Maintaining Fitness, Rest Days, Feed Zones, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 361

What is the best type of training to maintain fitness, how to match your nutrition plan to your event, and are complete rest days necessary? Join Coach Chad, Amber, Nate, and Jonathan for these discussions and much more!

Tune in Thursday at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • 0:00 Welcome!
  • 0:13 Intro
  • 05:10 What’s the best type of training to maintain fitness?
  • 27:18 How to match your nutrition plan to your event
  • 50:32 Do you need complete rest days?
  • 01:11:50 Are you shifting too often or not enough?
  • 01:20:30 The benefits of wheel-on trainers

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Reduced Training Volume and Intensity Maintain Aerobic Capacity but not Performance in Distance Runners

Prolonged recovery to a single session of high-intensity interval training in older men

Exercise-induced muscle damage: What is it, what causes it and what are the nutritional solutions?

Peak Power Output Is Similarly Recovered After Three-and Five-Days’ Rest Following Sprint Interval Training in Young and Older Adults

Fatigue is a brain-derived emotion that regulates the exercise behavior to ensure the protection of whole body homeostasis

Is recovery driven by central or peripheral factors? A role for the brain in recovery following intermittent-sprint exercise

The effects of mental fatigue on sport-related performance

Preferred pedaling cadence in professional cycling

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Perfect timing for me, just a few weeks until my second child is expected. I was wondering what I could do to maintain the fitness I built up over the last few months. #minimaleffectivedose

I’d like to continue building fitness but if things don’t work out in the beginning “maintaining” would be awesome as well. Family first.

Related to the Low Volume naming, here is one post I made with the intention of improving the perception of that plan:

It is a legit issue and a renaming may well help people land on better plans to start that could prevent the “TR is too hard” problems when people’s eyes are bigger than their stomach.


It would be GREAT to just get rid of volume naming structure all together; just put in the number of days you want to train and Plan Builder does the rest1



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Great idea! Along the lines of what Nate mentioned on the pending feature (where people would set their preferred days of week and time per each of those days to train) just have it be more direct and linked to that data than some random naming.


Exactly this! I can manage 60 minutes on weekdays, but on the weekends The sky is the limit more or less!


I do get that there are potential issues here with direction of access and general presentation. Looking at a Plan Builder process is one thing. Adding an “ad hoc” plan block to the calendar, or even just reviewing one for reference (like trying to decide between any plans) are tricky.

Viewing them with respect to potential volume differences matters and may still require some level of default naming. But even with that, leveraging “days” vs a name tag might still be beneficial.

I think Coach Tim Cusick nailed it here:


I don’t get Nate’s Insta story. Maybe I’m daft?


I am thinking something like,

Elite / extreme

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Hi all… I am also doing Tour of The Battenkill in a few weeks, Greg if you are on here reach out and maybe we can meet at the event. My nutrition plan is carry enough gels to fuel the event, start with mix in my bottles and probably just grab water at the feed zones. Love to meet up with another TR Athlete so hit me up here or on IG @fpenland@mcneese.chad or @IvyAudrain maybe you can find Greg from the question and put us in touch?

I have no access like that, so I’ll leave it to Ivy.

I love Ivy’s idea, and to Chad’s point, hopefully we will get the customizable plans soon. Until then, maybe just call it “This is the plan 80% of you should be using” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I’ll be the slow guy second to last :rofl:

I’d planned to throw an 11-40 on my Roubaix because of the hills, but after the podcast I’m wondering if I should put slicks on my Cutthroat with 34 chainring and 10-50 Eagle cassette :exploding_head::exploding_head::exploding_head::exploding_head:

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Time for you to get a raise!


Jon will let Greg know this thread exists so they can reach out to you if needed! Cheers.

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Around 23:10, when @Nate_Pearson is talking about the “Fitness Score” (specifically his “third” topic at 24:23), I think something like that could be worth a closer look. We’ve seen plenty of discussion about the Progression Levels and their subjective nature relative to the FTP changes over time.

Add in the discussion under Nate’s Absolute PL topic, I think there is reason to maybe have a better relative marker for current “fitness”. I honestly got lost in that topic above, but think there is some potential for this being a useful item in the moment but more as tracked over time. I think more discussion about that or a related value is worthwhile.

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The conversation around the low volume naming/framing was interesting.
the way the plan choices are framed is probably creating a “decoy effect” - it’s a well studied behavioural effect.