CX, Road Enduro, Block Periodization, Heart Rate & More – Ask a Cycling Coach 176

Hey all, Jonathan here.

Consider this post a live chat room and post-podcast discussion area for all things Episode 176 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast. We’ll be live this morning at 8:00am Pacific, and you can tune in below.

Note: If you experience lag with the embedded live stream, view the stream from this link: Episode 176

Here are the topics we are covering today:

Feel free to leave comments and questions below. We’ll read through them at the end of the livestream!

Reno Cross 2018 UCI Elite Women podium:

Results are linked here

Learn more about TrainerRoad’s new Calendar feature, forum, and kits:

If you need help adding your current training plan to your Calendar, check out the following Help Center article: Add Your Current TrainerRoad Training Plan

Click here for Nate’s forum post on new kits

Photos from Coach Jonathan’s trip to Squamish, British Columbia:

Nate’s Reno Cross Races:

Click here for Nate’s race profile of the 4/5 35+ race (2nd place)

Click here for Nate’s race profile of The Wheelers and Dealers race

Nate’s Tire Choices:

Vittoria Terreno Dry Cyclocross Tires

  • 40c - 25PSI F/R
  • 33c - 28-30PSI F/R

Jonathan’s Reno Cross Race:

Click here for Jonathan’s race profile of The Wheelers and Dealers race

Jonathan’s Tire Choice:

Clement LAS Cyclocross Tires

  • 33c

TrainerRoad’s Plans for Kona:

Ride for Tuesday, October 9th:
Captain Cook (46 miles/74 kms, 4k’ Elevation Gain)

Ride for Wednesday, October 10th:
Kaloko Drive (28 miles/45 kms, 4,600’ Elevation Gain)

Ride for Thursday, October 11th:
Waimea Loop (47 miles/76 kms, 3,400’ Elevation Gain)

Ride for Friday, October 12th:
Captain Cook (46 miles/74 kms, 4k’ Elevation Gain OR a slightly shortened version)

Blog Posts/Podcasts mentioned in this episode:

4 Ways to Train Between Cycling Peaks
How to Recover, Maintain and Build Fitness After Completing a Full Training Cycle
How to Prioritize Your Races and Build a Seasonal Race Plan

Standing Climbing, Sub-8 Leadville, Multiple Peaks & More – Ask a Cycling Coach 142

Podcast episode on training residuals:

How Training Changes Your Body, Matching Nutrition With Intensity & More – Ask a Cycling Coach 140

Training Residuals:

  • Aerobic Endurance – Establishment: 25-35 days; Residuals: 25-35 days
  • Anaerobic Power – Establishment: 14-22 days; Residuals 14-22 days
  • Muscle Endurance/Threshold – Establishment: 10-20 days; Residuals: 10-20 days
  • Sprint Power – Establishment: 2-8 days; Residuals: 2-8 days

Declines in Aerobic Capacity:

  • 1-7 days: negligible decrease
  • 10-14 days: 6% decrease
  • 14-30 days: 12% decrease
  • 30-63 days: 19% decrease
  • >63 days: 26% decrease

Minimum we can do to stay fast:

  • Aerobic Endurance – Once every 2 weeks, do a long, low-intensity ride. Ride long enough that the fatigue comes as a product of the ride’s duration, not its intensity. Example: Laurentian
  • Anaerobic Power – Once a week. Something along the lines of 30- to 60-second repeats upwards of 130% FTP should suffice. Example: Bird -1
  • Muscle Endurance/Threshold – Once a week. Try a 2×20-minute Threshold or even Sweet Spot workout. Example: Eichorn
  • Sprint Power – Once a week. Perform 4-6 all-out efforts somewhere between 20-30 seconds long. Example: Bays

Click here to view the TrainerRoad workout 'Gould’

Click here to learn what features are coming soon on the new Calendar feature!

Workout fuel mentioned in the episode:


Regarding starts in CX: interested in that discussion. Not sure how other parts of the country do staging, but in New England you get staged by your crossresults points, so I’m just trying to get to lower my points so I can get further up and not get caught behind bottlenecks. As it stands, I’m about 1min off of being mid pack in my Cat 4 races, which is my only goal this season lol but I think staging could put me in a better position to just stay to get there (like my last race, my first lap about 50sec slower than my subsequent laps due to being in the early bottlenecks)

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@chad will you be building a periodized training plan?

@Nate_Pearson the live youtube link on the forum page keeps dropping the live stream. The live stream works fine when I’m on YouTube

@Jonathan On your Jakroo fit. What are your chest and waist measurements?

29" waist, 39 suit jacket size, 32.5" inseam, 5’10" tall, 147lbs.

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I completed my first century this year on a hilly course (about 4,600 feet of climbing) in Northwest Michigan (Ride Around Torch) and used the Sweet Spot Base Mid-Vol 1 & 2, Sustained Power Build Low-Vol (so I could do hill work outside) finishing with Century Low-Vol (again so I could work outside).

That said, is the difference significant enough to choose Century over Climbing Hill Race or vice versa? I’m getting ready to schedule out for 2019 in Calendar (you should see it…it’s fantastic!) and I’m undecided on which would be a better benefit for 40-50 miles of hills.

I’m doing SSBase 1 Mid and am planning on doing weekend rides instead of one of the longer weekend workouts. Should I replace the sweet spot progression workouts or the over-under progression workouts with these long/slow workouts?

With your discussion on energy systems and using targeted workouts to keep them active, I had a follow-up question. Does your Sweet Spot base plans (low-volume) include workouts targetting anaerobic/VO2max/sprints? Or should I augment the plan with specific workouts? Or maybe just trust the system :-). I’m new to the plans, so I don’t have past experience to guide me.

Usually eat fig bar during ride. Try to stay away from gel unless its a race.

Gonna try to make rice cake tonight for this weekend rides.
What do you think about the GI, and will the be absorb fast enough during a ride thats around 2-3 hrs? Im worried since theres not as much sugar (fast absorb) kind in there.

Your fav alternative on bike homemade snack?

I’ve tried Gunther’s Rice Cakes with good success for long rides.


Hey @Jonathan, @Nate_Pearson, @chad great podcast as ever! But about a week ago someone from TR posted in FB that we’d deep dive on “Polarized training” in the next episode. Sorry if I missed a quick mention of status of that conversation, but I know a lot of people are eager to get your take. Plans to do that soon?

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As you train and improve your FTP, are hard exercise supposed to feel “easier” or should they feel “as hard as before” and you are you just able to do them for longer or make them harder? My ftp grew by 50Watts over the last year (4,6 w/kg) now but things don’t seem to feel easier…

Is there any advantage to doing a second base progression before specialization? i.e. SSB1, SSB2, Build, SSB1, SSB2, Build, Spec.

I’m planning to do a pair of ramp tests to rule out and/or measure differences between power meters on two different bikes. Both are Stages. Road Machine trainer. Any tips or cautions for doing this test?

Having the same issue

This, I think, goes to that indoor vs. outdoor FTP question you guys just answered at the end of the livestream @Nate_Pearson. In other words, beyond just indoor cooling problems, another possible reason is for different equipment yielding different power numbers. Each PM a few percent off in different directions and your target zones could be messed up. I’m trying to rule that out in my case.

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Any one else having issues getting the latest podcast in their normal channel? I can’t pull it up on iTunes or Spotify…

That will be up later today. We have to process our recording and upload.

Hey there Hayswm!

Are you referring to episode 175? I was able to access it on Spotify on my end. That said, if you aren’t able to listen to the episode on Spotify or iTunes, you can listen to it on SoundCloud here:

As for the recording that just happened, the episode has to be editted and uploaded before it can be accessed on SoundCloud, Spotify, and iTunes. :slight_smile:

Let me know if you aren’t able to access any of the episodes leading up to today and we will look into it!