It's Q&A podcast time again [Jan 23rd] Submit your Questions Here

Hello and happy Friday everyone! @FRANK and I just finished recording our Winning in the Grocery Store podcast (it was awesome and will be live shortly) but we are doing another Ask Fascat episode next week存o if you have questions pertaining to weight loss/nutrition, weight lifting, offseason training, etc. ask 'em here! Looking forward to answering them.


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I have a question on stringing together various training plans. When you select a plan, you have to pick a level that determines your weekly training hours. Do your plans account for dropping your training load during racing blocks? For example, during base building or sweet spot season it would be appropriate for me to do 14-16 hours per week (which would be advanced) but, for an in-season cyclocross plan, theres no way that I could or should be riding for 14-16 hours per week. 6-8 hours seems to be the sweet spot for CX in season for me. So how would I pick a level when putting together multiple plans to build a periodized season?

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How about a discussion about MTIs. Can these be done year around if strength is a limiter?

Two CX Qs:

Do you have any thoughts on a mid cyclocross season race break to train rebuild some CTL to finish the season strong? We can race pretty much every weekend from Sept through Thanksgiving here in the Northwest (and into Dec for Nationals), but have found at the end of the season I have this strange all anaerobic fitness at the end.

Cyclocross race day food. What do you recommend?
Ive been trying to eat some real food, like rice and some protein (eggs or PB), 22.5hrs before race time. Feel like I have that dialed. But then the part I keep experimenting with is the amount of fast burning energy (aka sugar and/or caffeine) I should eat before go time.

Really been enjoying the podcast this year.


I second Bens question about mid cyclocross season and if it makes sense to try to rebuild some CTL. Assuming were coming into the season with a solid base and robust CTL, Im watching it tick away each week during the race/recovery phase and right about now that seems to correlate to a little less punch/power and/or a flattening out. Is the CX season considered too short to break from racing to try and boost CTL? Is there even a benefit to that?

Great question(s) will add to the list.

In the meantime read Coach @Brandons Ten #secretTraining Cyclocross Tips for October - which covers your question

In the Timing is Everything podcast, I believe you mentioned cyclocross racers starting their gym/weight lifting routines in March or April. After a post season break in December, what type of riding do you recommend for January-February? For me, the weather confines me to the trainer for 90% of my rides and there arent too many fun rides to do.

Thanks, Corey

Are there better metrics than CTL and TSS for cyclocross season? A race generates about 80 TSS. If I race back to back in the weekend, Im cooked for a couple of days. It basically has the same impact as back to back 200+ TSS sweet spot rides. But I can easily race/train hard on a Tuesday after a big sweetspot TSS weekend.

With family commitments I cant train on a Sunday (but have a Saturday Group ride so i cant simply pop the days back) I do have a couple of hours each weekday morning before work. How could I adapt 18 week base as I would like to do a plan, specifically one of yours

M,T,W,T,F- time in am
Saturday Group ride

Many thanks.


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Keep the questions coming please! Weve got some really good ones. Just a reminder that we have to cut off qs 6pm today bc we need time to organize them. But until them, no question is too small or trivial :nerd_face:

Thanks for diving into my questions.

So a little clarification on my food Q. First I will play around with eating earlier, thank you for the digestion insight. For the sugar/caffeine part, I cant drink coffee too close to race time, too much acid or something. Last year I ate Haribo (glucose syrup) and took a 5hr energy in the 0-1hr prior to race. The 5hr Energy is potent, Id say if anything you have to be careful going out too hard with it. Haha. This year Im testing out Maurtens drink mix to see if a bunch carbs (80g of maltodextrin + fructose) is a better strategy. Curious if you had any thoughts to loading up that much carbs would be a bad idea. I figure if its easily digestible the more glycogen you have at the end of 45-1hr the better. So far I feel good on it, feel much better in the later laps this year, but that is also a difference in fitness of having a much bigger base this season.


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Hi everybody!
When will there be next Q&A podcast ?

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January 23rd! You may submit your questions here :muscle::nerd_face:

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Hi Frank. Ive listened to your podcast about training camps. My A race will be at the end of April. My actual ctl is ~70, building with sweetspot 1. Im planning a 9 effective days training camp at Tenerife middle February, with a friend of mine. Do you think is a good idea in order to give a big push to my ctl? How would you schedule this 9 days? I also imagine rest weeks before & after.


That is a good question and we will n add that to the Q&A. In the meantime model your training camp out in your PMC chart with expected TSS per day. I usually estimate 50/ hour.

See where your CTL comes out after the camp and then what you have planned after the camp and before your A race. How many weeks is that?

After your camp may be a prime time to switch from base to race, watch, listen, read the training tip here:

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I love that training tips and podcast, because changed my mind & season last year.
There are 8 weeks, in which Ive planned 3 weeks of SS3 (in which I would maintain my ctl, but starting to sharpen the sword, especially with over/under) and then 3 weeks of intervals (plus recovery in between and taper the race). Its the same schedule as last season and it worked for me.

Resistance training plan question here! The resistance training workouts prescribe squats, leg press, and leg curls but no upper body. I have consistently found that the limiter on my squat and leg press is not my lower body strength but rather the ability of my trapezius to support the weight! Last winter during the hypertrophy phase, I actually ended up with bruises on my shoulders. Ive worked with a trainer and have excellent lifting form, and the padded barbell throws the balance of the lift off too much. Need to strengthen those traps! What are your thoughts on adding some low-key upper body work to enable better resistance training results and overall better athleticism?

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CX training plan question. Completing my CX season this weekend. Best season so far after following your plans from 6 weeks to CX onwards and looking forward to next year.

Live in an area with no Wednesday worlds but luckily plenty of varied areas to get out on the cross bike.
My question is, what are the pro and cons of doing a solo Wednesday worlds Vs the alternative scheduled interval workout (usually Tabatas, 30/30s, or 1 minuters)?
Ive tended to go for the alternative workout on the trainer.

Obviously theres the skills component, and Ive made sure other workouts have been done on the cross bike to get that work in, even though it usually early morning or in the evening with lights on.

But from a fitness point of view, would it be better to mix it up? Or focus on one or the other at certain stages of the season?, which for me is usually September to January.

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Doing all these MTIs lately and writing down things I need to work on for 2020, made me curious on a specific skill for cyclocross. I did quite horrible on courses in 2019 that required slow pedaling, slogging through mud. Im CO we dont get a lot, but when it comes itll come at states and likely at Nationals. Is there a workout/technique that can be used during intervals to work on this? Introduce low RPM (60-70?) to SS and threshold intervals as the season comes closer?

Hey Coaches,
Having wrapped up the Weight Training plan - with some very positive results, thanks for that - Im wondering what your thoughts are with plyometrics and how they can be incorporated into a training plan. Im skating along and using the hydrant on a regular basis. Im wondering if incorporating some plyo a couple times a week would be beneficial. Im a couple weeks into the 18 weeks of Sweet Spotting and am considering using a couple sessions of plyo per week to continue building on the strength gains from the 10 week plan as I work through the sweet spot.

For a little background, Im primarily an endurance track racer - Team Pursuit, Points Race and Madison primarily. CX racing is fun time after track season ends.