5w/kg on Low Volume Training with Michael Brophy – Successful Athletes Podcast 36

I agree with this, but I certainly understand the draw to the event. Still, if I can ever pull it off I’m going to do it! I wish there was still a team category but from what I understand that wasn’t feasible for the promoter.

Phew, so have I - primarily I was most interested in PMBAR, but I’ve done the 111K (my only DNF!) the 55.5K (a more fun course IMO), and the Monster Cross when it still used the parkway. Good on you for doing the 111K course solo! That’s a huge day, not sure I’d want to do that one alone. I also enjoy the Icycle that PP picked up from another promoter a few years back, I’m really ready for our local racing to start again, I really miss it.

I’m not set up well for the group workout thing yet, but I might do what Michael did and grab a new laptop so that I can participate. I’d be interested in a real world trail ride if people are interested and comfortable with that. I feel like small group mountain bike rides are typically OK, but understand if folks aren’t there yet.

Since my training time is more limited now that I’m a parent myself (only one!) I’ve been more focused on the shorter course offerings from Blue Ridge Adventures. Couch Potato, Jerdon Mountain, the new race in Woods Mountain trail. I was also hoping to get back into traditional XC with the Cane Creek series but I’m really still waiting on that vaccine first… probably.

Quite the contrary - I drink plenty, more of a Belgian beer lover though. I do try to limit my alcohol intake to only the weekends. If I do drink during the week I have a pretty small glass of wine. It’s just one of those things that, for me, can start building on itself pretty quickly. One beer a night turns in to two, then I feel like crap for the early morning workout.

Ok you’re about to get a thesis so settle in:
Eating philosophy is mainly eat as much real food as possible. I try and substitute whole grains (or relatively whole grains) in as often as possible. So brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bread, quinoa, barley, steel cut oats - the less processed the food the better. I try to focus on the things I can add in to my diet instead of take out. If we only focus on the negative aspects of food, then what positive relationship do you have. I focus on adding in as many fruits and vegetables as I can. I keep a pretty healthy stock of dried fruit and nuts because those are my most convenient snack foods. Raisins, figs, dates, prunes - Costco is king here. Like they alway say on the podcast, it’s hard to overeat on health food. I eat whole fat dairy which mainly includes kefir every morning and whole milk in my protein shakes. I attempt to sneak in vegetables in non traditional meals. Like adding carrots or beats to my protein shake, or not even using protein powder and adding these veggies in. I try to eat more fresh meat than processed meat. But, at the end of the day I live in the real world and I keep my food choices as flexible as possible so that they are sustainable. If I was denying my self certain things, cooking a different dinner for my self and my family, being that guy at the restaurant who can’t eat anything on the menu - I wouldn’t be able to maintain a relatively health eating habit. That’s my 2 cents on food. Also, eat a ton on the bike. I can burn 1500 calories in a 1.5 hr ride and there’s no way to keep up with that, but I try.

I used to go to the gym several days a week for an hour or so at a time. Over the last few years I’ve shifted to less and less. I was going 1 day a week for an hour long session, but found that led to too much inconsistency. If I missed one weekly session, I’d then have had no time lifting for 2 weeks straight. I’ve tried to increase frequency of session and decrease actual time in the gym. I only plan to be there for 15 - 20 minutes. I pick 4 exercises and complete 2-3 circuits of these exercises. I just do variations of those same 4 exercises each day I go. Lots of pull up variations, bench press variations, squats, dead lifts and lunges and trunk stability exercises. I keep the legs super light. It’s important to load those tissues, but I don’t even get close to squatting or dead lifting my body weight. I like to be able to go frequently and have it not really interfere with my workouts.

Workouts and riding. It just has to be done. If I have to give up on an interval, I make it up in the cool down. Once you get past the point that all hard workout are going to hurt, it’s just all mental. I feel like I personally got the biggest bang for my buck on sustained power build and the 40k TT plan. I did this during the initial parts of the pandemic once my events where canceled and I felt like superman toward the end. Those workouts suck from and endurance and monotony standpoint, but they really do build and you can see the progress very easily. I use a lot of mind tricks and mental gymnastics to get through. Everything from mantras, distractions, shifting cadence every minute, activating different muscles for 10s bouts, visualization, music. All of it, I don’t have a steel trap for a mind so I use every trick I can when I’m struggling. My last resort is to picture that one person I never want to lose to, if I revert to this - the end is near but I can make it. I’ve been riding and racing since 2007, before that I was a cross country runner. I’ve got a lot of endurance training in the legs, but more mentally just being used to how it feels to be uncomfortable. There is no substitute for riding and spending quality time in the saddle.

The secret is that there is no secret. You’ve got to find what works for you and stick to it.



I’m with you on cost and vacation time. I really struggled to make that decision. At the end of the day it was a goal for training. It was also much easier for me to justify this trip to my wife. A mountain bike trip with the boys for a week sounds a little different than, “I’ve been training for this week long race for a year.”
I doubt I’ll drop that kind of cash on a race again, but it’s a nice bucket list item before the second kid brings me back to Earth.

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That would be my approach as well (bucket list item). I live in Hendersonville, NC and therefore be on these trails almost weekly, which doesn’t help to make the purchase easier.
I have 4 boys in the age range from 3 to 13 years and therefore do all my training from 5:00 to 6:30 AM Monday to Friday mostly Indoors on TR and some Zwift races sprinkled in and only ride outdoors Saturday mornings.
Usually try to do some local races, which don’t require much travel or overnight stays, but give me an EPIC experience like the Pisgah Production & Blue Ridge Adventure events.
Good luck on the race! I hope it happens.


Michael, this is awesome. Thank you for taking the time to share all those details.

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Wow, starting at 4 w/kg! Impressive! I’ve trained for a couple years (before TR) and am still at about 3.1 w/kg. Hoping to see some gains as I build into this season…

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Hey Michael! Great podcast! I’m up here in NC and was registered for the Pisgah Stage Race as well! So so unfortunate about it getting canceled this year. Well another year to train, right?!? :muscle:

Yea it’s a bummer. If I keep my registration that will give me 3 years of training for this race …