MBK Pro-Tip: Maintaining Bike Fitness During Pregnancy

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Effective. Efficient. Safe. Controlled. Together these elements create the ideal dream of quality cycling! CycleOps indoor cycling trainers have been an instrumental part of my cycling repertoire since the very beginning of my triathlon career. They continue to be a VITAL training tool that allows me to be productive, competent and decisive in the longest, most relentless component in the sport of triathlon.

What has been an awesome addition the past 9 months as a pregnant triathlete, aside from the growing human in my belly of course, is the addition of their newest bike trainer, the Hammer, a direct drive smart trainer. It is such a valuable luxury!

Aside from, understandably, needing to lower the power to accommodate BBK (Baby Boy Kessler) who has been running the show as of late, cycling on the Hammer continued on as a key part of the regular routine.

Meredith getting some indoor miles on the Hammer
MBK and BBK getting some indoor miles on the Hammer.

It is no secret that pregnant or not, I do 80% of my cycling training indoors (100% while pregnant!), and I do not see this changing once BBK comes into the world!What a different a year makes, too.

Last year at this time, I had just finished Kona where I walked most of the marathon due to an unrelenting hamstring injury that had been plaguing the 2016 season after our IRONMAN New Zealand victory earlier in the year. I spent the next 6 weeks after Kona meticulously trying to continue to fix the hamstring once and for all. This included a new bike fit, MAT (muscle activation technique) treatments and 100% indoor cycling training on my CycleOps before toeing the line at IRONMAN Arizona to try for a three-peat at a race that I have yet to miss since it's genesis. Thus, a very important race to us personally.

At IRONMAN Arizona, we were fortunate to deliver a 4:44 bike split averaging 225 watts – along with a three-peat victory that will be remembered and cherished forever especially given the circumstances. With the injury at hand, there was such an unknown going into that particular race. I genuinely chalk up this hamstring ‘healing' if you will, as a result of being more controlled and stable on my Hammer trainer that 6 weeks leading into the race.

Currently, my pregnant self sure doesn't do more than 225 watts, even for a couple minutes at a time during a 90-120 minute session (let alone for 4:44!) - yet I have no doubt, post BBK, that the Hammer will help whip me right back into that cycling shape that we all strive to have in our triathlon lives!

Here are three (of many) reasons why I have so much trust and belief in the Hammer smart bike trainer as a marquee part of my cycling agenda:

Hard at work on the Hammer smart trainer
Hard at work on the Hammer smart trainer.

1. Power Based Effectiveness and Versatility

Whether doing a low-key recovery ride or an intense interval session, the Hammer's accurate power readings keep me in the zone appropriate for that day's training session. Plus, the direct drive set up and rapid response system replicate any outdoor ride from simple group rides to rolling hills to ‘getting comfortable being uncomfortable' 20% hill grades.

What makes it even better is that all of this amazingness is done with a smooth, road-like-feel thanks to the heavy 20 lb. precision-balanced flywheel that replicates real world cycling better than anything I have ever experienced.

Simply put, for me, this translates to the outdoor open roads, which parlays into effective IRONMAN racing.

Meredith's training space awaiting BBK's arrival
Meredith's training space awaiting BBK's arrival.

2. Controlled Efficiency and Stamina

Being in a dynamic indoor cycling setting that is controlled makes the time spent in motion that much more efficient and productive. The Hammer smart trainer takes this to a new level of fluidity and smoothness.

There is no RIFF RAFF. No stopping. Zero distraction. Constant pedaling. When you are on - you are ON. Even at your warm up watts, you are being more economical in the cycling department. Then, when you are at those necessary threshold watts where the magic happens, THIS is where stamina and fortitude soars and cycling fitness is gained with gusto.

I know that I will relish in this ultimate efficiency too once BBK is in the house and his needs come before those extra unnecessary and redundant miles that aren't always a value add for performance in the end.

"Cycling on the Hammer continued on as a key part of the routine." – Meredith Kessler



3. Coveted Safety and Innovation

The Hammer is as innovative as it gets. All I need to do is quickly take off my rear wheel, connect to my virtual software of choice and prepare to Hammer away with zest!

And for a growing family like ours, the Hammer's quiet performance is genius! BBK's spot next to the HAMMER is ready and waiting for him - and I'm already certain that it's noiselessness will be celebrated and keep BBK at peace so mom can knock out her cycling session with ease.

The Hammer organically too delivers pure SAFETY. This is one of MANY reasons why indoor cycling training is so rewarding and satisfying. The HAMMER just makes it that much more so with all of its unique, original and authentic technology that we all look forward to as athletes on our cycling training journey.


Meredith Kessler

About Meredith Kessler
Meredith grew up in Columbus, Ohio where she was a four-sport athlete and was inducted into her high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. After entering a full Ironman in 2000, she caught the spirit of Ironman competition and hasn’t looked back. Since that first Ironman, Meredith has competed in over 60 full Ironman races all over the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Meredith takes pride in being the best wife - to high school sweetheart Aaron Kessler, daughter, sister, friend, aunt and mentor that she can possibly be every day. Her family and friends are paramount and their support helps fuel her energies to compete at such an elite level.

Meredith has always enjoyed helping others which is why she and her husband developed the Life of a Triathlete, manuals and resources. The objective is to help individuals reach their athletic goals faster than they would on their own, in the sport of triathlon. You can keep up with MBK on Instagram, Twitter and over at her website.