The original crew is back! Amber, Chad, Nate and Jonathan discuss the concept of gaining weight to get faster, how to manage motivation amidst canceled goal events, how to keep your training on track while fasting and much more.

More show notes and discussion in the TrainerRoad Forum.

Topics covered in this episode

  • Tri challenge update from the hosts
  • Should you gain weight to get faster?
  • How to keep your training on track while fasting
  • Rapid Fire questions
  • How to do the most work possible for 10 minutes
  • How to maintain motivation when your events get cancelled
  • How to swap out weekend workouts for long rides with Adaptive Training
  • Is there an ideal cadence for climbing?


Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast

Successful Athletes Podcast

Science of Getting Faster Podcast


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] Jonathan Lee: Welcome to the podcast. That’s dedicated to making you a faster cyclist to ask a cycling coach podcast presented by trainer road and coast. Jonathan Lee, I apologize for the voice. I’m a little under the weather this week and we have with us chain road and Cannondale’s Amber Pierce. Good morning. We also have our head coach, Chad Timmerman.

Welcome back from the snowy mountains of Canada. Chad. Thank you. Thank you. Hi everyone. He was skiing all week at powder Creek lodge making me so sad that I was not there. I know, right. It was amazing. Yeah, I know. Yeah. And he was with Pete too. Gosh, I

[00:00:46] Chad Timmerman: know Jay Burke, the guy who?

[00:00:48] Jonathan Lee: The race promoter for the point.

Yeah. Jay ber. Yeah, he’s super cool guy. Sorry. Yeah, what a cool group and our CEO, Nate Pearson. Sorry, Nate. Got it. Gutsy late there. Okay. All right. Today, we’re going to answer your questions. We’re going to, we’re going to, I guess, consider, uh, the concept of gaining weight to get faster, which is an interesting one.

It goes against all of our normal psychology as cyclists. We’re also gonna look at maintaining motivation, amidst race cancellations. It’s still happening, unfortunately, but Hey, we can change things around. We’re also going to look into fasting for various different reasons. Um, so I know that a lot of people are interested in hearing that one.

We tend to kick the hornet’s nest when we talk about fasting. So, uh, but before we get to anything, uh, on that, Nate, uh, we spoke about legacy pricing. Was it two or three episodes ago?

[00:01:42] Nate Pearson: I have, I have two things to say, John Dorst, uh, thanks everyone who went into the forum and there’s a thread about that, about legacy pricing.

Thank you for everyone’s opinion and, uh, basically the vibe, but the one that I heard a lot, uh, was, you know, I, I stay signed up when I normally wouldn’t be signed up because I thought in the future I would have something. And then, so if anything else changed, I feel like you’d be going against that. Like I did my part of the deal kind of thing.

So right now nothing’s going to be changing at all with pricing. So I’ll let you know that. And, uh, also we talked a bunch about like different tiers and it was really fun just to talk to a trainer and athletes and podcast listeners about different ways to structure the business and stuff. Of course, we take that with consideration, with all the other information we have and everything like that, but I really enjoy it and appreciate everyone doing that.

Um, second thing is my, um, my doctor doubled my Adderall prescription. So like, this’ll be a good, good episode or a really

[00:02:37] Jonathan Lee: bad episode with him. You just want to take it for me. I could go to sleep, but you know, you, you have plenty. I

[00:02:42] Nate Pearson: took it like three minutes ago, so it’s going to take awhile to kick in.

Uh, you’ll you’ll notice when it does. Don’t

[00:02:47] Jonathan Lee: worry. Oh, good. Uh, we have some also another thing I want to share is we have Spotify playlist. If you go look for trainer road on Spotify, you’ll likely find the train road podcast, but you can also find like train road, the artists, so to speak. And if you click on that, then you can go there or I should say the profile and then you can find all the different, uh, uh, playlist we have.

And we don’t just have we have playlist from Chad. I think there’s one for. Maybe Nate has one on there. I’m not sure if Nate does, but uh, we have other ones too, and more employees are adding them from here at train roads, like producer Maxine that always carries the podcast every week. Maxine is not a crit racing, avid cyclist.

However, uh, she does like sad boy music. So she put together a playlist if you’d like to train to sad boy music. So there’ll be more added to this. Uh, we’ll also have collaborative playlist that you can add on it as well. So go check us out there on Spotify. Check us out on Instagram and thanks to everybody that’s tuning in, live on YouTube right now.

Give us a thumbs up that will make it so that other people give the video a thumbs up. Don’t just like, actually do a thumbs up to the screen. We can’t see that, but a thumbs up to the video more cyclists will find it that way. Uh, okay. Can we take a moment to talk about triathlon? The audience was, is largely in favor of me mentioning triathlon stuff every once in a while here, which, uh, that’s good because cyclists don’t tend to be too forgiving.

Well, I

[00:04:07] Nate Pearson: don’t listen to the podcast. What happened last week? You talked about none of those who missed it. Yeah. Tried to elicit

[00:04:14] Jonathan Lee: either. Yeah, no. Chad was in Canada. Uh, so the

[00:04:17] Nate Pearson: guy in Canada,

[00:04:20] Jonathan Lee: sorry, may, it was like a, sorry. Chad was very far out of service up in the mountains somewhere. So, um, okay. We just talked about like me learning, how to swim.

That was it really right. Timber. Yeah. Um, Amber gave some me some great tips, uh, and we just go actually more than anything, Amber, just talk to me. She didn’t mansplain to me, which is, uh, or I guess woman’s plane in this, in this case at all. Explain. Yeah. So, uh, but we just talked about that and, but then we got a couple of people that were like, I can’t believe you have ruined my only podcasts that are truly loved by talking about anything besides cycling or specifically talking about triathlon.

But the vast majority of you really liked it. So, Thomas, I know that you sent in an email, I’m sorry. We are going to talk about triathlon every once in a while, but you know what? I get bored. Yeah, exactly. But on YouTube we’ll even put like a timestamp, so you can see where we want. Don’t talk about triathlon anymore and you can keep your socks high.

So, um, but one thing that we need to talk about here is that a lot of people are asking, okay, so what race are all of you doing or who else is doing it with you? It’s just me. Right? I don’t think anybody else is doing triathlon.

[00:05:33] Nate Pearson: You too. So I wasn’t going. And then I, uh, got a divorce and I was like, eh, and then when I trained for so long and hit my head at Cape that big and that like went away, my motivation is still recovering.

So that was so big bummer. And, uh, just take a little bit of an off season at the moment. And triathlon triathlon is demanding compared to, um, it’s a different kind of demanding than cycling, but, uh, it is very hard to manage all three and yeah, it’s, it’s hard. You got to, if you want to do a triathlon, you gotta be committed and you shouldn’t go into it being like, oh, I’m like 60% of the way there.

You should be like 80, 90, a hundred percent of the way there. If you want to actually do a triathlon, especially an Ironman.

[00:06:18] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. That’s fair said I’m an iron man. Is next level, Chad? No, no triathlon for that’s

[00:06:23] Chad Timmerman: exactly where I’m coming from. I feel like the commitment has to be complete or I’m wasting my time and everyone else’s time.

So my aspirations are elsewhere right now. I’m the competitive fire in me. Isn’t exactly stoked. I keep trying. And do something on the, on the competitive front. And nothing really seems to pan out. I am pretty interested in gravel racing, but at the same time, if I turn it into something that’s competitive, I think it might sour me on the whole just non-competitive aspect of it, the potential for it.

So I still haven’t quite landed on that because the motivation, uh, in order for me to find the right motivation to train as hard as I want to in order to be as fast as I can be, I kinda need competitive aspirations, but at the same time, the competition kind of sours me on the experience. So it’s a, it’s a tough one.

So anyway, it is you’re right, but I’m more leaning into the strength side of things lately. Anyway, I kind of just go where my interests lie. I don’t, uh, follow, I mean, we, we, we put these challenges up and I feel like I really want to be part of it for the sake of the podcast for the sake of the listeners for the sake of y’all.

But yeah, try as I might, it doesn’t seem to.

[00:07:37] Jonathan Lee: Well, you are an obligated to be anything that you don’t want to be Chad. Like that’s the like

yeah, exactly. You don’t have to, do you want to have to do any of those races, Amber? You’re not doing triathlon either, right? No. I’m talking about

[00:07:54] Amber Pierce: committed right now. I’m just trying to figure out how the path forward, right. And how this is all gonna fit together, being a new mom. So, um, but I I’m with you all.

I, I’m kind of similar where I I’d like to have an event or something, you know, a goalpost in the future. Um, I’m not sure what that is. Cause I also want to be realistic a little bit about, uh, any goal that I set. So right now the goal is just to get into a good routine and then see what might be realistic based on that.

But we haven’t quite gotten to the routine yet parts.

[00:08:24] Nate Pearson: So Chad, I’m also getting swollen. We can have our own small contest now, a different should we do? Like which division of bodybuilding should we do? Classic.

[00:08:35] Chad Timmerman: Oh yeah. For the board shorts. Olympic weightlifting.

[00:08:39] Nate Pearson: So I feel like Chad and I should have a challenge, but Chad will be pull-ups.

That’s what he’ll say. Cause he’s amazing at Horrocks. No, no, no.

[00:08:45] Chad Timmerman: It has to be something neither of us is great at so there’s a legit challenge there.

[00:08:50] Nate Pearson: I don’t know if anyone has an idea, put a comment down or on the forum about how a chat. If we have just a little friendly thing going on, do you think that’ll motivate you more?

[00:09:00] Jonathan Lee: Huh? Yeah, we can keep a friendly accountability buddies.

That’s fine. Oh man. I, yeah, I’m going to throw in some ideas under like a burner account because I don’t do nothing that will hurt my

[00:09:17] Chad Timmerman: back. Cause that is that the rails pretty much everything.

[00:09:20] Nate Pearson: Yeah. That’s a tough thing. Cause I don’t really want to get into power lifting. I want to get more into like looking big.

I don’t need to necessarily like, cause it’s a different thing and uh, weight training versus powerlifting, you can do hypertrophy per Hyper-V. I can’t say the word, uh, hurt your hypertrophy. He has it. Perfect. Um, when you get bigger muscles, you do get stronger, but if you really want to be a strong powerlifter, it’s a different type of training.

Uh, and it’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff and you still get big, but not as big. And, but there’s risk of injury and stuff too. So yeah, I don’t want to split

[00:09:50] Chad Timmerman: hairs, but I have no interest in powerlifting is weightlifting, which is, you know, the Olympic lifts. Powerlifting is weight training. Yeah. Crazy heavy.

And that’s way, way out of my reach in terms of accessibility on my skeletal system,

[00:10:02] Nate Pearson: I would be doing weight training with a focus on overall just health because I am getting older. I’m gonna be 40 next month, but also looking good for days. Both of those things are in my, uh, my priorities,

[00:10:14] Jonathan Lee: those priorities.

Yes. Yeah, exactly.

[00:10:17] Amber Pierce: Having the why behind the goal. That’s important. That’s

[00:10:20] Jonathan Lee: right.

[00:10:21] Nate Pearson: Know your why then you go forward. But say, if I could add that and now with beating Chad in something,

[00:10:28] Jonathan Lee: nothing, nothing quite motivates Nate, like beating Chad. That’s why I’m trying

[00:10:32] Chad Timmerman: to

[00:10:33] Nate Pearson: give me that carrot. That’s cool. Yeah.

Yeah. But he’s like, uh, sorry. I think we gotta stick with this for a second. Super strong, any super mobile, like any he’s really good at this stuff. He’s been doing this longer than cycling, haven’t you?

[00:10:47] Chad Timmerman: Yeah, for sure. I mean, this has been since junior high. I think when I went from Doughboy to football player,

[00:10:55] Jonathan Lee: we had, and I’m in rapid fire questions for this later, by the way, this is great.

You guys are setting the scene perfectly. Okay. I,

[00:11:02] Nate Pearson: I I’m. Uh, so I was, I’ve always been super like skinny, like a, what they call ectomorph and like band. So when you’re in football, But I was carrying a tuba and it was pretty heavy. So anyways, somebody put something in because I really want to know. Okay.

Continue John.

Tri challenge update from the hosts

[00:11:18] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Uh, well actually I just wanted to Nate you’ve you were a triathlete. Some people may not know this, but you did triathlon before you started focusing on cycling and before you started and also while you were building up trainer road initially, um, and then Chad, you have done duathlon.

Um, and, but you have also trained in the pool and stuff too. You’ve done a fair amount of swimming and Amber in high school too. I think Amber has done swimming before. Yeah. Yeah. I think has done some swimming. Not really sure. Um, okay. So Amber, you spoke about something. I want to cover this, John, we

[00:11:53] Nate Pearson: should say this cause there’s new listeners.

Uh, Amber, it was a D one swimmer at state.

[00:11:58] Jonathan Lee: And there’s a whole podcast series that you can listen to where we break down the embers career on the successful athletes podcast series. And I highly recommend that everybody will listen to it, and we did a wonderful job of relaying her experiences. Um, it was wonderful.


[00:12:13] Amber Pierce: the interviewer, just,

[00:12:14] Jonathan Lee: just throwing that out there. Hey, hugs, hugs. That’s good. Um, so, uh, you mentioned something with swimming and it, and it’s really proving true with me. So I, I shared a video of myself swimming, not under the water, but just above the water. I didn’t have a GoPro with me. Um, I lost count at over 200 people sending in like telling me what to do, um, from, from doing that.

And the funny thing is I bet that if I put it all into a spreadsheet and categorized it, it would be 50 50 about conflicting itself. Like people like don’t let your torso roll at all. And then another person’s like, consider it like a log you’re rolling through the water. Uh, another person is like, you’re bringing your arm up too high.

Another person’s like, you’re not bringing your arm up high enough. So fair to say, there are plenty of opinions. Um, and plenty of things that I can do to work on and improve my swing, which is, uh, really apparent to me because, uh, I also, I, I, I choke and just drink water the whole time. So, um, so I definitely know I can improve, but Amber you’ve mentioned something that’s really helpful.

You were talking about an autonomic response that happens when we get into the water. Can you explain that a little bit? And then we can go into a detail on this? Yeah.

[00:13:21] Amber Pierce: For most folks, unless you really grew up on spending a lot of time in the water and kind of rewiring this, it’s really natural for your body to react to this very unfamiliar environment.

It’s not something that we’re used to gravity feels different. You’re dealing with buoyancy in a way that you don’t during the day or on a daily basis, and you can’t breathe the way that you normally do. And all of those things trigger an autonomic response that gets your whole system focused on surviving.

And when your whole system is focused on surviving, it’s really, really hard to have space, to focus on any kind of a learning process. The biggest part of this, I think when it comes to swimming, it is less about the buoyancy and the shift in gravity. But it’s more about breathing because that’s, that’s a really Keystone aspect of being able to survive.

So if you can get to a point where you feel really comfortable breathing and you can reassure your autonomic system, that this is not a life and death situation, which it sounds funny to say that, but it’s very true. If you’ve ever been in the water at a point where you felt like you, maybe weren’t going to be able to breathe when, and if you needed to, um, it’s, it’s a very serious response that your body will have to that.

So, uh, this is something that you really want to get comfortable with. So I shared with Jonathan, I think it’s really important to focus on breathing and getting comfortable breathing. Cause as soon as you can do that, then your brain will have the space and your system will have the space to focus on learning processes.

And otherwise it’s just, it’s really it’s too. It’s too difficult than ask,

[00:15:00] Jonathan Lee: um, Nate onto you. I want

[00:15:01] Nate Pearson: to say something. Yeah. So I. In high school, I joined the swim team. And just because there was like a cute girl that I actually signed up for it, I didn’t know how to swim and turned out to be a Lakeridge swimmer.

So I didn’t even ever see her. Like she wasn’t ever there, which is funny. And I hated it. It was so bad, but I was not a good swimmer either the first I could not swim down to the other side and, uh, trying to teach stuff. And then I did it for like a year and a half and I was never fast. And then I did triathlon many years later.

And then assuming an open-water or that long business you have to do, I would get scared. Uh, I could just not do it. I had that same kind of experience where I did not feel relaxed and it was always tense in the water and like uncovered. And in my experience, I think that helped me is I saw the total immersion video.

And it’s just like, you just see this guy just glide and why you don’t go fast, but they just glide. And, um, the techniques that he does, you’re not going to be a fast member, but it helped me get to this point that, uh, I started to relax and I got to a point where I did relax and then I had a swim coach, teach me how to swim faster.

Um, and those were like the steps that I went through, like swimming the regular swimming way. I never got comfortable with it. Um, until I learned how to glide. And then I, and then I combine the two where I’m going to glide a little bit more for triathlon, but also have the right technique and not have like a snowplow down, uh, in my arm and stuff like that.

When you do that snowplow to keep your hips up on patrol immersion. So it’s faster than drowning. Like you are, but not as fast as like an Amber swimming and that sort of thing.

[00:16:39] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Chad, did you have any experience with this of like getting over that initial because it’s funny. It doesn’t, um, so there’s fear and it doesn’t feel like fear.

It just feels like an uncontrollable amount of tension in my body. I don’t know if that makes sense, right. Like to people, but I’m not scared because you know, I’m in like three feet of water, but I could be in a thousand feet of water. I wouldn’t be scared. I, I know I can tread and I can handle that, but it’s just like tension and it just makes it so that I don’t work as well.

Have you experienced that too, Chad? You know,

[00:17:08] Chad Timmerman: I think the, the quickest and most beneficial get. That I achieved along the way. It was kind of what Nate described. Didn’t it did start with total immersion, but it really just kind of morphed into balance drills. And I found that by focusing on keeping my body balanced and properly positioned in the water so that I could glide and I didn’t have to do as much work, the breathing started to take care of itself.

Cause at first I was focusing just on the breathing drills and my balance was terrible. So I just struggled to breathe the whole time and I wasn’t really getting anything out of it. But then I shifted my emphasis to learn, to be balanced in the water. The breathing came more naturally. And then I started to progress really nicely.

Actually, I wasn’t swimming fast, like Nate said, but I was swimming far more efficiently than when I started.

[00:17:49] Nate Pearson: You can come for a long distance. Right. Like you can probably do a 200 and not be like, okay, I’m done

[00:17:54] Chad Timmerman: exactly. Right. Yeah. And it was, it was. That’s really

[00:17:58] Amber Pierce: interesting. Yeah. Jonathan, to your point, it’s not something that’s necessarily happening consciously, right?

Because this is, this is your autonomic system. That’s running in the background all the time, and it’s not something where you’re thinking in your mind. Oh, I feel like I’m about to die. I know in your mind, your conscious thoughts are, you know, I’m fine. That’s the only three feet of water I can stand up if I need to, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your autonomic system is going to be an agreement.

And that’s where you’re the tension. That makes a lot of sense.

[00:18:23] Jonathan Lee: Okay. This is a, it’s funny because I probably have spent many, a minute, maybe hours telling Nate, like, Nate, just do this for technique on a mountain bike. Right. And Nate’s, Nate was kind of always in saying that basically like, I need to focus on something else.

Like, what you’re telling me to do is way over here. I need to focus on something else. And it’s that level of, and Lee calls it arousal, right? Um, uh, Lee, uh, McCormick from li-like spikes, uh, great skills instructor. We have a video on working together with him. Um, and right now I think I’m, uh, just from a subconscious level, my body’s not at the point where it can really learn well and apply things dynamically that said I’ve already seen like a good amount of improvement.

And there are a handful of things that I was doing wrong that have, uh, that I’ve corrected that have really helped. So firstly, like. Just go through like a protractor through the water, you know, like 45 degree angle and just like pushed my way through the whole thing and then get exhausted really quick.

I could, but when I started swimming with this, I could get to the other side of the pool, but I would be very out of breath, very out of breath. I’d hold a pretty good plane in the water, be flat, and then I’d choke on water. Then I’d start to go into a snowplow and I’d be out of breath by 25. Now I can string together one hundreds and then after 100 I’m out of breath.

Um, so that’s better. That’s like a whole lot of improvement that I’m getting. And a few things that I’ve done with that is I’ve really worked on rolling. Cause that helps me breathe without just getting a mouth full of water, which is really helpful. Tucking. My chin, just like you guys said on the podcast is also helpful in this regard.

It’s like keeping my head down, but a few things I did as a cyclist, I was over kicking. I was using all my legs. Right. And I was kicking like a champ and I have big old quadricep muscles that probably take a ton of oxygen and then I don’t have anything else. So it’s just pretty rough. So in that case, since I had that going, I actually use a pole boy, a pole bully, boy, I don’t know how you would even say that word, but I’m pinching that between my thighs forced my legs to stop working and stop kicking from up there.

And it forced me to start focusing on like fluttering flippers of my feet. Right. Um, at a totally different level. So that was a big help, um, just to be able to operate at that level, um, that made it so that I was not as out of breath. I want to give

[00:20:44] Nate Pearson: you a tip, John, that I never knew for like all my triathlon, I’d only do triathlon for like five years plus swim team.

Uh, I never, no one ever told me this is that your ankle is supposed to be floppy when you can. No one told me that, like, um, I had them stiff and I would do kick drills and like eight year old girls would just be zooming by me. And I have big feet too. Like I’m a tall guy. You think it would be okay. Um, and then one day I like, at the very end of it, I like relaxed my ankle and it started to get floppy and it felt like I had fins on and I went so much faster.

And then you can also work on ankle flexibility where you, like, you sit like kind of kneel, but you’ve put your feet flat. Like I can’t do that anymore, but it lets you have more flexibility there. So when you flop around, uh, it, can you get, you’d push more water, Amber, is this all right? I don’t

[00:21:34] Amber Pierce: remember.

Yeah. Like, do you want fluffy

[00:21:37] Jonathan Lee: flipper feet? Yeah. At masters swim. That was one of the first bits of advice that I got and it was fantastic. It helped so much. It was also funny because as a cyclist, we’re just like so stiff and our ankles and stiff and everything. So I was totally holding them stiff, but then also my ankles were sore after that first day of letting them go lose, they were sore from just exploring that range of motion repeatedly.

Right. Um, it’s just so funny how bad we are. Chad’s shaking his head. He’s embarrassed that I’m a pupil of his, that, uh, yeah, that it’s so immobile. So that was really helpful. Um, and. I’m learning a whole lot of other things, but I’m the one thing I’m learning is that it just, I need to spend time repatterning that response.

And that comes with reps that comes with time in the water. And if currently it’s like a traumatic experience, it’s not exciting to go to the pool. It’s like, great. I get to go drown for a while. And, uh, but Hey, after a while, it’ll stop feeling like drowning. That’s the goal.

Triathlon Running Discussion

So, um, but anyways, that’s where the swimming side is on the e running side.

I just want to cover this really quick. Um, I worked with a couple of coaches and I realized I had been studying like triathletes and looking at triathlete form rather than looking at running form, uh, from runners. You know what I mean? It is different. Have you noticed it? Natan Chad and Amber? I don’t know if you’ve looked at it, but like really good, even really good triathletes don’t necessarily look like really good runners in technique.

Not all of them. That’s

[00:23:01] Nate Pearson: runners do, uh, the best like pro runners, even at the end of an iron man they’re running really well. And then a lot of people in training that are really high level look good, but when you’re on the Ironman and you’re running, there’s the shuffle that happens, right. There’s this whole, like other thing that develops, which is, it’s kind of like total immersion, you’re not going super fast, but you’re just trying to be as efficient as possible.

And it’s a cross between a fast walk and a slow run. Um, but yeah, I mean, going to runners for running is a great idea of, of how to be runner and that’s actually what a lot of triathletes do is they have a swimming, swim coach, a running run coach and a cycling cycling coach. Yeah. For like techniques, actually not so much in cycling, but for running and swimming.

[00:23:40] Jonathan Lee: There are two big queues that I noticed. So, and from a lifetime of racing motocross, I’ve built this like a, this pattern of posture that is not beneficial for swimming in particular, because it makes your hips just drag super far down. But if you look at like motorcycle riders, dirt bike riders in particular, the good ones, they carry their chest high.

They’re very upright. Their head is straight up. It’s like a bar from their chest to the top of their head. And then after that, there’s a lot of anterior pelvic tilt, meaning that their pelvis is tip forward. So their lower back is really curved in the back. And what that does is that allows your upper body and your lower body to be fully separate from each other.

So when your lower body and your bike is moving all around underneath you, it doesn’t upset your upper body that makes you really stable and dynamic and able to handle a bike. Well, uh, some people call it unlocking your hips, and it’s really helpful for that. However, it’s really bad for swimming because it makes you just like bow your stomach and you just drop right down and then it’s also bad for running.

But the interesting thing is, if you look at a lot of traffic, They have more of that posture. Their chest is extremely puffed out. There’s a difference between shoulders back and chest puffed out as I’ve learned. And then there’s also a difference between holding like your pelvis in the proper position and then tilting it really far forward.

I can’t help, but think that it’s probably exacerbated by the fact that you’re in the TT position that you end up having a much shorter everything in the front hip flexors. So as everything else, right? Like you’ve just been in the super hunched over position. And then when you get to running, it’s hard to fully posture up and then have any sort of posterior tilt in your pelvis start even post you’re just upright.

So it’s interesting looking, I’ve realized I’ve been looking at people in a compromised state looking for form indication when maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should just be looking at runners. So I’ve worked with running coaches and everything else, and I think I’ve found some great ways to be able to soften up the landing and make it so that I can be a bit more durable.

Um, or I should say just avoid injury easier. Yeah. That’s

[00:25:38] Nate Pearson: what I’d say right now with you, John is just make sure you don’t, uh, get injured running as you up your volume and go, I wouldn’t go super into like technique. Uh, even there’ll be runners run for 10 years, just fine. And then they start working on some, teach some technique and stuff.

You’re going to get a much bigger bang for your buck, not getting injured. That’s like, that’s, that’s the horrible thing about running is that all runners get injured at some time. And it’s how you manage that and prevent those energy, uh, mitigate them and prevent those injuries is what’s. Yeah,

[00:26:09] Jonathan Lee: for sure.

So you’re going to

[00:26:11] Nate Pearson: kill it though. John, what was your first 5k time again? 18

[00:26:15] Jonathan Lee: flat.

[00:26:16] Nate Pearson: So he had his first 5k 18 minutes flat, and I was like, that’s some BS. This is a short course. Cause that’s what I thought. And then it was like this thing called Reno 5,000 and the whole idea of Reno 5,000 is what it was like a measured certified 5k when you ran that, like that was his pitch is like, this is actually the right length.

And that was super annoying. And so first 5k and didn’t even train right. You train, you ran like for a month or something?

[00:26:39] Jonathan Lee: No. And didn’t do that. Um, I think I did two runs the week before, but I was an off season off the bike,

[00:26:45] Nate Pearson: so, okay. So two runs 18 minute 5k. He is a national own Mount biker, but at Trump trials, you’re very good time trial is if you can just figure out how not to die, assuming you are going to be amazing.

Uh, I really do think so in Xterra, as long as Brandon doesn’t show up, you’re going to be really good there. It’s just,

[00:27:03] Jonathan Lee: just got the stop sandbagging email. Did you know that that exists? So they sent him an email Xterra did cause he, our COO Brandon need we’ve had him on the podcast before he won Xterra world champs in his age group this year, super impressive.

Like, and he got an email from Xterra that was like, Hey, we encourage you to raise in the elite category because of your speed and your abilities. You should be racing there. Um, so he got like the stop sandbagging email there. They did say at the end of. It’s not, we’re not telling you, you have to move up, but we’re encouraging you to do so.

I think they’re trying to build up their elite field by doing that. Um, but, uh, because the elite fields always could be bigger.

[00:27:40] Nate Pearson: I feel bad for grand on that because Brandon is zero trainer road works ton has two twins has to get up at three 30 in the morning, works all day and then compare it to his speed to the lead field.

He wasn’t, he wasn’t going to be really competitive in the league field. He was going to be back pretty far, but those people don’t have jobs in twin or not everyone, but he has, he is not the life of a pro. Uh, and he’s like, yeah, getting his thirties. Like,

[00:28:06] Jonathan Lee: I don’t like racing people that don’t have jobs like you, like, I just don’t like, I like racing to be competitive.

Right. And if I have to raise somebody that doesn’t have a job, it’s just like totally different circumstances. It’s really tough. I’m not saying that that is their job. Yes, exactly. If that is your job, that’s what I mean, like as you know, a different job. So, uh, the kid wash is tough because we can’t separate divisions.

Like you have twins. So you’re in the twin data when mom division, you know, we can’t go to that degree, but you know, I

[00:28:34] Nate Pearson: want to know what people say on the chat comments, into the forum. So Brandon’s situation. And we joke that he only treated a little bit, but he trained like a maniac for Cape epic. And he was riding here, fitness in for Cape epic.

And that’s why he did so well. Uh, what do you, should Brandon move up or he didn’t win by that much, right? 30 seconds or so. Yeah, it was pretty close. I think 30 seconds a minute. Like he didn’t blow it out. He’s not competitive and elite. And he has got a full-time job COO of us and twins and getting older, let us know.

Cause I think he should stay age group because his situation is an age group situation.

[00:29:10] Jonathan Lee: And then I still want people to pick out which event, uh, I should do. I don’t think I’m going to do any races this year. I might do one. It would be very spontaneous if I did. I just don’t have any on the calendar cause that don’t want it to be a competing priority with family, um, with my wife being pregnant.

And then once we have the little one too, so, um, don’t want to do that, but at the same time, tell me what races we should do. I ex Terra mode or excites me a whole lot more than, uh, just doing a standard Dino Santa road tries or anything else. So, uh, let’s get into math question before we move on.

Chad’s Ski Tips and Amber’s Swimming Tips

[00:29:42] Chad Timmerman: I don’t, I don’t want to backtrack and big apologies to the people who aren’t here for the triathlon discussion, but in the swim portion of this discussion, Amber has got a bunch of pink, uh, texts, and I feel it’s especially relevant because it brings to mind coming off of a ski week.

How resonant some things can be while other things just kind of bounce off you. She’s putting things in a number of ways, and I’d love to hear explanations for each of the four that I’m looking at. Cool. Especially because, uh, man, I, I seem to build myself into a situation where every time I returned to powder Creek lodge, my skills are gone and I don’t have a deep base of ski ski training.

So when I show up first couple of days or a poop show, it’s really embarrassing. It’s very humbling. I get, I get all the humility I’m going to get for a year in about three days. Fortunately there is not. So, and every year, you know, there’s some kind soul who takes pity on me. Amorette to a lesser extent, she seems to come up to speed quicker than I do, but either way I have to relearn.

So the first couple days are tough. And uh, on one maybe second day, John Pedro. So John and Shelly owned the lodge. John took us aside and kind of just, just helped us just refamiliarize ourselves with the basics of skiing, forget about powder. Just remember how to ski. And he said two things. One, one was you can’t be too far forward.

And that was liberating. I’ve I’ve heard, you know, keep your shins in the front of the skis, lean forward. Don’t let your trailing hand glide back toward the hilt, whatever it is, those things didn’t stick. But when he said you can’t be too far forward, miracles happen. It was like, oh my God, I can’t fall forward.

And he also said all we see your hands. The steering, the bus I’ve heard, uh, keep your hands in front of you. It’s been put a number of different ways, but he said all we see your hands. And if I couldn’t see my hands, I was very conscious of the fact that I’ve lost. One of my hands is trailing behind me.

My point being, he put it in ways that clicked. So they were resonant. So I think the more ways, if something’s just bouncing off, you don’t waste your time trying to decipher it and make sense of it. Ideally expose yourself to another, another coach or someone who’s very good at whatever it may be and allow them to put it in different ways.

Cause there’s different ways sooner or later, one of them is gonna make sense to you.

[00:31:57] Nate Pearson: Totally agree with that. Yeah. Um, I think the best way to go through this is to have all the listeners send John tips to underscore Jonathan on Instagram.

[00:32:06] Jonathan Lee: Jonathan underscore actually is right. So then it doesn’t land.


[00:32:11] Nate Pearson: Yeah. Just give me your swim tips. Like your analogies send them through. He loves it.

[00:32:16] Jonathan Lee: Um, Amber, can I run you through these ones then ask you? Okay. So hips dropping, probably one of the more common things to have for new swimmers. Right? Um, so hips dropping, uh, Amber, what would you advise me or how would you phrase the advice to help me not have my hips drop.


[00:32:34] Amber Pierce: the, the thing on this is to remember that because you’re in such a different environment where you’re dealing more with buoyancy than you are with gravity. I mean, you’re still dealing with some gravity, but now you’re throwing buoyancy into the equation. Your posture in the water should be substantially different than what it is on land.

Because number one, you’re horizontal. Number two, you’re dealing with buoyancy and less gravity and you’re balancing buoyancy with gravity. Whereas when we’re walking around, we’re vertical and we’re a hundred percent gravity. Um, so the analogy I like to use for this is like blocks on a string. So if you imagine that your body is a series of blocks, your head is a block.

Your torso is a block. Your hips are a block and your legs are a block. And they’re, they’re tied together on a string when we’re walking around that string is allowing those blocks to flex relative to one another, because we’re vertically having to absorb that gravity. So the function is very different when you’re in the water, you actually want to pull on that string so that all those blocks tighten up together and move together.

As one, you can’t really tighten your spinal cord, but what you can do is if you have. In your mind, then you can straighten up your posture. So we used to do, um, at Stanford, we used to spend a lot of time doing posture drills on land imposter drills on, in the water. Um, and one of the drills we do is called a pencil foe where you just go to the deep end and this might not work unless you have a deep end of the pool.

Um, but you just float vertically. And what you do is you slowly tilt your pelvis under. So you’re no longer doing that anterior tilt and you really want your spine to be as straight as possible. So you actually want to start to eliminate the curves in the spine if you will. So you’re tilting your pelvis under, you’re pulling your chin in so that your neck is very straight and you’re just turning your body into a kayak instead of a rubber raft.

And that’s another analogy that I like to use when your autonomic system is searching for survival and safety and reassurance and the water it’s going to go rubber raft. It’s going to spread out and it’s going to seek stability, but what’s going to ultimately help you. Swim is becoming not a rubber raft, but a kayak and a kayak, as we all know, is a lot less stable than a rubber raft, but it’s a heck of a lot faster and it’s going to glide a lot easier.

And so tightening up those blocks on a string can really help and working on that posture and understanding that your posture is going to necessarily be different in the water because it’s a completely different environment. So those were the two things I was going to mention on that. And you, you mentioned body rotation and not wanting to separate that torso rotation from your hip rotation.

And that’s exactly right. People can get away with this. You can fudge it a little bit. If you need to, ultimately, it’s going to be what works for you, but the fastest way to do it. And the best way to get the most out of your glide is your whole body should move as one. So yes, like a log, um, and you should be rotating around one vertical central axis when you’re swimming the crawler freestyle.

However you want to call that. Um, and again, that feels very unstable. It feels really unstable, you know, and, and early on, when you’re trying to get comfortable in the water, you’re gonna seek stability and that’s usually going to be the rubber raft. But if you can get to a point where you can feel a little bit more, more and more comfortable as a kayak, uh, you’ll be able to get a lot more out of every glide in your

[00:35:50] Nate Pearson: stroke.

I think of it like you’re becoming arrow.

[00:35:54] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Yeah. That’s what, that’s what she describing. Yep. And it’s, uh, if you want to see me swimming, head over to my Instagram and check it out, uh, drop me tips. Um, I may not read them. I may, uh, who knows, but, uh, this is Amber. What you’re saying is it’s actually what Chad pointed out.

It’s very important to hear it at different times in different ways, from different people, because at some point it’s going to resonate the whole point of like in an ideal world. Yes. We’d be able to hear a bit of advice and be able to capture it, remember it, have it, change us and move forward, but it doesn’t work that way.

We just have to hear it in the right way at the right time for the right person. And then it ends up resonating. That’s a really visual way of explaining it though, the blocks on strings analogy. I really love it, Amber. Um, and it’s, and I’m now getting to the point where, like I said, I can string together 100 without being out of breath.

Right. So that’s really good way better than 25. So, you know, and that allows me to be able to focus on for a 25 yard a bit. I can focus on technique, right. A bit more and, and work on those things. So it’s cool to see the progress already happening. Um, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it. Yeah, thanks Chad. Good stuff.

So it’s always tough. I want to like move things along because I’m, I’m thinking of all the different listeners that are listening to this, and somebody is yelling at it going, like they’re afraid that their socks are going to start dropping and heightened. Their sleeves are going to fall off because they’re listening to this and they’re really, you know, upset.

So, you know, but I appreciate it. And rest assured cyclists, this tri talk will start to diminish as my initial learning curve goes away and it’s just business as usual thereafter. So it’ll come back strong when I start winning. So then check that out. Um, okay.

Should you gain weight to get faster?

Next one from Matt, he says, this question is intentionally a little open-ended what role should walk kg or power to weight ratio of lean mass play in goal setting in general preparation.

Uh, so we’ve talked about measuring lean mass before we can do it with DEXA scans. You can do it with like a garment index scale, or there’s a ton of different skills that you can do that give you an estimate of body fat percentage and lean mass as well. And they’ll tell you how much each of those ways, and you can track it separately that can really help when you’re trying to like detach from the overall number on the scale, because that overall number on the scale can.

Very representative of body composition instead, it’s just like an overall number. So, okay. Uh, Matt says, for example, I’ve peaked at five Watts per kilogram for the last two years. First at 70 kilograms, then it’s 74 kilograms during both peaks. I have the same amount of lean mass and he may have mistyped this section, uh, when we were reading through.

So we’re just going to assume a few different scenarios. Okay. So he says during both peaks had the same amount of lean mass. Last year, I was just carrying extra body fat looking at lean mass only though I went from 5.55 to 5.9 Watts per kilogram. So once again, you may have made a mistype there. So some of this was data having more structured training under my belt.

The additional fat is enough that this year it’s leaving me wondering about the importance of fat loss for power development and preparing for peaking later this summer. So I just want to address this question in a few different general ways, and I think that it will help you map and it will help other athletes.

But this is the whole question, right? Knee of, is it, is it better to weigh more at the same? Is it better to weigh more and to raise your power basically? Or just to be the same?

[00:39:18] Nate Pearson: Yeah. And I think I understand Matt’s question is what he’s saying is if you just looked at lean, mass is lean mass stayed the same, but his FTP went up.

So that’s why he went from 5.55 to 5.9. Um, I would, which is possible, but probably not likely, but anyways, let’s, let’s just talk about gaining weight too. Yes. To be faster because that’s the.

[00:39:43] Jonathan Lee: Cause that’s and that’s like, honestly, so it’s a big fear, right? Because Amber, uh, being a pro cyclist, um, this was your job was to make sure that you were at a good enough power to weight ratio because that determined your ability to carry speed.

Right. So, um, did you, we did a podcast with Ben jock, Maine on this, where we talked about when he, he said that he allowed himself to gain weight, he went through extra eating disorders and extreme, um, extreme, I guess, health issues, even with this whole thing, trying to make himself as thin as possible. We have this huge temptation.

How did you wrestle with this in your career? And what, what solution did you come to?

[00:40:24] Amber Pierce: Yeah, I want to touch back on Ben’s interview too. Cause I think this is that’s really germane here as well, but I struggled with this a lot. I mean, I’m five 10, so I’m not a typical cyclist. Cyclists. The stereotypical cyclist will say is generally fairly petite and lean.

And I came from swimming. I have big, broad shoulders. I’m tall and quite a bit taller, usually on most teams. At least head and shoulders above most of my teammates, which is generally made me feel big. I mean, it’s, you know, those two words tall and big have very different connotations and I definitely felt big.

And that was a source of, um, it was, it was a big source of stress because in cycling, there is such an emphasis on Watts per kg, and we can’t deny the reality of that. It definitely is a fact, you know, it does contribute to your ability to go up hill fast, for example. But, um, one of the things I finally kind of wrap my head around because what ended up being detrimental for me was the stress around that was feeling like I didn’t have the right body to be successful in this sport.

And I was thinking that while I was being successful in the sport, I was winning races in this very body that I worried was not, you know, appropriate for the task. And even though the evidence was right in front of me, uh, because I kept comparing myself to this particular stereotype, I always felt like I wasn’t quite measured.

And finally, finally wrap my head around this and realize, you know, when I’m training, I’m asking a lot of my body, my body by its nature is adaptive and it’s adapting to the load that I’m asking of it. So if I’m, if I’m fueling my body appropriately, I’m giving it what it needs to adapt to this load. My body is actually going to be able to optimize better than, um, if I were the one directing that optimization.

So our bodies are really wise. They know what they’re doing. Um, and I realized I just need to train really hard and give my body what it needs. And that’s going to put me in the best position to perform well. And in fact it did. And that meant that yeah, I was never going to look the way that a stereotypical cyclist looked, but I realized that that was actually okay because my optimal, what was optimal for my physiology, my frame, my build, my genetics looks different than what the stereotypical cyclist was.

And that, that was okay because I could still win races, just being me. Um, didn’t matter how much I restricted calories. I was never going to be five, three. That’s just not going to happen. But that really helped. And Ben’s interview was really interesting too. And we can talk about that a little bit, but, um, he talked about one year he was coming back from injury and he was so intent on getting fit fast.

He really wanted to get his fitness back so that he would come into an early season team camp with, you know, and just really be able to throw down and prove himself. So his strategy for this was really interesting. He just trained as much as he possibly could every day. And then he just ate as much as he possibly could every night, so that he would be recovered enough to go train as much as he possibly could the next day.

And so he stopped worrying about the kg part of the equation, and he just focused on how much can I actually train in the best way to load up on the training was to fuel himself. And he just did that for this huge block going into his season. And he had one of the best seasons he’d ever had. He was carrying more weight, but what he found was he could repeat efforts better than he ever had in his career.

So he would get to the top of a climb with the lead group the way he always had, but he had so much more left than. After that climb. And he would be able to repeat those efforts through races and from race to race in a way that he never had in his career. And it was very eyeopening for him. And it was an accidental discovery because of this injury and trying to come back quickly.

Um, but it’s something that’s to be considered. Um, and, and Chad’s got some notes in here, you know, there’s, there’s multiple ways of looking at this. Um, but I thought that that was a really interesting anecdote from Ben being at the professional level, similarly, discovering that, um, he actually could perform in a body that wasn’t necessarily the body that he thought he needed to have in order to be able to perform.

[00:44:34] Nate Pearson: Yeah. I want to say before Chad goes through his deep dive, a

[00:44:39] Chad Timmerman: short one.

[00:44:40] Nate Pearson: Okay. Well, I’m just going to talk for check cause I like to

[00:44:46] Chad Timmerman: get it in there. You’ll probably say everything I’m going to say.

[00:44:47] Nate Pearson: So, uh, it’ll learn general it’s I, it, besides very few cases, I think it’s almost always better to be heavier and have the same watt kg. Um, as a heavy person, I see this all the time, where all before, while I was per kilo and there’ll be 135 pound man, who’s four Watts per kilo.

There’s almost no situation where that person is. Drop me or beat me in anything racing that’s because like in a crit I’m going to have much war. Uh, if I get separation, my power on the flat is going to be so much more. And my aerodynamic drag isn’t equal to, uh, how much more power that I could put out.

Right. So that can make separation the only time that it really going to be an issue, if it’s a really steep climb, like walk kg doesn’t mean you always climb the same speed at all, gradients. And as it gets deeper, I did this math once. I don’t remember the right word is, but as it gets deeper, the weight matters even more.

And it’s not just Watts per kg. Um, I’d also say Matt, in this case, I don’t know. I’ve looked at this for weight training too, just because you, like you’re saying you had four kilograms, more body fat and, but you were faster. And that was the reason why you were faster. Maybe it’s what Amber said. You are fueling yourself through training.

Your aerobic system went up, you happen to gain some fat too, but that’s why you’re faster. So that the fat itself is not like pushing you through, um, another way, you know, getting muscle mass too is the way people do it. And that can also usually lead to, uh, being a faster cyclist. Also when compared with, uh, with when paired with aerobic train, if you just getting muscle mass and don’t do a rubber training, you’re probably not going to get any faster as a cyclist.

Chad does that, that saved that you’re gonna say

[00:46:34] Chad Timmerman: Hmm. Some of it, some of it overlaps for sure. Uh, I kind of want to hone in on. The, but the additional fat is enough that this year. So let’s just talk about your concern over the additional fat. Um, first off, we always have to view this contextually. We can’t, we can’t just say what, what is right for you is right for Vincenzo neighborly or is right for someone who’s straight off the couch.

Who’s never raised before. So I look at your Watts per kg. And even when you don’t relate it to lean mass, you’re still at five Watts per kg. So I assume you’re a reasonably competitive rider, probably very competitive, at least in your capabilities. So then you just have to go back to reducing it to course characteristics, right?

What are the types of races you want to be good at? And you know, what is the impact of gravity? Do you have to do climbs? You have to do the steep climbs that Nate just described. Do you have to accelerate a lot because accelerating more mass is more work. Then you have to consider your level of competition.

Are you an age group athlete or you at the way, high end of things that really pointy end with national international and world level competitors. Those are things that are going to sway you a bit. But I think in all cases you still have to prioritize health first. And I wish that world level riders would do this, but their consequences are different if they don’t perform, if they don’t optimize, maximize everything, they can.

A lot of the time, the expense of their health, they may not have a job. They may not perform well enough to get picked up next season. They may exit the sport, feeling like a failure, or they shouldn’t have ever been there in the first place. All of these consequences are. Much greater in magnitude than anything.

Any of us as amateur athletes are likely to face prioritize health first and then performance next. And the beauty of it is that if, if your health is spot on, if that’s where your focus is, then the performance usually follows suit. So it kind of handles itself. You’re doing the training, you’re nourishing.

Well, you’re keeping yourself helpful. Maybe a couple extra pounds keeps you even a fat, keeps you from being sick, keeps you in just a generally healthy state so that you can continue to train. You can continue to progress. And again, what I’m saying that performance follows and I’ll use myself as an example, my best racing, I managed to get myself down to a scan, actually touched 1 65, but that was just water weight.

I was down to a pretty reliable 1 67 and I was racing well. But over the course of the season, I didn’t even, I just stopped paying attention to weight. I just stopped weighing myself. I didn’t like how it looked and like how I felt. Yes, I was racing well, but I started nourishing better. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes less intentionally.

It just happened. I didn’t focus on it. And by the end of the season, I had gravitated back up to 175 pounds, which is what eight pounds. So three or four kilos, substantial amount of weight loss, but I wasn’t racing any worse. In fact, I was racing just as well. If not better, I could do more. I could train more.

I mean, the season just got progressively better over the course of it. And my weight came up over the course of it. Pretty steadily.

[00:49:25] Jonathan Lee: When we talk about pro athletes. If you’re a pro, your part of your job is to form your life around your career so that it supports your career. Right. Um, and that goes for everybody.

That’s why we have bedtimes that have to do with when we have to get up and be ready for work. Right. Um, we all form our lives are under our careers. Now professional athletes, part of their job is to form their life with precision so that it allows them to be able to perform on the bike. And what I’m getting at here is that an athlete will try to remove as much, um, external stress as possible in order to be able to train and put as much of the stress that exists in their life, into the training aspect and the physical stress that comes from training, and then eliminate the rest.

So that will look like they aren’t going to go out and have a late night with friends doing something or adult they’ll pass on those things. They’ll pass on the big home improvement project that they want to do. And they’ll find another way to get that done, whether that’s other people doing it or delaying it for a certain period of time, you do that because you’re trying to optimize things down to the nth degree.

Now that’s a really fragile way to live. And what it does is it puts you in a position if you’re that optimized that if anything goes wrong, you are right on the edge. So you instantly fall off that edge into the water. Uh, you can tell where my fears lie into the water, but, uh, but the that’s what happens when you try to run things so close to the edge, um, some people say, you know, flights too close to the sun and get burned.

It’s the same thing. And for average athletes I’d argue. So w when we look back in the past and we think, man, I was really fast at that time, and I was really lean at that time and we try to piece it all together. If you actually look at your ability to perform consistently, if you are really running things down to the line, I guarantee you, you had sporadic success, you had bright spots, but you weren’t able to repeat that.

Not just in the same workout, but day after day, week after week. It’s really important that us average people are durable. We have to be able to. Except what life come or accept what life gives us and still be able to stick to our training. And part of that comes down to our nutrition and what we’re doing.

If we’re trying to run ourselves down to the very thin edge the whole time, it’s just going to be so easy to get sick. So easy to get tired, so easy to, to be too fatigued, to be able to complete the workouts like we need to and make improvements. So there’s a huge temptation to follow this, but for all of us in particular, where it’s not our jobs to be pro cyclist, I would encourage us to focus on the Watts, not on the kg.

And if you do that and your weight may rise, I guarantee your power will rise, but above all, you’ll be able to be more consistent. And we say this like a broken record, but athletes that can train consistently over time. They’re the ones that get faster. I know that sounds super simple, but if anything, we should be trying to pattern everything to allow us to be able to train consistently rather than just go up a hill quick.

So that’s, I think important guidance for all of us. Um, a lot of athletes probably do with a bit more weight, um, because it probably helped them be able to be a bit more consistent. Um, that can be a tricky thing to, to wrestle with, but don’t be afraid to let yourself consider that don’t feel like you absolutely have to be up against the ropes for everybody listening to this.

How to keep your training on track while fasting

So, um, Isilon’s question. He says I’ve started training with trainer road again, after taking some time off last year, I aimed to maintain consistency in training this year, where to go, it’s quite the goal. Um, he says being a Muslim, we fast in the month of Ramadan for this year, that will be in April with fasting and other commitments throughout the month.

What is the best way to maintain fitness during this month? Given very limited training time, maybe one to two hours per week. And primarily a, he says primarily the aim would still be to, uh, to be able to hold sweet spot intensity at the end of the month. Thanks a lot for the advice. Um, Amber, do you want to get into Ramadan in particular and then Chad will let you kind of take things on, on fasting.

Sound good? Yeah.

[00:53:19] Amber Pierce: Yeah, that sounds good. I’ll I’ll kind of hit surface level stuff and we’ll let Chad do the

[00:53:23] Jonathan Lee: deep dive a little deeper, no deep dive.

[00:53:26] Amber Pierce: Okay. So I think the big thing about Ramadan is, uh, is really mindset, you know, This is a spiritual time. And so being giving yourself permission to adjust your focus and adjust your expectations, right?

The focus here is on, you know, the celebratory nature of this event and the spiritual aspects of this, and allowing yourself the space to do that and allowing your training maybe to take a back burner position during that time is fine and allow, you know, giving yourself permission to do that is really important.

You can do that, um, without completely having your training go off the rails and athletes do this all the time. So this is, this is not a new thing. And there are a lot of people who do this year after year, very successfully. Um, so first things versus the mindset, you know, where do you wanna, where do you want your focus to be and giving yourself permission to maybe let that be something other than training for the time being that said you can continue to train, obviously, um, because of the fast thing I, you know, as a practical standpoint, I’d suggest, possibly adjusting your volume and maybe adjusting, adjusting the frequency with which you’re actually having intense workouts.

You mentioned sweet spot. Um, Chad’s going to get more into the physiology on this, but just being able to, you know, do some work in that system pretty consistently is going to help stave off any fitness decline in that training zone. So that’s, you know, maybe you’ll want to focus your intense sessions on sweet spot in particular, um, and maybe make those sessions a little bit shorter.

And then in terms of timing, the workouts, I think this is something that you can play around with and see what works for you. A lot of athletes will train right before or after if tar, and if tar is, uh, the evening meal, um, after breaking the fast for those who aren’t familiar, so training right before or after that, if you’re training right before that, you’re going to be training in a deficit, but then you’ll be able to replenish with the meal.

If you train right after you’ll have replenished and be able to train on that replenishment. Um, the other option is if you’re a morning person and really early morning person, you could train right before or after SU whore and C4 is the meal in the morning before the fast begins for the day. Uh, so that’s another potential option.

I think that might be a little bit tougher for those of us like me who are not morning people. Um, but try and train timing your workout to be right before or after one of those meals might be a way of managing the fasting aspect of this. And then the other, the last thing is just to say training while facet is stressful, and you’re going to have a lot of other things going on during that month, aside from your training.

So giving yourself permission also to ease back into a regular training schedule after Ramadan. So don’t feel like you have to jump in right away, but give your body the chance to adapt back to a higher level of volume or intensity, um, is going to be really important and just trust that your body will, will be able to adapt to that and trust.

The fitness will come. The training will come. If you did see a little bit of a decline it’s okay. You’ll get it back quickly. Um, and I’m gonna turn it over to Chad. Who’s got some, some more detail on the physiological aspects

[00:56:35] Jonathan Lee: of this. Yes, I

[00:56:36] Chad Timmerman: do. I have a bit of those turn out a ton, but bear with me because I jotted this down a couple of days ago and I’m just, just now reviewing them.

So I hope I can make sense of my chicken scratch. So first I need some

[00:56:48] Nate Pearson: Adderall. I

[00:56:50] Jonathan Lee: could use it. No, we should actually, one thing that we need to mention, Nate, um, you mentioned Adderall there. Oh yeah. Good point. Yeah. Um, first of all, Adderall is an amphetamine. Uh, it can be abused. Uh, it’s also something that you need a Tue for in, in some cases, if you’re going to be using it in competition as

[00:57:09] Nate Pearson: well, can I sell the competition?

And it’s something you need to have a doctor’s prescription for. And I joke about it because it’s a little bit funny, but I should probably not joke about it too. So that’s how I should say this thing is like, don’t start taking Adderall and competition and get popped and then get banned from something.

But I’m not competing this year too. And, uh, going with my doctor now to figure out what the right doses, we’re not

[00:57:29] Chad Timmerman: condoning Adderall abuse.

[00:57:31] Nate Pearson: Exactly. Thank you. And when I say Chad should take it to make this a better podcast. That’s a complete joke. Chad, you don’t need it at all. Beer. Okay. Maybe.

[00:57:39] Jonathan Lee: Okay.

Caffeine. It was a true one thing I want to point out when you go into this chat, sorry. There’s what Amber was just discussing, which is fasting for very different reasons, right? Uh, this is for religious reasons, for reasons of faith and personal belief. And then there’s the fasting where it’s like, uh, you want to make changes in body composition.

Um, Chad’s going to separate those forests, but it’s really important that all of us keep in mind the fact that like there are different motivations and there’s different context for this, right? Chad. Yup.

[00:58:13] Chad Timmerman: Yup. So there’s a big difference between facet, training and training while fasting. So Ramadan would constitute the ladder, right?

He’s he’s fascinating. This is part of what he has to do every day. So how do I balance training with my fasting schedule? Fast to training is, is different, has very clearly very different intention. So let’s, let’s talk about that first, just a couple of things. We’ve, we’ve talked in depth about this topic before, so I just kind of want to review a couple of things, but what we’re really seeking or what athletes are seeking when they train in a fasted state is to maximize their aerobic adaptation adaptations via nutrient timing.

So when they have their meals, when they have their nutrition relative to when they train, how can I stagger that? Or, uh, schedule that in such a way relative to each other, that I actually receive some aerobic benefit outside of the actual training, something else that’s going on in there because of nutrient timing.

And we’ll do that in athletes. Do that in a few ways. First, you can deplete your glycogen and then follow it with some aerobic training. So, you know, do some hard effort and then keep on riding for a couple hours sons’ nutrition. So you don’t, you don’t nourish right after rather you keep writing and keep training aerobic, low, low intensity, while still on a facet state or a depleted state.

You can deplete your glycogen and then postpone your post-workout nutrition. So you can do that hard, intense workout. And then rather than eat immediately after and refurbish your, you know, start to the glycogen restoration process, you can postpone that meal for an hour or two or whatever it may be saying.


[00:59:39] Jonathan Lee: works out terribly by the way, for me personally, and just want to put that out there. These are all options that are, yeah, these are all options that chatter is putting out there, but he isn’t saying that this is the thing to do. I just want to make sure because boy facet training, it’s really easy. It makes so much sense in our brains to starve ourselves into pride ourselves and require a lot from us.

Then we get pride from the fact that, Hey, I just did something with nothing and I’ve never noticed a. Ways downhill for me. Then when I try to starve myself, initially I might get fast, but it always ends up biting me really bad later on. So, sorry, Chad, carry on. I just want to make sure because I can, my alarm bells are going off for some of the listeners listening to this.

[01:00:22] Chad Timmerman: Yep. So these are just methods for, you know, if you’re after this, this is why you’re training in a fastest state and all of these are ways you can accomplish it. A third way is to come into plead it. And this is typically after depletion workout the night before. So when we talk about an overnight fast, where you’re just not eating after dinner and you don’t eat until breakfast, that’s an overnight fast.

And that’s something that is very different from depleting your glycogen stores prior to bed, and then sleeping on an empty stomach. And then not repleting in the morning overnight fast. Typically don’t qualify. Everybody does that unless, you know, you’re amongst that very narrow subset of folks who will get up and maybe intake some protein or whatever, typically in the strength realm have nothing to do with what we’re talking about here.

Um, so, so with those three methods, there may be others, but those are, I think the three most common, uh, caution is Meredith the first in terms of frequency, uh, the tendency in my own, especially, and, and people who I talk to about this particular thing would just do it to. I mean, it would be two or three times a week.

And, and the literature seems to say that there’s, there’s not a heck of a lot of benefit doing it more than once a week, but that second and third time things start to ill effects. Unintended effects start to creep into the process. Um, caloric deficits is a big one when you’re, when you’re narrowing your eating window or you’re postponing meals, or specifically trying not to eat during workout, you can shortchange your caloric intake over the course of the day.

So whether you recognize it or not, maybe you need 3000 calories because, you know, basil rate plus all the other things you’re doing. And for whatever reason, you’re only getting 25, especially if your, your eating window is narrow, that that’s that smell nourishment. That’s insufficient to support the training that you’re doing.

Um, fat loss and weight loss, uh, try not to confuse your goals. There’s I mean, doing fast to training or intermittent fasting, or time restricted feeding when you’re seeking body comp alterations is very different than when you’re seeking performance improvement. And a couple of things on that. First off you can achieve both, but perceiving or pursuing both is, is rather problematic.

And I’ll just, just a couple of reviews. One was 2017. We looked at seven studies and they noticed that time-restricted feeding had slight if any differences in body composition. So whether they ate normally, whether they restricted it to a narrow window, body composition was virtually the same or review a year later, looked at 46 or 46 studies quality.

For inclusion. They noticed that in the fed state yep. Prolonged aerobic endurance, big surprise in the facet state. Yep. It fostered a little bit of metabolic adaptations. What they couldn’t, uh, carry out or couldn’t demonstrate is does this benefit performance? And that’s always the question with this. I mean, again, we can take it back to the mechanistic level and we can say, we get an uptick in this.

We get signaling on this pathway, all these beneficial things happen, but do they translate to performance? And there is a scant amount of research that actually supports the link between the two. So, yep. These changes happen in the body. Do they actually make you faster? And there’s still not enough behind it for us to say definitively or at least with a bit more competence time-restricted feeding or intermittent fasting or facet training really pays off.

Okay. So now let’s go back to training while fasting in the, in this case of, uh, Ramadan fasting, um, maintaining fitness during Ramadan is, is really the goal and that’s absolutely on the table. Um, what’s not is because you’re new. It’s going to be pretty unevenly distributed over the course of this. Again, it’s a narrow window.

It’s like, what are we talking about? Eight, 10 hours there. So adaptation maximization is just not on the table. So you’re not going to get fitter over the course of this don’t expect. So, but as we’ve talked about many, many times maintenance doesn’t require a ton of work. So there’s nothing that leads me to believe that.

I mean, you’re getting something today. This isn’t a 24 hour faster, you know, the entire month rather it’s it’s time restricted feeding, right? So you can get enough nutrients in to be able to perform the workouts necessary to maintain everything you built. To this point, it goes for strength that goes for endurance.

That goes for, uh, muscle endurance. You know, that the highly glycolytic stuff doesn’t carry super well to sprints. And that’s, it’s not a big surprise. Uh, the basis behind that literature is doesn’t exactly translate to this situation either. Um, my concerns and this is supported by the lit is that the, your protein requirements are going to be hard to meet.

And we’ve, we’ve talked and we’ll talk next week, quite a bit more about protein that, you know, you’re, you’re supposed to get this many grams per kilogram of body weight relative to, you know, your size relative to how much work you’re doing in a day. You’re supposed to evenly distribute them, try not to bias them toward the tail end of the day, all these things.

Well, you only have the tail end of the day. So in order for you to get all that protein in that narrow window, I can bet that all of it’s not going to make it into the whole muscle protein synthesis process. Rather some of it is going to be socked away. If you manage to get all 120 grams of protein in during neuro window, which is quite a lot, um, secondly, sleep butts up against your feeding window.

That’s going to make things tough too. You can’t just have a 2,500 calorie meal and then expect to get a, a decent level or a quality of sleep. Um, a study did point out on the lighter side of things that time-restricted feeding plus strength training. And they looked at the active females where they ate over the course of an eight hour feeding window.

And they did intake suitable energy as they termed it. There was no adverse effect on strength or muscle mass, as long as their total daily protein intake was sufficient. And that their training occurred in the fed state. And that’s another key concern here, um, with, with carbohydrate restoration, that’s going to be a tough thing to get on top of.

So if you’re doing super tough, uh, you know, high level or high, uh, highly metabolic strength training, you’re doing high intensity interval training. You’re doing, uh, muscle endurance work like sweet spot and threshold work. Obviously you’re going to have to time your nutrition such that you’re coming into it either after you ate, went to bed, got up and you’re loaded up with glycogen.

So you can get through the workout or you do the work and glycogen stores are sufficient enough and then you replenish them directly thereafter so that your next workout doesn’t suffer the consequences of not timing it just, right. So my point here is you’re going to have to really focus on your nutrition time, and you’re not going to be able to get away with some of the things that people can get away with when they’re eating three meals a day.

And then finally, as far as the performance impact, I think I already touched on this, but it was a 2019 to 2020 review, 11 studies qualify and all they noticed was it sprint power suffered. So basically everything else wasn’t effected by Ramadan related time, restricted feeding. So maintenance of current fitness, absolutely on a table.

My recommendations are only have three of them. First off, no hit workouts over an hour. If you’re going to do high intensity work, I wouldn’t go for the 90 minute, two hour jobbers, uh, secondly, avoid or, or, or tiptoe around the highly glycolytic work again. It’s going to have to be in tandem with your, with your nutrient intake or performance is going to suffer progress.

Well, I’d say it could stall, but really stalling is optimal here. And then finally keep your endurance work truly easy. Don’t hop on the bike and work at 85% when the workout prescribed 65%, because you think for some reason you’re going to fall behind because it’s Ramadan

[01:07:50] Jonathan Lee: good advice

[01:07:50] Nate Pearson: to you. This is what I think should happen.

Uh, Amber, just last for even say

I’ll come on guys. So you’re gonna, uh, before, so you can eat before sunrise and after sunset. Correct. So what I think, uh, he should do is that for before sunrise, you eat your, a very big carbohydrate meal. Uh, like some of these things that I would eat before, like Leadville, right? Uh, it, with some protein in it, you wait three hours, you do your first dried, uh, you’re doing a low volume plan an hour an hour, and maybe the last one you do an hour or so with workout alternatives, or maybe 90 minutes for that three.

The reason why I say three workouts, because you can have more time between you have days rest between each one to further replenish. So you do that workout. You’re gonna go down, you’re gonna be pretty depleted, but, and you’re not going to have that meal to like quickly replenish your glycogen stores, but that’s not going to be as big of a deal because one you’re not working in that day.

But if you’re on low volume, you have a whole extra day to replenish. So that next night do the same thing. Like eat, eat lots of carbs and protein. Basically, during this time, I would focus on getting enough carbs and protein fat will probably happen. And I wouldn’t do like a high fat meal or make any of those meals low carb or make any of those meals, low protein, um, because that’s going to be really important.

So then the next day on your day off, still do the same thing, do a high carb meal for breakfast and then, uh, for dinner. And then, then the next morning you’re gonna be replenished like the after that day off. And you can do it again, do a little volume with some, you know, as long as you’re not doing, like Chad said crazy high volume, you’re going to need carbohydrates during that ride.

You ate three hours before a lot. I think you could do three. I bet you could do a low volume plan, maintain fitness, um, and not have it be too, you know, too miserable. Uh, that’s the way it could be six workouts a week, extremely hard, six hard workouts. You’re going to die and not die. You know what I mean?

You’re going to,

[01:09:51] Jonathan Lee: it’s going to be bad, no

[01:09:52] Amber Pierce: devil days whatsoever.

[01:09:54] Nate Pearson: No devil days, but I don’t think if you did a, I mean, you could maybe, maybe, maybe do some really low on if you wanted to fill stuff in like your high level cyclists on those days that I had off, you could do some writing, but I would have it be.

55, 60% of FTP. What do you think about that? Chad, like extremely low to, to spare glycogen stores and really try to burn fat during that time. And, uh, on that one too, I would do it further in the day, like right before sunset. So I would do that one as far away from eating as possible to make sure there’s no, uh, like your, uh, blood sugar isn’t spiked so that when you do start low, you’ll tap into fat earlier than you would, if you did it like right after breakfast there, therefore preserving your carbohydrate stores to be are your glycogen stores to be stocked up for that next hard workout.

What do you think?

[01:10:52] Jonathan Lee: It sounds good.

[01:10:53] Chad Timmerman: Sounds good.

[01:10:54] Amber Pierce: I just want to say I love it when you jump in at the end like this, because you’re doing exactly what Chad mentioned earlier, which is you’re bringing a different perspective to it and saying it in a different way that might land and resonate better with people who are listening.

So that was why I was smiling just for the record.

[01:11:09] Jonathan Lee: Got we got three different, three different ways of managing it or I guess, or three different forms of advice. Pretty sweet.

Rapid Fire

Rapid fire time. Um, okay. Uh, first one, can you tell us how train road came to be and what inspired it much? Love that one came in.

Nate, give us the quick one on this.

[01:11:28] Nate Pearson: I wasn’t listening. I was reading the comments to to be and what inspired it? Oh yeah. Okay. So.

[01:11:36] Jonathan Lee: Okay. At this guy named Chad, he had great eyes and he was leaving the sky. Like, it looks great.

[01:11:45] Nate Pearson: I was getting the triathlon and I want to be a, you know, I wanted to be a fast on the bike.

And, uh, he w I bought a Kurt kinetic trainer and, uh, tried to do indoor training at my house because they didn’t have enough time with work and stuff. And it was just miserable. I got like, I think I did like 15 minutes, cause I just tried to like, just go hard on the trainer in my bedroom, like 15 minutes, like that’s enough, I’d be done.

So I went to Chad’s studio and I was just out of college and I didn’t have much money. And Chad was charging $20 a class and dry,

[01:12:17] Chad Timmerman: like you could prepay at 15 in class. So I wasn’t totally trying to you, do you think I made a money?

[01:12:23] Nate Pearson: How do I prepay paycheck to paycheck? I do that. And it takes, you know, 30 minutes to get there and an hour there and 30 minutes back.

And if I want to bike three days a week, that’s $60 a week just for like bike training. That’s pretty expensive. And, uh, but I did like two of them and I went from like a 2 35 FTB to 2 65 FTP. And I was like, oh my goodness, this really, really works. Um, and I said, I could just code this myself. And I didn’t know, there was an answer at the time.

So I’m just going to have a workout that walked me through and told me the power targets. And then I found there was an app stick. You could display the power. And, uh, I knew that I Chad’s workouts were amazing. Were you, you went through them in your. You just barely, always got through them, but you got through them.

And I was like, how did you do that? So talk to chat about being the coach. And then we found out we could sell it or, you know, got a lot bigger than

[01:13:18] Jonathan Lee: instead of just me. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Who’s who in the Seinfeld cast for? Most of the creamer, Nate is definitely graver video. Like when you jump in most dynamic.

Yeah. When you, when you come in, like you burst into a topic, I like absolutely visit like visualized Kramer bursting the door up.

I forgot about him. I think Chad is like George sometimes. Yeah.

[01:13:55] Amber Pierce: I was going to say, I think if you were listening to my internal monologue, I probably George. Um, but

[01:14:00] Jonathan Lee: that doesn’t always come across

[01:14:04] Amber Pierce: and Ivy, Ivy has self claimed herself as

[01:14:08] Jonathan Lee: the Newman. Yeah. Ivy is new. It’s fantastic. Everyone should follow Ivey on Instagram because she’s been posting that and then Frasier everything else.

All right. Would you rather replace your next 30 workouts with the ramp test or 30 minutes at 50% FTP?

[01:14:26] Chad Timmerman: Basically what I’m doing anyway.

[01:14:32] Jonathan Lee: I bet Pete would say the ramp test. He might be the only person he loves just going. Yeah. If it’s not going hard, he doesn’t want to be riding the bike. So, uh, another question and Chad, you can answer this for us. Lots of Pete stuff, as we can rapid fire. Is it true that Pete left because he was called back to as a guard?

Is that true?

[01:14:49] Chad Timmerman: It is true. Yeah. We talked about it

[01:14:51] Jonathan Lee: this weekend, as a matter of fact, as we assumed, as we assumed, if he had to switch hair with someone else from the podcast, who would it be? I

[01:14:58] Amber Pierce: was thinking about that this morning when I was trying to do my hair, I was like, man, I got to go, Chad, this is

[01:15:03] Jonathan Lee: way too much time

[01:15:06] Chad Timmerman: to yeah.

[01:15:10] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. I see what you’re saying. You’re saying that you’re number one. So if you had to give it up, you’d go to number two, which is me, is what you’re

[01:15:17] Nate Pearson: saying with myself. And I am accepting of who I am, so I don’t know how to change, but if someone forced me, I would go to the John.

[01:15:25] Jonathan Lee: Hey, thanks. I go to Chad. I, I wish I had like a bad the podcast.

I wish

I wish I had some really bad receding hairlines. Then I would like shave my head and I’d have an excuse to do it. But I look really mean with the shaved head and people that have watched the podcast long enough to know they saw me shave it on the podcast with me. So angry. Yeah. I’d have to like change my personality to match my hair.

That would be rough. So, um, okay. Train a rope. Workout that encapsulates your personality and why? I mean to expand this to just interval structure, just in case we don’t know the names

[01:16:05] Chad Timmerman: I skipped ahead. So I have one locked and loaded Spanish needle because I’m really intense. And then I’m really mellow and I’m really intense.

And then I’m really mellow. It’s

[01:16:12] Jonathan Lee: true. It’s Jen. Yeah. I’d agree with that.

[01:16:19] Nate Pearson: Uh, disaster. Cause that’s a lot of times that happens.

[01:16:24] Jonathan Lee: I was going to say, I was going to say Baxter for you, Nate, because it’s like constantly adjusting the intensity nonstop the whole entire time.

[01:16:31] Nate Pearson: My personal, he has a high HRV. It’s just always adjusting to what’s going on. It goes back and forth

[01:16:40] Jonathan Lee: like that.

Yeah. Amber, what about you

[01:16:45] Amber Pierce: totally blindsided by this question? I was not prepared for this. Um, I don’t, I don’t have a good answer for you. I’ll have to think about this. I might. Yeah, some another episode, sorry. I feel

[01:16:54] Jonathan Lee: reduced. Um, reduced amplitude bill that’s, uh, that’s me. So, uh, give me like a short burst and I will sprint, sprint, sprint over and over, but then I do need rest in between unlike Chad or a Spanish needle just keeps on going.

Um, okay. Uh, next one. MMA match between Chad and Nate who wins. Nate? Did you ever do jujitsu? I can’t remember if he did or not. Was it just your kid, guys?

[01:17:19] Nate Pearson: You guys say what you think will happen then I’ll tell you what the

[01:17:22] Jonathan Lee: answer is. So, so Amber, you first, man,

[01:17:29] Amber Pierce: I feel like Nate would win cause he would care more.

[01:17:32] Jonathan Lee: Oh, I’m I’m going to say Chad, because Nate’s got a nice chat. I like that Nate’s got long limbs and those long limbs could just be taken in, grabbed and turned into an arm bar or turned into anything else really easily. So I’m thinking that that means that Chad and Chad being a technician as he ever is a diligent technician, I could see him grabbing a lazy arm and turning it into an arm bar real quick.


[01:18:00] Chad Timmerman: I’d definitely wear it cause I’m a dirty

[01:18:03] Jonathan Lee: fighter and a good wrestler. Oh yeah. You did wrestle didn’t you back in high school. Oh, Hey. No, he didn’t

[01:18:12] Chad Timmerman: want out of high school. Nope. Which is a lot of wrestling.

[01:18:17] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. Yeah. So I think we’re tied down or we could meet. Yeah, I think we’re going to be tied.

[01:18:26] Nate Pearson: Yeah.

I am a nice guy, uh, in college. Like that’s a weird

[01:18:32] Jonathan Lee: thing to start with. Where’s this? I have a lot of

[01:18:36] Nate Pearson: friends who weren’t nice people. Um, uh, I did four years of like mixed martial arts slash like street fighting stuff in college where, uh, grappling to, um, I used to get them a lot of it just dirty fighting.

Um, I got in a lot of fights in college. Um, I’ve got like a scar right here from a bottle to a chin in a bar fight. Um, the one night when every single flight I have done, oh, well knock people out. Like it’s these are, these are things I never started at any of these. These are ones where like, like stuff would happen and you know what I mean?

Like the, like you’re suddenly

[01:19:13] Jonathan Lee: stand out all the time. Oh, this is tall.

[01:19:17] Nate Pearson: Can I tell you a really quick story?

[01:19:19] Jonathan Lee: Okay. What are you going to regret telling the story? If not, this is,

[01:19:25] Nate Pearson: uh, probably, um, basically I’ll give you the short story. We were at this bar and there are these three other dirt bad guys. And this guy like slapped his girlfriend cause she was pissing him and my friend had gotten his face.

These three guys jumped my friend, like 3 0 1. So I got in there and that’s why I got up on. Anyways, we won that fight at the L um, these three guys only remembered me from the fight, follow me for years. Like I would go to a bar and when I was away from my friends, they would like show up and like, try to fight me.

It was one time it went into the bathroom and I went, you know, there’s like the men’s bathroom. You walk in, there’s a urinal, there was a line. So I went to the side of the door and this other guy, he like comes in as fast as he can and runs up to like sucker punch the guy on the urinal, thinking it’s me, but I’m on the side.

Um, so if they saw me, um, they were like, you know, I’m six, six if I don’t know if had mentioned that. And I was thinking college, I was like two 10. And my, these guys were like 5, 8, 5, 9. They would never fight me, um, directly. Uh, they’d always try to like, get me when I wasn’t looking. And then how it ended spring break in Mexico.

Uh, there was like a college thing. We went there. He was there like the main guy without his friends. And I’m a nice guy storyline. And I told them, I’m like, Hey, let’s Michael, because I had all these, like, it was anxiety. Every time I went out because I didn’t know what would happen. I was like head on a swivel, um, and not even start the fight.

Right. I was just like, Hey, I want my friend to go to the hospital inside of this thing. Um, so we talk on the, uh, we talk at this bar and we like her kind of making up and there’s some other people, some other women there and like, You should do a body shot with them. Basically. I got him to like meet another lady who he liked and he thought it was the coolest guy afterwards after that.

Um, and that was, that

[01:21:17] Jonathan Lee: was the worst.

[01:21:19] Nate Pearson: Yeah. But, uh, so going back to Chad, I mean, I wouldn’t ever fight Chad. I couldn’t, there would be no reason to do it, so,

[01:21:27] Jonathan Lee: oh, don’t consider it smart.

[01:21:31] Nate Pearson: Even that I don’t have it. It has to be like, somebody has to be like physically, like protecting somebody in order for me to be into that mode.

It can’t just be like, Hey, um, you know what I mean? It’s, there’s not the thing doesn’t come out unless it’s like a protection thing. Nothing but love

[01:21:47] Jonathan Lee: for you. Yeah. You too. Chad, there’s so many layers to

[01:21:51] Nate Pearson: Nate grappling though. Grapple would be fun. That is, that’s not, you know, starting from there needs to no take downs.

Cause that will I’m too old.

[01:22:02] Jonathan Lee: We have layers of Nate and this, like we have playing a tuba swimming street fighting using his smarts to solve the whole thing.

[01:22:14] Chad Timmerman: We we’re

[01:22:14] Amber Pierce: only probably like one episode of beers with Chad away from these kinds of stories.

[01:22:20] Jonathan Lee: Why did it end? Okay. Next one. When is coach Jack going to the CrossFit games? Hmm. You’ve tried before, right? Chad?

[01:22:28] Chad Timmerman: No, I w in its earlier, earlier days, not as earliest days, but earlier I gave it a fair crack and I ended up basically dumping a squat bar on my head a number of times and desperation.

So I’m not sure I’m entirely cut out for it. And again, once we introduce competition into it, it gets a little less interesting to me.

[01:22:48] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. So those athletes are so insanely specialized, even, you know? Oh,

[01:22:53] Chad Timmerman: that’s the other, even, even at the masters level. Ridiculous specimens. Ridiculous. Yeah.

[01:22:59] Jonathan Lee: Uh, fittest athletes in the, in the world.

Right. Nate should its athletes alive. Sorry. I know that

not that all right. One cadence for the rest of your life, 75 RPM or 1 0 5 RPM.

[01:23:18] Amber Pierce: Oh, seventy-five hundred percent. I’m such a magic, a masher. Naturally. I had to really, really focused to bring my cadence up. And in terms of performance, I do better with a higher cadence. But if I’m just going with what feels good, 75 all the time.

Oh, it’s

[01:23:32] Jonathan Lee: completely my

[01:23:32] Chad Timmerman: answer. So I

[01:23:34] Nate Pearson: used to be, I used to do 100, but now I do 80. So it’s.

[01:23:39] Jonathan Lee: Yeah, I, uh, I would say 75 just because I like standing every once in a while and standing at 105 RPM would be ridiculous looking in dangerous. So yeah, I’d say that too. It’s funny though, when I raced crits, right.

Cadence tends to be like a hundred, maybe even just true. Just a bit north of a hundred, but I don’t train for that. When I’m training for mountain biking, you know, when it’s really matters, it’s lower cadence for sure. Uh, Jonathan, would you rather race with ankle socks or badly?

[01:24:06] Nate Pearson: We w we have a better one from Jack to fight Gianna and Amber,

[01:24:14] Jonathan Lee: Amber,

Amber, for sure. I’m not a good fighter. I just got beat up by my brother and my whole life, but, uh, I, I don’t know. I, I’m not a good fighter. I’m raised with ankle socks or badly mismatched kit. Uh, neither I would race with no socks. And I would say I forgot my socks, so I wouldn’t have to, no, no. I would say that I forgot my socks and I would raise the top

[01:24:42] Chad Timmerman: socks.

I have some state championship ankle socks that I wore out of desperation the other day on the trainer. And Amerock, couldn’t even look at me

[01:24:54] Jonathan Lee: and every time I looked

[01:24:55] Chad Timmerman: down, I just wanted to quit. I just want to get off the bike and hang it up.

[01:25:02] Jonathan Lee: Uh, I feel this. Yeah, for sure. If I like, uh, I consider it. Yeah. I, I, I, I dunno, I would find ways to solve anything, to do a workout, but if it’s, I don’t have mid calf socks, it would be hard for me to do the workout.

Uh, okay. Have to do one iron man or Unbound 200 iron man. And that’s coming from somebody who’s done on that. Yeah. And from

[01:25:28] Amber Pierce: somebody who hates running hates

[01:25:31] Jonathan Lee: running,

[01:25:33] Nate Pearson: you can walk it. I mean, it’s an Ironman. Doesn’t have to be hard if you’re fit and you go 17 hours. Yeah. Just long for me, just because I’m so worried about concussion on dirt now, iron man, for sure.

[01:25:47] Jonathan Lee: I’d rather do an iron man all day. Like give me six iron mans in a row over. Yeah. I just don’t like, I’m not thinking about that race, especially for me, but I just zero. I mean, not even zero ambition, just like a will to avoid that. I don’t, I don’t want to do that race. It doesn’t sound fun at all. To me that said anybody that’s doing it, I don’t want to de-motivate you, it’s your race and it’s what you want to do.

Yeah. Yeah. John

[01:26:17] Nate Pearson: said that epic, wasn’t going to be fun either and loved it then that

[01:26:22] Jonathan Lee: I was totally wrong about that. So I also didn’t expect it to be just awesome trail the whole time, which basically was, um, I expected it to be fire roads, you know? Um, boy, it was totally not true. So yeah, it changed change pretty hard.

One thing on this, she, Nate, I, and Chad, I don’t know if you saw that Amber and I were talking about this. Did you see that? So USA ti made Bravel triathlon a thing now, so it should be, it’s a thing, but here’s the crazy thing. Aero bars are not allowed and gravel, triathlon, however, arrow bars are allowed in normal gravel racing.

It’s 180 degrees.

[01:27:02] Nate Pearson: That sounds like so much fun. Actually, a gravel triathlon with no arrow bars. Uh, I’m guessing this drafting allowed. Yeah,

[01:27:10] Jonathan Lee: it’s gotta be, I don’t know. I didn’t see anything on drafting, but it’s gotta be, if it’s

[01:27:13] Nate Pearson: not allowed to, that would make it even more fun. Uh, especially if we’re a bigger person on gravel, like, oh, that sounds

[01:27:20] Jonathan Lee: cool.

I’d rather just do X Tara.

[01:27:23] Nate Pearson: No, cause Tara has technical.

[01:27:26] Jonathan Lee: It’s not that they aren’t like single-track six courses or anything like that. You know, it’s just,

[01:27:32] Nate Pearson: it’s going to be less tech or more technical than a gravel race.

[01:27:35] Jonathan Lee: Certainly. I just, yeah,

no socks is the answer you’re looking for Amber. Oh,

[01:27:46] Nate Pearson: It’s I would, John, if you ever do this, I would suggest wearing socks. I did not wear socks for some five questions. Worry

[01:27:52] Jonathan Lee: about me, Nate. I will have socks. You don’t have to worry about that. You should be like, oh, no way. If I’m going to put forth the effort to put a sock on my foot, it will go to my mid calf.

I have,

[01:28:07] Nate Pearson: we do the bike portion without socks. And then for running that’s when you put on like an ankle sock so that you can, uh, you don’t get a blister and it feels comfortable. I know

[01:28:15] Jonathan Lee: that’s I know that’s, what’s done. I’m about to, I’m about to go against the current. In that regard

[01:28:22] Amber Pierce: early in my career, ankle socks were the thing.

So our standard pro-team issue, socks wear ankle socks to safe place. If anybody does Google image searching lots of pictures of me racing and ankles.

[01:28:35] Jonathan Lee: I just want to get ahead of this. She said

[01:28:40] Nate Pearson: everyone was doing it

[01:28:47] Jonathan Lee: a lot in college. They were shorter than I thought. Looking back, uh, favorite winter Olympic sport. That is exciting to see on steam Al

[01:29:02] Amber Pierce: Alpine ski racing. Yeah,

[01:29:05] Nate Pearson: I don’t

[01:29:07] Jonathan Lee: super G. Super G for skiing. Oh, a hundred percent. Um, solemn, because I hated doing slalom so much. I can’t, I still enjoy watching it, but boy coffee and it good call.

What is super gel? Real quick. Super G. So downhill is the most straight with the least amount of turns on the sketchiest tallest steepest mountains. And then it goes from there, from downhill, it goes to super G to giant slalom to slalom. So slalom is the tightest, uh, sort of turns. So I liked it. Not quite downhill, but somewhere in between.

Uh, okay. And then, uh, one from our live chat, how to get featured on your Instagram account, tag us, just share, uh, share a story of you doing your workout, doing anything like that and tag trainer road. There’s also, if you look, there are gifts that are trained to row brand and gifts. This could get faster, kind of an Easter egg.

You can find them search for train a road, you’ll find them on there. Um, and then what’s the last thing what’s Chad drinking these days and what kept him warm in Canada? Certainly not jackets and pants and everything else. He kept them warm in Canada. So cuddly

[01:30:15] Chad Timmerman: in Canada, I was coming off of a recently. I had bronchitis and laryngitis totally lost my voice. So. Hitting the usual stuff. And we under bought beer, which is the sin of sins. We ran out of beer. So the lodge, as long as we could stretch it, we stretched it. And then we got desperate and we started drinking leftovers, which was not pretty at all.

But, uh, in, in, in my home life, it’s all about WhistlePig because WhistlePig, they only do rye rye whiskey. And if you order from their website, you can actually duck Washington’s hefty 20% state tax or liquid.

[01:30:54] Jonathan Lee: Chad, this is published on the internet. I don’t know if I would say such things.

[01:30:59] Chad Timmerman: If they want to audit me, I, they can I’ll pay the $5

[01:31:02] Jonathan Lee: today.

I’m shocked because the first time we went to powder Creek lodge, uh, Chad brought provisions and we were worried that the helicopter wasn’t going to be able to take off quite literally. And we brought too much silver box to get to the lodge it’s

[01:31:18] Chad Timmerman: because we made way there’s a weight limit and we were well under the weight limit.

So I mean, how else would I feel?

[01:31:24] Jonathan Lee: Excellent. I mean, how else would you feel? Yeah, yeah, exactly. The

[01:31:28] Chad Timmerman: liquor liquor store at 9:00 AM.

How to do the most work possible for 10 minutes

[01:31:30] Jonathan Lee: There we go. Yeah. Okay. Raphael’s question. Hey, all love Trina wrote in the podcast. The structure helped me get 40 more Watts this past year compared to just riding unstructured rides the year before, way to go.

That’s awesome. Structure helps makes a difference. Uh, Raphael says I’m in the Navy and I wanted to see how I can use train road for our physical test assessment. The test consists of pushups and plans for as many, and as long as you can follow by a cardio portion, I have the option of using a stationary bike and have 12 minutes to burn as many calories as I can.

This sounds like a fun challenge. Well type two fun. Uh, right now I’m topping off at 167 to 173 calories burned, which is an excellent score. And he says, excellent and quotes. I assume that’s the ranking, but to get an outstanding score, I would need to be above 200 pounds. So what plan would be the most beneficial for this kind of effort?

This one’s a fun, we’re going to take the chat. Do you want to go first on this? It said

[01:32:32] Chad Timmerman: any plan that yields a bigger FTP, because that translates to more Watts per minute, which translates to more kilocalories per minute, my travel. I mean, that’s, it it’s really that simple, the bigger the FTP, the more Watts or the more kilocalories you’re going to burn per per 12 minutes.


[01:32:49] Nate Pearson: was back to that previous question of like, what a sounds like that score isn’t weight adjusted. Um, maybe it is, but it should be weight adjusted because the person was going to burn way more calories per uh, like someone who’s smaller. So hopefully that is adjusted. If not gained 30 pounds, that’s going to help a lot, uh, and, and fuel and stuff like that.

So is there a specific plan though? What is the 12 minutes? What does that mean? Climbing road

[01:33:17] Jonathan Lee: race is that climbing road race would be the jam that would be because really, like you want to, the way to arrive at the most calories burned isn’t to do those stochastic efforts where it’s on, off, on, off it’s to have steady work across the top.

Right? So it’s really finding your highest sustainable 12 minute power and climbing road. Race is one of the best ones. Uh, if you actually built a plan with plan builder, it would run you through sustained power building, into climbing road, race for that. So that could be a really good option that you could do.

Um, the one thing that I would say with this is. I feel like pacing would matter quite a lot here. Um, you wouldn’t want to go out too hard for sure. And certainly don’t want to leave anything on the table. It’s just,

[01:34:02] Nate Pearson: yeah. And to, uh, with climbing road race, that’d be the specialty phase. And if, uh, you have time, I’d go through all of them, obviously, cause you want to have, you want to raise your FTP two and not only do 12 minute efforts, but when you, you can get really good at 12 minute efforts and uh, at the end, but don’t just do 12 minute efforts or like rolling, sorry, climbing road, race, like over and over and over again.

I wouldn’t do that either. Uh, in case that’s confusing with the way we set it.

[01:34:30] Jonathan Lee: And if you said at 173, uh, calories right now, roughly, uh, that’s not a whole lot more work. Like I would expect you to be able to get to the point where you’re 200. Um, if you’re, I don’t know, maybe you’re at peak fitness already in this case, Raphael.

I don’t know, but if you’re not at peak fitness, I expect you to be able to get to that. Um, that’d be a lot of calories burned for sure, but you could do it. The, um, this let’s bring this down to ground for everybody else. Okay. That’s not in the Navy facing this physical test, uh, for the rest of us, that sort of duration is really useful on a bike, right?

That 10 to 15 minute power. Uh, that’s like the sort of thing that helps you make a breakaway. It’s the sort of thing that helps you bridge to like a, to a long lost one thinking of one of the races that Nate has done race analysis, you can check it out on our YouTube channel, where they bridged forever up to this group and finally made it, um, it’s not the like two and three minute power.

It’s the stuff that goes beyond that, that really helps you bridge the unbridgeable gaps or get the break that actually ends up sticking. It’s also in many places, you won’t have climbs that are longer than that. So that means that you’ll be good somewhere within that duration. Right. Um, if you’re in a really big mountainous area, like where we’re at, or if you’re in valves or something like that, you probably have really long climbs, but in most places you probably don’t.

So this is like, uh, you know, there are a lot of people that use train road for specific events and that’s one way to do it. There also people that just use it because they want to be fit. And I would really recommend this as an approach. You can just say, I know I just want to train for, I don’t have an event on my calendar when you’re going through plan builder, and then you can go through and just select the sort of training that you want to do.

And those longer climbs climbing road race, man, it makes you into a really, really robust, strong cyclist because he can do that. Amber did, is this where you focused on these like longer durations during your career being a domestique or did you focus on durations like this? I really,

[01:36:31] Amber Pierce: I, I trained all zones, um, and I really needed to be an all around her.

So I had to be able to bridge gaps. Or sit on the front for hours at a time. So I really had to be able to do a little bit of everything. It’d be a Swiss army knife when it came to when it came to performance. So, uh, that’s kind of what my training looked like. Honestly. Um,

[01:36:52] Jonathan Lee: these are probably the durations that I find like some of the hardest to like 10 minute intervals where you’re over threshold.

Um, not a lot over, but just enough where it’s like, you’re not , but you’re certainly not riding at threshold and you’re over. Ooh, they’re extremely difficult.

[01:37:08] Nate Pearson: While you were talking. I did some more research on this question. They never do any of it ahead of the thing. I like to go like the Rafael, I just did some math.

And, uh, and if you are new to structure training, you said 40 more Watts. That’s amazing. I would keep doing what you’re doing. So 12 minutes at 200 calories, that’s outstanding. You know, if this is not weight adjusted, uh, so that equals out to about a thousand calories an hour. If you were to maintain that wattage the whole time.

And, uh, that is like 278 Watts, I believe, uh, to get a thousand calories like an average. So for that 12 minutes, you need 278 Watts for 12 minutes. Now, if you are 200 pounds, that’s way different than your 1 35 pounds. Right? Um, so it is, it’s possible to get your, depending on your size. It may be possible even to get your FTP up that.

Where are you gonna hold it for an hour? Um, depending on how close you are. It’s not an unreasonable ask again, based on size. So, uh, I, I remember when Chad first started, I looked at all of his workouts and he’d be like, how’d you do a thousand calories an hour, man. And I was so impressed. I just lived before Quebec.

I did that for two hours a day, 2000 calories, a little more. Um, and before, when I started, I was doing like 400 calories an hour. Right. Which is crazy. The amount of improvement your body can make with structured training over time and consistency. Um, so Raphael, I think you can, I think you can do it, especially if it’s a target for you that you want to hit, uh, depending on your size again.

But I think you can do it.

[01:38:41] Jonathan Lee: This is the, uh, seemingly backwards relationship to that exists with so many, like when you’re a new cyclist, you want to, a lot of people get into cycling because they want to lose weight or burn calories just casually speaking. Right. And then you look at them, they aren’t able to burn as much as the really seasoned cyclist that probably already looks fit and everything else to them.

Right. And it always is like a big frustration point, but that’s just another way to look at it is when you’re training yourself and getting more fit, your body’s capable of doing more work, the more work your body can do, the more, obviously more energy it needs to expend in order to do that. So that’s why power meters are so cool.

We’re just measuring that work that’s being done. And that’s why he gets such a good indication of it. And honestly, that’s a good way to think of like your body in general, just like how many kilojoules. Go through in an hour, something like that. And that’s like a, that’s a good, healthy way to look at things.

Because once again, it’s kind of going toward what Amber says, less worrying about body composition, power to weight, everything else. And instead of being in awe of what your body can do and giving your chances to your body to do something amazing like that. So,

[01:39:46] Nate Pearson: no, it’s fun. Everyone here to see those big power numbers and just have like a higher FTP, like, it feels so good.


[01:39:55] Jonathan Lee: uh, it makes me reach when I’m not there. It’s makes me reach to get back to their right, um, to get back to the point. Cause I really do enjoy that. It’s pretty sweet. It’s all

[01:40:04] Nate Pearson: relative to you. Right. Cause it’s total see that new it’s you see that new number? You’re like, wow, that’s crazy. And it might be a hundred.


[01:40:11] Jonathan Lee: It could be 400 if you’re Pete. I don’t know if he ever hit that. And he just kept riding at 400 until we blow up when he hit it. Yeah. So, okay.

How to maintain motivation when your events get canceled

Uh, Tim’s question. In recent podcasts, you’ve talked about goal setting and uh, about adapting expectations after illness. Forgive me. Could you give, uh, I don’t know, did I just say that word I’m going to restart with Tim’s I’m sorry, Tim.

In recent podcasts, you’ve talked about goal setting and about adapting expectations after illness. Could you give some pointers for mentally coping with race cancellations? This has had a huge effect on me in the last two years of COVID and it’s still happening with races being postponed. I’ve seen this recently with a lot of you athletes down in Australia and New Zealand, and it’s been pretty tough for y’all having a lot of those races canceled.

So, um, bummer to hear that. Who wants to take this one first in terms of maintaining motivation with this chatty raised a ton over the years, but you didn’t really do a whole lot of race cancellations backwards.

[01:41:08] Chad Timmerman: How much you contribute on this? I think I’m here to learn on this one because I had, no, I don’t think I’ve come up against anything that got we’ve had racist be rescheduled and that is pain for sure.

But, uh, my struggles with motivation have nothing to do with the calendar that keeps getting rearranged.

[01:41:33] Jonathan Lee: I go,

[01:41:33] Nate Pearson: yeah. Uh, so Cape epic got pushed out what lag wise. So that turned something into like eight months into two and a half years. And that’s why I had to extend my motivation all the way through that. And the thing that I got the most one, I, you know, I, I really wanted the goal, but two, I started like, uh, you have little motivations and wins to do this workout.

And, um, like we were developing progression levels. I was like, Ooh, can I do this thing today and get through it and achieve this thing? Can I, uh, push my carbs up? And I have these internal little like battles and missions that I have for myself that when I did them, it would be rewarding and I would feel good about myself and then I would do it again and again and again, um, on top of that, having this overall kind of like long-term thing, and I knew if Cape epic wasn’t gonna happen.

Um, when Joel, we talked about working on, like, I would have just put my fitness into something else. There would be some other type of race that I could do somewhere. Um, or even like a Geiger hill farm, a local hill climb here, something that I would, I could put an all out effort and, uh, see where I stood compared to other people with all my, my work.

And so that’s what motivated me.

[01:42:49] Jonathan Lee: Yeah.

[01:42:50] Amber Pierce: I was just, I was just going to say, um, I remember at one point, John, you actually made your own race and, and did your own stages, which I thought was a really cool and creative idea. I think there’s a couple of things here. One is, um, motivation, always the heart of it is success, success breeds, motivation.

So when you know, we talk a lot about setting process goals, um, and breaking those down into smaller, very achievable goals. And if you’re doing that, it can help maintain some motivation over the long-term. But I think that what you’re dealing with here is you have this destination or a finish line in mind, figuratively, and literally, um, and it’s suddenly gone.

And that’s really hard because, you know, if that’s kind of the driving factor behind your motivation and, and what’s getting you on the bike every day, having that pulled out from under you can be really disconcerting. Um, so I think there’s a couple of things. One is having a resilient and adaptable mindset is.

Well, that will absolutely serve you in the future once. Hopefully we’re past the point of having events canceled all the time. And so experimenting with what works for you. I would say approach this with a growth mindset and some curiosity. So what is it about this goal that really fuels you? What is it about the goal being removed?

That’s really bothering you. Can you get creative and create another goal? Um, that might fulfill those same needs? Figuring out what that is for you and answering those questions for yourself is going to teach you so much about who you are as a person and as an athlete. And it will really, really help you to apply those things in the future when events are back on the calendar and we’re not dealing with these kinds of cancellations.

Um, so I would, as hard as this might be, I would look at it as a learning opportunity because I think it’s something it’s a moment where you can be reflective and learn something about yourself and experiment, right? So John, you made your own stage race and when executed it, and maybe that’s something that you could do with a couple of friends, um, maybe it’s just creating a cool new creative challenge for yourself that allows you to go express that hard earned fitness, um, that may not be a race format that might just be a cool, really big adventure ride.

But see if you can really get in touch with what it is fundamentally that feeds your motivation in general, because that will be something that will pay off and be helpful for you in the

[01:45:19] Jonathan Lee: future. Yeah, well said, Amber, uh, I think for me, it comes down to, I’ve had to learn to control what I can control and that also, uh, bike races fall into that.

I can’t control if a bike race is going to happen or not. They used to be just solid. Like Chad said, you know, like they almost always happened, but they don’t end. And that’s just is what it is. And so as a result, I’ve kind of looked at it like, okay, so what do I want to do with my body this year? Like what sort of training do I want to do?

What sort of things do I want to accomplish in. And then if an event lines up with it, then I throw that event on there. But if an event doesn’t line up with it, I still have that trajectory in place and I still want to achieve something. So it, whereas before it was entirely, what events are going to go on my calendar now I’ll build toward those instead.

Now it’s like, well, what do I want to do? And then I find events that time in with that. And if I can do them, that’s awesome. But if I, can’t not gonna to let it stop me. So, um, be just like, once again, use this as a, uh, see it as an opportunity to celebrate all you’ve achieved in the training process, rather than using it as an opportunity to prove or to do anything else that comes from a race.

If that makes sense, just use it as an opportunity to celebrate what you’ve done, because you’ve done a lot of hard work to get to whatever point you’re at. So might as well celebrate it.

How to swap out weekend workouts for long rides with Adaptive Training

Um, Phil says long-term trainer road, user here really impressed with the adaptive training, which is certainly offering up different workouts to my previous years.

Following your plans. That is been a fun experience to see right Nate, like with a lot of athletes that have done the plans before and now they’re like, I’m getting totally different workouts. And I haven’t had this the past two years or however many years. It’s cool. And he says during the base plans, I like to swap out Sunday’s sweet spot workout with a longer outside endurance.

Before adaptive training. I would just use the advice in the work in the current week’s plans notes, but now with adaptive training, I’m not sure what to do. Should I choose a productive or achievable endurance ride that roughly matches the TSS of the adaptive training, advise sweet spot workout? Or should I still follow the week’s plan notes?

Uh, really enjoy listening to all of your podcast contributors. Hopefully one of them can help me out. Cheers. And thanks from Phil, Nate, how would you answer this one?

[01:47:29] Nate Pearson: You know what? I’m going to be bad to have a little product design meeting right now. Uh, not prioritizing, but Amber, sometime in the roadmap, we need to build this in the next, let’s say six months, we need to build this feature into the product so that on Sundays, um, it’s an automatic choice between the two and then in plan builder, I think we should happen is you can choose.

Do you want to have a shorter spot right on Sunday? Or do you have a little longer aerobic right on Sunday? And you can make that be indoor outdoor as the default and then switch back and forth. But that would be amorous team that would build that on the calendar. It’s very doable for us. Ambers has other priorities, first FTP estimation, being that, the one that she’s working on right now.

Um, so that’s uh, yeah, I think we’ve talked a lot about, yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s just a priority thing, but I think it’s to the point with now adaptive training that we have the system to do this really, really well. And we should put that into the product now. Uh, so let’s talk later about priorities inside of that.

And I can’t promise a specific date, um, because of the priorities amongst talk to our COO Brandon about. Uh, that’s something that I do definitely want to put into the product because it is confusing and some people will at the time it’s, it could be great for them to do an outside ride. That’s easy on that Sunday.

So I think this is which one to switch is a better answer to your question for cat.

[01:48:50] Jonathan Lee: Yeah. In terms of which workout to sub in, you’re saying, yeah. Yeah. I, well, one thing I want to cover is just how we can do it now in between now and then, right in between now. And when the feature he gets put in there, he’s doing it right.

There’s workout alternate. It’s a great feature that you can look at and you can adjust things and change around some different categories to be able to select the workout that is that you want to use instead. Um, I would, so in this case, you’ll be going from like a sweet spot workout to probably down to a tempo or to an endurance workout.

Um, I still, when you look at that, in terms of which workout to select selected based off your levels, uh, make sure it’s productive or achievable, don’t try to match the TSS. Just try to make it productive or achievable for those zones. That would be the best advice that I would give. And that’s one of the cool things about, uh, you know, everything with adaptive training that’s come along is that it’s easy to see what workout is, the right workout or what re what workout is absolutely not the right

[01:49:47] Nate Pearson: workout.

And then add 50 to 75% more volume on that too. So if you have an hour, sweet-spot Coda, 90 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes aerobic, like an insurance ride, don’t match a time for time. Cause it’s not going to be the same. Yep. Yep. Sound good.

[01:50:03] Chad Timmerman: That was great. Thanks for being with me out.

[01:50:06] Jonathan Lee: Nice. Nancy

Is there an ideal cadence for climbing?

Nancy says I ride in a hilly area and all my rides require me to ride with a lower cadence.

It all your climbing workouts require us or require or specify a higher cadence. I find I rarely train with specificity as all rides are higher cannons tonight use than I ride outside regularly. So why do you specify all the high cadence for climbing that doesn’t make sense to me is we all climb in a lower cadence than 90 RPM.

If it, if it is really a climb and not everybody Nancy, um, you know, some people climate high cadence, and that’s just how they roll look at Chris’ room that dude’s about to, he could, he could make a smoothie with those legs and he’s going up. So he’s like burning it like RPMs that are crazy. So not everybody is that way, but I get your point, Nancy, especially with bad earth gearing that limits you.

Yeah. You just end up riding at a, at a low cadence. Chad, uh, what do you say to this one?

[01:51:01] Chad Timmerman: Uh, first off Nancy, if you’re not already doing it, I recommend turning on a workout instructions, excuse me. Uh, because, and I know not all the workouts have instructions, but certainly in the earlier phases and the base training, they should all have instructions.

Um, I do try to take, take this into account. I try to make sure that oh yeah, no, it was, it changed a bit that. You’re not always going to write at the same cadence and certainly climbing is going to take place at a lower cadence. So I try to sprinkle in, even within the context of a single workout and then sometimes an entire workout, the climbing drills, and I call them climbing gels because they’re specifically not necessarily out of the saddle, but they take place at a lower RPM range, 75 to 85 typically.

So right around 80 RPM, because they do recognize the specificity of turning out big Watts at lower cadences on climbs. I mean, even if you’re geared for it, you may not want to spend, it may not make sense for you to spend at 90 RPM. So all that work shouldn’t be that way. I absolutely do recognize that lower RPMs suit climbs.

Um, and then as far as I, I wouldn’t even waste my time with a deep dive on this topic because it’s such a contentious and, and just one study refutes another almost directly. And then there’s all these gradations of just, oh, it makes my head explode. I, I, haven’t my, uh, research topics, carpet compartmentalize into all these different folders, under different topics and subtopics and whatnot.

And I just opened up the cadence folder and it had to be 40 studies and I started sifting through them and it was just like, this is a complete waste of my time. Uh, yes, force output is going to influence fiber recruitment. But how often is that meaningful? So if you are grinding along to get up a climb and you have to do it at something that is probably biomechanically more advantageous.

It’s a little more glycogen out of your muscles of what consequences that at the end of the day, or at the end of that hill, or even in the context of a race, a lot of times it is probably not even a factor worth concerning yourself with, um, high cadence can still translate to high force output. So even if you’re burning along at 90 a hundred, 105, if you’re really gassing it up a climb, you can still be jamming out huge Watts recruiting those same fibers.

And yeah, you’re doing it with a high cadence. So that’s, that’s not helpful. I looked at one study in particular that I will mention where they had a freely chosen cadence and they subtracted 20 off that freely, freely chosen cadence. So their usual, you know, natural cadence, less 20 during the final minute of the bike, such that when they transitioned on the run, they extended their time to exhaustion.

And that panned out for some of them. For some of them, it didn’t work at all. Um, the energetic cost, the effect on your heart rate, the muscle stress, the minimizing RPE, all of these things are some studies look at one, if not all of those things and try to figure out where the balance lies. Nobody figures it out.

I will note that minimizing RPE seems to head the list in terms of optimum cadence studies. So it all comes back to do what feels best. Which, you know, so, so why even overthink it? Um, it brings me to my point, regardless of what the literature says, just choose what you work, work works for you. And look at the fact that even the highest level writers range all over the place that you watch a cyclocross race, and you’ll see people zinging along and on 9,000 RPM, you’ll see some of them grinding out those climbs because they just can’t wrap their minds around a cog any bigger than a 28.

And they’ll just, just bury themselves and make it work at the highest level. Um, sprinters can choose lower cadences during dirt during the, you know, when they’re hiding in the field so that they have stronger end of race snap, but that doesn’t, it doesn’t translate across all sprinters. And then multi-sport athletes.

A lot of the time I see the argument that they favor lower cadences so that they can preserve their running turnover while others actually favor a higher cadence so that they can mimic their running cadence. So it, again, there’s just nothing that’s so conclusive as to say there’s a proper cadence to seek out rather kind of, kind of do what works best for you.

[01:55:07] Nate Pearson: Um, cadence is like, there are some people who are so dogmatic about it, right. Have you ever experienced that with some people, people have pulled me aside at races and talk literally 30 minutes about why we should train people to do high Caden’s all the time and just, I think. It’s usually generational too.

There’s like, there’s some generations who don’t care. There’s other generations who very much care, like they learned one way or like maybe when they were coming up, there was like, that was the thing. And they’ve kind of stuck with that through, um, not everyone. This is, this is not like, I’ll say like 2% of one less than 1% of cyclist.

You know what I mean? But some people though they live and die by like cadence. Is that the thing that will make you faster? Uh, but to Chad’s 0.1, there’s evidence all over the top pros do it all different ways. And studies show all different ways to, there’s not like something where, uh, training more makes you faster, right?

Versus not training. That’s pretty definitive is if you train, you’re going to get faster than not training.

[01:56:11] Jonathan Lee: One, one tendency that we do see is with newer half fleets, they tend to spin at a lower cadence. And even at a point where it’s like not, uh, it’s not healthy or productive because they may be, they haven’t had time to really focus on technique or anything else.

Yet they may be pushing too hard of a gear, uh, too much force for the amount of speed they have. They could reduce some of that force increase the speed, still keep the same power, but possibly not do so much damage to joints or anything else. Now that said, when you’re becoming an experienced cyclist and I’ve been an advocate for this.

I like to be proficient at a wide range of cadences because in different races, different scenarios will be presented. And I want to be prepared for that. Now that doesn’t mean that I, um, like I’m super strict and it’s like, I spend this amount of time and this cadence and that sort of thing, but I allow myself to vary my cadence.

Sometimes it makes intervals more interesting too. Like if you have like a 20 minute interval and you’re going through it, maybe break it up into four chunks of five minutes and do a different cadence freeze for those five minutes chunks that you do. Chad does that all the time and workout texts that we have.

Um, so it’s really, I think just, uh, like cadence, I view it like a filter through which you pass your power. Right? You can change that filter, but it’s still going to be the same power. The more you’re used to putting out power at a high cadence, the better you’ll be at it. And same thing with locations. So I just want to be prepared for all of it.

That’s why I train a little bit of haul. Amber, are you similar? I was

[01:57:40] Amber Pierce: just going to say you took the words right out of my mouth. I would say it’s worth training arrange. Um, especially if you haven’t worked at high cadences before. Working on that you might find that it’s really beneficial. We were joking earlier about, you know, the 75 cadence being my choice of cadence for the future.

Um, that is where I feel most comfortable. It’s not where I perform the best. And so one thing that was very beneficial to me was training at a higher cadence because what I found was once I got comfortable with the hierarchy cadence, I actually performed better at a higher cadence. Um, but of course, that was dependent on gearing in terrain.

So what was I going to spend at 105 cadence up a really steep climb? No, but it was a beneficial tool for me to have available when, um, it made sense to apply it. So I think it’s worth training the full range. And if when you’re outside, you’re in a hilly area where it’s difficult to train a higher cadence, then focus on the higher cadence work when you’re on the trainer.

Um, and then that way, when you do encounter train, that’s a little bit flatter. You can experiment with that and see what works for you. But I think it’s worth experimenting. Um, cause if you, if you only stick with what you’re comfortable at and you don’t train that range or you don’t try it, then you don’t have an opportunity to see if something else might work better for you.

And maybe it doesn’t, but at least then, you know, for sure.

[01:59:01] Jonathan Lee: Absolutely. All right. Um, we have just a, we’ll do one live question here because it was asked a few times in the live chat. I’ve heard Pete mentioned several times. Is he by chance coming back soon? No. Um, but we still, and I’m sorry, listeners, but we still have contact with Pete individually, you know, some of us, so we’ll mention him on the podcast and I hope that it’s ever, yeah.

So I hope we’re not like, you know, dangling feet in front of you and you can’t have that connection with Pete. You can always go find him on Instagram. He’s not very active there. Um, Amy not respond to messages and stuff, but, um, yeah, he’s, he’s doing really well for those that are asking about that. So.

All right, everybody. Thanks for joining us on this episode. I can’t believe my voice made it through. Fantastic. Really happy about that. Hey, thanks. Yeah. Um, and thank you everybody for tuning in live on YouTube. Once again, subscribe, there’s a notification bell that you can hit so that you don’t miss new videos.

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[02:00:17] Amber Pierce: Bye everyone.


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