Best 60-Minute Workouts, Raising Max Heart Rate, and More - Ask a Cycling Coach 405

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(0:00) Hot Takes followup–which is more dense: hot or cold air?
(2:39) Does new muscle need to be endurance trained?
(21:43) What are the costs of doing only hour-long workouts?
(40:24) Do anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds adversely affect training?
(55:55) Best training plan for athletes returning to training after a long break
(1:09:56) Can you increase your max heart rate?
(1:22:03) What advice have the hosts never shared on the podcast before?

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Quick link to the section where Nate discusses Workout Levels Version 2.0 status:


Per Nate’s joke about making High Volume a paid option, while that is silly on purpose, I think there is something to the kernel within.

I think several of us has mentioned that there should likely be some sort of gating and/or messaging given to anyone selecting HV plans. TR can work on the content, but the basics that outside time doesn’t equal inside time for a 1:1 way to pick a plan. In addition to the idea that HV is for people with an established history.

They have this in a way in the separate plan selection at least:

We recommend high volume only for athletes who are experienced with interval training and have plateaued with the mid-volume version of the plan. We don’t recommend high volume for cyclists who intend to add additional rides beyond their plan’s scheduled workouts; these athletes are better served by the low- or mid-volume version.

But I didn’t test to see what Plan Builder does and if it gives any “Are you sure… I mean, REALLY sure you want HIGH VOLUME???” legit warning to make it unavoidable, but still selectable for the few that want/need it. Some form of mild gating or guard rails that people are presented with no matter how they try to access HV plans.


Another podcast going over the benefits of weight training… When does TR add lifting as a specified activity type?


That original bunging of the air density thing was cringe.

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And then when you fail the HV plan and switch to a low or mid volume plan, you get a little pop up that says "Ha! I told you so!"


I want to see Clippy the paper clip appear saying “It looks like you’re trying to dig yourself into a slough of despond. Can I help you with that?”


I wonder what percent increase there will be in the usage of the workouts Jonathan named

Some, but not a ton?

Depends a fair bit on who’s following training plans and adaptive training, vs picking workouts from the catalog at random / with intent as separate one (not in a plan).


That’s another thing I’d love to know. Something like how many are following a plan and completing, say, 75% of the recommended workouts? How many have no plan? How many add more than 50% volume (hours) to the plan they use? How many are on a HV plan but only complete 50% of the recommended workouts? Stuff like that would be fascinating to hear.

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I feel like gating should be done, but feel like the gating should be worded in a way to teach rather then just make it hard to do the wrong thing. Plus maybe get more info about how users use TR. Thinking along the lines of plan builder asking:

  • How many hours per week have you trained in the last six weeks? (current question, should be modified so it can look at your training history and pick the default you based on what it knows)
  • How many hours per week do you plan to dedicate towards training? (new question to get ow much time you have to train)
  • What is your level of experience with interval training? (moved from when it was asked after picking your training volume so it can influence what training volume you should pick. It can also default to what TR can detect from your history to help with how to pick which correct relative term to pick)
  • Choose your training volume. (This is where is can give a default based on the previous answers and instruct the user why it picked it. So those who have lots of time to train can understand why picking high volume is bad) High volume can be greyed out to look disabled with a checkbox say you’re ignoring the suggestion and ok with not picking the optimal plan

(Also kind of wish Target Discipline option could look at the outdoor rides you’ve done and pick what type they are for you)

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I loved the piece on Max HR, especially the bit comparing Nate to Chad to Jonathan and Jonathan talking about folks getting excited about spikes in his HR :+1:

Wanted to touch on the question about psychiatric medications and exercise. Great coverage on the podcast but I wanted to mention one thing…

Some psychiatric (and other) medications can change the way your body handles heat. Both setting you up for heat intolerance, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), or even a reduction in the amount you sweat.

Basically your doctor needs to know that you workout a lot, and in general we all workout way more than the general population. I was really into running and talked about it with my doctor and knew what to pay attention to and watch for as someone that was running in the heat and humidity all summer long.

Bonus hot take?

Please try to get a referral to a mental health professional if you can. I know that in the US insurance and/or costs can be a big problem so I get it. Your GP can prescribe psychiatric medication but if you have unexpected issues that come on suddenly in reaction to what is generally a well tolerated medication it would be nice to already have access to a doctor who knows what that means.


Also eye issues:

and movement issues:

Low chance of this possibility but can be an issue.

Loved what Nate had to say about workout levels V2. It’s something that’s worked for me, i.e. “endurance” zones have improved where they no longer stress my body needs, therefore my endurance workouts now are filled with tempo workouts.

Edit: This honestly has been great for me b/c its allowed me to free my mind of FTP FTP FTP. It’s all about how are my workout levels improving within each zone


I second this. My visits with a therapist the past couple years have been tremendously helpful, and not just because he tells me to ride my bike more.

(But that sure doesn’t hurt!)

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In order to launch a Tesla from 0-60 mph with full power, you actually need to confirm that you are aware of what doing so will entail. The message is “Are you sure you want to push the limits? This will cause accelerated wear of the motor, gearbox, and battery”, and you get two options. You either select “Yes, bring it on” or “No, I want my mommy”. I feel like TrainerRoad should have a similar confirmation screen for high volume plans.

“Are you sure you want to push the limits? This will cause accelerated wear on joints, tendons, muscles, and mental state. It may also damage your personal relationships, double your monthly grocery bill, and cause uncontrollable snacking. Do you want to proceed?”

Maybe then, people would consider it more carefully :stuck_out_tongue:

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Also, it is important to note that coming off such medication may cause issues even though the medication itself had no side effects. Therefore, it is very important to consult whoever administers the medication before making any changes.

I was administered SSRIs for a period of time, and although I experienced no evident physical side effects when on the medication, I really struggled coming off it. When I no longer felt the need to take the medication (my situation had changed and I felt a lot better in general), I simply stopped taking them. As a result, I experienced extreme nausea, dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbances. This lasted for about 7 days, and I struggled to even leave my apartment during that time. Apparently, it is quite common to experience such symptoms when coming off SSRIs, but because I didn’t consult my GP, I was unaware of it. The takeaway is - don’t faff around with the dosage of whatever medication you are on. If you feel a need to increase or decrease the dosage or come off completely, make sure you go about it the right way.


A bit hyperbolic. I’m nothing special and 46, yet I’m on my third year with HV plans.


Is it just me, or did they not answer the question about doing a Mid Volume plan and replacing the 90 minute workouts with 60 minute alternates? I have often wondered the same thing. All the hosts went on about how beneficial 60 minute workouts are but the initial question was lost in the weeds at that point. I think the question was great and should be answered directly @Jonathan . Maybe I missed the specific answer though?

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