ICA and xXx Racing Summer Practice Series
In the city of Chicago
Full Details here:
2x20: The 2nd of the month, 20 questions with a coach
This is a re-imagining of the ICA’s former ‘Coaches Corner’ column, but the ICA is more creative than calling it that! Why 2x20? Well, if you work with a coach there is a strong likelihood of getting a 2x20 (two by twenty) workout, which are 20 minute intervals (or, the best way to make 20 minutes feel like an hour and a half) done twice in a row.
We are starting this journey with Kristen Meshberg, a USAC-licensed coach and Cat 1 bike racer from Lyons, IL who is a mother of two future pros and married to cyclocross LEGEND Jason Meshberg. Rumor has it that Meshberg (Kristen, not Jason) used to breastfeed her son between races at the Northbrook Velodrome. That is what we call dedication to sport.
Meshberg also leads groups of cyclists through the winter training dulls with her PWP series. PWP, or Pedalling with a Purpose, is a series of indoor group training ride that leads attendees through a structured training program with the same group of folks all winter long. This year, she had groups in Chicago at Mox Multisport and in Oakbrook at The Oakbrook Raquet and Fitness Club.
Now, here we go with our first round of 2x20!
1. What are your own racing category(ies)?
Kristen Meshberg: Road Cat 1, Track Cat 2.
2. How long have you been racing?
KM: Since 2000.
KM: Since 2005.
4. What are your favorite disciplines to race?
5. To coach?
KM: I like coaching Road, Track and Cyclocross, and even though I don't coach any triathletes on an individual basis, I have quite a few highly motivated triathletes that take PWP.
6. Why and how did you start racing?
KM: I started racing because my husband got into it and kept trying to get me to go watch him. I never wanted to because I would always rather go for a ride than get in the car and drive somewhere. But he convinced me to try a race so I could hang out and watch him, and I got hooked immediately. Now he's sorry.
7. What about coaching?
KM: Coaching started with my indoor winter training program "Pedaling with a Purpose". A friend of mine told me to do it because she wanted a place to ride in the winter that was geared toward racing but she didn't want to be in charge of it, and she thought I should do it. The first year we had 4 people, and one of them was my husband. Now we have two locations, and lots and lots of people! Through PWP I kept getting approached for individual coaching. I resisted it at first but started taking individual clients in 2007, and now I really enjoy it.
8. What is your approach to coaching? The Sargent Hartman from Full Metal Jacket, or Glenda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz?
KM: I'm kind of neither. I try to help people set appropriate goals, and then provide the plan and tools to help accomplish those goals. Most of the people I work with are very motivated and hard working, they just need help figuring out first of all what to do training wise, and secondly how to fit it in with all of the other stuff they have going on in their lives.
9. What is your ideal client/athlete like?
KM: My ideal client is anyone that is motivated to improve.
10. When and why should someone choose coaching?
KM: I am a big believer in having a coach. I think coaching can help everyone! If you have never ridden a bike before, I would suggest just going out and riding it for a year. After you have done that and gotten some miles under your belt and you want to make improvements, coaching can help with that.
11. What is your favorite workout to do?
KM: I am an absolute freak about winter base training!
12. Work out to give?
KM: Most people are opposite of me and love to do the intensity stuff. Those workouts are really fun to give.
13. What levels of service do you offer your clients?
KM: I offer two. During the winter I offer Pedaling with a Purpose. PWP runs from December - March and I provide two workouts per week. Folks bring their bikes and trainers; I provide periodized workouts and we watch cycling footage and listen to music. I have two locations, one in the city and one in the 'burbs. The other level of service I provide is individual coaching on a monthly basis. I provide a monthly plan and communicate via email as much as needed.
14. Is it hard to let clients go?
KM: No not really. Usually it's a mutual decision for any number of reasons. Sometimes it's because the client has learned enough and is ready to self coach, sometimes it's financial - when money is tight coaching is often the first thing to go, or sometimes it's just simply not a good fit.
15. Do you have a coach?
16. What is that relationship like?
KM: I love my coach. She has taught me so much over the years and I credit her for providing the guidance and solid advice that got me from having gained 90 pounds after having kids and having zero fitness to a Cat 1. Even though I am a coach and everything seems really obvious and easy to figure out when it's someone else, I know I would over-analyze and spend way too much time thinking about it if I tried to coach myself.
17. Should people contact you if they now want you to be their coach? (i.e. are you taking new clients)
18. What’s next for your racing career?
KM: I'm really excited for this season. I want to get to as many national level crits as I can, as well as focus on the track a bit more. Last year I was the pilot on a tandem track bike for a visually impaired rider on the velodrome. I'm hoping to continue working with her and hopefully take that further.
19. What has been your favorite experience as a racer?
KM: Nothing really beats winning races :) But also the friends I have made in this sport. Whether it's racers from all over the country or the wonderful and interesting host people that have opened up their homes to me, I've met so many cool people that I would never know otherwise.
20. As a coach?
KM: Seeing people improve and accomplish their goals.
ICA and xXx Racing Summer Practice Series
Thursday night race series that runs throughout the summer at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook
Friday Night Beginners/Cat 5 Racing night at the Track
Wonder Lake Criterium
Junior Track Championships