Recovery Routines, Early Season PRs, Motivation and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 286

Post-workout recovery routines that make you faster, what to do when you are setting PRs before your goal event, how to find motivation to train and help motivate others and much more in Episode 286 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

I am listening back to the episode now to take notes on ways to improve my mental game on race day. Tons of insight there!

YouTube Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • What to do if you’ve met your goals earlier than anticipated
  • How to avoid burnout with junior athletes
  • What changing your cycling cleat position will do
  • How to always get the same cleat position
  • Post-workout routines that make you a faster cyclist
  • How pro cycling teams work
  • How to pick a training plan
  • How to train for collegiate racing
  • How to calculate calorie burn with cycling
  • How to justify the risk of bike racing
  • How to motivate others to train

Studies and Resources Referenced in This Episode

TrainerRoad Podcast Network

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At the office listening to this episode: GBITT

Thanks for the great podcast :)!


Thank you once more for answering my question about recovery routines after a workout.

I wasn’t looking for something that would “increase my FTP by 10 W”, but was aiming for a more holistic approach. For example, stretching, strength work, nutrition etc. might not increase my power output directly, but might improve my recovery, leading to better training and thus indirectly improving my performance.

Anyway, thank you @Jonathan for mentioning the deep dive coach Chad did in one of the previous podcasts. It was mentioned on the podcast 197, link below:

@KlemenSj, FWIW, I do strength training immediately before my Z2 / endurance rides. I try to get 2-3 lifting sessions in each week. I follow a periodized routine, but it is really just for maintenance. I also incorporate various exercises that physical therapists have given me over the years (upper back to combat being hunched over a computer most of the work day, hip flexors and glutes, dead lifts based on the podcast recommendation, etc).

Before all of my rides, whether I lift first or not, I do some static stretches for my quads and hamstrings, and calf raises to warm them up. I’ve had some nasty cramping when I don’t do them.

My post-ride routine is exactly the same for every ride, whether it is endurance, sweet spot, threshold, or VO2.

  • Clean up my bike and workout area (2-5 minutes)
  • Stretch (5-10 minutes)
  • Shave, shower, get dressed for the day (10-15 minutes)

I try to get every minute I can on the bike in the morning so my post-ride routine is optimized to get me out the door for work in 30 minutes or less. For hard workouts during the week, which are almost always threshold or VO2, I’ll make a protein shake and drink it while driving to work. I try to do my endurance rides fasted and will wait to have breakfast once I get to work (usually oatmeal). On the weekends I’ll have breakfast after I shower so I don’t usually have a recovery shake.

Despite the inconclusive science of stretching, and whether it should be static or dynamic, I absolutely need to do it, every time. In an effort to get out the door quicker I tried cutting back on stretching and it led to problems every time - foot pain due to tight calves, nearly pulled hamstrings due to them being tight, etc. My body needs the stretching, so I’ve forced myself to make it part of the routine and time commitment.

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One of the best things I’ve picked up from Frank Overton’s plans is the Foundation 12 Minute routine:

And on YouTube. Do that consistently at least twice a week and you might be surprised by the results. It’s made a huge difference for me, along with doing a progressive strength plan based on the concepts promoted by Menachem Brodie


Such a good routine, I tack this on to my gym workouts.

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Got all dusty on my run route this morning when talking about the support of parents.

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It’s my warmup before gym work :+1:t3:

I do this once a week but need to do it more. It’s great … and burns!!!

Since starting trainerroad, and none of my friends willing to commit, i also find myself way ahead fitness- wise against my few riding buddies. I find road cycling the worse, if there any fitness discrepancies. Difficult to stop every 5kms to wait. Fortunately we are multi disciplined group. We found that mtb is the best for us as we wait at the top for the slower climbers and going down we usually let the more capable decenders go first…

Brilliant section on youth and sport!

Every parent should listen to the valuable insight you all gave on how your parents and coaches did you the world of good by being supportive without being pushy.

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This was me walking around the supermarket!!

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Found a very useful video on Recovery 101 while watching old TrainerRoad videos, I think it may help some people:


Worth noting that a good fitter will also advocate that you improve functional mobility and strength. They’re all interconnected. A fit will change over time as well. Hate to think this episode makes people think that fits aren’t needed.

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Agreed. The comments on fitters make me cringe at times. Funny to hear them rip on fitters who generalize while doing effectively the same and implying that fitters are all the same. There are good and bad in that group, just like any other. It bothers me when we focus more on the negative cases while seemingly ignoring the positive ones.

Thanks Chad. Hope they take heed of this. The question in this podcast was quite simple. He’s changed cleats, but did he also change shoes? Stack height of your shoes is a consideration.

As Nate said, fore and aft positional changes will change height. Make sure you mark your shoe before you change a cleat is a good idea, but not if you’ve already made the change.

The answer to this question is quite simple. Ask someone to help watch you on the bike as you make adjustments. Test your stability and note any pain points. Make further adjustments, until you can be stable on your bars. Then, ride easy as you bed this position in for a week or two.

The rest was just FUD thrown at an imprecise area because our bodies are imprecise. They support this and then also throw a lot of FUD at it… and then to cite Pruitt. Don’t get me started on that. You can’t cite one person and then use N=1 on everything else.

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You’re and @lincolnsydney are absolutely right on this. We should have been more respectful of fitters and clarified statements about bad fitters and found room to praise good fitters.

I’m going to make a point of clarifying this on the next episode.

Thanks, gents! We’ll be better. :heart:

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Much appreciated :slight_smile:

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Thanks Jonathan. Plenty of good fitters with good intentions, and most want to genuinely help you… and those that back their work is what you want. But a really simple technique is the one I shared to start off with. Just have someone watch and help you… someone with a keen eye that can see you lose stability as a change is made. You guys all have good intentions, always, it’s all good. I just think there were a few loose statements made that could confuse.
You guys rock :slight_smile: