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This weekend, several Balance members will be participating in the Bike to the Beach 100-mile bike ride, from Washington, DC to Dewey Beach, DE, and raising money for Autism Speaks. Today, we’re highlighting team member Troy Adkins, who will be riding in his first Bike to the Beach this weekend!

You can support the Balance Gym Bike to the Beach team by donating here, and you can donate to Troy’s ride here.

Name: Troy Adkins

How long have you been a member of Balance? 3 or 4 years

How many years have you participated in Bike to the Beach?
This is my first time to do this ride.
What made you decide to participate? I thought about doing this last year but wasn’t sure I could manage the full distance.  I’ve been training more on the bike this year and decided to go for it. The ride looks like a fun way to push myself physically while raising awareness for a great set of service organizations for those on the autism spectrum and their families.

What has your training looked like so far? When did you start training for the ride, and what is a typical week of training for you? 
I’ve actually been training for the last 4 or 5 months for my first triathlon.  The training program was two swim, bike and run workouts over 6 days each week.  The bike training included long rides which helped in my Bike to the Beach training.  Now that my tri is done, I’m focusing more on even longer bike rides to get ready for July 28th.  I’m also paying more attention to nutrition especially thinking about what fuel I’ll need before and during the ride.

What has been the best part of training so far? The most challenging?
The fact that I’ve been able to make my tri training multi-purpose has been great. Throughout that training program and in getting ready for this ride (this will be the longest distance ever on a bike for me), the best part has been seeing how much more fit I’ve become over time.  My “short” bike rides now are longer than the longest rides I did when I started training.

How has Balance Gym helped with your training and helped you achieve your goals?
Balance is a great gym.  I’ve enjoyed boot camps and classes over the years, particularly spin.  Shout out to Emily Suttle who invited us to spin along with her last year on her 4 hour spin-a-thon.  That was actually when I realized I could probably finish a Bike to the Beach ride.

What are you most looking forward to about the event?
I’m looking forward to riding with a great group of people and to the accomplishment of biking over 100 miles.  That will be a first for me!

How do you fit training into your busy schedule?
It’s tough balancing work, life and training especially training in the DC summer. I have found that I get done what I prioritize so setting a regular training schedule for the month that breaks training down each week makes it more likely I’ll get to all the workouts.  I’m also fortunate that I don’t have a set schedule at work so I can run in the morning and come in later to the office.  Other days, I can come in to work early and leave early to get in a long ride or swim after work.  It’s great that friends are on similar training schedules.  I can work out with them and catch up at the same time. Most important, I always make room in my schedule for happy hours with friends.

What are your “must-haves” for a long bike ride (can be music, gear, snacks, etc.)?  
So far my packing list is sunscreen, Body Glide, plenty of water/Gatorade and GU.  Vanilla Bean flavored GU is the best stuff ever!!

Why do you Bike to the Beach?
I’m biking to the beach as a personal physical and mental challenge but also, more importantly, to help raise awareness and funds for organizations whose work impacts the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Complete the following sentence: #BalanceLife is:taking it outside your comfort zone!