In today’s athlete profile we sit down with Data Driven Athlete Kurt Schmal to discuss rainbow paint schemes, brown rice, and hot yoga.
10 Questions with Data Driven Athlete Kurt Schmal
Q- How long have you been riding, and how were you introduced to cycling?
- A- I started riding when I was 32 and have been riding off and on (mostly off) for 20 years. I’ve ridden pretty regularly for the past 3 years. I was introduced to cycling by my girlfriend at the time (wife now) and my first bike was a used 1991 Lemond Tourmalet with Campy Veloce. It had the rainbow paint scheme and it was the bomb.
Q- What is your best memory on your bike?
- A- Reaching the summit of Monitor Pass on my first Death Ride right at dawn.
Q- How has training with a coach changed cycling for you?
- A- In two ways. I’m more relaxed and more confident. I’m relaxed because I no longer worry if I’m riding too much or too little. Which was always a big question for me and ultimately why I got a coach. Second, I’m more confident in the elements that make up individual workouts. When I have questions or concerns regarding individual workouts Matt provides a well thought out, and as detailed, response as I want so that I can understand why he is prescribing a particular workout.
Q- You have a 3 hour hall pass to ride, where do you go?
- A- Anywhere there are more hills and less traffic.
Q- What is your favorite workout and why?
- A- My longer weekend rides where I’m left to pick up 4 fifteen minute efforts at threshold. This workout gives me a chance to ride tempo with teammates or friends and hit the climbs as hard as I can. Riding/racing with my teammates for three or four hours and then getting lunch is the best part of the sport.
Q- What have you focused on “off the bike” this year that has made a difference in your performance?
- A- I did a lot of hot yoga before I started riding again so coming back to the sport after working on my flexibility, strength and balance has been a huge benefit. Yoga and cycling are two very different sports that complement one another.
Q- What is your favorite breakfast on a day with a big ride?
- A- Like a lot of folks I struggle to eat enough the morning of longer training rides. I will start with a bowl of oatmeal (or brown rice) with raisins, brown sugar, bananas and an Almond milk protein smoothie. That typically isn’t enough to get through the whole ride so I will eat regularly after the first hour.
Q- If you had to choose one of the following to be without on a long ride – which would it be?
A) Garmin – I’ve bonked on enough Sac Wheelmen rides to know.
Q- What was your biggest accomplishment this season?
- A- Winning my first road race at Cantua Creek (45+ Cat 4). Honestly, nobody could have been more surprised than I was. It was an incredible rush followed by lots of congrats from teammates and friends. Getting kudos from people in the sport was not something I had experienced before but was incredibly gratifying.
Q- If you could sum up your experience with your coach in 5 words, what would they be?
- A- Suffer, suffer, rest, suffer, repeat.
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Data Driven Athlete