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FasCat Cycling Training Tips Podcast
62 minutes | 2 years ago
Chronic Training Load (CTL) for Masters Cyclists
There seems to be a lot of discussion about CTL, TSS, FTP, etc. as it relates to elite or world-class level cyclists, but what does this all mean for masters cyclists? Today on the podcast, we discuss the fundamentals of using CTL to quantify your training load as a masters cyclist and some key tips and advice from the Big Cat on this topic. Lots of good info here! For more info on the subject, subscribe to the podcast on all your favorite platforms and check out our training tips on the website: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/seven-habits-of-highly-successful-masters-cyclists/ 12393If you’re listening and reading this tip, check out Sweet Spot #2 — follow the plan, you will go faster. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fascatcoaching/ Instagram: @fascatfh Twitter: @FasCat , @FasCatCoaching and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FasCatCoaching Remember to use code 25podcast at checkout to save 25% off your next plan…and don’t procrastinate! Intro music: David Cutter Music // https://davidcuttermusic.com/ The post Chronic Training Load (CTL) for Masters Cyclists appeared first on FasCat.
85 minutes | 25 days ago
Ask a FasCat #17
Welcome back to another installment of our Q&A series, Ask a FasCat! Here we take listener questions from our audience and do our best to answer them. In this round, we tackle a variety of questions including first gravel race tips, nutrition for stage races, and plenty more! Thanks to everyone who submitted questions, and we hope this is helpful in your pursuit of getting faster on the bike! Work Hard, Ride Fast, don’t forget to Switch from Base to Race, Have FUN and as ALWAYS FtFP Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! To talk with a FasCat Coach that exudes these qualities, please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a complimentary coaching consultation. The post Ask a FasCat #17 appeared first on FasCat.
47 minutes | a month ago
Beginner’s Guide to Start Training with Power
Are you new to riding and training with a powermeter? Here is your beginner’s guide to start training with power. In this episode, Coach Frank outlines 5 steps to begin training with power and using your data in TrainingPeaks. 62544Power-Based Intervals for Road Racing Training Plan Step 1: Upload your Data to TrainingPeaks Step 2: Look at your Power Graph Step 3 is to set your power at threshold and begin personalizing your data to you! Step 4: Train Using your Power-Based Zones Step 5: Set up your charts in your dashboard A power meter is a fantastic training tool that can take your training and racing to the next level. Listen to our beginner’s guide to start training with power and learn how to use it and TrainingPeaks! Also: next week is our Ask a FasCat episode #17 : your training questions and our answers. Submit your questions by next Wednesday in our forum or email us at email@example.com or on the grams @fascatcoaching The Performance Manager Chart Master’s CTL Podcast Work Hard, Ride Fast, don’t forget to Switch from Base to Race, Have FUN and as ALWAYS FtFP Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! To talk with a FasCat Coach that exudes these qualities, please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a complimentary coaching consultation. The post Beginner’s Guide to Start Training with Power appeared first on FasCat.
56 minutes | 2 months ago
What Makes a Good Coach
What makes a good Coach? Coaches come in all different sizes and shapes but what are the core values that makes a great one? 61959Designed by Good Coaches to help YOU Ride Faster In this podcast, Coach Frank describes the inspiration behind the podcast (we’re hiring) and what he considers the qualities of a great coach starting with these four core qualities: Results Knowledge Education and Experience Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast SHOW NOTES: Cycling Coach Job Fatigue Dependent Training Plan Design The 4 core are just the outer layer and I think there are many many layers and combinations of qualities underneath those 4 core. When you consider there are many types of coaches from World Tour Coaches at one end of the spectrum all the way to junior an high school NICA coaches at the other. National Team Coaches and Collegiate Coaches but for the purposes of this podcast we’ll be talking about the kind of one on one cycling coach you’d hire – where they work for you. As opposed to a Football coach who’s job is for the TEAM to produce results. Sure they need to motivate the athletes too but at the end of the day THEY are the boss whereas in a For Hire Coach-Athlete relationship I consider the athlete to be the boss. Back to the many layers under the four core: results, knowledge, experience and education, I think its important that a Coaches have the ability to Make the Coaching fun – create an Enjoyment of the Process Ability to have/achieve positive Coach-Athlete Relationships Ability to Earn Athlete’s Trust Salesmanship – to sell ideas and hard work Ability to help athlete as an athlete and as a person and know when helping the person is more important than the athlete Ability to help athlete be their best in sport and life – that life balance we keep mentioning To be a good motivator Are they a good person that genuinely cares about the welfare of the athlete 3 of my favorite coaches I’ve studied and learned from are : Jim Valvano Nick Saban Mike Krzyzewski All three have great books where they lay out their coaching philosophy and describe their trials and tribulations in their coaching career. Definitely worth a read if you have the time. They all speak to those 8 qualities above. These are all collegiate coaches, coincidence? Not surprising given I coached the CU Buffs for 2 years. Nine Qualities of a Good Coach 1. Enrichment – WHEN YOU ENRICH THE LIVES OF OTHERS YOU ENRICH YOUR OWN This quote is the words we live by. Coaching is in our DNA because all the FasCat Coaches have an innate altruistic personality and ample personal experience training, racing and riding recreationally. Our goal is to use that experience, along with scientifically proven strategies to help you improve your cycling. We’ll tap into our enthusiasm for the sport to coach you better by leading the way (core value #7), keeping you motivated and having fun. 2. GOLDEN RULE OF COACHING “Do unto our athletes as we would want to be coached”. The FasCat Coaches have all had coaches at one point in their cycling careers (many of them coached by FasCat Founder Frank Overton) and know what it is like to be coached. We’ve all had moments where we’ve needed some extra attention, motivation or an objective opinion. Unfortunately too, we know what it’s like to receive bad advice and coaching. Thus, we place a high value on treating each and every athlete we coach with the highest degree of importance. 3. Qualifications – Experience – Innovation – Communication – Technology – Creative Solutions 4. POWER-BASED TRAINING & SPORT SCIENCE Exchanging power data enhances the coach athlete relationship and maximizes what we can do for you because power data is the ultimate form of communication. Power based training has been around for 20 years by now and if you are using a powermeter the coach you hire should be well versed in the art and the science of power based coaching. 5. BUILD OPEN & HONEST COACH-ATHLETE RELATIONSHIPS When you hire a good Coach, you don’t just get a custom training plan, you get a relationship with a coach that has similar interests to you and that is responsible for your goals. Your goals are your coaches j.o.B. A good coach will listen to your feedback and learn from your data to figure out what makes you tick. Your coach will understand your life outside of cycling and the balance you need to maintain in order to continue to enjoy your cycling. That life balance again. The net results are trust & faith which is essential to coaching & being coached. A good coach will build this kind of relationship with athletes because together they can accomplish more than they could otherwise. 6. LIFELONG LEARNERS No one knows it all and if they give off the vibe they do, watch out. I am constantly learning news things about the athletes I’ve coached for years. The best way to do that is to ask them what’s going on in their lives – seek out the stuff that you won’t find in the power data. Get to know them. Now I bet you thought when I mentioned be lifelong learner you were thinking academically, And that is true BUT its the not the end all. At FasCat we continue to search out ways to help our athletes perform better, ride faster, increase their power output, recover quicker, stay motivated and reach their goals. A good coach will Learn as much as they can about the athlete to help them – alot of that comes down to what motivates the athlete, what makes them tick, and what ways can the coach get the athlete to get the most out of themselves. One of the holy grails of coaching is a motivated athlete and then a motivated team of athletes working together as one. 7. TALK THE TALK, WALK THE WALK We train hard, race hard and compete hard. We are bike racers just like our athletes. Our race performance is a direct reflection of our ability to coach athletes well. We were all beginners once and have applied the proper amount of work, experience and science to improve. I firmly believe all coaches need to have gone thru the kind of improvement you want to achieve if they are able to successfully lead you on that journey. At FasCat, I only hire Cat 2 or equivalent coaches and higher. That achievement alone tells me the coach knows what hard work and the the journey is , and Therefore, we are qualified to show the athlete how to improve as well. We I firmly believe a coach needs to lead by example and know exactly what it is like to suffer while performing intervals, to make sacrifices from taking on a goal and to get psyched up for a race. When we practice what we preach we continue to develop as coaches capable of coaching our athletes better & better. Another talk the talk walk the walk rule I have is that the coach needs to have competed in the event for which the athlete they are coaching wants to compete in. I personally have never done a triathlon and therefore I do not feel comfortable coaching multisport athletes. Same for cyclocross – they coach needs to or have been a cyclocross athlete themselves. As I get older (I’m turning 50 this year) I struggle with the walking the walk part because now many of the athletes are younger and I’m not training as much as they are. However, I think the experience speaks volumes in this case. 8. ACCOUNTABILITY A good coach will take your training, racing, performance and coaching seriously. In fact your goals are our jobs as I said earlier. Tell us what you want to achieve and a good coach will show you how to do it. They’ll hold you accountable to the plan they develop and expect you to hold them accountable for doing a good job. A good coach is your accountability buddy. I also think a good coach will reach out if he or she hasn’t heard from from the athlete under their normal communication patterns; it is likely you’ll receive a pro-active email and/or phone call/ text. Good coaches are open to communication about if the athlete is not feeling they are on the right track. Equally as important, expect a call from your coach if you are not training in a way that is aligned with your goals. 9. Ninth and final QUALITY COACHING + GOOD PLANNING + HARD WORK = SUCCESS There are no magic bullets. No elixirs, supplements or trademarked workouts that you can buy to obtain results. There are no shortcuts in cycling. Your improvement is like the Smith Barney slogan, “We make money the old fashioned way, we earn it”. If you talk to a coach that is selling you on something otherwise, run for the hills With that said, a good coach is not going to prescribe a 15 hour training week if you only have 8 hours to train. Instead they are going to use scientific principles to help you make the most out of your limited time. For example Tempo and Sweet Spot advanced aerobic endurance training. A good coach will work with you from the start to develop an Annual Training Plan and teach you how to train properly in order to improve and reach your goals. Will be your mentor! A good coach will have you work as HARD as your goals are HIGH and we’ll even help you set tiered goals in order to balance your time on the bike with the rest of your life. That is the essence of good quality coaching and what you can expect from a good coach. And that my friends and what I’m recruiting at FasCat – check out our job posting we are seeking a new cycling coach with all these qualities and perhaps more. Get in touch if you are interested. Work Hard, Ride Fast, don’t forget to Switch from Base to Race, Have FUN and as ALWAYS FtFP Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! To talk with a FasCat Coach that exudes these qualities, please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a complimentary coaching consultation. The post What Makes a Good Coach appeared first on FasCat.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Switching from Base to Race Part 2
Switching from Base to Race Part 2: a continuation from our 2019 podcast on moving onto an interval phase of training after build a sweet spot base 61785Gravel Training Plan to help you practice what’s described in this podcast! In this podcast, Coach Frank goes thru 10 instances Dave Letterman style of when you should switch from aerobic endurance training to high intensity interval training. This is the sweet spot and polarized methodologies referenced in last week’s podcast! Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast SHOW NOTES: 2019 Switch from Base to Race Podcast Timing is Everything Let’s talk about the criteria for knowing when to stop doing aerobic endurance work and start doing high intensity interval training because as we’ve podcasted before timing is everything. How to Know when to Switch from Base to Race – gonna do my best Dave Letterman top 10 list impression: 10. When you are racing* in 3-6 weeks or less 9. When your base is ‘good’ and the returns from doing interval training going forward are going to net greater power increase than if you kept trudging along with base 8. When you’ve been doing base for more than 18 weeks 7. When your Coach tells you to (this would be for the one on one coached athletes) 6. When you’ve been doing some base but want to raise your power even more 5. When you want to do some harder training 4.When your CTL is higher than ever before or within 10-20% of 3.When you can’t ride any more – as in you’ve maxed out 12 hours of riding per week (cant do 13) 2. When you are dog tired from all the sweet spot training and your legs are begging for a break 1. And the #1 reason to switch from base to race is because you are going to be racing soon! Switch to “Race” Alright – let’s unpack each one of those. I don’t have any reasons not to switch to intervals unless your base is under developed. Ie. you have NOT been doing any sweet spot base and aren’t racing soon or if you are those are B races. In this case, doing a 6 or 12 week block of sweet spot training before you switch to interval training. Build the aerobic foundation of the pyramid an stack the intervals on top of afterwards. You may hear some old skool racers talk about racing into shape – but they are building base during the week. And per our long ride podcast last week – if you’ve been racing on Zwift or similar riding hard – that is not base and now that the weather is improving for outside rides you will benefit from back up and doing a block of sweet spot base training. Resist the temptation to keep riding hard outside – this is the group ride hero we talk about and also a one way ticket to Burn Out Ville. You don’t want to go there when the world is going to come back to life once everyone gets vaccinated and racing + group rides return. But I digress….. Back to unpacking the Dave LetterMan top ten list to switch from base to race: 10. When you are racing* in 3-6 weeks or less If you’ve done some base say a 6 – 12 week block but your CTL isn’t quite where you want it to be because of life’s limitations, still switch from base to race. Remember races are generally one from your peak power output – not the size of your CTL. I feel like that line could be in the Movie SpaceBalls – anyone remember the light saber spoof scene? Its better to work on your power output 3-6 weeks out than your base. That’s the coaching advice – that’s what I was talking about last week when the coaches are ahead of the science. Experience! AI generated workouts are going to miss that. 9. When your base is ‘good’ and the returns from doing interval training going forward are going to net greater power increase than if you kept trudging along with base This goes along with #10 I just mentioned – you’ll increase your FTP more than from trying to keep building your base. Watts win races not CTL. 8. When you’ve been doing base for more than 18 weeks 18 weeks is the point of diminishing returns – you need/want to move on from here to keep progress – your training and progress will plateau out should you keep sweet spot base build. See we advocate both! 7. When your Coach tells you to (this would be for the one on one coached athletes) For coaches athletes, this is the value of having a coach – an expert with the experience to know when to switch – using the 3 criteria above but also the nuances of your training. This is someone who’s got your back and has the experience to give you this advice. Again AI ain’t gonna do that for you. 6. When you’ve been doing some base but want to raise your power even more Naturally what’s better than one thing to help you ride faster? Two! In last week’s podcast we articulated tht we advocate both sweet spot training combine with polarized training – I prefer to call it race specific interval training. And future pod on intervals I’ll described the FasCat Way. We’ve touched on it before if you want to go back and listen to our previous episodes on intervals. But combine base training with interval training and whammo! Lotta watts coming to ya. 5. When you want to do some harder training If you are like a caged tiger frothing at the mouth to ride fast and ride harder, you should switch from base to race and do some intervals! This would go toward motivation – when you are motivated to do the hard work, do the intervals and make the switch – just make sure you’ve built your base up first. As in for your whacko’s that like to do VO2 Max Intervals all year long. I jest but I know you are out there…. This is what I call the cross fit crew – who goes berserk every workout. That can be harnessed .. I am digressing….. 4.When your CTL is higher than ever before or within 10-20% of I like the historical CTL data because it serves as a point of reference if you’ve got last year’s data and can compare. If you hit 85 last year and you couldn’t ride any longer and you are close to 85 this year (80-90) and you know it’ll be tough to find more time to ride to keep raising your CTL – that is when you know it is time to Switch from Base to race. Use the Performance Manager Chart – the PMC the The Shit that will Kill Them – to help you identify and even project (model out) when you’ll make the switch. Use the PMC chart to model that out and determine if/when/why to make the switch. 3.When you can’t ride any more – as in you’ve maxed out 12 hours of riding per week (can’t do 13) If you can’t ride anymore than 12 hours per week you wont’ be able to keep increase your CTL , building your base and you would be wise to bank those gains and make more by beginin and interval training phase. I see this alot with athletes that have done a good build but there CTL hovers flat for long period of time as they run up against a brick wall trying to keep riding long and keep riding more when life simply doesn’t let them. That’s when to stop sweet spotting and start doing intervals. Your PMC chart should only track flat when you are ‘in season and doing intervals’ if you are building base it should be increasing and if its not for whatever reason, move onto the next phase of training, which is intervals or rest and/or a taper to peak for a A race. 2. When you are dog tired from all the sweet spot training and your legs are begging for a break Base training is hard once you really start pushing out the adaptations and it can wear on you. Rarely does an athlete overtrain from base, but you certainly can overreached. As I mentioned in # 3 if you are running up a brick wall because your legs are tired and you cant’ make watts like you could when you were fresh – that is your body telling you to rest. Remember the Greg henderson, Wrestling the Gorrilla analogy – this is when you let the Gorrilla win, your body and your legs – tell you, no mas. Rest , ride less and then switch over to high intensity interval work – especially If you are about to start racing soon. Which is our # 1 reason to switch from base to race. Soon as in 6 weeks or less and you are hungry like the wolf to steal the Duran Duran song and are motivated to ride harder as referenced in #5 previously. Thanks for listening! Hit us up in our forum forum.FasCatCoachig.com to ask us YOUR question about switching from base to race Don’t just sweet spot all year round – you’re leaving watts on the table if you don’t do your intervals. It goes right to the core of how we each each episode which I’ll amend for this podcast Work Hard, Ride Fast, don’t forget to Switch from Base to Race, Have FUN and as ALWAYS FtFP Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! To talk with a FasCat Coach about your switch from base to race, please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a complimentary coaching consultation. The post Switching from Base to Race Part 2 appeared first on FasCat.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Long Rides, Coaches v Scientists, Sweet Spot AND Polarized
Coach Frank goes on a 14 minute rant about ‘internet scientists’ and the whole sweet spot versus polarized debate. He espouses how the coaches are ahead on the scientists and bring it all back to the podcast topic: the long ride. Frank describes his three long rides and how you can progress thru each. 61558Gravel Training Plan to help you practice what’s described in this podcast! In this podcast, Coach Frank covers the benefits of a long ride and goes on a rant about ‘internet scientists’. Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast Show Notes: How I invented Sweet Spot Training Peter Stetina Podcast I am a man of science with a masters degree in physiology and US Patent # 7202067 from my molecular biology biotech days. I’ve spent days, nights in the Bowman Gray medical school library going thru thick 10 pound, 500 page medical journals trying to figure out how to get nerves to grow back on Astrocytes to help spinal cord injury patients. I even presented that work at the annual Neuroscience meetings in La Jolla and have to say – sometimes science doesn’t have all the answers. It’s your experience in the field from trying failure, doing and succeed. Here’s the story and what I mean: I spent 6 months in a medical school laboratory with an NIH grant trying to figure out how to get spinal cord rat astrocytes to grow in petri dish to study nerve regeneration with an in vitro spinal cord injury model. Say that tongue twister with me again. 6 months culturing hundreds of thousands of astrocytes (cells that make up your spinal cord) day after day. And they weren’t growing. And my boss started to get pissed and I was going to the medical school library every night to find that one nugget of information to figure out how to get these astrocytes to grow in the petri dish. I Experimented with everything the scientific journals listed in their ‘methods and materials’ section of the publication – the growth media, the way we harvested the cells, you name it. Finally one day I reached out to a researcher in the field who’d published a paper on astrocytes from the University of Alabama Birmingham’s medical school of all places. The next day I cold called him and he picked up! Lo and behold he answered on the 2nd ring and we talked for 20 minutes and a week later I flew down to his lab to work with him and his lab tech to see if we could figure out a way to get the spinal cord injury model to work. Within the first hour of our collaboration the lab tech told me to coat the petri dishes with L-Lysine to give the Astrocytes something to bind too because they didn’t like plastic. And whammo – that was the golden nugget of information. That was the information that wasn’t in the hundreds of scientific publications I had found on pub med and spent hours making copies of in the medical school library. I asked the lab tech how she figured it out and she just shrugged her shoulders and said another researcher suggested it to her. Aha – insider information….. Long story short, cells grews, motor neurons were studied, papers were published and more NIH grants were received. I went on to graduate school and got distracted by mountain bike racing… but I digress. The point I’d like to make is that sometimes the science, the scientists haven’t found what they are looking for. And someone with 20 years of experience has, like the coaches. Everyone on the internet is quick to point to the science this researcher has published in order to argue their point or to sound smart. And while I read the same studies, there are paper I wish have been published looking at what I’ve noticed in the field from athlete performance and power data. Sometimes the coaches are ahead of the scientists because they have the ability to perform experiments and gather the power data and see the results from the athletes they coach. Coaches have n = 1000 to the lab studies that had n = 12. And the longer they coach and the more experience they glean, the better able they are to figure out what works and what does not. By now I have close to 20 years of coaching experience and analyzing the power data of athletes and taking their data set from the whole season and seasons to measure their performance. Good coaches will micro experiment with their athletes: Did they rider faster , win x y z race, FTP improve, endurance stretched. What worked, what did not. Perform develop, grow , achieve. Many of you have heard my December 2018 podcast “How I Invented Sweet Spot” If not go back and give it a listen, I’ll put it in the show notes too. In there I recant my experience training with the polarized method and then the extraordinary improvement I made when I discovered and developed sweet spot training. I went from P ½ field pack fill to winning P1/2 races. XC MTB races, Time trials and crits all of things which is opposite but I always had a good anaerobic system no doubt developed from all the intervals I did. I’m not trying to start a polarized v sweet spot debate – I think, we (at FasCat think) you should do both and when you combine them together you’ll ride your fastest. Its taken me/us close to 20 years of training, racing, analyzing to articulate that to you all when everyone else is busy arguing which side they are on. The answer from the coaches is BOOOOOTTTHHHH!! Polarized training gets you so far just like sweet spot training only gets you so far. But when you combine the two together, when you switch from base to race: whammo – that’s the stuff of peak performances The big point I want to make is these broad connecting the dots types of perspectives from real world experience, working with athletes day in and day out, takes an open mind and years, decades of experience. I chuckle when the internet cites a study performed over six weeks. And then you dig deeper and the paper was written by a graduate student. Nothing against graduate student, I used to be one myself! Six weeks is just not enough time nor experience to really determine an athletes performance in a laboratory studying from following a real training plan. Studies like this can answer one single question that is more or less one layer of dozens that coaches factor into performance. Sometimes these studies answer questions about performance that honestly doesn’t matter too much to coaches because its common cycling sense. Granted they answer specific scientifica questions but many many times the coaches are ahead of the scientists AND the studies haven’t even been conducted to what the coaches have already figured out. Case in point – the whole sweet spot v polarized debate. Now I like science and I like the research – if these researchers were to go on journey and follow the results then you should perk up and pay attention. But to my knowledge no study has been done looking at sweet spot training to build one’s aerobic endurance in the off and pre-season and then a switch polarised training pre competition and in season. No study except for the fact that hundreds of my coaching colleagues training athletes with this methodology to help athletes of all abilities from average Joes to World Tour Pros’ ride their bikes faster. A super digression! I apologize, I was going to talk with you about the Long Ride and I just went on a huge rant pitching scientists against coaches. I think the holy grail is an experienced coach rooted in science (like most of my colleagues) Real world experience with a scientific background. But if I had to choose one or another, I’d choose the experience coached over what the science says every single time. And I’m a scientist! But the honest truth is that when I went to research the benefits of the long ride I wasn’t satisfied sharing the results of a paper in the Journal of Sports Med citing the increase in mitochondrial density from aerobic endurance training. Rather let me simply share 20 years of professional coaching experience with you – what works and I won’t even mention what does not. And because I’ve gone on a rant let’s skip the review of the week and announcement. Subscribe, leave us a review, engage with us – we want to help you ride your bike faster! We as Coaches know what works.. Why? Because we’ve done that ourselves and have monitored hundreds of athletes over the years that have benefited from long endurance ride training. And when I say endurance I’m talking about your aerobic endurance and you are ‘aerobic’ between Zones 2 thru sweet spot. Even Zones 4 & 5 are aerobic just not for long. Therefore I like to have athletes do three type of long rides in a progression. The first is the zone 2 ride the 2nd is the sweet spot TSS ride and the third is the AmEx TSS ride. Start with the zone 2 ride then move onto a long sweet spot ride and finally if your training has been going really well move onto the long Amex ride. Save the Amex rides for when your goal event is close. The Zone 2 and sweet spot long rides are off and pre-season and even in season. Zones 2 is zone 2 – fairly straightforward , steady constant pedalling and avoiding any forays above zone 2 – oftentimes facilitated by choosing to ride on flat terrain. The Sweet Spot ride is actually zones 2 through Sweet Spot for the sweet spot TSS ride and Zones 2 – zone 5 for the AmEx ride. And we’ll even sprinkle in a little organic zone 6, especially if they are a road, crit, mtb and cyclocrosser. Backing up we are coming up on the end of winter where everyone needs (this is free coaching advice) to get off their trainer and increase their riding volume. One hour a day is fine 18+ weeks out from their goal event but the progression to your training from increasing the intensity and frequency of intervals only takes one so far. In other words, there’s only so far you can ‘get’ from one hour trainer rides. The next step is to increase your riding volume. And for most of us weekend warriors that comes from the long ride on the weekend. 2-3 hours at first and then add 30 minutes each successive weekend to work your way to a 5 hour ride. I think the five hour ride is within all cyclists of all abilities: young, old beginner, advanced. This is why centuries are so popular bc 20mph for 5 hours = a 100 mile century. This is also why the pros do long rides. They just do a lot of long rides to add up to some 20-25+ hour weeks. So get off your trainer, put on some cold weather riding gear and double the longest ride you’ve done on the trainer this winter. Say that is 1.5 hours indoors so ride 3 hours outdoors. Ride 3.5 hours the next weekend and keep going to 4 > 4.5 and 5 hours each weekend. That is a 5 week progression. Why 5 hours? 2 reasons: #1 5 hours is specific to many of the events we are training for like an 80-100 mile road race, a gravel race, fondo, century, etc… #2 5 hours is a large dose of training (lotta mitochondrial biogenesis) but not so large that we can’t recover from. For example – the first time you do a 5 hour ride you are going to be smashed from it the next day. But the next time you do a 5 hour ride you’ll be less tired the next day and less tired the next time. A 5 hour zone 2 ride will incur a training stress score of roughly 250 or 50 TSS / hour. Experienced cyclist know they can recover from that. Especially when they’ve done 350 – 400 Sweet Spot TSS rides or events and have experience of what that felt like. The single day long ride progression is to go from not one long 5 hour ride on the weekend but TWO . That’s another 5 week progression after the aforementioned 5 week progression. For example – so now you are doing regular 5 hour rides every Saturday. On Sunday’s you are going to go from 2.5 hour ride and increase the duration by 30 minutes each successive Sunday on up to 5 hours. Now you are talking two long rides over the weekend for 10 hours of training + the 3 – 5 you are getting in during the week which adds up to close to are 12-15 hour training week. That’s a lot of mitochondria. And that’s how you build endurance. FTP gets a lot of hype while endurance is the ugly step sister. Let me tell you without ‘endurance’ your FTP is going to be subject to fatigue during your event. Aka that 300 watt FTP at the beginning of a 4-6 hour event will be 200 watts or less in the final hour. Scenario: If you have only been riding one hour a day 5-6 days a week for a total of 6-8 hours of weekly training for 6+ weeks and your FTP is over 300 watts that is great. But when you start getting into your Springtime and Summer events that require endurance, that 300 watts FTP will decrease each hour going to 275 and 250 and on down and the miles roll on. However for the athletes that have put in the time in the saddle training 8 – 12 hours per week their FTP is going to decrease less over the course of a long endurance event. Remember our podcast with Peter Stetina? He finished Unbound with the equivalent of a 170 watt FTP as measured by his normalized power in the final hour. And he finished 3rd! And he has incredible endurance from his training and years as a world tour pro. That race is truly a test of endurance and FTP much less so. And here’s my coaching experience for ya: you can incur less fatigue and have less FTP decline during an event from doing regular long rides. No scientific paper proves or disproves that – that’s just common cycling knowledge. The cyclists are ahead of the science. The long ride is the quintessential workout of aerobic endurance training for an aerobic sport. Dr Andy Coggan famously exclaimed way back, ‘its an aerobic sport, damit’ referring to the fact that event pursuitors whose event is less than 5 minutes benefit from endurance training. Even MvDP and Wout van Aerto go do 20-25 hour weeks in Majorca in December to get ready for 1 hour event in January. Because it is an aerobic endurance sport. And that’s also why they are such good road racers. Side note who do you think will win Strade Bianchi this weekend? Even Criterium racers and XC mountain bikers with events less than 2 hours do long rides because its an aerobic endurance sport. Time trialists and hill climbers benefit from long rides because its an aerobic endurance sport. And of course gravel fondo and century riders need and benefit from long rides because its specific to the event! The event is a long ride. As the expression goes, ‘long live long rides’ because they are fun, can be adventurous and honestly what I’m looking forward to this Spring and Summer. In the mountains of course. Thanks for listening to my rant and be sure to subscribe because next week we’ll be podcasting about switching from base to race part two – and our regular Ask a FasCat user submitted questions # 17 ! And if one of your buddies or the internet argues with you say in your best Big Lebowski voice ‘mitochondrial biogenesis man’ Do your long rides and remember to “Work Hard, Ride Fast, Have Fun and as always FtFP” To practice: ride your Gravel Bike on trails! Yea, Descending! I’m gonna give you all my cyclocross skill tips here: Keep Steam crossings + Roots and Mud: Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! To talk with a FasCat Coach about your long rides, please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a complimentary coaching consultation. The post Long Rides, Coaches v Scientists, Sweet Spot AND Polarized appeared first on FasCat.
65 minutes | 3 months ago
Gravel Skills and Tips
Spring is around the corner and that means dried-out roads, sunshine, and GRAVEL. While gravel riding and racing is super hot right now in the cycling world, there are still a lot of cyclists who are intimidated or unfamiliar with how it all works. So, in this episode, Coach Frank breaks it all down and offers some of his tried and true tips for gravel riding and racing as a veteran of the gravel scene (he’s been doing it since before it was “cool”). He’ll cover pack skills, cornering, body position, terrain, pacing during a race, and plenty more. Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast The post Gravel Skills and Tips appeared first on FasCat.
23 minutes | 3 months ago
The Relationship Podcast
“Happy spouse, happy house” is an important mantra to keep in mind as a cyclist. Training and racing can be a selfish endeavor, and it’s often easy to get sucked into the tunnel vision of goals and TSS and forget about the home life. Coach Frank shares some Valentine’s Day wisdom for finding and keeping balance in the household while still hitting your cycling goals! 59525Sweet Spot part 3 top off your base!” We are having a 30% off Valentine’s Day sale! Use the coupon code FAST30 for 30% any training plan on FasCatCoaching.com. Note: if you’ve already used your limit 1 25podcast coupon this is your 2nd chance to save again. Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast The post The Relationship Podcast appeared first on FasCat.
84 minutes | 3 months ago
Ask a FasCat #16
Welcome to the 16th edition of our “Ask a FasCat” podcast series, where we gather questions from our forum, website, and social media to help you ride faster! This round Frank and Lacey dive into questions ranging from course pre-riding, long term development in cycling philosophy, starting training again after a crash, and tons more. Thanks to everyone for the thought provoking questions! 58364Sweet Spot part 3 – as mentioned in the podcast!” The FasCat community now has access to discounts on Stages products, learn more by clicking on the Stages logo in our latest power based training tip “Top 10 Reasons to Ask Santa for a PowerMeter” Show Notes: Leaving post-activity comments: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/how-to-leave-post-activity-comments-for-your-coach-and-be-coachable/ Secret Training: To Race or Not To Race: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/secrettraining-to-race-or-not-to-race/ How to use the VIPR tube: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/how-to-use-a-vipr/ Use 25podcast to receive 25% off your first training plan! Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. The post Ask a FasCat #16 appeared first on FasCat.
55 minutes | 3 months ago
Motivational Tips & Tricks
This week on the podcast we are talking about ways to help you stay motivated! That’s right motivational tips and tricks to beat the mid-winter blues and follow your plan. Coach Frank with sound bites from Coaches Isaiah & Jake expand on using these 18 examples to stay motivated in order to achieve your goals: Remember your Goals Set a Daily Goal to FtFP (General McRaven’s Make your Bed EveryDay) Make it Turn Green – same as above, daily goal Indoor Training – lower the barrier to completion If you have a 3 hour ride on your plan ride 1.5 hours one way so that you have to ride 1.5 hours to make it back home! Ride a different bike than the day before Ride in a new place or new route Set an FTP – plan a 20 min field test and or a Strava PR into your plan Travel to somewhere warm and sunny Ask yourself what would Alaphilippe Do (WWAD)? Coach Jake :: Zwift Meetups / Group Rides Coach Jake :: get to Daylight Savings Coach Isaiah : focus on progression goals Coach Isaiah :: focus on feeling faster / improvement sensations Sweet Spot TSS rides when there are no group rides Watch a Pro Race – like the World CX Champs in Ostend this past weekend Buy a Training Plan Hire a Coach 57324Sweet Spot Part 3 with Over Unders and Criss Cross Intervals Show Notes: Phil’s Everesting Video with Coach Frank Dr. Michale Roshon’s VeloNews about early season racing Don’t forget Ask a FasCat # 16 is coming up and the deadline to submit your training and racing questions is 5pm mst February 4th. Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast The post Motivational Tips & Tricks appeared first on FasCat.
55 minutes | 4 months ago
Winning in the Kitchen Recipe Variations
The recipes in our Winning in the Kitchen Meal Plans are designed to be template guides for meals and have nearly endless variations to fit your preferences and tastes. In this episode, Frank and Jackson discuss how to adapt a few of the recipes to change them up and how to approach incorporating the 5 key food groups for meal planning. Listen in to hear how to keep the kitchen exciting if you’ve been feeling uninspired with your meals! 56075Winning in the Kitchen Meal Plan! Show Notes: Meal Prep Guide: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/meal-prep-guide/ Eggs and Kale recipe: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/what-to-eat-for-breakfast/ Chipotle Rice Bowl: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/chipotle-burrito-bowl/ Salmon Watts: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/salmon-watts/ OG Winning in the Kitchen Podcast: https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/winning-in-the-kitchen/ Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! For more things cycling training, visit http://fascatcoaching.com. Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast The post Winning in the Kitchen Recipe Variations appeared first on FasCat.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
How about a little anaerobic work to go with your sweet spot base training? At FasCat in the wintertime we like to caress and nurture our athlete’s anaerobic system. One training myth we’d like to dispel is to only do base training for 2-3 months. Why not do both simultaneously, in the right amounts. We’ve long been fans of fast fun wintertime group rides for the short 10 – 20 second forays above threshold we see in athlete’s power data. While not a ton of time is spent above threshold there is value and benefit to including anaerobic work to your base training. After all, isn’t this how the sport of cyclocross was invented? 54547Wintertime Intensity Training Plan. 1 hour workouts Zwift Compatible. This year a number of athletes are missing group rides not only for the social aspect but also for the training. And not only the base miles training and TSS but the anaerobic component that makes these group rides so beneficial. Doing a group ride on Zwift (not a race) over variable terrain with mixed high and low power output is OK but not quite the same as these 5 workouts we are presenting below. First, what is ‘Wintertime Intensity’? Wintertime Intensity is 2 – 4 cumulative minutes of zone 6 work per hour. Two to four minutes is not a lot considering a one hour criterium or cyclocross race has more than half or 30 minutes spent in one’s zone 6. Wintertime Intensity as you would guess is prescribed in the second half to final third of one’s aerobic endurance phase or CTL build. As in our sweet spot part 3 plan or our new wintertime intensity plan. These variable power wintertime intervals mimic the power demands* of road, mountain bike, gravel, fondo, cyclocross and even punchy time trials. In this training tip, we’ll describe the how, what, where, and why of wintertime intervals and give you five progressive workout examples plus a link to our WinterTime Intensity Training Plan that includes these 5 workouts** in an easy to follow, simple and affordable training solution. *surges in the peloton, steep pitches up climbs, switchbacks, and technical singletrack, cyclocross accelerations ** compatible with Zwift and others 3rd party riding app. The Wintertime Intervals are what we call variable power workouts and they have 5 main benefits: Specificity of real world conditions Help the time pass quicker during indoor training sessions! Concise short high quality 1 hour workouts (designed for indoors and ERG mode) but just as easily performed outside with longer zone 2 warm up and cool downs. Nurtures your Anaerobic System Provides an introductory amount of intensity to one’s base training before the high intensity interval training phase Wintertime intervals are structured over under or criss cross style workouts with short 10 – 20 second efforts at the beginning and/or the end of the interval. For example 10 seconds @ 150% on FTP followed by 2 minutes and 40 seconds at Sweet Spot wattages and/or heart rates followed by 10 more seconds @ 150-200% of one’s FTP before a 1:1 work to rest ratio 3 minute recovery. Then repeat. That’s a 3 minute variable power sweet spot effort with 20 seconds total (10 second before and 10 second afters on zone 6 work of zone 6 work. One can do 6 of these in a one hour workout for 18 minutes of ‘wintertime intensity’ split 88 % sweet spot and 12 % anaerobic zone 6. Or 16 minutes of sweet spot work and 2 minutes of anaerobic work. That’s a perfect ratio for your wintertime base training Dec-Jan-Feb. Now the progression lies in spending more time in sweet spot and more time in zone 6 in the context of a one hour workout. To get started with your wintertime intensity interval training we have the FasCat #1 Sweet Spot Cheetah Pounce” 4 x 6 minutes. We like to have a little fun with sports psychology and animal imagery in these workouts. And of course we are talking about the world’s fastest land mammal, the cheetah. Carefully sweet spot stalk your prey (your prey being your training goals) at sweet spot wattages and/or heart rates for 5 minutes and 40 seconds and the “pounce!” on them for the final 20 seconds at a 115 – 150% FTP Zone 6+ effort. Pounce out of the saddle as if you were going for the win and and uphill sprint. Really give’er here because you have a 3 minute recovery interval after. Take a 2:1 work to rest ratio 2 minutes recovery and repeat 3 more times. If all goes well and you FtFP your power and heart rate data will look like this: note the ‘extra credit’ watts for the last Pounce – we encourage this! In total this will be 24 minutes of WTI with 94% or 22.66 minutes being Sweet Spot and 6 % and 1.34 minutes being Zone 6 Anaerobic. ERG mode is fantastic for these variable power workouts but toggle if OFF to be able to get ‘EXTRA CREDIT” with more watts for the Pounce Pro Tip: Shift Down 3-4 seconds ahead of the pounce to be able to respond to to load the FasCat #2 Sweet Spot “Cheetah Pounce: is 6 x 4 minutes broken up into 2 sets Its a progression from the Cheetah Pounce # 1 Again visualize yourself as a cheetah stalking your prey, which is your A#1 training goal and sweet spot for 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Then just like #1 pounce out of the saddle for 20 seconds at a 115 – 150% FTP Zone 6+ effort. Again really get after the pound effort because you have a 2 minute recovery interval to catch your breath after. Little known cheetah exercise physiology nugget: Cheetah are all fast twitch and anaerobically gifted but at the expense of their endurance. A cheetah is wicked fast for 30 – 60 seconds but if the antelope can outrun the cheetah for longer than that cheetahs lose their speed quickly. Would make a terrible endurance athlete but a world class obviously kilo and pursuit rider! Cheetahs need more sweet spot training! … but I digress. Continuing on with the Cheetah Imagery theme is the FasCat # 3 Sprint > Stalk > Kill: 2 sets of 3 x 3 minutes. The progression of # 3 come from added in a 10 second anaerobic out of the saddle sprint to the beginning of the effort like a traditional over under. The Sprint Stalk Kill Goes like this: Sprint out of the saddle for the first 10 seconds of each interval @ 150% of FTP. Then settle back in the saddle to sweet spot stalk your prey (your goals) before going for the KILL with an out of the saddle > 150% FTP sprint! Really visualize your goals here – it is a crit and cyclocross race and mountain bike course – think and see yourself in the crux moment of these races making this kind of power. Please pardon the KILL’ing reference but that’s how it is in the Serengety and if you bring a killer mindset to your racing you’ll make Eddy Merckx (the cannibal proud). the FasCat # 4 Sprint > Stalk > Kill: is 2 sets of 5 x 2 minutes and is a progression from # 3 Same deal, sprint out of the saddle at 150% of FTP settle back in the saddle to sweet spot stalk your goal before going in for the KILL at 200% of FTP for the final 10 seconds. Visualize your Goals to Sprint FAST like a Cheetah! Accelerate, Settle In to your Sweet Spot and then go Full Gas for the KILL! I believe Duran Duran says it the best ‘Hungry like the Wolf”. To our knowledge no cheetah has made it into pop music culture . The Sprint > Stalk Kill # 3 contains 18 total minutes of wintertime intensity with 88% and 16 minutes being sweet spot and 12 % and 2 minutes begin anaerobic. The Sprint > Stalk Kill # 4 progresses to 20 minutes of WTI with 83.3% and 16.6 minutes of Sweet Spot and 16.7% and 3.4 min of anaerobic zone 6. The progression comes from a little bit less sweet spot and a little bit more anaerobic. Finally! If you know us well you know we always include a ‘Diabolical’ workout version for all the young buck whippersnappers out there who can handle the load and want to get their cat 2 upgrade. Now the FasCat # 5 Diabolical “Cheetah Pounce” is diabolical because you don’t have time to catch your prey with sweet spot – you need to stalk them faster at threshold watts! There’s is no set break either in order to get 8 reps in an hour workout. The FasCat # 5 Diabolical Cheetah Pounce goes like this: 8 x 3 minutes with 10 seconds zone 6 followed by 2 minutes and 40 seconds at zone 4 followed by 10 seconds at 200% of FTP. There’s a 1:1 work to rest ratio to enable you to complete the workout but the 8 reps add up – pace yourself especially for the first 2 or 3 because the last 2 reps, 7 & 8 will hurt! compliments of Coach Isaiah taking a diabolical one for the team Caress and nurture your anaerobic system this winter with these 5 wintertime intensity workouts. Get on the bike, get down to work, get off, go win in the kitchen and go on about your day. Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! To talk with a FasCat Coach about your wintertime intensity, please fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a complimentary coaching consultation. Comments The post Wintertime Intensity appeared first on FasCat.
77 minutes | 4 months ago
What’s Ahead on the Podcast in 2021 + FTP Testing
Happy 2021! Coach Frank is back in action to talk about what’s coming down the pipeline for podcasts over the next few months of the new year. Winter training, nutrition challenge, and more! Frank also revisits an episode he recorded earlier in 2020 discussing the importance of measuring and tracking your FTP (functional threshold power) with a 20 minute field test, an essential metric to focus on in the beginning of a new year. Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! Frank is the founder and owner of FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. Frank and the FasCat Coaches have been talking the talk and walking the walk [FasCat Core Value #7] for over 15 years. To talk about transforming your cycling and having your best season, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org , call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to schedule a Coaching Consultation. Comments The post What’s Ahead on the Podcast in 2021 + FTP Testing appeared first on FasCat.
77 minutes | a year ago
Transform your Cycling with a Next Level Approach
I wrote this four years ago in 2016 and have been living it since – cycling is a lifestyle and in this training tip I’ll share that lifestyle with you – Frank Overton Jan 9, 2020 Four year’s ago my new year’s resolution was to double down and make 2016 my year to have a great cycling season. You know, ‘get serious’. The motivation came from two cyclocross seasons of getting my ass kicked. That was not fun at all. Like cross the finish line, go back to your car, get in and drive away. So I woke up on New Year’s Day 2016 and went for a ride. Then the next day I went for another ride and the next day and so forth. Training consistently was my first goal and I knocked that out in January – I got back to being a cyclist, just like you. As I look back on 2016 and the 4 years since then, I more than accomplished my goal to have a ‘great season’ and as a coach I want to tell you how I transformed my cycling so you will know how coaching can help you for 2020 and beyond! Here are 8 next level approaches to your training and two things I learned about myself that I’ll share with you: #1 Consistency: I made getting on my bike a daily priority, whereas before I let work, kids and weather be an excuse. 1 hour a day Tues/Wed/Thurs, indoors or out. We’ve since adopted the phrase “FtFP” which is like Velomanti’s Rule #5, HTFU. Here FtFP means Follow the F&*#’ing Plan. 100% of our athletes report back that having a plan to follow helps them get on the bike and accomplish their workout each day. Having a coach to hold you accountable to that plan and consequently those goals is also next level. #2 Zwift: speaking of indoors, I hadn’t trained indoors in years. Maybe it was that 4 hour roller session I did as a youngster that scarred me? Enter Zwift. Try it, its fun and you’ll no longer use weather and daylight as an excuse. Zwift enables you to #FtFP. Last winter was the first winter in a long time where if it was sloppy cold outside or I couldn’t ride till after dark due to work, that I would move onto plan B and get on the KICKR and Zwift. Fun and productive, 1 hour: one and ‘dun’ where I whole heartedly went for KOMs, rode hard and made a lot of sweat, aka TSS. Exporting your workout from TrainingPeaks to Zwift is incredibly easy and straightforward, we’ve documented it over in our athlete support forum. In January I established consistency and in February Zwift enhanced that consistency. By March, I stepped it up group rides. And you know what, this is where my training an goals became F-U-N. #3 Group Rides: by March I had 2 previous months of fitness to propel me on the group rides. I also had the cyclocross season in my back pocket where the fitness carries over. This gave me the ability to not just hang on, but to take pulls and ride harder without having to worry about getting dropped. You know what’s not fun? Hanging on for dear life on a group ride. You know what’s ‘funner’? Going faster. Improving is fun. During these group rides, I was able to generate more TSS, raise my CTL higher and higher all the while having F-U-N. Hard as heck, shattered afterwards but Fun with a capital F. I kept going and the training snowballed from consistency, Zwift and the group rides. #4 CTL: Speaking of CTL , I took mine from 22 on 1/1/16 to 113 on 6/23/16 (2 weeks prior to my first A race). This was all made possible from 1, 2, & 3 and of course sweet spot training. We’ve since podcasted on using the performance manager chart to build a big aerobic engine as well as manage your training load – TSTWKT is truly a next level approach to your training. 3864Start Sweet Spotting your way to your best cycling season ever. #5 Winning in the Grocery Store/ Kitchen: I’ve always eaten well but I knew eating better was key to my performance and the lofty goals I had set. Better nutrition was going to help me lose weight, fuel my workouts and help me recover better. Back in my younger days I used to race at 148 – 154 lbs but over the 10 yrs since my ‘retirement’ the weight had crept up. So I resolved to eat better on January 1st, 2016. I ate more veggies and started cooking more. I also cut sugar completely out of my diet and cut back on beer. The sugar was easy; the beer was tough. But there’s 3-500 empty calories in every beer and going down to a few a week instead of 1-2 every night made a weight loss relatively easy. Oh and I started planning out my meals and cooking more, thus paving the way for what would be a major theme within our coaching philosophy: which was a relief. Athletes – I encourage every one of you to get more in tune with your nutrition by going to the grocery store yourself and cooking your own meals. It will be such a phenomenal shift in the way you eat, that you can’t help but get faster. All these dietary changes took me from 168 to 158 lbs by Memorial Weekend and I felt great, setting Strava PR’s because my power to weight ratio was way up. Overall, I lost a little less than 2 lbs per month for 5 months. Not dieting per se, just cleaning things up. Better food choices an eliminating empty calories. Basically practicing what I’ve always preached as a coach here. My threshold power was up too and my confidence really began to sky rocket. Then during the Tour inspired by Chris Froome, I took my diet and weight loss to the next level: Winning in the Kitchen: under cut my daily caloric requirements by 250-500 calories per day. Basically, I ate a ton of fish, veggies and salad + some carbohydrate the night before hard training rides. In July and August I went from 158 to 150 lbs, super lean and was absolutely crushing it on the bike. I started intervals in August so my power went up even more buoyed by the CTL I built up thru June. Less on the denominator and more on the numerator = significant power to weight improvement. Like back to where I was 10 years ago when I was racing NRC’s at the professional level. I don’t recommend trying losing weight during your season but remember, this was pre-season for me at the time because the cyclocross season was yet to start. To recap, I lost another 8 lbs (ontop of the 10 lbs by Memorial Weekend) and went from 12-14 % body fat to roughly a 5% lean, mean, cyclocross racing machine . 18 lbs total since January – had to buy a new belt! Not surprisingly the cyclocross season went well and I had the season I’ve always wanted to have. Hanging out after the races and swapping war stories. I podiumed in my first 6 race weekends, winning one race and nearly missing out on 2 other ‘w’s’. Wow. New year’s resolution complete. #6 Yoga I had taken yoga classes in years past and remembered how good I felt after the classes and how it helped with proprioception for better bike handling. So I started again and sure enough, it was helping with my recovery (like stretching) and I started handling the cyclocross bike better especially leaning the bike over in the corners. I started with YogaGlo on the iPad at home and then upgraded to studio classes. At first once a week then up to 2-3 times per week, primarily on my off days when I had a recovery day on the bike. Along the way I found my ‘breath’ and when I was doing intervals for ‘cross, I could literally slow down my breathing and ‘relax’ during the interval and in the race. Yoga is like moving meditating for me (just like riding) and the benefits spilled over to my mental toughness during the races. #7 Strength and Conditioning: I enlisted the help of a personal trainer to put me thru the paces in Sept and October. I saw amazing gains in my explosive power which I put to use with the accelerations I needed for cyclocross. It was all about getting the glutes engaged and utilizing this muscle group for power production. This year (2017) I’ll integrate this work + squats, hip thrusts & plyometrics into my cyclocross off season Feb/Mar and then again July/Aug – earlier than this past year so I can recover and still deliver the power on the bike. What else? Sleep. Oh yes, sleep – the best recovery aid there is. #8 Sleep. Best recovery tool in the business. Everything else is secondary. In 2015, I got a Fitbit with my daughter for Christmas and what I found most helpful was tracking my sleep hours. 8 hours a night and I’m good, nine and I’m gold. 7 and I feel it and 6 or less and I’m absolute garbage the next day. Since that Fitbit in 2015, I’ve upgrade to using the Whoop which is a 24/7/365 wearable device that records my daily strain, my HRV and sleep to measure my recovery. Big data type of stuff but the Whoop distills it all down to a daily recovery score: red, yellow, or green that helps you adjust your lifestyle and training load in order to keep recovery (and keep getting faster). Lastly: all the stuff you already know: intervals, motorpacing, training hard, life balance and working on my cyclocross skills with our annual cyclocross camp. Overall I mostly trained 8-12 hour per week with the occasional overload 14 – 16 week before a regeneration block. I did do one 20 hour week over the Memorial Day long weekend. I made some mistakes along the way because I was self coached but I have the data and experience that I’m going to correct and use to my advantage in 2017. For example: #1 Not raise my CTL so high by Memorial Day (I was 109) – rather a more gradual ascent this winter and spring. And that means less forcing training days and more time snowboarding over the winter. I was pretty cooked from training so hard in June that I didn’t quite have the snap for my A race that I had in May. Patience – it takes time and consiste
85 minutes | 5 months ago
Ask a FasCat #15
Welcome to another Q&A session of the FasCat Podcast, where we gather questions from our forum, website, and social media to help you ride faster! This round Frank and Lacey dive into questions ranging from tips for young cyclists, heart rate behavior during workouts, tapering, frequency of field testing, data fields to display, long term race goals, Haute Route nutrition, and so much more! Thanks to everyone who contributed questions, and congrats to the lucky winner of the Stages Dash head unit! 52180The one and only “Six Weeks to the Sweet Spot Training Plan” The FasCat community now has access to discounts on Stages products, learn more by clicking on the Stages logo in our latest power based training tip “Top 10 Reasons to Ask Santa for a PowerMeter” Show Notes: Scientific Basis for Pre Competition Tapering Strategies, Mujika & Padilla, Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 35:1182-1187, 2003 Tapering Using Zwift to FtFP Strava-Vals The Performance Manager Chart Podcast Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going fast on the bike! Comments The post Ask a FasCat #15 appeared first on FasCat.
64 minutes | 5 months ago
The Performance Manager Chart
Happy Friday FasCats! This week on the show, Coach Frank busts out the pocket protector to break down one of the most powerful tools we have access to as athletes and coaches: the Performance Manager Chart (PMC) in TrainingPeaks, which is a model to plan and predict performance! One can literally plan for more watts using the PMC Chart. It also a dashboard to monitor training stress, training load, acute training stress and the almighty: form – the balance between your training load and short term daily side effects from training. Frank covers everything you need to know about the PMC: what it is, why you should care about it, and most importantly, how you can use it to take your training and performance to the next level! For the scientific literature reference please see read visit the story behind the development of the PMC Chart here. As always, thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! For more things cycling training, visit http://fascatcoaching.com. Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast Copyright © 2021 FasCat Coaching – all rights reserved. Join our *FREE* Athlete Forum to nerd out with FasCat coaches and athletes about your PMC Chart, FTP, race data, power based training, or anything related to going faster on the bike! The post The Performance Manager Chart appeared first on FasCat.
63 minutes | a year ago
Build a Big Base with Sweet Spot Training
It’s December 31st, which means next year is upon us and thoughts are quickly shifting towards the race season. What are you doing to ensure an improvement over last year? What kind of training are you doing? Are you just winging it? There’s a certain combo of art and science to the base building phase of a training calendar, and in Coach Frank’s extensive experience of coaching cyclists he’s come up with a healthy dose of each to help you go faster. What’s the key component? Sweet spot training. We’ve talked about sweet spot a lot on the show and it’s weaved into almost everything FasCat does, but this week on the last episode of the year, Coach Frank breaks down how and why you should be incorporating sweet spot training into your plan to build a bigger and better base for 2020. He’ll cover: What is Base Training? Why Sweet Spot is Better than Zone 2 for Base Training Power Based Sweet Spot Metrics – Quantitate the SIZE of your base How many weeks to Sweet Spot? What training plans to do to get your Sweet Spot on What Sweet Spot base Building looks like day-to-day in a training plan And plenty more. Also, for even more sweet spot nerdiness check out our youTube channel and video training tip on Why Sweet Spot training is better than Zone 2. You may also find the Fatigue Dependent Training Plan Design tip a helpful read. As always, thanks to everyone for subscribing and leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, your support this year has been incredible! We’re extremely grateful, and excited about what’s to come in 2020. Now get training! The post Build a Big Base with Sweet Spot Training appeared first on FasCat.
31 minutes | 5 months ago
22 Weeks of Training this Winter
Coach Frank drops some wisdom about what types of training we recommend for the next 22 weeks. Why 22 weeks? Well, that’ how long it is from now until mid-May, where you likely want to be fast, faster, peaking, or crushing your A race. We’ll also touch on: what if you have 25 – 26 weeks, which is the Memorial Day Holiday, traditionally a big event week? Or training for the June 5 Unbound Gravel – formerly the Dirty Kanza. And accordingly, we know some of you out there are chomping at the bit to start racing in mid March which is in 14 weeks. This is part 2 of our OG “Timing is Everything” Podcast and an amalgamation of previous podcast about what training you should do and when and how much of. This podcast is broken down into 3 parts: ** Your training for the next 22 weeks ** Your training for the next 14 weeks if you are an early season racer ** And your training for the next 26 weeks and beyond if your goals later on in the year. 50726Weights + Base is Your Winning Combo! Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! For more things cycling training, visit http://fascatcoaching.com. Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast The post 22 Weeks of Training this Winter appeared first on FasCat.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
Thanksgiving Gratitude Podcast from the FasCat Team
From the FasCat family to yours, thank you! For tuning in to the podcast, for letting us help you get faster on the bike, we’re grateful to serve you. This week’s show, the FasCat coaches + Jackson share short messages of gratitude for you, the listener! 49244Shop our off-season resistance training plan. It’s a privilege to do what we do as coaches, and despite the uncertainties and madness of 2020, we want to take a moment to remember why we’re doing this and how lucky we are to be in our position. Hope your holiday season is positive and healthy! Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! For more things cycling training, visit http://fascatcoaching.com. Save 50% with FAST50 during our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale The post Thanksgiving Gratitude Podcast from the FasCat Team appeared first on FasCat.
71 minutes | 6 months ago
Should You Be Doing Specificity Training Year Round? w/ Coach Isaiah
As winter approaches and we start looking towards the potential for 2021 race season, the master coaches Frank and Isaiah are on the pod to talk specificity, and if cyclists should be training specifically for target races year round. They talk about the importance of training particular systems and demands for a specific races, such as power demands, terrain, equipment and nutrition, etc. It’s a good time of year to start thinking about the demands your target races will require and how you might train specifically for them. From nutrition to skills and drills, specificity is one thing you can control during the hectic uncertainty of 2020! Thanks to everyone for tuning in, subscribing and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, and for engaging in our forum! For more things cycling training, visit http://fascatcoaching.com. Save 25% on your next training plan with code 25podcast The post Should You Be Doing Specificity Training Year Round? w/ Coach Isaiah appeared first on FasCat.
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