Ask a FasCat #17 Podcast Q&A!

Happy Friday FasCat Coalition!!

Just want to let you all know that the time to record our Question and Answer #17 Podcast is nearing!!

For these podcasts, we gather all your questions here in this forum thread and try to answer them one by one during the podcast.

Use this thread to Ask your Question! The deadline for submission is Wednesday April 14th, 5pm mst . You may also email your question to

Some recent topics that we have covered that would be great to ask question on include:

Base to Race

Jake’s most recent VO2 intervals video

How to Perform VO2 Max Intervals with your Powermeter

The Long Ride podcast

During Ride Nutrition

The prize for the ‘Most Thoughtful Question’ is your choice of a Winning in the Kitchen Meal Plan OR a FasCat Jersey!

My question stems from a recent post in the forum where an athlete asked if he could sprint or stand out of the saddle at the end of an FTP Test. The answer was yes & I was expecting it to be a No. I always thought that you stay seated for the entire duration of the test because the moment you stand you are engaging neuromuscular power which will potentially give you a higher average, which in turn would influence the zones you train it. So really I would like to know the thought process behind this recommendation to stand?


My top two events are mid-April and mid-October. Everything else can be done within plan scheduling. This leaves enough time between events to attempt the coveted “double peak”.

Is it appropriate to treat May like December before restarting 12 weeks of SS in June? If not, how best to approach my next A race being 6 months away?

Of course, I could just hammer Coach Jakes SS part 10 all summer :joy:


So i apologyse in advance, but english isn’t my native language.
I’m gonna try and see if i can explain myself so fingers crossed…
My question is the following:

So on any given workout, you have prescribed wattages. Let’s imagine a workout where you’re supposed to do 3x8 at say between 75% and 85% of your FTP. Now let’s imagine that 85% of my FTP is 200. (nice round number…)
So when doing the workout, ideally you want to stay between 75% and 85% right?
But i’ve seen on this forum several times, coaches saying that if you’re feeling good, you can push higher.
So imagine i’m feeling really good, and for some reason i can do all 3 intervals at like 90%, or 95% of my FTP. Won’t that ruin the physiological adaptations we’re after? I mean the goal is to train in the SS range right? what if all of a sudden, i transform all of my SS workouts in Treshold or VO2max because i can sustain those numbers? Won’t that lead me into overtraining eventually? Won’t that defeat the purpose of SS workouts?
Hope my question makes sense. If not let me know, and i’ll try and explain it better.


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My question is regarding During Ride Nutrition.
Lacey gave some great advice for this on her latest video and I tried to do it in practice on a recent 4 hour plus ride with 5,000 feet of climbing (sorry didn’t ftfp).
I filled two water bottles with GU roctane and in my back pockets carried 2 energy gels, nut energy bar and a hot cross bun filled with pistachio butter and marmalade ( it was Easter Sunday)!
I completed the ride which was tough and I felt fatigued towards the end but I had no cramps which is a plus for me.
My main question is that although 2 bottles of Roctanes contains a lot of carbs does the water content offer enough hydration for the long ride or should I have used one bottle for water only and would you advise doing anything different regarding the nutrition and the limited room I have in my pockets.
Keep up the good work.
Marino from the UK.


We will answer this in detail on the pod, but until then… you need to get yourself a hydration pack because 2 bottles is not enough for 4 hours. Here is one of my favorites because of fit and easy access to snacks in the pockets (I don’t use the front bottles when I am on the bike).

I forgot to mention I was on a road bike and I don’t see many road cyclists use hydration bladders but I suppose the alternative is careful planning and to find shops etc on route to refill the water bottles and maybe take a roctane sachet to carry as well for refills.
I did see a you tube video once where Phil Gaimon pointed out all the secret and hidden water stops in Malibu.
One bottle of roctane water mix contains carbs but does it hydrate the same way if it was a water only bottle if that makes sense?

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My question is in regards to training with power and building routes based on my location.

My main attraction to Fascat was the emphasis on outdoor training, and the ‘having fun pushing yourself’ aspect- while FTFP’ing. However, I am newer to structured power based training outdoors in a road setting as compared to just on the trainer.

I recently purchased the Six Weeks to SweetSpot Part 3 plan ‘intermediate level’- I came from another training application and was feeling pretty comfortable with 10hr weeks on the bike and structured training- so after speaking with Frank I decided this was the best plan to go with. I’m almost finished!

-how best to build routes based on what the plan calls for (especially during the week when intervals are needed and time is short)- I live in an urban-ish area and there are frequent traffic lights and it takes me a good chunk of time to get out to flat, uninterrupted stretches of road that I can do an interval on without having to stop mid workout
-Along those lines, how should I structure my elevation profile and map to look based ont he work that’s needed to be completed? i.e.- if I’m doing zone 2 with intervals, should I plan to hit flat section of road and then have a climb come up right as I’m about to start an interval?

I guess my question summed up- how do I make routes structured for timeframe, TSS, and type of work to be completed. A list of “pro-tips” for power based training outdoor and structuring routes based on goals would be a topic I’d love to hear more on.


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Good afternoon @Lacey_Rivette and FasCat Nation!
I would like to hear/understand more about power, average power, and normalized power. What are the differences and where do you use one over the other in analyzing workouts. I feel pretty good with the broad strokes but would enjoy hearing a deeper dive into the subject.
I apologize if it has already been covered. I am still working my way through the archive of podcasts.
Warmest regards,
Tim Cahhal


Coach Frank and Jackson made a nice video on pacing a gravel race back in 2019, but I’m wondering if they can revisit the topic with a little more detail. I have my first ever gravel race coming up on May 1st. It isn’t long at 54 miles, but it does have a lot of punchy hills that add up to 5,1000 ft. Beyond not going too hard on the first few hills, what are some ways that I can use my training experiences and power meter to put together a plan for race day? Are there some ways that I can be intentional in my upcoming gravel simulation rides to test out some pacing strategies? What can I glean from my ongoing VO2 max intervals to apply on race day? How might this differ for a longer event or one with a different elevation profile?

Note: I’m using the Gravel Grinder - Intermediate - Hilly training plan.

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@Lacey_Rivette I have a question about power/HR and adding zone 2 time. If I don’t exceed zone 2 in a ride I can easily do the high end of my zone 2 range with my HR in the “correct” range…for example 150w at 123BPM. Once I do my intervals at higher power and HR, however, my heart rate will not come back down to the same place for a given zone 2 power. So per the example above, after my hard intervals I may only be able to do 130w and still stay in my zone 2 heart rate range below 125bpm for the remainder of the ride.

So when adding extra zone 2 is it better to do it before the interval work when power can be kept higher while staying in HR zone 2, or after the interval work to make insure maximum freshness during the hard intervals? Or just ignore HR for this purpose and keep the power up no matter what?


@Lacey_Rivette As a follow-up, should I expect to eventually have my HR come back down into the zones with more time in the saddle? Or is it typical to see HR stay elevated in lower zones once some hard efforts have been done? (I am on week 15 of 18 week basic SS3, and have been riding about 19 weeks total after years off the bike. I have been adding extra zone 2 in anticipation of buying the intermediate level when I get to SS4 and beyond.) Thanks!

Hi @kfath.30 - curious if you have ever done a road race or fondo? Would frame my answer depending on that or not. Thanks, good question!

@FRANK , no, this is my first race ever. No pressure. My first race experience lives or dies based on your training plans :smile:


Hey Fascats, at time of recording I’ll be one month away from the Trans-Sylvania Epic, a 5 day MTB stage race in Pennsylvania. I’ve had a great winter and I’m on the SS MTB Marathon plan, and I’ve had great advice here on nutrition, so I feel pretty good about the time on the bike.

My question then is…what about the other 20+ hours per day? I’d love to hear your favorite tips for fueling, recovery, and rest between stages. I’ll be camped at the start/finish area, and it’s not far to civilization, so logistics are pretty easy as these things go.



my question is about maximizing training/nutrition. i’m getting older and with a baby/toddler i’ve found myself limited to 3-4 hours training total per week and usually only 60-90 min per session until my kiddo gets older. 1. knowing that getting older means a longer recovery time after hard sessions, and having to balance rest to avoid overtraining, is it best to “overload” and stack back to back hard sessions and then several days recovery? or does the retraining effect negate any progress i make because of longer recovery periods? and 2. i’ve found myself trying to fit in evening training sessions. i’ve heard recovery nutrition is super important to maximize any gains and help recovery but i’ve also heard eating just before bedtime is overall negative for health. how do i balance those two conflicting things?
thanks for the helping! if it matters, my realistic goals currently are to maintain what i have and/or make small gains rather than make huge jumps.


I’m interested in how to “win” nutrition at marathon mtb events. Generally there’s a mix of aid station eats and what I can carry. And I don’t want to carry too much. So, for 5-6 hour event how much should I carry, what can mooch from the aid station- and how do I not overdo it? With one bottle mount, do I carry electrolytes, water or try to swap bottles during events? Or just suck it up and carry 2?

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I worked with a cycling coach in the past who was very big on protein bars during 2-4h z2-z3 and with short interval work outs. My concern is & was the high sugar content in these bars? Do we need to be replacing protein ( 20grams/bar/hour)?? Can we actually use this much (I.e. 60grams protein in a 3 hour ride)? Can our kidneys handle that much?

Thanks I be interested in hearing or reading your response to in training macros?

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FasCat! My question, I hope, applies to a lot of us: How does a Cat 4/5 break through his/her physical and mental barriers to go to the next level? What are your top tips for the average Joe and Jane who are passionate and dedicated but have stopped their progression? Thanks, and I totally want that jersey!

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I have two questions but I’ll try to keep them succinct.

1 - after hard workouts (~200 tss and above) I don’t sleep very well. I’ve tried a bunch of stuff but always looking for suggestions. Things I’ve tried include (Tart Cherry juice, valerian root, melatonin, turkey for dinner (tryptophan), advil pm, meditation and if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where this is legal, THC gummies). The gummies do seem to work well but they’re expensive , I don’t like relying on them and have a bit of “brain fog” in the morning. Infinit Nocturne seems to help as well. Anything else come to mind? As a masters racer (53) my recovery seems to be the biggest hurdle lately

2- Ketones. a friend sent me an email about using these for both weight loss and appetite suppression. They’re pretty damn expensive but there’s a fair amount of buzz around them. Do you all have any experience with these, pros/cons… …etc.?

these two Qs could seem to be at odds with each other (recovery & fasting/weight loss) but from the bit I’ve read (I’m still verrrrrrrry underinformed) it seems like they could work together somehow.

Thanks for all that you do and have a groovy day!!! jm