Training Without Events, Outside Workouts, Hormonal Birth Control and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 251

What to do if your events are canceled, tips to nail your outside workouts, the effect of hormonal birth control on training and performance plus more in Episode 251 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

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Anyone else get completely lost and have no idea what amber was talking about with the springy spine part? It was like 15 minutes of one stream of consciousness

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I have to be honest, I only thought @chad would be old enough to remember the Brady Bunch! :slight_smile:


Great! Thanks for doing this: it worked well. I don’t know if this was because of the four of you being remote or because of Youtube reducing the bandwidth it uses, but the video was a bit ordinary – poorly synced and jumpy. Still and all, well worth the effort. [And useful content, as always.]

And stay safe.

@Nate my CEO hasn’t gotten on the Jocko Willink Extreme Ownership train yet but one day I suspect he might :laughing:

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I interpreted from a sensory processing and integration perspective, which I have some knowledge of, but not enough to really put into words. Sensory integration is a complex area and people do MSc in it.
I found her insight fascinating.

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For those of us who listen instead of watch, I’d rather Chad had better audio then video (re: back light?)

Everyone else had good audio.


Audio should be improved in the future.


Great points on holding a steady power for an extended period of time. This particular skill (or a lack thereof) is very easy to pick on group rides, where you have people surging whenever there is even a tiniest bit of an incline, only to almost completely stopping to pedal once going over the crest.

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Nate I’d just like to say that all things considered I thought the audio was outstanding. Under normal circumstances the podcast is probably the best produced one that I listen to, and with you recording remotely I was expected that it might be sketchy. I listen to other podcasts that record remotely and are significantly worse in terms of listening experience, so kudos to the four of you and the production team for pulling this together. Also fantastic to have @ambermalika back in the gang regularly alongside you, @chad and @Jonathan


I thought this format worked really well and loved this podcast. Thanks!


Some additional suggestion to Tim’s question that was not mentioned: Besides shifting gears and using cadence (as Tim noted in his question) you can also use your brakes as a third option at hand to smooth out power in different situations.

I Haven’t had a chance to listen yet, and I don’t know how indepth you guys went on Hormonal birth control but I’d like to offer a warning on It’s usage.

Hormone Birth Control is not risk free, It carries an increased risk of stroke.

My healthy wife with zero risk factors for a stroke, had a clot form and find it’s way to her brain, causing a stroke, Luckily she received treatment quick and has made leaps and bounds and is riding bike again. There is no way to prove the birth control was the cause but given the lack of any other cause, her doctors are fairly confident it is a direct result of being on birth control

They went deep into discussing all aspects of hormonal birth control, including a risk of a stroke.

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Great! I just know alot of people hear that and think “pfft, it won’t happen to me” I just want to make sure everyone understand it is a very real risk.

Thank you all. I’ve been very much looking forward to this podcast all week, and I’m so stoked you decided to proceed remotely. With events cancelled and the anxiety of everything going on, I needed to get re-motivated to use training as my output for Life’s stresses. Amber’s input was a bonus, and a motivator to not neglect swim just because I can’t swim right now.

As an example maybe for others on what to do right now, my goal was my first half-Ironman this fall. I’ve still got that as my A race, and an Olympic distance one in the summer as my B race. Neither of those might actually happen, and I’m ok with that. At least it’s something to shoot for, and to not let my fitness slide out of fear and anxiety.

Same thing happened to my wife. I told the story on the podcast.

I had no idea. I’m so sorry this happened to your family. I would wish it on no one. I hope your wife is doing well!

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No I followed her description pretty well. It made a lot of sense. We are creatures of land and gravity, therefore we evolved to function and understand that environment. One of those adaptions is a curved spine adapted to absorb compressive loads (like a spring) and sensory organs that have learned to interpret signals on land through sight, air and ground (proprioception). Sea creatures, that have them, have very straight spines and sensory organs that interpret signals from an aquatic environment where signals come all directions almost equally with no clear “up”. The training she described is an attempt to keep the body in a straighter alignment (i.e. flatter back in a coronal plane) and to learn to better interpret and respond to sensory input from unexpected places and directions. I thought it is a pretty interesting way of looking at it. …I do however have a human kinetics degree so that helps a lot.