking, we’re looking at Mountain Biking in South Africa and we’re looking at the youth. Today we’re chatting to Reinhard Zellhuber. Reinhard thank you very much for joining us.
RZ: Thank you very much.
DK: Reinhard first of all you still quite young, I don’t know if you still 17 or you turning 18. Effectively would be your, your last year of school. Tell us a bit more about how you got into Mountain Biking and when you sort of started taking it sort of more seriously. Because in your age group you one of the best in the country.
RZ: Well I started at the age of eight years old it was mainly just, just going out and trying to have fun with friends. Then only the last three years I decided after meeting my coach Russell White decided to take it take it to the next level and decided to try and see what I can do.
South African market saturated with racing opportunities
DK: Now in South Africa we are fortunate, there are lots of events going on consistently. We’ve had a very good cross country season now in the build up to the Olympics as well. I know you just missed SA Champs this past weekend with illness. But there are a lot of opportunities to race and to sort of get into racing and into the circuit in South Africa aren’t there?
RZ: Yes definitely, there’s definitely a lot of effort being made by CSA and everyone. All the private people as well everyone just they’ve all been putting up great events. It’s really good for the sport in South Africa, especially with the awesome terrain we have around us. It’s it just really helps the sport to grow and to just get better every year.
DK: Well Reinhard I’ve been following you a bit. I work on a show called Advenruance TV and we do the national Mountain Biking series in South Africa. When you do, do those events which showcase the youth and the juniors here, you tend to dominate.
But what would be your discipline, what’s your sort of focus? Is it more on the sort of half marathon building to marathon, is it stage racing, is it the cross country, what’s your niche?
Cross country forms a great foundation
RZ: Well I enjoy all, all the different types of, of Mountain Biking but I’d say at the moment I’m enjoying my cross country. It’s really exciting and fast and I’m really enjoying it.
But I probably, I’d probably say I race both. I’m trying to do both at the moment, so we’ll see how it goes. I might decide later in my career whether I want to go for just cross country or just marathon. But at the moment I’m gonna focus on both.
DK: Now cross country a lot of people almost say, go do cross country when you young. Get into it because of course it helps you with that speed. It helps you with building up the sort of skills. Are you finding that? That, that is starting to hone in and sharpen your skills?
RZ: Yes, yes definitely with cross country it’s a little bit more about your, your skill and bike handling and things like that. So it is better to start when you do that while your younger. While you still flexible and you can still heal from a few hard, hard hits. But I’d say it is a better thing to get into cross country young. Then marathon as your endurance gets better as you age, rather just go to that later on.
Cross Country racing gets all the global attention
DK: Now in South Africa we’ve got a bit of a funny situation because of course Europe is the sort of cross country Mecca. Most of the races are around Europe and cross country’s where the sort of television is. It’s where the Olympic sport is.
But in South Africa there’s more money to be made as a marathoner or stage racer. It’s a delicate balance. In this country for someone whose young, you sort of getting into it. Surely you have ambitions to get to the Olympics?
RZ: Yes, definitely I have given it a lot of thought. That’s why I’ve started focusing on the cross country this year. In South Africa our marathon riders are the biggest, it is the biggest field in South Africa.
We are like more inclined to watching marathon races. It is there are more marathon races in South Africa. But I’m trying to get to race overseas and really try and race cross country where there’s big international coverage.
DK: We’ve got two men, no woman going to the Olympics from South Africa sadly. James Reid, Alan Hatherly both going, so there are opportunities there. The point is we need to get guys racing more in Europe.
How 32Gi supports youth development
I wanna move now onto nutrition we are sort of a sports nutrition podcast. I know you are involved with 32Gi how did that come about?
RZ: Well my coach started, started getting a team together in Ballito a while ago. We needed some good, good nutrition for the whole team. We found 32Gi and it’s really clean, clean stuff. It helps you race well and it really suited all of us really well.
Then Russell just decided to, to try and give it a shot. See if we could all get some support. Then we were lucky enough to be helped out and it’s really been going really well with us. With 32Gi nutrition for the last two years we’ve been racing with that. Just haven’t had any problems whatsoever.
DK: Now sort of. look you 18. At 18 people say you can eat whatever you want, but as a sportsman, as someone whose starting to take your sport quite seriously you need to be conscious of what you eating. Have you had help with that at a much younger age?
RZ: I’ve only been, been really focusing on my diet and how I sleep for the last two years. My coach Russell is really, really clued up on all that type of stuff. So I’ve only been really focusing on that for the last year. It is very, very important.
Nutrition is probably the most important extra part of your training. If you don’t get good nutrition you don’t recover you can’t perform at your best. So it is at the moment very important for me to stay well like eat well and focus on that.
How I utilise 32Gi’s products
DK: Well Mark Wolff and I think was last month, we did a recent podcast about sort of around the schools, the Spur series. What people can eat, which is very interesting because the advantage of 32Gi’s products they are very natural.
From a younger age you can start utilising a lot of them. But talking about utilising them what sort of products do you find work for you? Around training and also possibly during racing?
RZ: I use the 32Gi Endure it keeps us going for a little bit longer. Although cross country is shorter it does, it is a little bit better for the longer distances. It is an hour and a half of racing.
Then also the recovery and the 32Gi Gels are also really, really amazing. With the boost during the race just to give you a little bit of extra boost. Then the recovery, just so you can recover really, really quickly and then get back to training and not get sick.
DK: One of the great things about the 32Gi Gels is that sort of snap back technology that they have, which is unique as well. Reinhard have you already learnt some big lessons maybe in a race where you’ve bombed. You know have you learnt some lessons around nutrition and sort of failed nutrition?
RZ: I’ve had to learn quite a lot in the last three years of proper racing. Your nutrition is really, really important. Especially while you racing you can’t change what you, what you race with. Especially like you can’t just have sugar or just two little minerals and things like that.
If you just get it slightly wrong it messes you up for the race. Like as if you haven’t even trained for the event you can just all of a sudden blow. So nutrition is really important and 32Gi has really helped me stabilise what’s always happening blood sugar spikes. All of that it’s really helped a lot in the last two years.
Best advice for youngsters coming up
DK: Now Reinhard the beauty about riding a bike, it is fun when people start riding that’s what it’s about. You must be having fun, but you get to that point and for some people it’s 14 for some people it’s 16, you now sort of 18. When you start taking it seriously.
What big advice would you have for people sort of coming up through high school from that age from sort of 14. What advice would you have for them if they wanted to start taking their cycling or their mountain biking a little bit more seriously?
RZ: The first thing I would say is everyone tries to get their bikes, the first thing they try and do is upgrade their bikes. I would say make sure you get good nutrition first of all.
Then second of all you need to try and find somebody that will coach you and point you in the right direction. Give you a little bit of structure, that really helped me when I was younger.
Just a little bit of structure. Just teaching you what to do when and how hard to train. Don’t overdo it, don’t under train. I would say coaching and nutrition are probably the most important part if you wanna start cycling.
DK: Reinhard one final question; 10 years from now you 28 what do you hope to have achieved?
RZ: I’m hoping to be the World Champion hopefully, but we’ll see. I would like to be racing overseas and definitely be podiuming up in Europe and doing well.
DK: All right you already starting to make a name for yourself in South Africa and hopefully we’ll see that continuing overseas and fantastic rider. Thanks for joining us on 32Gi Sports Nutrition today we’ll be back next week. But from myself David Katz Mr Active; keep fit, keep healthy, and keep eating right.