Sprinting, Excessive Sugar, Active Recovery, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 370

There’s a common mistake that many cyclists make that could be hurting their sprint power. Join Coach Chad, Ivy Audrain, Nate Pearson, and Coach Jonathan for a discussion on this, when should you launch your sprint, what happens when you take in too much sugar on the bike, the scientific research on whether it’s better to spin lightly or stop pedaling between intervals, and more in Episode 370 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!

We’re back live this week! Tune in Thursday at 8:00am Pacific!

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Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Does spinning between intervals really help?

  • Best and worst upgrade ROIs for cyclists

  • What happens when you take in too much sugar on the bike?

  • Is it bad to be the first to sprint?

  • An easy way to raise your sprint power

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

The Effect of Passive Versus Active Recovery on Power Output Over Six Repeated Wingate Sprints

Active Recovery between Interval Bouts Reduces Blood Lactate While Improving Subsequent Exercise Performance in Trained Men

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My Relay Teammate and I will see you on the 16th for Tahoe Trail. Both coming from Sea Level, so FTP x .877 looks about where we’ll need to reset our FTP to use it as a guide.

We’ll see if my partner is recovered from the Terrible Two and Alta Alpina 8 pass by the 16th…

1 Like

@Jonathan - you mentioned running inserts on the podcast. Still Tubolight EVO SL? Something else?

@Jonathan unrelated to any particular podcast, but thank you for what you do. I find myself needing to meet my Jonathan-quota. Like you are Vitamin J and the only way I can get it is hearing your voice each week. I don’t know what it is, but it resets me every time a new podcast comes out, and I am sure others too. ``

Long time TR podcast listener here. I’m only halfway through this episode but this is probably one of the most enjoyable ones out of the 370 so far. The banter (“Mr. Half Bottle”) and “Coach Chaz” writing in was hilarious.


Not sure if it was in this latest episode or a recent one but shoutout to @Jonathan for the Run Gum recommendations. I’ve heard him mention it a few different times but decided to give it a shot when I noticed there appears to be a correlation between taking in caffeinated gels in races and stomach bloating / gas for me that doesn’t seem to happen with similar calorie amounts without the caffeine.

I have no idea what black magic this is but Run Gum is amazing. Seems way easier on my stomach and the energy boost I get from it just feels way “better” in that it’s steadier on and off with way less post-effect crash.

Any tips on where to buy glucose/fructose to mix your own drinks?

My homemade Maurten knockoff:

Table sugar is 1:1 glucose to fructose.

This discussion has been ongoing on this forum for years, including a prominent member sharing his recipe for which I can vouch. Four-plus hour rides at around 90g/hr on one bottle plus water.

Make your own ride fuel for <$1 per ride


sugar = glucose+fructose
Table Salt

You don’t buy “glucose” - you buy dextrose, maltodextrin powder, etc. Dextrose = Glucose. Maltodextrin = Multiple Glucose Molecules in a chain, less sweet than Dextrose. You can buy Fructose powder.

My mix is 1:1 Maltodextrin Powder and Fructose Powder instead of table sugar, feels less sweet to me. For an hour I’ve been doing 60g each plus 5g sodium citrate. I usually add a Crystal Light drink mix packet for flavor but don’t need to. Purchased everything off Amazon.

@IvyAudrain & @Jonathan how are you setting up for the relay hand off? Bring a chair, rollers, person doing lap two just chilling out while first person is on course? Maybe just have #2 sleep in and roll up to the hand off area 2 hours after the start :thinking: ( I do like to sleep in…)

Thats a good question! Im not sure if its a timed thing or if there’s a physical ‘tag’?

My guess is that each rider has a tag, but I contacted Big Blue Adventures and will post what they share.

Sad to hear the comments on chain waxing…I think they need a renewal of facts. Less wear, watt saving and absolutely NO more work (in fact even less once immersed) than wet lubes. Facts are pretty damn clear… https://zerofrictioncycling.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Key-Learnings-from-Lubricant-Testing-2.3a.pdf


I think it’s specific to Jonathan’s use case. If you’re getting your bike muddy or sufficiently dirty every time out, it doesn’t make sense to wax. Meanwhile, riding someplace clean and dry it doesn’t make sense not to. So Jonathon should use caution making blanket statements about stuff like that that is very conditions dependent. Like saying all roadies should ride tubulars when you ride on the track.

Actually, the facts show mountain biking is really a spot for waxed chains, as the grit will not stick, and thus reduces drive train wear at the same time reducing watt use. from the test lab:

Key Learning 1 - Do NOT use web lubricants if you ride off road.

There is dust off road. Often lots of it. And it will be abrasive.

  • Ø Dust WILL stick on contact to a wet lubricant treated chain. This is physics. There is no getting around it.
  • Ø Wet lubricants DO NOT CLEAN AS THEY LUBRICATE. They are actively attracting and holding contamination. The ratio of abrasive contamination to lubricant will continue to degrade the longer you keep riding without fully solvent flush cleaning the chain.
  • Ø Dust is not low friction. The level of abrasiveness varies a lot (ie quarry rock dust vs soft soil dust). But it is all abrasive against your chain metal under the enormous pressures found inside your bicycle chain under your pedaling load.

My waxed drivetrain after the Unbound 100. the only impact that grit had was on the side plates touching the front derailleur at the extremes. Otherwise it was still smooth at the end. I could have done the 200 on this with a water wash at some point, but we all hit the rain and wet gritty roads about the same time, it wouldn’t have been much different.


That’s what I would think too, but obviously Jonathon disagrees. :man_shrugging:t3: I personally use Squirt on my seldom-used MTB, but wax on all my road applications.


Yea, the facts say he’s throwing away watts, and once the chain is immersion waxed, which one can do on the stove in a pot of hot water (in the Silca bag), it’s actually EASIER to lube, far less mess and less drivetrain loss and wear. Pretty much a no brainer.