Fastest Known Times, Motivation, Consistency and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 301

Santa Cruz Bicycle’s Keegan Swenson joins us to discuss how he recaptured the White Rim FKT and to discuss how pro athletes manage expectations over a multi-year development plan, how to maintain motivation and consistency, pedaling technique, bike tech and much more. Tune in live this Thursday at 8:00am Pacific on YouTube!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • TrainerRoad’s new Polarized Training plans!
  • New TrainerRoad Android and iOS apps!
  • Adaptive Training update and common questions
  • How Keegan Swenson recaptured the White Rim FKT
  • What we can learn from how pro athletes manage expectations
  • How to avoid low quality foods during high training volume
  • When and how to pull on your bars when out of the saddle
  • The biggest differences between the Santa Cruz Blur and Pivot Mach 4 SL
  • How to choose the right length dropper post
  • Why don’t cyclists use %FTP instead of power on their head units?
  • How to keep your head warm on cold rides
  • Should you estimate TSS for weight training?
  • How to use Plan Builder for extra short race formats
  • How to time hard workouts within the week
  • How to find the best width handlebar for mountain biking?
  • How to maintain motivation and consistency through a season of training

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I totally feel and empathize with @IvyAudrain on the chocolate convo. Nine times out of ten, I’d much rather have some kind of fruit dessert instead of chocolate.

(edited for grammar)


Is this in the normal podcast places for everyone? I can’t seem to find it.


Cant find the podcast either


Same it’s not on apple podcast


Not on spotify


Not on my podcast app either. Also haven’t seen successful athletes for a while.

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We’ll get this episode synced up to those other platforms not to worry. Apologies for the delay!


I got the episode from Podbay. I’m guessing it’s up elsewhere too.

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Yep, up now

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Keegan’s Spotify playlist here FYI.

White Rim FKT - Keegan’s ‘Echoes in the Pain Cave’ playlist


@Nate_Pearson Please could you share the TikTok/recipe for the vegetable mix up that you mentioned? Really keen to try it.

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Got my MTB handlebars cut down thanks to this episode. I didn’t know it was such an easy process!
Local bike shop did it on the spot for $15. Now there’s no excuse for clipping trees and tearing up the interior of my car :laughing:

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Just a heads up @Jonathan

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but this episode has so many ‘likes’, that for a brief moment I thought I’d tuned into a teen high school podcast. I get that using like every second word is very common in the US, but you guys normally do far better.

I certainly don’t want to single anyone out, but this combination of guests really exacerbated it. Even Nate got into the swing of it.

Have a listen, once you start noticing it, you’ll never un-hear it again.

Like, you could definitely, like, do better :grin:

Still a great episode.


I like, totally agree

Totally agree. Now it may be one of my pet annoyances lately, but it became very difficult to keep listening…

My youngest son (freshman in college) has started doing this too. It has led to some awkward conversations between us - as I point it out to him…this may be part of the reason I am so annoyed by this prevalent way of speaking…

I would recommend watching the Payson McEelvin White Rim FKT YouTube video for anyone that doesn’t know the trail. It’s a better video for showing what the ride is like I think. It’s a little more airy fairy, but that’s just his style.

On a slightly unrelated note it seemed weird the anti Payson stuff in the YT comments of the Keegan vid. I assume Keegan has nothing against him…

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Usually love the podcast, but the amount of “likes” as a verbal crutch made it unlistenable.

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Your mileage may vary, but…

I find that people who want the short droppers tend to be the people who don’t train with them enough, and don’t utilize them properly. XC racers running droppers are HORRIBLE about it. Most of my training is done on my 170mm travel coil sprung bike, it has the longest dropper I can fit on there right now (150mm) and I am 5’8" tall. If I could run a 170, I would (I will be looking into a new post soon, I’ll see if I can find one that fits).


It must be 20 times PER LAP I am passing someone (racing with mixed classes on course) who is riding with their post up when it should be down.

If you are having problems coordinating getting it up and down at the right time, you need to practice. It is about as silly as saying you never shift your bike or stay in the wrong gear because shifting is too complicated. If you can shift a bike*, you can learn to use your dropper.

*SS riders don’t apply :rofl:

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