Rest Intervals, Minimalist Training, Race Plans and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 365

Amber, Coach Chad, and Coach Jonathan cover how shortening or increasing the intensity of rest between intervals affects adaptations, what the least amount of training is that you can do to get faster or maintain fitness, Ambers tips for how to build a race plan, and more importantly, how to stick to it or adapt mid-race, and much more. Join us for Episode 365 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!

Tune in Thursday at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • How long do rest intervals need to be?
  • How to build and follow a race plan?
  • Are endurance bikes slower than race bikes?
  • Is there a minimum to how much you need to train?
  • How race strategy changes for stage racing
  • How to upgrade race categories

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Maximal-intensity intermittent exercise: effect of recovery duration

Influence of recovery intensity on time spent at maximal oxygen uptake during an intermittent session in young, endurance-trained athletes

Passive versus Active Recovery during HighIntensity Intermittent Exercises

Active Recovery After High-Intensity Interval-Training Does Not Attenuate Training Adaptation

Muscle and Blood Metabolites during a Soccer Game: Implications for Sprint Performance

Adaptations to Endurance and Strength Training

Maximizing Cellular Adaptation to Endurance Exercise in Skeletal Muscle

Sprint Interval Training Effects on Aerobic Capacity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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364 or 365?

365! The thumbnail was changed on Youtube, but unfortunately doesn’t update here. Sorry for the confusion :slight_smile:


One for every day of the year!

Exciting to hear @Jonathan announce his entry to LeadBreck, Breckville, Lead Epic whatever it’s called.


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It’d be interesting to see workouts where you couldn’t anticipate the rest interval. Like a “race simulator” where the workout and intervals reveal themselves as you do them and you don’t get to see in advance.

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I do “blind” workouts on occasion for this very reason. We discussed it years ago, but the simple solution is to hide your screen via a towel, piece of paper, flip over your device, minimize the TR app, etc.

All those almost require ERG mode use though. That is the guaranteed way to hit the power targets and duration intended. However, this could potentially be done with other trainer modes if the rider is familiar with the power target and/or intended effort, and they pay close attention to the audio tones that TR applies at the start and conclusion of each interval.

In short, it’s possible with the simple step of hiding or simple not looking at the screen in one or more ways shared above.

Good podcast guys!! Listened while doing some TR guided zone 2.

One of the best podcasts for about a month, IMHO - lots of great, applicable, advice.

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Hey podcast crew @Jonathan, @IvyAudrain, @ambermalika, and @Nate_Pearson , I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I appreciate the podcast and your content.

I’ve been a recreational cyclist for the past 15 years. I embarking on my only imperial century 8 years ago. In December 2021, I decided I’d like to get serious about my cycling training; maybe it had something to do with turning 50 a few months prior. Anyways, I signed up for TR and rode my workouts diligently inside in the cold winter months. When the weather got nicer recently, I switched to outdoor workouts. I’ve signed up for 6 centuries this summer (!) and just completed the first one earlier today. Your previous suggestions for Fondo road events to shoot for 60-70% of FTP was spot on for me. With an FTP currently at 252, I was trying to stay in the high 150s. I was also trying to keep my time in motion under 7 hours. I’m 6’4" and 210 pounds. I know I’m not gonna win any races, this was just for me. This was going be a challenge since The Horsey Hundred road race route was 6700 feet of ascent in the rolling hills of Kentucky, USA. Listening to the current podcast episode on the drive to the event, I took to heart the suggestion to have a strategy, plan for the unexpected, and focus on what I can control of my process rather than results. My strategy was to keep my watts in the 150s. I finished the ride at 161 average watts and a moving time of 6:57. I stopped at all 7 rest stations, fueled my body, and rested for 5-10 minutes before pressing onwards. Scores and scores of other riders passed me, usually on the hills. My body is not made for climbing, or if it was, it was a long time ago. Anyways, I had two unexpected mechanicals. I’ve never had a chain slip off while riding, but it happened twice today. I was able to get it back on myself without having to call the SAG wagon and got back to the grind. My legs are still screaming many hours later as I write this, but I’m so elated that I was able to achieve my goal for this event. The 6700 feet of elevation were brutal, but I know that with my continued TR workouts, my subsequent century events this summer will feel much easier.

It never hurts to tell somebody how much you appreciate them. So I’m telling you and hopefully it brings a smile to your face and it helps you to have a good day. Thanks again to you all for your content, training advice, and the wonderful software that I’m a firm advocate for.

Link to my post in the Where Did You Ride Outside Today thread.


WOW! Congratulations and thank you! There is honestly nothing we love more than to hear about the successes and progress of TR athletes! This absolutely made my day. Thrilled for you and even more excited to hear how the journey continues to unfold!

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Listened to the podcast yesterday. Even though I’d heard ye say it before, something just clicked after just getting back into racing this year. I’ve been putting in dumb attacks, several times per race - riding strong but not scoring points.

Came up with a plan for this mornings 3 x 27km lap race - lead into each of the climbs to give myself sliding room, and one all in attack on the last sharp turn and following drag. Managed to do that and keep myself at the front of the race as it whittled down. Made the move as planned, and carried on the move, and I was satisfied I’d carried out the plan. A few went over the top, nothing stuck and it looked like going to a sprint. Found myself at the back as everyone slowed down and realised how small the group was, harnessed my inner Fabian, and launched a long one maybe 1km out and held on when the group hesitated!

Definitely had the matches left after listening to the podcast, and coming up with a process goal for the race!

Great podcast and love hearing about local races in my backyard!

I lived in Breck for over 10 years. ‘base’ is 9,600’ in town. Each day is at least 4-5K in climbing up and over numerous passes - Boreas, Georgia, Wheeler. Amazing single track, ridiculous views, and Mike Mac puts on one of the best races out there.

Six day stage race. ‘Stage 7’ is at the Gold Pan Saloon :rofl:

Leadville is about a 45 min drive.

I have faith. He can do it!

Love this so much! Thanks so much for sharing, stoked to hear we’re helping athletes in more ways than one. Keep the momentum going! :star2: