Rest Week Nutrition, Air Density, Smelling Salts and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 307

Yup, I got that wrong. Saw a Strava ride with him in Bend and that stuck in my head.

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Interesting that it’s getting smarter. I’m in Plan Builder up to my first A event of the year.

After that, I do have an autumn A event, but want to do midweek racing - TrainNow may be a better fit than a compromised plan builder?

Remember that TrainNow is explicitly not designed to replace a training plan and does not target a goal or consider long-term periodization. If you’re working towards an event and want to add those midweek races, I’d personally follow a plan, but pick a lower volume to allow for the addition of some extra hard days, or I’d use those midweek races as a substitute for a scheduled midweek workout (this is what I am personally doing now.) You could use TrainNow, but it isn’t going to build your skills with event specificity the way a plan will.


Not all the way through yet but really wanted to acknowledge the vulnerability in the intro this week. You all set a high standard and real heart/bravery to bring your human selves into a space like this. Sending good thoughts for all!


A lot of take always from this episode that have little to do with bike racing. The amount of respect TrainerRoad has for their employees is impressive. The ability to take some time away from work when life throws you a curveball is unfortunately rare in America.

Therapy is something everyone should try at some point in their life, even if it’s just to get to know yourself a bit better.

I’m really excited for Amber and her little baby bump.


Its fine to ride for riding sake.

Makes me sad when they call endurance rides ‘junk miles’ in some prior episodes and in the collab with Norcal Cycling or implying that endurance rides / fun rides / free rides cannot be part of a structured plan.

Edit: I should have said the part about endurance / fun rides / free rides ‘cannot’ be part of a structured plan differently. After rewatching the videos I was thinking of they don’t say that. The parts about altering ‘the plan’ to include a 60 mile gravel ride still annoy me though.

Do you have a link to that set of comments?

I’d love to hear that again and see if there is some context aspect at play.

Link would be great - pretty sure I’ve heard them say the exact opposite so interested to know if I misunderstood!

Wow - Cool to have my question answered on the show! I really appreciate the time and consideration that you put into answering.

Lots of great tidbits. It is a tricky thing to have balance, and something that I am working on.

Thanks all for the work to make a great tool, and the thoughtful podcast. Coming from a world where success is measured by your outcome, TR makes it easy to focus on the process.

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After rewatching the two videos I was thinking of I recognize that I was overly harsh and critical in my judgement when I first watched them. Watching them again, I still don’t fully agree, however I think my concerns are with things that I think are implied or ‘not addressed to my satisfaction’ or with the second video the underlying premise that a 60 mile gravel ride in the context of preparing for a century ride is ‘junk miles’ is accepted. I don’t know how much comes down to my personal interpretation of what is said, my way of thinking, etc.

Couch to Crit Episode 2: Segment 2

AACC 291


I appreciate the links, and your deeper comments.

I get what you are saying and that sometimes, there can be criticism in ways like this that are a bit too narrow. From my limited understanding, there is a fair bit of science backing adaptations as a result of long, low and steady rides. It’s not to say it’s the best or most advantageous, but there are chances for improvement in fitness.

I to think there are unspoken assumptions related to time efficiency or other factors that may mean one approach may be partly advantageous over others. There are good reasons to chase the range of efforts and times on a bike. I tend to dislike “junk” notation any more, because there is a fair bit of context that matters in any determination like that. Alex hits on that pretty well in the 2nd vid.


By the way, when is @ambermalika’s due date? Perhaps she’d like to race my wife (4 December)? (That’s my A-event for the year.) :stuck_out_tongue:

Just wanted to point out @Jonathan, 15c, chilly? That is summers day here in the UK :grinning:



That’s a nice spring day here in Seattle and about my absolute favorite temperature to be outdoors.

Regarding the "why am I hungry during rest week, I always thought that exercise helps with appetite suppression, and when you’re not riding as much, the appetite comes back. I was surprised that @ambermalika or @Pete didn’t address that aspect.

The segment on air pressure sounded a little familiar. There is a short thread on it here.

Summary answer is that I think air pressure has a bigger potential impact on performance vs. what’s discussed in the podcast.

  • typical variation in air pressure +/- 3.5%, for an overall swing of 7%
  • 7% swing corresponds to 600m elevation change
  • 600m change in elevation results in about 4% reduction in VO2max.
  • all else equal, a 4% reduction in FTP
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well said Chad. For Nate to share what is going on with his family and even to dive into his therapy must have been extremely difficult. Yet he did it to try and help all of us who follow the whole TR crew and have formed a “bond” with them over the years… His dedication to the platform and its subscribers is truly incredible.


Anyone remember the name of the software that @Nate_Pearson talked about for monitoring “Workplace Happiness?”

I heard tiny poll, but I don’t know the product nor have I heard of it before.

Wait, is this actually covered in this podcast? I listened and don’t think I heard it - and tried to find it in order of the topics just now, and didn’t see it… but I’d love to hear the answer!