Why Exercise Feels Good, VO2 Max Training Science, Caffeine and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 252

Why you feel better after doing a workout, the science and structure behind VO2 Max training, the effect of training and activity on caffeine processing rates plus more in Episode 252 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

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Thanks for the shoutout! Sadly we (at https://brightontri.org/) haven’t managed to find Coop a trainer yet (this is partly my own damn fault, lending him a bike with thru-axles) but we have several offers of rollers if he fancies falling off a lot :laughing:

Also I wish I had an Exploro! It’s a Strada Pro I lent him :slight_smile:


Incredible episode—easily one of my favorites! Keep up the amazing work.


Awesome podcast. Great work moderating. I think a lot of us now appreciate how hard it is not to talk over people on video calls.

The TR podcast is my mental health hack of the week, not to mention Beers with Coach Chad.


@chad, would you be open to receiving home brew for your show?

Episode Notes con’t

@ 1:03:35

Jonathan: “6 minutes at 120% sounds terrible!”
Chad: “How is that possible?!”

2018 Me would say, “CHALLENGE!!!”.
2020 Me says, “Indeed!”…all the while desperately trying to keep 2018 Me from getting out.

Love me some VO2max chat! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I’ve done about 120% for 10:50. I did it once. Ruined me for a week. Worth it.

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Most definitely, @Jerrodg!

Why you feel better after doing a workout?

“Exercise 'til the mind feels delight in reposing from the fatigue.”—Socrates.


Just listening to this podcast. Liked the VO2max discussion. I need to re-listen a couple of times to pick up on all the points.


@Nate_Pearson - what was the running progression you mentioned:

  • Day 1 - 30 minutes
  • Day 2 - 20 minutes
  • Day 3 - 10 minutes


  • Do you take a day off after the 10 minutes? Or go back to doing 30 minutes?
  • After 2 weeks of this, how do you add duration?
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What was the substance you mentioned during the discussion on caffeine? It was in conjunction with caffeine or in lieu of caffeine. Lasted longer without the negative effects.
Thanks for a great podcast. Very rich.

People often do 120% for 6 minutes in UK hill climbs. There’s usually someone at the top to catch you as you fall over on the finish line.

Yes, usually take day off after day 3 then repeat.

Once done 2 weeks then add 5-10 mins to day 1 (depending on how feel) then add time to other days so 3-2-1 ratio remains.

I.e. if add (say) 10 mins to day 1, add 6 mins to day 2 and 3 mins to day 3.

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You increase the total volume per week by not more than 10% and keep the 3:2:1 ratio.

A very similar and well documented approach is the BarryP plan:
Run Training - The Program (part 1): Triathlon Forum: Slowtwitch Forums;


Enjoyed the piece on VO2 max - I am wondering whether you can use HR to point you to whether you’re hitting VO2 max or not as well as feeling and breath rate? I was doing 1.5 min VO2 repeats yesterday and felt they maybe weren’t tough enough. HR didn’t get above 169 and my max is maybe 195. I would guess that operating at max aerobic capacity would involve pumping oxygenated blood around as quickly as possible but maybe I misunderstand!