Amber, Coach Jonathan, and Pivot Cycles / DT Swiss’s Hanna Otto join us for a discussion on whether amateurs should train like pros, the crossover effects of aerobic and anaerobic training in different zones, tips from Hannah on technique and equipment choice, and much more. Tune in for Episode 353 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!


  • 0:00 Welcome! 
  • 0:11 Intro
  • 01:08 What Hannah learned from her first UCI XC races of the season
  • 24:05 Should amateurs train like the pros?
  • 40:34 Should you learn to descend with your non-dominant leg forward?
  • 51:34 How to fit structured training into your riding time
  • 01:08:05 How to pace yourself when the course has steep climbs
  • 01:24:25 How to manage mood swings and bad temperament during a recovery week
  • 01:36:25 How to find the right tire
  • 01:48:55 What effects do aerobic and anaerobic training have on each other?


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[00:00:00] Jonathan Lee: Welcome to the podcast is dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. The ask a cycling coach podcast presented by trainer road and coach Jonathan Lee. We have trained road in Cannondale’s, Amber Pierce. Hello, and we have pivot cycles and DTE spaces at the HANA auto. And I’ve been calling you Hannah fin champ, and I should be calling you Hannah auto, because you’ve changed your name since you’ve been married.

[00:00:30] Jonathan Lee: Uh, Hannah’s good to have you on here. Thanks. It’s going to be here. Yeah. Uh, so we are going to talk about amateurs versus pros in terms of training, whether we should train like pros, how pros train, uh, whether athletes like wow, fender Matthew Vanderpoel, Tim Pitt, or Tom peacock train in a very unique way that makes them so dominant, dominant, we’ll cover all that.

[00:00:52] Jonathan Lee: We’ll also cover aerobic versus anaerobic training, the crossover benefits and different powers ons that you get from training in different zones. And then we’re also gonna go over plenty of like pro tips, particularly from hand on this one about like bike setup and lots of stuff. It’s going to be a good episode.

What Hannah learned from her first UCI XC races of the season

[00:01:06] Jonathan Lee: I’m looking forward to it. But before we do any of that, Hannah, I want to talk or actually first podcast is you submitted incredible questions this week and it was awesome. You can do that at train We had so many of them. I have a lot of them earmarked for next week because they were so great, but we have a jam packed awesome episode this weekend.

[00:01:24] Jonathan Lee: It’s all. Thanks to your questions. So if you have questions about how to train, how to execute on a race day or in your workouts, something I guess, analogous or adjacent to training in the sense of like nutrition, recovery, anything else, send it to Trina to be huge. And of course the biggest thing you can do for this podcast to help us out and to help out train a road is to share this with other people.

[00:01:43] Jonathan Lee: If you share it, that’s huge. Um, we’re a bootstrap company. We don’t have some sort of huge investment pile that we put into advertising. So that’s how we grow. So if you appreciate this, that would be awesome to, uh, help us out. Hannah, I want to talk to you because you just got back from, uh, from Puerto Rico or a PR, I’m going to say, because people will get mad at me for saying it like that.

[00:02:02] Jonathan Lee: Uh, you, um, you race XCO and short track, is that correct?

[00:02:08] Hannah Finchamp: Two Xes and one

[00:02:09] Jonathan Lee: short track. And that was over the period of two weeks. Yes. Yeah. Cool. And these are UCI races too. So it’s not like some local race, right? Correct. They’re both C1. Okay. Cool. So that’s like a that’s you getting points too. So then you can get good call up positions for your world cup races that you’ll do later on.

[00:02:27] Jonathan Lee: Exactly. So I want to talk about what you learned from this. So what did you start with XCO or start with short track? What was the order of races that

[00:02:37] Hannah Finchamp: happened short? So short track was on Friday. Um, then the first XCO was Sunday and then I had another week and the second exhale was the following

[00:02:46] Jonathan Lee: Sunday.

[00:02:47] Jonathan Lee: And can you, uh, what’s short track for people that don’t know on here, they may not know what short track is.

[00:02:53] Hannah Finchamp: Sure track is you could think of it like a mini XCO, um, except the course should usually be less technical. It should be a small short circuit. So the laps anywhere from two to four minutes long, and you’re going to raise for 20 minutes, plus three laps is usually what it is.

[00:03:10] Hannah Finchamp: So it comes out to be about a 25 minute race in the end, and it’s often very tactical and it’ll come down to the final laps.

[00:03:19] Jonathan Lee: So, and then you did two ex-CEOs thereafter. Um, okay. So I want to talk, we talked about first race. I think you were on that episode where we talked about first race expectations.

[00:03:29] Jonathan Lee: What were your expectations going into these races? And hopefully this allows all of us to be a fly on the wall to see how Hannah does it pro um, but what were your expectations of these races? Yeah, I

[00:03:39] Hannah Finchamp: think this is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately because I’ve often struggled a lot with the first race of the season.

[00:03:48] Hannah Finchamp: You know, everything from just feeling like I had to pull myself up off of the ground after it, because I was just so deflated, um, to, you know, literally crashing on the Starline because I was so nervous that I forgot how to ride my bike. So for me, you know, the first race of the season carries a little bit of weight just cause I’ve often struggled with it so much.

[00:04:12] Hannah Finchamp: Um, so for me, going into this race, a huge focus for me with. Just simply on limiting expectation and channeling a lot of what Amber says, like going in with curiosity and excitement, you know, like I just tried to stand on the start line with no expectation and then recognizing in the middle of the race also there’s nowhere that I should be wherever I am.

[00:04:38] Hannah Finchamp: Is it, I shouldn’t, it’s not, oh, I should be on the podium. Um, it’s like, no, you’re just wherever you are, is where you’re at. And I think that’s a really important thing for everyone to remember in their first race of the season, because, you know, especially in February, you, for most people, you shouldn’t be at your peak.

[00:04:58] Hannah Finchamp: This certainly was not my goal race of the season. And so. You know, if I go into it, that expectation, I’m going to be disappointed. Instead I have to go into it with the knowledge of, I have so many ways I can still improve this year and that is so exciting. So let’s see the areas that I get to improve and, oh my gosh, if I improve them, where will I be at?

[00:05:21] Hannah Finchamp: Um, so that was really, my goal was to use it as a barometer of where I can see the most improvement. And of course, you know, I was there to get points. So the better I could do the better it would be, but I can’t control where anyone else is at in February, you know, good for someone else. If they’re on great form also, I hope you can carry it all year.

[00:05:44] Hannah Finchamp: Um, all I can do is worry about myself and, and I know that, you know, I, or at least I think that I’m in a really good spot, so that was kind of my mindset going into it.

[00:05:55] Jonathan Lee: Uh, and Maxine, actually our producer Maxine, she’s amazing. She actually has some photos of the race of Maxine. If you want to put those up, you’re welcome to, uh, how did it go?

[00:06:03] Jonathan Lee: What, what, what w like, let’s talk about the result, but then fill us in on the other things that you were talking about in terms of, you know, being where you’re at and how your performance actually was instead of the.

[00:06:17] Hannah Finchamp: Yeah. So I was third in the short track, and then I was fourth in the first XCO and then third again in the second XCO.

[00:06:27] Hannah Finchamp: So I was super happy like that was for sure a great start for me. And, um, you know, it, I felt like in the short track it was really close. A lot of it was tactics. And so, you know, it was kind of a fun like, oh, darn. Like I just was in the wrong side at that final corner. And, um, you know, that’s very soon that’s fun in the first XCO.

[00:06:50] Hannah Finchamp: I felt like the heat just hit me so hard that that was a little bit of a brutal experience. I can’t do the first song. I was like, oh my gosh, I feel great. And then the second lap, it just became so aware of how hot it was and felt like my head was gonna explode. Um, and just like started absolutely dumping water and stuff.

[00:07:10] Hannah Finchamp: So, um, but then I had almost a week and a half to heat adapt there. So the next weekend felt much more reasonable in terms of that. And, uh, I finished third, so yeah, I was really happy with that. And I think, you know, for me, some big takeaways were. My start, uh, in all of the races, my starts were not excellent, but I came on really strong at the end.

[00:07:36] Hannah Finchamp: So that’s both something to work on and something to celebrate. I think being in where we are in the season, it’s really exciting to know that base training’s paid off and I felt super durable and strong in those final moments to the race. And I think the speed will come. Uh, the other thing that I feel like is now a big push for me is acknowledging that I have some work to do with my technical skills.

[00:08:06] Hannah Finchamp: Um, not even just huge features, just I felt like I was losing one second, one second, one second, and every corner. And so I would close the gap on the climb and then lose five seconds on the descent and then close the five seconds on the climb and then lose five seconds. So in a sense, it’s a very unsustainable way to try and do a lot of matches over and over.

[00:08:30] Hannah Finchamp: So, you know, I think that’s so fun though, because I learned that and instead of being frustrated and angry, now I get to come back. Oh, my gosh, this is something I get to focus on and work on. And how exciting is it going to be to watch this progress all season long? So, yeah, I feel good about it.

[00:08:48] Jonathan Lee: Great attitude.

[00:08:49] Jonathan Lee: I love that, right, Amber? Yeah.

[00:08:52] Amber Pierce: Super

[00:08:53] Jonathan Lee: exciting. Yeah. On the technical side of things, uh, you switched bikes this year, um, which when you switch a bike, uh, Amber had this off road bikes too. Um, I’m sure. Also going to women’s teams since Amber, you wrote a bigger size than a lot of the other athletes. Like you would need different components.

[00:09:10] Jonathan Lee: This is like all par for the course, when you’re a pro rider and you switched bikes, you have to change things up. Are you, are you going to make any changes on your bike set up after, you know, cause there’s one thing between riding or riding, it’s one thing, but racing, it kind of feels different. Are you gonna make any changes with bikes set up to help with the bike handling or do you think it’s pure technique?

[00:09:28] Jonathan Lee: That’s

[00:09:29] Hannah Finchamp: a great question. Um, I feel a lot stronger on this bike. I think the added suspension, um, and I really liked the way it’s set up to with the DW link. I just feel like it doesn’t Bob and it can handle big hits really well. So

[00:09:45] Jonathan Lee: mark four SL right? Yes. Correct. Sweet bike. Yeah.

[00:09:49] Hannah Finchamp: Um, so I’m super stoked on the bike.

[00:09:51] Hannah Finchamp: I think this is probably a little bit more. Definitely a little bit more user. It’s more, I feel like I feel that my issue is more how I’m reading the trail. Um, I have a bigger tendency to just look at the corner for what it is, and then I can ride it in that way. You know, like, yeah, you come in, I got to slam on the brakes cause it’s really tight.

[00:10:14] Hannah Finchamp: And then look at how well I was able to get through this corner. Well, everyone else just made the corner super wide and didn’t even touch their brakes. So I just need to kind of open my view of the course a little bit and, and get better. At viewing the terrain. Um, the one change that I think I might make is just to be able to run a little bit lower pressure.

[00:10:35] Hannah Finchamp: I’m going to try out some tire inserts, which can be fun. Yeah.

[00:10:39] Jonathan Lee: That is amazing. That is so good to hear. Yeah. Oh, it makes such a big difference. They’re so good. I know I’m saying that after. Yeah. After breaking a wheel, but yeah, that’s a different thing. We’ll get into actually, Maxine. I think you have a picture of my broken wheel and we didn’t share it last week on the podcast.

[00:10:55] Jonathan Lee: You can join us on YouTube by the way, and see all this stuff. Uh, it’s usually Thursdays at 8:00 AM Pacific on our YouTube channel. You should subscribe to our YouTube channel because we have tons of amazing content going up all the time and you can check it out. Maxine, do you want to show the picture of my wheel?

[00:11:08] Jonathan Lee: Um, the exploded there at 24 hours in the old Pueblo and this to be clear was not a, uh, insert situation. Yeah. It’s not straight. We also were supposed to be straight, so, uh, completely broken in two spots and then cracks, uh, elsewhere too. But that was a situation from hitting the actual outside of the rim, like a little rock that was like a rock arm that was sticking out, nicked the outside of the rim.

[00:11:33] Jonathan Lee: And I heard it crack. And then I knew I had a really big compression, just like a couple of feet in front of me. I was like, oh, if it’s got a crack in it, it’s probably gonna explode. And it did so. Thanks, Maxine. Yeah. Um, th so this is an interesting point. About, and I call that like seeing the matrix when people, because when an Amber is the same in road racing too, right.

[00:11:53] Jonathan Lee: Where you can either be efficient the school and you can just like do whatever everybody else is doing, or you can get outside of that and kind of see beyond and see that turn that from a different perspective. And it makes

[00:12:06] Hannah Finchamp: a huge difference. Like, I think that’s something that, you know, in bike racing, we fitness fitness, fitness, fitness, because that’s what we, you know, seemingly have to keep on, keep up on and train every day, but we have to train those technical abilities to, you know, and that applies to the road as well.

[00:12:25] Hannah Finchamp: And because, gosh, what would we do to gain five seconds on a climb so much? I think all of us would like tell me what to do and I will do it, but we’re so quick to lose one second and every corner and we have to, at least for me, I have to really change my mindset for that because I go out and. And I tie self uphill every day, but a lot of the time the downhill is just the fun part.

[00:12:51] Hannah Finchamp: It’s just that my husband says where you weeing on that descent.

[00:13:01] Hannah Finchamp: in all reality, I probably am like, I really need to, I need to make that a big priority.

[00:13:08] Jonathan Lee: We did, um, on our YouTube channel, there’s a series where I did a, uh, Enduro world series event. And Richie rude came in to critique by my lines. And I had a GoPro on the whole time and the things I was, I was like, how is that?

[00:13:22] Jonathan Lee: And he’s so nice. He was like, yeah, that was good. And then I’d be like, okay, so what did you do there? It would be totally different. He would be seeing things that I just did not even see, like to him. He doesn’t view a rock as a thing to avoid. He views a rock as like another, if you will like a medium or a substrate to ride.

[00:13:41] Jonathan Lee: Like an option. It’s an option. He doesn’t view it as a barrier. He doesn’t view it as something that you need to go around. He’s like, well, uh, you might go around it if it’s faster or you might go over it, if it’s faster, like for him, it’s just, what’s faster. And, and he also, I mean the incredible skill and strength that he has, he can pull off things that even though I saw them thereafter, I was like, yeah, there’s no way I would do that.

[00:14:04] Jonathan Lee: Forget that. Um, but it’s really cool to watch the best athletes do that. And, and to be clear, I think even Rick G struggles with that, probably especially in the beginning of the year, like it’s something that you really have to kind of like get into a rhythm with. So it’s not just the, the fitness and execution part in terms of pacing or race strategy when you’re on the gas.

[00:14:26] Jonathan Lee: But it’s also that descending part is just so important. It’s really cool to hear you point that out. Yeah. And I

[00:14:31] Hannah Finchamp: think, you know, the pre ride and acknowledging that every part of the course is equally important. I know in mountain biking, a lot of people there’s usually features in courses. And so a lot of people will sit on the feature and time themselves on the feature trying to gain one second, one second, one second.

[00:14:49] Hannah Finchamp: You know, on this feature, that’s anywhere from 20 to 25 seconds and the corner after. We might be losing three. And so, you know, I, I just loved, you know, some, some of people who have really impacted me in racing, it’s like, there’s no points for style. It doesn’t matter if you can ride the hardest part of the course, the best if you’re overall riding the course, the fast test.

[00:15:16] Hannah Finchamp: And so just acknowledging that time is time, is time, you know, and get it where you get it, where you feel the most confident. Yeah. I mean,

[00:15:25] Amber Pierce: there might be, you might be killing yourself to gain five seconds on the climb. Whereas there might be 10 or 15 places on the course where you could gain a second each 10, 15 seconds versus five.

[00:15:36] Amber Pierce: Right. And, and some of that is just free speed where you’re not killing yourself to get it. It’s just a matter of awareness and line choice. I say,

[00:15:45] Jonathan Lee: not justice, better line, unless it’s a whole yeah. Yeah. Cause that’s like, uh, one, one, I’ve mentioned this on the podcast plenty of times. So I apologize listeners, if this feels redundant, but it’s something I have to remind myself all the time.

[00:16:00] Jonathan Lee: And it really helps is I start to think of the course. Um, I think of the course in terms of linear feet and I think what is my speed per linear foot, like on these feet that I’m carrying on the course, could my speed be 0.5 miles an hour faster? Um, and what would I need to do to make that happen? Um, I probably actually don’t need to skid and follow up.

[00:16:23] Jonathan Lee: Very clear path through the turn and said, I could actually just go wide and then go over all those little roots and leaves or whatever else that’s in the center. It’s when you start to think of it in that respect, that means that you, you, you quit focusing on one part of the course and neglecting the rest and suddenly you start to just think of every linear, linear foot.

[00:16:43] Jonathan Lee: Okay. What do I need to do to carry more momentum here and plot twist in your mind the best way to get more momentum, particularly on a bike isn’t to jam harder into a turn it isn’t to break later in many cases, although that can be a helpful thing. Instead, it’s think of how much speed can I exit this corner with, and what’s the best way to be able to manage or to maximum maximize that because otherwise you make up for that with Watts.

[00:17:09] Jonathan Lee: And when we’re coming down on a race, if you’re trying to make up speed out of every single corner and you add that up, I mean, imagine getting to the end of a sprint, right. And you’re sprinting against somebody and then think, oh wait, actually give yourself about 150 more accelerations that you had to do throughout this race and then sprint.

[00:17:27] Jonathan Lee: And then let’s see how you do you’ll do worse. Like that’s just how it works. So it’s efficiency is so much a part of it, you

[00:17:35] Hannah Finchamp: know? And I think what you just said is really great from a training standpoint too, because I think in a race scenario like that, a lot of people would get to the end, not win that sprint and then say, oh, I’m, I’m not a good sprinter.

[00:17:48] Hannah Finchamp: Yeah. It wasn’t your sprint at all. Um, and so looking at the race as a whole is really.

[00:17:54] Amber Pierce: So true if you’re listening and you’re wondering, how does anybody ever figure out how to see the matrix, um, to use Jonathan’s analogy, this is a skill and it’s something that you can learn. This isn’t like a magic trick that, you know, some people magically can do and others can’t and what it takes is, um, building cognitive efficiency.

[00:18:16] Amber Pierce: And I’ve talked about this a little bit before, but it’s where, when you’re starting out. So take me, for example, I am not a skilled mountain biker and I’m very much on the steep end of the learning curve here. So when I get on the mountain bike, I’m thinking about all the little things I’m thinking about my body position, you know, where my hands are on the bars.

[00:18:34] Amber Pierce: I’m thinking about. I have to think about so many things in addition to what line do I want to take? I’m not even looking at options. I’m looking at like one or two possible lines on the trail because there’s so much information that my brain is having to process at once. But as I get better at that, what I will learn is how much of that information I don’t actually have to pay attention to.

[00:18:56] Amber Pierce: And that’s actually one of the biggest differences between an amateur and an expert is an expert is maybe focusing on two or 3% of the available information to their brain, right? Because they know that they don’t have to think about 97% of it because that is, um, you know, not going to be relevant to what they need.

[00:19:14] Amber Pierce: And so experts are actually really, really, really able to drill down on the very minimal, the minimum amount of information you need to make the best decisions. Um, and that is something that you learn and it’s something that you get better at as I get more comfortable on the mountain bike, and I don’t have to think about hand position and that becomes automatic and habit.

[00:19:34] Amber Pierce: Then it frees up space in my brain to start evaluating the options on the trail. And then once I get better at that, my brand’s going to say, well, I know I don’t have to worry about these seven options. The ones I really need to focus on are these three. So don’t feel like if you, if you can’t see the matrix right now that this is out of reach for you, this is something it’s a process.

[00:19:52] Amber Pierce: It’s a learning process and it’s available to all of us. It’s just, it does take time. It’s not something that you can jump in and do right away. That’s what makes pros like Hannah. So impressive that it’s, you know, and to hear you talking about even just getting that next few percent is so cool. Um, but yeah, this is, this is a really, it’s a fun learning curve to get on.

[00:20:09] Amber Pierce: And it’s something that anybody.

[00:20:11] Hannah Finchamp: Yeah. And even as a pro, like all of those things, it still clogs your brain. It really is. There’s so much cognitive energy being spent out there, you know, from when I acknowledged this limitation in the first weekend, I thought, okay, well I have one week to try and hone in line choices, improve some small things.

[00:20:32] Hannah Finchamp: And we’ll see if, if I can even make a small improvement in one week, just even a tiny amount. And I worked on all kinds of things that one week, but going into the race, I said, I’m going to think about two things on the, so I’m not gonna think about, you know, these 10 things that I spent time working on all week.

[00:20:50] Hannah Finchamp: I’m gonna work on leaning my bike now my body. And I’m going to work on looking into the next turn, like looking ahead. And that was it. I didn’t worry about the other 10 things, but now I get to think about every day in training, instead of

[00:21:06] Jonathan Lee: who knew that we were going to be covering principles of information theory on the podcast today, check this out.

[00:21:13] Jonathan Lee: This is really cool. And also ambers mentioned this plenty of times and Hannah, I’m sure you’ve seen this also, but this doesn’t just apply to mountain biking. It’s so applies to riding in a group too. Um, boy, It’s uh, whatever. I get back into riding with groups again, after not doing it for a long time.

[00:21:30] Jonathan Lee: And then I see writers that are really good at it. Just like salmon their way through the pack, you know, like seemingly like so effortlessly, I’m just like, how do they do that? And then fast forward a few weeks of doing it and then suddenly I’m doing it. So it’s, uh, it’s, it applies to all aspects, not just mountain biking.

[00:21:47] Jonathan Lee: Um, super cool stuff. You mentioned the heat, Hannah. Um, so you know, right now you’re back in salt lake city. It’s it’s cold. Um, and it’s not hot. I don’t know what your next race is. Are you going over to Europe for the world cups or to Brazil for that first one? I won’t be at

[00:22:02] Hannah Finchamp: Brazil. I’ll be at Seattle

[00:22:06] Jonathan Lee: and Seattle actually can be that it can be freezing or it can be extremely hot.

[00:22:10] Jonathan Lee: Um, what’s your plan for heat adaptation? Are you going to do anything in particular for that?

[00:22:16] Hannah Finchamp: You know, I haven’t in the past, um, because I feel like for me generally, I, my body likes heat. I sweat a lot. And so I feel like that actually benefits me that said I went into Puerto Rico at that mindset and quickly discovered that when it’s that humid, it doesn’t matter if you sweat because you’re not using evaporative cooling,

[00:22:41] Jonathan Lee: but sweating, quits working.

[00:22:44] Jonathan Lee: Yeah.

[00:22:44] Hannah Finchamp: Um, so I think the humidity, the humid heat is definitely very different than a dry heat. And so, um, you know, if I were to go back to Puerto Rico next year, I might, uh, employ some heat strategies. You know, even as simple as doing a couple train arrives, easier rides without a fan or something like that, you know, I don’t think, you know, if it was the national championship or, or something like that, then I would really put a ton of emphasis on it.

[00:23:15] Hannah Finchamp: Um, but I think honestly just exposed. At least for me exposing my body enough that the panic button doesn’t get hit is really all I need so that when my body is like, oh my gosh, you’re so hot. It’s not like, what is this sensation? Instead? It just says, oh yeah, we’ve, we’ve felt this before it is uncomfortable, but we’ll survive.

[00:23:37] Hannah Finchamp: And that’s something I can deal with.

[00:23:39] Jonathan Lee: That’s a really cool perspective too, even though it may be one thing that affects you at a race, be pragmatic about this. Like, is it going to affect you at next, uh, at your coming races? And is it worth your focus because there’s so many things you can do and if you try to focus on everything it starts to hamper you, um, for sure.

Should amateurs train like the pros?

[00:23:57] Jonathan Lee: Super cool. Um, thanks Hannah. For sure. I love that we have pros out there racing and sharing their experiences on the podcast like this. Super cool. Uh, let’s get into Sam’s, uh, question. Uh, so he says would love, and by the way, I apologize. All those who are from Belgium, from the Netherlands, everything else, I know I’m going to pronounce the names wrong.

[00:24:16] Jonathan Lee: I apologize. Uh, if I tried to pronounce it better, it’ll probably make it worse. So just bear with me. Um, Sam said, we’d love to hear Amber and coach Chad’s take on this. So we have Amber, we also have Hannah as well. Um, cyclocross season just finished. And again, we saw the three roadies being Pitcock Matthew Vanderpoel and wild fender dominate.

[00:24:37] Jonathan Lee: At times they look like three pros who have joined an amateur race. Obviously they are all genetic specimens and generational talents. And clearly, although it is interesting that we have three purely generational talents. You know, generational talent is usually kind of stands alone, but I really do feel like we have three in those writers, three generational talents.

[00:24:57] Jonathan Lee: We’ve had this on the women’s side for quite a while though, with like an Vander Bragan Marianna Vos and like a lot of different athletes. So it’s not unprecedented, but these three certainly are dominant. Yeah. So it makes sense. And he says, and clearly they were on another level even before leaving full-time cyclocross for road careers, but it seems the road training and racing hangers has only made them even more dominant in cyclocross.

[00:25:20] Jonathan Lee: Ultimately this boils down to should everyone train just like the best roadies and only sprinkle in some disciplines specific skills here and there. I know pro riders in every discipline spend plenty of time on road bikes, but the training plans are still certainly very different. Thanks from Sam. And before we get into this, this is funny Sam, because almost the same question was being asked before they jumped into road careers, and they just started doing a handful of road races, like when Vanderpoel won AMZ gold and that insane fashion that he did.

[00:25:53] Jonathan Lee: And these riders are really starting to show up at road races and do damage. Everyone was saying, well, maybe the secret is that they train like cyclocross athletes and everybody should train like cyclocross athletes. And now looking at them road racing, going back to cyclocross, the question is maybe everyone should train like road racers and maybe that’s what makes them successful cyclocross athletes.

[00:26:11] Jonathan Lee: So it’s funny to see, uh, I, I, it’s a wonderful assumption to consider here, uh, Sam, but it’s funny to see how the tables have turned in that regard. Um, Amber, uh, what are your thoughts on this? Um, cause this is something I’m sure that you’ve faced as a pro athlete coming from swimming in particular, where like you have this high level of fitness and then you come into this new sport and you mentioned in the podcast you do with the successful athletes podcast episode, where it was intimidating to come into this new sport and to be over to Europe pretty quickly in your cycling career and be surrounded by all these athletes.

[00:26:45] Jonathan Lee: Were you tempted to just like whatever they’re doing, I want to do

[00:26:50] Amber Pierce: a hundred percent. And that was a lot of how I modeled the early part of my career was I would look at somebody who was successful and I would think, okay, if I just do what I do, what they do, I’ll get the same outcome. And this is a very common misconception.

[00:27:05] Amber Pierce: Um, and it’s true to an extent. So it’s an easy thing to fall into because we can look at it from the level of principles and following the similar principles and applying those within specific contexts is one thing. And that can be really effective, but just modeling and doing the same thing that somebody else does doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get the same.

[00:27:24] Amber Pierce: So, um, we are all susceptible to this and the proof is in the pudding, right? This is how most advertising works. Right. You have a spokesperson and you think, oh, if I eat what that they eat, I’ll look like them. If I wear what they wear, I’ll look like them. If I have the same haircut as they have, I’m sure most hairdressers get this, like you walk in and you’re like, I want this character out.

[00:27:45] Amber Pierce: And they’re like, yeah. Even if I give you that haircut, you’re still not going to look like a Scarlet. You’re handsome, you know?

[00:27:52] Jonathan Lee: So we’ll try

[00:27:54] Amber Pierce: as a joke, but it’s illustrative that, you know, just because somebody gets this outcome with this process, doesn’t mean it’s going to work the same way for you. So I just want to put that out on the table first and foremost, um, it is, and just, you know, keep your eyes feel. This is how a lot of products get sold.

[00:28:14] Amber Pierce: Right. And it’s a little bit frustrating, but, um, when we find ourselves buying into it. But I think that if we kind of break this down and look at, you know, what, what is it that really makes these athletes successful, um, engines, they have massive engines. They’ve been building their engines year over year, over year, over year

[00:28:32] Jonathan Lee: children in these cases like, yes, like I, it was like world junior, world championships, and these three were racing each other.

[00:28:39] Jonathan Lee: They’ve been training and doing this stuff for a really long time. Right.

[00:28:44] Amber Pierce: Handling skills. Um, and there’s a lot of crossover between cyclocross and road, but it doesn’t, it doesn’t all go both ways. And I can say that being a roadie, definitely road skills that do not apply in cyclocross, and I am very aware of those limitations.

[00:28:59] Amber Pierce: Um, and then there’s also the race and tactical savvy. So th the sheer experience that they have, you have to remember that it’s not just about what training are they doing? How is that affecting their fitness? It’s just that considering the time horizon over which they’ve been able to learn, and they’re still learning, right?

[00:29:16] Amber Pierce: They are still learning and iterating and getting better. I mean, they are at the top of their sport. They’re the best of the best. It doesn’t even, they are still learning about themselves as athletes about various tactics, um, and being able to apply all that stuff on the fly. So they have this really, we can’t discount the benefit of this very long time horizon, not only in terms of fitness, but also in terms of just, you know, we were just talking about with HANA, cognitive load, cognitive efficiency, imagine the cognitive efficiency that these guys have built up over the years.

[00:29:43] Amber Pierce: It’s amazing. And that alone is a huge advantage. And I want to step back and think about this from like a basic principles standpoint, too. If we, again, queen of analogies, that’s how we a really random one this today. Um, if you were to go look at a Cubist painting by Picasso, for example, you might think I could do that, you know, and if you would, and try to emulate that.

[00:30:11] Amber Pierce: It wouldn’t be the same thing, because what went into Picasso’s painting was 65 years of experience, some of which many of which were dedicated to mastering the tools of the craft. And then once he had mastered the tools of the craft, he was able to, you know, break all those rules, wield those tools in completely new and creative ways.

[00:30:34] Amber Pierce: And that’s what makes those works of art. So priceless. And I think of these athletes in that way, they have spent the time building out the really basic tools, the really basic stuff, the basic handling skills, the basic basic fitness, um, building those things out. And now they have this massive tool chest that they can pull from and put together and really creative and new ways.

[00:30:59] Amber Pierce: So the idea that you could kind of jump in at the end and make what appears to be a Cubist painting, and think that that’s going to be on par with a Picasso is, is flawed just because you’re missing out on that long time horizon, that went into what we see now. So the inputs, right? Like we’re looking at the outputs and thinking and looking at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we’re assuming the inputs are.

[00:31:25] Amber Pierce: Is it road versus cyclocross? No, it’s so much more than that. So trying to emulate the training that they are doing right now in this particular slice of time to get the outcomes that they’re getting is missing the inputs that went into this. Decades before now. Um, yeah, I’ll jump off my soapbox

[00:31:44] Jonathan Lee: now.

[00:31:45] Jonathan Lee: Fantastic points. I want to look a little, uh, I want to look at what road training does for you and then what cyclocross training does for you too. So, I mean, first of all, if there’s a road race and it’s just constant little punches all day you’re training, actually, in terms of your, your specialty phase or the specialized training that you do as you mere your event might actually look pretty similar.

[00:32:07] Jonathan Lee: It will be about hitting hard and repeating. So there isn’t the road surface itself, isn’t inherent to specific types. It’s, it’s really about the profile and how you plan to race the race and that’s how you train for it. So, uh, but road training typically is going to have a whole lot more sustained efforts and sustained work.

[00:32:23] Jonathan Lee: Whereas cyclocross cyclocross training is going to focus, not even as much on like peak power and sprint. Anything else. It’s just repeatability. It’s the ability to hit hard and then settle in, hit hard, settle in and be able to do that over and over. Um, the best cyclocross racers hit less hard than you think, because they’re so good at having a high.

[00:32:45] Jonathan Lee: When I say settle back in there, settle in is very high and the speed is very high. So then as a result, they don’t have to sprint as hard to get up that little hill. They can just kind of roll into it and then they actually can even ease off the throttle. And they know that if they have less surges, it’s going to help them.

[00:33:03] Jonathan Lee: Even then the top cyclocross athletes perform and train a bit differently than, than a lot of us amateurs have to perform and train as well. So that there’s a bit of a, it’s a bit complex there. Both of them still build, and this is a, this is definitely some foreshadowing for what we’ll cover later. Both of them still are very much aerobic types of training.

[00:33:23] Jonathan Lee: It’s not like cyclocross is anaerobic and then road racing just purely aerobic. No, they’re both very aerobic. So it’s not like a just training repeatability is suddenly going to make you a fantastic athlete in one regard or, or a great road racer or a great cyclocross racer. There’s a, there’s a lot more to it.

[00:33:42] Jonathan Lee: Just like any training plan. You have to have, uh, the balance of things. You have to be covering all sorts of energy systems that apply and build her up and fitness. So. Uh, it’s not as easy as separating things. Now, what all of them have done is obviously when they were younger and just doing cyclocross, they didn’t do as much big volume.

[00:33:59] Jonathan Lee: And you’ll be probably saw, um, even Matthew Vanderpoel skipping a lot of longer races because like Milan Sanremo, I think you skipped that one. I could be wrong one year, uh, early on in his road racing career. Cause he was like, I’m not really ready for such a long races like that. I haven’t done a whole lot of it and it’s one thing to complete a long race.

[00:34:18] Jonathan Lee: But when you’re trying to be the best in the world of that long race, you have to be functional over that whole time period at an incredibly high level. So even then once again, there’s this decoupling between what he does to be at the pointy end of the field versus what we do just to finish sort of a thing.

[00:34:34] Jonathan Lee: So what I’m really getting at here and sorry, if I feel like I’ve just muddied the whole thing, but what I’m getting at is that they don’t, they haven’t just been like, okay, now road racing training, and I’m just going to do that and no more cyclocross training, they train themselves to be aerobically, effective athletes and powerful athletes.

[00:34:51] Jonathan Lee: And then they specialize as they need, uh, to be able to perform just like you do, it’s just at a different scale. So it’s um, maybe you already are kind of training like them, but that’s kind of an interesting point that I want to cover. Hannah is really like, just because they’re training a certain way.

[00:35:08] Jonathan Lee: Uh, is that giving them an advantage at the top level then? Should we. Do that. And then when I say we, I’m not talking about you, Hannah, I’m not even really talking about Amber, I’m talking about all of us average people listening to this podcast, just because the pros do it one way. Should we train that way?

[00:35:23] Jonathan Lee: What’s your perspective as a pro athlete on that?

[00:35:27] Hannah Finchamp: Yeah. I mean, I think that even if everything is equal everyone’s body and physiology is different. And so even if, you know, Pitcock gave you his training plan and you did the exact same thing as him every single day, you still wouldn’t become the same athlete.

[00:35:44] Hannah Finchamp: You know, we all have to train different strengths and weaknesses. And even those of us who are finishing at the exact same, you know, in a sprint finish, we’ve likely had very different training plans because our perceived strengths and weaknesses are different. And that’s something I would emphasize in this question, as well as we don’t know what these guys consider, you know, in their heads to be their strengths and weaknesses.

[00:36:11] Hannah Finchamp: You don’t know when they feel like they’re on their river or when they feel like they’re making mistakes or falling short of their ultimate capabilities. And so we don’t really know, you know what specifically they’re targeting. We have a general idea sure. Of how they train, because you have to train certain ways to achieve certain things.

[00:36:32] Hannah Finchamp: But what they’re emphasizing, it might be slightly different than you imagine. Um, and so. You know, to think that, to think that we should try and mimic something that we don’t know is also a little bit comical, I think, but, you know, and not even to get into the fact that most people couldn’t emulate what they’re doing simply because we don’t have the amount of time.

[00:37:00] Hannah Finchamp: Um, but yeah, I think, I think also a lot of people would be surprised about how much crossover there is, you know, so many mountain bikers spend their winters training like roadies, you know, we spend so many hours long hours on the road bike. A lot of it would probably be crossover, a lot of base seasons, roadies, and mountain bikers could probably train together.

[00:37:26] Hannah Finchamp: It’s just these special specialty phases. And so I would probably guess that these guys are training with a foundation for all of these events, very similar similarly, and then maybe just spending six to 12 weeks, um, specializing for each of the disciplines.

[00:37:51] Jonathan Lee: Yep. Yeah, absolutely. That would make sense to me too.

[00:37:54] Jonathan Lee: And it’s a great point that you said, and it’s even one of the complications of why studies that, uh, that want to test different training methodologies are so problem. Is that Amber and I could be given the same exact training. And let’s say, I mean, Amber and I are similar in height. Um, we could have, like, we could eat the same things.

[00:38:10] Jonathan Lee: We could do all that. She’s going to get different value from the nutrition that we, even, if it’s the same thing, we are going to have different experiences. The training is the exact same way we’re going to have different experiences. That’s why it’s kind of hard on the study side of things did say, okay, so we gave training methodology a to five people and then B to a different five people and they read it across over double blind is still doesn’t mean much because everybody responds so uniquely.

[00:38:35] Jonathan Lee: Um, so one of the reasons why we’ve been pushing so hard toward adaptive training is to give each person kind of an individual approach to this. Um, rather than just going off with something that’s static so

[00:38:47] Hannah Finchamp: well, and if there was one perfect approach, don’t you think that people who have dedicated their lives to these sports would have all discovered it and all be doing it.

[00:38:58] Hannah Finchamp: That’s why all professional athletes still have different training regimens is because we are different people.

[00:39:04] Jonathan Lee: Yes, exactly.

[00:39:05] Amber Pierce: And I think, I think that that’s a lot of people look to the pros and think, oh, they’ve figured it out. So if I just do what they do, then I can skip over all of that. But that misses the point that you just made Hannah, which is even at that top level, each pro has their own individual approach.

[00:39:24] Amber Pierce: And it’s, you know, even if, even if. On the roadside you’ll have, in some cases, um, on a professional team, you’ll have a performance director who is, you know, maybe coaching all of the athletes on the team. They’re not all doing the same thing. I guarantee it because that performance director is having to coach up each of those athletes, according to each athlete’s individual needs.

[00:39:45] Amber Pierce: And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s all very different. So that might sound discouraging. Like, you know, the pros I’ll have it figured out for themselves. Um, and you can’t copy them cause you won’t get the same results. So what do you actually do? You just go back to the basics, you go back to the principles, this is all aerobic endurance training.

[00:40:03] Amber Pierce: Um, you, you train according to those principles and within the constraints that you face in your own life and you experiment and you see what works best for you, but you start with those principles, apply them the best you can figure out what’s working, what’s not working. And then you just keep iterating for yourself.

[00:40:19] Amber Pierce: And so you end up doing what the pros do in a sense, because you just self experiment and iterate and figure out what what’s works for you. The end result may not look the same as what anybody else does, but that doesn’t matter if it is in fact, working with.

[00:40:33] Jonathan Lee: Good ad for train road. Amber’s ready to go.

Should you learn to descend with your non-dominant leg forward?

[00:40:36] Jonathan Lee: That was solid. Principles are baked in train does sign up, share with your friends, uh, rose as a great question. Rose asks hello trainer road crew. My question is regarding leg leg asymmetry, but perhaps not in the way you’ve likely been asked this question before, instead of asking about peddling power coming from the legs asymmetrically, I’m curious on your opinion about developing equal descending ability with either leg forward.

[00:40:59] Jonathan Lee: So for listening to this right now, and hopefully not like driving a car or something, um, uh, like think about which foot goes forward and you absolutely have a dominant foot that goes forward. Um, that could even be on the road bike. If you, I mean, typically on the road bike, you don’t descend with your feet flat ever.

[00:41:16] Jonathan Lee: You have one foot down, uh, because if you’re going around a turn, you have your foot foot down, that sort of thing. But even then, if you’re just a standup on your road bike, you likely always do so with one foot forward for me, right? My right foot goes forward. Uh, Hannah, how about you? Which foot do you have forward?

[00:41:30] Jonathan Lee: My left foot is forward and Amber,

[00:41:33] Amber Pierce: I left foot forward. I’m really excited about this question, cause I’ve been wondering the same thing myself.

[00:41:38] Jonathan Lee: You know, I’m curious, I’m going to carry out a very scientific study right here, uh, with skateboarding or snowboarding or you goofy or regular footage surfing to regularly, you.

[00:41:52] Hannah Finchamp: I would go with my left foot forward. I don’t know what that is, classroom.

[00:41:58] Jonathan Lee: Yep. And I’m goofy. I’m goofy footed. So then I have an, I also have the other foot forward. So usually typically goes to like your dominant or. Correlate to this, but people say your dominant leg off the bike often goes forward, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

[00:42:13] Jonathan Lee: Sometimes it’s up to a whole lot of different things, but anyways, uh, curious what team you’re on. If you’re on the end of the chat right now, let us know if you’re goofy, irregular footed, uh, in which foot you have forward. So let’s make a real scientific study out of this one. He says, uh, I’m curious or forgive me.

[00:42:30] Jonathan Lee: Uh, rose says, as I’ve been writing more and more than are freaky, I’m time lost. Now. She says I’m a primary, primarily a mountain biker. And like most I have a strong preference for which leg is forward while descending, as I’ve been writing more and more of this preferences become more ingrained to the point where I’m pretty sure the muscles of one leg are larger than the other.

[00:42:48] Jonathan Lee: That’s probably the case. My dominant leg is also the one that I have going forward. And that one is larger in circumference. Uh, weird running things. I just hadn’t measured. So that’s the only reason why I would know such things. Um, I’ve heard that you have, uh, that you should develop descending skills with your non-dominant leg, but during long events, when I become fatigued, it becomes harder and harder to use the stance that feels awkward for technical features or drops.

[00:43:11] Jonathan Lee: It feels unsafe to use my non-dominant leg. That’s very understandable rose. I think that we all agree that that would feel very unsafe. Especially if these features come up unexpectedly for shorter events, it feels like developing this ambidextrousness shouldn’t or shouldn’t be, or wouldn’t be worth the effort.

[00:43:28] Jonathan Lee: So do I need to try out or to try to even out those leg muscles, thank you so much for all that you do. Hannah. What do you think about this being the pro mountain biker here that descends, should we try to be even left and right foot forward?

[00:43:44] Hannah Finchamp: I feel like there’s so many elements to this question. It means he broken down a little bit.

[00:43:49] Hannah Finchamp: Um, I think that, first of all, I feel like the question is stemming from leg strength and I just probably wouldn’t place that much power on descending unless you’re descending for, you know, an hour every day in this static position, I’m guessing that whatever leg, a cemetery you have, um, I mean, it could be that your leg is fatiguing during the descent.

[00:44:17] Hannah Finchamp: Don’t get me wrong. But if one leg is truly stronger, the other, I would guess it’s from something else in your life that you might not even be aware of. It could be as simple as, you know, a dominant leg is a dominant, like for a reason, you’re going to fall back on that leg. And so even just standing, most of us will lean onto one leg to the side.

[00:44:37] Hannah Finchamp: It could be as simple as something like that, that you’re just always utilizing that leg. So from a strength aspect, I, if you’re worried about one leg being stronger than the other, that’s something I would focus on in the. I would put the emphasis on gaining cemetery off the bike, rather than trying to equalize your strength when you’re on the bike.

[00:45:04] Hannah Finchamp: Um, from a skill standpoint, that becomes a different story. I, I think there’s some validity in this, you know, it certainly doesn’t hurt in training every now and then to throw the other foot forward, just because yeah, you might get caught out somewhere in a race, but like you said, worth the effort.

[00:45:25] Hannah Finchamp: That’s what I start to think of. You know, if you, if you’re spending most of your time, descending with the wrong foot forward, you’re not working on your descending in your strongest point. So this is something, you know, maybe just throw it in once a ride. I wouldn’t spend time focusing on this instead. I would spend time practicing how to get your dominant foot forward, because that actually is something that will be more applicable in a race.

[00:45:56] Hannah Finchamp: You don’t ever want to go off a drop with your non-dominant foot forward. It is offered and it is dangerous, dangerous. It is straight up dangerous and that’s okay. It is for all of us. Um, that’s not a weakness in you. That’s just how it is. And so I would focus on. You know, spending time, it could even be in a parking lot.

[00:46:19] Hannah Finchamp: This is something we practice a lot actually with cornering when you corner and the outside foot is down, getting your back foot down versus getting your front foot down is a different motion because you have to turn the crank in a different manner. And so something as simple as a solemn drill where you’re having to quickly get one foot down over and over is a great way to practice this because it makes it become automatic to learn how to navigate your feet and getting, and making your feet go in the position that you want rather than making your brain and body adapt to an uncomfortable position.

[00:47:06] Jonathan Lee: And chances are, if you’re not familiar with descending with one other foot forward, you didn’t do a lot of weird compensations because you lack coordination in that position. You’ll do a lot of weird compensations with your upper body, like upstream of that. And that could put you into spots where you’re doing things.

[00:47:23] Jonathan Lee: It’s almost like riding that backwards bicycle. I don’t know if you’ve seen that the YouTube videos that exist, where you turn the bars one direction and it goes another way. It’s kind of like riding the rollers, um, and those situations, and you feel that uncoordinated in and kind of just like the world has been flipped upside down.

[00:47:38] Jonathan Lee: You make bad decisions, even though you feel like you you’re, all your intuition will lead you to make bad decisions because it’s patterned in a totally different platform. So it’s really dangerous. I can only think of a couple of times in a race where I’ve had to descend with my other foot forward.

[00:47:53] Jonathan Lee: It’s typically because I get bumped by another rider or I’m like caught up with another rider and that leg got pulled back by their handlebars or something like that. Really weird. And even. I instantly, as soon as I’m able my feet go backwards, they rotate backwards that I can get my dominant foot forward because that’s where I’m best.

[00:48:12] Jonathan Lee: And there shouldn’t be a situation where you would actually be forced to ride with your non-dominant leg forward ever, even in a Canticle situation. There shouldn’t be one that would, for some reason to force you to ride with that foot forward. So it’s likely not like, uh, even an insurance plan that you would never need to do.

[00:48:30] Jonathan Lee: Um, I’ve just asked, so I’ve asked Keegan Swenson, and then I just asked Richie rude too. So world champion and national champions here, Keegan says sometimes I end up there and I can do it and it’s fine, but no, I never practiced that no way. And then Richie says, Richie says, I’ll do it from time to time just because he might end up in that situation.

[00:48:50] Jonathan Lee: And sometimes it’s good to try to feel a bit more equal side to side, but it sounds like he hardly does it. Also Richie does things on bikes that none of us can do. So that’s like once again, going back to the pros, doing something and us doing something else. But Amber, what comes to mind with this is this could also be a distant cousin to dropping your foot, that outside foot in the turn.

[00:49:11] Jonathan Lee: Um, because I’ve noticed with some newer athletes, it’s tougher to drop one foot down than the other foot. When they go through a turn, have you seen that?

[00:49:21] Amber Pierce: Absolutely. And I, I, I personally have a preference, like going through a right-handed turn with my left foot out is a lot more comfortable for me than doing the opposite.

[00:49:28] Amber Pierce: But in road cycling, you don’t have a choice. If you’re taking a left turn, it needs to be your right foot down. You don’t get to say like, oh, I’m going to put my preferred foot forward. Um, cause then you get into some real mess and it’s not pretty. So in that case, you do really need to practice, but you naturally get that practice because it’s just gonna come up in the course of every single ride that you do.

[00:49:51] Amber Pierce: Um, and I know this is similar for ski racers. I think if you’re a slalom racer, right. You’re having to turn in both directions with weights on either leg, but you may still have a preference, but you, in this case really do have to train both sides. You don’t just get to make left turns on a ski hill or

[00:50:07] Jonathan Lee: on the road bike.

[00:50:08] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. And like you’ve said, put all your darn weight on that outside leg. It’s so important in road racing and in mountain biking where it changes in mountain biking right-hand is when you have a berm that is going to allow you to not have to put all that weight down there to get to dig in and get that traction.

[00:50:27] Jonathan Lee: If you’re your berm is kind of like supporting you. So even though it feels like you’re leaning over, you’re actually just perpendicular to the road surface, right? Yeah. I

[00:50:34] Hannah Finchamp: think at the burn more, is it almost becomes more flat again because. You’re just matching on its side. You’re flat.

[00:50:43] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. If you’re hooked to the road perpendicular, even you rotate the road that you’re just matching that pitch.

[00:50:48] Jonathan Lee: Right. So, um, yeah, but this is a really interesting question. I bet one that more than, uh, I bet a lot of you have had this question, but you haven’t vocalized it before. So I’m glad this podcast is a spot where we can ask those sorts of questions and discuss them. So rose, I would not stress over it. Uh, certainly just because of the danger that could exist with this in terms of training.

[00:51:08] Jonathan Lee: Um, so yeah, I think that it’s, um, something there, um, now, uh, a couple of bit, or two more bits of info, Richie says, he says, I think it is something to consider for sure. So for what it’s worth, there we go from a world champion saying that it’s something to consider. Um, Keegan also says, I don’t, he says I’m ambidextrous, maybe kicking doesn’t even know if he’s left or right footed.

How to fit structured training into your riding time

[00:51:29] Jonathan Lee: I would not be surprised. So, so in that case, uh, nevermind. I didn’t even mention their advice. Um, but thanks guys for chiming in live on this. Good to have you guys, um, okay. Let’s go into. He says, first off, I love the app podcast and adaptive training and five stars all around. Thank you, Brad. If you listened to this, yeah.

[00:51:50] Jonathan Lee: Go to Spotify and you can rate, it can listen to the podcast on Spotify, which is awesome by the way, which means that if you have Spotify apps on your TV or anything else, that means that you can have the podcast there. I really recommend listening to the podcast on Spotify. It’s awesome. There’s also timestamps that are linked in the podcast.

[00:52:06] Jonathan Lee: We can’t link those timestamps and other podcast apps, but in Spotify we can. So, uh, w basically, if you scroll down in the, in the description, you’ll be able to tap where it says at three minutes and 14 seconds, we talk about this. You’ll be able to tap that and it’ll just take you there. So, pro tip Spotify is awesome for podcasts listening, and you can rate the podcast on there.

[00:52:25] Jonathan Lee: That would be huge. It’s a new feature. So there’s not as many ratings there as there are in the apple app store. So. Right. The podcast five stars. We would love that very much so. Okay. Brad says my goals are to have as much fun as possible while mountain biking being more fit makes it more fun. That is the truth, right there being more fit because mountain biking is so much fun, but if you’re completely boxed the whole time, it sucks.

[00:52:49] Jonathan Lee: The fun right out of it. So he says I’ve seen a big increase in FTP since using trainer road I’m on the cross-country Olympic plan and was thrilled to use FTP estimation instead of taking another FTP test way to go. Amber new filter, new feature just went out with that. Is that correct? Or am I overstepping in saying that now, if you use F a AI FTP detection, when you do that, uh, you used to just get, uh, a template, like a basic workout in hard-coded one.

[00:53:17] Jonathan Lee: And has that changed for everybody yet? I know. So now

[00:53:19] Amber Pierce: if you use AI, so if you have a ramp test, you can, instead of taking the ramp test, click a button, use FTP detection, um, and then our AI FTP detection tool will detect your new FTP. If you accept that you don’t have to take the ramp test and we will actually replace that with a custom workout.

[00:53:35] Amber Pierce: So an adapted workout that is individualized individualized, according to your plan,

[00:53:41] Jonathan Lee: which is pretty awesome, because now you’ll be able to your same day that you have a test, whereas before you might have had that test, whatever, if you did ramp test, or if you did any other testing format that might’ve blown out your day, maybe even the next day, now you can keep your training on track.

[00:53:56] Jonathan Lee: And if you add that up, I don’t know. Let’s say that you take somewhere around like six. Eight tests per year that you do. If you do that, that’s eight training days that you now get, which by the end of the year, if you add up eight training days, that’s not insignificant. That’s something that’s valuable.

[00:54:09] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. So that’s a cool thing. I just use it this weekend where, um, it said that I was not at 3 0 5 anymore. I’m at three 13. I accepted my ego was very happy with that as well. Now we get to see if my legs are happy, but adapt to training will take care of that. I don’t have to worry about that. So it’s pretty exciting stuff.

[00:54:26] Jonathan Lee: Okay. So, uh, Brad says, my question is what is the best way to use trainer road two days per week? And our low volume plans have three workouts per week. Our mid volume have four to five and then our high volume typically have five to six. So that’s the context. And he says, I like to ride hard on my mountain bike.

[00:54:46] Jonathan Lee: And I’ve found that, that, that the three workouts, plus two mountain bike rides read hard mountain bike rides and a hike every week is too much. Will it mess up adaptive training? Yeah, it is. It sounds fun though. I like that. It says, well, it mess up adaptive training by skipping the third workout. Do I market it as a completed outdoor ride?

[00:55:05] Jonathan Lee: If my mountain bike ride was similar outdoor rides, can’t really be easy since I live in San Diego. And the trails are only in areas where it’s too steep to build townhouses. Uh, any advice is appreciated thanks to the trainer road team. So Brad, I’m going to go through, um, and, and Amber and I can, can kind of go through and alternate through these ones.

[00:55:24] Jonathan Lee: But the first question that you say is, will it mess up adaptive training by skipping the third workout? So let’s say you have two out of three workouts. Amber, what would you say to that?

[00:55:34] Amber Pierce: It, it won’t mess up. The training in that adaptive training will adapt. So regardless of which workout, you skip adaptive training, we’ll adapt your plan accordingly.

[00:55:43] Amber Pierce: So you can still progress through the plan. If you’re missing the same day every week, then probably, um, then you might not progress through the plan the way the plan intends. But that might not be a terrible thing in your case, because you’re not necessarily trying to specialize for a specific event, so you will get fitter.

[00:56:03] Amber Pierce: Um, you will get faster. It’s not, it’s just not going to progress you the way that the plan intense is the only thing. Um, but no, it’s not going to mess up adaptive training for you, adaptive training, adjust to you and to what you are doing. So you can’t really miss that.

[00:56:16] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, exactly. Uh, his next question of outdoor rides, or forgive me, do I mark it as com as a completed outdoor ride?

[00:56:23] Jonathan Lee: If my mountain bike drive was similar. So in this case, he’s saying, let’s say, uh, Brad skips Fridays, and if Brad skips Fridays and then Brad does his mountain bike ride has a blast, and then he comes back and then on Trainor road, uh, you can associate, you can say, well, I did that ride, but it was outside and you can mark it as completed.

[00:56:41] Jonathan Lee: I wouldn’t do that proud unless it really closely matched the profile of the workout because that’s what you really wanted to get at here is if you’re marking it as completed, that’s going to tell adaptive training for now in the future, it’s going to analyze your outdoor rides and give you. Credit for every energy system where you got benefit from that ride.

[00:56:59] Jonathan Lee: And it’s really exciting, but for now, what it will do is it will just trust you. And when you say that you completed that workout, it will say, okay, I’m going to mark that as a completion. So I assume that that athlete did that workout as it was prescribed. So I wouldn’t want to do that because then that could get you in a spot.

[00:57:15] Jonathan Lee: Let’s say that that’s your threshold day. I’m just throwing this out there. What’s that that’s your threshold day and you just keep marking them completed. And as a result, you’ve moved up around 0.3 to 0.5 per week in your progression levels. And you’ve just marched along. And at the end of your eight weeks, then you have like a threshold workout that you actually can do well, like com was a shocking, a no threshold to something to do a threshold workout and have a higher level than you have been doing.

[00:57:42] Jonathan Lee: So that’s why I wouldn’t do that. Um, uh, Maxine actually, um, I think I’m going to share my screen here so I can show what I think would be a better approach for this. Um, because I think personally, I think train now would be a fantastic approach for this. Um, so this is my calendar by the way, uh, happy threshold workout day for me.

[00:58:02] Jonathan Lee: Um, but if I click on train, now I’m going to try to narrate this for people that are listening on the podcast. But, uh, what it does is it gives you three different recommendations or three different categories of workouts, endurance, climbing, and attack. And then it allows me to select the duration that I want.

[00:58:18] Jonathan Lee: So if I only have 30 minutes that day, it’s going to give me workouts that are 30 minutes. But if I have 90 minutes, it’s going to give me workouts that are 90 minutes. And if I don’t like any of those, I can also hit refresh. And then it will give me fresh workouts. If I don’t like the way a certain workout looks, I think this would actually be a great fit for you, Brad, because then you’d be able to just get into quality workouts.

[00:58:39] Jonathan Lee: They won’t drive you toward a specific plan. And Brad, he didn’t mention this. I don’t know if you have like a specific race you’re preparing for, if you’re just trying to be more fit. And if you’re just trying to be more fit for mountain biking, train now is awesome because it’s going to give you a structured training that will give you a rabbinic fitness and get you there.

[00:58:55] Jonathan Lee: And something kind of cool that. Does this recommended badge here? The reason it says recommended is because I’ve been training hard this week and it, so this is kind of sneaky, but what it does is it actually looks at your outside rides and it does a level of analysis that is nowhere near, as in depth as it will do in the future.

[00:59:13] Jonathan Lee: But it looks at that and says, oh, that was kind of a hard day yesterday. I’m not going to recommend that they do a climbing workout or an attacking workout, which attacking is usually short, higher intensity efforts. Climbing is usually more sustained efforts around threshold. So it knows that. So when you do your outside rides, if you have a power meter on there, it’s going to say, oh, that’s Brad did a really hard workout yesterday.

[00:59:34] Jonathan Lee: So I’m just going to recommend an endurance workout today. So it still wouldn’t drive you too deep. Um, all these workouts are productive as you can see as well, which is really cool. So that way you’re, you know, that when you drop in, it’s never going to give you something too hard. So yeah, I think that would be a great approach.

[00:59:51] Jonathan Lee: Uh, Maxine, I’m going to stop sharing my screen here, um, for everybody, but that’s in train a road. It’s kind of a two ways that people train with trainer road. It’s like you follow a plan or you can do train now. And I think a lot of athletes would actually really benefit for following the train now side of things, unless you have a very specific goal, you’re going for like a race or an event, uh, or, you know, you’re doing something like, uh, uh, you want the, the constant, I guess.

[01:00:16] Jonathan Lee: What would it be the constant fact of having a training plan, where you have to knock out those workouts? If you feel like that’s beneficial to keeping you going then a training plan would be great too, but otherwise training. That was pretty good. One thing

[01:00:27] Amber Pierce: to note about train now, in case people aren’t aware of it.

[01:00:29] Amber Pierce: I just want to make sure that we say this explicitly, it does, it is adaptive to you. So it’s going to be the, the workouts that you see on train now are based on the same, um, model that makes adaptations on a custom training plan. So if you’re in a custom training plan is going to adapt you, but train now does the same thing only.

[01:00:49] Amber Pierce: It’s just not on a plan. It’s just, when you go in and you see these workout options, and you can add, like Jonathan said of generation, it is the same model that is making those recommendations for you. So it will progress you. And so the workouts that you see will, will continually match your increase in fitness and be appropriate for you.

[01:01:09] Amber Pierce: So you’ll still be eating all the right workouts. It just won’t be part of a plan. It’s just a different

[01:01:13] Jonathan Lee: approach. Yeah. Great points. Amber. I want to spend some time talking about this from a larger concept perspective of fitting training into riding versus fitting, riding into training, because there’s a, there you can almost like divide, uh, identify a person and put them into a group based, based off of this, a person, either trains and they fit in riding when they can, or they ride and they fit in training where they can.

[01:01:42] Jonathan Lee: And they’re two kind of very different approaches. I feel like there’s no right or wrong way, and it’s very personal to what you want to do. And I have had to bounce back and forth from this where I’m like, I am training all the time and I get to a point where I’m like, I have not actually just ridden my bike in months because I’m just training and I can fall out of love with the bike a little bit and lose some intrinsic motivation when I do that, if I’m just training all the time and I’m not just getting out and enjoying the bike for some people that is totally that’s, that’s fine with them.

[01:02:14] Jonathan Lee: And I can probably go years, honestly like that and still go. But I do find that everything is a bit better when I really enjoy riding the bike and I get that from training, but I really get it from riding when I can just have a day where I’m riding fun trails with friends or doing a nice group ride or a beautiful road ride or something.

[01:02:30] Jonathan Lee: So there’s no right or wrong way. And you might go back and forth throughout it. Um, Hannah, at least for me personally, Hannah, how do you feel about that as a pro athlete? Cause it’s your job to train. Um, do you find yourself getting into spots or you never ride and you just train? I

[01:02:47] Hannah Finchamp: think riding is also my job.

[01:02:50] Hannah Finchamp: Um, I think that riding and training. Should go together. Um, you know, especially when we’re talking about skill work, the best schoolwork I can do is when I’m playing on my bike. And I think that’s something that a lot of kids are really excellent at is they go out and they’re willing to just play on a jump for hours and hours and hours.

[01:03:12] Hannah Finchamp: And that’s what makes little kids such good bike handlers is they play. And so I think that’s something that I actually sometimes need to force myself to do more is to just ride. And so being a very type a person, I still have to schedule this time because it doesn’t necessarily come naturally, but I, I like to put it all together so that I still have that feeling of accomplishment.

[01:03:38] Hannah Finchamp: And then I don’t feel any stress when I, you know, turn off my bike computer, put it in the back pocket or not turn it off. Let’s be honest. I still record it, but I put it in the night, um, and just go ride. And so usually how I do that is I’ll have my workout and I’ll do my intervals and I’ll, you know, focus and make sure I hit everything the way I need to.

[01:04:00] Hannah Finchamp: And then I’ll have a planned amount of time after that, where I’m just driving, you know, it could be. And then I jumped on the trails for 30 minutes or 45 or 60 sometimes it’s hours. Sometimes I’ll have a one hour. Quote unquote training ride, but I’m going to ride for four hours that day. So then I have three hours unstructured, where I’m just on the trails, having fun, doing what I need to do.

[01:04:22] Hannah Finchamp: And if that’s a possibility for this individual, that is what I would recommend because it sounds like what you’re really trying to fulfill is a love for your bike alongside being fit. And so it seems to me that if you’re doing three workouts plus two mountain bike rides, why not do two workouts? And then.

[01:04:46] Hannah Finchamp: Uh, whatever the math is on that, basically just do your workouts and then have some of them also be mountain bike rides, do the ride. And then after the workout, keep riding, and maybe one of you can explain how that would work on the trainer road platform. Would that be extended cool-down or

[01:05:05] Jonathan Lee: how would they, yeah, with outside workouts, it’s pretty darn easy.

[01:05:09] Jonathan Lee: So any workout you have on your calendar, you can just make it an outside workout and then it automatically pushes to your garment or wahoo. Uh, one of the ways that I do this locally is trails usually have some vertical element to them, right? So I go up the road part and I’ll either, if I have time in between intervals, I’ll go up a road then down a trail in between, or I’ll just do my repeats on the road, get my intervals done.

[01:05:34] Jonathan Lee: And then after that, I’m at the trail head, and then I can just ride down. I can add on just like you said, because once you accomplish the workout on your garment or wahoo, even like on Garmin, it even plays like a cute little tone when you finish, you’re done, it celebrates. And then at that point you can just ride like, so that’s the best way to do it.

[01:05:53] Jonathan Lee: And outside workouts, you can do these workouts outside and it’s just a great way to do it. Brad, in this case, um, more athletes should also, I was gonna say more athletes should be using, uh, outside workouts year round in this capacity. Like let’s say you’re racing and you’re have a race season going through, drop down on your volume and use trainer road.

[01:06:15] Jonathan Lee: Workouts that are qualified to use. Then you, aren’t trying to do workouts, midweek that are blowing you up and doing too much. Then you end up not fresh at your workout or at your races. Or if you go to a point where you train a lot, then after that, you just want to ride all summer and you just want to do amazing rides.

[01:06:30] Jonathan Lee: You should absolutely use trainer road for that purpose too. Just to top off your fitness, one to two interval workouts a week, and you’ll be fine. Uh, and it’s a great way to do it. So, yeah, I think it’s underutilized and it makes, like Brad said writing way more enjoyable when you’re fit. And we hear so many times and athletes are like, yeah, I’m super fit in the spring.

[01:06:49] Jonathan Lee: And then in the summer, like how I’m not fit, it’s, writing’s really hard. And it’s because you just, you don’t have to do a lot just one to two workouts a week and you can maintain a whole lot with it. So it’s a good approach. Nope. Sorry. Workout

[01:07:00] Amber Pierce: is really just like a set of intervals within a ride along the lines of what Hannah was describing.

[01:07:06] Amber Pierce: Um, and one of the really nice features of, um, exporting your workouts to a head unit is, and I’m not sure if you haven’t used it before, you might not realize this, but you don’t have to start the interval until you decide to. So you start at the interval when you’re at the hill where you want to do your repeats or at the road where you want to do your repeats or when it’s safe.

[01:07:25] Amber Pierce: Um, and so you hit that lap button and then that’s when you start. So it’s not like you roll out of your driveway and you better start your interval exactly. 10 minutes. No, no, no, no, no. It doesn’t work that way. So you can ride out to where you’re comfortable doing your interval set and you see. When you’re ready when you feel safe when you’re in the right place.

[01:07:43] Amber Pierce: Um, it’s a really, it’s a really, really cool feature. And you can, yeah, like Jonathan said, you can keep your fitness on track. And like Hannah said, you can do both at the same time and keep your fitness on track with a little bit of structure. But you throw that in with, into a bigger loop or trail or route that is really appealing and fun and allows you to do some.

How to pace yourself when the course has steep climbs

[01:08:04] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Great, great advice, Hannah, on doing both instead of just putting yourself into one of the buckets, right. Um, think it’s a great way to do it. Okay. Paul says hi there. Huge fan of train road, as well as the podcast. Thank you so much. And y’all are awesome. Thanks, Paul, appreciate that. Paul says question for you about the proper approach to steep climbs.

[01:08:23] Jonathan Lee: I heard a question asked previously on the podcast about steep climbs at the end of the race and you all focused rightly on nutrition strategies to remain strong. At the end. My challenge is more about steepness. I’m an 80 kilogram rider with an FTP of 2 88, so about three and a half Watts per kilogram.

[01:08:39] Jonathan Lee: What, what I am seeing. Especially on short and steep times, I have no choice, but to be putting out VO two level Watson order to take on the climb, I ride mostly road and gravel and have a swim to by setup with a 46 33 in the front and a 10 36 in the rear. So I have even lower than a one-to-one ratio, which is awesome to have a good audience for having that.

[01:08:59] Jonathan Lee: This says, while I can put out these efforts, my goal is to be training for long 100 mile events. And I’m also trying to heed your advice of keeping my efforts, control that an IMF of around somewhere around 0.7. So when I get to steep sections, I feel like I’m either going to put out too many Watts to put me in a hole later, or I’m just doing something wrong.

[01:09:18] Jonathan Lee: So what advice would you give for how to think about controlling your efforts along road, long rides and races? When climbing gets steep? Clearly I can and should lose weight. He says that Paul, we’re not even going to focus on that part, that that’s a product of your training and everything else. You just let that be what it is.

[01:09:34] Jonathan Lee: Okay. Um, Paul says, but wondering what other tips and suggestions you have. Um, so Maxine, I’m going to kind of like spring this on your, I apologize, but I, I have a blog posts. It’s fantastic on this and I’d like to share it. Um, so I’m gonna open this one up. We have a blog post called how to build a pacing plan for long events.

[01:09:55] Jonathan Lee: And I think that it could be fantastic, uh, for helping you out and giving you kind of some base guidelines for everybody listening to this, that. Wants to figure out about pacing. So this was written by Jessie, who’s in our live chat right now. He’s amazing. Thank you, Jesse. And there’s some basics that I want to run through because you mentioned that 0.7 thing.

[01:10:16] Jonathan Lee: So if your event is somewhere around 20 minutes, you can probably safely do somewhere between one to 1.05 intensity factor. Um, Amber, can you describe what intensity factor is really quick? And actually before I go any further,

[01:10:30] Amber Pierce: um, well, it’s, it’s what it sounds like. It is a measure of intensity. And so we kind of look at, um, a one-hour effort of 1.0, I F as being a

[01:10:41] Hannah Finchamp: max all out effort and that’s kind of the benchmark of

[01:10:44] Amber Pierce: what we look at it for intensity.

[01:10:45] Amber Pierce: And then you can imagine that higher intensity, you would need to shorten the duration and lower intensity. You could increase the duration. And that’s what I think you’re going to get into here in terms of pacing, recommendation.

[01:10:54] Jonathan Lee: Exactly. And just now you saw a popup to subscribe to the blog I recommend you do it will make you faster.

[01:10:59] Jonathan Lee: So, um, and so when we’re talking about 20 minutes at 1.05, that’s going to see you just over threshold because you can probably do that for 20 minutes. One hour, that would be like an hour record. If you were able to hold one, I F uh, for the whole time, that would be amazing when the events get to one to two, one and a half to two and a half hours, you’re probably looking at being able to sustain somewhere around 0.9, two and a half to four and a half hours, somewhere around 0.8 and then four and a half, even all the way up to like 16 hours.

[01:11:26] Jonathan Lee: At least the data shows that you can probably maintain 0.7. So it’s kind of funny to see how this really, the windows get larger and larger as the IMF gets lower. So it isn’t a linear relationship with this, but if your event, and we were talking about pacing your event and trying to find even pacing for it, that’s what you’d be looking at in terms of ballpark, somewhere to go.

[01:11:46] Jonathan Lee: Um, so Maxine, I’m going to stop sharing my screen, uh, but everybody should check out that article. It’s called how to build a pacing plan for long events has fantastic, uh, insight in there. Um, but within this, uh, it’s really important that we don’t think that just because you need to average somewhere around 0.7, that you can’t break 0.7.

[01:12:05] Jonathan Lee: Cause that’s like, it’s impossible. I mean, it’s possible, but you’re probably going to go real slow and you might even have to get off and walk going up some of these Hills, like you’re talking about in this case fall. So I wouldn’t blame you on that one. Uh, what happens I guess? So let’s just say you can’t strictly adhere to that type 0.7.

[01:12:22] Jonathan Lee: I guess what happens then? Uh, Amber, what advice would you have in this case for pacing, your effort over these longer events with these short steep climbs?

[01:12:33] Amber Pierce: Well, first things first, um, achieving a particular intensity factor, isn’t necessarily going to be a product of a perfectly even pace, right? So you’re going to have increases in decreases in pace and the intensity factor.

[01:12:46] Amber Pierce: We’ll take all of those into account toward the end. So there is a lot of wiggle room here. Um, if you have to go much higher over FTP, that’s not necessarily gonna ruin your pace. As long as you drop back down below FTP, uh, low enough and long enough to recover from that effort. So it’s not going to blow you up.

[01:13:03] Amber Pierce: It’s not going to ruin your race. It’s not going to ruin your pacing strategy even. Um, especially if it’s a short, punchy climb, it’s a shorter amount of time where you’re a rep TP. Uh, so I wouldn’t stress too much about

[01:13:13] Jonathan Lee: that. One quick thing on it, Jesse just jumped in. We probably should have explained the formula with this too, but the formula for intensity factor is normalized power divided by FTP.

[01:13:24] Jonathan Lee: So that’s like a really, like Amber said, that’s why this is going to be a representative average of the ride, rather than something like you have to perfectly hold this thing and then it adjusts. Right?

[01:13:34] Amber Pierce: Exactly. The other thing about this is bigger writers can generally hold higher absolute power. And this is, uh, a generalization is not going to be true in every individual case, but in general, this is true.

[01:13:46] Amber Pierce: So, um, I think. Us I’ll count myself among the bigger writers, worry about climbs. But if you’re talking about short, punchy climbs, even if they’re steep, if it’s a short climb, absolute power is still your friend. And so, um, and a good example of this is in the spring classics, right? Those are steep, hard climbs, but they’re short.

[01:14:08] Amber Pierce: So you w the, of the riders that you see, um, having a lot of success, there are writers who have very, very high, absolute power. So I say this because I don’t want you to count yourself out, but, you know, telling yourself some story in your head about how you’re a bigger writer and it’s Tuesday. No, no, no, no.

[01:14:23] Amber Pierce: This could actually be to your benefit. Uh, so get, you know, self-doubt out the window, don’t count yourself out. This might actually be to your advantage in some cases. Um, and then in terms of pacing, if you’re talking about like a really long event, like a gravel event, I think Hannah can probably speak to this even better than I can.

[01:14:43] Amber Pierce: Um, it’s if you’re by yourself in the race and you’re going to be by yourself a lot in the race, then you get to decide how fast you go up this hill. The only time that you really going to be forced into a particular power, uh, power output would be in some cases, like you said, if you try, you might have to put out a certain amount of power just to not follow.

[01:15:07] Jonathan Lee: That can happen.

[01:15:10] Amber Pierce: It would case don’t stress about put that power out and then recover. Um, and then the other time that you might be forced out of a pacing, a pace that you want to do is where you’re in an actual race selection scenario. So if you’re still with a group and your goal is to stay with that group, and that group is going really hard up this climb, you might have to go a little harder than you wanted to in order to stay with that group.

[01:15:31] Amber Pierce: Um, in these big, longer events, it is always worth it to try to stay with the group, because even if you have to go harder to stay with that group, chances are, you’re going to have the benefit of a draft afterwards to get the recovery. You need to bring that, that average back down so that you’re still within that piecing strategy.

[01:15:49] Amber Pierce: Um, so I would just with those exceptions in mind, um, I think that you can definitely still execute your pacing strategy even with steep climbs and mix. And I want to turn it over to Hannah because I think she has a lot more experience with stuff. Like,

[01:16:02] Hannah Finchamp: I’m curious what you would think of this, because I think that people ask this question all the time.

[01:16:09] Hannah Finchamp: Um, and it’s interesting to think. So if you’re on a really steep climb and you’re in a group and you need to stay with this group, how long is too long to be above your pacing strategy? Because at some point it might be that you’re with the wrong group and you show it in a slower group. What do you think is that time

[01:16:34] Jonathan Lee: limit.

[01:16:36] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, I actually set so on long events, if it’s a short event, I do not cap myself. Uh, it’s just like, I’m thinking about your short track and XCO. My body wants to cap it, but I can’t let that happen because you can’t do it. Um, but for long events, I actually put a ceiling on things. Um, so I, and, and that’s like a percentage of FTP ceiling.

[01:17:00] Jonathan Lee: So I’ll say that like, okay. Uh, Leadville is a good example. Actually. I knew that it led Vil, um, after adjusting my FTP for altitude, which always just blows your mind to realize how much lower your FTP is when you’re up at 9,000, 10,000 feet. But after adjusting for everything like that, I think that I figured that I would have a fantastic day at Leadville.

[01:17:21] Jonathan Lee: If I could do point like eight two or something like that, like above, just above 0.8. So my goal was to average somewhere around there, but my other goal was when I was going up climbs was to do everything I possibly could to ride at somewhere below 0.9. Like that to not let myself go over it. And that was my personal ceiling that could change for everybody.

[01:17:44] Jonathan Lee: But as a result, what usually has happened is that people blew by me in the beginning of the race, on the climbs. And then I would see them later and they would look very sad. So, um, as I just held was able to then hold 0.8, just fine on the flat sections of road and I would reel them in. So the capping thing can be really helpful in this situation, particularly if it’s not a scenario where it’s like you’re racing for the front of the field, because in those cases you don’t really get much of a choice.

[01:18:10] Jonathan Lee: If your main goal is to win, you have to do what’s necessary to win. Um, but otherwise, yeah, capping is a great way to do it. Um, Hannah, I don’t know if you have any experience with that as well, but that’s what I do. Yeah, absolutely.

[01:18:24] Hannah Finchamp: I think, I think capping it is, I think capping it for power and for time, um, because you know, using your example, if you hold 0.9, five, Uh, climb for five minutes.

[01:18:40] Hannah Finchamp: No problem. If you hold 0.95, all the Columbine for whatever that is an hour,

[01:18:46] Jonathan Lee: probably a problem. You’re not going to come down on your bike. Um,

[01:18:52] Hannah Finchamp: so it’s, it’s a delicate situation and I think you can create loose boundaries and those boundaries are going to be different for everyone. It’s going to depend if you’re in really deep and you’re in this group and the next group is out of side and it is what it is.

[01:19:09] Hannah Finchamp: It’s gonna depend if you’re racing for the win or if you’re racing to finish. There’s so many contingencies in this question. And so my advice would be to create those barriers for yourself before you get into the race. And there’s really no right or wrong answer as to what those, well, I guess there is a wrong, but there’s the really big, like you have a lot of rings to play, you know, you’d have to be so far out in left field for it to be wrong.

[01:19:41] Hannah Finchamp: Um, that I would just create that before the race in the race. It’s too emotional. Don’t create the boundaries in the race, create them before, you know, it could be okay, I’m going to hold I, this is my cap power. And if I have to hold it for more than 20 minutes, I’m going to back off because that’s too much for me.

[01:19:58] Hannah Finchamp: Perfect. That is a great scenario. Dial it in after that. Don’t think about it. Don’t worry about it because that is too much stress. You’re just putting stress on top of stress. If you’re not holding your pacing strategy and you’re stressing about not holding your pace and strategy, this is worst case scenario.

[01:20:23] Amber Pierce: It’s just too

[01:20:24] Hannah Finchamp: much to put on yourself. So, you know, in this question, if you’re talking about a shorter climb that you literally cannot go easier on. Cause there are climbs like that, especially on the mountain bike and gravel bike, you know, your option is to put out the power or to walk, just put out the power.

[01:20:45] Hannah Finchamp: It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. You know, you don’t want to walk up the climb, just put out the power, acknowledge that you just put out the power and then handle it. After when you get to the top of the climb, you might think, oh, I just spent five minutes above threshold. I used more energy and more calories.

[01:21:02] Hannah Finchamp: I’m going to take a minute to recover and fuel. I’m going to take an extra gel now because I just put out a little more energy than I planned on it. So I’m going to reward my body with the fuel. It needs to continue. The other things are, if you’re in a group and it’s hurting and it’s struggling. And you know, for a fact that this group is a group, you should be in.

[01:21:23] Hannah Finchamp: No that everybody’s working above their FTP. No, that it hurts for everybody know that everybody’s going to struggle after, and the pace will probably decline. And all of you will have a declining power profile for that race. And if you’re in it to win it or in it to win that group, that’s fine. There’s no prize at that point for, you know, who had the most steady power output.

[01:21:49] Hannah Finchamp: Then it’s just a matter of being willing to stay in it and to suffer. And to know that everybody else’s suffering, if you’re the loner and everyone else seems to be okay, and you don’t know anyone in the group, and you don’t know if it’s the right group and you learn that maybe you were above your caliber in that group.

[01:22:08] Hannah Finchamp: The answer is to keep working, to keep training and to raise your FTP. So the next time going up that climb, you are at your FTP in order to summit instead of vastly over. So there’s a lot of answers to this question. And I think that’s a good thing because there’s just so many different ways you can approach it and it’s not pacing.

[01:22:31] Hannah Finchamp: Shouldn’t be a stressful, scary thing. It should be something to help you execute the race better. And I see so many athletes stress so hard over the pacing and it bums me out out a little bit cause they want people to just experience the race for what it is. So set those boundaries. And then just be confident and enjoy whatever happens because that’s part of racing is being able to adapt and enjoy the

[01:22:59] Jonathan Lee: experience.

[01:23:01] Jonathan Lee: I have three other points on this one. Paul’s doing great on gearing. Good job. That’s one of the biggest, like easiest, relatively easiest gets. Um, sometimes it’s easier to buy things than it is. You can’t buy fitness, so that far can be tough, but the gearing can really help you. Uh, the raising your FTP thing is so good.

[01:23:19] Jonathan Lee: Like Hannah said, there are very few problems on the bike that a higher FTP doesn’t solve. Like that’s just the way it works. A higher FTP means you can take a whole lot more blows as everything’s better. Um, but the last point that I wanted to reinforce, cause we’ve already talked about it here, but the shorter the event, the less capping you should do of your, of your pacing.

[01:23:39] Jonathan Lee: Um, the longer the event, especially if it’s one where you know that you’re going to be pushed toward your limits, that’s when that starts to become more important. So, uh, really keep that in mind when you’re weighing how to build out a pacing strategy, you have your average that you’ll probably end up somewhere around and let yourself be okay with going above and below that as the race demands it.

[01:24:03] Jonathan Lee: Um, but then yeah, if it’s longer introduce the capping, if it’s across country, late race, like across country Olympic race, And sometimes it can work out because especially in amateur fields, because amateurs might just go so hard from the gun way over their limits and blow themselves up. Whereas a pro can just keep going hard.

How to manage mood swings and bad temperament during a recovery week

[01:24:22] Jonathan Lee: Um, but for us amateurs, that might happen. So you might be in a good spot of kind of not capping, but just focusing on your average. Um, but really, uh, short races go with the moves, uh, engage in the race, focus on that longer races. That’s when it can be such a help to have this sort of stuff in place. So let’s go into Oscar’s question.

[01:24:44] Jonathan Lee: It says, first of all, I want to thank the whole tr team. You all are amazing, and I wish you the best, my question. Thanks, Oscar. Appreciate that. My question is related to the recovery week. I’ve been doing structured training for two years and the recovery weeks are quite difficult. My mood changes, I eat less.

[01:24:58] Jonathan Lee: I get upset more easily and I feel more stressed, but that never happens when I’m on a training block, meaning that he’s in the loading weeks. I assume it’s like training hard, just balances things on my mood and mental health. Do you have any tips or something that you can recommend to avoid feeling like that during the week?

[01:25:15] Jonathan Lee: Um, I guess, uh, let’s go to Hannah first on this one and then Amber, I’m sure that you have some thoughts on this too, but what are your thoughts when you look at officers question not experiencing this during the loading weeks, but then during their recovery week where it’s a de-load week where you’re doing less, he mentioned that he eats less, his mood changes gets more upset, more easily, feels more stressed during the.

[01:25:38] Jonathan Lee: What are your thoughts? I think this is

[01:25:40] Hannah Finchamp: really common. I think a lot of people feel kind of poopy during a recovery week and it’s normal. Um, but it still doesn’t mean we should just, you know, just because something’s common doesn’t mean it’s good. So, you know, the first thing I think of is nutrition. A lot of people eat last on our recovery week and that, you know, being hangry is a bad time.

[01:26:04] Hannah Finchamp: So could be something as simple as that, that your mood is poor because you’re hungry. Um, so that’s a simple, a simple thing seemingly to change, you know, just make sure that you’re getting enough fuel for your body. Um, you know, it could be something like the training load is too high, even though you’re not feeling it in that week, it could be rolling over into the recovery.

[01:26:32] Hannah Finchamp: Uh, but the other thing I would just think it’s important to mention is to ask yourself what role the bike is playing in your life. If you analyze these other outside factors and you’re not seeing I’m eating enough, I’m sleeping enough. I know I’m not training too much, but I’m still grumpy when I’m not riding.

[01:26:50] Hannah Finchamp: You know, I think a lot of people use the bike as an outlet, but it can help bring us joy or help us modulate stress or anxiety or other mental health situations. And that’s great. It’s an amazing tool, but it’s also important that we don’t give it too much power. We have to be full, full humans without the bike as well.

[01:27:12] Hannah Finchamp: So if exercise is something that you’ve been prescribed for a mental health routine, that’s great. I’m glad that your doctor is prescribing something like that, but find something that you enjoy outside of the bike as well, so that you’re loving yourself as a person and not connecting your identity to the bicycle in particular, you know, get out for a walk, spend time with friends or family, other things that can help you feel that fullness and not just feeling the success or, you know, whatever that Russia is that you might get from the bike.

[01:27:49] Hannah Finchamp: You really want to step back and analyze and make sure that you don’t feel you should never feel less than you should never feel not accomplished because you’re not riding you training and racing and pushing your body. Doesn’t make you a better person. It might make you feel better, but it doesn’t make you better.

[01:28:11] Hannah Finchamp: We’re all equal. We’re all wonderful people. And so just to make sure that even when you’re not training, you don’t let those thoughts creep into your head because they’re not true. You’re still excellent.

[01:28:24] Jonathan Lee: That’s a, uh, it’s really easy to talk. Well, especially for you to, um, having professions within this, like careers as cyclists, but it’s really easy for amateurs even to purely identify with the bike.

[01:28:38] Jonathan Lee: Right. And if you’re not riding the bike, it’s like, I haven’t written in three days. I don’t even think I’m a cyclist anymore. Like

[01:28:48] Hannah Finchamp: yeah. And it’s, it’s too easy to attach yourself worth to it. It really is. And it’s not something if you’re experiencing this, it’s not something to be ashamed of. So many of us have felt this attachment of self worth.

[01:29:01] Hannah Finchamp: It’s just important to acknowledge those thoughts. Oh wow. I’m, I’m feeling this way and it’s not right. And then you get to push that thought out and remind yourself of something else that makes you a full and important person.

[01:29:16] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Amber, what are your thoughts on this?

[01:29:20] Amber Pierce: I, I go everything that Hannah said, I think that’s really well said.

[01:29:23] Amber Pierce: And I think a lot of people do, you know, we, we try our best not to, but it’s hard not to attach a sense of identity and self-worth to our training.

[01:29:33] Hannah Finchamp: Setting that aside

[01:29:34] Amber Pierce: for a second training, like if that might not be the problem for everybody. Right. And, um, you may still feel this way in a rest week. And I think for a lot of us training is a clear justification to take time for yourself, right?

[01:29:50] Amber Pierce: Like the time on the bike is the time that I get to take for myself. I’m a, I’m a parent. I work full time and this is the time that I get to take from me. And it feels justified because it’s my training. But if you’re not training, you know, maybe two hours a day, like you normally would as an example. Um, and now you’re down to 30 minutes or an hour of recovery, or even a rest day.

[01:30:12] Amber Pierce: Most of us are going to tend to fill that time with other things, other things, being chores or tasks or things that are not time for ourselves. And it’s still okay on a rest week to carve out that time and take that time for yourself. And maybe part of what helps you feel balanced when you’re in a training block is the fact that you get outside and you get some sunshine.

[01:30:36] Amber Pierce: Um, maybe it’s just the fact that you get some solitude and you get a little break for your brain. Maybe some breath work would be really helpful and taking some me time to step outside, do some breathing work, take an easy walk. Um, maybe just sitting outside at, on your lunch break. So trying to identify what are some of the key elements in the training that help you feel balanced aside from.

[01:30:59] Amber Pierce: The efforts, right? Like the actual magnitude of the efforts. And you might be able to weave some of those things back into a recovery week so that you’re still taking time for yourself so that you’re still giving your brain a break. So you’re still having some, you know, really connected breath work or getting outside in nature.

[01:31:14] Amber Pierce: Um, whatever that might be for you. And it’s going to be different for everybody, but you can still incorporate some of those elements in a rest week while you’re giving your body the break that it needs from the training intensity.

[01:31:25] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. You know, rest weeks it’s so easy to under eat because you like, so you assume.

[01:31:32] Jonathan Lee: Okay. Um, uh, and I really love this idea that Pete had at one point on a podcast where he said, and I’m sure that this is not just holding the peat, but it impacted me when Pete said it, uh, of not measuring your weight every day. And instead, just looking at it like an average, that’s like balanced out over time.

[01:31:51] Jonathan Lee: And the same thing, I feel like applies to nutrition. At least for me, if I measure my calories every day and I’m trying to balance every single day, number one, that’s a whole lot of stress for me. I do like to check in on that sub like, uh, um, not frequently, but like once a month for a week I’ll measure and I’ll look at things.

[01:32:10] Jonathan Lee: And that way I just, it keeps me on track, but it would be more beneficial to look at this at a longer time, over a longer time period, because. If you look at your workouts and you think I need to eat enough so that I zero out every day or whatever balance you’re trying to maintain. If you’re doing that, you’ll get into those recovery weeks and you will not eat as much, but it’s arguable that your body, you remember, your body does not get faster by dosing it with more training.

[01:32:35] Jonathan Lee: It gets faster as it responds to that training. And as it adapts to that training, that happens during recovery recovery, that happens every night, every day when you’re not training. And it also happens in a much more concentrated dose during those de-load weeks because your body has less stress coming in.

[01:32:52] Jonathan Lee: It has more time to be, uh, I guess, to be in a parasympathetic state. So then that way your body can always be recovering during that week. That’s the intent of it. So if you’re not eating as much recovery adaptation, building muscle, building connections, doing all this stuff, all of that takes resources.

[01:33:10] Jonathan Lee: And if you’re starving yourself during the recovery, That’s not a good way to make it so that the next block of loading is going to be sustainable. It’s likely going to go against you and make you angry. So I would recommend that people don’t look at trying to finish it zeros on their balance with their calories or something else during those weeks instead eat as you feel.

[01:33:31] Jonathan Lee: And, you know, it’s interesting as we hear from a lot of athletes that they are so hungry during their recovery week. And they’re like, I wonder why, because I’m not doing as much work well it’s because your body is still doing a ton of work behind the scenes that you don’t realize. So give yourself the body or the food that your body needs.

[01:33:46] Jonathan Lee: And then as a result, you’ll be able to feel well. And if anything, maybe use that recovery week that you have, if you’re, uh, once again, you’re still training probably, but just not doing quite as much. Um, maybe fill the extra time that you have with cooking and preparing like really high quality things that really interest you like new foods, uh, different things like that.

[01:34:05] Jonathan Lee: Just like giving yourself high quality nutrition in that week, I think is a really important thing to focus on.

[01:34:11] Hannah Finchamp: And then the only in general, remembering that the reason you have a recovery week is because you are tired. I think a lot of people go into recovery weeks and think it’s a recovery week. Why do I feel tired?

[01:34:24] Hannah Finchamp: That’s why, because if we anticipated that you felt good, we would prescribe you more hard workouts. So take that as a big pat on the back that not only have you put in the hard work, but you’ve timed your training really well, and you’re giving your body exactly what it needs to be, the best that it can be.

[01:34:45] Hannah Finchamp: So,

[01:34:47] Jonathan Lee: yeah, th the other thing that I would say too, is I, this is personal and maybe it’s relatable for other people when I go and I have a lot of training and I’ve been building up and putting a lot of time in it, I tend to sacrifice getting other things done for training. So I’ll have a lot of unclosed loops up in my brain, right?

[01:35:06] Jonathan Lee: Where like, I need to do this. And it’s not that loop is not closed yet. And I’ll have a bunch of them. And then if I’m in the rest week and I’m super tired and I haven’t been able to accomplish those things, man, they weigh really heavily. Cause I’m like, well, now you have more time. So why haven’t you closed the loops?

[01:35:19] Jonathan Lee: That’s the internal dialogue that goes on and it just adds a ton of stress and it can be really frustrating. So I would encourage you to examine your loading weeks. Maybe you have too much training volume now for what your body can sustain, but for what your life can sustain, maybe you need to drop down the training volume of time.

[01:35:37] Jonathan Lee: You’ll get more out of it. You’ll be able to have a more sustainable trajectory over a longer period of time. And your life will be better in balance. I’m not saying that’s the case, Oscar, I’m just speaking to myself and hopefully it helps other people too. But I’ve found that, that when I train too much, it just, everything else tends to suffer.

[01:35:55] Jonathan Lee: Um, if it was my job and everything else, and I would focus my life around that, but it’s not my job, so I have to change that around. Um, so yeah, those are, those are the tips it’s normal to feel, uh, kind of like, uh, like Hannah said, someone was feeling poopy during your recovery weeks. That’s okay. Make sure you’re eating enough.

[01:36:14] Jonathan Lee: Make sure that you’re not associating your identity to time spent on the bike and TSS accumulated. Instead you are your own person and the bike is just a fun thing that you can use to be able to achieve balance. Um, great chat in the live chat right now. Going on to once again, join us on YouTube. It’s a good thing to do.

How to find the right tire

[01:36:30] Jonathan Lee: Uh, Frederick this question, uh, how do you select the right mountain bike tires to use? For example, how do you weight, traction versus rolling resistance on the podcast? Jonathan mentions his tire choices from time to time, but I haven’t heard a deep dive on that. I’ll be doing the high cascades 100 in July.

[01:36:46] Jonathan Lee: It’s the only race I’ve ever DNF. And he mentioned that this happened in 2020, and I’ve competed 10 long distance triathlons. It’s not a mix of forest roads and single tracks in central Oregon is dry and dusty. At that time, I’ve seen people that finished high cascades 100, and usually it’s just like two white guys.

[01:37:03] Jonathan Lee: And the rest is just like brown, Oregon dust. They’re like one single color. So yes, I, and I’ve heard it’s, I’ve heard it’s really hard. So, uh, Hannah, I I’d like to, I guess I’d like to ask you first, are you a picky tire person and how do you go about deciding what tires you use? I’ve definitely

[01:37:22] Hannah Finchamp: gotten pickier over the years.

[01:37:25] Hannah Finchamp: I think that tires are something that there’s a lot of really great options out there and, you know, stressing over it is, is not, not the way to go, but the more. The more aware you become, the more you can benefit from the nuances. So if you’re really someone who’s super aware about how they feel on the trail, tires are a great thing to experiment with and to play with because they can make a huge difference, uh, especially on really unique terrain.

[01:37:59] Hannah Finchamp: So, you know, one of the first things I look at is going to be the amount of traction that I need. Um, and the first place that I usually gain that is actually with tire with, and with tire pressure. So the wider, the tire, the more surface area I can cover on the trail and the lower pressure that I can run.

[01:38:26] Hannah Finchamp: So that’s the first place that I try and gain traction is with a wider tire. So in most races nowadays in most XCO races nowadays I’m running a two, four because I can run quite a bit lower pressure and really feel like I’m getting. Really good traction through that. Um, yeah, the next thing after that is I’m going to look at the lugs and the noms.

[01:38:50] Hannah Finchamp: And a lot of that is going to correspond with what the course is running like and what the dirt textures like. Um, you know, there’s a lot of Lilian tents going, gonna look for something with a larger side bug and really good nods to be able to dig in to the corners. If it’s a pretty fast rolling course, then I’m going to look for that lower profile lug.

[01:39:16] Hannah Finchamp: Um, and then I am going to focus more on that rolling resistance, which usually I would take the rolling resistance from having lighter lugs or shorter lugs then from having less traction AK a skinnier tire or higher pressure. Um, so that’s kind of the second thing I look at. And then the third thing is going to be the casing, which is going to probably be the weight of the tire.

[01:39:42] Hannah Finchamp: Um, and almost always, I’m going to go for something with a stronger casing. So I just think that the slowest thing you can do is get a sidewall slash and so I’d rather carry around. It’s such a small, small amount of weight nowadays because tires are really exceptional. Um, and so I almost always go for something.

[01:40:06] Hannah Finchamp: Uh, slightly heavier with more sidewall protection. Um, and then I use all of these things together to determine what tire pressure I’m going to run in that tire. Like I said, if it’s a fastball, in course, and I’m on a Tutu, then it has to be a higher pressure innately. If I’m on a two, four, then I get to start to play with a little bit lower pressures.

[01:40:28] Hannah Finchamp: And then the conditions, the type of hits, the type of terrain, all of those things will play into just how low I can get away with.

[01:40:37] Jonathan Lee: Oh, there are great tips. And that’s basically exactly what I do. Um, when I pick out tires to what, what are your specific like, picks that you run? I’m sure you’re, you’re sponsored by a company as well.

[01:40:48] Jonathan Lee: Yeah.

[01:40:48] Hannah Finchamp: I get to run Kenda tires. So Kenda is one of my partners this year. So, um, my go-to tire with them is typically the rush because it’s really light and fast and it’s fast rolling. And then if I feel like I just need just a little bit more than that, just a little bit, just slightly burlier, um, where I feel like I’m still not really sacrificing any rolling resistance.

[01:41:12] Hannah Finchamp: I’ll go for the booster. Um, and those come in both two, two and two, four. So I get to play with. As well along with those types and then for mud, which inevitably, almost always comes into play in Europe, I’ll do the karma. Um, and then for gravel, I would do either the Flint Ridge pro, which is going to be a gravel tire that does have some knobs and traction, or I do the fortitude pro, which is pretty much just a really wide slick, just whipped, like maybe ever so slight traction, but that’s a fast tire.

[01:41:47] Jonathan Lee: That’s like a Belgian waffle ride tire that you would use the more you’re on the road. And, and that, um, this is, uh, for your situation, Frederick, having a lot of dusty conditions, I think that this is where insurance comes into play for two reasons. Dusty conditions typically mean there will be things hidden underneath the surface that you won’t find until your tires find them, which is not ideal.

[01:42:12] Jonathan Lee: So that is, that means that I would run any of DNF tip before. So you probably know, but I don’t know if you DNF because of a flat or what the reason was, but I would air on a longer course with dusty conditions. I would add. With a tire, that’s going to have a thicker casing. So typically most companies are going to have like a light casing and then a reinforced casing.

[01:42:31] Jonathan Lee: And they may even have higher reinforcements than that, but go some sort of reinforcement. And then also like Hannah said, having shoulder knobs or the side knobs that protrude a bit more, or the sort of things that give you insurance when traction gets real Western on ya and it gets wild. And those moments that’s in, you’re really grateful that you have them.

[01:42:51] Jonathan Lee: There’s one other cool thing that you can look for. If the knobs on the top of your tire, the center knobs, as we call them, and then your shoulder knobs, the side knobs. If there’s a gap in between those center knobs and the shoulder knobs, that’s going to feel like you are locked in when you’re on that.

[01:43:09] Jonathan Lee: If the gap is filled in with other intermediate knobs that alternate or switch around, it’s going to make it feel less like you have center and then locking in on the sides and a more of a smooth transition without as much real confidence locking in on the sides. So those side knobs do make you. So that’s why Hannah’s talking about on those fast, smooth, rolling courses.

[01:43:30] Jonathan Lee: You might not want something with really big side knobs, but in a situation like this Frederick, I would recommend getting something that has a little bit of a gap in between those center knobs and shoulder knobs. And those shoulder knobs are prominent enough to be able to dig in. So, um, Hannah just shared some great options on Kenda.

[01:43:46] Jonathan Lee: Um, I typically tend to run Max’s tires and the recon race is one that I would use if it’s loose and dusty, because it gives me a little bit more confidence when it’s locked in on the edge than the Aspen, but I typically run the Aspen in other conditions, um, and make sure you’re carrying, uh, tire plugs like Dinah plugs.

[01:44:05] Jonathan Lee: I find are like the best ones Stan’s dart works really well too. Um, but make sure you’re carrying a few plugs to be able to do that. Amber, for a lot of us that don’t ride mountain bikes. As often you wrote on the road side, are you at, were you ever picky with your road tires? Cause road is tricky where there’s a lot more like you really have to be detail oriented or you have to convince yourself you’re noticing things that don’t actually exist one of the two on the road, because it’s a lot tougher to tell.

[01:44:29] Jonathan Lee: Right? I do

[01:44:31] Amber Pierce: think that it is. Um, but I would say the tire size and pressure is huge. Um, and that, that was something that could make a huge difference. I didn’t get to do a lot of tire testing because basically from day one of my career, there was. A sponsored equipment provider. And that was that. So what we had to choose from was really whatever line was available from the particular brand that we were sponsored by that year.

[01:44:57] Amber Pierce: And my approach was really based, which was, I would take the most Bulletproof or reliable tires for my training, bike and train on those because I didn’t care how heavy they felt. I just didn’t want to deal with flats and training. And it was almost better when they felt heavier, because then when I would be with the team and we would be at a race, I would get to run, you know, whatever race version of those tires we had.

[01:45:22] Amber Pierce: And then it would feel really light and snappy and good compared to the heavier training tires. So I had a really, really basic approach, but it’s a very different ballgame, right. Um, between road and mountain biking. So yeah.

[01:45:36] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Makes, makes the race bike feel like a rocket ship when you put them on the fast ones.

[01:45:40] Jonathan Lee: I might be totally just like convincing myself to things. So big grain of salt here. Um, I do think I’m pretty good at picking up on differences in equipment and on the road side of things. I, I notice a big difference in, or a difference in tires. My, the SRX turbos are my favorite tires for the feel. Um, they’re not my favorite tires for durability.

[01:46:02] Jonathan Lee: Those things you run through them so fast. Uh, I went through, yeah, it’s it’s rough. So you’ve go through them quick. But the cornering, like, you know, when you’re cornering on a road bike, you’re always wondering where the line is. And it’s really like of just a Razor’s edge to where that line is. And then when it’s too much you’re on the ground already.

[01:46:21] Jonathan Lee: And the one thing these tires have really helped with is I feel like I get a much more broad, it broadens out that knife’s edge. So I get a better indication of traction, like a really good feel that could be totally me making it up. I don’t know. But, um, that compared to like a continental tire, continental is just feel like dry and like, they aren’t actually gripping and, and providing traction instead.

[01:46:44] Jonathan Lee: They’re just rolling. And as a result, I feel like that margin of error that window before when you are upright and then go down the right back to a Razor’s edge, you can, when I use something like that. So your mileage may vary and placebo may play a role in this. And if it does, Hey, that’s a good thing.

[01:47:01] Jonathan Lee: So not a bad thing. Chicken strips and motorcycles. Oh, exactly. Yeah. Yeah, no chicken strips get rid of those things. Um, burn them off. Um, okay. So Hannah, I want to ask you specifically for lifetime grand Prix races that you’re doing, uh, what tires will you be running, uh, for the different events there? Yeah.

[01:47:19] Hannah Finchamp: Um, I think so. I don’t know for sure what the course will be like. It’s yada, but if it’s similar to what it’s been in the past, I think it’s fairly. Mallow

[01:47:29] Jonathan Lee: is going to be considered lapse. Of course, that you’ve done before. Yeah. That’s what I

[01:47:33] Hannah Finchamp: thought. So fairly mellow and then Leadville somewhere thing, fairly mellow in terms of technical.

[01:47:40] Hannah Finchamp: So for me, a fast rolling tire is going to be my go-to for both of those. So I’ll probably do a 2.2 rush. The only thing that I’ll do is I’ll make sure that it’s the strong sidewall casing. So an SCT, because there’s such long races, it’s insurance

[01:48:00] Jonathan Lee: need it. It’s just,

[01:48:03] Hannah Finchamp: it’s worth it. So 2.2 rush set. Um, and then for crusher and a big sugar, I’ve never done those races, but I get the impression that they’re fairly burly.

[01:48:16] Hannah Finchamp: It’s almost the opposites mellow mountain bike races, really burly gravel races. So I’m guessing it’ll be a burlier tire, which would be a burlier gravel tire, which would be. Flintridge pro and definitely using the extra sidewall protection on those big sugar just seems to be like a giant flat party. So if I can stay out of that, I think I will be golden.

[01:48:39] Hannah Finchamp: So, um, yeah. And then I have absolutely no idea what Sean again is like, so that’s a big question, mark.

[01:48:46] Jonathan Lee: I don’t even know how to pronounce that race and yeah, I don’t know. Yeah.

[01:48:51] Amber Pierce: Um, probably just pack

[01:48:52] Hannah Finchamp: a lot of tires and bring them to that one.

[01:48:54] Jonathan Lee: Brenda, the podcast patient would know. Um, cause he’s done that one.

What effects do aerobic and anaerobic training have on each other?

[01:48:58] Jonathan Lee: I think he’s won that race and he’s done it a few times, so, um, yeah. Yeah. Um, okay. Let’s go into James’ question. He says, what effects are I says high train road crew. I love trainer road and seeing the progression every year from using your training plans, even though I’m a dad to a couple of young kids, all because trainer road makes my training so efficient.

[01:49:15] Jonathan Lee: Good to hear James Love that I listened to the podcast every week and five stars. James says, my question is that I’ve noticed that progression levels seem to be tethered to. For instance, when you do a threshold workout, sometimes your sweet spot tempo or endurance levels also improve. Is this the case?

[01:49:31] Jonathan Lee: And if so, what is the thinking behind this? Um, so maybe we should explain progression levels first and actually a producer Maxine. Uh, I think I’ll share my screen again, so you can see my current progression levels in trainer road. Um, so I’ll get ready to do that now. Um, and I’ll explain this to everybody listening on the podcast that then it’s, uh, you’re not just, we’re looking at it and oohing and awing and you don’t know what you’re looking at or just laughing at my level.

[01:49:55] Jonathan Lee: Um, but, uh, so progression levels w those are representations of your abilities in different power zones effectively. So we have endurance tempo, sweet-spot threshold VO, two max, anaerobic, and sprint. Those are the different zones. And then what we do based on the workouts you’re completing, and based on the analysis of adaptive training, it will increase your levels or decrease your levels if you haven’t done workouts in those, in those areas appropriately.

[01:50:21] Jonathan Lee: So imagine yourself, like a video game character, and you have like a, or maybe you’re a car. You have great acceleration, low top speed, uh, but good handling, and then decent breaking something like that. Think of yourself like that. And that’s it. The progression levels give you, um, but it’s all tied into what you’re actually doing, which is really.

[01:50:37] Jonathan Lee: So you can see here that I’m an endurance level of 5.4 right now tempo 2.2. I haven’t been doing a lot of tempo work and I haven’t been doing a lot of anaerobic and sprint. Those are done at one, I’ve been doing more sweet-spot stuff, but a lot of work endurance stuff lately. And since I just raised my FTP, thanks to AI FCP detection, it’s a, that my numbers dropped back to where my levels dropped back down a bit.

[01:50:58] Jonathan Lee: So then I get more appropriate workouts. But the cool part about this is that as you do more workouts in a zone, and as you accomplish more, your levels go up. If you don’t do workouts in a specific zone, your levels will go down because of what we call energy system decay. Um, you know, don’t top it off and don’t touch it up.

[01:51:14] Jonathan Lee: Then it starts to fall apart. So Maxine I’ll go ahead and stop sharing my screen. Um, but those are the progression levels for, for context on what we’re talking about now, with this in mind. James question is that he has noticed that some of them, and I’m going to read this one more time. I’ve noticed that progression levels seem to be tethered together.

[01:51:32] Jonathan Lee: For instance, when you do a threshold workout, sometimes your sweet spot tempo or endurance levels also improve. Um, and so he’s asking what’s the logic behind this. And I went straight to one of the sources here. Uh, we have amazing employees here at trainer road. Talk to all hon, one of the main, I guess, uh, he’s a product manager at also darn near an engineer too.

[01:51:52] Jonathan Lee: Um, uh, it does a lot of work. He’s an amazing guy,

[01:51:55] Amber Pierce: um, slash data scientist slash engineer slash

[01:51:59] Jonathan Lee: slash awesome cyclist. Yeah, just a cool guy. So, um, I went to him and talked to him or talked to all heard about this. So I’m going to read some of what he says, summarize some of what he says. Uh, and then we’ll, that’ll give you kind of the reasoning behind this, but it’s pointed out some really cool stuff.

[01:52:14] Jonathan Lee: It’s gonna allow us to have a conversation on the crossover of aerobic training on different zones and anaerobic training as well and how it all relates to. So all Han says to create the initial relationships. We did an initial analysis to answer the question. If an athlete can pass a level of why zone, uh, Y uh, should say level, why workout of a certain zone, then what level can they pass in another zone?

[01:52:36] Jonathan Lee: Is there a relationship in other words, is what they’re trying to find. And then we brought in a bunch of additional data to validate, make adjustments. And a lot of work has gone into this. And this is also something that is very much open to constant improvement. As we recognize new relationships and new, as new information comes through, then this is something that improves, which is really exciting.

[01:52:55] Jonathan Lee: So from a simple explanation from all hall, and he says, every zone affects what we seem to feel or what right now, what the data is showing about two to three zones, roughly by varying degrees. For example, when you reach a level five and threshold, you might get bumped up to like a level two in VO, two max, because there is some amount of crossover there, a 3.4, five, and sweet spot might mean that you get some sort of an increase in tempo and endurance as well.

[01:53:20] Jonathan Lee: So these are just like examples, right? This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve much higher levels in those zones. It’s simply a minimum that we’re very confident that you can achieve. And he says, we do this so that your other zones are closer to your actual capacities, even if you’re not actively doing workouts in those zones.

[01:53:37] Jonathan Lee: Because that way, when you drop back in and do your workout, it’s not like you’re going to, it’s going to be too easy for you. You’re going to drop back in and it’s going to be something that’s more productive for you as you’re going. Yeah, the right workout at the right time. Right. That’s the whole thing.

[01:53:51] Jonathan Lee: So it’s really cool. And it’s exciting stuff to, to be able to see. And you will notice that when you do a certain workout, it goes up, but this brings up like the whole premise. And I want to talk about this from like a training philosophy perspective. There’s kind of like this perspective that if you do workouts in one zone, you get good at that one zone.

[01:54:09] Jonathan Lee: And to a certain extent, that is true, but there is crossover, right? Amber, like it’s not like so purely locked into a box, right?

[01:54:17] Amber Pierce: Our physiologies are not that specific

[01:54:19] Jonathan Lee: if only if only right. It would be amazing if we could.

[01:54:26] Amber Pierce: Exactly. And I think the, the crux here from a physiologic perspective is the work that you do in a specific training zone.

[01:54:33] Amber Pierce: Like let’s say threshold, for example, that is going to stress your body and your aerobic system in a very specific way that is going to elicit specific adaptations. According to that stress, um, those adaptations might look like higher mitochondrial efficiency. It might look like better circulation.

[01:54:56] Amber Pierce: Those, those adaptations are going to increase your capacity in endurance training zone. It’s going to increase potentially your, uh, capacity in your sweet spot zone as well, because these are not. We we’d like to train these zones because each one has a particular adaptations associated with it. But those adaptations aren’t necessarily only going to benefit that zone.

[01:55:20] Amber Pierce: They will have benefits to other zones too. And that’s one of the benefits that we get to the leverage peer train road is this massive dataset. And being able to look at that and discover what those relationships are.

[01:55:31] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. It’s like a, it’s kind of easy to polarize the debate into like, like you’re a strength athlete.

[01:55:40] Jonathan Lee: That’s like purely anaerobic doing like one rep max sort of stuff, or you’re in a robotic athlete and that’s criticized a lot of the time. But to a certain extent, it’s kind of true, right. Hannah, because even though you’re a cyclist, that’s going to be doing mountain bike races, like short track. And then also it’d be doing something like, you know, Leadville and all these long events.

[01:55:58] Jonathan Lee: You’re still, it’s all aerobic training, even the stuff that’s anaerobic and intention becomes aerobic as you go throughout it. Right? Yeah.

[01:56:07] Hannah Finchamp: I think exactly what Amber just said makes it just makes so much sense to think through this is how everything you’re training is working. Uh, bodily system and making certain adaptations, you know, you’re increasing capillaries, you’re increasing mitochondria.

[01:56:23] Hannah Finchamp: Like these are the concepts that your body knows your body doesn’t know, 300 Watts versus 95 Watts. It really doesn’t. So we have those wattages so that as humans, we can understand where we’re training the systems, but those two things are there just to achieve the same goal. Um, they’re not independent of each other.

[01:56:48] Hannah Finchamp: And so it’s important to understand that these are things that we’re breaking down as people, not things that our body necessarily understand. So there’s fitness, then there’s aerobic and anaerobic. Then there’s endurance sweet spot tempo, you know, under the aerobic, there’s all these different ways we can break it down, but they sit under umbrellas and we have to understand that anaerobic fitness is really small.

[01:57:17] Hannah Finchamp: So most of what we’re doing is going to sit under the aerobic umbrella. And so it makes sense that certain things would impact all of those aerobic systems. And so even like Jonathan just said, so even when you’re training for a 20 minute race or an eight hour race, 20 minutes is still an aerobic. It is, cause you can’t be anaerobic that long.

[01:57:44] Hannah Finchamp: And so what you do for one will still impact the other and vice versa.

[01:57:49] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. When you, uh, when we talk about anaerobic training, we’re typically talking about training anaerobic capacity. It’s usually done through repeats and high in tendencies that you’re reaching and the that’s driven anaerobically or without oxygen.

[01:58:03] Jonathan Lee: Right. And that, that goes away really quick. Like your ability to be able to do that. The gas tank runs dry really fast. And then you’re, you’re left with trying to do as much as that, of that as he can aerobically. So. It’s really like when you’re talking about anaerobic training, uh, it’s pretty rarely implemented in the cycling side, especially, you know, attract racing more often.

[01:58:24] Jonathan Lee: That’s where you’ll see that sort of work really being focused on. Um, and they can be great for building neuro muscular power and building coordination and efficiency. That’s really, uh, that’s why you’ll have short sprints in the middle of your endurance workouts. That sort of stuff is pretty common, but really the main goal is to make you an aerobic athlete.

[01:58:42] Jonathan Lee: And it’s cool because there’s so many different ways to go about doing it. When you get closer to your event, when we’re talking about specificity, we’re talking about training your body to do very specific actions or very specific patterns that you’re going to experience on race day. Uh, at that point we’ve likely built you into the aerobic animal that you are right on the bike.

[01:59:02] Jonathan Lee: So that part is likely been done. And instead it’s about fine tuning. So when you think about your training and you’re doing endurance. Uh, your endurance work is likely helping other things. When you’re doing VO to work, it’s also helping other things. So that’s why you’ll see in the base face, the athletes like Hannah, on your training plan, you’ll have workouts that are harder.

[01:59:23] Jonathan Lee: It’s not just staying perfectly within endurance, cause there’s a lot of different ways to spur these aerobic adaptations. And you want to make sure that you’re doing so in ways that, um, if you just do the same thing over and over again, you don’t get a good return. So you want to do as things in a way that give you the variety for your body to be able to improve, you know?

[01:59:39] Hannah Finchamp: Cause it’s fun to do things.

[01:59:41] Jonathan Lee: Yes. Yeah. And training needs to be fun if it’s not, then, then it starts to fall off. Right. So, um, yeah, absolutely. Uh, thank you. This has been an awesome podcast that the three of us great questions. I feel like we had it. Yes. Yeah. That’s probably the thank you listeners for submitting wonderful questions to us.

[01:59:59] Jonathan Lee: That’s really what drives this or appreciate it so much. Go to trainer and submit those. Um, I did. We have like a good tripod going on here. All three of us, we typically don’t do three. We eat typically seem to do even numbers, but this was fantastic. Uh, for everybody listening to this, go follow head on Instagram or Instagram handles are on here, or we can find them in the podcast description, go follow trainer road, Amber, myself, connect with all of us.

[02:00:25] Jonathan Lee: We’re excited to talk to you next week, but in between now and next week, one big thing. Please share trainer road with your friends, share this podcast with your friends. That’s the biggest thing that you can do to help us. We appreciate it so much and we look forward to talking to you next week. Thanks everybody.

[02:00:37] Jonathan Lee: Take care. Bye everyone.

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