Vox Performance Project blog: Yannika Propach

supersapiens banner february 2022

How to get this thing started? Perhaps I should introduce myself. I am a part time teacher and live in the south of Germany (so please excuse if I use some words wrong or at least typical German).  I am a mother of three kids. Oh, and an endurance junkie, who is always riding a bike.

A good friend of mine is very keen on numbers and stats. When we compared our cycling kilometers from the last few years it became obvious: my second pregnancy was the hardest. I could hardly ride, whilst my husband fulfilled his dream of riding the 300km loop at our local Granfondo AlbExtrem.

So when I got pregnant again last year I was happy as happy can be, that I didn’t have any problems at all. My family bought me a smart trainer and I tried to keep moving. In the end I rode 3500km in virtual worlds – including one 90km ride for the virtual AlbExtrem. 

 

 

After giving birth I was full of motivation for the summer. Three years ago, after giving birth to my second child, I missed the quickest time for females at the AlbExtrem (which has about 3,000m of altitude on the 200km slope) by around four minutes. This time I wanted to smash it and become the fastest woman.

So having motivation was not problem – however I also started working again after six weeks. I quickly learnt that having three children is 100% more stressful than having two children. Of course I could have switched to another sport, which is not as time-consuming… But I am a very poor runner and to me sport has to be more than half an hour of effort to count. The only way to combine family life, work and training is to use every minute properly.


After a training camp in spring it became clear: despite training with kids, I actually had managed to get in a good shape. Putting this feeling to  test , I started my only Granfondo this year. Using the slipstream of two ex-students the first 100km flew by and the clock stopped after 200km at 7hours. One hour faster than the next woman (which also was about one hour faster than the next one).

At this point my husband mentioned that I should try to reach out for more. His idea was getting me to the UCI Granfondo World Championship one day. I really liked this idea, but as every mother knows: having one Kid in Primary School, one in the kindergarden and a toddler doesn’t give you much space for long training rides. You always have to plan your day around the kids. It always comes down to the question: how to use little time as effectively as possible. The last year showed me, that my kind of training doesn’t seem to be really bad, so where to improve?

Thinking about that one morning I read my emails in school and found out about the next season of the Vox Performance Project. This was it. Until now I was that kind of cyclist that rarely fuelled whilst training. I rode the AlbExtrem fuelled with one cheese bagel, half of a brezel (which wasn’t a good idea) and one ClifBar, which isn’t really anything I guess.
I’m totally in love with body parameters and stats, so having the possibility of using Supersapiens for getting numbers from my body felt sounded great. So I applied for the project. Of course I hoped that I would be selected, but when I got that email I couldn’t believe it. 

Although the project did just start, there are a few things I already learned: 

  1. A bad feeling during training does not mean it is a bad leg day – most times it is caused by the missing opportunity for a proper meal before starting my ride, which is shown in my glucose I now can see in the Supersapiens App.
  2. Being a Swabian is not the best thing if you want to be properly  fueled in your training session (Swabian are somehow similar to Scots: we don’t like to spend money if it isn’t necessary).
  3. Trying to prepare a meal with all three kids in the kitchen produces a comparable glucose rush as going out for a 5km run, so being a mum is some kind of training, too?!
  4. I carried a gel in my pocket for nearly one year because I never liked them. This is a thing that changed since I first tried the products of Precision Fuel & Hydration. The neutral taste is the one I was waiting for.
  5. It’s still trial and error, but I got the feeling that knowing exactly the amount of carbohydrates, gives me confidence not to fuel ‘into the blue’, which wouldn’t fit into my love for numbers.
  6. It was a good idea trying other cycling options when I started training virtually during my pregnancy – using Zwift is so much fun (my girls also like it a lot, because you can find a dino!!!). 

 

So what’s next? At the moment we are trying to organise our family life around three schools and childcare. Once this is settled the next challenge will be to fit in the learnings from Supersapiens in the daily routine. I already started doing at least two training sessions a week on Zwift in evenings, when the children are sleeping. This is something I want to keep up. I still have to learn a lot about how my body reacts on different fuel. Some gravel tours with the toddler in the trailer will help. And then let’s see where it will end next summer. I am quite sure there is a fascinating journey ahead. If you like to follow my journey through glucose data, gel testing and family chaos feel free to follow me on Instagram (@yannikapropach) or on Strava.

Until next time!

Yannika

More news

Share this post