Winning Moves, Adrenaline, Sleep Deprivation and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 300

You need fitness, strategy and luck to make the sort of move that wins a race, so how do you increase your chances of winning? We’ll dig into this, adrenaline’s effect on endurance performance, and into whether or not training yourself to perform in a sleep deprived state is worthwhile for endurance athletes. Tune into Episode 300 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast Thursday, March 18 at 8:00am Pacific!

Youtube Live Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Is there benefit to training in a sleep-deprived state?
  • Adrenaline’s role in endurance performance
  • Responding in cycling/motorist conflicts
  • Is there an ideal Q-Factor per body type?
  • Nutrition and tool-carrying pro-tips
  • What the hosts are best at in the training process
  • What sort of rider-type is the best?
  • How to recover from a disappointing performance?
  • Our most sought after ability from professional riders
  • How to know the goals of a workout just by looking at it
  • How does training affect subsequent mental awareness?
  • How to train for race-winning moves

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Studies Mentioned In This Episode


Always look forward to the podcast, but especially can’t wait for this one.
Hopefully some further information on the ‘new’ plan releases, and progressions system.


I just spent a year getting to the point where I can sleep 8-9 hours a night. Please don’t tell me there was an advantage to my former 6 hours! :rofl:


@Nate_Pearson I just want to say that I am continually impressed with your leadership. Your ability to acknowledge and own your mistakes right at the beginning of this podcast is very impressive. Keep it up!


Did the US move to DST last weekend? Started the podcast to find it an hour in.

Yup, Swapped March 14.

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Ah, always last Sunday in March here in Europe

I turned on the yt live in the car and heard mention of sympathetic innervation increasing visual acuity (in the context of adrenaline discussion). I was a little puzzled by how that might work. Sympathetic innervation overcoming parasympathetic tone causes pupil dilation and this functions to let more light into the eye which is like widening the aperture on a camera. That helps take photos at night, and also makes the depth of field more shallow (sharper focus on closer objects, think portrait mode). I think of visual acuity as the ability of the lens to focus light on the retina, this is then determined by the shape of the cornea. Issues with visual acuity like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia are causes by imperfections of the cornea.

Hopefully a TR ophthalmologist can clear this up for me =)

On a separate note, near the end, Amber dropped knowledge bombs / trade secrets on how late race attacks play out. Cat 3, 3/4, 4/5 crits do not obey the laws of high level racing. There’s almost always a lull at some point with 2 to go. There’s no L39ion leadout holding 35 mph for the bell laps. There might be a trio of teammates attempting a leadout. Most of the time they hit the front way too early and the sprinter is exposed just in time to get swarmed with 1k to go. Everyone is trying to emulate Mark Cavendish popping out from 3rd-5th wheel with 200m to go, including riders with peak sprint power <1000 watts. In reality, there’s usually 3-5 in the category with standout sprint power. Others have to learn to win in a break or sprint out of a break. I think Vegan cyclist had a good video while racing coppertown years ago where he talks about his race strategy. He has to attack over and over knowing it won’t work most of the time, but that’s what you have to do when you aren’t a sprinter.


Not only that, but he handed out some learning for other leaders too. Great work.

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I dislike the time changes. Pick one. Stay in it. Done.

… me steps down off of my soap box …



I love the period between when USA adjusts their clocks and NZ does theirs as it makes the first half of the NBA playoffs just that little bit earlier to fit my day :joy:

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I know this is obvious, but I haven’t seen it in the threads. I tend to lose interest in them when I see patterns or themes repeating themselves. But has anyone reached out to Dr Seiler himself for his opinion on how he would plan the polarized blocks?

On the sleep stuff. I know a lot of people sing the praises of Matt Walkers book… And they should. However, another very interesting read on the subject is Dr Chris Winters book, The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It. It’s been a while since I have read it, but I do remember he touched on how naps can help you and when to use them. His general take on this was - You cannot make up for ‘lost’ sleep. If you need to take a nap, do it in the morning after a ‘bad’ night. Avoid naps in the afternoon as they may interfere with the following nights rest. Don’t nap for to long, I can’t remember the exact guide but 45 minutes max seems to ring a bell.

It’s suggested at least half a dozen times in this thread. There are also comments about why it may not be appropriate from a TR perspective, since Seiler is more aligned with FastTalk Labs than ever. Some forum members have had short discussion with him via Twitter and such in the past as well. Not sure how much of those was mentioned in this thread?

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TR on the podcast: “Don’t antagonize motorists because it’s good to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek.”

Me: “Don’t antagonize motorists for the same reasons you don’t antagonize someone brandishing a gun, because they have a deadly weapon and might try to kill you. And unlike a murderer with a gun, they’re likely to get away with it.”


Right on. They almost certainly will get away with assualt with a deadly weapon. There’s zero to minimal punishment of vehicle to pedestrian / cyclist crashes, at least in the US


I’ll get flamed, but I will antagonize. It’s about me at that point, and venting my frustration does make me feel better. So, yeah.

On that note, the comment about Keegan getting harassed less when wearing a USA flag kit PISSES me off. I served for 10 years in the military, knowing that some asshats can’t recognize me as a human if I am not wearing a flag to prove it “I’m like them” just makes me angry in words I won’t type here.

I would rather have them run me over then identify with them.


+1, from a former Marine


@chad actually made me lol with his answer to leadout or domestique! “Sprinter can’t come around the leadout then who should be leading out who!”. :joy::rofl::ok_hand:


@ambermalika fellow ADHD person chiming in here.

I experienced a similar thing for years across multiple sports, where my school performance was nearly directly correlated to the amount of physical activity I was doing. My best year was when I was a junior was during times that I was training around 20 hours of week for tennis, but it wasn’t until the following year when I was a senior that I was diagnosed.

During college I didn’t play any sports and it took a long time to unwind the relationship between physical activity and brain function, even while on medication.

There are a few other interesting tidbits of information floating around in relation to why both stimulant medications and exercise seem to ameliorate symptoms of ADHD, specifically in relation to glucose sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex (which I am guessing you’ve seen some of the info on given your background).

At any rate, even though it was just a casual mention, I appreciated you sharing that on the podcast.