Amber Pierce and Alex Wild join Coach Jonathan for a guide on how to crush long climbs, sleep’s effect on training adaptations, and whether it matters if you train at a specific time of day with consistency. Tune in and share this episode with your friends!


  • 0:00 Welcome!
  • 0:10 Intro
  • 4:35 Does training time consistency matter?
  • 22:27 Pacing marathon MTB and gravel courses like the Tahoe Trail 100
  • 46:43 Rapid Fire Questions
  • 01:10:23 How lack of sleep affects training adaptations
  • 01:33:28 The pro’s guide to crushing long climbs


Influence of circadian rhythms on sports performance

Sleep and Athletic Performance

Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast

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For more cycling training knowledge, listen to the Ask a Cycling Coach — the only podcast dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. New episodes are released weekly.


00:00:00] JonathanLee: Welcome to the podcast is dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. The ask a cycling coach podcast presented by trainer road. I’m coach Jonathan Lee. We have with us Canada and trainer roads, Amber Pierce. Good morning everyone. And we have ice frictions, specialized Alex. Hey everyone. It’s just the three Amigos today.

[00:00:28] JonathanLee: Just us three. It’s going to be a good episode. I think, um, I just came back from family vacation and I’m, I’m like straight into it. So pardon me if we mess up, but we’re going to answer the questions that you slash podcast. Today, you can submit them every week and please do so, but above all, please share this podcast.

[00:00:45] JonathanLee: Everybody. If you’re on Spotify, you can do that in two ways. You can rate the podcast right there, and rating is pretty new to Spotify. So go over there and rate it. So then you can give us five stars that makes more people find the podcast hugely helpful. It also has a share button. You can just hit the share button and share it via Instagram stories, message, email, any of the different apps, WhatsApp, whatever you use, and you can just share it directly from there.

[00:01:06] JonathanLee: So please share this episode with other people. Also, in addition to this, you can do the same thing on iTunes app or basically any other podcast app you use. So rate and share super appreciated. Uh, I wanted to share something that’s pretty cool. From Jeff, he’s a listener. He said not a question, but more of a thanks.

[00:01:24] JonathanLee: I listened to episode 3 54 today, and there was a good segment about finding joy and workouts coming off the back of over a hundred hours, maybe one of the hardest spots to find joy. He says, I get it. They’re rough, definitely type two fun. I’ve been a long time user of trainer row with admittedly a one-year hiatus that proved not really effective to my training this season.

[00:01:42] JonathanLee: When I heard about the introduction of adaptive training, I signed back on with interest in the new software and how it works and safe to say it’s worked very well for a number of reasons. Yes, I’m getting much more fit than probably ever and training more consistently than ever, which those are really big key factors.

[00:01:58] JonathanLee: If you’re training more consistently than ever. But it’s kind of a chicken or the egg thing. Is it you clearing the path and making sure that your dedication is there so that you can be that consistent, or is it you finding a tool that helps you be more consistent? Ideally, both are in play, the more tools and the more infrastructure around you that can help your consistency.

[00:02:18] JonathanLee: The faster you’ll become. That’s like what we see across the board, consistency is the biggest thing. That’s. And after training focuses on that so much, he says the biggest thing I’ve noticed and appreciated about the new trainer rotor adaptive training feature is how much better I feel about my training as athletes and humans.

[00:02:34] JonathanLee: We’re simple creatures with complicated minds. We seek reward for our efforts and we act to respond to wins, losses, gains, or failures, how we act or respond to those outputs pre and post often through analysis paralysis has a massive impact on us as humans and athletes. It says me. Uh, simple human and complicated mind.

[00:02:54] JonathanLee: He notes. If I fail, I get upset if I gain or when I get happy, pretty simple. Sure. Unless that starts impacting things outside of writing, the progression levels have helped with this immensely. They allow me to remain motivated to chase improvements, whether they’re big, small, or maybe not at all. And seeing those improvements and marginal gains allows me to appreciate the efforts and stress I put into training, as we know, understand and see the compounding effect of these gains is significant.

[00:03:21] JonathanLee: And that helps me find the joy in training. Previously previously without progression levels, uh, workouts, that seemed fruitless. You wouldn’t know how well you did other than completing. And for me, looking to next, looking to the next workout would often seem daunting knowing how difficult the previous workout was, but not anymore with adaptive training and progression levels.

[00:03:41] JonathanLee: And for this I’m thankful. So thanks to the tr team for creating this feature, a feature full addition of trainer road. It’s been hugely beneficial to me and my training and subsequently everything outside of training by knowing and seeing that the efforts and stresses or training that I’m doing in training are not in vain as for the FTP detection as just the icing on top.

[00:03:59] JonathanLee: So keep up the incredible work from Jeff. Thanks, Jeff. That’s awesome. Thanks Amber to your team. Thanks all hon and Ron and everybody that had been working on this. Yes, Brian, uh, just massive efforts. Um, what we, I say this pretty often on the podcast. There are over a hundred employees here at trainer road that are, that don’t get the recognition that they deserve all the time.

Does training time consistency matter?

[00:04:22] JonathanLee: So go over to train actually go and leave a review and let people know how awesome training road is though. I think what really helped cause they see those reviews and we share those throughout the company. So thanks Jeff. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Uh, Cameron, he has a question about time of day and if that impacts training adaptations, but so there’s a bit of nuance to it.

[00:04:43] JonathanLee: So he says, Hey, train and road team, how much importance should I put on having a consistent training time each day as a working parent, there are many demands on my time and the windows for my training tend to vary day to day. Sometimes I train early in the morning, sometimes mid day and sometimes in the evening.

[00:04:58] JonathanLee: So should I be making an effort to make this training time consistent throughout a training plan or is it okay to train it very times in a given week? Really appreciate the podcast is resource it’s great. Thanks. I think all of us probably deal with this. Like Alex, you’re a pro athlete, but you also have a career and you work for the combined company specialized, but you’re an analyst with them.

[00:05:27] JonathanLee: And as a result, you have plenty of things that go on your plate. In addition to your, a dog dead to two dogs, and you’re a husband and you’re a homeowner. So you have plenty of stuff on your plate. Do you train consistently at the same time of day or do you ever have to shift and change things around?

[00:05:41] AlexWild: I think shifting is just part of it.

[00:05:43] AlexWild: I mean, obviously in a perfect world, we’d all train at the same time of day. I don’t know, I, I like routine to begin with, but obviously there’s, there’s some science behind doing it at the same time each day, like sleep and work out and your body loves routine as well, but it’s just, it’s not realistic.

[00:06:02] AlexWild: And I think this is a situation where it’s don’t don’t let what perfect. Get in the way of good or however that phrase goes, it’s like, it’s, it’s kind of to the nth degree. It’s if you’re like, oh, I can’t train at the same time every day. So I’m not going to train is very drastic. So it’s like, if you only can find an hour, find that hour wherever you can.

[00:06:23] AlexWild: It’s like if that’s seven in the morning and then 9:00 PM the next day, and then mid day to day after that, it’s, it would be better to train at all than to not train. So I think that’s kind of the first barrier to get over. And then from there it’s how can. You like refine. That’s kind of how I approach my training over the last few years is just, okay, is there something we can do better this year?

[00:06:50] AlexWild: And it’s like, maybe that’s one of those things that’s further down the road. But the first thing is to just like we were talking about before is just hit that consistency. Just make sure you have time to train each day and don’t get too wrapped up in when that training happens.

[00:07:06] JonathanLee: Yeah, this is, uh, I want to get into the science part of it really quick.

[00:07:10] JonathanLee: And then Amber, I want to talk to you about what you’ve done because you’ve gone through everything from being a college student. Well, high school student and swim training, which is notoriously like, um, high commit, high commitment level in the sense that you are in that pool multiple times a day, rather than just having one training session.

[00:07:28] JonathanLee: And then of course, as a collegiate athlete and then as a professional cyclist and now as a. You’ve like, you’ve really, you have a huge breadth of experience. So I want to get into that, but first I would just want to cut to cover the basics. Now, Alex, you mentioned the science behind it and it’s pretty straightforward and pretty simple.

[00:07:45] JonathanLee: And most of it revolves around your core body temperature, at least in terms of what we can measure and what we can actually see the impact on. So basically, and this is kind of cool. Um, our bodies are really dependent on the solar. Right. Like, like where the sun is at in relation to where it’s giving us light and where we can see it.

[00:08:03] JonathanLee: So this isn’t necessarily you, your, your body does have a clock, so to speak. And we talk about this in terms of circadian rhythm. Um, but the interesting thing is that your body isn’t like adhered to 5:00 AM is just when it works. It probably a lot of it is impacted by daylight, which is super interesting.

[00:08:20] JonathanLee: So that’s even why a lot of the time we think like trees and everything else with the cold, and that’s what makes them change the colors of the leaves. But it actually has more to do with the solar day. We’re just all really tied into the sun, which is super interesting. So, but with this, one of the main things that changes is that toward the afternoon we reach our body, our body temp.

[00:08:39] JonathanLee: So that’s an art. The temperature of our body is at its peak. And then it reduces thereafter. We sleep better when we have a lower core temperature and we perform better when we have a higher core temperature. That’s what we see across the board. Now that’s why we’ve talked about just like the, I think it was a week ago or two weeks ago now about warmups, right?

[00:08:59] JonathanLee: And we talked about one of the intents of a warmup is to increase core body temperature because just everything functions better, everything across your body, in terms of athletic performance, it increases too much. Clearly we don’t function very well, but that’s more or less the basics behind it, but there is some interesting things to this.

[00:09:16] JonathanLee: So there’s this whole like form of, and I’m going to link to a study and really what it is is it’s a review or they looked at a lot of different studies to try to see if there was any sort of general trend that they could find without athletic performance. And time of day and see how it affects. And chronobiology is this whole field of study where they look at how time affects these human processes in the body and the identified what they call chrono-types.

[00:09:41] JonathanLee: In other words, if you are a person that trains in the morning, or if you’re a person that trains in the afternoon, or if you’re a person that trains in the evening, those are the kind of like the three main things evening slash. And they looked at that and they basically said that typically people fall into that, but really that’s more of a scheduling thing above all.

[00:09:59] JonathanLee: They aren’t saying that that’s a physiological demand first, but that people tend to have chronotypes those current types tend to evolve as, as age goes on. People tend to train earlier rather than training later, whether that’s professionally motivated, right. Because they have jobs or they have kids or anything else, or whether that’s just because, you know, we get older and we like to do things earlier in the morning, who knows.

[00:10:20] JonathanLee: Uh, but it isn’t something that is biologically defined or something that you are stuck to, but rather it’s, uh, it’s, uh, it’s um, an effective habit that you have, and it’s simply an outcome of that and that it can also be changed. So some people, they might call themselves a morning person, and this is different.

[00:10:38] JonathanLee: This is talking about when you perform physiologically and if you do it more regularly and more consistently, your body will be able to respond to that, I guess, more effectively, which is the assumption in what we find. Um, I just want to cite this too, that the study is called influence of circadian rhythm on sports performance, Victor Iola, um, at all and all the rest of the folks that they work with on this.

[00:11:02] JonathanLee: Um, but here’s the interesting thing with this. And they noticed that people that were had an evening chronotype had the least flexibility in terms of able to perform at the same level across different times. Uh, however it still wasn’t in plastic still. Wasn’t solid. It still wasn’t biologically predefined and that’s what they were stuck at.

[00:11:22] JonathanLee: Yeah. We can change it. So really looking at this, you’re kind of a great example of this Cameron, like you’re changing it around. You don’t have a prototype. You are just, you train when you can, but I want to step back from all of this and think about something that’s really important is that when we warm up, we increase our body temper.

[00:11:41] JonathanLee: So we may very well be like accomplishing the goals of what we see typically from this, at least from the body temperature side of things. When we train, we typically try to, or we should try to nourish ourselves beforehand. And that also has a huge effect on our ability to perform, right. So if you are training early in the morning without any sort of food on the bike or without something right before you get on the bike, then it’s going to be difficult, right?

[00:12:06] JonathanLee: If you train later on or you switch your schedule and then you don’t eat before you train, that’s going to be difficult. So you may think that it’s the time of day that’s making it difficult, but really it might just be the fact that it’s out of your routine and you aren’t preparing your body adequately for it.

[00:12:20] JonathanLee: Like you typically would. There’s so many, like other factors that, that probably are really controllable that we all have, rather than thinking that it’s some sort of like biologically controlled thing where I trained better at this time of day, it’s really just a result of the habits that we have and we can change them around.

[00:12:37] JonathanLee: Yes. If your goal is to like optimize performance, like Alex is talking about and you’re chasing marginal gains then. Yeah, for sure. Like, go ahead and make sure you train it the consistent time and make it, and if you, if your life allows that, but otherwise there’s probably so many other things that you could change and do or focus on that would get you much more returned, namely nourishment.

[00:12:57] JonathanLee: Um, that would really help you of note with all of, all of this too is sorry, Alex. But RPE is the thing that tends to fluctuate the most with these people when they switch out of their. Um, typical range. There was even a study that they mentioned in this review where they looked at biological markers, like VO two kinetics, and they also looked at heart rate and they looked at everything else.

[00:13:17] JonathanLee: And that really wasn’t that different, but the people reported different RPE levels. So this is something that’s important to keep in mind. And we talked about this all the time. If you can lower RPE, whether it’s through any means necessary, whether through placebo or anything else that can be really helpful in making your training feel more sustainable and making it feel more manageable.

[00:13:39] JonathanLee: So with all this, probably some other low-hanging fruit that you could take care of without worrying about being perfectly consistent with your workouts. But the goal should be to prepare yourself adequately, to perform and to lower your RPE. And if you do that, you’ll probably be in a good spot, Alex.

[00:13:54] JonathanLee: Sorry. And then we’ll go to Amber’s. Oh, I was just going

[00:13:57] AlexWild: to add for, for people listening outside of just Cameron’s question, one of the things that’s helpful as well as if you’re raised time is at a time. That’s not usually when you train and you have the ability to, I like to switch if I can, as much to train me to that time of day.

[00:14:13] AlexWild: So like, if you’re used to training in the afternoon and you have like an 8:00 AM start, I’m not saying wake up at five every day and train, but just start training in that morning time to get used to that. And then vice versa, usually training in the morning and you have like a 2:00 PM start or something like that training in the afternoon can be helpful leading up to it.

[00:14:29] AlexWild: If you are looking for just those marginal pieces to perform better on race day.

[00:14:34] JonathanLee: Yeah. Great tip. Amber, what have you noticed as you’ve adjusted? Probably many times and as you’re currently probably having to be very flexible.

[00:14:43] AmberPierce: Yeah. Um, well, you mentioned swimming earlier and that’s constrained by when the group sessions are scheduled.

[00:14:48] AmberPierce: So you’re showing up with a group of other people that have to agree upon it to train. So it’s a very different situation. Um, but with cycling, I had a lot more flexibility. And as Alex mentioned, uh, raising professionally, you do have more of an opportunity to optimize. And when I was racing, I was racing full time.

[00:15:03] AmberPierce: So I was able to optimize around weather and time zone. So for example, if I knew I’d be raised, think in a different time zone, being able to adjust my training schedule, to try to prepare for that, um, that those were different ways of optimizing, but that’s with a, a very, very different, um, set of constraints.

[00:15:21] AmberPierce: And so whenever we’re talking about optimizing, you have to consider that optimization is always about optimizing within a particular set of constraints, and you have to evaluate what those constraints are for you and then go from there. So, uh, I think Alex’s point about consistency and just get it done when you can.

[00:15:36] AmberPierce: That’s the number one foundational goal, right? You get it done when you can. And then from there. You optimize within your actual constraints and racing as a professional full-time I had far fewer constraints. That was my main job. So I was able to sleep in, you know, train during the best weather of the day in the summertime.

[00:15:57] AmberPierce: That was usually early in the winter time. That was in the middle of the. Um, time zone is a consideration. If you know that your event is going to be in a different time zone, you can start adjusting that ahead of time. But like Alex said, you don’t necessarily have to be doing that all the time. Maybe that’s just leading into the event.

[00:16:12] AmberPierce: And then certain disciplines do tend to have start times at certain times, road racing was all over the place. So depending on the category you’re in, depending on the race, it was whether it was a stage race or a one day race. Um, the start times could be all over the place, but cyclocross is a discipline where some of the start times can be a little bit more consistent.

[00:16:30] AmberPierce: Um, so that might be something that you want to try to optimize for if you can, and if that works within your constraints. Um, and now as a, as a new parent, um, it’s really flipping on its head and instead of. Instead of optimizing around, like what I think my performance is going to be, I’m really flipping it into.

[00:16:49] AmberPierce: And we’ll talk about this a little bit later, too, in terms of, you know, the resources come first. So am I well-resourced and am I resourced enough to train and I really walking a Razor’s edge with that. Right. So it’s pretty frequent when it’s like, Hey, you know, I haven’t, I haven’t slept enough. I, my stress level is too high and I haven’t been able to fuel myself appropriately.

[00:17:13] AmberPierce: So trainings off the table today and that’s just going to have to be okay for right now. And I, I am okay with that because I know that this is a temporary, these constraints are temporary in the big picture. And, um, Constraints before that it prevented me from training and I’ve been able to come back.

[00:17:28] AmberPierce: So, um, I’m not too stressed about that, but, um, I do think it’s important to consider that the constraints on your training, um, can impact your ability to, to be well-researched be resourced enough to train effectively. So I think that’s another consideration as well, especially as a parent,

[00:17:48] JonathanLee: I wanted to bring up the point that we’re like indirectly mentioning here is that sometimes us endurance athletes get so focused on optimizing a specific detail or aspect of our whole training ecosystem, uh, and all these training efforts that we forget about much more impactful things.

[00:18:08] JonathanLee: Mm, like, you know, and I’ll be so frustrated because I can’t get my tire pressure exactly where I want, um, or it’s going to change dramatically. This is just an example, but at the same time, I’ll brush off something like, you know, getting enough sleep, uh, so that I can recover well, uh, for my training, right?

[00:18:24] JonathanLee: Or I’ll sacrifice that very sleep to then be delving, dive, diving deep into a rabbit hole that really probably isn’t going to benefit me a whole lot. Right. There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit and there’s so many things that you can focus on. And especially if you’re a multi-sport athlete, boy, you can have three different sports that you can pick from to focus on and to go down endless rabbit holes and to obsess over details on.

[00:18:44] JonathanLee: So it’s really important to make sure that we’re controlling that part. That we still know at the end of each day, what’s most important in terms of how to improve our performance and how we’re doing on those things, rather than focusing on the minutia and all the marginal gains. It’s kind of funny like this team sky example, uh, which team any OSS now, but came out with this focus and it’s really on like the atomic habits book and everything else where they focus on small incremental improvements across a wide range of things.

[00:19:14] JonathanLee: And then that adds up and it gives you the benefit or the AV of aggregate gains or marginal gains. In this case, Mount marginal aggregate gains think is hard, but with all this, we have these pro athletes at this hyper optimized team, and they’re like doing all of these things and these athletes have everything controlled in their lives.

[00:19:33] JonathanLee: And all of us average Joes and Janes are reading this. And we’re like, yeah, I need to worry about like the fractions of a percent. Meanwhile, we’re leaving just huge, like, you know, 12 points over here in a very easy category called sleep and another one called nutrition and another one just called being consistent in doing your work.

[00:19:52] JonathanLee: It’s, you know, we, we can’t fall into that trap of obsessing over details of the cost of much easier, much more impactful gets, but we do it all the time. You know, I would,

[00:20:02] AmberPierce: I would add to that. One of the hidden costs of trying to optimize is the extra cognitive load of overthinking possibly. And then maybe sometimes,

[00:20:19] AmberPierce: oh, I am totally in that category of myself, but sometimes honestly, just keeping it simple and taking that cognitive load down and feeling confident that hitting the basics, the foundational basics, like Jonathan said, the sleep consistency, nutrition, um, that that’s actually gonna get you much further than worrying consistently or frequently over those marginal gains because the, the relief of that cognitive load is a relief of stress and that has a physiological impact too.

[00:20:47] AmberPierce: So it’s, um, it’s, it’s not something to take lightly, definitely something to consider.

[00:20:52] AlexWild: Yeah, absolutely. I, I always feel like if I have noticed a bit. Or the hardest thing in a workout for me is if my expectation is here and then RPG, if it’s just like, even here like this, if that’s off just for those bit, and then my brain will just go in circles, like of the littlest things, that’ll be like, oh, well you slept on your left side and not your right side.

[00:21:14] AlexWild: Maybe you don’t do that anymore. That’s, that’s what you changed like this, this is why we’re not good anymore. Just like, I’m sure a lot of people out there do that, but just always in the mind and yeah, just reiterating what Jonathan and Amber said, just hit the basics first. And then if you’re nailing that, then by all means start, start chugging away at those minor games, but just take a step back first and, and get those big percentages.

[00:21:41] JonathanLee: I think we can all agree though, on, on, there are some finer details that have massive impact, like making sure that your socks are the correct height, uh, making sure that you’re, they look great with your shoe and kit selection. These are very important things. So, um, maybe just for me wear whatever socks you want, even if you don’t want to wear socks, whatever.

[00:21:59] JonathanLee: I mean,

[00:22:00] AlexWild: you can wear white socks on the trainer. That’s fine. But for going outside of maybe not so


[00:22:05] JonathanLee: only if they match perfectly AI. Yeah. I have like, look good. Feel good. Right? Good. Right. That’s how

[00:22:11] AlexWild: I just don’t live in that financial lane. I mean that crease on the front of your foot, like mountain biking is brown forever after one ride.

[00:22:18] AlexWild: And it just

[00:22:18] JonathanLee: like, it’s a dangerous, it’s a dangerous place to live for sure. It’s uh, it’s brazen, I would say wearing white socks on a mountain bike. All right. Sean says Alex wild one, the Tahoe trail one hundred and twenty twenty one. Congrats to Alex. I just had an idea. Amber, we’ve been talking about events that we want to do as a podcast crew.

Pacing marathon MTB and gravel courses like the Tahoe Trail 100

[00:22:40] JonathanLee: We have some wild ideas by the way, which if you’re listening to this and you’re on YouTube right now, let us know which events you think that we should do as a podcast crew. And maybe if it works with somebody like Alex or Hannah’s or Ivy’s schedule, we can even rope them into it too. Maybe. But this one Alex had already be in on, I know this cause he does this race every year.

[00:22:58] JonathanLee: What do you think about doing Tahoe trail? 100 Amber

[00:23:01] AmberPierce: I’m open to it. That would be a really fun challenge.

[00:23:04] JonathanLee: That would be a cool. Yeah. So a hundred Ks. Well actually Alex can, can you describe it really quick? And we’re going to get into Sean’s question, but, uh, what is Tahoe trail? 100 is how long is it? Um, what sort of climbing is it roughly?

[00:23:16] JonathanLee: And then also like, uh, how technical is it compared to other mountain bike races?

[00:23:21] AlexWild: Yeah. Uh, it’s two laps of a 50 K course. So they do that because there’s also a 50 care for people who are just getting into it. You start at north star and then you climb out and do like the greater, like part of Tahoe trail, the rim trail, and then you come around so well, climbing wise, I’m not entirely sure.

[00:23:45] AlexWild: Maybe 3000 for that.

[00:23:47] JonathanLee: Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s 3000 per or 3000 or 2,500 per lap. So

[00:23:53] AlexWild: not a ton of climbing. And I’d say the technicality is, is not so much what I consider, like technical, like rocks and roots and like drops and stuff like that. But more, the technicality comes in that there’s like fine moon dust and more like turning kind of technical.

[00:24:10] AlexWild: Um, there’s one trail that with a couple of rocks, but I’d say as far as like, it’s a great race for beginners and people who want to race that distance, but want to do it on fun trails as well. So it’s, it’s a good mix. It’s nothing I would consider. Technical, I guess, but I always use technical to describe like what I consider like east coast, like rocks roots, slick, like,

[00:24:34] JonathanLee: yeah.

[00:24:34] JonathanLee: It’s good stuff. Amber writes when she goes out for mountain bike rides and then she can, she’ll come out less and she’ll just be like, oh, okay. So this is gravel. That’s single track stuff. Well, that’s what it is.

[00:24:45] AlexWild: It’s mainly just, if you can, if you can turn well and hold speed, then Tahoe trails here, you have ticket.

[00:24:51] JonathanLee: And you know, that region to Amber, it feels like home for you because it’s tall. Yeah. Super fun. This could be a cool one. Okay. Um, sorry for the musing out loud here, but um, okay. Uh, so Alex wild, one of the Tahoe trail one hundred and twenty twenty one, and you’ve also won other years, too, uh, worth noting Alex, congrats on that.

[00:25:10] JonathanLee: He says, and this is a Leadville qualifier, by the way, it’s a Leadville series events. And if you do this race as an amateur, you can then qualify depending on your time and you can even improve your corral position if you’ve already qualified for. So that’s why it’s a really appealing. It’s also, uh, next to the Colorado ones that they have.

[00:25:31] JonathanLee: Uh, that’s the only other Leadville qualifier that’s up at elevation. Certainly not at leadvilles elevation, but it’s still at elevation. So it’s kind of like a good half step for a lot of folks. I was wondering if he can provide being you, Alex, uh, provide some insight into how a first-time racer would create a pacing strategy for that race.

[00:25:48] JonathanLee: I’m racing the 50 K this year. And I would like to know how to pick my pace and power targets during the race. There are a lot of uphill sections and in the race of varying grades and levels of technical difficulty, I think, but I don’t know, he states, so I can’t pick a single power range I’d like to do for some of my long road races.

[00:26:05] JonathanLee: I would like to know how Alex thinks about pacing along mountain bike, race like this in general. So right now I’m wondering, should I pick a power target for the uphill and flat sections based on my fitness approaching race. How would I incorporate my FCPA or performance on other trainer road workouts into these targets?

[00:26:21] JonathanLee: And how can I estimate my likely race time for nutrition purposes at various power targets? Uh, all right. So, uh, Sean, you sound like you are a overthinker just like us, so welcome to the club. And, uh, we can answer this exactly. Alex, what would you say, uh, to, I guess the first one we should pick up on here is about pacing for this course, because it does have some, well, I guess it’s changed since I did it.

[00:26:49] JonathanLee: They did change, I think one climb, but it’s, um, it’s not like it has, it’s not like an east coast course where it’s like wildly, constantly up and down Sawtooth profile. Right? Yeah.

[00:27:02] AlexWild: I’m trying to remember. I think there’s what I would consider four main climbs. So you climb that a north star and that’s a pretty decent climb.

[00:27:11] AlexWild: And then you have to like climbs in the middle of. I guess less. So I’d say maybe like five minutes or so five to 10 minutes in the middle, and then you have the long climb out, which is what I like the first one in the last one. Or would I consider like the main climbs and with it being at altitude, I would say if you’re in front going up the first climb, you’re probably doing it wrong for 99% of people.

[00:27:40] AlexWild: And I only say that because in the pro field, I feel like there’s a different assumption that everybody kind of knows what they’re doing, but in the amateur field, there’s going to be people just, you feel like a hero and an altitude. It takes probably three to five minutes for it to kick in that maybe that’s not the best plan.

[00:27:57] AlexWild: So that first climb, I’d say just be probably ultra conservative, consider it like a TT. And then. From there, like all the flat sections. I don’t think power’s super helpful. I think it’s mainly just about holding a good rhythm, having a cadence you’re comfortable with and being at like 80 to 90%, because a lot of that is just about momentum.

[00:28:21] AlexWild: So like I was saying it, yeah, it’s a little, it’s a lot of like twisty, turny stuff. So just making sure that you are like riding at a pace where you still can cognitively look up the trail and be like, okay, I got a sweeping right turn and then take the turn. You’re going to make up more time being smooth and not hitting the brakes.

[00:28:41] AlexWild: Then adding even 10, 20 Watts on sections like that. And so I’d save the power targets just for those just straight climbs. Um, and then those two middle climbs, I’d say you could up the power a little bit, but again, just be careful you’re at altitude. So you don’t really want to blow up and yeah. The last climb literally just brings you to the top, like the north star gondola.

[00:29:02] AlexWild: And then from there you just have to drop down to the finish. So I’d say that’s the spot where if you have anything extra, so many people blow up on that. I think they even joke about it. That it’s called like the trail of tears, because it’s just the last climb of this race.

[00:29:16] JonathanLee: And there’s like seven false endings to this time.

[00:29:19] JonathanLee: So like where you feel like it’s over, that’s not keeps growing.

[00:29:23] AlexWild: So I think like if you save some and you’re like, oh man, my pacing plan was terrible. Like, I feel so good on this climb, then you’re in a good spot because that’s, when, if you haven’t caught them already, all those people that you said goodbye to on the first climb will probably be crying about this trip.

[00:29:40] AlexWild: So I think it’s a good opportunity to, to pass people there. And, and overall, there are some single track sections. All the trails are pretty easy to pass on. I’d say. Yeah. So it’s not like you’re trying to get up there and diving into a single track. That’s going to be the next two hours of the day. So I’d say ride to your plan and, and negative split.

[00:30:02] AlexWild: It would be a huge advantage on a course like that, especially at altitude.

[00:30:06] JonathanLee: I want to talk generally about these sort of races where you have, like, you just can’t ride perfectly within yourself. Now, if it’s a road race and we’re, you mentioned this plenty of times, like you can have a great plan, but then you get punched in the face with a really hard push.

[00:30:21] JonathanLee: And suddenly the group is going is not following your pacing plan anymore. And that’s really sad, but you can’t really, you can’t just stick to a plan and lose the group. So in this case, when we’re talking about a mountain bike race, the group actually, I would say, is more important on this race than most mountain bike races because of the fact that you can carry a pretty high speed through a lot of sections and you can sit in and you can get a great draft and be able to recover really well.

[00:30:46] JonathanLee: Um, and it, during a technical race, like if you’re in the east coast or anything else, like. No, it’s probably actually even better to be, to have some space. So then he can get some line of sight and be able to take the line that you need. Um, but for this race, I do think it’s beneficial to stay with a group.

[00:31:00] JonathanLee: To a certain extent, I will add to what Alex has said is that there is, there’s the great explosion at that race that happens in a couple of spots. But the first one is once he gets to mid mountain on north star, because it’s steepest at the bottom, this climb gets less steep as it goes up. So it’s steepest at the bottom and everyone’s really excited and they go out way too hard and they all blow up and you will just blow right by them.

[00:31:21] JonathanLee: If you stick to a pacing plan there. So, like Alex said on climbs, stick to your power targets, those power targets for that day, you should not be getting up into threshold. You should be keeping yourself in between tempo and sweet spot. That’s my recommendation. There are a few steeper little spots where you’re going to be forced to up to your threshold or even above your threshold.

[00:31:42] JonathanLee: And that’s okay. Um, don’t freak out about. Just let that happen and try to conserve as much as he can, the spot where you really make up the time. And I would add a suggestion to what Alex said in the flats and the spots when it’s not climbing, give yourself a floor with your power. Instead of worrying about the ceiling, give yourself a floor, say, I am not going to drop below this specific power target.

[00:32:05] JonathanLee: And if, and it doesn’t have to be really high, you know, make it like tempo, like low tempo, something like that. But if you make it low tempo and you make that the goal, if you’re just cruising around 70%, that whole time, I promise you in those times, when it’s tempting to ease up, you will just be gaining gobs of time on everybody else because of the fact that you were just, you weren’t exhausting yourself.

[00:32:26] JonathanLee: You were just staying on the gas and you were carrying two to three more miles per hour through that section than somebody would otherwise. It really starts to add up. That’s how you pull out time on these big marathon courses. You give yourself caps on the clock. And if you can stay within them, fantastic.

[00:32:42] JonathanLee: If you can’t, you don’t let it freak you out. And then where you make up your time is in the, all the in-betweens the spots that nobody focuses on and that’s just by staying on the gas. So it’s all about keeping tempo going and then letting yourself drift up higher into those sweet spot intensities, maybe even threshold intensities of necessary when you can, but I’ve found Alex makes it also makes it so that you don’t surge as much, right?

[00:33:06] JonathanLee: Because those surges just end up really, really hurting you toward the end of the day. Yeah. Especially

[00:33:10] AlexWild: at altitude. I mean, anything above threshold honestly, is going to hurt you and that’s adjusted threshold. So whatever your threshold is at, um, what, 6,000 feet, six to seven and a half, I think the course goes through.

[00:33:24] AlexWild: And then the only thing I would add. As much as everybody knows, I love power targets. Don’t have them at the expense of being smooth. Like don’t pedal to the corner because you have to hit 230 Watts. Like if you can get through that corner faster without pedaling do it. So maybe, maybe looking at normalized power and splitting the course into sections would be your best bet.

[00:33:45] AlexWild: But my only fear with giving someone a floor like that is like, oh, this downhill section, like I’m going to peddle through it because I got to hit third

[00:33:53] JonathanLee: and it’s like dumped peddling downhill.

[00:33:55] AlexWild: So more, more so I think Jonathan’s trying to get out as is, especially in the amateur ranks. One of, one of the easy gets is actually peddling through the top of a climb.

[00:34:03] AlexWild: A lot of people get to the top and they’re like, oh, like we’re at the top. You know? And it’s like, it’s kind of, as it goes up and over, like, if you can just extend that effort, 20 even 30 seconds, your speed going into the downhill is so much more. But also over that crest, It’s a mental thing that, that comes out in physical.

[00:34:23] AlexWild: It’s like, well, I made it to the top of the climb and they kind of reset for those 20, 30 seconds and rest. Whereas if you’re comfortable and you can go up and through the top of that climb, um, we see it at a crit here that actually happiness weekend, um, Katz hill Hillcrest at the top of that hill. It’s so steep.

[00:34:41] AlexWild: It’s like a, like a 10, 15, second hill and everybody gets to the top and they’re like, oh, thank God. But it’s like, the winning attack is always the person who makes it to the top and then punches it through that next right corner, which is like 10 seconds up the road. So it’s just keeping that in mind.

[00:34:55] AlexWild: But at more of like that 70, 80%, if you can keep that effort going through the top and into the next section, then like Jonathan said, you’re going to be making up gobs of time there

[00:35:05] JonathanLee: if you’re doing it right. You’ll be getting passed by the amateurs next to you on climbs. And then you won’t get beginning of clients.

[00:35:14] JonathanLee: And then toward the end of the climb or after the climb, you will pass the. And then you probably will, and you’ll either make less contact with them over time or you’ll just not see them anymore. I spoke to say on that person

[00:35:25] AlexWild: that passes you’re at the bottom of the climb will be a different person every time, because the last person will be.

[00:35:30] JonathanLee: Yes, exactly. So, and, and, but that’s what it feels like. So you have to fight that urge right? To, to like, not let a person pass you on a climb. Like no, no, no. Yeah. Like, you know, that’s where you need to be. Okay. With those sorts of changes, because that’s what allows you to be able to keep the gas on all throughout the other spots over the top of climbs to the flat stuff.

[00:35:51] JonathanLee: And it’s, and there’s a climb there that, you know, Alex probably because Alex has such a high FTP and such low weight, he probably didn’t even that doesn’t even notice this, but I sure noticed this one of the short climbs that’s in the middle toward the end, but it’s not the last climb. It stairsteps quite a lot.

[00:36:07] JonathanLee: And it’s, and it’s got some steep chunks or steep kicks to it and it’s usually really hot and exposed there too. Um, it’s even a bit Sandy. So it kind of has all of these elements and boy, it will be tempting to just stand in, sprint your way through those little stairsteps and surges, but don’t absorb them, let them come through.

[00:36:25] JonathanLee: And I promise that as you do that, you’ll be able to carry more momentum in between those punches and as a result. You’ll actually move faster through them rather than just sprinting and then blowing up and limping your way through. Um, it’s something that I’m sure Amber, you’ve noticed this too, like throughout racing and Belgium and dealing with classics and dealing with all of these punches and constant Burges, but how important I’d like to have you focus on the nutrition side of this a little bit, Amber, because this is the other side that probably we could give Sean a perfect pacing plan, but if the nutrition part is in place, it’s not going to work.

[00:37:01] AmberPierce: Right. And I think, um, this is, this is going to be really key for anything, but especially with mountain biking. And I say this as somebody, who’s not a mountain biking expert. So for me being on the mountain bike involves a lot of cognitive load. Um, a lot of mental focus because you’re looking at. Line choice far more on, on the road.

[00:37:20] AmberPierce: It’s a little bit easier cause you’re following wheels and you’re less cognizant about, um, the particular line what’s what’s on the trail and how you’re going to create speed on the trail.

[00:37:30] JonathanLee: So for yourself,

[00:37:34] AlexWild: I have so much more cognitive load with a bunch of randos around me, launching bottles on the ground.

[00:37:39] AlexWild: Yeah. And Amber is

[00:37:40] JonathanLee: totally chill in that environment. It’s funny. Right?

[00:37:45] AmberPierce: Well, I think it’s important to remember that even on race day, you’re going to have some mental energy. Um, that’s burning up glucose and is burning up real fuel. So just keep in mind that it’s not just about the effort that you’re putting forth to turn the pedals around.

[00:37:59] AmberPierce: It’s also the mental focus that you’re taking to keep an eye on your pacing strategy. Who’s you know, who is around you, what’s going on with the trail, um, what lines you want to take and how you are, um, how you are positioned throughout the race. So, uh, keep in mind that that’s something you don’t want to forget about and you want to make sure that you’re feeling.

[00:38:16] AmberPierce: Adequately more than adequately on race day, if you can. Um, but usually race day for most of us, uh, it does involve a lot more mental and emotional energy than a regular training ride. Um, and that’s something that is on top of the physical output and it does actually consume

[00:38:33] JonathanLee: fuel. Yeah. And along those lines, that’s why Alex, I know you prefer to use a hydration pack when you can, for those sort of longer races like this.

[00:38:43] JonathanLee: And that’s like such an easy get from making your nutrition easier because if you have to reach down and grab a bottle drink, and then put your bottle back in, it’s a lot of barriers to drinking that might cause you to not drink as frequently. Whereas if you just have the hose and it’s easy to put the hose up there, I use that, uh, everyone always asks about the packs that I use.

[00:39:02] JonathanLee: I know it’s the same pack Alex uses the use. We, um, Outlander pro is the one that I like for ECC races and even has a little magnets. Then I don’t even have to think about re clipping my hosts. Like I just like pull it up, drink, and then I let it go. And it just snaps into place. So like the, you can do to make it easier and safer to drink.

[00:39:21] JonathanLee: A neat is going to go a long way to making you stick to your nutrition plan

[00:39:26] AlexWild: better. Yeah. The magnetic clip is clutch. I always always remind people. That’s not what it comes, stock on it. So if you’re ordering a, I used to be, make sure you order the magnetic clip. You will not regret it. I was watching Cape epic yesterday, and it was a big single track day and it seemed like a lot of people had that strategy.

[00:39:42] AlexWild: It wasn’t so much that they couldn’t carry as much water on their bikes, but being single track and very similar to some of the sections of Tahoe trail, fast flowy sections, it’s much easier. Like Jonathan said, just to throw. In your mouth. And then also with the magnetic clip, you kind of can just Chuck it at your chest.

[00:39:59] AlexWild: And it’s like, I got it. So normally, like, I’ll just take a quick swig and then like, you get used to like where you need to throw it and the magnet will just grab it back for you. So it’s, it’s a lot easier on those extended sections. And if I had two more tips for Shawn and anybody in, in races, like this is at altitude, I’ve found increasing my respiratory rate.

[00:40:19] AlexWild: So consciously breathing more and it’s, it can be very loud. So just, just like consciously breathing a lot helps me at altitude, but also with trails that are this fast and flowy, the biggest thing you can do to increase your performance is look as far up the trail, as you can, especially when you’re going through a corner, like as you’re seeing more trail, that’s where you should be looking, and that helps you so much.

[00:40:48] AlexWild: I think about it as like the GoPro effect. When you think you’re going so fast and you watch it on GoPros, you’re like, whoa, I was not going fast. It’s just because of how wide the lenses at it is essentially making you look further up the trail. And so if you can do that to yourself while you’re riding your feeling of speed and therefore your level of intimidation comes down and so you can, again, cognitive load goes down, you can actually make a decision based on that.

[00:41:19] AlexWild: Like, okay, I have a right sweeping corner in my head. I like to try to think of myself as like the, the rally car, second driver. That’s like telling the guy what, what corners are coming up, like in your head? You’re like, okay, you got it right. Sweeping more. Okay. You gotta left sharp corner. Oh, okay. Got it.

[00:41:34] AlexWild: You know, so just keeping in mind and that also keeps you present. One thing I find is if you’re. Flowing too much, sometimes your mind wanders and thinks about other things. And that’s what mistakes happen. So kind of keeping the mental conversation on the trail helps me like stay focused and stay present.

[00:41:52] JonathanLee: Yeah. And with these marathon races too, it’s so important when you’re doing long and heck this applies to gravel. It’s applies to road too, but particularly with marathon, uh, Alex mentioned this before, but favor being smooth over being fast, uh, and it adds up, it has a cumulative effect. If you are able to ride just below that, and I’m going to say threshold, but use this in totally different circumstances, your threshold of speed that you can maintain on the trail.

[00:42:20] JonathanLee: We’re not talking about power. If you can ride to get, figure out like, okay, I can ride below this threshold. And while I may not be hitting this corner, absolute, maximum speed. I’m hitting it at 9,500. And it’s really sustainable to ride at a high level of that threshold. Like really close to the limit.

[00:42:38] JonathanLee: You can, if you just drop it down a touch, you can ride at that level the whole day, rather than having to deal with crashes, dealing with mistakes, dealing with frustrations and everything else that comes from it. So. A really good tactic for this is when you’re out on trails that, you know, make sure you know, these trails well, uh, ride those trails and then make it your goal to peddle less in and out of your turns.

[00:43:02] JonathanLee: But instead, just try to roll, but then think about, uh, find ways to maximize my speed. What you’ll find you’ll end up doing is taking different lines. You’ll find you’re looking outside of the typical line that everybody takes and you’ll be seeing new opportunities. You’ll be noticing things like, oh, I always hit rocks every time I go through these turns and I can actually take a different line that has me dodging these rocks, or there’s a Sandy spot.

[00:43:24] JonathanLee: I typically hit that Sandy spot. And now I don’t hit that Sandy spot. And it’s just that those are the little things that you notice when you’re not going at a million miles an hour and not riding above your threshold in terms of speed. It allows you to see really the matrix. And then at that point you can really get all of this level of efficiency that you’re just missing.

[00:43:43] JonathanLee: Because you’re so panicked that you might not be going through at the highest possible speed through a turn. It makes a huge difference, Amber,

[00:43:51] AmberPierce: um, on the road in time trials, which is very different than, than mountain biking. I, I concede, um, we talk a lot about free speed. So I think that’s really what we’re talking about here is where can you get free speed in the race?

[00:44:04] AmberPierce: Because speed comes at different costs, right? So really punching hard above FTP on a climb, you’re creating speed, but at a very high cost, whereas on a downhill or taking a good line, you can create speed, gain speed, but for no cost. And so really you want to, there will be places where you have to create speed, where it is a high cost, and that’s where your nutrition and your pacing strategy come in.

[00:44:29] AmberPierce: But also you want to make sure you’re maximizing those opportunities where you can create fee free speed or. Lose less expensive speed. So if you had to create speed on a climb, how can you get the most out of that cost? Right. It’s kind of just a cost benefit analysis through that. The whole.

[00:44:48] JonathanLee: Oh, that’s such a good way to think of it too.

[00:44:50] JonathanLee: Like that you kind of have a balance that you’re a budget that you’re balancing throughout it. Like, and you’re going that way. I, that’s a great way to think of it. And also it’s really important to train with this and to practice this beforehand so that you’re not suddenly wondering, like, am I creating speed?

[00:45:06] JonathanLee: Am I losing speed? When you’re like racing and having to worry about everything else, practice this in your training. This is such a great opportunity for outside workouts. If he can find a trail that allows you to do your intervals going up and then a trail coming down, talk about a perfect time where you’re not trying to hit power targets.

[00:45:22] JonathanLee: You’re not trying to go for us a certain time, but you can really just focus on riding and, and you know, the technical aspects of it. It’s just, it’s a fantastic strategy to do. Yeah. Um, I hope in this case, Sean, that you raised Tahoe trail 100 would be great to see you there. Uh, I want to be there this year.

[00:45:41] JonathanLee: I don’t think I am going to race. I don’t think. Um, but I do want to be there. I think it’s an awesome race. It’s a ton of fun. I think it actually kind of suffers by being a Leadville qualifier because it sits too much in Leadville shadow. I wish that it in one respect kind of wasn’t and it would have more people coming to find it cause can clearly Alex found that how awesome that race is.

[00:46:01] JonathanLee: It’s tons of fun. Um, and other athletes should too, but I think they skip it a lot of the time, the pros, at least, because it’s a Leadville qualifier, it shouldn’t sleep on it it’s way too much fun. So yeah. Good stuff. Anything else to add for marathon racing tips? For many of us. Cool. Good

[00:46:18] AlexWild: luck, Sean. Yeah.

Rapid Fire Questions

[00:46:20] JonathanLee: Good luck. Uh, and also good luck to you Alex. Cause you’re doing it again this year. So maybe they come say, Hey beat. Yeah, maybe in 20, 23 Amber or something like that, maybe. Tahoe trail and do it. That could be fun. Yeah, that’d be a fun day. Um, okay. I want to get into, uh, we’re going to, this is our intermission time, so to speak so where we might cover rapid fire, who might cover what I talked about last week Chad’s corner, is he trademark in that?

[00:46:46] JonathanLee: Um, uh, but I want to talk about your racing Alex, cause you’ve been doing some gravel races. They haven’t been going how you wanted, um, perfectly you’ve you’re in the front group and then it seems like things happen. Um, so tell me what you’ve learned so far. You’ve been doing the grasshopper adventure series, which is like there nor Cal classics up here.

[00:47:03] JonathanLee: They’re really common races are friends of the podcast, Ted and Laura King have also been out there doing these races, which has been really fun to watch. But, um, yeah. Tell me about what you’ve learned doing these mixed surface road, gravel events, which are probably preparing you pretty well for lifetime grand Prix.

[00:47:22] AlexWild: Um, that sprinting against the national champ is hard.

[00:47:26] JonathanLee: Lou parodies, a little fast isn’t he?

[00:47:29] AlexWild: So, yeah, so the first one I ended up being, it was only, I think two, just over two hour finish time. And there was two main climbs, so that’s kind of where I tried to make the race. And, um, two riders were able to come with me, Luke and I can’t believe I’m forgetting his name.

[00:47:50] AlexWild: He rides for the yeah. Brendan words. Thank you. Yeah. So he rides for the Scuderia Pinarello and so it was the three of us coming into the finish. And I think I, I weigh probably as much as Brennan’s left leg and then also lose

[00:48:05] JonathanLee: big, go to our YouTube channel and look valley of the sun criteria mean you can see him absolutely destroying the entire field in front of me and me included in being destroyed.

[00:48:13] JonathanLee: So yeah.

[00:48:15] AlexWild: So it came down to the finish with me, him and Luke, who is the elite men’s or yeah, elite men’s crit champ. So probably pretty good at sprinting. So channeling my inner Amber and convinced myself I was a sprinter, but still got there.

[00:48:37] AlexWild: I was happy with the effort. It was early season. Um, Pete Stefano is also there is doing the lifetime series, so it was good to get in a race with him as well. I’m just happy with everywhere. Everything was. It was still a build race for everybody. So I think it was just a good test and it was my first time racing on the crux.

[00:48:58] AlexWild: Um, in hindsight, I probably put two beefy tires. I listened to the race organizer and other people saying that 30 eights was the call for this course. And then Luke one on 32 , which probably would have been my call if I had gone back and raced it. So probably lost a little bit of efficiency there, but definitely added to having a good, good workout day.

[00:49:20] AlexWild: So I think that was my first learning is that I’m a mountain biker. Who’s coming to gravel, not a, not a road bikers coming into gravel, which we have, I guess, those off-road skills that use to the tire siding underneath us understand kind of how like that works on dirt. So I think on the equipment side, I can be a little more.

[00:49:42] AlexWild: Aggressive for speed and still handle my bike with those at the front of the race. So that was the lesson from the first one. And the second one I did that, I did 30 to see semi select tires and it was feeling good. Um, just had an unfortunate unavoidable rock. Brendan was in front of me, and then he kind of just rolled the side of the rock so that it went in front of my wheel.

[00:50:07] AlexWild: And there was just, there was just no room to react. It was just kinda like try to unweight the front wheel and didn’t happen fast enough. And it was just instant flat on the front, had to stop and throw a tube in and chase back. And so I made my goal there to see if, if I cut out my stop time for fixing the flat, if like my total time would be the winning time.

[00:50:28] AlexWild: So I tried to chase back on my own to be overall faster in my messed up mad science heads. That was, that was a good goal. And so I was able to do that by 22 seconds. So I was pretty stoked. There was a group of two, which was in the lead and then a group of seven behind them. So I was able to chase back at the same speed as those groups.

[00:50:46] AlexWild: So think that the, the moral is the fitness is there and just kind of putting on the last touches. Now we’ve been doing some work and keeping the volume up. Even this week was supposed to be kind of the start of the taper, but we were doing so well and adapting well that we extended the build out one week.

[00:51:06] AlexWild: And then we’ll, we’ll start a full taper into sea Otter after this weekend.

[00:51:10] JonathanLee: Nice. You also climbed Holly Arcola during this time, but you went on vacation and slash training camp and you climbed probably Aqua what’d you learn Nate climb that one before you can search the podcast episodes in the past, ask a cycling coach podcast, Holly Aquila, and you’ll be able to hear Nate’s experience in climbing.

[00:51:27] JonathanLee: He dealt with insane wins that were like knocking him off the bike. Yeah. What did you learn in doing that? Because that is kind of like a, that way in a weird way. It was kind of like a good lifetime grand pre-test to even when you’re dealing with like crazy elevation. Steady power the whole time. Yeah.

[00:51:42] AlexWild: It’s just all day power. It was kind of a last minute thing. I think I texted you John, like a week or two before I left. And it was kind of just like thinking about it. And um, so I packed a set of road wheels cause I was riding everywhere on the crutch, just trying to get used to that position. Cause that’ll be my go-to for lifetime and grand Prix, probably with the exception of Unbound.

[00:52:02] AlexWild: I’ll probably do the diverge because 11 hours on the bike. Sounds hard.

[00:52:08] JonathanLee: More comfort. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:52:09] AlexWild: Um, so, so I just threw a pair of, um, rapid wheels in the bag with my crux and I was like, oh, I’ll just swap to those and we’ll give it a go. Um, it actually went way better than I anticipated. Um, I didn’t know what to expect.

[00:52:25] AlexWild: I just knew in the middle of, uh, I think it was 32 hour training week. I was like, I could probably pretty reliably do 3 45. ’cause I was thinking if I was like peeking for it, and this was like a big goal. I could probably do 360 on like, like my perfect day showed up. So I was like, okay, we’ll just hold it 3 45 and see what happens and

[00:52:46] JonathanLee: just hold it 3 45.

[00:52:47] JonathanLee: Yeah, got it. Yup. Yeah. Super relatable for Amber and I.

[00:52:53] AlexWild: So I kicked out as much as I could. I mean, I put turbo cottons with latex tubes on the wheels and then I did an ice friction chain. Um, oh yeah. I think the crux is probably a touch heavier than what a equivalent tarmac would be. And then obviously at those speeds of time, that could be a little more arrow.

[00:53:11] AlexWild: So I think if I went back and like targeted it, I would bring the tarmac would with the same wheel set up and it was more just like a. What am I capable of kind of moment? Like I’ve never done 3 45 for two and a half. Like you can crunch all the numbers you want, but it also goes from zero to 10,000 feet.

[00:53:31] AlexWild: So doing 3 45 at the end is not doing 3 45 because you’re two hours in and you’re struggling to breathe.

[00:53:38] JonathanLee: Um, how’d you place on the Kaitlin? Third, third, that’s impressive. Right on. I

[00:53:45] AlexWild: think it was like, I think it was like three minutes behind Drake and then 12 seconds behind Mike Woods. But so close Strava has like that comparison feature where you can see where you are at the climb.

[00:53:57] AlexWild: And so I got, I think probably two fists to one half of the way up. And it started like hailing and trying to blow me off the mountain. And my wife was following me in the car because I wanted to do as little on the bike as possible. So she was doing bottles for me and. She, she straight up just thought I was going to pull the plug.

[00:54:20] AlexWild: Cause she’s, she’s on the side of the road, dumping rain with like the towel on her head like this. And, uh, I remember her telling me after she was like, oh, when you grabbed that bottle, I was like, okay, I guess, I guess we are going to the top. Yeah. She thought like after hail and dumping rain, I was going to give up.

[00:54:36] AlexWild: But on that Jada comparison, like literally at that moment, it just starts to coupling and I started bleeding times. So I mean, it was encouraging because I think had the weather stayed the same. Like if I had a good weather day on the top, I possibly could have been right there at the top. And then definitely with the tarmac and good weather, I think 3 45 would have been enough.

[00:54:58] AlexWild: So

[00:54:59] JonathanLee: yes. You’re going to have to go back to Maui. Sorry. Okay.

[00:55:03] AlexWild: Training camp. Let’s go. Yeah. Yeah. So I think, I dunno taking nothing away from Drake or, or Mike, obviously I’m not. Yeah, sure. They don’t deserve those times. That it’s part of part of getting a Strava and especially one of that stature, wind plays a factor in and Drake, Drake pulled out all the stops.

[00:55:22] AlexWild: I think he has a YouTube video up on it, which is awesome. But for me, it was even when it started raining, inhaling, it, it wasn’t an option to give up because although getting the Klon would have been cool, it was more of just a like, what am I capable of day share him? And I talk about, we talked about this on, on Insta recently, but I think that’s just one of my biggest motivations is like, how far can I push my body?

[00:55:47] AlexWild: Both mentally and physically. And I think that was one of those days that like, if it was good conditions at the top, yeah. It would have been a physical day in terms of like having to put 3 45, 3 50 down. But I think having the rain and the hail showed me more, what I was capable of mentally, because it’s like, ah, now there’s now there’s hail.

[00:56:06] AlexWild: Now. There’s a very, very, very slim chance you’ll ever get this KLM. Are you still going to push as hard as you can? Are you still going to give a full effort? And I was like, heck yeah,

[00:56:17] JonathanLee: of

[00:56:17] AlexWild: course. Yeah. So I think that was more and more of an experience than it would have been without the weather up top.

[00:56:23] JonathanLee: Yeah. Yeah, no doubt. Um, I want to get into trance question. He says outside workouts, critique my logic with nicer weather approaching. I’ll be doing more outside workouts instead of, instead of strictly adhering to each second or power to the target of the workout. Can I simply ride at the prescribed intensity factor for those prescribed duration and thus successfully complete the workout and tax the appropriate energy appropriate energy systems, much love trainer road from Trent Amber.

[00:56:51] JonathanLee: Yeah, this is a, this is a logical question that I’m sure a lot of us have had, like, cause there’s, and there’s countless ways to arrive at a specific, uh, intensity factor. But do you want to describe what intensity factor is and then go over, um, why this probably isn’t the best way to do outside workouts?

[00:57:08] AmberPierce: Yeah. Yeah. So intensity factor is calculated by dividing your normalized power by your FTP and normalized power, really approximates the metabolic costs of the efforts that you’re doing. So it’s a, it’s a rolling average, um, that also weights spiky, high power efforts a little bit more. And so it’s trying to approximate, you know, what’s actually happening physiologically, not because we know if you hit a really high power output for a split second, it’s not necessarily gonna Jack up your whole.

[00:57:42] AmberPierce: Concurrently. Right. So there’s a physiological response. That’s a little bit of a leg. So normalized power is trying to just approximate what the general metabolic cost is for a given segment of a ride or over the course of a whole ride, um, is not the same as a training zone. And metabolic cost is also not the same thing, even necessarily as an energy system.

[00:58:04] AmberPierce: So it’s similar, but not the same. So then if we’re taking that normalize power, right, which is the approximated metabolic cost of a ride, and we’re dividing that by your FTP. So we’re trying to normalize it by what your current fitness level is to get an idea of how intense that effort was for you.

[00:58:22] AmberPierce: That’s what the intensity factor is telling you. Targeting your intensity factor loses a lot of specificity that you get from a structured training ride. So for example, you might be able to arrive at the same intensity factor with a perfectly smooth, steady state effort, or you could arrive at that exact same intensity factor with a really spiky ride full of lots of short accelerations and big drop-offs and power.

[00:58:50] AmberPierce: So you can imagine comparing two rides like that, you would be taxing very different energy systems. You’d be taxing, very different training zones, and you would be eliciting very different adaptations to those types of efforts. So intensity factor, again, like most things, it’s a very useful tool in the toolbox.

[00:59:08] AmberPierce: It gives you some information, but it’s not going to be a good proxy for a structured training ride. That’s targeting specific training zones or seeking specific adaptations.

[00:59:20] JonathanLee: Yeah, this is, uh, there’s so many different ways. So like, let’s just say you wanted to, your workout has an IFF of 0.83. In other words, 83% of your threshold, you could ride at 0.83 for the whole time you could do anaerobic sprint repeats and probably end up at 0.83.

[00:59:38] JonathanLee: You could ride at like low tempo or maybe like you just ride it endurance. And then after that do like two or three surges that are like really, really hard, like, you know, doing the VO two interval or two and get that done. And that would get you to point it through. There’s so many different ways to do it.

[00:59:54] JonathanLee: And it’s important to remember that when we’re talking about training and energy systems that we’re looking to do is tax your body in a specific way. Very specific way and for a specific duration and for specific proximity to each other within these efforts, because we’re trying to train how your body creates power, rather than just trying to work your body at an average rate.

[01:00:18] JonathanLee: Um, so there’s so many different ways. In fact, I’ve thought of, I think of that so many different times because brain, you know, dumb brain do thing when ride bike. Uh, but I just, you know, ponder different things and I’m like, huh, I bet I could arrive at this by doing this and this and changing it around a lot of different ways, but it’s kind of like with outside workouts in general, like there is flexibility, right, Amber, but then are spots kind of are like, you want to focus than other spots where you probably don’t need to focus as much.

[01:00:46] JonathanLee: Yeah.

[01:00:46] AmberPierce: And writing outside is awesome. And this is actually the way that I used to train most of the time was doing structured outside rides. And so there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of the duration. So you might have prescribed workout that maybe has, let’s say three by 15 threshold. Well, you can go and ride an hour.

[01:01:05] AmberPierce: And with, you know, unstructured go find a hill that is going to give you that consistent terrain that you need to do those efforts. Do those efforts, do them well, and then ride unstructured on the way home. So you’re very specifically taxing the training zones and the energy systems that you want to stress during that ride.

[01:01:25] AmberPierce: And then you still get to enjoy maybe your favorite loop or a section of the route that you really enjoy. Maybe you ride with friends out to where you want to do your intervals, you do your intervals on your own, and then you meet up again later. Um, that’s another way that you can incorporate more social aspects into an outside ride.

[01:01:41] AmberPierce: So there’s a lot that you can do in terms of, you know, extending your warmup, um, getting creative with your route and you can do a lot of those things that really make riding outside enjoyable and still deliver the benefit of the structures simply by nailing that main set of intervals that you want to do.

[01:01:59] JonathanLee: Yeah, one thing, uh, follow Alex and I on Instagram and or Strava. Uh, and you can see, we take screenshots of our outside workouts a lot of the time and the interval portion, if it’s an interval day, right, where we’re doing that, it’s it’s sacred, right? Like we got to maybe try to keep our grass. Exactly. We make them perfect.

[01:02:20] JonathanLee: They look just as prescribed. And then outside of that, I might have, you know, I might ride for five minutes or I might ride for 35 minutes. I don’t know whatever it is to get to the point where I want to do those, those intervals. Then there are other days where it’s like a day, like, for example, if you’re using train road, like a Baxter day or a Pettit day where it looks much more consistent in terms of power where you need to be.

[01:02:42] JonathanLee: And you’ll notice that the outside workouts within train road, when you switch it over, they’re designed to be executed outside. So in some cases, if you have a ton of different power target changes, when you’re inside and that’s to keep it engaging and keep you connected with the experience. Outside.

[01:02:57] JonathanLee: It’s not going to have you doing, you know, 90 minutes of, of, you know, one minute intervals that are just, uh, changing, you know, three to five Watts, right. That won’t be happening instead. It’s going to keep you at that steady target. So those ones might look pretty stable and steady. Um, but once again, the, the, those are probably well within your bandwidth to be able to ride the point is there are days when the structure is very clearly important and on those days you want to be able to hit your marks.

[01:03:23] JonathanLee: And outside of that, though, you can do what you need to do. Just make sure you’re not accumulating too much fatigue. That’s the temptation, right? Alex, where like you could do those intervals. And after that, it’s tempting to chase some comms on the way home or do something like that, which is probably. But then give yourself 1, 2, 3 weeks of doing that and suddenly a otherwise easy workout that would have been very achievable for you suddenly it becomes too challenging and you get too tired.

[01:03:49] AlexWild: Yeah. I think, think it’s key to do it. How Amber said, if you’re tacking on anything, I would keep it zone two or below. And normally for me being a mountain biker, if I can find like, if I can hit three hours and then there’s a trail that I can take that would get me close to home, like I do that. And then you’re not worried about power at all.

[01:04:09] AlexWild: And so it’s kind of like a fun reward. Like I did the work and now I can take the trail home. It’s also a good opportunity to practice technical skills. You’re tired, you’re fatigued. Your cognitive load is high. So being in that situation going downhill was not only fun, but it’s also has a training benefit that can’t be measured in power.

[01:04:28] AlexWild: Um, and I think for me, part of the. Maybe type two fund, maybe type a fund who knows there’s creating a route that like perfectly fits the workout I have. So, so it’s kinda cool to, to try and do that. And there’s a piece of that that makes it fun, but also helps with like the completion aspect is I always find it like intervals are fun too, but I’ve been doing longer rides than I’m used to.

[01:04:53] AlexWild: So I’ve been doing longer routes and creating those routes and looking at that, and instead of looking at time has been super fun for me. It’s like, oh, like, how can I go faster for this same power? So like, I’ll be on the road bike and I’ll like, drop my head. Or like, you know, like go in the drops or, or whatever it is and see if I can eat out like a couple miles per hour.

[01:05:15] AlexWild: So it’s like a different game rather than power. So you can like, I’m doing a hundred miles. So it’s like, I’m 50 miles in, I’m halfway there and I’m not really looking at the time. So it’s kind of just different, different ways. To have fun on the bike and explore new areas or that, that fun of finding the perfect route for a interval workout.

[01:05:36] AlexWild: If you’re somewhat psychotic, like I am,

[01:05:40] JonathanLee: I’ve done

[01:05:40] AmberPierce: it. I mentioned, oh, sorry. I just want to mention real quick, Jonathan, you mentioned something, that’s a very key word here, which is range. So when you’re training outside, it’s not like an indoor workout where you’re trying to nail it within one or two Watts.

[01:05:52] AmberPierce: Um, if you’re somebody who trains indoors with urban mode, for example, you can really get very precise with your power output, but when you’re on the road, you’re targeting a range. Um, and so even if you’re training a specific training zone, you’re, you’re targeting range that might be plus or minus five Watts plus, or minus 10 Watts in order to nail that interval.

[01:06:10] AmberPierce: And that’s a lot easier. It’s a lot more forgiving, especially when you’re dealing with perhaps undulating or change changing terrain. Um, and the other thing is. With the way the outside workouts are designed, you hit the lap button to start your interval when you’re ready. So you don’t necessarily have to follow it.

[01:06:28] AmberPierce: It’s, it’s very, very different from how it feels on an indoor workout. So you’re not having to follow like, okay, I’m 10 minutes in my workout. I’m 10 minutes away from where I rolled out of my driveway. I have to start my interval right now. No, you ride to where you feel safe, where you have good terrain, that’s going to be conducive to those intervals.

[01:06:44] AmberPierce: You hit that lap button and then you go and then you’re targeting a range of power, not just plus or minus a couple of

[01:06:50] JonathanLee: Watts. Yes. Power

[01:06:53] AlexWild: getting in on dock.

[01:06:58] AmberPierce: What was that? What you were saying about perfect. Not being the enemy of the good I don’t do we need to, we need to revisit that.

[01:07:05] JonathanLee: I think I year years are probably glowing last week because we were talking about this Alex and wait, like Amber said, when, so you can do this. All the train road would never work at you have it in your calendar.

[01:07:15] JonathanLee: You can do. Click on it, on the calendar and hit outside, and then it’ll just automatically send to your head unit once your head unit sinks. It’s super cool. And when you do that, you’ll get a wide range or not wide range. Typically it’s like a 20 watt range for your power target that you have to sit within and over time you’ll get better and better at being more consistent with it.

[01:07:32] JonathanLee: Um, uh, but to prove the fact that you can either do that through smoothing power. I like 10 seconds smoothing power, which breaks Alex’s brain he’s cringing right now. Whereas Alex likes one second power, which I think would make my small CPU completely smoke and just get overloaded. I couldn’t manage my second power.

[01:07:50] JonathanLee: Three second power. Yep. Some people like five, whatever it might be, but Alex and I both have very pretty looking graphs. So it’s possible to achieve. No matter. It’s not just the smoothing that you have. Cause once again, remember smoothing is what you see on your head unit. It’s not the recorded data that recorded data is not smooth, but what you actually see, um, live the advantage that I just have to

[01:08:10] AlexWild: update my firmware.

[01:08:11] AlexWild: Should anything go wrong?

[01:08:12] JonathanLee: So yeah, your individual firmware, not for your heading in it. Yeah, exactly.

[01:08:16] AlexWild: Yeah. And just plugged myself in and fix all the bugs and come back.

[01:08:20] JonathanLee: Yeah, that’d be nice. Wouldn’t that be nice? Uh, I want to take a quick moment to just say congrats to Sophia Gomez, Vidya Fanya. So far on stage wins with Haley Baton and leading the GC right now.

[01:08:32] JonathanLee: Amazing in Cape epic, which is super exciting. Everybody go and go online, go to Sophie the via and. Keegan and Maxime have been having a rollercoaster of a race, uh, trying to hold on. I think a Maxine been mostly an XCO guy. I think that all this marathon stuff is starting to hit, um, uh, really

[01:08:52] AlexWild: stoked on them though, to be honest, to have a burgers, milkshake and fries mid-stage dress

[01:08:56] JonathanLee: like yes.

[01:08:58] JonathanLee: Yeah. I think it was only talked to, um, and congrats to Chris Blevins as well on leading the GC right now, which is just super cool. That’s exciting or not leading the GC second in GC. I believe you. I believe they are. Yeah.

[01:09:12] AlexWild: I think a seawall, our current XEM world champion is leading with his teammate.

[01:09:17] JonathanLee: Yeah. Exciting to watch. They have the best race coverage out of any race. Seriously. There’s no better like two to France. Nothing comes close. It’s the best. So keep epic on YouTube. You can check out.

[01:09:28] AlexWild: Here’s hoping the lifetime series will take after that. It was just announced that they’re going to do video for all the lifetime series with flow by postpone.

[01:09:39] AlexWild: So

[01:09:40] JonathanLee: hopefully it’s, we have video footage of Leadville. That will be exciting, cause it’s been a long time coming. So just

[01:09:47] AlexWild: have fun. Call them by nose at the front.

[01:09:50] JonathanLee: Everyone’s going to look so slow. That’s the thing that people are not going to understand. They’re going to be like, wow, they’re really slow.

[01:09:55] JonathanLee: What’s going on because huge. So for all the people in the

[01:09:58] AlexWild: race that like go back and watch it be like, whoa, they did it in an hour. Yes.

[01:10:04] JonathanLee: And when you’re up at nearly 13,000 feet, yeah. Like everything moves a little slower. So that’s just how in the

[01:10:09] AlexWild: worst is at the top. It’s like there’s loose rocks. 15% grade at 12,000 feet.

How lack of sleep affects training adaptations

[01:10:16] JonathanLee: Yep. And then for amateurs, then you’re having to do that while people are coming downhill to the same trail. Horrific. Okay. Uh, Matt’s question. Hey, podcast crew. My question today is about the impact of sleep on recovery and training progress. I’ve listened to most of the podcasts over the last year, and I’ve learned so much from you about nutrition, consistency, mental health, and load management.

[01:10:35] JonathanLee: However, it seems like the sleep aspect is usually just couched as please get adequate sleep. Of course, I understand that seven to nine hours, seven to nine, not 79, 7 to nine hours is optimal. Uh, but as a parent of infant twins, I’ll typically get between five to six hours often broken up into two smaller blocks with an hour of feeding in between the sounds relatable.

[01:10:56] JonathanLee: And we’re just took a really deep breath with first list. This is relatable for her right now, um, will be for me in August. Yeah. Um, uh, somewhat, they’re not twins though. So. You are a warrior. Um, despite these challenges, I’ve been able to mostly keep my low volume training plan on track and even get in a couple of events.

[01:11:16] JonathanLee: However, my fitness progression feels slower than before. Since sleep is a variable that understandably I cannot fully control in this stage of life. Is there any research to quantify the impact of poor sleep on training that can help writers in similar situations set appropriate expectations? Do you have any advice on how I might adjust my training or other controllable factors to account for suboptimal sleep, improving balance between training and recovery?

[01:11:39] JonathanLee: Fantastic question, Matt. Um, yeah. Uh, you should take this one first because this is your world right now.

[01:11:48] AmberPierce: Well, first I, I love the way, uh, they’ve crafted these questions. First one being adjusting expectations. And then the second focusing on controllable factors, because as noted, this is, this is one of those situations where it’s things are very much beyond your

[01:12:06] JonathanLee: control.

[01:12:08] JonathanLee: Yeah.

[01:12:10] AmberPierce: And to that point, I do think that we gloss over the importance of sleep probably a little bit too much. I think that we’ve definitely done deep dives on this in the past. Um, but this is one of those. I think we assume is so well-established that we don’t need to go into it. It’s kind of like, well, obviously you need to get sleep too, but this is one of those things that’s really important.

[01:12:29] AmberPierce: It probably deserves more fairer treatment than that. W we gloss over this way too much because it is so, so important. It does have a huge impact. Um, Jonathan is going to get into the science on this, but, uh, short answer is lower. Your expectations, full stop. It’s just how, how much you need to lower them is probably going to change with time.

[01:12:51] AmberPierce: Uh, but just, you know, this is a time to really focus on the wins and the fact that you’re, you’re able to get even remotely consistent training right now. And events is huge. So right there, I would say. You’re way ahead of the game. As it stands, you might not be getting, as you noted the progression at the rate that you would like to see, or you would normally see, you might not be getting the results that you’d like to see or that you normally see, but this is a time to maybe step back a little bit, and then not only adjust your expectations, but adjust your goals.

[01:13:25] AmberPierce: Like what are some things that you can work on that might not require a really high level of fitness, because that might just be out of reach right now, given your current constraints. Um, and I mentioned this earlier today, and I think it’s, it’s worth repeating, repeating, which is when you’re in a period of time like this as a new parent where the constraints being imposed are massive and probably beyond anything that you might’ve ever dealt with before in your life.

[01:13:53] AmberPierce: This is a time of flip things on their head and earn your training. So. Have you gotten enough sleep? Have you been able to eat adequately? Have you been able to attend to just really basic self care things like showering consistently? Uh, those are all things that are really important to make sure that you are well-resourced in order to train and it’s just going to be harder to get it’s going to be harder to do all of those things.

[01:14:20] AmberPierce: So you’re not, you’re not ever going to be as well resourced to train right now, as you would have been before twins. And that’s okay. That goes back to that expectations thing, but be really cognizant of where. Tipping too far in one direction where maybe you’ve had really, really bad sleep, a couple of nights in a row.

[01:14:38] AmberPierce: Maybe you’ve dipped down at like three or four hours a night for a couple days in a row. That might be a time to use that training time window to take a nap if you can. Um, and sometimes when you’re, when you’re walking that Razor’s edge, a nap might actually do your fitness more good than a training ride.

[01:14:57] AmberPierce: Um, and that’s something that’s a call that you’re going to have to make. That’s not something that we can really advise you on, but you’re gonna have to just take into consideration. Like, what are your constraints looking at? Like, um, how resource do you feel at the moment and how does that unbalance make you feel in terms of, are you going to get more out of training?

[01:15:14] AmberPierce: Are you going to get more out of sleeping? Um, and then the other thing is, you know, what do you want from. Fitness is one component, right? Another big component that we talk a lot about is mental health. Just having some time to yourself where you can actually decompress and kind of process this whole major transition in life.

[01:15:32] AmberPierce: Those are all things that you can get from your training as well. That don’t necessarily have anything to do with fitness. So maybe now is a time to refocus on what your goals might be or what it is that you want to get out of. These training sessions maybe is less about fitness, and it’s more about just feeling good in your body when you are, you know, losing sleep and, and just in a, in a more intense period of life.

[01:15:58] AmberPierce: Um, yeah, so, so maybe it’s time to just redirect your focus for the time being, and feel confident that you can bring that back to fitness. You can bring that back to racing results, um, a little bit later on because this, this, this period of time is not going to last.

[01:16:13] JonathanLee: Yeah, I want to reinforce this concept.

[01:16:14] JonathanLee: Amber is bringing up of earning your training. It’s earning it by making sure that everything in your life is set up to be able to support that, or you’ve done the necessary things to take care of yourself, because this is why this is really important, and this will be relatable for all parents, but we don’t think of it this way.

[01:16:31] JonathanLee: And we completely missed the boat and set ourselves up for really difficult situations. But professionals, this is the same thing for you or anybody that has some sort of focus that can absolutely dominate your life. You can get to the point where the only spare time you have, which it’s it’s, there’s much less spare time, but the only spare time you have, you’re adding more to your plate rather, and completely sacrificing all that time for yourself that you used to.

[01:16:56] JonathanLee: So you had all this time for yourself and it was to stretch, to eat well, to relax, to focus on something that’s fun and exciting for you to do all these different things. And instead, it’s all been boiled down. Now, all of that free time has gone and instead you’re constantly taxed. And then the little free time you have you say, I’m going to physically tax myself a lot because that’s how I’m going to achieve more.

[01:17:17] JonathanLee: That’s how I’m going to progress in the way I want. But without all of that other time, to be able to allow your body to become, you know, we’re talking about sympathetic parasympathetic to have those parasympathetic windows within your day, to be able to be calm and to recover and to do all these things, it just makes you go further and further down a hole.

[01:17:36] JonathanLee: You have to reset expectations, um, on the science side of it. So I linked again to a study in this one. It’s once again, this is a review because there is no end in there’s no, there’s no lack of research on sleep’s effects on performance for athletes, uh, literally tens and tens of thousands of studies that you can find on this.

[01:17:57] JonathanLee: It’s pretty impressive. Um, so there’s lots of stuff, but really when you look at it in terms of how it affects that there’s, there’s a really good review that was written by ant, uh, Andrew Watson. And he went through on this one and they went through and they looked at a ton of different effects that they saw on different athletes in different arenas.

[01:18:15] JonathanLee: And they kind of boiled it down to a few categories, sleep and performance outcomes. In other words, how you finished in your competition and if they could look at sleep and sleep levels and see if there was a correlation between the two spoiler alert. Yes, there’s a direct correlation, less sleep actually showed that across a bunch of different sports.

[01:18:33] JonathanLee: You’re talking basketball, we’re talking a table tennis, two marathon times, everything else, a lack of. Yes, has a detrimental impact on performance, um, in terms of where an athlete they’re average or where they expected to finish, and then where they actually finished, it changes it. That is on the scale of just one missed night of sleep on then chronically it has more of an impact.

[01:18:56] JonathanLee: So if you’re reducing the sleep even more and before I go any further on this, I want to correct an assumption. I think a lot of us do sometimes it’s valuable to think of things in terms of absolute numbers and sometimes in terms of percentages. Okay. This is where we should look at things in terms of percentages, because we think, yeah, I mean, I know I should get eight hours of sleep, but you know, I got five and you know, it’s pretty close.

[01:19:15] JonathanLee: No, it’s like almost 40% less, like, think about cutting it in half. Uh, thinking about cutting your training time by 40%, you wouldn’t expect to have the same performance at the end of a training plan. If you hit, you know, if he did 40% or only 60% of the work. No, of course you wouldn’t expect that. Right.

[01:19:32] JonathanLee: So how can you expect the same from your body? We need a private of 40% of the sleep that it should be getting. So this is like a really good time to. Sleep in terms of percentages, it really does affect, um, they also looked at endurance performance and aerobic power. They looked at this in a bunch of different ways, uh, with rowing, with cycling, with a bunch of different studies that looked at specific examples, they cited one specific one where they looked at cyclists that did, I believe it was an hour time trial.

[01:19:59] JonathanLee: And in that hour time trial, they dropped their performance after just dropping one to two hours of sleep at night. Uh, then that’s just on the single night that they would have a 4% decrease, 4% big. Like if you look at it in most races, we’re talking, those are being finished. The top five are finishing within a fraction, even a small fraction, especially if it’s a road race, a very small fraction of a percent.

[01:20:23] JonathanLee: Um, so 4% is. That could, and once again, these are specific studies. So this isn’t saying that everybody’s going to suffer by 4% when they do this, but just examples to help set your expectations, just like you were asking for. But the interesting thing, um, on this case, and I think that this is actually referencing a similar study or perhaps just similar effects from the one that I mentioned earlier, but RPE is like always higher, but your body’s of like where it’s performing in terms of physiological markers, it actually still performs well, and I’m saying this in air quotes, but you feel terrible when you do it.

[01:20:58] JonathanLee: So you do, you don’t do as well. And that’s how it goes. RPE has always reported to be higher, uh, when people have less of that, it’s also another point to this is that if you sleep in between. Sessions training sessions and you’re getting adequate sleep. It allows you to recover better. That’s replenishing glycogen stores, uh, plenty of time to be able to, uh, have all the, sort of the feel good chemicals and hormones released in your body, HGH, testosterone, and everything else that you need to be able to recover and, and, and build your body.

[01:21:28] JonathanLee: And all that stuff gets lessened when you don’t get as much sleep as well. So there could be a compounding effect, and this is assumed by the researchers here. There could be a compounding effect that happens when you get. Reduced sleep, uh, in terms of duration that they were looking at in this case, uh, that could affect your ability to recover and then thusly make it even tougher.

[01:21:48] JonathanLee: But also glycogen storage gets really effected by lack of sleep. Your body doesn’t store as much glycogen. So we’ve talked about that and how important that is for performance. If you’re like a sprinter and you’re just doing like all out sprints and aerobic, like really sprint stuff, whether it’s strength or even looked at, like, I think it was sprint cycling efforts, basically that’s less impacted by a lack of sleep, um, aerobically, which cycling is.

[01:22:13] JonathanLee: And especially all the cycling that we focus on here, it is aerobic, absolutely aerobic. That’s where the impact is really pressing. But there’s other things too. They looked at darts players and they had them, they reduced their sleep by one hour in one study. And they were looking at these athletes and their accuracy thereafter.

[01:22:31] JonathanLee: Um, and it dropped substantially. I believe it was as much as 15 to 20%. They looked at, uh, tennis athletes. They reduced their sleep systematically like this with just one night. And they noticed that free-throw accuracy reduced by 53%. Now what they were looking at there was if it perfectly, if they were able to hit within a specific range.

[01:22:51] JonathanLee: And how many times did they do that? Serving accuracy could give me yes. Yeah. And they were looking at how they were able to hit within a specific range. They were noticed a drop as much as 53%, which has profound, free-throw accurate accuracy because they looked at one of the funny points as they looked at college athletes.

[01:23:07] JonathanLee: And they’re like, well, we can’t really find a whole lot of college athletes like get enough sleep. So in this study, we’re not going to deprive them. We’re actually going to force them to get enough sleep. And that’s the experimental group, which is really funny and sad at the same time. But, uh, college basketball athletes that were going through this study to get adequate sleep, they saw a 9% increase in free throw accuracy as a result of this pretty impressive, uh, learning and executive function.

[01:23:34] JonathanLee: It has an absolutely negative effect on that. Your ability to retain information, your ability to be receptive to new information and be able to perceive different inputs. All those things drop sleep injury and. Uh, when we are started with you, connect those two, there’s an absolute connection. Uh, your, your, your tendency to become injured or to become ill goes up substantially as well.

[01:23:56] JonathanLee: And there were, there were, um, noted in within this review that we, LinkedIn is LinkedIn, the live chat. There were undocumented cases of it.

[01:24:04] AmberPierce: What I really want to know though is how much do dad Watts offset

[01:24:09] JonathanLee: these effects? I mean, it’s a balance, right? If you were a new balances, then that tips the scale in your favor.

[01:24:15] JonathanLee: So, um, but the, the thing is like, yeah. So for sending expectations back, cause that was your question. Yes. There’s documented evidence of this absolutely affecting performance in various different areas, um, in terms of how you might better control the different factors that you have. Amber give you some fantastic tips.

[01:24:37] JonathanLee: And I think that what I would give as well with this is that. You’ve done a great job of dropping out a low volume. That’s one thing you can control. You can control how much you train. And as a result, you can avoid putting yourself deeper and deeper into a hole. Uh, if you’re in a situation where a low volume plan is even too much, or the stress of following a plan amongst this, you know, you now are dependent upon this very, uh, I guess not consistent and unpredictable variable, which may be a child in your life or in this case, when you have that, a training plan might be bad for you.

[01:25:09] JonathanLee: Like it might be a level of responsibility that you don’t need because your main responsibilities lie with your child. So, you know, having another layer of responsibility that makes you feel stressed, like you have to complete your workouts. Maybe train now is a better option for you. Um, if the low volume plan becomes too stressful, it’s a fantastic option to be able to drop in and get a good workout that is calibrated to you when you need, without the overbearing commitment, potentially in this case of a plan in these kind of fragile circumstances that you have.

[01:25:39] JonathanLee: I know that’s really relatable for me and I’m planning on after our baby comes this year on going into train now mode for quite a while, because I don’t want to have that level, like that stress of a plan. I really like to check boxes off and if I don’t check them off, it doesn’t bring me joy. It brings me the opposite.

[01:25:56] JonathanLee: Right. And so I’d rather just have those be able to train when I can and get those boxes checked without. Strict and rigid or rigid structure to it.

[01:26:08] AmberPierce: Yeah. It’s nice to have those options. Cause I think everybody’s different. And for some people having that routine and predictability of a plan can be very structured that kind of helps you keep it together and feel on track.

[01:26:21] AmberPierce: Um, but again, with the caveat that we are here to fully validate you and adjusting your expectations, you have all of the permission in the world with a lot of research backing you up, that you are not going to get as much out of your training right now. It’s just not going to happen. And that’s okay because this is a, this is a really powerful time of life.

[01:26:42] AmberPierce: And, um, so showing up to the race or to the events that you are able to show up to, maybe the goal there is to maintain those social relationships, right? Because that’s a really important thing, um, in this transition time of life too, and being able to reach out and cultivate that support network. So maybe.

[01:27:02] AmberPierce: Refocusing what it is that you’re getting out of your efforts away from the fitness. And then, like Jonathan said, if you’re somebody who, for whom that structure of a plan is very helpful right now. Awesome. You’re doing great with low volume. Just give yourself permission and a lot of wiggle room to make adaptations if you need to.

[01:27:22] AmberPierce: And then on the other side, if you find that, that the stress of feeling like you’re not able to stay on a plan is a little bit too much right now, train now is there for you too,

[01:27:34] JonathanLee: for sure. Alex, what have you done to cause there’s a whole, and to be clear, it’s kind of a black box. Like we don’t really know how to, uh, strictly say because if he get eight hours of sleep, but zero of that time is quality sleep.

[01:27:48] JonathanLee: That’s obviously not going to be very effective at accomplishing the goals of sleep. So you kind of have like this balance you have to run or you want to focus on improving your sleep. And that is one thing that you can do. I don’t know. And I don’t even think that there’s much research in terms of showing the effectiveness of sleep optimization strategies.

[01:28:05] JonathanLee: If you just have two hours to sleep or three hours to sleep in your case, or it’s broken up like this, but it probably won’t hurt a whole lot, as long as it doesn’t add stress. Cause there are ways you can optimize your sleep, right? Like do different things to be able to help yourself sleep better. Alex, I think you’ve, I mean, I’m sure you have your robot.

[01:28:23] JonathanLee: Like we talked about, um, Alex, what have you done to optimize your sleep and be able to get higher quality sleep perhaps rather than talking about just the duration. Um,

[01:28:34] AlexWild: going back to circadian rhythm. I tried to go to bed at the same time every night. I personally shoot for nine hours. I, again, I don’t think there’s a lot of information on what the right number is, but I’ve found that nine is doable for me.

[01:28:52] AlexWild: And then also allows me to perform.

[01:28:54] JonathanLee: Day-to-day and versus just jealous, dreaming right now. Nine hours of sleep. Like I can give, I can give you a number like or a choice of getting a brand new bicycle. That’s amazing with electric wireless, shifting all this stuff, or nine hours of sleep in, I bet she’d take nine hours of sleep right now.

[01:29:12] JonathanLee: It sounds so good right now. Yeah. Yeah. What else? What about temperature light? Anything else like that? Have you done? Because we talked about making sure that you have a cool room really helps removing even there was a study. A boy I’ll have to look at the reference on this. Um, but Chad was mentioning on one of the previous episodes, uh, and it was a study where they were actually just shining an led light at the leg.

[01:29:36] JonathanLee: And like, you couldn’t see it, but there’s shutting an led light on your leg while you sleep. And they even show that that had an effect, a detrimental effect on the body’s ability to sleep, um, eye for light pollution. Making sure that your room is as dark as possible. And that’s really hard because you’ve got a baby with a baby monitor and that will have lights or a screen that you’re looking at and you need to have that close cause that’s your responsibility, but maybe there’s ways that you can make sure that the light isn’t pointing directly at your eyes when you’re trying to sleep or changing up something like that.

[01:30:08] JonathanLee: Sheets go a long way on being able to maintain temperature, being able to change out that bedding whenever you need lots of different stuff. I don’t know. Yeah. I

[01:30:17] AlexWild: try to keep it as cold as possible. Personally, my wife doesn’t like freezing cold rooms, so it’s a, it’s a game of getting us both happy, but luckily my, my kids have for and four legs and they sleep inside the room and they like a dark too.

[01:30:32] AlexWild: So have that benefit going for us. Uh, they also like to sleep a lot. So 10 hour, nine hour nights for them is just fine. And then they’ll go to the couch and continue sleeping because they’re my spirit animals

[01:30:46] JonathanLee: for Aggie or torturing us now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um,

[01:30:52] AlexWild: so I’m sure if we decided to go that route, I’ll, I’ll join y’all one day with the sleep deprivation, but as far as just like from a performance perspective, How I’ve always approached it as one night.

[01:31:05] AlexWild: Isn’t the worst. It’s kind of like training, right? I feel like if you go over one day, then it’s fine. But if you go over every day, you’re going to feel it down the road. And I think that, I feel like it’s the same with sleep. If you get one night of bad sleep for one night of sleep, that’s not enough. It happens, you know, often happens on race morning.

[01:31:24] AlexWild: Cause we’re excited, you know, the night before we can’t get to sleep. And then we wake up earlier than maybe we’re used to, to, to get to an 8:00 AM. Race, starts to eat in time and all that. So I always try to do the night before the night of the race, make sure that that sleep is quality and, and enough in my mind, that’s like, oh, if I add 10 hours to five hours, we’ve, we’ve averaged out seven and a half.

[01:31:46] AlexWild: I don’t know if that science or just how I make myself feel better. But I think that’s huge. I don’t personally nap very often just because I feel like. With how robust my sleep schedule is. If I nap, I won’t be able to get to sleep as well. So I think I try to get, like if I was not getting enough sleep, I would definitely nap during the day if I could.

[01:32:11] AlexWild: But I think with the way my schedule set up to do nine hours, I feel like it’s very rare that I feel tired enough early enough in the day that I feel like I could nap for a solid 20 minutes and still fall asleep properly. So I think for me, the biggest thing is that schedule and, and consistent as, as often as possible, I do flex the wake-up time during the week, it’s normally six or seven, depending on if I need to get gym done before work or what my meeting schedule like, but on the weekends I’ll not set an alarm and just kind of let my body decide how much sleep it needs.

[01:32:47] AlexWild: And that’s kinda how I. I feel really bad telling people how much sleep I get now.

[01:32:56] JonathanLee: Nah, I, you may know this because this may not be your first time through this. You may have other kids as well, but it does get better. Absolutely. It does get very consistent. It’s fantastic. Um, but yeah, you know, you, you go through it and just adjust expectations, the answer to your question. Yes. There’s science and too, like Amber said, adjust your expectations training.

The pro’s guide to crushing long climbs

[01:33:19] JonathanLee: Isn’t the most important thing in the world. Um, and if we get it out kind of out of whack, it certainly can feel that way. All right. Last question is from Ryan. He says, while on flats, slight incline of less than 4% or anything with a negative gradient, I’m quite fast and can outride most of my friends.

[01:33:35] JonathanLee: So this is a key point to notice earlier on Ryan is basing his relative success on relative to other people. Okay? So this is important to point out, but as soon as the gradient rises, I grind to a halt in my heart rate skyrockets, no, quite slow. So this sounds the first two points sounds individual. The second point, I’m quite slow.

[01:33:54] JonathanLee: That sounds relative to other people, right? He says I was competing in a. And could keep up with much faster writers until the gradient went up. I can predict this happening and always start my climb super slow. So we’re getting into mental knots already, too, in the sense that Ryan says he can predict this happen.

[01:34:10] JonathanLee: So he’s already built out this scenario that will happen on every climb and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Um, it says, what can I do for training? Or how can I get better at writing steeper climbs that go for at least one to two hours such, such climbs as falls Creek, Mount Buffalo, Mount Hawthorn in Victoria, Australia.

[01:34:28] JonathanLee: So a very relatable question for all of us, Ryan, because we all go slow on climbs. That’s what happens. It goes up and we go down in terms of speed. Um, and look, there is a governing rule. In terms of being, bringing an object up a hill, there is weight and there is power. And those two things are what really like that is governing.

[01:34:48] JonathanLee: However, when we’re talking, particularly in this case about a relative effort to other people, execution makes a massive difference and there’s so much you can do within the world of executing and really using all the fitness that you have on that climb to be able to change the time at which you arrive at, especially relative to other people, we’ll get into pacing and we’ll get into mentality and we’ll get into a lot of different stuff here in long climbs or short climbs.

[01:35:14] JonathanLee: Now this changes, but I kind of want to go to mentality first Amber, because like, this is, this is a little bit worrying to me when Ryan’s like, this happens every time I know it’s coming and every time it happens, it just reinforces, he has this. This fear that he is going to get dropped compared to other writers on climbs.

[01:35:34] JonathanLee: And it’s just happening over and over again. What are your thoughts on this from a mentality perspective? Well, just

[01:35:41] AmberPierce: reiterate what you said, and I think it’s worth saying again, even though I’m just repeating you, um, everyone speed drops on climbs and everyone’s heart rate goes up on climbs. So this is not unique to you.

[01:35:52] AmberPierce: And even the folks that you see who are quote unquote, riding away from you are experiencing drops in speed and increases in heart rate. So this is totally normal. It’s totally normal. And it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you or there’s something wrong with your climbing. Um, so let’s start there from there.

[01:36:10] AmberPierce: There’s still things that you can do to improve. And I think a really low hanging fruit item that you can address right away is that mentality. So like Jonathan said, you are reinforcing this story in your head in a way that is. Creating a predictable result and a re like a self fulfilling prophecy here.

[01:36:30] AmberPierce: So it’s a good thing to stop and start examining what are the stories that you’ve made up in your head? And yes, you can say, okay, I’m not a good climber because on these, on these climbs, every time somebody climbs away from me. So look at this mountain of evidence to prove

[01:36:55] JonathanLee: hashtag mom jokes.

[01:36:59] AmberPierce: So just because you have this evidence doesn’t necessarily mean that, you know, the correlation does not equal causation here, because this might just be a self fulfilling prophecy situation. Especially if your fear of getting dropped on a climb is making you start the climb extra slow right off the bat.

[01:37:17] AmberPierce: You’re not even giving yourself a shot at this is a foregone conclusion before the war, before the road even goes uphill. First things first I would look at what are the stories in your head? What are the things that go through your head when you see a hill coming? Just note, what are the, the phrases, the words, the things that come up for you, um, and then start to break those down a little bit.

[01:37:38] AmberPierce: And that can be really hard because if this is a story you’ve been telling yourself for a really long time, it’s become deeply entrenched and it might be really difficult to flip that switch. All of a sudden, that’s really hard for any of us to do because we get these stories embedded and these beliefs embedded.

[01:37:52] AmberPierce: So some things that you can do to gently coax yourself out of these beliefs are a phrase that I like to use is just for today. Just for today. I’m a good climber. It’s a lot easier to wrap your head around then. Okay. Yesterday I sucked at climbing and today I’m going to be this miraculously amazing climber.

[01:38:14] AmberPierce: It’s going to be really hard to get yourself to buy into that, but it’s a little bit easier to buy into something that’s just. I’m a good climber. Another thing that’s easier to buy into is curiosity. So instead of telling yourself, I’m going to get dropped on this climb, take a different tech. What if I try to stay with my friends as we start the climb?

[01:38:35] AmberPierce: How long can I stay with them is a very different question. Then I’m just going to get dropped. So I’m going to give up before I even try. So what that’s doing is that’s adopting a position of curiosity, adopt, you know, getting curious about what you can do, give it a shot. I mean, you’re already giving up at the bottom of the climb.

[01:38:52] AmberPierce: What harm in there is what, what harm is there in trying to stay with them? And then maybe getting dropped a little bit further up the climb, and then every time you try, maybe you get a little bit further and further. Nonetheless, you will learn something about pacing and on an hour or two hour long. The friends that you’re riding with, their paces are going up and down.

[01:39:16] AmberPierce: So they may not be holding that fast paced that you see at the beginning of the climb for more than 20, 30 seconds, but it’s long enough and you’ve given up soon enough that the gap blows open and you don’t get to see when their pace drops later when they get tired. So get curious about it. See if you can hang, create, you know, take an experimental mindset to it and take the judgment out of it.

[01:39:40] AmberPierce: So what if you don’t stay with them the whole time? What if you do get dropped a little bit further up, you learn something from it. And the whole point of engaging with this learning curve is to learn and to continue to improve. And this is just a process that’s going to keep going forever. So you can just get in and learn something from every ride and taking the judgment out of it.

[01:40:00] AmberPierce: We’ll make that a lot more approachable.

[01:40:03] JonathanLee: There’s gotta be a scientific term, maybe a German word. Germany seems to have words for everything, uh, for thinking you’re the only ones suffering. And, but indeed everybody else’s right. Like, cause this, we all go into this. We all think that we’re the ones that suck at climbing.

[01:40:21] JonathanLee: When we go on the climb, when everybody else drops us. And that’s what we do. There’s so much value even in this scenario when you’re right, riding against other people, in finding ways to measure against yourself and, and challenge yourself rather than do it compared to others, because there’s so many times when you do that and you end up actually further ahead, and the people that were more focused on competing with everybody else it’s, especially when we’re talking about climbing, right?

[01:40:46] JonathanLee: Alex, cause there’s, there’s kind of like, no matter what you do, if you go out way above your threshold of the bottom of a climb, it’s going to bite you later on like pacing is key. How do you try to pace these longer climbs? So we’re talking Leadville has, uh, a few examples of these really well in climbs when we’re talking one to two hours long, how do you try to pace yourself?

[01:41:09] JonathanLee: You’re we’ve mentioned this on the episode before. You’re kind of like the robot on the right. You’re our resident robot. So just turn on herd mode. Yeah, exactly. With on ERG and stick to it. Just very strictly stick to a certain power target. Or how do you approach these long climbs? Do you go easier earlier on how do you do it?

[01:41:30] AlexWild: Um, yeah, I’ll stay consistent through the climb, but as far as RPE and normally feel. These are at the beginning. Normally like if you split, it’s like a, like a threshold effort sort of thing. The first 20 minutes should be manageable. The middle 20 minutes should be hard. And then the last 20 minutes should be really hard and kind of talking

[01:41:49] JonathanLee: about threshold LeFort efforts that lasts an hour, Alex.

[01:41:51] JonathanLee: Cause I’m not sure anybody likes to do those or even us, sorry,

[01:41:56] AlexWild: we’re going to go with FTP as an actual what you can hold for an hour. Yeah. GoDaddy numbers. Yep. Yeah. So more and more. So just like the RPE should go up as you go through, but the power should stay the same. Um, also I looked up this false Creek climb first, very jealous.

[01:42:14] AlexWild: I’d like to go to Australia now, please. Um, second it says the average gradient 3.9%. So it’s in your wheelhouse, it’s under three offset. So in all seriousness to Andrew’s point, just use that as fuel, like, oh, it’s under 4%. It’s within my wheelhouse. Like I got this and give it a shot and see what. The worst thing that can happen is you get dropped.

[01:42:36] AlexWild: And I don’t know, for me, the best motivation is getting

[01:42:39] JonathanLee: dropped. Yeah. What I do on climbs that are longer. So, and I’m talking, it doesn’t have to be an hour to two hours, I’m talking 15 minutes or above. Right? So like any efforts like that, I want my first, like 25%, my first quarter of that climb to feel within reach, like, to feel like I am not flying close to the sun to feel like when my power goes up a little bit, I’m not paying the price.

[01:43:05] JonathanLee: It’s all reasonable. Now that shouldn’t mean that it’s easy. That should mean that it’s. And this is if I’m going for like, even pacing, that shouldn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s still hard and uncomfortable, but I am not at risk. I’m like, well away from risk of blowing up that second one. My goal is to get a little bit closer to finding where that line is for the second quarter on the third one, my goal is to find the point where I can sustain that line.

[01:43:30] JonathanLee: And on the last one, peer curious. It’s seeing what I can do. And that’s like a really good framework. I think for pacing, any effort, you can even do that for a short VO, two effort, but for long climbs, it really does apply. The one thing you just have to remember with long climbs, think of it this way.

[01:43:48] JonathanLee: There’s a lot of seconds in your long climb and every second is a second where you can, or things can happen. And if you think about riding close to your, your limits, which are likely doing on a longer climb, those things that can happen can either really make it so that you can’t continue at that same power or it can make it so that you can continue with that same power.

[01:44:08] JonathanLee: So with all of that probability for things to occur, that’s why you want to err, on the side of caution, because if you go on the aggressive side, which typically looks like they’re rolling away from me, I’m just going to match them. Even though, you know, it’s something that you can’t probably hold, that’s only going to bite you on long climbs.

[01:44:28] JonathanLee: Give yourself the chance to surprise yourself. Like Amber said, Going into this and stick to something that you know is doable and see how it works. And you know what? You may not be faster than them. They may have crazy power to weight ratios. That’s okay. But it doesn’t matter because you shouldn’t hold yourself to their standards and said, you should hold yourself to your standards.

[01:44:47] JonathanLee: So as a result, think about what you can do to execute as well as you can. And this we’ve talked about this before, but in a long climbs, it’s so crucial. Once again, there’s no time to rest. There’s really high average power, which means there’s high calorie burn because there’s no downtime, right? So you’re doing all of these things.

[01:45:04] JonathanLee: That means that nutrition is so key. And that’s one way where I have seen athletes with, with way lower power to weight ratio. Outlined people with much higher power to weight ratios. It’s just because they’ve nursed themselves appropriately. So this is coming into a climb before the climb and throughout the climb, you are sticking to a really solid nutrition and hydration plan.

[01:45:27] JonathanLee: If you do that sort of stuff, and you pace yourself appropriately, you will out climb most cycles. That are close to you in terms of power to weight ratio, it’s going to happen. Uh, if that’s the real concern, then set yourself up for success, approach it with curiosity, like Amber said, have a pacing plan that, you know, you can execute on that.

[01:45:45] JonathanLee: It still allows you to get more out of yourself maybe than you think you can get, and then make sure that you are nourishing yourself. Those are just such huge keys at another, like a couple of small tips to get in and out of the saddle. As you, as you wish, if it’s something that’s costly, that’s fine, but don’t feel like you have to stay in the saddle or have to stay out of the saddle.

[01:46:04] JonathanLee: Whenever it gets steep, be flexible and let yourself execute. However you want. Like it’s in your domain, you’re the master. So you get to decide how you want to do that. And the same thing with cadence to let yourself explore and ride at the cadences that you want. Just know that if you’re riding it too low of a cadence and you have gearing, that’s going to be limiting factor.

[01:46:22] JonathanLee: That’s going to introduce fatigue on your muscles. That’s probably going to be foreign to you, but same could be said for even spending a too high of a cadence. So once. Give yourself flexibility. Um, but at the same time, just make sure that you aren’t trespassing too far over limits that you are already are very well aware of that you have one, one

[01:46:41] AmberPierce: thing I might suggest if you’re somebody who really struggles with this idea of failure and this, it sounds like for them, the idea of getting dropped on the climb has really gotten into their heads.

[01:46:52] AmberPierce: And it’s going to be hard to rewire that totally possible. Do it in a gentle, progressive manner. It doesn’t have to be a switch that you flip overnight, like I said, but maybe a way of addressing that. So flip it on its head and go for failure. Try wild, weird pacing strategies. Try, you know, wild, weird gearing.

[01:47:11] AmberPierce: I mean go like straight into your ears, easiest gear, or try standing when you feel like sitting, I mean actually going for failure and seeing if you can learn something from that might help pull that judgment out of it. Because if you’re, if your goal is to face. Then when you fail, it’s going to feel a lot less disappointing.

[01:47:31] AmberPierce: Nonetheless, you will have learned something that will paradoxically potentially put you in a position to be less likely to fail in the future. Um, so it might be as just a fun game that you can play with yourself and then that way, when you make it a game and it’s something that you’re doing for fun and failure is the goal.

[01:47:50] AmberPierce: Then the fear of failure might be a little bit less daunting and it might help you get into more of an experimental and curiosity based mindset

[01:48:00] AlexWild: as well. It reminds me I’m listening to a book right now called never split the difference. And it is toxic. It talks about how getting that initial, no in a negotiation starts the negotiation, how know isn’t a negative.

[01:48:13] AlexWild: And I it’s interesting. I was thinking of it in terms of what you were saying of going for that first failure is kind of starting with that. No. Okay. Now we can, now can, we can start negotiating like okay. Gearing or this or that? Yeah. In terms of that, it’s, it’s interesting to see how failing can actually start the process of success.

[01:48:36] AlexWild: And you can start negotiating with yourself of like, okay, how do we get better from here? And then it talks about like labeling emotions and you may not know that fear of failure is the emotion holding you back from this success until you experience it. And then you can label that. And Lee and being able to label the emotion is super powerful for being able to overcome it.

[01:48:56] AlexWild: So it was kind of an interesting tangent between the two, one tip that I was going to add is if you’re doing outside workouts, start doing them on climbs. If you’re not already, the mechanics of climbing versus flats can be very different. I actually find this the opposite way around, and sometimes I have to force myself to do work on the flats, but I find high case.

[01:49:19] AlexWild: Hi power, like flat type work to be harder for me than lower cadence of the same, or even higher power on a climb. So this may be switched for them and being able to. Do those intervals on a climb or in that same cadence range, maybe part of what’s holding them back from it just may feel different and feel weird.

[01:49:41] AlexWild: So the RPE and cognitive load goes up.

[01:49:44] JonathanLee: Yeah, it’s all about that. Uh, the inertia that you have and how that force is applied through the pedal stroke, and it does feel different and also the, the psychological effect of going on a climb versus being on the flat riding at speed versus riding slow at all.

[01:49:57] JonathanLee: It it’s absolutely there. Like, yeah, it can affect, I’m not sure that you can, uh, I’ve never been tricked by trying to do that indoors by like changing the angle of things. My body’s too smart. It seems like, um, uh, to fit to, I should say, yeah, it’s, it’s dumb enough, but not that dumb. Um, so, uh, one other tip that I want to bring in this is actually Fred, just, uh, uh, suggested this in our group chat here are starting the live chat on YouTube, which you can join us every Thursday at 8:00 AM Pacific, and you should totally subscribe to our YouTube channel.

[01:50:28] JonathanLee: If you haven’t already go there and do that. road, but it says, what about pacing on the flats or sag climbing? And this is a great point that we’ve kind of overlooked in the terms of like, look, if you are going into these climbs and you’ve been pacing poorly all going into them, Ryan, it’s not going to go well.

[01:50:46] JonathanLee: Like, no matter what, if you have been setting yourself up for success leading into that, it’s going to go, well, if you’re setting yourself up for success or not setting yourself up for success, going into it, it’s not going to go well. So, and sag climbing is something that can work, but, and it’s something that everybody should be familiar with.

[01:51:04] JonathanLee: And what it really talks about is getting to the front of the group and then letting yourself drift back slowly. So you can put a lower average power over the course of the climb rather than getting at the back and then trying to work your way up into the group. We’re trying to hold on. But the trick was sad climbing is that it puts yourself in a spot to be passed and to be dropped.

[01:51:22] JonathanLee: And mentally speaking, that can be. And that can be tough to overcome. So if you are very experienced at it, you know, it’s a tool that you can use and you’ve used it before to, to great success then yeah. You can really deal with that and even thrive in those situations because you know that you’re working less than those people, but it can be tricky for people because they see you and they’re like, well, I’m just getting past, this is terrible and I’m going to go out the back.

[01:51:45] JonathanLee: So, um, yeah, for me, it’s about having that pacing plan. Like I mentioned, splitting it up into quarters, uh, and that gives you opportunities to just surprise yourself, nutrition and Alex, what a fantastic drawing of that great book. Um, never split the difference. It’s a popular one here at trainer road too, for a lot of us.

[01:52:02] JonathanLee: Um, That’s a great point of, of getting the, no, getting the failure. And that’s not a failure instead, what that is, is that’s information. And then with that information, which you can do is you can work with yourself and improve from there. So super cool. Great thoughts. Thanks. You all for joining us that the trio, I think we did a, I think we had a good episode.

[01:52:21] JonathanLee: It was great to be here. Yeah. If you’re listening to this at very you’re listening to this podcast right now, share it with your friends and go to trainer and sign up. I’ve been mentioning this the past few weeks, but you should totally do it. So many people listen to this podcast and they haven’t signed up for trainer road.

[01:52:35] JonathanLee: There’s no better time to sign up for it or the do train now or follow a training plan to build up for your spring races or summer races that you have oncoming or have upcoming give it a shot. See how adaptive training works. See if it works for you, which spoiler alert it will work for you, but give it a shot and put it to the test.

[01:52:50] JonathanLee: Go to train.

[01:52:52] AlexWild: Trainer Rhoda, Jonathan doing tick talks on Instagram, go to Trenton road on Instagram to get a good,

[01:52:59] JonathanLee: good laugh with renting my tuxedo for the Oscar party now. So yeah. So fantastic. So yes, go to train the roads, Instagram to go see me doing tick talks, also Sean, one of our copywriters. They’re fantastic.

[01:53:11] JonathanLee: And yeah, we’ll talk to you all next week to make your