Athlete Profile: Kyle Beikirch balances demanding job with cycling goals
Meet Kyle Beikirch. Like many Achieve athletes and Bay Area locals, Kyle works in the demanding tech industry balancing a busy schedule of work, cycling and social commitments. For work, he leads a team of web developers on the Audi account for the digital advertising firm AKQA, typically working 45+ hours per week.
In addition to working a demanding job, Kyle also has important goals outside of the workplace. He’s passionate about cycling and bike racing and decided to pursue those fitness and racing goals further when he joined AchievePTC in October 2015. He’s had great success and improvement so far, now racing as a Cat 3 road racer.
We sat down with Kyle to ask, how do you do it? What are the keys to balancing a demanding, busy career with pursuing cycling and fitness goals?
Take a look!
How long have you been riding and racing?
I first got into riding road bikes about five years ago. I have been racing for the past three years. Currently racing Cat 3 for Dolce Vita Freewheel p/b SL2.
How many hours a week do you ride/train?
Right now I’m training around 12 hours a week.
How many hours a week do you work?
I currently work around 45 hours a week. Usually working 9am-6pm. Often just eating lunch at my desk while I work.
What challenges have you come up against having a demanding career?
As I have gotten more serious with my cycling training, I have begun sleeping more to aid in recovery. That requires me going to bed earlier which means I can’t always stay out late at social events. Luckily for me, I was already kind of a homebody, so it wasn’t a huge adjustment, but still tough nonetheless. However, once you see the results in your training, it really makes it worth it. Also balancing out weekend training/racing with weekend trips. You need to balance out what weekends you devote to training and what weekends you go away and take a trip. It all takes careful planning and working with your coach who can work with your schedule.
What do you love about riding and racing your bike?
I love pushing myself and seeing myself get stronger and faster. Just like in work, setting goals for yourself helps you grow and become a better worker/rider.
What adjustments have you had to make to accommodate your cycling & racing goals into your busy life?
Mostly sleep schedule. Instead of going to bed past midnight and waking up at 8 to go to work, I’m now in bed by ten and waking up around 5 to go train. I also do less social rides with SFCC and Fat Cake Club than before. I try to balance it out by either rolling out with them from the bridge and then going my own way after a few miles to do my intervals or meeting up with them after their ride for coffee and pastries.
“The main thing I’ve learned is that recovery is just as important as actual training.”
How do you and your coach manage your passion for cycling and your limited time?
We try to plan the training schedule a few weeks in advance to work around known trips/ social or work events. Obviously, life happens and things come up on short notice, but Coach Ryan is great with being flexible. When something comes up, whether it be having a really late night at work where I won’t be able to get much sleep before training the next day, having an early morning work call so I need to reduce training time, or it could be I am starting to feel sick, I can just shoot him a text and we can make changes to the training plan on the fly.
We view cycling is a learning process, what is one of the most important things you’ve learned while being an Achieve athlete?
The main thing I’ve learned is that recovery is just as important as actual training. Getting proper sleep, nutrition, and stretching all help you become stronger. Another thing through Achieve is how mental health can also affect performance. Whether that is motivation to keep training after some hard training days or how stress from work can affect recovery and performance.
There are a lot of Bay Area folks who work in the tech industry or have demanding careers and are also passionate about cycling. What would you tell someone in tech who wants to pursue cycling but figures it’s not possible with a busy schedule?
It’s all about balance with your work, social life, and training. With work, you might not have too much control on how much time it consumes, but you can control the other two. How important is doing social events versus your training. If you get really busy at work, you might have to reduce one of them depending on your priorities. If you have a big cycling event coming up, maybe you reduce your social time. If you don’t, you can be a little more flexible with your social time.
Having a coach also makes it easier since they plan your training schedule for you so that is one less thing you have to think about. Als,o I find that cycling greatly help reduces stress from work. If it weren’t for the cycling, I might lose my mind at work. I really think if you are passionate about cycling you can make it work.
What are you looking forward to in 2017?
I’m really looking forward to becoming a better rider and getting some results as a Cat 3 racer.
Downtime: Kyle and his partner Sarah enjoying a night out.