Riding with a champion

Thursday, March 15, 2018. Author Martin Cheifetz

Kate Fluker, NZ MTB Champion

Several months ago, FitnessGenes tested Kate Fluker, New Zealand's #1 ranked woman in cross-country mountain biking and provided personalized, genetically tailored nutrition and training advice to assist her race preparations.  We caught up with Kate this week after her latest victory; her 7th straight win at the iconic Motatapu event in the Southern Alps.

Can you please give us a little bit of insight into how you first got involved in mountain bike racing, and your achievements to date?

Kate: I found my love for health and fitness and mountain biking almost by accident. It was the end of 2009 when my partner Reon, one of New Zealand's top Downhill Mountain Bikers and I moved to Queenstown for the winter months. After falling in love with the town we decided to stay and very quickly noticed as the skis and snowboards were put away, the bikes came out. I really hadn't ridden much since biking to school as a kid, and thinking it was a bit of a fad, Reon bought me a $400 bike as a way of keeping fit and meeting people in Queenstown. After setting a goal and training for the famous Motatapu Race in 2010, I quickly realized I had some hidden talent when I finished second after only a few months of riding! From here I was hooked. My racing accomplishments include:

  • New Zealand XC Champion in 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Represented New Zealand at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and New Zealand Team World Championships in Norway and Andorra 2014 and 2015.
  • Selected for New Zealand Olympic team in Rio 2016 (forced to withdraw due to injury)
  • Motatapu Record Holder and 7x winner
  • The Pioneer (7-day) mixed team winners and 5th GC (Overall) 2016 and 2017

What does an average training day look like?

Kate: In full training, I go to the gym in the morning from 6 – 7am, home for breakfast before heading off to work as a property valuer with an evening training session between 1.5 – 2.5 hours. I train five to six days per week, with various types of sessions (intervals, hills, sprints, tempo rides, etc.). The weekends when I am not working are for longer rides of 2.5 to 5 hrs both days, depending on the phase of training. Monday and Friday are usually rest days with 1 or 2 intensity sessions no longer than 1 – 2 hours with the balance being recovery type rides. 

What is your typical day from a food perspective?

Breakfast – Porridge: ½ cup wholegrain rolled oats, tablespoon chia seeds with a scoop of protein powder, a dash of almond milk and a teaspoon of peanut butter.
Morning snack – plum and a hard-boiled egg or 5 raw almonds
Lunch – Baby spinach salad with a tin of tuna in spring water, cherry tomatoes, olives, avocado with lemon juice as dressing.
Afternoon snack – ½ apple with about a tablespoon of cottage cheese, sprinkled with cinnamon.
Dinner – Fried salmon fillet with a bit of coconut oil, steamed veggies and roast kumara (sweet potatoes).
I drink maybe four coffees a week and a lot of tea!

What did you learn from your FitnessGenes personalized nutrition and training recommendations?

Kate: Everybody has their opinion on training and diets and what they think you should be doing and after a while, the sheer volume of information and conflicting advice becomes overwhelming and I began to doubt whether I was doing the right things. When you put this much time into your sport (or lifestyle activities), it is important to trust the process and to feel comfortable that you are doing what is best for you. 

Fitness Genes allowed me to learn conclusively about my body and how it reacted to different types of training. It solidified aspects I learned through experience and confirming these details increased confidence in my process. I was able to fine tune my nutrition plan to reach my goals for both everyday life and sport. 

What results have you experienced using the FitnessGenes system so far?

Kate: Having a tailored plan specific for my body, I fine-tuned my gym routine to ensure quality sessions, and the nutrition plan has allowed me to eat a much more balanced diet of whole foods without unnecessary restrictions.  I learned through the DNA testing I was not intolerant to certain foods other coaches/trainers suggested I avoid.  Through this combination of genetically tailored training and nutrition, I have reduced my body fat % considerably. 

Follow Kate Fluker, NZ #1 Female XC MTB Racer 2014-2016

Facebook – Kate Fluker Mountain Bike Racing
Instagram - @kateflukermtb

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