How to Do a 4hr Century, Training Zones, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 372

Ice Friction / The Feed’s Alex Wild and Squid Bikes’ Ivy Audrain join us to discuss how to achieve your fastest 100mi possible, whether training at the bottom or top of a zone really makes a difference, and much more in Episode 372 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!

Tune in Thursday at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Alex’s learnings from Crusher in The Tushar
  • Does training at the top or bottom of a zone make a difference?
  • Singlespeed training, and how it can help geared athletes
  • How to ride the fastest 100mi possible
  • A pro’s perspective on standing vs. seated climbing
  • What factors you should consider when deciding to use an aero helmet
  • When you do and don’t need to fuel workouts

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  1. Stone & Hull, 1993
  2. Millet et al, 2002
  3. Hansen, Waldenland 2008
  4. Berkemeier, et al 2020
  5. Chabroux et al, 2012
  6. Abdullah et al, 2017
  7. Beaumont et al, 2017
  8. Novak et al, 2019
  9. Basri et al, 2020

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Glad to see Alex is back!


Okay let’s also dive into the whole “Are white helmets cooler on your head from a temperature standpoint?”

I’m inclined to say not measueable so because there are inches (cm) of foam between the shell and your head and the foam in question isn’t a great conductor of heat. IMHO vents are more important.

You guys should check out the 315km (195mi) road race “Vätternrundan” in Sweden! People start in groups within 2 minute intervals and because of that the way to race it is lika a TTT on road bikes. The best strategy is to take really short turns in a chain, just a few seconds. The best time this year was 7 hours and 9 minutes, with an average speed of over 44 km/h (27,4mph). It’s a really cool event, this year there were over 12000 participants, maybe you should join with a strong team next year and try to break 7 hours :wink:


Can someone how Alex is getting his outside workouts onto the Hammerhead?


Depends a lot on the number of people in the group.

Yeah that’s true. The groups that take part are usually over 10 people, the fastest are around 30. But I think doing it like a chain is the most efficient as long as ypu are over 8 people

There used to be a fondo in Indianapolis that was billed as the fastest 100 mile ride (or something like that), looks like it died with covid though…

Fastest time in 2019 was 3:42:55 :dizzy_face:

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Asked the same question on the Hammerheard thread but no reply there either yet!

What I did before outside workouts were a thing was just remake the TR workout in the Training Peaks workout editor and then export to device. So guess is something like that.

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I’ve only just started the Pod so forgive me if I’m off base, but I believe his workouts aren’t TR ones. His coach creates specific workouts probably via TP as suggested.

I believe Alex uses TR but if you look at his workouts they aren’t something many of us could knock out :joy:.

Also. Let’s Goooo TR Team at Tahoe Trail :call_me_hand:.


Hes probably using trainingpeaks not trainerroad. Not sure ive heard him specifically say hes using the product.

Likely not TR workouts. That’s just a guess.

So aero helmets are faster than airy. Is it actually a decent amount? I feel like I didn’t actually get an answer from that question on the podcast. Like if I’m wearing a vented helmet (Lazer G1), ballpark how many watts am I saving going to something like a Kask Utopia or S-Works Evade? Noticeable in a crit or road race?

Roughly 10W savings is a number I’ve read. Marginal gains add up, 5W for socks, 10W helmet, whatever watts for cockpit, tires, frame, etc. Biggest gain is body position.

It will depend how you define “noticeable”….is it gonna make the difference between you winning or losing? Probably not unless it is a razor-thin margin at the line.

Will it reduce your overall watt expenditure for the race, leaving your fresher for the finish? Yes. Will it be “noticeable”? :man_shrugging:

My Gen 1 Evade was definitely “noticeable” on my training rides, etc. Too much going on during a race for me to say if I “noticed” it or not.

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The only thing I notice with my Ballista is no chance of sunburns on my scalp!

thinking you’re faster has to be worth an extra 50 or so Watts too.

I think it’s deemed common knowledge now that they are “noticeably” faster. Dependant on model and head shape/riding position of course. I thought there was more specific evidence like worth x-minutes over 40km at 40km/h, but a quick Google didn’t show me anything on the first page.

Try searching “aero helmet watt savings” and you’ll find claims of X seconds saved over 40km at Y kph.

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