Kim's Cycling Journey

June 03, 2021

Kim's Cycling Journey

June 3rd is World Bicycle Day!

So I thought it was the perfect time to share my experience with cycling and provide you with some tips in regards to equipment, workouts, nutrition, and supplementation.

Without further ado, let’s jump into how I started cycling...

The Beginning of My Cycling Journey

In my previous blog, titled “Mental Health Awareness with Kim,” I discussed the emotional roller coaster I went through with my most recent ACL surgery. I highlighted the importance of finding what you’re good at and focusing on what you can do, rather than the things you can’t.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually rode a bike, especially outside on the open road. Back in 2018, I got a Peloton bike for Christmas and took full advantage of it! Getting that Peloton bike is actually what kicked off the start of my health and weight loss journey. The classes were fun, the music was great, you all know I was dancing while riding!

At the beginning of 2020, Bobby and I began running together in hopes of completing an Ironman. We all know how that ended for me… Being stuck on the sidelines, watching, cheering, evaluating, and learning throughout the last year obviously has done nothing but motivate me even more to get back to being 100%.

Equipment & Set-Up 

The thing I appreciate most about cycling is its versatility! Depending on your experience level, budget, and goals, you can pick the type of cycling that works best for you. You can also keep it simple and pick up a road bike or be really complex and buy all of the gadgets and accessories that your heart desires. The possibilities are endless!

For my personal set-up, I had Bobby hook me up with the goods since he’s pretty experienced with cycling equipment after a full year of Ironman training. I actually have the same set-up as Bobby, which is a Wahoo indoor trainer.

I bought the cheapest road bike we could find that was available to ship. Unfortunately, being so short, they did not sell a small enough bike in stores for me. So we ended up with a Specialized Allez, 44 centimeters, and a pair of Specialized Torch 1.0 shoes to clip into the pedals.

The coolest part about this setup is that we use the Zwift application on our computers and everything syncs together for your rides! In case you’re unfamiliar, Zwift is an online training platform that’s used by cyclists, runners, and triathletes. Zwift provides you with pre-programed classes or you can simply ride and do your own type of workout.

Zwift will even automatically adjust the gears for you depending on the workout you select or you can turn that feature off and switch gears on your own. However, Bobby highly suggested that I get used to switching the gears on my own since it can be hard to figure out your speed and power without practicing.

Develop A Plan

After my first few rides on Zwift, I was immediately hooked! I knew in my head I needed a plan or a schedule with my rides so I could evenly arrange my therapy days, gym days, and riding days. Typically, when I am given an inch, I end up taking miles, so I needed a plan to ensure I didn’t go overboard.

First things first, I confirmed that it was okay with my physical therapist to begin riding during the week. After getting the green light from my PT, I reached out to Kenny Lehman and Scott Bowes, two well-respected triathlete coaches from Victory Multisport. Kenny was the one that got Bobby interested in triathlon training in the first place, so I felt the most comfortable reaching out to him for some advice.

After filling them in on where I was at with my recovery and therapy, we were able to figure out an appropriate and manageable schedule for me to ease into cycling. We included my therapy days, the days I go to the gym, and then added riding in between there! Victory Multisport uses a program called Training Peaks to assign workouts, track progress, and communicate with you.

Find A Coach and Join A Community

From an outsider’s perspective, triathlon training seems like an individual sport. Initially, I even thought that as I watched Bobby do all of his Ironman training by himself day in and day out. However, I began to realize that this is not an individual sport!

For example, as Bobby was rigorously training for his first Iromman, Kenny and Scott were always there to support him. They weren’t always by his side physically, but Bobby knew they were only a phone call or text away whenever he needed advice, motivation, or encouragement.

Furthermore, there are so many other like-minded people enduring the same challenging tasks from this sport. But it’s up to you to recognize that, take advantage of it, and get to know others in this community.

Being on a team like Victory Multisport is a reminder of just that. Having a coach like Scott or Kenny to assure you that you’re not alone is extremely helpful. They are and will always be with you during training, whether that's physically, mentally, or spiritually!

My Personal Goals for 2022

My goal for 2022 is to complete a half Ironman, also referred to as an Ironman 70.3. A half Ironman consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.

However, I am unsure how my knee is going to hold up. It has been a long road thus far, filled with many ups and downs, as well as accomplishments and disappointments. But what I can tell you is that I will not allow this injury to knock me down or keep me from dreaming big!

I envision these moments in my head constantly nowadays; swimming, biking, and running. Sharing this dream and passion with my husband, as well as being on the sidelines to support him.

As I had mentioned many times, Bobby and I have built such a unique life together and every single day it continues to get better and bigger. Ever since the both of us began this health and fitness journey, our love has grown even stronger.

Sample Workouts

To close out this blog, I'll share a few simple workouts that I started off doing. Most of you may know that I am a sucker for high intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. However, aerobic workouts are necessary and essential for our overall health and well-being!

Currently, my biggest priority is to get back into aerobic shape again. It has been almost ten months with very minimal to no high aerobic training. So re-training my lungs as well as my cardiovascular system is the utmost important, while simultaneously doing what's best for my knee to recover properly.

Again, I am not a professional, I am not a certified trainer, nor a coach in cycling, I am simply sharing with you my personal experience on how I got started! Remember, you can go as simple or as complex with this process. I always recommend starting small and building from there.

Keep in mind that mileage, speed, and power are extremely important and play a large role in Ironman or triathlon training. Most competitions have time restrictions on each event, so accustoming yourself to a specific speed is helpful if that’s your goal!

Here are a few sample workouts that I really enjoy:

Workout 1: Steady State

  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Warm-up: 5 minutes 
  • Working set: 20 minutes at 16-18 miles per hour (pick a power that’s challenging but that you can maintain for 20 minutes)
  • Cool down: 5 minutes
  • Tracking: write down your mileage so you can build upon that in the future
  • Progression: slowly increase your time each week, next time do a 45 minutes ride, then to a 60 minute ride, etc.

Workout 2: HIIT Session

  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes
  • Working sets: 30 seconds of work, followed by 90 seconds of rest
    • Directions: this is referred to as a 1:3 HIIT workout and it consists of 30 seconds of work, followed by 90 seconds of rest.
    • The 30 seconds of work should be all out, which means your lungs and legs will be burning!
    • For the 90 seconds of rest, back down the power and spin out your legs so they can recover before the next working set.
    • It’s important to note that this is a high-intensity anaerobic style workout, so start off easier if you’ve never done this before
  • Cool down: 10 minutes
  • Progression: you can slowly build on this HIIT style and transition into different work:rest ratios such as:
    • 1:2 - 30 seconds of work, followed by 60 seconds of rest
    • 1:1 - 30 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds of rest
    • 2:1 - 30 seconds of work, followed by 15 seconds of rest
    • 3:1 - 30 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest

Proper Fueling

Regardless of your goal, we could all perform and recover better if we fuel our bodies properly before, during, and after training.

Here are some of the supplements that Bobby and I use to fuel our training and recover in between training sessions:

The Grind is a combination of essential amino acids (EAAs), branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and a hydration/recovery blend. One serving of The Grind is ~16 grams and it provides you with 2.5 grams of EAAs and 5 grams of BCAAs, along with a generous dose of electrolytes, glutamine, betaine, coconut water powder, and ornithine.

Personally, I like to hydrate myself sufficiently with plain water an hour before training. Then I will mix a half a scoop of The Grind with 8-10 ounces of water and consume that during training. Then, I will mix another half scoop of The Grind with 8-10 ounces of water and consume that after training. Since The Grind is caffeine-free, you can take it any time of the day!

Glutamine is another supplement I routinely take post workout and before bed. Glutamine is essential for our immune function, gut health, and boosts recovery. Therefore, it improves our overall health and performance.

One of my favorite post-workout meals is Farm Fed from Axe and Sledge. This is a 100% grass-fed whey protein isolate that uses a patented digestive enzyme blend to improve and nutrient absorption.

Getting in a high-quality protein source within 20-30 minutes after training is essential for facilitating recovery. Farm Fed is great for shakes, smoothies, and baking, so get creative with it. If you would rather prefer a vegan protein powder, I highly recommend VEGAMN from American Made Nutrition.

Final Thoughts

Cycling has helped me both physically and mentally throughout my ACL rehab. I really enjoy how you can be as competitive with it or you can have as much fun as you wish! 

Regardless of your goals, I believe that aerobic and anaerobic training should be incorporated into your weekly routine for your overall health! If you decide to get into cycling and need some advice, feel free to reach out to me Instagram @kimdautrich.

You may not be an expert cyclist right off the bat, but with enough effort, discipline, and work, you can dramatically improve. And remember to have fun and enjoy the process!