Greetings all you FasCats!
Its time for our regular Question and Answer #16 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 Thursday February 4th @ 5pm mst . You may also email your question to email@example.com
The prize for the ‘Most Thoughtful Question’ will be announced here first!
I’m new to gravel and planning to do an event with a fair amount of descending including over a mile on a steep -9% descent. The roads in that area are hard packed dirt with some loose rock and washboarding. If I only have 2 weekends to practice with a rented gravel bike, what skills should I work on and is it worth doing a practice ride or two on the actual roads?
With the rise of online coaching, I am sure there are a lot of listeners out there at different levels of cycling who are relatively new to being coached. There are tons of good podcasts out there on effective coaching. What I’ve yet to hear is tips for the newly coached. How about a short discussion of “do’s and don’ts, or tips and tricks, for the newly coached,” things that will help us maximize both our relationship with our coach and the gains we get out of being coached? Thanks!
Hey coaches, my question pertains to the philosophy of long term development (or lack thereof). I spent most of 2020 developing a bigger base like most cyclists. Unfortunately, I contracted Covid-19 and a lot of my “gains” went out the window although I’m still much stronger than where I started 2020 at.
A recent FastTalk podcast has me wondering what my long-term development should look like. I think it’s well known that riders hit their peak numbers early on, but I feel that I’m still far away from hitting those numbers.
My goal is to end up on the USA Crits series and race in amateur nats! When I look at my peak numbers, I feel that I’m at least 12-18 months of quality, consistent training from reaching that level. I’m definitely a fast twitcher (1500w for 5s) guy, and really feel that I need to dedicate some time to building my threshold and aerobic power as well as durability/repeatability.
Could you shed some light on what mindsets I should have as I move forward with a long-term goal? Does it involve sacrificing race results to build aerobic capacity? Being stale from dedicating myself to weight training while still crushing miles? I know I’m an outlier compared to most people on the forum since I’m young and tackle the 12-16 hour plans, so it might not be a good question. I’d like to have an idea of what the “big picture” of long term development looks like.
I am starting the hypertrophy phase of the 10 Weeks Resistance Training and would like to know how to approach the 100 to 150 TSS rides when winter road and trail conditions make outdoor riding not possible. I ride indoors for the hour-long efforts, but two to three hours is too much to handle this way. I’m fortunate enough to be able to cross country ski nearby. What are your thoughts on substituting half-indoor riding and half cross country skiing up to the prescribed effort? Or, all cross country skiing? Thanks!
How do you perform well at and recover from ‘B’ races while simultaneously growing your CTL. Is there a trade off between short tapers for ‘B’ races versus training through your ‘B’ races in order to maximize your CTL for peaking later in the season? I ask because in 2021 I want to peak for 'cross season but I also have MTB marathon and XCO races I’d like to participate in during the spring and summer.
Hi Frank and Team,
I’m wondering if you could walk us through some of the more subjective elements of analyzing our rides and what kind of notes we should consistently make after a work out. For example, how might I ascertain and record the level of RPE on a 75 minute 4x10 sweet spot (92%) workout? Is that different from how I assess RPE on a 3 hour sweet spot group ride?
Thanks, and keep up the great work!
ahoy @FRANK ! first of all big thanks for all of the effort that you and the FasCat team put into the podcasts. whilst I wouldn’t think of myself as overweight, I know that a few seasons back I was 5 or so kilos lighter then I am today and seemed to be putting in a better performance so I decided to try the Winning in the Kitchen weight loss plan- well done to @Lacey_Rivette ! I find it great for taking all the guesswork out of portion sizes, making sure I fuel enough for hard days and eat more greens then I ever thought possible. My question is how can you tell what is the ‘right’ weight for me now which balances power and weight- so I don’t just chase a number? How can I make sure I don’t overdo the weight loss at expense of power? What are the ways that i can look out for this myself as opposed to anything too scientific?
This is my first season using the FasCat training structure and philosophy. I’m really looking forward to my upcoming switch from base to race mode. My main goal is to complete some century rides (3K-5K ft elevation) this summer in the 6-7 hr range with targeted rides in May and August. Secondary goal is to be more competitive during local weekend group rides (30-50 miles, 1K-3K ft elevation) this spring/summer. I’m in my mid-40s with plenty of life responsibility and have found the basic sweet spot plans work really well for me. I’m shooting for a CTL of 60-70 when I finish SS3 in a few weeks, up from 20 in November. My question is which intervals plan makes the most sense for my goals: Road Racing, Climbing, or Fondo? How do the different plans prioritize or balance different zones/effort durations in the interval workouts? Thanks!
Hi Frank and company! As one of Jake’s athletes I’ve been zwifting lots. You know what could add a little indoor motivation? A Fascat kit for Zwift! Maybe with a big fat FTFP on it. Sorry it’s more of a request than a question (and I have no idea how hard that is to implement)…but what do you think?
Hey FasCat crew, I am just working on the weights/base/advance plan headed into the home stretch with some sweet spot. I just did the FTP test and saw my number has decreased from 311 to 301. I figured it would decline especially with a week off the bike (should have been probably two) and focusing on base miles not the top end of the engine. My question would be during the offseason, should you see this number decrease more or would you expect it to stay relatively close to the same? Thanks guys!
I’ve heard you guys talk about making the switch from “base” to “race”. Would you still consider the last 6 weeks of 18 weeks of Sweet Spot “base building”? Or are the last 6 weeks getting into “race” at that point?
Thanks for all the awesome questions FasCats! We are working on prepping for the podcast now and will be recording tomorrow morning… so keep your eyes peeled for the Q&A episode to drop in the next few days
Here is the podcast for any of you that have not listened it yet!
A question that popped in my head too late which never made the Q&A, what are the coaches & the resident dietician’s thoughts on fasted rides when doing Zone 2 Endurance miles? my understanding is that we are teaching the body to burn fat for fuel?
We do not recommend fasted rides:
Like Frank just mentioned and as he and jackson talk about in that video, we don’t recommend fasted rides. I foresee a video on this topic in the future. But to sum it up, there are metabolic changes that occur when athletes ride in a fasted state. However, the science on whether those changes last and whether they translate into long term improvements in performance is lacking.
Not to mention riding fasted can result in decreased immune function, hormonal imbalances (especially women), muscle loss, unsafe riding due to poor mental focus etc. So unless you are doing an ultra endurance event like Jackson noted, there really is not reason to risk those side effects and impair your ability to train at higher intensities if you are not repleting glycogen after those rides properly. Better to stick to an approach to training and eating that you can stick with long term
Thanks for the replies @Lacey_Rivette & @FRANK I should’ve probably mentioned that the fasted rides are always in the morning. After taking a shot of espresso or some sort of caffeine to accelerate fat burn. Drinking plenty of water during that low intensity ride for anything from 60 -120minutes. max thereafter immediately consuming Carbs. Also never exceed Zone 2 and it is never before or after a session where you are going to exceed zone 2, because I totally get that you need the fuel for the next workout & to aid recovery.
Hi @FRANK thanks for answering my gravel newbie question. I’ve done some not-too-steep 1 mile gravel descents in that area on my bike (Trek Domane gen1) with 26c tubeless tires. After listening to your answer I’m actually thinking of practice riding the ‘scary’ area on my bike as it simplifies things (power meter, etc). So that leads me to a tire question. Currently rolling on my second set of Pirelli Cinturato Velo tubeless as they are bulletproof but roll a lot better than Gatorskins. Any thoughts on a more gravel appropriate tire? Realize this might be a bit farfetched for such a narrow tire, but asking just in case. 30mm (inflated) is about the widest tire I can safely run on this bike.