Muscle Glycogen, Recovery for Triathletes, Nasal Breathing and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 257

The mechanics of how your body pulls glycogen from the muscles for energy, recovery tips for triathletes to ensure they are getting faster in all 3 sports, tips for optimal breathing while cycling and more in Episode 257 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

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Do i post here, if I want a chance for specific question to be answered during the live cast?

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For workout schedule, any chance you could cover if a longer warmup is needed to make a workout possible to do does it really have much difference between:
1- Lower intensity of workout at the beginning to make workout possible to do
2- extend warmup before workout
With the thinking that if I’m doing a mid volume plan it would be better to go to high volume and do 1 then take the same amount of time doing a mid volume workout with a longer warmup.
see: Sweet spot: first few intervals much harder then last few - #12 by cowboyjon

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Question for the pod crew:

After doing most of Sweet Spot Base 1 with outside workouts, I want to continue the outside workouts for Base 2.

For FTP assessment, is it better to do the test outside or would doing the Ramp test indoors be okay? If outside is better, is there a particular test that is better to use. I have the Wahoo Bolt, which has the tests loaded on the unit already, so I was wondering if one of their tests okay to use.


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You can definitely post your questions here! I will see them and add them to our podcast doc.

Or, you can go to the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast website and click on “Ask a Question” to get you questions sent directly to the AACC question repository.

Thanks Tony! I added your question to the podcast doc. So, they may discuss it at the end of today’s podcast.

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Any chance you could add mine too? Thanks

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Not sure if this has been covered, I am curious to know how the gut microbiome impacts exercise performance through lactate-propionate metabolism. A recent paper in Nature (1) showed that a certain lactate metabolizing gut microbe increased in runners post-marathon. This microbe increased exercise performance in mice because of increased conversion of lactate to propionate in the gut. Is this the next frontier in performance enhancing substances, e.g. propionate and microbiome dropping? Love the podcast and Trainer Road!

  1. Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism | Nature Medicine

Gut microbiom is very complex so getting down to an individual microbe is hard. Simplify and just find a pro who can donate for FMT. Much simpler


Yes of course! I actually added yours already. Sorry, I should have gave you an update on that. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Just an FYI, I had two versions download in my stream last night.


Having finished 2x SSBHV I would say that the first interval was ALWAYS the hardest. Once you get into a rhythm and your head gets over the pain then it all feels much more do-able. Moving from Mid to High in order to get more warm-up I wouldn’t advise, just extend the warm-up.

What’s all this about clarinet players @Nate_Pearson? I’ll have you know my diaphragm power is absolutely spectacular :angry:



I did 4 years of clarinet! The lung power required is nothing compared to a tuba in my opinion.

But yes, your lung function is probably way better than the rest of the population!

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A good overview of on-bike posture and breathing from Steve Hogg:

Re: localized muscle glycogen store

A couple of interesting reads, esp for those trying to really fine tune carb requirements:

Glycogen is differently distributed within the muscle fibers (subsarcolemmal ~5-15 %, intermyofibrillar ~75 % and intramyofibrillar ~5-15 %).

Moreover, it appears that subsarcolemmal, intermyofibrillar and intramyofibrillar glycogen powers different mechanisms in muscle contractions.

Intramyofibrillar glycogen is preferably depleted during high-intensity exercise and seems to power cross-bridge cycling [aka power stroke]. Moreover, depletion of this form highly correlates well with skeletal muscle fatigue.

…muscle biopsies were obtained both before and after exercise consisting of completion of a approximately 1 h cross country skiing time trial performed by elite skiers. In type I fibres before exercise, glycogen was distributed with 77% in the intermyofibrillar space, 12% in the intramyofibrillar space and 11% in the subsarcolemmal space. After exercise, intramyofibrillar glycogen was reduced by 90% compared to reductions by only 75% in intermyofibrillar glycogen and 83% in subsarcolemmal glycogen

Studies performed from the whole-body to organelle level suggest that the pool of intramyofibrillar glycogen has a key role during repeated contractions…

And another one, just for good measure!

In the future, it may turn out that exercise training and nutritional strategies that ensure the right amount of glycogen in the right place at the right time are more important to enhance muscle function and performance than simply maximizing muscle glycogen loading.

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Thanks @chad for leaving me with this song in my head for my run yesterday


Hey guys, another great pod last week. Thanks for keeping us all motivated and on track.

I wanted to find out more about something discussed during this episode. @Jonathan talked about combining a mid-volume plan (doing it Mon-Thursday) with a ‘choose your own adventure’ ride on the weekend. How do you go about this in plan builder?