Stretching, Yoga, Base Phase Racing, Commuting and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 197

Join us live for Episode 197 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast! We’ll be covering stretching, strength, yoga and their unique effects on cycling, race selection and tactics during the Base Phase, how your commute can make you a faster cyclist, and taking your live questions. Tune in Wednesday, March 6 at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics covered in this episode:

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Live Notes:

Race Analysis Videos:

K-Edge Garmin/GoPro Mount:

Specialized Rib Cage II bottle cage:

Specialized Zee Cage II bottle cage:

Aero Deep Dive in the Specialized Win Tunnel:

The Sprinter’s Gap:

Carpathian Peak +2:


Mary Austin -1:

GP Lama YouTube Channel:

Mayo Clinic:

Forum on being sick all the time:

Dirty Kanza with Geoff Kabush:



Reading the list of topics covered, this podcast looks like it was produced just for me :joy: :+1:

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Yes, I would love to know how to blend commuting into a training plan. Should I skip commuting on days with hard workouts to ensure the workout is completed to the best of my ability, or should I not worry about it and do both (commute and workout)… etc?

What workouts are good for addressing extensive anaerobic capacity? Are there situations where it is appropriate to address anaerobic capacity during the later base phase instead of VO2 max?

Are there any videos of the warm-up stretch discussed, i.e. touch your toes, deadlift style rise, squat, touch your toes?


@chad @Nate_Pearson @Jonathan

Great podcast as always. Quick question on commuting while the podcast is on the topic. I just got a new bike to commute with that double as a gravel/cross bike. Going to start commuting next week.

My commute is 6 miles and 75% of it is on a bike path that is pan flat. I currently ride TrainerRoad on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. My plan is to do my trainer ride and then instantly get on the bike and essentially continue my workout sitting at around 60-65% power. Kind of like Red Lake +8 or Baird +6 or Raymond +7.

Does this make sense or should I adjust. Maybe using the commute as an extended warmup and do a trainer ride when I get home.

Thank you as always!

@Nate_Pearson @chad @Jonathan do you guys have any more detail on the warmup that Nate described in the podcast?


@Nate_Pearson - just wanted to say congratulations. The start of your season has been incredible! I’m so impressed that it got me thinking about a whole new training plan. Six weeks of Baxter, sprinkled with a Bluebell here and there.

Baxtell :wink:


@Nate_Pearson You briefly mentioned during the podcast that you are only doing intensity and easy work. Are you following a plan? If not, would love to hear what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, etc. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing this myself. Thanks!


I know I’m a N=1 sample size, but I’d like to mention there are many types of yoga and bundling them all together is not necessarily helpful. The more dynamic styles, like Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Power Yoga are all physically demanding and could be part of a cross-training discipline only.

Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are passive, recuperative practices. They are more of a meditative stretch and I have found them very helpful in reducing muscle fatigue from the training loading while also helping with improved flexibility in hips and shoulders, so balance the locked-in positions you can be when on your bike.

I’d certainly recommend folks try out a local yin yoga class, as they are easy non-technical as a beginner and help both physically and mentally in my experience.


Not what @Nate_Pearson mentioned directly but it is close;


Just did this routine in my hotel. YOWZA. Good stuff and may fix the back that’s been ailing me a little bit! Thanks for sharing.

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This could work well actually!

First of all, make sure you are prioritizing your trainer workouts over any benefits you may be getting on your commutes. The trainer will be way more productive and it sounds like your commutes will be more about adding in extra weekly TSS, which is great! So, keep your trainer workouts hard and your commutes more about adding on low-intensity TSS.

As for using the commute as a warmup and doing the workout when you get home:

I think adding the commute after your trainer ride is a better option so you ensure that you can hit your trainer workout hard and not be fatigued or tired in any way (we can all get a little antsy on long flat bike paths and push a little harder than we think :wink: ). If you have scheduling conflicts and can’t do your workout before work, it is totally okay to use the commute as a warmup and then do your workout when you get home. That said, I would recommend doing it the other way around when you can. :slight_smile:

Exactly what I did. I used to hammer my commutes — anaerobic all the way, baby!
Once I started TR I now use my commutes as a second Recovery workout. Takes me about twice as long and I focus on just lifting the knees, no heavy breathing, just taking it easy. The after work commute done at the same pace is more about getting the legs in bike mode after a day of work and ready to smash it on the trainer. Adds about ~30 TSS/day (~150 TSS/wk).

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So I’m listening to this and Nate, who is lighter than me, says that in his cat-4 race he sat on 360w for 15-minutes. This leaves me thinking that I have absolutely no sense racing in cat-4 considering that is my 5-minute number (173lb)? If that’s the benchmark for competition, there is no point in getting out there until my numbers are more respectable.

Don’t get hung up on numbers… and certainly not those from others.
You have no idea what you really have in you until you try.

  • Why does it have to be “respectable”? Who are you trying to please?
  • Not even trying because you think you don’t have it???
  • I can’t stand that mentality as it is so self-defeating.

Race or don’t race. That is your choice. The reasons behind them are also your own. But skipping it because you think you can’t match some minimum is just crazy to me.

Get your butt out there and push yourself to do something that makes you nervous and even scares you a little bit. Try something deliberately uncomfortable and see how amazing it feels when you get on the other side of it.

Edit: Sorry for my likely negative tone. But the idea that someone is unwilling to try something so potentially rewarding is upsetting to me. You can learn so much about yourself as a cyclist (and often as a person) by putting yourself into these positions, even if you have no shot at “winning” or “succeeding” in the traditional sense.

The simple act of participating and completing these events on their own can and should be rewarding.

  • Return to the “process goals” that you can control. Work on nutrition, handling, position in a group, power personal records, or any of the many ways you can directly control your input to the event. These are things about YOU and how YOU CAN IMPROVE.
  • Ignore the “outcome goals” like finishing position or times that only serve to measure you against others. It’s a fools errand to a point, especially if we place too much emphasis on them. I find that they can be VERY detrimental to our training and our state of mind, and even more so if we don’t achieve them.

Early in the podcast @Nate_Pearson and @Jonathan mention watching Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

How do most folks access/watch those big races?

Eurosport’s web player isn’t available in the US (I’d certainly pay for it if it were) and I can’t find full coverage anywhere. :disappointed:

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I have the FLO Sports subscription. I usually just use it for the Spring Classics season, then suspend.

I also have NBC Sports Gold to watch ski, auto and motocross racing, so I usually just watch the Grand Tours that way since it is already part of my workflow.


what I heard is that he missed the early break, and later in the race he did a solo 15 minute bridge to get into a position to podium.

Look, the truth is that unless your name is Mathieu Van Der Poel, there is a very high probability that you’re not going to win most of the races you enter. Fact is, it’s really hard to win a bike race. Last year, the most winningest World Tour rider only won 18/85 races = 21%.

Was he totally demoralised cuz he lost every 4th race, or was he ecstatic because he was winning every 5th race?

Mindset, bro.
Focus on yourself and don’t fear anyone (esp Nate! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:).