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

My question, specific to training with a PM for a long TT (ie: 40K): I’ve read that expected power output when in the TT position may decrease by upwards of 10%. I’ve been following your 12 wk 40K TT plan for my A race on 8/14/21. The majority of my training has been on my road bike and I have not struggled to maintain numbers. When doing my threshold and suprathreshold workouts I’ve done them on the TT bike and it is a bit harder to hold power. Last year I followed the same training plan for the same race and exceeded my expected power by 10 watts setting a PR for the distance. This yr, after following your sweet spot 1-3 plans I came in fitter and with a higher FTP, so my intervals are at higher wattages and definitely harder to complete. My concern for the race is in pacing: I don’t want to blow up 1/2 way through. Would you recommend I start the TT at my current FTP and try to maintain throughout the race or start 10% lower and push up about 1/2 way through given the apparent proven drop in power output while in TT position I mentioned at the beginning? Of note: the course is pan flat with one turn around at the midway point. Thanks for the advice. Love your training plans, have hit PRs in power in my mid 40’s following these, even better than when in my 20’s. Lacey’s nutrition plan is awesome too, I highly recommend it to all.

I have recently relocated to the Black Forest in Germany (previously I lived at a place without mountains), and I planned to enroll in a climbing training plan (I am doing XC and road), but unfortunately I got an accident and broke my collarbone. Although I am now on the road to recovery, I have some doubts regarding my strength. I am doing what the doc is saying, but of course I did not get any cycling-specific advice. I am on the indoor trainer a lot, so hopefully I do not lose that much fitness, and I am also trying to get onto the bike outdoors.

My goal is to get into shape to be able to #ftfp and climb some epic hills, I would be interested that given my condition, what steps do you suggest - for now no racing, just a full recovery. How should I approach my goal?
Especially, I would be interested what I should do besides being on the bike. I am stretching, and hopefully winning in the kitchen. But the topic of getting stronger is boggling my mind. I know that you usually do not advise to do strength training within the season, but given the circumstances that my body underwent some significant stress and lost lot of its strength (my arm was very weak after the surgery, and my core is also not in the best shape), would you think that some strength training could help?

Thanks in advance!

Nutrition for during a ride was addressed by FasCat’s Registered Dietitian Lacey Rivette recently. I know that the importance of having a post ride recovery drink soon after completing a ride, especially a longer ride, has also been discussed. I’m looking for some guidance on the most effective fueling strategies for stage races or multiday riding, specifically for days that will include 6-10 hours on the bike. Should the evening meal in between stages be more carb focused, protein focused, or a more balanced 45/25/30 breakdown of carbs, fat, and protein?

Hey Team,

Thanks for all the plans, support and help this year especially!!

I’ve essentially completed my training for #Leadboat and I’ve got to tell you, things have gone great! Started with weights +SS last September, progressed through 18WSS, Gravel Intermediate, then finished with SS part 4 and I’m feeling fast, fit, strong, and ready for the big weekend. No matter the outcome of the races, I’m super happy with my progress and feel like I’ve achieved a lot of my goals with training already!

My question: What suggestions do you have for a masters guy with a job and well, less family obligations than some others (empty nest and all) to progress with next? I’d love to capitalize on the fitness gains for this fall and into next season, stay fresh and still have fun with the bike and training. Should I take a post race-weekend break? If so how long? Then what plan or approach would you suggest moving forward? I’ll very likely still do some gravel and adventure type riding this fall, some MTB for fun and maybe even a few 'Cross events here locally this fall/winter.

Any suggestions are of course welcome, and I hope to be considered for the boots, but I’m sure there are some much better questions out there already…

Have a great day

@Lacey_Rivette and @FRANK

Ive been doing fascat now for 6 months or so and it has certainly changed the way I train, go about training, and also made me a faster cyclist. I have a question regarding zones, hr vs. power to be specific. Some quick insight on me; my ftp when starting fascat was about the 345. On a ride about a month or two ago I did a 20 minute effort and averaged 389 watts (I wasn’t planning this effort so the route wasn’t perfect, I had to coast through a couple turns so I think I could have averaged a bit higher, I was just feeling good so I went for it!), so I came to a new ftp of 365. Since then I took 5 days off the bike (mid season break to mentally reset) and restarted my plan with base 4 polarized for 3 weeks. I just had an xc mtb race a few days ago and my normalized power was 340 watts for 1hr 50min. It took me a couple weeks to find my legs after taking a 5 day break off of the bike but I think they’re coming around, and then some. My z2 power is between 230-280 and my hr z2 is 105-138bpm. Historically, whenever I do z2 rides I aim for 250 watts and my hr is usually around 135bpm. For the last week to week or two I noticed that I’m able to push more watts and stay in my z2 hr. I just realized today that it’s a pretty significant difference and possibly my ftp has again, increased. I can now ride between 270-300 watts and still stay in my z2 hr. So, I guess I have to do a 20 minute test. But it’s race season, and I’m still trying to get faster, so my training time is precious. I recently listened to the fascat podcast about using normalized power to determine ftp. My question is, how exactly do I determine or extract my best 20min np from my race, or get my best 1hr np from the race??? I think you would recommend doing this vs. doing a 20 minute test mid season? What if my np during the race doesn’t reveal a higher ftp, but my zones still need to be adjust? Wait for an upcoming race to try again or just take the time to do a 20 min test? Is this a normal sign of a breakthrough in fitness, or is there something else going on?

First off, I have done multiple training plans and am currently working with coach Isaiah (both the plans and coaching has been fantastic and helped me progress)!

Keeping in the spirit of the giveaway I’ve had a question on my mind as I continually try to dial in my recovery. Outside of just the marketing terms what are the real benefits and/or downside of compression boots, percussion massagers, and electric stimulation (like the PowerDot)?

Do you really need any of these and if so which is best? Or are there benefits to to using them at different times(before/after rides, before bed, etc)?

Thanks for all that the Fascat team does, you all are rad!
Tommy, SLC UT

Might be too late for this, but my question regards Zone 2. What are you thoughts on athletes using HR for Z2 but power for everything else? I know I know power is king, but when riding alone I find zone 2 slightly tedious and boring. It’s not like sweet spot or shorter intervals where you are focused and pushing it, trying to stay within the prescribed watts range. The intensity and shorter periods make it much easier to stay engaged. Z2 however if not combined with other intervals, is often 1-5 hours long and paying attention to the power numbers for that long just drives me crazy. Riding with friends helps, but then again I am concerned with how much Z2 I am getting and constantly looking down at the computer. Is there room for flexibility with Z2, perhaps using heart rate so there is less oscillation and therefore less need to constantly check the computer? Or any other suggestions for alternative methods to tracking power that is not staring down at the little 3s avg. for a 4 hour ride? The spirit of this question is that I believe Z2 should be a reprieve from high intensity and should be more thoroughly enjoyed – but tracking the numbers like all the other work outs drives me kind of crazy. Thank you!

I am from Florida and recently took a trip to North Carolina for Gravel & Mountain Biking. The trip was a blast but the climbs really destroyed me more than I would have expected given my fitness.

What is the best way to train for climbing when you don’t have any hills? I would love to be able to not only feel stronger on my next visit, but also open up the possibilities of racing on hilly/mountainous terrain.

This question is Re: Transitioning Base to Race. Two years in a row I have completed the 18-weeks of SS and headed into the Strava Hill Climb (long) plans, feeling that I am on good form. Both years I have increased my FTP after the SS plan (12w last year, 16w this year) only to struggle through the Strava plan to hit the workout targets of anything Threshold or above, having to take an extra rest week in the middle of the plan each year due to what felt like overreaching. Last year I actually lost my FTP gains during the interval plan. This year I’m doing better but am struggling with fatigue as I near the end of the plan.

Given the FTP increase after the SS plan, as a coach, are you expecting the athlete to hit the higher Supra/FRC, Threshold, and VO2 targets, or more dangling the power targets out there as a way for the athlete to reach for something higher, which, through the process, would lead to the FTP continuing to get driven up? Furthermore, does this seem like a personal issue needing coaching consultation or do you find this as a common reaction amongst other athletes?

Or would I just need Normatecs for better recovery?? :slight_smile:

For reference, 44-year old male, training seriously for ~4 years, all of the workouts during the week are done on indoor trainer.

Adding a high altitude training block: I live at sea level but am travelling to 7000 ft to visit family and will be doing some riding at 6500-9500ft. Should I update training peaks to reflect my lower FTP at this altitude so that my TSS scores will be accurate?
Also what workouts would you recommend for this altitude (for someone coming from sea level)?

Hey @amy.engelhard , we just got done recording the podcast and answered a question very similar!
to account for the difference, you will want to subtract 1% from your FTP for every 1000ft of elevation difference and use that as your FTP while you are at altitude.

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Thank you! you literally just answered this in someone else’s podcast question! :wink:

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We cannot thank all of you enough. This is the most questions we have gotten EVER! So many that even though we recorded for 2+ hours could not get to them all. We are planning to do a bonus episode sometime next week, so if we did not answer your question yet… stay tuned because we plan to answer them all! The bonus episode will feature coaches Jake, Christian, Lacey and Allie.

For now check out the episode where we answered over 40 questions, including the question from the winner of the Normatec boots… @hartung_sarah !!

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thanks for answering my question! Excellent and very helpful replies on the bonus podcast. Thanks!