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

I’m curious of the actual make up of the pills. The ones cited in the study reference their Punicalagin content: Up to 30% punicalagins α + β w/w. Whereas all the ones I could find on Amazon reference their % ellagic acid.


I haven’t looked at the general build, but I think there is more value than what the TR crew alludes to with long slow endurance rides. Maybe just one day at 3-5 hours in zone 2 with a bit of z3 - not a lot mind you. Everyone who is faster than me, they’re doing 3-5 hour rides on the weekends, usually both days. I can’t due to the weather. The two hour rides on TR is as close as I can get. Also, I honestly do not think the sweet spot base plans are long enough either.

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  • Correlation is not causation. It would be wise to take a closer look at any or all of those cases to see what other possible variables are at play. I would bet that there is more than just the one difference if you look at a fuller picture.
  • Maybe you have and that IS the difference, but I would caution against taking too shallow of a look and making conclusions from that.
  • I fully believe in the value of the long ride, but I also know that it is not “absolutely necessary” for speed.
  • How so? What do you think is lacking?
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Hey @Nate_Pearson, what are some of the workouts you’ve been doing on hotel gym bikes? When we’re talking sprint, are we talking something like Scott Peak or something like San Joaquin? The latter seems pretty hard without cooling, I guess?

I cut the long endurance rides out of my training this year and something is definitely off.
As for when I say ‘faster than me’ - I guess I mean their aerobic engine is better. There are probably more to this than the long rides as you say. Way more factoring in I’m sure. This is the first off-season where I went with sweet spot base instead of something like traditional base. I certainly feel more fit, hell I’m already at mid summer race weight.
This could all just be in my head and I’m seriously just looking at the numbers too much. I think my expectations were a bit high this spring. I have a pretty hard road race Saturday, I’ll see how I stack up to this as last time I did it was two years ago. This could all just be mental too. I’m probably going to delete my power/HR off my ‘race page’ and just go with the flow and bury myself.
I need to go back and listen to last week’s podcast about racing happy!

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According to his calendar, here are the ones he did on a recent trip.

I don’t know why I keep not checking his calendar. This is the second time I could have prevented asking a dumb question by just checking. But I keep forgetting!


I don’t know about the duration of the plans but I do think that the SSB plans have evolved into having too much intensity built in. This I think leads to extreme burnout over the entire progression of Base-Build-Specialty. 3x12 over/unders in week 1 of SSB 1? Just my opinion. YMMV.

I ended up adding another recovery week in my SSB 1 & 1 MV series this year. I used a 4/1, 3/1, 3/1 Work/Recovery week layout this season as compared to the default 5/1, 5/1. I did this as I had issues last season, especially in the SSB2 section and was super fatigued.

My run with the modded SSB worked well for my schedule and 45 yo body. I have a more lengthy write-up in a separate thread.


I do the added recovery week as well. I still think the plans have evolved into too much intensity. You basically, depending on what Build you go with, are working at or above threshold from week 1 forward.

I guess I consider that intensity correct for Build. I am looking at the Mid Volume for the following:

  • SSB 1 starts with 5 work weeks containing one Threshold, and 3 SS sessions per work week.
  • SSB 2 follows with 5 work weeks containing one VO2 Max, and two Threshold sessions per work week.
  • General Build has 3 work weeks containing a mix that is very similar to the SSB2 above.
  • Short and Sustained are weight in the predictable direction to their focus, but still what I see as a reasonable step from the SSB2.

As such, I see this as a proper progression from Base to Build. Again, this is looking at the Mid Vol plan only. I won’t be surprised if Low or High might lead to different conclusions (especially HV SSB since it is nearly entirely SSB).

Slightly off topic:

  • As TR has mentioned, SSB2 is more of a “Build Prep” program.
  • I particularly agree when you look at the composition of the plan and realize that SS workouts make up only one of the main weeks while the others are VO2 Max and Threshold.
  • I think the SSB2 name is a misnomer and should actually be renamed to something new. This is also in light of the common mistake where people get confused about the SSB1 and SSB2 connection that is intended.
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Not a subject that comes up often on the podcast, however I recall hearing Coach Chad say on a recent podcast that longer aerobic endurance rides on the weekend are very potent.

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One I remember was a live question about a person saying there was no replacement for the “long ride”. It was shortly after Nate did the LT100. They admit that the long ride has real and measurable benefits. But they also said it is not absolutely necessary for success either.

They talk about the opportunity to do that vs shorter SS options that get much of the same benefit with more time freedom. So, they definitely recognize the benefits, but also say there are workable alternatives in many cases.

If you add this context into the overall discussion about how to add stress over time when you have reached the peak of 2-3 intense workouts a week, the long easy ride becomes another option to consider, if time and life situations allow.

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Like I say. YMMV. I just think to have a someone start a SSB plan and then jump into 3x12 over/under’s that first week is starting it with the bar pretty high.

I know these are cookie cutter plans and you can adjust as needed and what might be too much intensity for one person might not be enough for another. I get all of that. I also know that this is a cheap alternative to an actual coach. Not complaining. Just making an observation. This is my 3rd year through the plan. (albeit I do modify based on the above).


Yes I believe that is the episode I’m thinking of, and just wanted to clarify for anyone reading that some of the podcast comments are biased toward saving time (which they also make clear).

It seems the TR plans have evolved into more time crunched plans, although I believe every weekly tip includes a suggestion on replacing the Sunday sweet spot / tempo ride with a long aerobic endurance ride. Personally I love going on long rides. Anecdotally my own data suggests every big bump in ftp has occurred when I’m doing a sufficient number of long aerobic endurance rides on the weekend. It is an aerobic sport after all, and other coaches (@brendanhousler evoq blog to name one) call out the importance of continuing to develop aerobic endurance with long zone 2 rides.


Yup. I was on in Nov 2015 when the old long Sunday ride was the norm. I even remember the discussion with Chad in the podcast where Nate originally proposed the option of shorter SS rides as an alternative. It only took a few months IIRC for them to become the default option. And as you said, the long option was simply moved to the weekly tips text.

At least some of their reasoning was the non-compliance they say from a majority of riders who skipped the long ride (likely because it was too much for most to do on a trainer). So, from the compliance and time-crunch perspective, I think it makes sense in light of the main TR focus.

But like you, I think I see great results from the long ones. I still like to do them when I have time, but that can be a hurdle for some weekends. I strive to get them about 25-50% of the time (essentially one per month) if I can and more is gravy :smiley:


was only partially listening today, my favorite line was Coach Chad saying something like “there are no rules, only recommendations” in response to the “what to do after peaking” question.


Hi @Nate_Pearson, another great pod. Just wondering if you had a link to the article about the muscle memory/nuclei development topic? I’d be really interested to check it out.


What is the study this is coming from, Id like to read over it. Sounds really interesting, and also wondering if pom. juice/concentrate would have same or similar effect as extract.

How do you do the urine test that was mentioned?