Category: Fast Talk podcast

Fast Talk, ep. 65: Debunking supplements — what works, and what doesn’t?

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


Those who take their training and racing seriously are always looking for something to give them an edge — that marginal gain. The obvious and easiest fixes are often equipment upgrades — lighter bikes, more aerodynamic wheels.

Then come nutritional supplements. So much has been promised to us in pill form, it’s created a multi-billion-dollar industry. There’s a pill to make everything better. Those promises carry into enhanced endurance performance. And many athletes have resorted to the morning supplement cocktail believing it will make them better cyclists. But there’s a dark side. Those cocktails can actually hurt performance, certainly affect health, and lead to even darker, ethically-challenged places.

Today, we’re going to talk about supplements and our concerns with them, and then cover a few foods that actually do work.

We’ll discuss:

  • We thought about bashing all the supplements that don’t work but then realized we only have an hour. So instead, Trevor will read a description of every supplement that does work. That list combined with a discussion of its sources will cover the first three minutes.
  • We’ll talk about supplements in general and why they can be a big concern.
  • And with those concerns in context, we’ll start addressing things that have been proven to help, starting with pickle juice.
  • Next on our list is beetroot juice which can not only help performance but has been shown to have health benefits as well.
  • Believe it or not, we’re going to talk about chocolate — or more specifically the active ingredient, cocoa flavonoids, which also, surprisingly, have both performance and health benefits.
  • That, of course, leads to something that frequently comes up in the sports nutrition literature — chocolate milk. It’s as effective as most recovery mixes. So, the key question is how effective are the mixes?
  • Finally, we’ll revisit the ketogenic diet and specifically supplementing with ketone esters.

Our primary guest today is Ryan Kohler, the manager of the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center who holds a masters degree in sports nutrition and exercise science. Ryan has helped Trevor and I with many previous articles and behind-the-scenes work with some of our experiments, shall we call them. We’re excited to finally get him in front of the mic, even if he is a little shy.

In addition, we’ll talk with world-renowned coach Joe Friel, author of the definitive book on training, The Cyclists Training Bible. We asked Joe his opinion about supplementation based on decades of coaching. We’ll also hear from endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch and Apex Coaching owner Neal Henderson, the personal coach of world time trial champion Rohan Dennis. They’ll each give us their thoughts on supplements and a few things they’ve found that work.

As always, if you have a minute please take the time to rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. And keep those emails coming! We have a dedicated Fast Talk email address.

Now, gather your pickle juice, your beet juice, pounds of chocolate, maybe even some ketone esters if you have them, and eat up as we talk. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

References

  • Nelson, N.L. and J.R. Churilla, A narrative review of exercise-associated muscle cramps: Factors that contribute to neuromuscular fatigue and management implications. Muscle Nerve, 2016. 54(2): p. 177-85.
  • Dominguez, R., et al., Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 2017. 9(1).
  • Perez-Berezo, T., et al., Effects of a cocoa diet on an intestinal inflammation model in rats. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2012. 237(10): p. 1181-8.
  • Goya, L., et al., Effect of Cocoa and Its Flavonoids on Biomarkers of Inflammation: Studies of Cell Culture, Animals and Humans. Nutrients, 2016. 8(4): p. 22.
  • Patel, R.K., J. Brouner, and O. Spendiff, Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2015. 12: p. 47.
  • Volek, J.S., T. Noakes, and S.D. Phinney, Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci, 2015. 15(1): p. 13-20.
  • Cox, P.J. and K. Clarke, Acute nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism. Extrem Physiol Med, 2014. 3: p. 17.
  • Hawley, J.A. and J.J. Leckey, Carbohydrate Dependence During Prolonged, Intense Endurance Exercise. Sports Med, 2015. 45 Suppl 1: p. S5-12.
  • Pinckaers, P.J., et al., Ketone Bodies and Exercise Performance: The Next Magic Bullet or Merely Hype? Sports Med, 2017. 47(3): p. 383-391.
  • Petrie, M., et al., Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2017. 72(9): p. 1284-1289.
  • Australian Institute of Sport. ABCD Classification System. 2016 [cited 2017; Available from: http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/supplements/classification.
  • Pierini, D. and N.S. Bryan, Nitric oxide availability as a marker of oxidative stress. Methods Mol Biol, 2015. 1208: p. 63-71.

Read the full article at Fast Talk, ep. 65: Debunking supplements — what works, and what doesn’t? on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk, ep. 64: Inside the Canadian team’s world championship success, with Mike Woods and Rob Britton

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


In episode 64, we ask the question: What does it take to stand on the podium at the world championships? It’s a simple question without a simple answer. Strength buys you a seat at the table, but playing a winning hand takes effective training, teamwork, near-perfect strategy, and an incredible mindset.

In today’s episode we take a deep dive into all of the elements that are needed for a podium placing at worlds with two of the members of the Canadian team — Mike Woods and Rob Britton. The two of them, along with their team of coaches, asked that simple question over a year before the 2018 world championships. Canada doesn’t have the biggest reputation, nor the best-funded team, but they found the answers and earned Mike the bronze medal.

So, how did they do it? Today we’ll cover:

  1. How the race played out to put Mike in a position to fight for the podium
  2. Rob Britton’s all-day breakaway that helped put Mike in that position
  3. The final “hell climb” as Rob calls it, how it was central to Mike’s strategy, the sort of numbers he put out on the climb, and why those numbers don’t tell the full story
  4. The finale, and why in a split second the excitement of a podium momentarily turned into a disappointment
  5. A comparison of Mike’s and Rob’s very different preparations for worlds. Mike used the Tour of Utah and the Vuelta to get his legs ready. Rob, on the other hand, loaded his bike up with fifty pounds of gear and did a very low-tech ride across half of Canada. Yet, both riders arrived with great legs… and, perhaps more importantly, great mindsets.
  6. How Rob and Mike balanced their training — including the balance of long slow volume rides, threshold work, and VO2max training, and how training for a seven hour event like worlds may differ from the local two-hour race

Our primary guests for this podcast were the Canadian superstars themselves: Mike Woods of the EF Education First team and Rob Britton of Rally Cycling. Mike, who comes from a running background, exploded onto the scene five years ago and since then has raced multiple grand tours, which has included a recent stage win at the Vuelta. Rob has dominated the domestic scene with multiple wins, including the GC victory at races like Tour of the Gila.

In addition to Rob and Mike, we’ll talk with:

Mike’s coach Paulo Saldahna. Despite his remarkable coaching success, Paulo points out that coaching is only one of the many hats he wears. He’s the owner of the successful indoor training company PowerWatts and is an endurance sport physiologist by trade where he builds support structures for athletes worldwide and runs a high performance facility in Montreal.

Finally, we’ll talk briefly with Dr. Ciaran O’Grady, a coach and sports scientist at Team Dimension Data. As a WorldTour coach, we’ll ask him what’s different about training for a seven hour race.

Now, if you’ll please stand for the national anthem of Canada. Oh Canada, my home and native land… Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk, ep. 64: Inside the Canadian team’s world championship success, with Mike Woods and Rob Britton on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk, ep. 62: Training gift ideas with Colby Pearce and Frank Overton

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


It’s the holidays and if you’re like us, right about now, you’re scrambling for gift ideas. So we’re trying something new on Fast Talk and doing a gift episode. Of course, there are a ton of great gifts you can give that cyclist in your life, so we can’t cover them all. Instead, we’re going to focus on a few cool training gadgets. Some of which you’re very familiar with and some you may never have even heard of. We’ll talk about what they are, how they’re used and whether we think they’re worth putting under the tree or not. Of course, a few of these ideas may be a little too expensive for stocking stuffers, so it may be better to see this episode as our review of several cool, interesting and potentially valuable training tools.

Today we’ll talk about:

  1. The Whoop recovery strap. What is it? Why would it be a valuable tool for tracking your recovery? We provide our personal experiences — good and bad — with the tool.
  2. The Normatec recovery system. Does it work? We have some thoughts on how to use it. If you listened to our recent episode on recovery, you already know our opinion, but we certainly couldn’t leave them out of an episode on cool training gear.
  3. Power meters. Alright, that’s nothing new or unique, but we’ll give our hot takes on which are good and what to be careful with.
  4. The Leomo Type-R. A truly unique device offering on-the-road biomechanical analysis that wasn’t previously available. It’s a fascinating tool, but as we’ll discuss, it may be so new, we haven’t figured out how to use it yet.
  5. And finally, we’ll finish up with a foam rollers. They may not be as sexy as some of our other gift ideas, but they’re cheap and they work.

Our guests today are hour-record holder and coach extraordinaire Colby Pearce along with FasCat owner and likewise coach extraordinaire Frank Overton. At this point do either of them really need an introduction on Fast Talk? We always love having them on the show and hearing their insights.

In addition, we’ll talk with professional cyclist Rebecca Rusch and Apex Coaching owner Neal Henderson. Both have been at the top of the cycling world for years, so we’d definitely love to hear what gifts they’d like to get. Their answers were a little less tangible than you might expect.

As always, if you have a minute please take the time to rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts. And keep those questions coming! Please contact us at our dedicated Fast Talk email address.

So get out your wish list. Make sure you listen twice and let’s make you fast!

References

  1. Haun, C.T., et al., Does external pneumatic compression treatment between bouts of overreaching resistance training sessions exert differential effects on molecular signaling and performance-related variables compared to passive recovery? An exploratory study. Plos One, 2017. 12(6): p. 24.
  2. Kabore, C. and J.F. Kaux, Effects of Normatec peristaltic dynamic external compression on sports recovery. Science & Sports, 2017. 32(5): p. 266-277.
  3. Kephart, W.C., et al., A single bout of whole-leg, peristaltic pulse external pneumatic compression upregulates PGC-1alpha mRNA and endothelial nitric oxide sythase protein in human skeletal muscle tissue. Exp Physiol, 2015. 100(7): p. 852-64.
  4. Peterson, A.R., et al., Basic recovery aids: what’s the evidence? Curr Sports Med Rep, 2015. 14(3): p. 227-34.
  5. Pearcey, G.E., et al., Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. J Athl Train, 2015. 50(1): p. 5-13.
  6. Macdonald, G.Z., et al., Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2014. 46(1): p. 131-42.
  7. Cheatham, S.W., K.R. Stull, and M.J. Kolber, Comparison of a Vibration Roller and a Nonvibration Roller Intervention on Knee Range of Motion and Pressure Pain Threshold: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Sport Rehabil, 2018: p. 1-7.
  8. Bouillod, A., et al., Validity, Sensitivity, Reproducibility, and Robustness of the PowerTap, Stages, and Garmin Vector Power Meters in Comparison With the SRM Device. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 2017. 12(8): p. 1023-1030.

Read the full article at Fast Talk, ep. 62: Training gift ideas with Colby Pearce and Frank Overton on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast: Do you need a coach? With Neal Henderson and Rebecca Rusch

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


In the famous book “Daniels’ Running Formula,” Jack Daniels lays out what he considers to be the four ingredients of success. The fourth ingredient is “direction,” and he describes it as follows:

“Direction, the final ingredient of success, refers to a coach, a teacher, or a training plan that can be followed. Of the four ingredients of success, direction is probably the one of least significance, should one of the ingredients have to be eliminated. I say this because direction is the only ingredient that can have either a positive or negative influence on the athlete… it is possible for absence of direction to be better than bad direction.”

It may seem a little strange to hear one of the most decorated running coaches of all time say that coaching or direction is the least important ingredient of success. And it raises an important question: Do we really need a coach?

In today’s episode, we’re taking on that question.

  1. First, we’ll start by asking our expert guests that simple question: Do we need a coach?
  2. Next, we’ll talk about the relationship athletes have with their coaches — what makes a good relationship and what makes a bad one.
  3. After we’ve defined that relationship, we’ll ask our panel what to look for in a good coach. And, conversely, how to identify a bad coach.
  4. Finally, we’ll talk briefly about how much coaching is worth, and whether an athlete should stick with the same coach or change from time to time.

Our panel today includes, first, coach Neal Henderson, owner of Apex Coaching and current coach of time trial world champion Rohan Dennis, among other elite athletes. Neal has joined us before, on one of our most popular episodes, in fact, Episode 33: Is FTP Dead?

Our other main guest today is the renowned endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch, formerly an adventure racer, now a decorated cyclist of mountain bike, gravel, and bike-packing events around the world. Rebecca currently works with CTS coach Dean Golich; for many years she went without a coach. She has a great depth of experience as an athlete and brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation. She also runs several training camps and hosts her namesake Rebecca’s Private Idaho gravel race near her home in Idaho. Check them out online at rebeccarusch.com.

In addition to our panel, we have several experts weigh in throughout this episode:

Ciaran O’Grady, a coach and sports scientist with Team Dimension Data, talks with us about the pros and cons of self-coaching versus the accountability that comes from working with a coach.

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Sepp Kuss, winner of this year’s Tour of Utah, reached the WorldTour by being self-coached. We talk about why he did that, and what it’s like now working with the team’s trainers.

We check in with Dean Golich, head performance physiologist at CTS. Dean has worked with an incredible number of top athletes and shares some of his thoughts on how he approaches coaching them.

The legendary Ned Overend continues to crush Cat. 1 riders into his 60s. Despite all of his success, Ned has never had a coach. He explains why.

Finally, we talk with Armando Mastracci, who has developed a highly sophisticated training AI system that can help athletes plan their workouts. Armando discusses what parts of coaching a good AI system can replace and what it can’t.

Now, a reminder: Don’t forget to rate us and send us your feedback. We love your comments and suggestions, and the more reviews we get, particularly on iTunes, the easier it will be for others to find Fast Talk.

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that Coach Daniels didn’t say coaching was a bad thing. He just said a bad coach is worse than no direction. So, of course, he offered his thoughts on what makes a good coach:

“If the term coach refers to the person who directs the improvement or refinement of running performance, then a good coach can answer the question, ‘why are we doing this workout today?’ A good coach produces beneficial reactions to training, creates positive race results, and transforms the athletes he or she brings into the program into better runners (and better human beings.)”

That’s a tall order. And with that, we hope to add clarity and context to the discussion of coaching. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast: Do you need a coach? With Neal Henderson and Rebecca Rusch on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast: Rethinking the science of trainers


The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


In episode 60 we’re discussing trainers… hey, for those out there who hate them, we get it, but stay tuned, as we’ll tell you why you shouldn’t completely ignore them. For those who love them, we’re going to tell you why riding outside every once in a while is a really good thing. For those in between, today’s episode will offer a wealth of knowledge on how to get the very most out of trainer time.

Now, one thing is certain: The days of staring at the basement wall while riding your clunky, loud trainer are behind us. Today’s smart trainers and online tools allow us to “game-ify” the experience and are making many re-consider how they feel about riding indoors, and importantly, the extent of the training benefits.

In this episode, we’ll talk about the science and experience of the trainer, including:

  1. How riding on a trainer differs from riding on the road, including the experience, our interaction with the bike, the different inertia generated by the trainer, and its impact on our biomechanics.
  2. What impact these differences have on our power and heart rate, and why we shouldn’t use the same numbers inside and outside.
  3. We’ll discuss situations where it’s good to use a trainer—and when it may be even better than riding on the road, such as when we’re doing neuromuscular work.
  4. Likewise, we’ll talk about situations where you might want to avoid the trainer. You might know already… a five-hour, mind-numbing ride on the trainer is a sign of incredible dedication. Don’t do it again.
  5. The game-ification of trainers by tools like Zwift, Trainer Road, and Sufferfest, and how this is changing our perspective on trainers. It can be both good and bad.
  6. When to use rollers rather than a trainer.
  7. And, finally, we’ll talk about how much time to spend on the trainer, and alternatives even when there’s snow outside.

You’re going to get a lot of different opinions in this podcast. None of us will go so far as to call the trainer Satan — though at times we’ll come close — but you will hear a few guests give convincing evidence that the trainer has benefits you can’t get on the road. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to you to decide.

Our primary guest today is Ciaran O’Grady who is a new coach and sports scientist at Team Dimension Data. Ciaran just finished his Ph.D. at Kent University with Dr. James Hopker, who conducted some of the definitive research on the biomechanical differences between riding on a trainer and the road.

In addition, we’ll talk with:

Retired multi-time national cyclocross champion Tim Johnson. Having lived in the northeast for most of his life, Tim is very familiar with riding indoors and has a lot of good points to offer from two decades of experience.

Trevor also caught up with Jacob Fraser from Zwift and Kevin Poulton who coaches Matt Hayman and Caleb Ewan, and works with Team Katusha. Kevin used Zwift to coach Matt to his 2016 Paris-Roubaix win and since then has integrated significant trainer time into his athletes’ race preparation.

And with that, get your fan ready, dial in your Zwift avatar — make sure you enter your weight correctly in Zwift now, no cheating. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast: Rethinking the science of trainers on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast: Preventing cycling’s most common injuries, with Dr. Andy Pruitt


The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


PAIN, INJURIES, SORES… they are an unfortunate but nearly inevitable part of cycling. If you want to be among the best, you need to wear them with pride. And if you believe that, then get out of the 1980s. Yes, this is a sport for the tough man or woman. But save being tough for that 20 percent climb, not for the aches, pains, and saddle sores you don’t need to suffer through.

In this day and age, most of the common overuse injuries in cycling can be addressed and prevented. It just requires the proper precautions — such as getting regular bike fits and doing off-the-bike strength work. (Here are our five favorite workouts.)

Today we’ll talk about the most common over-use problems and how to address them, including:

  1. What used to be the most common over-use injury — knee problems — why they are no longer the most common problem, and how it’s possible for most of us to go through the rest of our cycling careers without one.
  2. Back problems — these have eclipsed knee issues as the most common cycling complaint. Unfortunately, the cycling position is not kind to the lower back, but there are still things we can do to prevent pain.
  3. Saddle sores, numbness, and pressure issues, and how with the right saddle and fit most of these issues can be addressed.
  4. Just like the back, the cycling position can be tough on the neck. We’ll discuss.
  5. Feet and hands — many of us think that numbness is just part of riding a bike. But the truth is that if you’re experiencing numbness, something is wrong, and it can generally be solved.
  6. Finally, for those of you still clinging to that 1980s mindset, we’ll talk about just how bad it was then and why you want to get with the 2000s.

Our primary guest today is Dr. Andy Pruitt who has over 40 years of experience in cycling medicine and ergonomics. He is a bike fit guru who invented the Body Geometry fit system and continues to design ergonomic products for Specialized. He has seen every cycling injury in the book and, because of that, has literally written the book. It’s called “Andy Pruitt’s Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists.”

In addition, we speak with Evan Huffman of Rally Cycling, who shares some quick thoughts on the injuries he’s seen on his team, and what the team’s staff does to make that a short list.

Finally, we speak with Colby Pearce, a regular on our show. As a coach, fitter, and elite athlete, Pearce shares his thoughts on the common injuries he sees and what he does to address them. Colby zeroes in on one of the most important aspects of the bike — saddle choice and saddle position.

So, put on your favorite chamois, relax your hands, feet, and back. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast: Preventing cycling’s most common injuries, with Dr. Andy Pruitt on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast: Trail, rake, and flop — bike design with Lennard Zinn

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


SO, YOU THINK YOU KNOW BICYCLES? Well, think again. Today we’re sitting down with a legend of the cycling industry to talk about a variety of factors in frame design that most cyclists have never heard of. Yet these design elements — things like fork offset, trail, and head tube angle — have a bigger impact on a bike’s performance and ride quality than frame material, or any of the things we focus on when checking out what our friends are riding.

Our guest today is longtime VeloNews contributor Lennard Zinn. Author of the definitive books on bicycle maintenance, “Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance” and “Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance,” among other titles, Zinn has spent the past 37 years building custom bikes and studying the physics of bicycle design. Incidentally, it all started with his college thesis on building an un-rideable bike.

So, today, we’ll delve into:

  1. The concepts of fork rake, head-tube angle, and trail, among others, and why each is a crucial element of bike design.
  2. How these factors act together to make the bike more or less stable, and why greater stability may not be what you’re looking for.
  3. The effects of wheel flop and how it impacts your ability to corner, including an explanation of counter-steering and when you’d want to use it.
  4. How understanding rake, trail, and flop can have a significant impact on your performance, as well as how you can put it to good use in selecting the right bike for you.
  5. The evolution of bike design and how it has been influenced by both fashion and performance.
  6. And finally, some guidelines on selecting your next bike and how to get the ride experience you want.

So, have you brushed up on your physics? Are you prepared to learn how a bicycle really works? Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast: Trail, rake, and flop — bike design with Lennard Zinn on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast, ep. 56: The Hour with Colby Pearce


The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


THE HOUR. Those two words represent many things to many people. Some believe it to be the ultimate test of man and machine: out there on the track, with nowhere to hide, an athlete must come to terms with what he or she is truly capable of. Others know it as a form of torture, a crucible for understanding one’s ability to cope with pain, suffering, or madness. If you’re lucky, the Hour is a hard way to reach a form of cycling-inspired, dizzying nirvana.

Many of the greatest cyclists in history have made attempts or held the Hour record. Most of them then crawled off their bikes never to ride on a track again. With UCI rule changes several years ago came a resurgence in interest in the event. Eventually, Bradley Wiggins smashed the record, hitting 54.526 kilometers in June 2015.

And the obsession lives on. There are few people in the world who know both the agony and ecstasy of the Hour as well as Colby Pearce, our main guest today and someone who has attempted more Hour records than almost anyone else, save for maybe the great Graeme Obree. Last week, Pearce set a new master’s world record in the 45-49 age category, riding a remarkable 50.245 kilometers, 833 meters farther than the previous record held by Kent Bostick.

In this episode, we sat down with Pearce to dive deep into the Hour. It’s something Case knows all too well, since he too made an attempt in 2015.

In addition to their personal experiences, in this episode you’ll hear a discussion of:

  • A brief history of the Hour
  • Why it’s so hard and, therefore, special. Is it the hardest thing you can do on a bike? We ask the question.

It then jumps into a discussion on how to prepare for the Hour:

  • The 80/20 principle and getting caught up in numbers
  • Training at 90 percent of threshold
  • The importance of focusing on form
  • The crucial mental preparation it takes to tackle this event

Then, gear and aerodynamics, from frontal area to the finest of gains to be had from chain friction to sock length. Finally, we break it down. Ultimately, it all comes down to executing on the track:

  • The nuances of pacing, and the dynamic of the track, the rhythm, and the added forces
  • Gearing and cadence
  • Mindset: chunking, and proactive vs. reactive thought patterns

Pearce’s wealth of knowledge on the Hour is unsurpassed, and we’ll hear a lot from him in this episode. We’re also lucky enough to hear from two other Hour veterans. When Case was preparing for his Hour attempt in 2015, he had the pleasure of chatting with Rohan Dennis, who briefly held the Hour record that year. (As an aside, just days ago Dennis won the world time trial championship in Innsbruck.) Back in 2015, Case also spoke with Dennis’s coach, Neal Henderson. Both of them have interesting thoughts on the Hour.

So, zip up the excruciatingly tight skinsuit. Check to make sure your power meter is on. Pull the aero socks high. It’s Hour Record week at Fast Talk. Let’s make you fast.

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast, ep. 56: The Hour with Colby Pearce on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast: How to win with mind power


The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


The best riders understand … mindset wins races. And controlling your thought patterns in races is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Mindset in cycling is an important and frequently neglected side of our training and racing. It’s avoided because it seems unclear, inconsistent, and, let’s face it, can be too new-agey for the likes of us “tough guys.” In reality, mindset is often all that separates the best from second best and can be the difference between reaching the podium or finishing a race.

When Coach Connor managed Team Rio Grande, he offered to cover the costs for one of our riders for a few sessions with a top sports psychologist in Colorado. The rider refused and ultimately quit the team. But when Trevor told several high-level pros the story they all asked the same thing: “Can I get those appointments?!”

Today, we’ll delve into this concept of controlling your thoughts for performance. We’ll touch on:

  1. The concept of dominant thought and why it’s so important, including whether we are funnels or buckets
  2. How athletes are either task- or ego-oriented, the pros and cons of each, and why it’s important to know which one you are
  3. Using trigger words to control your dominant thought
  4. Why it may not actually be good to stay mentally focused for an entire race and how to pick your moments when you are on your mental game
  5. And finally, how to control your thoughts when your body is screaming in pain and telling you to stop

Our primary guest today is a professor of sports psychology and is a senior teaching professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Brian Butki. Dr. Butki has worked with athletes in almost every sport, both at the university level and on professional teams in the Colorado area.

In addition to Dr. Butki we spoke with:

Dean Golich, a head coach at Carmichael Training Systems. Over decades as a top coach, Dean has worked with athletes all the way from recreational amateur riders to Olympians and world champions. He is uniquely qualified to talk about the mindset of top athletes. You may be very surprised to hear what he has to say.

Sepp Kuss, a WorldTour rider with LottoNL-Jumbo and winner of the 2018 Tour of Utah, talks with us briefly about his mindset and the danger of being too focused on the win.

Finally, local top coach Colby Pearce gives us a variety of tips on controlling your mindset both in training and in racing situations. In our next episode, we’ll talk with Colby and Chris about the hour record and their experience with it.

But in the meantime, Colby is going for the master’s world record from September 22-25. We’re still waiting to hear if they are going to livestream it. If they do, we’ll put a link up on the VeloNews page for this podcast along with our references.

So let’s get to the task at hand. Find your balance. Focus your mind. But don’t get too focused … you need your breaks. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast: How to win with mind power on VeloNews.com.

Fast Talk podcast, ep. 54: Applying the polarized training model, with Dr. Seiler

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.


IN EPISODE 51, which we published several weeks ago, we had the chance to speak with Jay-Z — or at least the Jay-Z of the exercise physiology world, Dr. Stephen Seiler. We took a deep dive into the polarized model of endurance training … or so we thought.

We probably received more questions about that episode than any other episode to date. Many of you wanted to know more about how to execute a polarized training plan. We thought about doing a special episode to answer all of your questions, but instead, we begged and pleaded with Dr. Seiler to share a lovely late-summer Norwegian afternoon with us. He generously obliged.

During our conversation, we discussed:

  1. Why cycling is an aerobic sport
  2. What is meant by the two thresholds LT1 and LT2 and how to determine yours, both in terms of power and heart rate. Dr. Seiler provides a test protocol to determine LT2, which may sound very similar to Neal Henderson’s test that was described in episode 33, “Is FTP dead?”
  3. Why it’s important not to over-estimate LT1 or LT2, and how to use them to determine your zones in a three-zone model.
  4. The specifics of zone 1 training: how long, how much, how easy? We take a deep dive into what zone 1 training is all about, why it’s important to keep those rides easy, and the value of long rides.
  5. Finally, we discuss the 80-20 principle of the polarized model and how to put it into practice to map out your week.

One thing to note: A lot of listeners asked for example numbers to help them better understand the polarized approach. We chose to use Trevor’s numbers for a few reasons. First, he’s a big believer in polarized training and has much success with it. Second, he’s a very aerobically developed cyclist. Third, like many of you, he’s a master’s rider with limited time to train. Finally, the data was readily available allowing us to give example numbers throughout.

Our featured guest is, of course, Dr. Stephen Seiler, a professor of sports science in Norway, where he has lived for over 20 years. He sits on the executive board of the well-respected European University College for Sports Science. It was his groundbreaking research that helped define the polarized model.


We also hear from Dr. John Hawley, another prominent name in the exercise science world from Australia. His research over the past few decades has helped to define endurance sports training and nutrition. He talks with us about one of the important, but lesser-known, gains of long rides.

Finally, we speak with Kiel Reijnen of the Trek-Segafredo WorldTour team. Kiel spoke with us about why even pros sometimes prefer two-a-day rides.

So, are you ready to know what going easy really means? Ready to understand what some of the great endurance athletes are doing to train? Are you ready to get polarized? Well, let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.

Read the full article at Fast Talk podcast, ep. 54: Applying the polarized training model, with Dr. Seiler on VeloNews.com.