Talking With Dimitri Littig - Consistent Motion, Big Goals, and Nutrition
This week we're so excited to talk with NOM Athlete Dimitri Littig, an accomplished skier and cyclist, about his experience moving through the outdoors, how to achieve big goals, and his key recommendations for nutrition and recovery.
- Hey Dimitri, thanks for taking some time to chat! For those who don't know you yet, I'd describe you as a dedicated multi-discipline outdoor athlete with a true passion for movement and challenge. You've pursued and completed big goals, but more importantly than that, your relationship with the outdoors feels like a deeply ingrained lifestyle. How would you describe yourself and your history outdoors?
I am an avid 4 season athlete who is constantly in motion. I grew up in Salt Lake City so the Wasatch mountains have always been my playground. My family always put a focus on doing rad stuff, from white water rafting, canyoneering and general camping to exploring the desert and mountains of the west. I love all sports but excel the most in skiing, be it on a skin track, waist deep in pow or ripping laps through the terrain park. I love to do it all. Spring through Fall you’ll catch me outside on the trails with my dog summiting peaks, up a canyon ripping a road bike, in the forest or desert on my mountain bike and on those lonely roads in the middle of nowhere on a gravel bike. I find being active and outdoors is where I find the most spiritual experiences in life. My parents always told us growing up that GOD was an acronym for the “Great Out Doors”.
- One thing that immediately stands out about you is that you're always moving. In the winter you're dropping big lines on your skis, and in the warmer months you're putting serious miles in on the bike. How do you think about longevity and consistency when it comes to your training and goals?
Always being in motion I find that I have been able to really listen to my body. I try to maintain consistent movement into my lifestyle. A couple years ago I set a consistency goal of tracking 1 mile each day on my watch. I set this bar because even in the worst weather I can always get it done. So keeping myself in motion is just like the First Law of Motion by Sir Issac Newton “an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force”. I find that for big goals I just have to maintain my fitness and whenever the time comes I try to always stay ready.
- Last year, you accomplished a massive goal, hitting 1 million feet of vertical gain over the course of a year. Just saying 'a million feet', it seems incredibly hard to fathom. When you're pursuing such a huge goal like this, how do you break it down to make it mentally and physically manageable?
My big goal in 2022 was to do 1 million human powered feet of ascending. It was a lofty goal I’ve wanted for years and I finally went for it. The total number was very daunting so I just broke it down to how much I needed to do daily. I then would know that number and try to go over a little bit most days to provide cushion and make it possible to hit my goal before the end of the year. Nutrition, sleep, stretching and recovery to compliment my daily activity was a must. I knew that at all times I needed to try and be in a surplus. It was not easy to maintain the calorie intake for such a massive feat so creating high caloric staples in my diet was a must. A lot of homemade granola, constant water intake and NOM Nutrition during activities were my 3 main pillars. Making sure I would set myself up for a good nights rest was crucial to be ready for the next day. I have a stretching routine I literally could not function day after day without to make sure my body was flexible and fluid for big days. The recovery for this main big goal was to use my percussion gun from toes to hips daily to flush my legs in towards my heart to get the toxins out and let recovery be optimal. Mentally I just kept thinking of my goals that day and not focusing too much on the big goal as long as I was making progress.
- Some people get completely fixated on hitting specific numbers, whether it's a PR time, a new race distance, or something personal like your vertical gain goal. However, at least in my experience, sometimes you put so much time and effort into reaching a goal that once you achieve it, it's hard to figure out where to go next. How would you describe your relationship with goal-setting?
Mentally for big goals I like to have some structure around the goal and a breakdown of the numbers to digestible amounts. Then I focus on doing what I can daily to move towards the goal but also not getting bothered if something comes up and it’s hard to make it happen that day. Flexible numbers were big for me, I would often go a lil extra most days to add padding for a future day when I might only hit part of the number goal.
- To sustain all your weekly miles and hours outdoors, I imagine you have your nutrition pretty dialed in at this point. What does your eating and drinking look like, both while you're out training and during your meals at home?
For fueling I use NOM BEFORE every activity and DURING in my bottle on every ride and bring some packets for when I’m out. I try to eat pretty clean and healthy most the time but also am realistic and don’t get bothered when the choice I want isn’t what is presented, I just roll with it and know that it’s ok to enjoy treats and consume whatever is available even if it’s not the healthiest option.
- Thanks for all the great advice Dimitri, there's a lot of solid ideas to go off of here. Can't wait to see what big things you get up to next! Check him out on Instagram @slcski