Losing fitness, How Cadence Affects Fatigue, Nutrition Hacks & More – Ask a Cycling Coach 201

Join us live for another episode of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast! We’ll be covering why retired pro cyclists are still so fast, years after retirement, how cadence and different muscles affect fatigue, and some recent research on nutrition hacks. Tune in Thursday, April 4 at 8:00am Pacific.

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Friends don’t let friends race hot dog crits


Looking forward to the 'how to train on holiday ’ bit…or more like how to cling on and not lose too much fitness on a 2 week family holiday which ends 10 days before a target event! No bike available so hoping couple runs a week will help!


Can you discuss how long it can take to recover from a messed up night of sleep if everything else remains constant? As the time crunched, early am exercising father of a 4 year old, I struggle to regroup and continue on after 1 night of interrupted sleep. Never mind when the kiddo gets a cold and has me up for several nights.

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Generally speaking, one night of interrupted sleep should not be that problematic unless you’re pulling an all nighter of sorts. If one night of interrupted sleep is enough to wreck you, it sounds like you have a lot of other stressors in your life and/or may not be getting enough sleep to begin with.

I have newborn twins who are definitely interrupting my sleep, riding, and life as I knew it :smile: I have had to switch from early morning to lunch rides. I have also gone from avg 10-15hrs/wk to 5-6hrs/wk. For the most part, I do the Time Crunch 45 rides now.

After an interrupted night of sleep, perhaps try a shorter version of the same workout and/or turn down the intensity. Lastly, occasionally skipping a workout is not going to set you back.

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Similar boat here. In a week, I’ll be on a 2.5wk family holiday. As far as I can tell, there are no indoor cycling options near where I’m staying, renting a bike isn’t practical (route options, time required for a road workout), and we’re doing the airbnb equivalent, so no hotel bike to complain about. Looks like it’ll be a 2.5wk running camp with some swimming (an easy option during the last week…in Bondi). Two weeks after returning is my first race of the year, but fortunately it’s a C race, a half IM, with the only A event not until August.

Here’s a question for @chad :

In a few weeks time, the local Time Trial scene kicks off. I am nearing the end of SSB2.

I have the opportunity to do a 10 mile TT on a Tuesday evening, Thursday evening and Sunday morning. This is pretty much every week in my area until August.

I want to get better at my 10 mile TT’s. That is the overall goal for the season. My current 10 mile PB is 21m 14s. My FTP is currently set at 305 and maybe next test will be about 320.

Chad says that if you want to get better at something you have to do that something.

I don’t leave anything in the locker when I do the TT’s. Full on effort for the 20+ minutes it takes me. This can feel harder than any Threshold workout I have done so far on TrainerRoad, but is over quicker.

So will I get faster by doing 10’s three times a week with a sprinkling of other TrainerRoad recovery rides and the odd harder workout.

Or should I limit my 10 mile TT’s to just once per week and carry on with sustained build and speciality TT program over the coming months?

Many Thanks & keep up the great work everyone.

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Training at a younger age increases your potential. My question is how much intensity should we impose on young racing cyclists , age 14 upwards?
I started cycling at 13 but the club had top level racers , national champions and GB riders. There was only one level - hard. I progressed and won a road race national title at 17 but struggled at the top level against full time riders as a Senior.
As I got into my 40s and got serious again, all was going well until I developed heart arythmias. Was this impacted by the intensity of riding at a young age. I’ve not had surgery as the episodes are very infrequent and I have learnt the triggers and back off when they develop.
I’m still going reasonably well at 62 but watch my recovery and follow the TR plans at mid volume, racing road and CX with top 3 placings in my age group. Thanks again for a great training tool.

I do struggle to get enough sleep (Usually is about 7:45 a night – I need 9 when training gets really heavy). But the one that wrecked me was nearly an all-nighter. Up multiple times for a couple of hours each. This happened for 2 nights, then the third night only up a couple of times.

I was trying to create a simple question @Chad and others could expand on. I should have included more information. HTH

The age thing is one I think about a lot and I know a lot of folks wish they had discovered cycling earlier in life. I’m 39 and started cycling at 34, but if I had started in my teens or even 20’s I’m sure I’d be further along in some ways. Mainly I wish I had access to the knowledge and resources we have today, high school me would have really found endurance training a lot more tolerable.

Interested to hear the age part, i started racing when i was 12 but stopped training between 21-34 (although carried on riding) im now 39 and the last 2 years have been the most structured (using TR) i would like to know if theirs anyway to get back to the pace of my younger self or if ive left it too long.

Looking forward to hearing about if you should train short or sustained power. I’m moving into build phase now with no goals and can’t decide between doing another general build or trying short power build. I obviously want to increase my sustained power/ftp, but I also feel like maybe I could use more punch. I don’t really race or anything but it just feels like maybe I should try a short power build.

I think it is easy to figure out if you are a crit racer where you need to do repeated hard efforts. But it isn’t so clear when you don’t race and just like riding with no goals other than being faster than I was the day before.

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I made the decision to do sustained power build. I race CX so I’ll be doing short power stuff during summer, and I’ve wanted to get better at longer duration stuff for the spring and doing hilly rides in my area and possibly a few road races.

I did a practice crit this past weekend and definitely noticed a lack of crit fitness, although I don’t think fitness was my ultimate limiter. I’ll probably do a few crits but I’m not sweating the crit fitness and need to improve following wheels.

Hey TR team.

What is the best way to prepare for a second peak in 8 weeks (road cycling) after a 2 week rest (week 1 “easy” MTBing and week 2 off the bike completely)?

Would you suggest a specific ratio of base, build, specialty?

Question for Chad. In a couple months I’m focusing on an ultramarathon (running) training block for a few months, but would like to know what I should do to keep as much semblance of my cycling fitness as possible? For reference I’m at 4W/kg right now, 3.3W/kg untrained. If I can muster two 30 minute TrainerRoad workouts a week, what flavor should they have (Vo2, threshold, sweetspot)? Same thing for 2 x 45 minute workouts?

You and I are seem to be on the same path. But, @ehampton, I finished sustained power about a week or so ago because I wanted more endurance and better steady power during my longer road races. I also race CX through the fall. My season is heavy road with mostly crits and a few road races, probably 3-4 XCO races, and one 50 mile mtb race. Did a few crits and felt like hell. I’m on week two of short power. I may do just the first block of this and then do the second block of criterium before Tulsa Tough and make that my first peak.
I’m curious if doing something like short power or general - do the high volume stuff during the week and then long slow distance outside on the weekends would work better together.

Link to pomegranate extract pill?

Question for Jonathan: I have a plus mountain bike (cannondale Cujo). I am looking at doing some XC racing this spring and would like to look at tire choice. The bike came with WTB Ranger 2.8. The internal wheel rim width is 35mm. Without changing wheels, can I go away from the plus size or will that lower my bottom bracket too much (I live in New England so have to contend with lots of rocks and roots while putting out power). What is the narrowest tire I can fit on a 35 mm internal rim width? What tire would you recommend in general? Maxxis Ikon plus or Rekon Plus? Or go narrower with something like a 2.35 or 2.4 or 2.6 Ardent Race, or Rekon, or Rekon Race?

Thanks for the help

Interesting, I have actually been thinking along similar lines of making my own blended approach. But now I am curious as well if doing short power during the week and sustained power on the weekends would be any different than just doing general. If nothing else though it would be a change of pace since I have already done general build.

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Here are the ones that Nate ordered: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U2KLX8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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