Category: 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 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.

Podcast: Bouchard-Hall on the future of USA Cycling

Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

After four years at the helm, Derek Bouchard-Hall is stepping down from his role as USA Cycling’s CEO.

Fred gave him a call to evaluate the state of America’s governing body. What is USA Cycling doing well? Where is it falling short? And what does the future hold? Also, Bouchard-Hall evaluates his own work as leader of USAC.

This episode of the VeloNews podcast is sponsored by Health IQ. To get a free quote and save money on life insurance, go to HealthIQ.com/velonews >>

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Please give us a review and a rating, if you have time! Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and the VeloNews Tech Podcast with Dan Cavallari.

Read the full article at Podcast: Bouchard-Hall on the future of USA Cycling 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.

Podcast: Tim Johnson on the state of U.S. cyclocross

Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

Cyclocross is here! But it doesn’t seem like it is as wildly popular as it was back when Tim Johnson was racing. We talk to the former national champion about the state of U.S. cyclocross. What will keep people stoked on racing in the mud every autumn?

Also, Johnson talks about one of American cyclocross’s top riders, Kaitie Keough as well as the divide between European ‘cross and the American World Cup races.

All that and more on this episode of the VeloNews podcast.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Please give us a review and a rating, if you have time! Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and the VeloNews Tech Podcast with Dan Cavallari.

Read the full article at Podcast: Tim Johnson on the state of U.S. cyclocross on VeloNews.com.

Tech podcast: Why are people riding snub-nose saddles?

Welcome to the VeloNews Tech podcast, where we discuss complex tech topics and distill them down into terms we can all understand.

We have noticed a trend: Riders are opting for shorter saddles with pronounced cutouts. What’s the explanation for this shift?

On this episode, we bring on Chris Jacobson, Shimano North America’s product line manager for Pro Components and BikeFitting.com. He answers our many questions about how riders can (or should) select saddles, what are some common bike fit issues, and why saddles have evolved to become shorter.

All that and more on this episode of the VeloNews tech podcast.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Please give us a review and a rating, if you have time! Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor.

Read the full article at Tech podcast: Why are people riding snub-nose saddles? on VeloNews.com.

Podcast: SRAM’s 12-speed eTap; Kabush wins Iceman on gravel bike?


Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

News leaked out this week that SRAM is developing a new 12-speed eTap component group. We bring tech editor Dan Cavallari on the show to discuss its likely features and what it takes to increase the size of a cassette.

Then, we serve up some takes on the 2019 Giro d’Italia route. Will the mountainous back half of the race make up for what seems like a boring start? Who will win it?

And finally we talk to Geoff Kabush who dared to ride a gravel bike in a mountain bike race… And in fact, he won Iceman Cometh on those curly bars.

This episode of the VeloNews podcast is sponsored by Health IQ. To get a free quote and save money on life insurance, go to HealthIQ.com/velonews

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play. Please give us a review and a rating, if you have time! Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor and the VeloNews Tech Podcast with Dan Cavallari.

Read the full article at Podcast: SRAM’s 12-speed eTap; Kabush wins Iceman on gravel bike? 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.

Podcast: Tour route analysis; should power meters be banned?

Welcome to the VeloNews cycling podcast, where we discuss the latest trends, news, and controversies in the world of cycling.

Tour de France organizers boasted that the 2019 route was the “highest Tour ever” — does that mean it will be exciting for fans? We analyze the mountainous route and debate whether they should have included more time trial kilometers.

Also at the Tour presentation, race director Christian Prudhomme had some strong takes on power meters — he thinks they should be banned from racing! Is that right? Does he even understand how they work? We discuss. Read more in this excerpt from the new VeloPress book, “How the Race was Won.”

If you live in the Colorado Front Range (or close enough to drive) come out to VeloSwap on Saturday! Fred and Spencer will be there checking out all the cool vintage bike gear.

Read the full article at Podcast: Tour route analysis; should power meters be banned? on VeloNews.com.