Cryotherapy, Dehydration, Low Heart Rate, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 368

Cryotherapy is a recovery modality that is gaining popularity, but what does science say about its effectiveness? We’ll cover this as well as a look into scientifically-backed hydration strategies, what low heart rate means during races, and more.

Tune in tomorrow at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Does cryotherapy make you faster?
  • Why do I have low heart rate during intense races?
  • How to return to training after time off
  • How Keegan fueled at Unbound Gravel
  • Scientific hydration recommendations
  • Is there benefit to perfectly steady intervals?
  • An alternative progressive training strategy?

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Athletes: From Therapy to Stimulation. An Updated Review of the Literature

Whole-Body Cryotherapy: Potential to Enhance Athlete Preparation for Competition?

Detraining: What Happens When You Lose Fitness?

Fluid and Electrolyte Balance in Ultra-Endurance Sport

Rehydration during Endurance Exercise: Challenges, Research, Options, Methods

PH’s free online sweat test

PH’s Advanced Sweat Test

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

1 Like

Good ep! The argument I have heard for separating your hydration and fueling to some degree is that while hydration needs may vary wildly depending on conditions, fueling should be pretty much the same regardless. I could see tweaking the concentration of one single mix based on weather forecast, but to me that leaves very little flexibility on the day. I’d be afraid I’d end up having to drink a lot more fluid than needed to get the fuel I do need, or vice versa. Buy Keegan clearly races in varied conditions and he seems to be doing just fine, so what do I know haha.


Does anyone get the feeling that Keegan just does what he does? Does none of the recovery methods discussed, doesn’t wear a HRM but still kills it! I don’t see how a TrainerRoad program will help him or if he even uses it.
Just my two cents,

Great podcast guys! :slight_smile:


I’m sorry but neutrophils are not nascent RBC. They are white blood cells part of primary immunity. NRBCs are nucleated red blood cells which are immature red blood cells.


He has an Olympic / USA team level coach I believe.

I really appreciated his involvement. He provides a great addition/balance with a willingness to question and interject which I thought helped strengthen the conversation and keep Chad more enthused.

Also, hilarious hearing the Pete Morris / Milo of Croton method mentioned. I had been thinking about that the last few days lol.

1 Like

I think he is just one of those people that are just quick responders to training.

Keegan is a breath of fresh air.

Keegan gave the impression that he does recovery methods that are proven and readily accessible. But just seems Keegan, like you said, “does what he does” to win. He said something along the lines of “sometimes you don’t know you can do it until you do” he was discussing something about whatever paces were being pushed in a race. And it’s similar to Jonathan often saying “you can often do more than you believe you’re capable of”. IMO it’s very good advice especially for your non A races. Just go out and try to do more than you think you can.


There was a mention of using frozen gels that become slurpie -like once frozen. Does that work with any neverSecond gel?
Other brands do not work?

Please please tell us more…

This seems like a good addition to my toolset as July approaches.

Holy schnikes…that Never 2nd stuff is incredibly expensive. $39 / 12 gels!! If I followed their max usage recommendation (3 gels / hour), I’d burn through a whole box on a 4 hour ride.

Now, I doubt I could consume that many, but it illustrates the point. $3.25 / gel is crazy!!

I wish I could get the Smart Eat/Drink prompt count out of my Garmin to show just what the delta is between amount of drinking vs fueling.

Every drink prompt is 100ml. So take something like Gu Roctane drink mix.
~600ml of liquid with ~60g of carbs, so ~10g of Carb per drink prompt.

If it’s really hot out you can get a lot of prompts…
I see a spreadsheet in my future…

1 Like

I have been thinking about this a lot lately and how it varies by environment. In descending order of environments where I give my all, I would say:

  1. Indoor training (give my max, sometimes to breakthrough or failure)
  2. Outdoor solo TR workout (close to max, but fear of bonking on longer rides holds me back)
  3. Events (modest personal/age-group goals + fear of bonking/crashing=leaving energy in reserve)
  4. Training rides with friends

Generally, I tend to leave energy in the tank outside for some reason. For fear of blowing up, fear of safety, or perhaps fear of a broader “making a mistake or looking stupid”, if I am really honest. And leaving aside fun/social rides, if I go out to train with friends I never feel they are productive, even if structured. Probably for the same reasons plus either not wanting to come off as being too strong/too weak (depending on who I am with). /end therapy session :slight_smile:

I’m similar. For me, part of that mentality comes from starting out in triathlon so when doing my gravel bike races I had to remind myself there’s nothing after the bike. lol The other thing for me is in gravel races it’s very easy to get into a non-racing mentality because many gravel races are very relaxed so it’s easy to just fall into that. Which is okay if that’s what you want for the day.

I had a 40 mile gravel race the other day. Missed a turn about 3 miles in. Didn’t realize it for like 1.5 miles. So obviously I was way behind anybody. So I just hammered it for the next 2 hours trying to catch anybody. I know on the podcast they’ve all mentioned more than once that in your non-A races it’s not a bad thing to experiment. Who cares if you bonk or it doesn’t work out.

1 Like

Chad, Keegan and Jonathan were a perfectly knowledgeable and entertaining podcast trio. Great one!

During the podcast @Jonathan mentioned not deleting skipped workouts from the calendar and instead marking them so that Adaptive training can know WHY the workout was skipped.

The only way I know how to do this is by marking my TR calendar with either the “sick” or “illness” annotation.

Is there a way to mark why we missed a scheduled workout outside of these two annotations that can positively impact the adaptive learning algorithm? Ex, what if I skipped my scheduled workout because of fatigue, or poor sleep? What if I just wasn’t motivated or instead wanted to just hit the trail for a fun ride instead of structure?

I’m thinking about all of the options that we have at the end of a workout to tell Adaptive Training how the workout felt… Is there a way to have the relevant options available for missed workouts to better help Adaptive Training learn?

Final question on the topic… are we not supposed to delete scheduled workouts that we missed? Is it better (in terms of helping the adaptive algorithm learn) to leave them on the calendar as un-completed?


I’m also interested, @IvyAudrain @Jonathan can you elaborate?

Or maybe @ambermalika ? I think her team is working on AT stuff.

I misspoke :frowning:
We haven’t built out this functionality yet.

Where this does apply is when a workout is marked as completed (automatically or manually), but you did not follow the workout with precision. In that case, make sure the survey response reflects reality. We see a lot of athletes marking an Ouside Workout as complete, but the actual effort looks nothing like the intended structure of the workout. It’s important to be honest in those cases and make down “I did not pass” and indicate the reason.


No issue at all! Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something in the software.

Thanks Jonathan!