Ask a FasCat # 20 :: call for your Questions > Win a Hyperice Massage Gun

Hey FasCats!

The time to record our Question and Answer #20 Podcast is coming up!!

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 October 6th at noon (mst) .
You may also email your question to

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

Pyramidal Sweet Spot Training
Weight Lifting for Cycling
Using Power Data to Review Your Season
Cyclocross Run Training
Using HRV as a recovery metric

The most thoughtful question wins a Recovery prize pack including a pair of Phil’s IceLegs as well a Hypervolt Percussion Tool a $500+ value!

So put your thinking cap on (or helmet :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) and shoot us your best questions.
We are looking forward to answering them!

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End of Season CTL. What do you recommend for an end of season CLT leading into 2022, if the goal is to ride stronger & faster in 2022? Start 2022 at a higher CLT? Some other strategy?

Whoop, age, and stressful schedule - Oh My!

I am a 42-year-old female, working with Coach Isaiah for just about 2 years now. I’ve gotten into the groove of training with power and riding regularly. But recently recovery has become more difficult. Adding to this is a work schedule that is, shall I say, polarized. Some days I work 14 hours, other days only 4 or 5.

I’ve had a whoop for about a month now - just beginning to dive into the data. What tips do you have for using HRV and other Whoop data to my advantage? As I age, I’m learning that I need both physical AND emotional/mental recovery. For example, I “unplug” every evening by a certain time from all electronic devices.

Therefore I want to utilize what Whoop can offer, but I don’t want to overload myself with data. Also, with my inconsistent schedule, should I be looking at overall averages in HRV, sleep, etc? (instead of day-to-day) Or maybe trends to notice over time (weeks/months)?

Christine (Albany, NY)

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Here are a few questions tended towards newly coached athletes.

  1. As a new Fascat coached athlete (Coach Jake), what are the best things an athlete can do to have healthy relationship with their coach?

  2. Also being new to coaching and mainly Training Peaks, what are some metrics and/or data with Training Peaks can I follow/trend to track my progress? Obviously CTL, but is there anything other metrics that I should be following weekly?

Jason Smith (West Virginia)


The role of body weight in cycling!

I find there is plenty of information surrounding weight loss as a cyclist. Most athletes know that the best time to shed some lbs is the fall/winter. Moreover, there is a lot of information about winning in the kitchen to achieve your weight goal, but some larger questions I still have include: what do we know about how weight loss can improve your cycling or even certain aspects of your cycling (climbing vs sprinting vs threshold, etc)? To what extent does it help amateurs and at what point is shaving off those last few lbs more of an effort than it’s actually worth? And of course at what point does losing weight hurt your performance?

Dr Google will give you answers ranging from “Don’t worry about it, you’re not a pro. Eat that donut!” to “here is a complicated equation explaining why each pound lost is crucial.”

Would love insight on this. Thank you!


What kind of questions do your athletes never ask that you wish they would ask? :stuck_out_tongue:

But for real, muscle tension intervals feel great. My heart rate stays low and I enjoy the slow methodical application of power at 40-60 rpm. What’s going on here that makes it feel different (better?) than applying the same power with a higher cadence?

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Looking at my PDC on for men 50 - 59 (2,291 people; I will be 55 in January):

  • 5s - top 91.2% based upon power / weight. I’m just over 65kg
  • 15s - top 87.9%
  • 30s - top 61.3%
  • 60s - bottom 42.5%
  • 3m - 51.8% so barely top half
  • 5m - top 58.2%
  • 10m - top 61.5%
  • 20m - top 55.1%

Does the drop compared to peer group between 30s & 60s provide any insights on how I should modify my training? Does this relative weakness have any implications?

While this info is specific to me, the more general question is: how to inform / modify training - if necessary - for relative weaknesses in PDC?

Since COVID first hit back in March of 2020 I decided it was time to get fit again and with thanks to cycling (indoor and out), weight training and a “good” diet, managed to go from 205lbs to a now fit 155 with an ftp now up at 284 through random interval work. But coming into Fall I also felt I had progressed as far as I could alone. So I have purchased and set up (TP) the new 30 week off Season plan (basic- Job/3yr old) as well as the “base to race” Gran Fondo Intermediate plan, with two GF’s booked for July/Sept next year. I went down the rabbit hole and listened to ALL the Podcasts, and the one’s that stuck out relate to CTL which when I start my training mid November right after holidays is projected at about 50. Through the weight training phase it understandably drops to 36 and then through Sweet Spot hits 57 before Base to Race (Intermediate) brings it to peak at 65. This just seems so much lower than Frank’s recommended 90+/- peak CTL for a 40yr old that I have to ask the question - What can I do to get that CTL up another 25 points?! Is the Intermediate 30 week the answer? Is there some other options you could recommend? Thanks guys! Richard Smith, Kamloops, BC Canada. ps. Jackson (and Frank) your podcasts on “winning in the kitchen” finally nudged me in the right direction and in the last two weeks I have changed my diet to be 90% vegetarian, very little dairy, very little gluten, and I feel great. Thank you for all the info you provide in those podcasts, it has truly made a difference. Can’t wait to FTFP and see what I can do!

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I will be starting the 16-week weight lifting & Sweet Spot plan in a couple of weeks. As a lighter rider - I am wondering if I shouldn’t focus more on extending the weight training longer through the winter season? I am currently 35 years old, 140 lbs and have an FTP of 3.40 w/kg. XC Mountain bike racing resumes in mid-May here in the midwest. It seems most riders are wanting to shed pounds, however, I feel like it may be more beneficial in my case to pack on some muscle. Even if I maintain the 3.40 w/kg FTP but I’m 10 lbs heavier, wouldn’t that make me faster, technically?
Thanks for any insight or examples you can provide from an athlete in my situation! Much appreciated.

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Should recreational athletes follow structured training? If so, why and what would the benefits be vs just getting out and riding?

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Can a temporary switch to a different endurance sport make me a better life-long cyclist in the long run? I’ve always been solely a cyclist, into my 3rd year back to competitive racing after a 20+ year hiatus to raise a family. My prior strengths were crits, my current passion is CX, but I’ve found I need more variety to keep the drive alive. To get back into cycling, I targeted the Leadville 100 mtb and finished sub 9 in 2019. During the pandemic, I did both and indoor and outdoor everesting, and climbed Mauna Kea (the hardest of all these endeavors). Now I’ve got an itch to run, which I’ve always loathed. I want to train for and finish the Leadville 100 run. I’ve convinced myself that a year off of cycling to run will help me be a better cyclist. Am I crazy or potentially onto something? Talk me off the ledge of give me some encouragement please. thanks!

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TL/DR What is the best way to peak for high priority road races that are four months apart?

As a bit of background, the Texas racing season has road races in early spring and late summer, with mostly crits in between. With the big spring road race now permanently moved to April (from February), I would like to peak for that race, do crits and fast group rides in the summer, then be ready for a couple of road races in late August and mid-September.

What I found this year was that 18 weeks of SS → Intervals for Road Racing → 2x Road Race In Season (back-to-back) worked really well for the crits and shorter yet hard group rides. The drop in volume combined with higher intensity kept me sharp, but when I tried to do longer rides later in the summer as road race prep, I hit the wall hard.

For 2022, should I plan for a mid-season mini break with a repeat of Six Weeks of SS (#2 or 3) to increase volume/CTL before getting back to race interval work and prep for the road races? Or replace my midweek 1.5 hour hard group ride with longer (hard) group ride on the weekends? Some combination of both?

P.S. I realize the answer is for me to just hire a FasCat coach, but I would like to continue to chain together the plans that I have!

Throwing in a second question!!

You have traditionally advocated strength during strength season, bike during bike season and not to mix the two. This year I stopped doing strength work as the riding ramped up but did continue to do 1-2 core sessions a week throughout the year. I often did not want to do them, but believe that it made a difference in terms of having zero back pain, keeping my form when on the limit, etc.

So, I am just now starting back to strength training and OMG the DOMS!! Remarkable how just a few lunges after months of not doing them can generate such pain, but it has me thinking about how to approach strength maintenance work during the season next year. As a mid-50s sort of dude, bone health and overall fitness are important to me and I know that in the height of race season rest is critical, but how has your thinking evolved on in season strength work? Still a no no? Perhaps once a week at easy maintenance levels?

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As people that have made a career out of cycling, what tips do you have for maintaining cycling/life balance? I have listened to the relationship podcast as well as the full library and there are lots of great nuggets throughout. That said I, and I’m sure many of us listening, regularly get accused of selfish cyclist syndrome. I am very dedicated to #FtFPing and generally get the morning watts in to save the rest of the day for other life commitments. It often still feels like too little, too late. Any additional words of wisdom would be awesome.
Thanks in advance,
Tim C


Thanks to everyone for the great questions, we had a blast answering them!
You can listen to the pod here:

Also congrats to @ahmed.zuhairy for being chosen as the most thoughtful question. We sent you an email to let you know and to get your shipping address :slightly_smiling_face:


I just finished listening! Super stoked and thanks again for a great episode @FRANK and @Lacey_Rivette. Very excited to finally have a “fancy” recovery tool. Yes, I have been using a stiff foam roller since college :joy:


@ahmed.zuhairy congrats!!


Thanks @tim.cahhal !

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Hi @FRANK , thanks for answering my strength question on the podcast. Apologies for using “evolve” in the phrasing of the question - did not intend for that to come off so negatively!! Will take your advice and add Nino’s Secret Training to the mix for next season.


None taken @rob.cordray - i have to make the pod entertaining and when I hear evolve from a Physiological standpoint that takes millions and millions of years so I was trying to crack a Darwin-esque joke