Iñigo San Millán training model

Wondering how all those old skool hardmen got so fast without hi-tech lab equipment, without definitively knowing their VO2max/LT/VT/BLT, without complex training configurations, etc.

The modern era is faster, mostly due to equipment advancements, but not exponentially faster. So how did the old timers get so fast without all this marginal gain faffing?


I think that in the old days, people that didn’t know how to train or have access to the right coaching just fell by the wayside a little earlier in their career.

Overall though, the cream rises to the top. The fast guys are successful and keep moving up the ranks until they can’t. Did a guy like Lemond need special coaching systems to win the Tour? AFAIK, he was crushing seniors when he was a junior.

With the right genetics you can just ride, enter races and go pretty far. Intervals and structure may take you up a level. After that it’s marginal gains.

I’ve been thinking about the Vaughters interview where he talks about using ISM’s ideas. ISM’s ideas were horrible for some riders. For others they worked brilliantly though it sounds like Vaughters wasn’t as nuanced as ISM and he over did it with Dombrowski.

It does make me wonder about “systems” like ISM or Ferrari. Some riders will just respond incredibly to these ideas. Because Pogacar wins the Tour, ISM looks like the most brilliant mind in coaching right now. Is it because ISM’s protocol is the best and can be applied to everybody or because Pogacar and ISM are a match made in heaven? If ISM’s methods result in failure, we probably aren’t going to hear about it.


But there’s always been the stars and water carriers. If the difference between eras of stars isn’t that astounding, the difference in pack fodder is probably even less pronounced. Perhaps all these modern methods/tech have resulted more in better recovery/fatigue/repeatability/longevity management rather than more overall speed.

Or, perhaps these modern methods don’t translate into the significant gains in cycling compared to other sports.

I think I’ll just stick to KISS:


For me it would be mainly minimizing sympathetic activation and maximizing recovery while still providing training stimulus. My training volume is usually not that high to care about glycogen depletion (unless I’m approaching 20h/wk or want to maximize performance during HIIT sessions).

@marco_alt is there anyone to get the HRV data to work with the free version of KubiosHRV. I have years worth of data from your app…

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Don’t underestimate the demands that even low volume training places upon your muscle glycogen stores. These individuals were only going moderately hard one hour per day, yet their glycogen levels progressively declined when consuming a normal mixed diet.

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Similar results here.

I wonder how many folks on this forum who complain about getting beaten down by their chosen training plan are really just victims of inadequate carbohydrate intake?


It surely does. I observe it empirically too (in daily body weight fluctuations, and how it correlates with performance). I’m a natural fat burner though and also have my diet well figured so this is not my primary concern. I’m more worried about my recovery capabilities which are not that great. Hence I must be wary off adding too much chronic stress.

hi @Turboenterprise, thank you for your support. Regarding Kubios, if you have collected data during exercise using our Logger app, then yes you should be able to also use the data in Kubios, but my understanding is that the free version does not allow to window the data (so to compute features every X minutes or configure different parameter), hence you might be able to get an alpha 1 for a steady session, but not more than that. Maybe at that point it is better to use the Colab where you can load the logger files, it should not require any coding, just to run the different code boxes that load the data and plot it (or collect more data with the Logger now that it computes alpha 1 in real time). I am assuming we are talking about exercise HRV here, the morning HRV data would not be useful for this analysis.

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Hey guys, so I did this today: Ochoco, nice and steady, just as prescribed. My HR max is round 170 bpm and my Z2 limit is 119 bpm. I head a lot about the benefits of endurance rides and long, steady Z2 work and I’m wondering if the training I did today is ok.
I see no cardiac drift in my HR and I feel pretty fresh at the end.

If you want to keep it even simpler for even stupider, then just two rules are enough:

  1. Do as much volume as possible.
  2. Within that alloted time do as much intensity as possible, while still being able to recover enough/not overtrain.

For those with plenty of time that might be lots of longer Z2/S1 sessions with just 1 or 2 shorter harder sessions per week. While for others with little time that might be 3 shorter hard sessions and only one longer Z2/S1 session.


Can someone tell me who this ISM on the Peter Attia podcast is? I’ve long wondered what Peter Attia had to say on the subject. He’s super intelligent and I know he is a cyclist who spends most of his time at level 2 but he does seem to be more interested in general health than performance.

Here you go:

  1. Subject of this thread (see title)
  2. Coach of the 2020 winner of Tour de France, along with others on UAE pro cycling team
  3. Clinical researcher
  4. And what @SpareCycles said

Of course #1 is the most important :stuck_out_tongue::joy::stuck_out_tongue:

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Ha! Brilliant! For some reason I didn’t equate the 2 things, It’s so far down the thread! Somehow I missed hearing of this guy… Just tucking into the Peter Attia podcast now.


Who is ISM? Jonathan Vaughters in defense of ISM after some accusations of involvement in cycling’s dark past (was with Astana and similar … for brief periods):

This is just stupid. Do you know Inigo’s history? do you know how he got kicked off all kinds of teams for trying to convert them to a non-doping philosophy? Do you know how he got physically assaulted by a rider because he told team management the rider’s blood values were off? He was messed up pretty bad.

This guy is one of the real forces to change things behind the scenes. One of the few in the medical field that instead of A. Giving up on cycling or B. going ahead and doping the crap out of guys, decided he would get in the middle of it and try to convert guys to a more healthy philosophy. And his career suffered for years because of that stance.

You guys have no ****ing clue about who is who and what is what. It’s truly unreal the level of stupidity.


@awoffinden, As a quick summary, basically ISM emphasizes a training intensity that he calls “Zone 2”; however, a significant portion of our early discussion on this thread was trying to determine just exactly what he meant by “Zone 2”, which isn’t the “Zone 2” often referenced by cyclists (Coggan). It’s not based off of FTP, and it is often casually referred to as “high Zone 2” because it falls at the higher end of Coggan Zone 2, or the demarcation between Zone2/Zone3 (also much discussion about this point).

He bases it off of the first uptick in lactate (LT1) and a corresponding change in FATox, both of which he would have determined with full performance lab testing.

There is more to learn and enjoy if you are interested (via podcasts and Training Peaks articles, etc). If you choose to continue to explore ISM it is critical to understand the points above otherwise a lot of what we’re talking about here (and what he says on podcasts) will not make sense.


Thanks for bringing this up. It’s incredibly important. Vital, actually.

I’ll raise my hand here.

Absolutely, 100% ran into this issue when I upped my training to 17-20hrs per week. Even with a vast majority of my riding being low intensity with tight intensity discipline. I mistakenly combined this increased load with the idiotic goal of also reducing my bodyfat, it lead to signs of RED-S or overtraining etc. (these seem to rapidly becoming the same thing, essentially, sustained under fueling, a discussion thread on this would be fascinating)

I’ve since addressed the issue and now fuel, before, during and after virtually all sessions, regardless of intensity. It’s crazy how much I now consume, considering my size 60-62kg, 46y male. I basically have to consume something in the region of 10,000 calories, ON TOP OF my normal calorie intake.

Given I have, let’s say, undesirable food favorites, the highish training load lets me get away with a diet that would have myself, or even worse, a sedentary person, rapidly turning into a house sized individual.

I really think it needs to be loudly drummed into anyone upping their training load. Your calorie intake needs to be commensurate with your increased load. This can be almost shocking, as it’s a very significant and sustained increase in consumption.

Thanks for the links.


I spiked up to 30 hours one week. My gut was angrier than my legs. Bike racing is really and eating contest on bikes.


I screwed up my post ride feeding routine yesterday and paid for it on my 3rd set today. Carb up or pay for it later.