Call for Ask a FasCat #19 Questions: Win a Pair of Normatec Boots!

My question relates to balancing family with cycling as a new(ish) father. My son just turned one and, as you can imagine, is a handful. I am currently spending 10-12 hours on my bike per week and while my wife has been really accommodating, but the strain the longer rides add to our relationship is often evident. Cycling is clearly passion of mine, but this is the first year I’ve followed time-intensive structured training plan and signed up for an event (a for-charity fondo in August). I try to pour myself into my husbandly and fatherly duties when I put the bike away, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. I think it can be difficult for someone who does not have a passion for endurance sports to reckon with the time commitment required and I come off as inaccessible or stubborn. Do you have any tips on how I might achieve better harmony with my wife when talking about my goals and our goals as a family?

Thanks for all you guys do!

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Hello. I’m training for the Triple Bypass Fondo using your Bypass plan. I’ve noticed in the longer rides that it says to go on climbing routes or at high elevation. I live in Kansas and most hills around me are 2-3 min long. I have Zwift and kickr climb but can’t see myself using that during the nice weather months. So my question is what advice do you have for someone like me to train for mountains and be ready to tackle the higher elevation? I will be arriving there two days before event.

Thanks your plans rock!!


Living in Oklahoma the summer weather is humid and hot, generally the dew point isn’t favorable very often. When training in high humidity and temperatures is it best to accomplish the work when cooler in the morning or to workout at the time of day when a goal event may occur?

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Can you talk about the range and types of athlete urine and blood testing, availability, cost, and actionability (from “home testing” to lab testing) across different rider “levels” - specifically focusing on what the weekend warrior might use to their advantage vs what is out of reach or unnecessary from a cost or logistics perspective? I’m interesting in hearing your perspective and experience related to what one might learn from these types of tests and how to take action on the results, whether its related to supplement use, general nutrition, or especially recovery. How are these results or markers similar or different in male vs female athletes? How do these results or markers fit into different periods of your training season or training plan? Thanks!

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#crossiscoming … How do you develop a race strategy? Big picture and nitty gritty details would be awesome - race strategy 101 please!

I’m particularly interested in CX racing, but expect there is lots of cross over with any other race. How do you pick the parts where you are going to “recover”, how do you decide the way you will stack the laps, how you will adapt your strategy based on the other racers who are presumably trying to wear you out and not following your strategy (!!), how you adapt after the first lap, how to choose when to try and burn the other racers without doing yourself in completely, etc.

Thanks! Geraldine

I’ll keep it short and sweet. Since cyclocross is rapidly approaching, how should one incorporate running/dismounting/barrier skills into their training without disrupting interval sessions with sore legs for several days?


I am fairly new to training. I get excited about riding, lifting, and training in general. I look forward to it. I keep hearing that recovery is just as important to improve performance. What tips do you have to get excited about the recovery part of training plans? How do you make it more than ‘not training’? There needs to be a Strava for recovery KOM’s :grinning:

Q for the episode: I find that in following the sweet spot plans that I can meet the prescribed TSS in weekday workouts no problem but on the longer (and unstructured) weekend ones of 3 or more hours I can’t hit the target in the time allocated. What advice do you have for going about this - Re-test to verify FTP is right? Follow some structured intervals for the long efforts? Add strength training back in (it’s been a while)?

Q for the episode: It doesn’t seem like any of the bike computer companies (garmin, wahoo, karoo, etc) have any advanced TSS fields other than the ride total. I would love a per lap TSS counter to help meet prescribed workouts, or even perhaps an estimated live TSS per hour indicator. Do you know of any units that show this? Is there a mathematical reason why not?

Hey FasCat!

First off, absolutely stoked for this Giveaway. These Normatec Boots have been on my want list for such a long time now. Having been a Division 1 rower, I had the opportunity to use these daily for recovery, and absolutely love them!! But with graduation comes the loss of that perk sadly :frowning:

My question lies within mental and physical breakdown. I race on a cycling team out on the West Coast, and consistency is key, but it also means physical and mental breakdowns. Maintaining long miles throughout the week (200+) has led to a knee issue, and motivational struggles.

Current Training Plan:
Ride: Monday/ Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday/ Saturday (Big ride on Satuday ~100mi)
Rest: Friday/ Sunday - typically do upper body weights on rest days (not quite advantageous for cycling but want to maintain upper strength)

Which leads me to my question. What do you recommend for Cross Training to 1) help build overall strength instead of overworking the same muscles and 2) to help keep things “fresh” as you still want to pursue one sport yet need to mix it up.

Excited to hear your thoughts! I think this can be applied to anything, not just cycling and acts as more of a lifestyle question, but definitely curious what you recommend for cycling cross-training.


On recovery days, I have 30-45 mins of time available. How do I decide if it’s best to do yoga, strength, easy spinning, stretching, or foundation? Sometimes I get hamstrung with trying to figure out which one is best for me.

The only power meter I own is built into my trainer, which works for me since that is where I do my interval training. I leave outdoor riding for group, distance, and fun ride. But my pedaling style is different on a fixed trainer versus my road, gravel, and mtb pedaling style. To counter act these effects I have a rocker plate for my trainer, I do lots of core work, and yoga regularly. I also concentrate heavily on form while on the trainer to help. Is there anything else I could be doing to help with the differences in pedaling style and form?

Hey there - I am a 46 y.o. former road racer, but I haven’t been able to get fit for over 5 years. The stress of daily life just kills my recovery and I have talked to other cyclists my age that have the same problem. How do I incorporate more stress reduction into my training program? How do I FTFP when I have so much external non-training stresses that I am dealing with? If I try to FTFP things fall apart because I am under-recovered. Thanks, Jeff

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Hey Frank and FasCat Team :wave: 41 y/o American, living in Germany, took up cycling and loving the entire process and opportunities the sport has opened. I am wondering what training, tactics and strategies you could recommend for the situation I seem to find myself in lately, I call it “no mans land”. I’ve been riding and training pretty consistently over the last 18 months and have seen significant improvements in both my overall fitness and riding ability. However, I am not pro or elite rider and I don’t have delusions of grandeur, but love riding and couldn’t have imagined being this fit and having this much fun at this age. I wish everyone could feel this and strongly believe we all have huge amounts of untapped potential, thank you for helping me unlock mine! But I keep finding myself in what I call “no mans land” where I don’t seem to fit nicely into a category or group of riders anymore. I am not a beginner and now days I commonly find myself outriding many “weekend warriors” with lots of experience who race or join hard group rides, but don’t really train.

It has happened in multiple criterium, road, and gravel rides and events. I have to choose between riding with the fast group and chasing, going into the red, surviving as long as I can, and then riding alone once I drop. Or I can decide to hang back right away, or avoid fast rides so I can take it “relatively” easy with the riders just out enjoying the experience or not fit enough to be competitive with the faster groups. I have nothing against either group, I love riding and love the experiences and people I’ve meet over the last couple of years, but I don’t see myself improving on the easy rides, but see huge improvements during the crazy hard rides, but the struggle is real, both mentally and physically. What training, tactics and strategies does your team recommend for a rider like me? Do I continue to push? Or back off and just enjoy the ride? If I keep pushing? What training might help me keep up with the accelerations of stronger riders in crits? Or up those decisive hills in on road or gravel events? I know I am not going pro, completely ok with that, but I do like to push and enjoy the challenge and process. I greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks again for the great podcasts and awesome training plans! I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to get to the next level or just enjoys setting goals and challenging themselves.

Hello FasCat coaches. I just recently started using your services and will be completing the Sweet Spot 1 program and am deciding what to do next. I have a team MTB 12hr race that I will be doing with two other friends and so it will be probably a 4 hr effort for me. Given the timing of the race, at the end of my current Sweet Spot 1 program I will only have two (2) other 6 week periods. I am currently 55 years young have been riding both MTB and road for about 16yrs and have done structured training for the last 5 yrs. Given that I need a little/lot more recovery than younger athletes I am wondering what two six-week training programs you would recommend to complete my training. Should I do Sweet Spot 2, 3 or 4 (polarized), and maybe finish with XC MTB Intervals? Would the Sweet Spot 4 (polarized) program be better given my age by providing more recovery time?

I am a masters cyclist with limited training time. My normal riding days are Thu and Sat. I also typically do resistance training on Sun and Tue. I rest on Wed and Fri. I build my week around my Thu group ride that I have been doing for over 10 years. While we are all getting older, I am finding that I can’t hold the same pace that I could even a few years ago. The ride is an out and back flat ride of about 30 miles. Most weeks I am happy to make it to the end with the group. What advice can you provide me to be prepared for the weekly Thu ride? I am willing to change my whole week up.

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Cyclocross race prep/recovery question: so I’m super happy cross is coming and after a year of no races I want to bring good legs to the weekend races. Typically if I want to go hard for a ride/race Saturday I’ll do an effort Wednesday and some easier riding Thursday/Friday and focus on meal planning Friday night/Saturday morning… any suggestions on how hard to ride a day or few days before a race? And do you suggest riding the next day hard or no? Sometimes weekends are my only chance so even if I race Saturday I’ll try get out for a rip Sunday. Thanks for any advice!


Question for the poddy:

Is it possible to group ride on some weekdays and still FTFP?

I live in Sydney so we generally have decent weather and ride outdoor year round. I’m sometimes torn between wanting to follow the plan and wanting to ride with mates midweek… I work from home so the social side is quite important and I just generally enjoy group rides more than intervals.

Our club has a variety of daily ride options, so it’s possible to select a group who will match the plan’s scheduled TSS for that day.

Or is it possible to do the plan’s intervals in a second session later in the day? Not every day but for example adding a group ride Tuesday morning and doing a second interval session in the afternoon/evening.

Is there a middle ground where you could group ride more frequently during the week, still FTFP to an extent and still get faster. Or is orders of magnitude better just to follow the plan very specifically forget about the midweek and save the group rides for the weekend?

Thanks guys,


This year I’ve done as close to a “proper” season of training as ever (resistance > sweet spot base > HC intervals > road race intervals > sweet spot part IV (ongoing)…), but with no plan to race due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During that time, I’ve done some massive rides (including 7,000m of climbing (within 260km) in under 13 hours moving time) and I think my “form” is fairly good. I’m probably as fit as I’ve ever been (FTFPing will do that for you, which has been easy with working from home for over a year).

Recently I won a place on a Gran Fondo here in Japan - apparently Japan’s hardest Gran Fondo, which is 160km long and 4,000m of climbing (30km of which is “unpaved”/gravel).

With the pandemic and the fluid restart of (new normal) life, I’m sure a lot of people are experiencing a situation in which races are suddenly on now and you’re left with a decision whether you’re ready to race or not.

My question is, with this race being only 52 days away and experiencing a pretty sudden change of plans, what would be the best way to get ready for this race (including whether to change training plans, mentally preparing, etc.)?

A bonus question, if you were racing a 160km course with 30km of potentially somewhat sketchy gravel (the remainder paved), what tire width would you go with (thinking 28s will suffice)?

After watching the olympics I couldn’t help but notice a couple interesting “buldges” under a couple rider’s skin suits, under their arms, on the HR strap. It was also used by both Anna Kiesenhofer and Richard Carapaz to win gold. After some digging it turned out to be a CORE body temperature monitor. A little non-invasive core body temperature monitor that goes between your HR strap and skin to measure and transmit your body temperature to your head unit. Their website says it is officially used by many world tour teams (Bora-Hansgrohe, Canyon-SRAM, Deceuninck-QuickStep, Astana-Premier Tech, Ineos Grenadiers, Qhubeka-Nexthash, Ceratizit-WNT and Movistar).

What are you thoughts on the usefulness of this tech in both training and racing? They mention making sure you are getting heat adaptation, to be able to test cooling strategies, or to limit your efforts in a race. But I am interesting in what you have to say about the potential of this device.


Article for reference:

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