Sprinting, FTP Increase, Leadville Equipment and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 210

Clif Bar Racing’s Pete Morris will join us for a deep dive into the mechanics of a sprint, how much FTP increase you can expect in a year, equipment tips for the Leadville 100, how to regain motivation and more!

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Episode Notes:

  • Jonathan’s first FTP test:


bye bye producer @Ian… may the force be with you


In regards to the cross bike idea, many have done it before, but almost all the race reports I’ve read are pretty brutal, mostly in regards to the top section of Columbine (where you are probably a little tired and a little short on oxygen) and the descent down the backside of Powerline late into the race.

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I’m guessing someone will be riding the LT100 on the Niner full suspension gravel bike this year.

Cheers everybody! Keep on getting faster! :facepunch: :wave:


If a “gravel bike” has full suspension and room for 650b 2.0 tires, I’d just consider that a mountain bike :rofl:


Follow-up question to the Sprint practice outside. I know there are a lot of Sprint workouts in the library, any one in particular that is setup to push to Garmin for outside ride that would be a recommended opportunity to practice? I’ve been using basic Garmin timing/intervals to practice, bit would be a fun opportunity to try the TR outdoor ones too.

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What are the thoughts on the Vittoria Terreno cross country tire for Leadville vs the Aspen (assuming conditions are nice and dry; I think Nate mentioned this in the pod).

It seems to me this would rip pretty nicely?

It is pretty new anyone have experience with it?

Vittoria Terreno Cross Country

I just listened to the podcast. I’d like Jonathan to ride the LT100 on a gravel bike and hear the debrief afterwards. Would certainly be interesting, regardless what happens.

Just listened to the part of the podcast where they talk about knowing limits without power. It reminded me of my first century (not the metric one haha)…

I was planning on solo’ing the the cottage which was roughly 165k from home. The plan was leave early take a camelpak with me and some granola bars and the wife would meet me someone along the route to top up my water. ps… i should mention that I had very little in the way of proper training or long riding in general, I am a super salty sweater, I am also super prone to cramps.

So being so loose of plan as I am, I ended up leaving late on a super hot and sunny Saturday. According to Strava I left at 11:57a. face palm. But not really thinking any of this through, as you can imagine. I get going and things get hot. Since I left so late the wife caught me about 30k into the 165. At which point I had drank a considerable amount of water but I hadn’t really any idea of what was about to happen.

I tried to pace myself just by feel. But feel is kinda hard when you don’t really train enough to know what easy easy actually feels like. Legs start cramping. I’m halfway through. I’ll try and go easier until I reach the next town at 135k.

No more than 25k later legs are in full spasm mode. If you’ve never been there be thankful. Theres nothing worse than having something cramp on the bike, then as you ungraciously stiff leg your way off the bike something else goes. And all you can do is wait for the legs to reset. Another side note… Having said extreme cramping and being run off the road (I was biking on one of the main roads) by a 48’ sucks. It sucks even worse when off the road is super loose gravel and your bike handling skills are a C-minus at the best of times. Basically it just means falling over sideways.

At this point it really is a bike 5 minutes , rest 10 minutes sort of deal. My phone battery is dead. There’s nothing but corn between me and the next town. I am stubborn as a donkey but my spirit is draining quickly. Nothing I can do but go forward.

Reach the next town. Finally. Lady luck is also on my side. See… on Saturdays in small towns out here everything closes at 5 or 6 if they even ever open. Also something I should have noted beforehand. I feel like I bought most of the store. I sat down and found some more resolve. I thought this rest was just what the body needed and I could forge ahead. I found a payphone to let he wife know I still alive and that I should be there in another hour or so.

My legs did feel better. I managed to bike without cramps again until I met my first hill. That “hill” put my legs right back into the cramp zone. If there was ever a moment to cry this was it. But again, nothing else I could actually do but just keep going forward.

Two hours later I’m cooked. I’m so super cooked. I have been cooked for the past four hours. And spent the next four in a super stupid zombie mode. This was the least enjoyable bike ride I have ever done but I’m past emotions at this point. I don’t have the energy to be angry or sad. The sun is setting. Did I mention I didn’t have bike lights? Sigh. The only thing I have got going is that my speedometer says I have marched 155k. Five left until I reach the city where the cottage is and maybe another few to get to the cottage. There’s a familiar car. My father-in-law and wife have doubled back to find me. My wife was freaking out but relieved. Did I mention she was pregnant at the time? Not a very nice thing to worry her like that. My out was right there. But … I was 5000 measly metres from my “goal”.

Would you stop? I’m guessing most people who have read this long already would probably answer the same way I did. I told them I just need to go 5 more k. They could follow behind me if they wanted. As soon as I trickled over 160 I would pull over and they could collect what was left of my carcass. I told them I would probably be stopping every km so it might take a while. But I needed to just do this for me.

So I got back on the bike… those last five kilometres… holy s***. Not only did I bike it all the way through. But I was averaging nearly twice the speed I was not more than 5 minutes before!

Where did this energy come from? How was this possible. That is my story on how effed up the mind/body relationship is. Thanks for reading haha.

Use trainerroad. Listen to every minute of aacc. And try to avoid worrying your pregnant wife unnecessarily.


Great story, excuse my ignorance but what’s aacc?

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Ask A Cycling Coach podcast.

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Aaah of course it is so I’m covered as I am doing both already, thanks for the answer, the platform and podcast. It’s a great resource.

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I was thinking about sprinting whilst listening to this. I am no racer, or a sprinter but I did wonder if what was described by Pete and @Jonathan is similar to what happens if you start with a “heavy” ERG load and have to push and pull to get the pedals turning. Similiar to getting “out” of the ERG death spiral??

Would something like this be a good way to start to learn the push/pull technique inside at a slower cadence, then develop that into doing it in a sprint?

Tractor pulls might also be a useful drill??

Can someone please explain the cornering drill that was discussed on the podcast. I think it was @Pete or @Jonathan who talked about setting up two cones about a bike-length apart to practice turning through at increasing speeds as you get better.

Where are the cones setup in relation to the direction you are going on your bike? I assume they make a straight line with your bike path and then you turn between the cones as you approach? Are you trying to make a 90° turn or just trying to slalom through them and then continue on in the same direction you were going?

My lack of cornering skills thank you in advance for your help!

Edit: thanks to the TR team for another great podcast! I look forward to them every week and especially enjoyed this one.


Just reached the end, @Pete giving away the sprinting tactics of @Nate_Pearson :joy::joy::joy::joy::zipper_mouth_face:

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Or did he…:smiling_imp:

Yes…yes he did :cry:


I knew there was a reason I liked @Nate_Pearson… fellow band geeks unite!