Empirical Cycling Podcast

It seems like this podcast is the deepest of dives. That is not going to appeal to everyone.

One should try to appreciate that it’s a labor of love podcast. It’s not going to have the same production values of a podcast that generates revenue through advertising or subscription revenue.

And FWIW, if you don’t like the deepest of dives, then don’t listen to the Watts Doc episodes. Kolie eventually wraps things up in a Ten Minute Tips episode with more practical training tips.


That’s what I was going to say. The normal podcast is dense to the point of being unhelpful (or at least uninteresting) to me. The 10 minute tips are great. Which is really a misnomer…the podcast is far greater than 10 minutes…it’s apparently a reference to the amount of prep work they put into it.

And you are supposed to go read all the studies so you know what he’s talking about - that’s 2 hours of homework! :slight_smile:

1 Like

its like learning a foreign language the full immersion method!

1 Like

I confess to a quick read and then let Kolie explain it to me.


I actually like having 60mins plus to listen to during my commute etc.

I’d be lying though if said I didn’t skip some of the most science heavy sections like in the last podcast which was exceptionally long however.

1 Like

Is Empirical getting more polarized?

I’m hearing a lot about riding around at 45-50% of FTP. The AMPK podcast sounded like Seiler - ‘Make the hard days hard, and the easy days easy’.

They were talking about multiple 6-7 hour rides per week at 45% FTP this time around.

I want to be as fast as I can be but I only want to be on the bike 6-7 hours per week with an occasional 8-10 hours in the summer. I don’t have time for 10-15+ hour weeks. Plus I can’t lie around all day with tired legs to recover.

If I had a podcast request for Empirical, it would be a time crunched podcast. We know how TR does it, CTS, etc. I’d like to hear Empirical’s approach.


But they always opted for long rides in training - you can even find couple of people on forum trained by Kolie and 5h rides were the staple of work. But they polarized is not vo2 max - easy only but a train all the zones (like Seiler is also liking threshold workouts in cycling).

They had whole episode about being time crunched and what can be done and what simply cant be achieved without bigger volume. The only thing I would say they focus in on pretty serious cyclists so for casual amateur some things should be toned down to us, mere mortals. Copying training of Cory Lockwood is not a possibility nor is having 430W FTP for many :wink:


I do 14-16hr weeks and I can assure you I’m not laying around all day with tired legs, it’s something you build up to and are able to sustain. ultimately, wanting to be fitter requires some degree of time commitment. Personally I think 10hrs is a reasonable compromise as far as time crunch goes.


Of course not - you have to stand all the time to prepare all the food to recover and then eat insane amout of food :wink: at least it was my case even with 10-12h…


And even more standing for the additional food if you get to the 20-30 hours/week that KM considers as high volume! At 20-30 hours/week, I would think some of the low intensity stuff might drop down to 45-55%.

I get that Kolie typically works with advanced athletes. This last AMPK episode just reminded me of that Seiler saying. Building out TTE is definitely not Seiler.

Pointer please. In probably a Q&A episode, I recall Kolie saying that you did have to favor more intensity when time crunched. I don’t recall a whole episode.

How old are you? I’m 57 now and I’d need recovery naps and couch time on 15 hours per week.

15 hours per week is just not compatible with the life of most people that work, have kids, or other commitments. That is multiple 3-4-5 hour rides per week. And you need fair weather unless you are a trainer masochist. I’m not - no way am I sitting on a trainer for 3 hours.


i’m 43 and work full time and have a kid, i carve out time in my day to ride, and I do ride a lot on the trainer to monitor work. 14hrs can be split into 2-2.5-2-1.5-3-3, so maybe I’m a trainer masochist, but I’m also in the best shape of my life currently


So, you are practically professional since you are getting paid to train. :slight_smile:

I’ve been riding and racing for 40+ years. I did my time. I still love to ride but don’t love it 15 hours per week. Maybe if I were wealthy, retired, and lived in a cycling paradise. Unfortunately I’ve got none of that going for me. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I was asked to share the following image by my friend, this is where you can find Kolie’s time crunched pod


That’s not true.
Its bespoke coaching, their coaches will make you a plan from anything from 6hrs to 40hrs a week.


Its less that you FAVOR more intensity, its that a week should have a certain amount of intensity (typically 1-2 days) and there’s only so much you can do in a particular workout even if you put it into a 4hr workout, so as you add more time, including days, the amount of intensity relative to endurance goes down. But on an absolute basis its pretty similiar.

To the point. I observe couple of his pro athletes and slow rides are very low intensity around 50%. They do threshold work, tempo work and famous vo2 max block (double days). But long is easy and long (4-7h)

They also discuss it in trelation to famous Coggan chart and adaptations. As far as I remember Kolie treats threshold also as form of aerobic training so basically you get more “aerobic adaptation units” (my paraphrase not his words) for given time. Of course with caveat that 2-3 hard days is enough, rest is as much 3-5RPE riding as you can and recover from.