Thanks for starting this thread. I think the observations/comments/criticisms in the OP and the replies are mostly on point. I don’t that I’d go so far as to say it has lost its way, but it has changed and not, in my opinion, for the better.
I really like hearing from both Jonathan and Ivy, the current “regulars”. They’re both really good at breaking things down for dummies like me and I think their chemistry is really starting to gel over the past few months. But there’s a voice I’m really missing, and it’s not the one I thought I’d miss. I miss Chad. Or rather, I miss input on the show from someone who has spent a lot of time helping individuals become better athletes. I was never really a fan of the deep dives; I think the science is often interesting but usually hard to apply to my life and “training”.
Every once and a while I’ll check in on some of the other cycling shows where it’s a bunch of exercise science types. There’s some good stuff in there, but for me they tip things too far the other way. I need some banter and real world experience and examples of lessons learned the hard way. The old show, for lack of a better term, got the balance right, I think. Jonathan, Nate, and Chad ticked all the boxes, and Amber was a great addition to the team. The recent appearances by the nutritionist (whose name I’ve forgotten, sorry!) has been welcome, but I’m not sure that she’ll be able to appear enough to fill in the hole I see. Again, I like hearing from Jonathan and Ivy, but I’d really like to see another regular who has more (or different?) direct experience on the coaching side.
Sure, I’d also like someone to play the role Nate used to, the guy who’s trying stuff out and has insights and questions that new listeners might also have and not know it. I’m not talking about a NorCal Cycling style couch to crit thing. That seems much more like a gimmick to grab new viewers, not a long-term…relationship(?) we build with the host.
As for the podcast being a tool just to push TR products. Yeah. As I understand, Jonathan and Ivy together are most of TR’s marketing department. And it’s why they give this away for free, without ads even! I found out about TR through the podcast, recommended to me on a group ride like 5 years ago. It works. But in my opinion, the current lineup isn’t as effective as the old one.
edit to add: I hope that the folks at TR sees this as a positive thread. People here like the podcast enough to a) notice that it’s changed direction and b) start a pretty reasonable discussion about it with, imo, some constructive criticism.