Submit your Questions Now for Ask a FasCat #18!

Hey FasCat Coalition!!

Just want to let you all know that the time to record our Question and Answer #18 Podcast is coming up!!
For these podcasts, we gather all your questions here in this forum thread and try to answer them one by one during the podcast.

Use this thread to Ask your Question! The deadline for submission is Thursday June 10th at noon (mst) . You may also email your question to

The most thoughtful question wins a vintage FasCat jersey & 2500 cheetah spots. Plus a box GU Energy Watermelon Blocks!!

We will be recording it IRL on Friday June 10th. We are looking forward to answering your questions!


Hello FasCat Coalition!

I do almost all of my training solo as I do not have any group rides locally that I fit into. There are a couple of occasional group rides in the next county over that are great for a conversational ride but not to really hammer down and push the pace. The few people I know that make good training partners all have very different schedules.

I am not uncomfortable with pack dynamics, but I get to spend very little time practicing them outside of when the gun goes off. This brings me to my question which is motor pacing. I may not have a good training partner but I do have an 18-year old (for a couple more months until he goes to college at least) and a scooter. Would you see a benefit in me getting him to do some motor pacing intervals for me? If so, what kind of workout would you suggest? Would there be a benefit in motor-pacing for the mere mortal, or is this getting too specific? I am 39-years old (Masters next year…) and the majority of my racing this season will be between 100 and 150-mile gravel races.

Just picture how cool that jersey would look behind a scooter cruising around Northeast Wyoming?!

Keep the pedals turning!
Tim Cahhal


I’ve got a question for the Big Cat, and apologies to my coach @Isaiah but he isn’t giving away a jersey, cheetah spots, and blocks :wink:

Hey Big Cat,

In your 7 Habits of Masters Cyclists the number 1 habit is riding in the morning. However due to my work schedule I primarily train in the afternoon and early evening. Here in my little corner of NorCal the afternoons are now in the 90s and early mornings around 60. Its a dry heat, and in previous years I’ve been able to hit my power targets after a couple of weeks acclimating. Once acclimated its easier to ride Wednesday night worlds and weekend rides when the temps creep into the 90s by 11am. Bonus points for the small vo2 bump from heat adaptations.

My one event for the year is my first gravel event and in September on the Central Coast. That time of year it is often blazing hot once you get a few miles away from the Pacific. Or if we are lucky the ride will be mostly under a blanket of fog.

My question is regarding the really hot dog days of summer when the temps climb above 100. Do dogs and cats get along? Ha ha, what do you suggest for training in the heat for those of us Zooming on conference calls in the nice cool mornings? I do have some flexibility between morning meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In the past I’ve shortened workout and squeeze in ~40 minutes of intervals in the morning, and then some easy endurance in the evening as its dropping below 100.

Other than waking up at 4am and jumping on the trainer, what would you recommend for training on really hot days?



Unless my calendar is off, Wednesday is June 9, Thursday is June 10.

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Thanks Chad, good catch. Just fixed it!

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Fascat friends,
I have been haphazardly racing and training for the last 25 years. I’m interested in making bigger more sustained improvements in my fitness and racing. Last Father’s Day I purchased a Fascat sweet spot training package. I struggled to make time in my schedule to get the workouts done and didn’t make it green all the time. My question is this: when I ride in a non structured way and accumulate sweet spot intensities during a ride does it illicit the same training effect as a stricter block of sweet spot training as prescribed in the Fascat programs?
Norm Laird
San Diego, CA

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Hey FasCat Coalition,

I am newish to cycling but my goal for next year is to ride the Unbound Gravel XL. About 10 years ago I rode the pan mass challenge. It’s a 200 mile ride across Massachusetts in two days. Between then and the new year I have maybe done 30 rides, so I consider myself a new rider. This year I decided to get back into shape after we had a baby, and so far have lost 55lbs since January. I trained and ran a 5k earlier this year also I started going out for bike rides. I have maybe 50 miles under my belt this year but I have not done any formal training. I am looking to really get serious with my training. I read The Cyclist’s Training Bible by Joe Friel so I have a basic understanding about training, but I do not know where to get started. I live in NYC so Zwift training during the week is ideal. I have about 1 - 1.5 hours to train during the week and longer on the weekends. Do you have any advice on where to start? Are there any other races that I should do in between now and then? I have been looking at your training plans but can not figure out what one would be good. Any other advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,

My question is: What happened to the FasCat gravel team?? Obviously 2020 was a bust. But I loved the team plan that Frank and Jackson outlined in the podcast from early 2020. I hope that the gravel team can be rebirthed!

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Thanks - yea, we had big plans!

We plan to rebirth the gravel team in 2022 - all our brand sponsors evaporated when Covid hit and the races disappeared and partners tightened their generosity. We could not convince Cervelo to give us bikes and that doomed the team.

There was so much uncertainty no one was willing to give it a go in 2021…


When are you going to create separate training plans for women? I think there is enough science to support timing specific types of training within a women’s mensural cycle would lead to the best adaptations. How could women modify or line up an existing fascat training plan to best coincide with their cycle?

Think you would need to hire Coach Allie or Lacey for that :muscle: or really it’s not a gender specific coach; rather what you are requesting requires a custom training plan and talking thru with your coach how to time your training plans design to your cycle.

Do you interpret and apply race matches/matchbook data from WKO+ to races for your athletes or just training or not at all? I’m not looking for anything too terribly specific. More just a general idea of coaching athletes how to think about matches/matchbook.

For example: I’m doing Tulsa Tough next week. In WKO+ I see the time above FTP, FRC and Pmax/FRC respectively, however, unless I’m in a break, I’m 100% sure I won’t be looking at anything except the wheels in front of me. Positioning is king and paramount to saving energy for the last few laps or that bridge/break opportunity and the inevitable sprint finish. I am intrigued with cry baby hill, however. It looks like 20-30 seconds (Masters A) for the climb and for me to stay with the group I’m thinking 200%+ FTP. I don’t know how many laps we will end up doing but, 45minutes so maybe 20X up . Looking at some harder rides I’ve done lately I’m doing roughly 5-6 minutes above FRC.

IMO all this data is more just validation of training in general. If time above FTP, FRC etc…is trending up then good. Trending down not necessarily bad unless getting ready for a Tulsa type event.

Again general takeaways on how to use the data are much appreciated.

@FRANK I have a goofy question but maybe it will make the podcast and be worth a laugh and jersey. I’m taking my partner to Durango next week as part of my secret plan to convince her to move to Colorado. We are both cyclists and live now in Oakland. The riding here is decent but the CTL for housing prices is at an all time high. No bueno. If you were a cyclist, and moving to Colorado, where would you locate? We both work remotely. Also before you get freaked that we are invading I have some street cred. Wyoming graduate and lived in Fort Collins for 5 years. Thanks all!

Hey guys
I have a question. I’m training for the Leadville Trail 100 and living at sea level in Venice Beach, California I’m a bit concerned about the high altitude. I have been able to do some high altitude rides in Mammoth Mountain this year and could definitely feel the extra effort.

I have heard that heat adaptation could help prepare for high altitude racing. Any truth to that?


What type of annual training plan and approach would be appropriate for someone with no particular focus on a single discipline? I am a “Jack of all trades, master of none” type of rider that does everything from short 1 hour MTB races to 6 hour gravel races and a bit of road racing between those ranges along with the weekly hammerfest group ride.

I realize with a wide range of efforts and related fitness like those above, that there is no real chance for optimum results in any one of those. I am just hoping to have enough fitness in the range to have fun and maybe be competitive. Is there an approach for “non-specialist” riders that touches on a range of fitness for the average weekend warrior?

Hello Fascats! So glad another podcast is in the works!

I train with heart rate and when doing intervals outside that last more than a minute or two, I nearly always pick a route that has hills I can use to help me hit the zones. This has the added advantage of a quicker increase in hr so that more of the interval is spent in the desired zone (and I live in a hilly area so I can get the terrain right out the front door). I have heard you advise other riders to use the terrain to achieve the zone you are after.

I’m wondering if there are disadvantages to doing this. While riding a smart trainer this winter, I saw how cadence and power interact. It seems to me that generating the work to hit a given hr on a hill comes with slower cadence, with less opportunity to generate the same power (or hr) by increasing cadence. I have tried to hit some of those intervals on a flat course, and find it nearly impossible to hold, unless there is a good headwind. Could you explain how the work generated for a given hr (or power) differs on the hills and the flat with regards to fitness, strength, and racing (especially CX)? Should I work on learning how to hit those intervals without using hills all the time? Of course, I don’t only do intervals, does the other pedaling time on all sorts of terrain and cadences balance the interval work? Finally, once the race season gets closer, it seems that the intervals get shorter and harder to get prepared for race pace which might balance the type of effort seasonally. Coach Allie is working this all out for me so I don’t have to worry about it, but I want to understand the concepts.

I hope you are good at paraphrasing!! :blush:



Longtime listener, first time asker here:

As most know, learning how to suffer is an integral part of competitive cycling. What have you learned over the years about finding the joy in suffering and pushing yourself into a space that you did not think you previously could, whether it is in a race or simply a training ride/structured workout? Any habits that could help? Suggested readings? I have used music and pre-race/ride rituals with some success, as well as taking moments to breathe, “calm down,” and talk to myself mid-race, but any other advice or places to look for wisdom would be great.

Thank you! Also, you really motivated me to ask with those watermelon blocks as a potential reward – so delicious and necessary for this Mid-Atlantic humidity.

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Hi FasCat Team.

I know that you all do not recommend doing heavy strength training past the strength phase and into the season. My question is, are there any circumstances where you think having a strength maintenance session once a week during the base and build season may benefit an athlete? From your experience have you had any athletes that could handle some strength training further into a season and benefit from it?


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can you just determine you are recovered by tsb, instead of doing a 7 day recovery week? Can your recovery interval be 5 days if your tsb goes positive? Just wondering in case a “c” race happens to fall on the weekend of a recovery week.

one more question:
Its been mentioned that for Zn 2-endurance rides, the “magic” happens after the 3 hour mark. Often in plans during the week, a 1.5 or 2 hr zn 2 ride is scheduled. What benefits are we getting from a sub-“magic” length endurance ride?