Kolie Moore of Empirical Cycling on the latest 'That Triathlon Show' podcast

For those that are fans…


You gotta make it to the end for the rapid fire questions - the answer to “who is somebody in endurance sports that has inspired you” question was priceless. Just go for it!


I thought that was a good answer. Usually that’s a throw away question. :smiley: At least with his answer I went away humming wild one.

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I wish this episode went deeper. There could have been some questions on the hard start intervals, vlamax model in wko5, or Kolie’s latest podcasts on fat oxidation. Kolie also didn’t really want to bite on the time crunched training question.


I have a feeling that answering that question will be detrimental to his side coaching hustle.

He already gives out so much, if he then goes and tells us exactly how he structures for people time crunched why pay for his coaching?


I doubt answering a question would be detrimental to his business. Mikael was talking very low hours. He mentioned 3-5 hours several times. He was basically asking whether you ramp up the intensity in lieu of volume. He frequently asks this question of guests. At first Kolie didn’t seem to even understand the question. I was thinking that Kolie doesn’t really deal with 3 hour per week athletes. He finally said to hire a coach or buy a time crunched plan.

Yeah agree, I don’t think KM has many very time crunched athletes. There was a question on his insta a few weeks ago, if it was ok to do 2x 90 min endurance in a day, if you didn’t have time for a single longer session. His answer was a bit like, “if thats all you got time for, better than nothing”.

I always wonder if Mikael asks that question because he’s a triathlete, and 3-5 hours cycling is all thats left when already also training run and swim. Because in that context, answers could change, considering a lot of aerobic adaption are already coming from the other two disciplines.

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I always get the impression that Mikael has a curiosity about the general time crunched approach of increased intensity and asks how other coaches think about it. Mikael is definitely a polarized guy but you can’t be very polarized on 3 hours per week. I honestly hadn’t thought about the running and swimming on top of 3 hours per week.

The three ScientificTriathlon coaches were much more pragmatic on a podcast and they see benefits to training in the Seiler gray zone. My suspicion is if you were coached by one of them, you would end up with a pyramidal distribution (not polarized).


Here is an example of the type of schedule they use for a cyclist-only athlete:

47:30 B7B7-PwEwkg

monday: easy & gym
tuesday: threshold & easy (2-a-day)
wed: hi Z2 workout & easy (2-a-day)
thurs: endurance ride (mid z2) with some tempo in it
fri: easy ride & gyme
sat: Quality ride. over/under & mid Z2
sun: long ride mid to low z2


The answers also definitely change depending on goal events. Long course athletes ride their events in Seiler’s “gray zone”, so they spend time training there. Short course athletes ride right around threshold. There are a number of ways you can train for each, but there’s really not a great way to answer the question without knowing more about what they’re training for. Someone hoping to qualify for ITU short course worlds will ride quite a bit of SST and Threshold, but wouldn’t necessarily need a 5-hour long ride to just eat up hours. Someone looking to qualify for Kona… well, their training will be substantially different.

I get why Kolie might not answer directly (edit: bad word choice) the 3-5 hour question. The only relevant answer is, “It depends.”

I don’t know what the big deal is around here with my answer to the time crunched question, I didn’t dodge shit. I listened back and I gave my actual answer, and interpreted it the same way in my head the second time around. I got no sense of “intensity vs volume” although my answer did address that indirectly. FWIW there are no secrets to be had, and that’s probably the biggest coaching secret of them all. The secret sauce speeds up the process modestly, and that’s it, and has nothing to do with only training 5 hours a week. Weird to see all that get conflated. Most people who only have 5 hours a week to train will usually not pay my rate.

Coaching isn’t my side hustle, it’s my job. If I may lavish modest praise on myself, I am not the worst.

Okay, back to my retirement on reddit.


Sorry @empiricalcycling, shouldn’t have said “dodge” myself as I didn’t listen directly. Just paraphrased someone else’s words. It’s a tough question to answer without context anyway, IMO. If someone asked me, “How would you train someone on 3-5 hours per week?” out of the blue, I’d give a pretty vague answer amounting to “it depends.”

PSA: coaching isn’t even a side hustle for me right now, and it’s possible I am the worst.

Well, once you give away all your secrets and lose clients, there’s always that OnlyFans idea.


he coaches athletes, not weekend warriors. Someone riding 5 hrs a week, isn’t going to have a paid coach…

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On this “giving away your secrets” idea…Not convinced anybody hires a coach because they have “secret knowledge”. Or if they do, to be honest I find that quite sad. Think most people hire a coach for convenience (they want them to do the thinking), or for reassurance (to make sure they’re on the right track), or just to learn from somebody with more experience. The age of people having secret training methods that give you an advantage over your rivals ended probably with the advance of mass communication.
In fact I think people that don’t keep secrets, and openly explain how everything works, attain expert status, which will see them being sought after more than they could ever be for their “secrets”.

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I do not know what people would want to hear about time crunched training tbh… if you are time crunched you do 3 workouts per week (for example), fatigue should not be and issue - do 3 quality sessions and that is all? As the recovery between sessions is usually not an issue you can do any session you want. You will not get the same results as 15+h peple in terms of endurance (probably), your FTP will go up. If not - then probably only volume or stacking workouts is a solution.

I have started with LV, during threshold I have done 3xthreshold week, then increased volume gradualy by adding Z2. My FTP was the same with LV as it is with bigger volume but I see many adaptations elsewhere.
With 10h/wk I can only tolerate 3x intensity per week so the same like with LV. So I do not see how there be some kind of magical advice. With more hours managing fatigue is way more important for me than with LV. WIth LV you have plenty of time to recover so you can easier get away with poor nutrition, stress in life or more intensity. With higher volume type of session and how they relate started to be way important for me - so this is the time where good coach probably will help more.

I agree with what Kolie said about Mikael’s interviewing. I’ve always appreciated that about his podcasts and contributions to this forum.

@empiricalcycling has me revisiting what I thought I knew about fat, and I appreciate that. I’m asking questions, challenging my assumptions. Although brief, his answer about TTE and fat oxidation was interesting (and now that I’ve listened to the two EC podcasts on fat usage that answer makes more sense).


@splash you are missing an important point from Kolie’s post. He implied the main thrust of his retirement plan is reddit. That means he is committed to coaching for the rest of his life.


Just kidding…

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Taking all of his secrets to the grave! :shushing_face: