Submit Podcast Q&A #15 questions by Noon Dec 14th to win a Stages DASH Computer!

Greetings all you FasCats!

Its time for our regular Question and Answer #15 Podcast. Please use this thread to ask your question for us to answer on air!

In this podcast format, we field all your questions here and try to answer them one by one during the podcast.

Use this thread to Ask your Question! The deadline for submission is Monday Dec. 14th at 5pm mst. You may also email your question to

The prize for the ‘Most Thoughtful Question’ will be a Stages Dash Computer !!

Here is episode #14 for context :wink:

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Hi Frank

i’ve just joined the community, I’m finishing my current training block before I hit get started on my SS 18 weeks plan, to be followed (I think) by the road race plan.
One thing I didn’t find while exploring the plan, and since I’m preparing my season:
How do I introduce a taper for a block of A races?
I’ve read your article but it addresses mainly 1 off-events.
I have a period of 3 weeks in July which I am targetting as my peak - how to taper for the 1st of those races, and how to maintain in between races?

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before my question I want to say I just completed the first week of the fall foundation plan and I’m absolutely loving it! I’m wondering if you have any tips/advice for me and other younger athletes, I’m almost 15. so are there any specific tips you would give to younger athletes/riders to get faster or just riding in general that might not apply to adults? I know it’s not the most specific question but me and I’m sure other riders around my age would love to hear what you guys got. cant wait to keep FTFPing

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Hi there Big Cat @FRANK

So I had a surgery a couple years ago in one of my knees (the left one), after that, I began cycling and now I have a power imbalance between both my legs.

Now I want to put a double sided power meter on one of my bikes to be able to asses the power imbalance and to train both legs equally.

Which one should it be, the indoor trainer bike, the road bike, the MTB trail bike or the MTB XC racing bike?

  • Indoor training bike is where I spent like 50% of my time, completely focused on the structured workout.
  • Road bike is where a spent a lot of time and a lot of intervals and sweet spot rides, so also focused on the workout (also, where I chill and pedal the most natural, consistent way).
  • MTB XC bike is where I race and where a do 1 hour climbing sweet spot intervals and so, so it’s where can see what happens when I’m completely exhausted.
  • Trail bike is no brainer, mostly only for fun.

I have a left power meter on all of them, so it’s a matter of when or where would be more beneficial for performance or injurys.
Also which one should provide me better tools for improving my efficiency, smoothness or better biomechanical symmetry.


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Hey coaches, I’ve started training again really planning to push myself harder than I ever have (as is probably the case with lots of us here)! Getting back into things, my heart rate is a little high but the power feels easier than my HR would suggest. I had a 4x8 mins Sweet Spot burst workout and found myself creeping to LTHR and not coming down much unless I backed off. Am I riding a fine line by sticking to the power?

When is it useful to pay attention to how our HR behaves during workouts? Should we always keep it pinned at 92% FTP for SST (TrainingPeaks automatically suggests this), or does anywhere in the zone suffice?

Also, the recent Sweet Spot podcast showed no love to SSP4 which happens to be my favorite training block ever. In planning a normal season, where would be a good place to fit that in?

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Hey Frank,

I am very new to the sport of cycling, and have rode about 2000 miles without any specific training, just for fun and trying to stay in shape. Recently I joined strava and noticed that I’m consistently putting up pretty good times on segments, and am generally able to finish in the top 5% on some pretty popular segments if I push it. My question is, if I want to race next season in some local junior races, should I set a training plan, or just continue riding for fun and increasing my mileage? For reference my 20 minute ftp is approx 4.7 w/kg (used my dads old power meter from 2002) and I weigh 70 kg.

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So, Zwift is all the rage these days. Just yesterday, I got an “addicted” badge for riding seven straight days. No doubt, it is a nice supplement for my base and strength training program. Plus, the social dimension is an added bonus—I can ride with friends on the other side of the country. I’m wondering how Zwift races fit into winter training. Are they detrimental to goals of racing in real life in the spring? Will one end up peaking too soon? Should racing be saved until later in the winter? Or, is it more about moderation? I guess simply put, is it a good idea to build races into winter training — if for nothing else to break up the monotony of basement training? Thanks

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Hey Frank, I have a question about long-term race goals. I started a FasCat training plan in 2019 prepping for (formerly) DK200, basically coming off the couch. Following your training plans and listening to the pod as a cycling athlete has genuinely changed my life and health, so thanks! With the race canceled in 2020 and my wife now due with our 4th child in May 2021, my ‘A’ race will now be Unbound Gravel in 2022. So with all of that extra time, should I lift weights more or just do more base and sweet spot in 2021? I’m in Michigan so more weights wouldn’t be the worse thing this winter. Should I still build race specific intervals into my 2021 plan if I am just doing a personal challenge or “B/C” race in 2021? I’m currently doing the 32 week off season plan for the 2nd time. Of course my ultimate focus is being as prepared as possible for Unbound in 2022.

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Hi Frank and Team,

Looking forward to the upcoming Q&A!

Starting in January, I’m planning on doing Sweet Spot parts 1-4 followed by the Gravel Grinder plan, all at the Intermediate level. I’ve also purchased the Introductory Winning in the Kitchen meal plan. I’m coming off an unexpected set back in my 2020 training, but that may or may not be relevant to the question - other than that is the reason my starting CTL will be quite low. Nutrition is one area of my training that I’ve never paid that much attention to. What I’d like to ask is: as my CTL grows from the mid-30s to the 80s, I’m wondering if there are necessary changes to approaching nutrition? Also, do I need to consider anything on the nutrition front as I go from SST part 3 to SST Polarized, to the Gravel Grinder Hilly plan? I’m a 6 ft tall, 37 year old male who weighs 190 lbs with just 4 years of training under my belt. I’m really hoping to make some w/kg breakthroughs this year. I’ve touched 3.5 w/kg briefly, but really want to see 4.0 before I’m 40!


Frank, I just finished listening to the Performance Manager Chard podcast. Lots of great information. Many thanks. My question for this coming week is related to ramp rates. I’ve loaded your 18 week sweet spot plan and the 6 week gravel plan into Training Peaks. My A event is Unbound.

Is there a way to view the weekly ramp rates of these plans in TP without building an annual training plan?

I ask because I’d like to follow your previous advice about bumping up my plan to hit a CTL of 100 about 6 weeks out from Unbound.

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Hi Frank,

I’m currently really enjoying the yoga sessions and the resistance band work for S&C. My abductors were always in pain after a 2hr turbo ride, but gradually this pain has reduced since incorporating more stretches. There are still a few niggles I get here and there especially when doing longer sessions on the turbo. What are your fundamental S&C and stretches to do before/after training rides/races to reach the maximum benefits on the bike and prevent injuries?

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Hey FasCat Team!

I’m a long-ish time plan user, podcast listener, and even longer time cyclist (>40 years now!) I’ve used the Weights+Base/18 Weeks of Sweet spot/Gravel Grinder intermediate hilly plan combo for two years running, and they worked GREAT together to help me be ready for long gravel events in the May/June time frame. I’m 53, a business owner, and now relatively empty nester so there are some pressures for time, but not as much as a couple years ago.

I’m in weights now and plan on following the progression once again this year. Only thing different for this year is a later peak in mid-August for the Leadboat Extravaganza! I’m psyched and a little nervous about the big weekend.

My question(s): What should I do differently now or as the season progresses to be ready for the Leadville 100mi mountain bike race followed by SBT gravel this summer? Is there something additional to do for, say, June/July or even earlier?

I’ve pushed the start of weights 6 weeks later than last year, and am starting to show results in both endurance and load tolerance while riding. Based on my PMC, it looks as though my overall tolerance for riding and exercise time is coming up really well (now that its set to show 5 years of progression! Thanks for last week’s podcast!)

Thanks for all you do, and here’s to a great holiday season for you and yours!


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Sorry. I should know. What time is the live podcast this week?

Hi Frank & Crew,

Because #crossisalwayscoming and who knows what’ll happen in spring and summer I am looking towards next fall.

My general question:
How would you approach your training if you were targeting a race series (8 races, 6 consecutive weekends) versus targeting one A-race at the end of the season? Looking at when I should hit my highest CTL and switch from base to race.

Some additional details behind my question for context:
I am either looking to target the Cross Crusade series (starts Oct) or make another go at CX Nationals (mid Dec). For targeting a series that long I would think you’d want to switch from base to race six weeks out and rest into the series. If going for Nationals then try to max out CTL late and use local series all as lower priority training races.

Last year I used the Fascat off-season CX plan + SS plan and then CX intervals plan leading into last season and despite a major set back still achieved some great results. Thank you.

I just listened to the PMC podcast and I know I am too late. But… I would like to know how to make sure my PMC is accurate during the coming build and SST work when I mix 3 different bikes and only my race bike has a power meter. Rain bike and TT bike are HR only and of course RPE.

Thank you to all who submitted questions to AskaFasCat #15 - the episode is LIVE:

The winner of the Stages Dash Computer was @rostonnordell!
It was a tough decision as every question was a great one - so thanks again for asking! All of us here at FasCat are grateful to have the opportunity to help so many incredible athletes! :orange_heart:


Hi, thanks for answering my question on the podcast! Looking forward to working on both the watts and the kilograms in 2021!

Oh, and kudos to @Lacey_Rivette for correctly pronouncing my last name!

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