Power Curves, Plateaus, Growth Hacking and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 264

Learn how to analyze your power curve to help direct your training, what to do to end a plateau in your fitness, a deep dive into if training your ability to handle a higher cognitive load will make you faster and more in Episode 264 of The Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

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Just have your family members come in and make requests or ask random questions during your VO2 max interval workouts (especially those over 30 seconds) - processing these is very difficult while staying on power!

Looking forward to this episode!


Pets :smile_cat: :dog: demanding attention is another great distractor :stuck_out_tongue:


I honestly believe that having no distractions like music or other external stimuli during really hard workouts is the key to forging a tougher mentality to push through pain. I see it as creating a form of “patience” if that makes sense.


Yes! I just chucked my own PC into the forum looking for answers, will have to tune in to see what’s what!

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I just reviewed Ramp Test Round 3 and noticed Brandon cadence is 110, Amber cadence is about 90 and the rest stay around 95.

Is there a podcast episode that talks about finding your cadence or a goal cadence depending on discipline? I feel comfortable at about 95.

Last week the podcast mentioned Chad was just in a “holding” plan, any thought of adding that as an option within the plans? There must be many folk who have a period of work/life/DIY/house moving where something minimalistic to hold onto to fitness would be useful to follow??


Overall short quick answer is that self selected cadence is best. Nate mentions this in a couple of podcast episodes.

Of course you would need to adjust for some specific demands of special disciplines (fast cadence in track sprinting as an example).

Here is some more detailed information:


Wow, Amber hit it on the head for me with the “looking like a cyclist” issue. It definitely gets tiresome, rolling up to a group ride with people staring and joking that you missed the rugby scrum or reminding you that there are a couple hills on the ride. Not everyone who loves cycling has an aerodynamic body type. Honestly one thing I don’t miss about not having group rides.


Is there a way to turn up Amber’s volume independent of the overall volume? I don’t know if it’s my TV or that she’s softly spoken but I want to hear the gold she’s dropping on our heads.

I don’t usually have the issue when listening via podcast so maybe that’s my answer.

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On the subject of tubeless setups, I’ve tried several times to use proper tubeless tape, but always end up reverting to Gorilla tape as it always works first time, whereas I always seem to mess up with proper tape.

Sometimes a reliable hack is better than a made-for-purpose solution!

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I’ve never tried to use real tubeless tape so I can’t speak to any issues there but I have used Gorilla Tape on multiple sets of wheels (both road and MTB) without a single issue.

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If they’re saying you missed the rugby scrum, give 'em reason to fear the quads on the flats! :wink:

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Guesses on the hint / dad joke from Nate that Jonathan mentioned?

  • I am guessing something “Team” related (the Sophia discussion comment from Nate), via group workouts and more for team planned workouts and such…

Oh my oh my, when are we going to stop making blanket statements that tubeless is faster than tubed. If you listen to the experts in the area, they are fairly consistent that tubeless is not a guarantee to be less consumed watts than a tubed setup (details in the post below). Just food for thought.

Honestly no clue, went straight over my head


re: power curve training…lo-carb training can sap amino acids from muscles --> muscle loss. I did not know this but explains a lot about my foray into low HR/low carb training last year.


Just watching the podcast and had to stop to post a question. At around 1:18:30 Chad says that as soon as you ingest carbohydrates it shuts off your fat burning capabilities. Is this true? I thought fat burning was down to intensity. The harder you go the more your body uses glycogen as a fuel source over fat. I wasn’t aware that it’s like a switch, I thought the two shared the work based on effort and didn’t think that this would be affected by taking on carbohydrates during excercise. Just wondering if someone could clarify? Cheers!

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haven’t listened yet, but FWIW have heard Coach Chad past recommendations and seen recommendations from other coaches and other coaches that low-carb no more than twice a week and for limited duration (if long ride, start eating after about two hours).

Low-carb aerobic endurance workouts are another advanced training technique that I mentally file away under the “a little goes a long way” category.