AI FTP Detection, Altitude Training, CHO Periodization and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 392

:tada: AI FTP Detection is now available! More info here: FTP Testing is a Thing of the Past: Introducing AI FTP Detection - TrainerRoad Blog

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0:00 Welcome!
0:09 :tada: AI FTP Detection is now available!
Are fast twitch athletes at a greater risk for over training?
3:37 How does muscle fiber type influence recovery
21:40 Is carbohydrate periodization a good way to increase adaptations?
33:55 Which is more detrimental: carbohydrate restriction or calorie restriction?
39:59 Are we wrong about Altitude Training?
Why do some athletes experience poor performance after returning from altitude?



Adaptation to a low carbohydrate high fat diet is rapid but impairs endurance exercise metabolism and performance despite enhanced glycogen availability

Performance effects of periodized carbohydrate restriction in endurance trained athletes – a systematic review and meta-analysis

Low carbohydrate, high fat diet impairs exercise economy and negates the performance benefit from intensified training in elite race walkers

Fuel for the Work Required: A Theoretical Framework for Carbohydrate Periodization and the Glycogen Threshold Hypothesis


Bellinger et al, 2020; Muscle fiber typology is associated with the incidence of overreaching in response to overload training

Lievens et al, 2020; Muscle fiber typology substantially influences time to recover from high-intensity exercise

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Whew… Nate must be gunning for an auctioneer job or to bring back Micro Machines commercials with that whirlwind intro. Listening on 1/2 speed might be just about right to actually get all that info :wink:


Jonathan asks for feedback on the podcast, so here are my hopefully constructive thoughts:

  • This episode (The Abstract!) felt like sort of a cross between a deep dive and Science of Getting Faster. I know that this is the sort of thing a lot of people tune in for, but the detailed science is probably the part I’m most likely to skip. I’d prefer to have one of these dropped into “normal” episodes, as a sort of mini deep dive.

  • I understand the need to mix things up, but I’m sort of thrown off by the lack of introduction to the last few episodes. Sure, the old intro (“welcome to the podcast dedicated…”) is wordy, but I would like a “start” to the episode. Even if it’s “Welcome to the podcast, I’m <host>, here with Chad/Jonathan/Nate/Ivy/Hanna/etc.” I don’t think that Jonathan even introduced himself today.

Click the arrow for a wordy explanation of these bullet points.

My introduction to TR was through the podcast. Someone recommended it to me on a group ride, and here I am, a couple years in and loving the program. The thing I liked about the older episodes, where they really leaned into the “ask a cycling coach” part of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast was that there was always a topic or two that was really accessible. That held true, even as I moved from being a guy who likes to put in random miles on his bike to a guy who rides his bike in a garage and enjoys it, for some reason. I feel like this kind of episode isn’t really accessible; I don’t know what I would have thought, if I’d have jumped into the podcast at this episode.

I totally get that the old format gets kind of redundant, and I’m excited to see where the podcast goes. I also get that you’re going to get feedback from across the spectrum. I mostly want to make sure that those people new to TR don’t get scared away by thinking the show’s all about muscle biopsies, and the like. I’ve said it before, but there are a ton of podcasts out there that are all looking at the same science. This show is the only one that has this specific group of people. I tune in for the people on the show at least as much as the content.

Hope this was helpful, and not too nit-picky. Keep up the good work.


I was thinking it must have been shortly after some certain doc-prescribed meds were taken :laughing:.

Real question about AI ftp: if someone is coming off of multiple months of unstructured outside riding with no power data, is it advisable to perform a ramp test before starting a new plan? another way of asking: does it treat rides without power the same as no ride at all? I am sure my FTP has gone down, but not to the degree it would off the bike altogether. Thanks!

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Personally, I enjoyed this one much more with detailed looks at some relevant research and the posssible take homes. Bring it on.

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Sorry guys but this episode didn’t work for me. Way too much wordy, incomprehensible science stuff that just didn’t make any sense to me. I usually enjoy the pod but this was the first one I found myself turning off (I made it to the 33:09 mark). Can we keep the deep science stuff to the Science of Getting Faster pod?


Episode was a bit to “dry” for me. I like it better when the science is wrapped in a listener question that relates to real world problems/situation.


For me I think the “golden age” of the podcast was when the hosts had a big goal they were working towards and following their journey in training/life towards that goal. The TT challenge. Nate trying to become Cat1 in a year. The cyclocross stuff. Training and racing Cape Epic, though that one kind of died off a little bit.

Now you have some of those awesome pros that are on the podcast and talk about their training and racing schedule, but it seems different as they’re not amateurs like the rest of us. I think what would be cool is if you had a couple guests on periodically that we could get to know that are also amateurs, that are using TR to work towards various goals at different “levels.” Maybe somebody wanting to do their first century. Somebody looking to qualify for a Leadville spot. Somebody trying to get on a podium at a world or national championships. etc. Then those people might also have some good questions and insights that could drive the narrative of the podcast as well. If they’re struggling with nutrition that might lead into a good deep discussion that has a relevant connection to somebody that we’ve started to care about. (Like when Jonathan started to bump up his carb intake.)

In my opinion that would bring back some of the magic the podcast had early on.


I was thinking something along these lines yesterday. There used to be a ton of talk about the host’s goals, both process- and results-driven. The past couple years have shaken things up, for the company and all the hosts, so it sort of makes sense that we’ve seen less of that. I think an “easy” road into this sort of thing is more talk about Jonathan’s recent interest in triathlons. We got a bit of it during the leadup to his first, but very little since.

When I was a new listener, and then a new TR user, I learned a ton from the challenges the team was facing in reaching their goals. I do like hearing from some of the pros, but sometimes it feels like they have a hard time relating to us amateurs. Amber and Ivy both get it. I’ll miss hearing Amber’s voice on the show. Protect Ivy at all costs!


Have to agree with the comments above. Following a “hot takes” episode that moved quickly and was fun to watch probably didn’t help. Digging into research is fun, but I think you need to do it with something that is hot right now. You need differing sides and opinions.

Personally, as some have mentioned, the podcast is at its best when you bring in personal and real world experiences. From gearing up to Leadville to episode 390 where you sidetracked about how to train as a Dad and balancing time commitments. The best is when you feel like you are just hanging out talking about bikes and training. Honestly… I was really hoping to see Coach Chad dive into if hand sanitizer actually can clean your bib shorts. :rofl:

There’s potential there… but you need to give it the hot topic format. Look up some research titles, 1-2 minutes to explain and have 1 minute per guest if you agree or not. You need to line up guests who disagree and give a counter point. Then move onto the next study.


I think there is loads of mileage in johns move to triathlons and Hope his training has changed and adapted for this. Especially for parents with John having 2 young kids it’s so relatable.



Can’t help but think of this song reading this thread

The flavor of the podcast has definitely changed over the years. Listening to the team and their personalities definitely brought me to trying out the platform to which I’m a huge believer now. But the question-personal story-deep dive format is super effective.

Maybe one of the TR staff would be interested in a long term guest appearance to share their journey over time. Especially as it relates to listener questions :slight_smile:


I think picking 3 random Traninneroad athletes and following them from base to race would be a fun idea. Have them on once a month and share their experiences, with listener questions. Just a thought :thought_balloon:


That would be fun to listen to I think, from different disciplines.

I had the same experience. I have listened to all of them since the start. Most of them I followed completely. This one I did the same as you as I ended it early…I fast forwarded through parts of it looking for something to catch my interest. It just didnt hit the mark and I ended it after 15 minutes of skimming through it.


Agree with the overall sentiment of the comments above. I joined TR because I fell in love with the hosts. Their trials and tribulations, their successes and failures, their candid talks of insecurities and adversities. I was learning how to be a better cyclist through the accidental art of storytelling. There was a universal truth I felt I personally could connect with.

Unfortunately, It seems as though the podcast has lost its way a little. The heart and soul has been somewhat replaced with the coldness of facts and figures. There are several podcasts like Fast Talk, Trainright, FasCat & more that do this already, and frankly I think they do it better.

Maybe TR is trying to keep things fresh as the company expands but IMO they’re steering away from what made them great. Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in one direction and soon it’ll find a happy balance.

Love TR.


Agreed, one of the few that I couldn’t make it through. And I was already commuting, but just couldnt devote enough brain power to understand what they were talking about.


Sorry guys. I got to about 5min and switched it off.

I was not expecting that style of podcast from the title. Maybe some better headlines so listeners can set themselves up for some heavy listening?

I’m all for science but it took me a while to figure out what Chad was talking about. By then he’d almost finished.

Maybe after listening to last week’s this felt a little too heavy?

I just like the old style with Nate, Jonathan and Chad. That was what got my into podcasts in the first place. Last week’s was light hearted and I enjoyed it. Nice to have the occasional change.

I’ll tune into the science podcasts if I’m feeling like I need a brain challenge.


For me at times, since AT was released, its a little like Ralphie in A Christmas Story where he runs upstairs after listening to the Little Orphan Annie radio show, pulls out his secret decoder ring, and the decoded message is Drink More Ovaltine. Maybe consistency and volume is a boring message. I loved the Nate zero-to-hero series, and Coach Chad deep dives however lately the not-Chad summary of those comes back to drink more Ovaltine messaging. FWIW.


That went straight over my head. Might be a cultural thing, or I’m just plain dumb. :joy:

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