When she was younger, Colorado’s Kristen Legan found herself doing a lot of triathlons. There was just one problem—she did not really like the running part.

Fortunately for her, she discovered gravel cycling. It has all the adventure and long-distance riding of the bike portion of tris without the whole running a long distance part. It was a perfect match.

“I swam Division I at the University of Pacific, and then when I moved back to Boulder, it’s kind of the hotbed of triathlons, so it kind of sucked me in with my swimming background. I got into it and raced professionally for about five years and then realized I am a terrible runner. I did not enjoy training running and I was slow.”

“I just really loved riding my bike. One summer I was out on a long bike ride and was just like, ‘Why don’t I just race bikes? I don’t need to race triathlons anymore.’ It was a great epiphany out on the bike.”

Legan and gravel ... and creek crossings ... have been a good fit. 2018 Almanzo 100 Gravel Race. © Eric Wynn

Legan and gravel … and creek crossings … have been a good fit. 2018 Almanzo 100 Gravel Race. © Eric Wynn

During the gravel offseason, Legan races cyclocross with the Bitchn Grit team. We recently profiled her custom titanium Firefly bike that she uses for both gravel and cyclocross, with a few modifications to convert between the respective seasons.

Legan races gravel and ’cross and also coaches gravel. Kristen and her partner Nick [who has also been a guest on the CXM podcast] run a gravel coaching service called Rambleur Rising.

Kristen focuses on the physiology and Nick on the process of preparing for a long day in the saddle across rough remote terrain, and together, the two prepare athletes to tackle the myriad challenges of doing gravel.

“I started coaching about 10 years ago,” Legan said. “I started a company called Rambleur Rising, and my husband Nick is also a gravel racer and a huge tech guy. We started our company based on endurance riding. We wanted to focus our company on people doing those wacky, crazy events like we do.”

I had a lot of questions for Legan about gravel coaching and what it entails, so I invited her on the podcast to talk about her coaching and her gravel riding.

You can listen to our conversation via the embed above and via our Soundcloud page and iTunes.

For past episodes, you can visit our archives.