Ask a FasCat Q&A #11

Hey there FASCATS!

Let this thread be the place for you to submit your questions for our upcoming Q&A Podcast. Let’s get those questions submitted here by 8pm this Wednesday August 5th.

All questions will be considered to be answered on air as long as you get them in early to give us time to organize and think about them :slight_smile:

We will ship a GU Energy prize pack to whoever comes up with the best question!

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Is it appropriate to do a 6 minute VO2 test to determine VO2 interval instead of going by %FTP? My FTP is a really low percentage of my VO2 (verified by a true 1 hour FTP test). My 6 minute power is a whopping 133% ftp and I can hold 120% ftp for 10 minutes. I know I can go harder than the intensities in my TrainingPeaks workouts from my FasCat plans but have never tried doing intervals above 120% FTP.

To piggy back off of that, should athletes who have a noticeably high ratio of VO2 power to FTP power be training a certain way to get the most out of their power profile?

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Whats the difference between CTL, ATL, and TSB ?

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Check out this training tip and podcast for info and history on the PMC metrics

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Thanks @chad Chad, you beat me to it :raised_hands:t3:

Hi team
:+1: up for SS4

Question for Frank.

Is 100 % O2 to breath after hard session an efficient recovery aid ?

Regards Mick

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Question for the FasCat gang: What are your tips for those semi-new to the cycling scene? As a convert from triathlon, I’ve found the cycling community - although very friendly and accepting - to be a bit intimidating. All of the gear and tech talk, cat. this and that, how to ride in a group, etc. I’m a fascat athlete now with a power meter and the wonderful guidance of coach Isaiah…people might even mistake me for a cyclist now! But I still have some feelings of worry not knowing what cycling event to sign up for or worry when I inquire about a group ride. Help a girl out on how to be more confident and less intimidated!! Thank you! Christine from Albany, NY


During weekday intervals, I’m sure FTFP wins but would an athlete get the same training stimulation if they simply get the correct time in zone over a session. Eg 3*10 tempo with five minute intervals in an hour session is the set plan, would an athlete ensuring they got 30 mins tempo over an hour session, get an equivalent training benefit?


I have an unconventional race coming up and I’m curious about how y’all would approach it: it’s a MTB cross country enduro. 5 stages, 20-30 minutes each, time trial start intervals. Stage 3 is separated from 2 and then 4 by an untimed greenway connector of about 4 miles. The other stages are within a few minutes of each other.

You can take as much time between stages as you want, with a time limit large enough to be no factor.

I’m mostly curious to see how you’d approach the gaps between stages- cool all the way down, keep the HR in a particular zone, stop and take a 20 minute break?All could be options, I think.

As for the stages themselves, 2 hours of racing is going to be a test for me, so I’m planning to take it as Sweet Spot+. I should be able to do a simulation a couple weeks before to see what feels right.

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Growing up, I was always the fastest sprinter but would die if I had to run a mile. As I got older and started cycling it turned out that again, I could sprint easily or complete a short race, but once the distance ticked up, I’d be done. I’m assuming this means I have a higher number of fast twitch muscle fibers. Is it possible to train your slow twitch muscle fibers to become a better endurance athlete? Is this something that Sweet Spot Base Training achieves? Along with that, if you train your slow twitch muscles, will your fast twitch muscle fibers decline to the point that you’d start to struggle with sprints and short races? Thank you so much!


Cross is generally my focus for training but I will not likely have many races to attend, if any. Should I continue to do cross specific intervals and training to keep my normal routine through the fall or just continue to build base for 2021?

Also, what’s your go to at a gas station when you’re completely cracked? I’ll admit coca cola in a can is mine.

Thank you,

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For Q&A: Overcooked and heart rate depression

I’ve completed a rather ideal ramp of CTL using 6x ~3week builds followed followed by ~1 week of recovery. I’ve built a ton of speed but I’m finding that it is much harder hold my heart rate up on long climbs of 20-30 minutes. I suspect this is a classic symptom of over training, yet if you were to look at my PMC it looks perfectly in-line.

  1. As a CTL becomes higher, should I be switching from a build oriented sweet spot style towards a polarized training method simply because I accumulate too much intensity when I hold high Z3 on all the climbs?

  2. I’ve gone back and forth to altitude a few times. Rather than using power I’ve been HRTSS, which I would hope would better reflect the load of training. Could this misrepresent the load I’m putting on my body? I also feel like there’s a difference between my aerobic training and muscular training and CTL isn’t reflecting that. Is there a better way to track the different aspects of loading?

  3. When such over-cooked symptoms become apparent and some additional rest seems to help, what should I do to avoid this symptom and continue to progress in training? For example, I’m trying to change to more polarized and Z2 base time coupled with more targeted high intensity only on specific portions of rides where it’s purely fun.

  4. I’m old school and used to use block training in 3 day groups with short duration(VO2), then mid duration (threshold), and then long endurance followed by rest. I’m hearing that may be out of favor now with long endurance Z2 one day followed by high intensity followed by recovery. Would the stimulus most immediately leading into recovery get priority and thus hard days immediately before the rest day make more sense?


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Very happy with FasCat plans and have seen excellent results since starting them in February 2020. I’m considering coaching and have a question about custom training plans. From WKO and INSCYD, my limiter appears to be aerobic capacity. This year the FasCat 18 week sweet spot plan helped me close the gap on personal bests from Spring 2017 (some details below). I’ve setup my training calendar to complete SS1-4 by March 1st, when Wed Night Worlds return. My goal is to get back to where I was in 2017, and wondering if a coached athlete might receive modifications to your sweet spot base template to help grow aerobic capacity?


p.s. my wife will want reasons why a stock plan is not good enough…

Some background - lifelong desk jockey and masters 55+ with 4 years training. Currently following the off-season resistance plan and seeing excellent results in the weight room. In 2017 I hit my best ftp of 275W (field tested) and WKO modeled aerobic capacity 4.3 L/min. That was good enough to (mostly) hang with the fast guys on pancake flat Wed night worlds. Then two seasons using other plans and hitting roughly 250W and 3.8 L/min. This year with FasCat plan, despite life and pandemic interruptions, I pushed it up to 260W and 4.0 L/min. Would love to hit 300 ftp / 4.8 L/min aerobic capacity in March/April 2021. FTP is often 86-88% vo2max which is a pretty high fractional utilization as I understand it.

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Thanks for the great question Josh!
I am curious to hear Franks response to this on the podcast :slight_smile:

Hey FasCats – Thanks for all of your great questions! There was quite an array of topics, which (we think) made for a great podcast.

Head over and give it a listen to find out what Coach @FRANK and @Jackson had to say in response to your questions :upside_down_face:

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For future reference, the proper pronunciation of INSCYD is “INSIDE”.

Gotta “LUV” funny spelling for “SYMPL” words as part of marketing “PLUFF” :stuck_out_tongue:

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