HRV, Caffeine, Hannah Otto’s Leadville Prep, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast 434

I didn’t realize that Nate had been gone long enough to become mustachioed.


Nearly channeling his inner Tony Stark?

  • I dig it :smiley:



No more Mr. Nice Guy! Love the look, btw!

1 Like

@Nate_Pearson is back… AND stashin’. Definitely watching this!!!


I’m still early in the cast, but definitely enjoy having Nate back. :smiley:


Yay! Nate’s back!


Just wanted to add something to the HRV discussion. I see this a lot in education. When we identify something as critical for success, such as higher HRV or FTP, and then we find ways to measure that metric, it’s easy to get caught up in improving that metric without reassessing of it’s actually improving performance. In education this could be defining a particular reading skill. We design assessments to measure improvement of that skill, then we craft our curricula based on the work that we get the most improvement from. It’s very common that we end up chasing improvements just in that one assessment of one skill that we collectively agreed was essential to reading without actually measuring if it improved reading.

Thinking about tools to measure and utilize HRV made me think of this fallacy of thought and planning. Even improvements in FTP could be misleading if it’s not correlating to improvements in performance. Maybe your FTP rose, but your ability to sustain or repeat it did not. Maybe your FTP was already high compared with your peers and it’s actually your skills or peloton positioning that’s holding you back. Metrics are only valuable if they eventually lead to better performance. We have a habit of treating improvements in metrics as if that’s the performance improvement we’re after.

Just something I’ve been thinking about for a while.


For hydration packs, yes, rinse with hot. flush the hose, maybe use a hose brush if you can see “stuff” in the hose.

Also get extra bladders. They’re pretty cheap, so no reason to have at least one more, and if you get one that just won’t get clean no matter what you use, then you have one to swap in.


Nate’s back? I might have to pause the 2019 podcasts and listen to this one!

Agree with other posters. This was a fun one. Subtle change in energy.

On the Caffeine thing, I do the same thing, races under four hours I just smash it an hour before the start and have some caffeine gels in the middle.

Longer ones I have try and have some on the start line, the rest about an hour in. Then same thing with some caffeine top ups in gels, or a red bull/concentrated drink if there’s a bag drop.


I remember reading years ago that the coffee nap was an old railroad engineers trick but looking it up now, I’m mostly getting referred to a 1994 study as its origin. Maybe the study was informed by an existing railroad engineers habit or that storyline is tripe.


Glad to have Nate back. I enjoy his opinion, comedy, and questions (explanations) for us normal guys.


I store my hydration packs and extra bladders in the freezer. No chance for anything to get nasty. Agree with very hot water for when you need to clean. I’ve never noticed residual taste from anything, but I’m probably not too sensitive to that.

Agree that is was nice to see Nate (aka Tony Stark) back and I always enjoy Hanna’s perspective (x10 on this episode since I’m sitting in leadville right now 2 days until the race).


Yeah Nate’s numbers for Hannah’s caffeine. “Your plan has you consuming less than normal…” :rofl:


@Nate_Pearson a new study from a few days ago is out on how to better use alpha 1 numbers:
(It’s not the absolute numbers that are important but the slope)
Also lots more info here:

As to not enough straps do it. That is true. But they don’t need to be in a special mode to do it so those who use straps that give good data will not have any negative impact from having it measured. This is a chicken and egg problem, why would a strap manufacturer use higher end parts to record data more accurately when no one cares to use the data. But I’m guessing enough tr users use Garmin and polar chest straps to get enough of a sample size to show the data could be useful and have a reason for hardware to improve to support it

Finally got around to watching the podcast. I feel vidicated on the FTP issue. Like Ivy and Pete, my power skews toward the anaerobic end. This was over a year ago now, but I think I was doing level 10+ anaerobic workouts at 7/10 RPE, but failing level 4 threshold workouts.

At the time, AI FTP spit out a FTP that was about about 20% higher than what was likely my actual FTP. I was one of those athletes that ended up quitting TR thinking I was broken. I’m glad things are looking up and will be resubscribing to check things out.

1 Like

@Nate_Pearson looks frickin rad. Suits him!


Just hit my watch…


First the podcast and now Mount Field -1, oh my!


Maybe he’s training for an…wait for it…



Or Leadville Tandem with @IvyAudrain ?

(Told you I’d watch it… all the way to the credits. :rofl:)