A total badass in the stadium and on the roads, Flywheel fan and runner Kelly Roberts is true fitness inspiration (she’s already given us some intel on how she stays so fierce). Now, to celebrate Flywheel’s new partnership with Strava, we sat down with Kelly—a seasoned Strava member—to chat about why metrics matter, the importance of a support system, her next round of fit goals, and more.
Metrics… numbers… tracking…. What is it about the numerical progress that keeps you and millions of others motivated?
Honestly, the numbers are a game changer for me because I’m lazy.
I’m not one of those people who eat, sleep and breathe athleticism. I don’t love working out. Discomfort is one of my least favorite words so whenever I can do just enough or take an easy road, my instinct is to hold back. But the numbers on the TechPack remind me that I paid good money and sacrificed my time to show up to class. Whenever class starts and I start to think about how tired I am or question how hard I want to ride, I look at the numbers and remind myself that I won’t be working toward my personal best if I cheat myself and stay comfortable.
You’re one of the most badass runners out there. What is it about a Flywheel RIDE that keeps you coming back for more? Does it help with your endurance? Speed? Strength? Mental willpower?
All of the above. One of the reasons I rely so heavily on Flywheel to support my running is that it constantly reminds me that strength doesn’t look a certain way, it feels a certain way. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Before I started running, I begrudgingly worked out solely to lose weight and I hated every single second of it. Growing up, I had a heavier body type than my friends. I was convinced I was the fat friend and I, like so many other girls and women, developed a really toxic body image. But the truth is, even though I wasn’t really slender, I was always healthy. Then, in 2009, my younger brother tragically passed away and within six months, I gained over 75 pounds.
My journey to get where I am today has been long and hard but now, I’m a US size 8-10, about 160 pounds, and strong AF. I don’t work out to lose weight or to try to look a certain way. I set goals and kick my ass in a Flywheel ride or out on the roads because I love how I feel when I know that I’m fighting to put my strongest foot forward. That’s what helps me stay motivated when I don’t want to work out. It’s a constant reminder that even though I don’t look like your stereotypical fitness model, I’m strong as hell.
When did you start using Strava and how has it helped you achieve better results?
I started using Strava about a year ago, but for a long time I was a bit intimidated by it. I thought it was for the super impressive athletes who ran 10 miles at lightning speed before work. I didn’t want anyone to know what I thought were mediocre times or how often I took walking breaks because I was insecure. Then I started using Strava and realized how bogus I was to feel insecure about my fitness. The best part about stats is being able to see how far you’ve come. Whenever I feel frustrated or on the days when I’m struggling to just get out the door, it’s incredible to scroll back and see the progress you’ve made.
I like sharing the struggle or the days when I crash and burn. I find it very rewarding to joke about everything from the best days to the ones that end in the fetal position. We’ve all been there!
Why should someone download Strava and start sharing their Flywheel ride stats?
Having a support system is a game changer. This month in particular, I wanted to see how strong I could get when I went to Flywheel 3 days a week instead of using it to support my running. I knew I’d see stronger numbers but I TOTALLY underestimated myself. Everyone knows what it’s like to work your ass off for something. It’s fun to share your journey because your friends on Strava get it. They’re fighting right alongside you so when you do finally make your goal a reality, it’s fun to share that success.
What’s your personal best Power Score in a 45-minute class?
380! For the longest time, I couldn’t get past 362! Looking back at all my scores, I scored 362 probably a dozen times but I could never break that barrier! So when I finally got 372, and then 380, that was pretty damn rewarding. I know it sounds trivial, but I live for that damn number! It’s a tangible result of hard work!
We’re beyond inspired. What are your fitness goals for the upcoming year?
To break 400 in a 45-minute ride and to make it all the way through the arms section without needing a break. I may crush the TorqBoard but I can’t make it through upper body without feeling like my arms are going to fall off.
I also want to take my marathon personal best from 3 hours 41 minutes to 3 hours 34 minutes and qualify for the Boston Marathon.