2019 Year-End Wisdom

Two recent quotes from the podcast have stuck with me, and not just because of their relevance to cycling. I thought it would be cool to see what big-picture advice or lessons from 2019 have stuck with others (whether from the podcast or from anywhere else).

Here are mine:

“It makes it really hard to focus on technique when so much of your cognitive capacity is focused on not dying.” - @ambermalika (Ep. 237). A good reminder that it’s crucial to create an environment that’s conducive to learning. Similar to Lee McCormack’s advice on finding the right balance between being challenged and being terrified to make progress on MTB skills. Fits in with more general observations about only having access to our human (problem-solving) brain when our lizard (survival) and monkey (group/status) brains aren’t being triggered.

“Where the rats get in is not where they chew.” - Kelly Starrett (quoting Ida Rolf, Ep. 222). Where we notice the problem may not be the same place where we need to work to fix the problem.


My biggest takeaway is …

“Consistency and discipline lead to success”


Words I always live by: It never gets easier, you just go faster

Also 2019 has been an amazing year for me, finally back training after over a decade, loving the gains so far using Trainer Road, 2020 shall be awesome!


I saw this on twitter and it’s not about cycling, but I think it’s a great insight:

“Develop a deep, real, visceral allergy for complexity. Complexity does not come naturally. Learn to ignore the thrill of learning a pile of useless rules and instead come to love the work it takes to simplify, refactor, and rewrite.”

It’s applicable to cycling (and life) quite broadly, though.


“ride lots”


Long post ahead. Hopefully it’ll make you laugh at me and teach you the same lesson I’ve had to relearn. Here goes.

It’s about PERSEVERANCE. The Universe decided to test me again today and I was rewarded for pushing through.

It’s really a combination of bad luck and bad planning on my part. Probably mostly my fault.

4PM. I set up my Kickr, computer, TV / monitor, music, water, towel and get changed.
All same routine. Hop on the Kickr and start pedalling. within 5 seconds, Kickr comes to a halt with MAX resistance. “wtf?” I get going again. 5 more seconds… repeat. Disconnect everything, reconnect, try again. Same. Try bunch of other stuff to no avail.

4PM is important. It gives me exactly 1.5hrs for TR session before my downstairs neighbor’s home from work. I don’t wanna disturb her. I decide to text her for heads up, I might be on the bike when she arrives so please let me know if it bothers you. She says she’s already home. Sorry :frowning: It’s been a long way and she has a headache. She’s never home that early. Welp… I guess I wasn’t gonna be able to ride anyway.

“Fuck it!” I think. It’s just one of those days. I’ll have to skip. But I feel like that was too easy of a cop out. Decision doesn’t sit well with me. I do have a portable wheel on trainer and the apt complex has a gym after all.

Grab all the gear and head down. Takes 2 trips in freezing weather (gym not in the same building). But finally time to setup. Oh great. Forgot my allen wrench for thru-axle. Note to self: swap for my no-tool thru-axles until Spring.

No matter. Run to apt. Grab allen wrench. Come back. Bike is now on the trainer. But ipad won’t connect to my power meter. Try 4-5 times. Nope. Am I that guy? That guy who seems never prepared, always flustered. Leaves everything to last minute and blames bad luck. No god damn it. It’s just an off day. Thankfully 4iiii has an easy battery cover I can remove. Cause the typical OFF and ON works. ipad connects.

Hop on the bike. Time to finally ride. Pedal. Pedal. Pedal. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. RIGHT. I’m not on my direct drive… Tire pressure matters. Girlfriend walking the dog. I have no keys on me. No matter! Apt also has bike service stations. I run to one in the cold with my wheel in my hand. I get funny looks cause I’m in spandex running around with a wheel. I don’t care. I look at the pump. Pump stares back at me with a broken valve core stuck inside it. W… T… F… Someone must have tried to yank it off with the pump lock on. Maybe they had a worse day than me?

Eat the pride. Text GF and ask for the pump. “LOL” she texts back. “Gonna finish walking Jackson (our dog) and be right there with the pump.” I AM lucky in some ways at least.

She shows up laughing after 15 mins. “Don’t even ask” I say.

FINALLY. I can FINALLY ride. It’s now 5:10p. 70 mins after my intended ride time. Same connection issues with the PM but this time I know what to do. Just a 2 min setback instead of 10.

Starting 1.5 hrs of suffering. Not nearly as painful as the bs I had to deal with though.

1 hour in. 2 more intervals left. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. WHAT?!?! WHO GETS A FLAT ON THE TRAINER?!

I guess thankfully it was during the recovery so my interval isn’t ruined.

Hop off, pump it back up. Nope. Doesn’t hold air. Thankfully I have my front wheel with me. Quickest tire change I’ve ever done. 2-3 mins. Sweat dripping all over the floors. The girl on the treadmill must think I’m nuts. Tire’s back on. Here we go for one last time…

1.5 hrs done. Targets hit. I got through it. One of the best post workout feelings I have. All the mishaps make the post workout sweeter.

Cycling is a mental game as it’s physical. While the mental game is not about dealing with the BS I had to, tonight I feel like I have a stronger will. Next time I feel like I’m not in the mood to ride, I’ll remember tonight.

Sorry if this wasn’t 100% on topic. I had to get it off my chest. There are days it’s just not worth pushing. We all have those. But I decided tonight wasn’t one. I persevered. Glad I did.


Focus paints success. With the surge of gravel, the coolness of gran fondos, the rise of e-racing, and plain old USAC road racing, there’s a lot going on. Letting goals get murky threw me for a loop this year; much more focused going into 2020!

Best of luck with everyone’s year!



Stuff like training consistently, following a structure, planning the season, etc. are obvious. Three things stand out in 2019 for me:

1. Regular and sufficient quality sleep. What’s the point of putting a lot effort into training when you don’t allow time for rewards to come to fruitation.

2. Eat to fuel workouts. I now always keep a gel handy for 75-90 minute TR sessions, and it seems to help me finish workouts as intended.

3. The devil is in the details. Doing a race? Do the homework, check the route and profile. Slimming your bike or equipment? Analyze all components and pick the lowest hanging fruits. Looking to drop a kilo body weight? Review food intake both in regards to quality and quantity. Busy schedule coming up? Look for tiny pockets of time, there’s always a 30-45 min gap somewhere for a quick run at the very least.


Training with consistency has not been an issue for me. I’ve done that well since joining TR and have experienced the gains that come with it.
“Nutrition is key” has been my pearl of wisdom from 2019. I’ve made some changes in my nutrition and have seen some great benefits in my training capacity and in race results.
2020 will see continued evolution of my nutrition strategy on and off the bike. I just re-read the “Endurance Diet” and just acquired Bob Seebohar’s book “Nutrition Periodization For Athletes”.

I can’t remember the exact quote but @ambermalika said something in a recent podcast that is already having a transformative effect on my running and riding, it was to ‘fuel yourself to perform, rather than just avoid the bonk’ - I’ve always done the latter but I’m doing my best now to ‘fuel to perform’!

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Love that quote but I dare you to say that to someone that’s just finished the rapha festive 500 :wink:

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“It’s better to look good than to feel good.” Joking…

Lose weight in the kitchen is my contribution.

One simple thing that stuck with me from a conference I went to that I believe can translate to many aspects of life, What gets measured gets done.

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This is actually my takeaway from the year lol. My relatively newfound takeaway seems to be that volume matters. And I like riding lots. Riding hard also…but only so much.

So my resolution for 2020: ride lots, and don’t sacrifice volume to be extra fresh for scary looking workouts. It seems that bit of fatigue doesn’t really matter that much for compliance, and the lack of volume hurts. Plus it was taking me off the bike, which I didn’t like. And that really is the point of all this if you’re not getting paid - do what you like. The process should be enjoyable AS well as the end result. Otherwise it’s a recipe for long term burnout/lack of interest

Oh and stuff my face with lots of carbs and veggies.

Get regular medical check-ups even if you don’t think you need them (and for things you don’t think about).

Most of us are middle-aged and most of us are doing HIIT…that’s both a good and bad combo.

Have a healthy 2020! :muscle:


It’s just a sensation, it will pass. My go-to mantra for the hard stuff this year, has served me well and I’m sure I’ll be relying on it heavily in 2020.


I never thought I would be able to do a HV plan, but the last couple months of the year I sustained it nicely and I’m convinced its because I made sleep a huge priority. If Chad was honest he would be tacking an hour of sleep interval onto the end of all the HV work outs.


Probably a good idea - I moved house a couple of years back - I told my previous GP my history of endurance sport over the last 30 odd years from Ironman tris to marathons to time trialling - he advised me to retire ….in the nicest possible way! I decided to spare my current GP the story when I went for my check up when I joined the new GP practice…at 51 I hope I have a few more years flat out time trialling in me before my heart, prostate or an unobservant vehicle gets me… :grinning: