Benefits of Record Keeping

Guest Blog Author: Sarah Vargas, Team TWENTY24 Junior Development Team, Age 11

It is always good to know when you have bad and good days. After my rides, I used to write down my experience of the ride in my journal. Doing this, I would know the reasons on days that I didn’t perform as well as others. Keeping my data managed in TrainingPeaks is helping me improve my progress on and off the bike. 

TrainingPeaks has allowed me to share my metrics and my comments with my coach. When I finish my rides, I like to keep track of how I was feeling and how I performed. Keeping track of my data from ride to ride can tell me what I might do or have done differently to improve the result of the ride. Certain foods or amount of training prior to the activity can affect my fatigue on the ride. Keeping track of how I feel doesn’t seem like a big deal, but in the long run it can have a major impact. I schedule my events in the TrainingPeaks calendar so my coach can see what I am...

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Reaping the rewards of indoor bike training

Every Tuesday morning at 7:10 a.m. I head into my "gain cave" in the garage wondering what Coach Kristin Armstrong has in store for all of us who join the KX3 Weekly Freestyle Group Ride on Zwift. I know one thing. I'll feel the somehow-wonderfully enjoyable suffering during the structured group workout, and then I'll transform into a superhero when I climb off my bike 60 minutes later. 

I've engaged in training with a coach in the past, and I am definitely one who thrives on structure when it comes to exercise. I appreciate the tangibles—working with the data to see my improvement, know when I can push harder, or understand when I need to back off and rest. I've always loved a bit of competition—sometimes amongst others yet even more so with myself—just seeing how I can realize my greatest strength and potential.

But like with anything, my energy and commitment can ebb and flow. Just like some days you eat every fruit, veggie, and lean protein...

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It all starts with what's on your fork!

 

"It all starts with what's on your fork!"

This is how Karen Malkin, National Board-certified Health & Wellness Coach and founder of Karen Malkin Health Counseling, opened our first KX3 AM Coffee Chat this morning. We were ready to take in every bit of healthy inspiration we could in our 45 minutes with Karen, and boy did she deliver a plethora of goodness and insightful guidance in response to everyone's questions. Also a Certified Eating Psychology Coach and Teacher, and a Certified Brain Health Coach (among her many other credentials), Karen emphasized the importance of establishing a healthy relationship with food, and then elaborated on the importance of phytonutrients, seasonal produce, and so much more.

I've wrapped up some of the key takeaways below, and included a few links to resources recommended by Karen. I encourage you to watch the video if you can—there are tasty little nuggets (pun intended)...

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When character crosses from sport into life

This past week, Kristin Armstrong (aka Coach K) shared a glimpse into one important thing. One that helped pave her way to who she is today—and it wasn't the number of hours she spent on the bike.

"Your CHARACTER is your FOUNDATION," was just one key takeaway from the first monthly Live Group Coaching Session with Kristin. She shared one of her 'character defining moments,' and challenged us all to think about ours. This has been at the forefront of my mind for the past few days, especially yesterday. 

I think a brief backstory will help set the stage as to why. Two years ago shortly after I turned 50, I moved to Hailey, Idaho to marry my husband and jump into my new role as a stepmom to two teenage boys. I made a decision to try a different path in my work, one that gave me the time and the headspace to find my way in my new life, in a new place, with a new family. But over these past two years, I've come to realize that...

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(At least) four benefits of structured training for cyclists at any level

Depending on what your current relationship is with your bike, or with the sport of cycling, you may follow some kind of structured training plan, or... you may think it's for the birds. Well, maybe not for the birds, but maybe only for those who race their bikes, for example.

As a 51, soon to be 52-year-old woman who works full-time (and then some), and has a husband and two teenage stepsons to spend time with and take care of, time is of the essence when it comes to taking care of myself. The benefits I've realized through using a structured plan over the years have been invaluable, because each supports a different aspect of my day-to-day life, and I've turned to this type of structure for different reasons at different times. 

Here's why it's my jam:

  1. I Don't Have to Think About What To Do: That's right! Just think about all the things you have to put some sense of order to each day. With a purposeful, efficient training plan, I look at my schedule...
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Homemade electrolytes to up your daily hydration game

Several years ago I was introduced to the "morning margarita," and I haven't looked back! It's easy peasy, and may soon become your best friend to jumpstart your hydration.

32 oz cold water + juice of 1/2 lime + 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt*

I usually make it a point to drink mine on the way to work, or before I dive into my coffee for the day. Using a 32 oz Nalgene bottle or similar makes it quick and easy to fill, squeeze, measure, shake and go! I've found that it promotes further hydration throughout the day, I know it's providing me with key electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, along with vitamins A, B, C and D. Oh, and antioxidants.

And did I mention it's refreshingly tasty? So tasty in fact, that I sometimes put it in my water bottles for shorter rides when I don't want the sugar, and the electrolytes serve their purpose in helping keep me hydrated. It's a win-win! 

Note: the first few times you drink this, you may taste the salt a...

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Keeping it real along the 100-mile White Rim Trail

As for just about everyone, it had gotten to the point where I put plans on our calendar in pencil versus pen. 2020 was dealing all the wrong cards, until a small yet mighty posse of friends and family partnered up with Mother Nature and we were dealt the perfect hand.

The full harvest moon rose over the La Sal Mountains as we sat perched over the notorious Shafer Trail, so precariously carved into the cliffs of Canyonlands. The next morning we would roll out and down, down, down — seven tight switchbacks descending roughly 1,500 feet over five or so miles to greet the White Rim Trail. Seventy-two of the 100-ish miles ahead of us in the next two days would follow the aptly named sandstone trail looping around and below the Island in the Sky mesa.

Morning greeted us with the glory of a desert sunrise, strong coffee in my camp mug, and the anticipation of what the day would hold. We knew how far we would pedal, yet not how long it would take us. We knew we...

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The easiest, most versatile, most yummiest kale salad

Isn't it the best when you land on a recipe that becomes an easy part of a weekly routine, yet never seems to get old? When it comes to healthy greens packed with vitamins AND flavor, this kale salad delivers on all fronts. And it's even a hit with the two teenage boys in the house! I think it's the subtle play between the red pepper flakes and the dried currants - that slightly hot and slightly sweet - oh, yes please.

Personally, I make as much of this salad as I can because it "holds up" well and then I can pack it for lunches during the week. It becomes a great foundation for other meals.

All you need are the following ingredients:

  • Kale (the curly green kind) - I make 2 bunches minimum
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice (1 whole lemon)
  • Flaky sea salt (I use Maldon because I love the consistency and texture)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Dried currents (the little Zante ones are the best I've found)
  • Optional: Shaved parmesan 
  • Optional: Toasted pine nuts or...
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Friendship and the significance of connection

There are those friends you can count on one hand in your lifetime, who you can talk to about anything, laugh with, cry with, dream, hope, and brainstorm with, commiserate with, turn to and trust with every ounce of your being. Those who, in a heartbeat, you would jump in your car, load up the podcasts, and drive 330 miles nonstop to spend a weekend with.

And there is the one friend you’ve known since your late teens, since the days of college apartment living in Boulder, eating cookie dough out of a plastic tub, scraping by with baked potatoes for dinner or sneaking through the soup-and-salad joint to score a 2-for-1, wearing socks (they may have been red) with Duegi sandals to the bar on The Hill because we thrived on laughing at ourselves and each other, late-night slalom-style Rollerblading down the winding levels of the campus parking garage, seeing how many grapes we could fit in our mouth for those selfies taken with a 35mm film camera, loading up our books in...

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Welcome to KX3 Lifestyle + Coaching

 

“This idea is more than 10 years in the making, and I’ve finally teamed up with two women I trust implicitly, to bring our collective passion, knowledge, and experience in the world of cycling to women of all ages and abilities through our new group coaching platform,” said Kristin Armstrong, co-founder of KX3 Lifestyle + Coaching. “Cycling has brought so much to our lives personally and professionally, and through KX3 we’ll deliver more than just training plans—we’re looking to grow a trusted community created by women for women, where we can turn for connection, ideas, helpful and educational content, and opportunities to serve as mentors—and mentees.”

Whether you’re just getting started and need guidance for indoor or outdoor cycling, or you’re looking to take your cycling to the next level as a junior athlete, recreational cyclist, stay at home mom, time-strapped executive, or otherwise, KX3 provides a blueprint...

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