Crushing Long Climbs, Sleep, Training Timing and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 356

Amber Pierce and Alex Wild join Coach Jonathan for a guide on how to crush long climbs, sleep’s effect on training adaptations, and whether it matters if you train at a specific time of day with consistency. Tune in and share this episode with your friends!

Tune in Thursday at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Does training time consistency matter?
  • Pacing marathon MTB and gravel courses like the Tahoe Trail 100
  • Rapid Fire Questions
  • How lack of sleep affects training adaptations
  • The pro’s guide to crushing long climbs

TrainerRoad Podcast Network

Submit your Question to the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast

Subscribe to the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast

Subscribe to the Successful Athletes Podcast

Submit your story to the Successful Athletes Podcast

Subscribe to the Science of Getting Faster Podcast

Submit a topic to the Science of Getting Faster Podcast


Yessss!!! @ambermalika @IvyAudrain @Jonathan in the XCM world (again). Yes please :love_you_gesture:.

Maybe you could rope Pete in too?


ETA: obviously I really want @Nate_Pearson involved too, but only when he’s ready.


Just for the record, that paper you love to cite so much about light directed at the back of knee disrupting sleep got retracted because of major flaws in the study design.


Thank you, Klemen! I’ve got this down in my notes to correct next week.

1 Like

@Jonathan , what is the hydration pack that you and alex were suggesting? I think i need to up my game from bottles.

I like the USWE Outlander Pro: Outlander PRO

It’s a weight-weenie version of the Outlander. Not sure how much it saves and it is likely relatively little, but can’t hurt, eh? :wink:

Considering how often I weigh myself (I really want someone to develop that weekly weight averaging idea you have been talking about), no it cant hurt. Thanks!


Dead easy to do in a spreadsheet:

Assume column A is the date & column B is your weight for that date and the data starts on row 2 then in column C starting at row 8 you need a formula like


for a weekly average. Just fill down in column C and the program will recalculate the moving average for every day.

1 Like

noooo… @Jonathan and someone else (Pete?) were talking about a scale that doesn’t tell you your weight until the end of the week so you don’t get hung up on the daily fluctuations. You still weigh yourself daily but you don’t see it.

1 Like

I think he might have been talking about having the scale display the weekly weight average, instead of displaying the days weight. I seem to remember Pete talking about that on some podcast in the past.

1 Like

Not the same but FWIW I weigh myself daily on Withings, and could decide to not look at the weight on scale each morning (it also shows graph with last 7 days), and instead once a week pull up Apple Health, tap on Weight tile, and then tap on W (for week) and see my 1 week average.

1 Like

So relevant once again. Great show guys! What are your thoughts on average speed for pacing if you don’t have a power meter, you have a time goal (mass start and I don’t know my competition) and you know the course for a 100km? I’m toying with this idea over 4 splits, based on a percentage increase from my times last year.
Here’s the course 100KM - Convict 100

Also, is there a copyright on “aim to fail, then you won’t be disappointed”? seems like a great motivational wall piece :wink: Love your work @ambermalika

You’re right. I have a garmin scale and could do the same thing. Will I? Hmm…


1 Like

Unless your fitness has increased leaps and bounds, there’s too many variables. Wind, wind direction, temperature, who you ride/pace with in the race, course conditions…is it packed, loose, blown out, better/worse than previous years.

If you get to the 25k mark and you’re 2 minutes down on your previous time…are you gonna go harder? What if you felt like you were already on your limit? If you’re 15mins up, and you only expected to be 5 minutes up…are you gonna ride easier?

I say just ride the race.

1 Like

Had some time, found some articles in support of my comment above:
Original study: Extraocular circadian phototransduction in humans - PubMed

Study that disputed the original study: Absence of circadian phase resetting in response to bright light behind the knees - PubMed

Some articles for general public:

1 Like

I loved listening to Alex describe his ride up Haleakala. I too was warned that weather conditions at the summit are dramatically different than sea level. I found a local - former pro - who offered to let me know an optimal day and ride with me. This was one of my favorite rides, especially the descent.


From your fans in Australia, we would love to see you at the Peaks challenge Peaks Challenge Falls Creek | Sunday 12 March 2023 | Bicycle Network
or the Alpine Classic when Covid allows


They can’t do that race. They’ll be here in New Zealand doing The Prospector MTB Stage Race :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::rofl: