Win a GARMIN ForeRunner 955 ($500) - submit your Ask a FasCat #22 Questions

Hello FasCats!

Submit your questions HERE for our Ask a FasCat #22 Podcast. The deadline to get your questions in is September 8th @ 5pm mst.

The most thoughtful question will win a Garmin ForeRunner 955 - a $500 value :boom:

You can use a Garmin ForeRunner 955 to track your sleep and HRV with our new app (The Optimized Stress - Recovery Visualization – FasCat Coaching) you’ve heard us talking about recently.

The sky is the limit with the topic of your questions: training, your mental game, nutrition, strength training, recovery, HRV/Sleep - the sky is the limit, but please only ask one really good question.

Pro Tip: in past Ask a FasCat podcasts, the winners have asked a question NOT about their particular training but rather a broad topic that is beneficial for all. IOW the questions just for you usually don’t ‘win’.

Good luck and we look forward to your questions and trying to answer them.


Hey FasCat team :wave:,

This season has been fantastic, I did the off-season weight program, 16 weeks of sweet spot plan, then into the gravel plan, which led to a sub 11 hour time at Unbound and I won my AG (30-39). Both of these plans I completed the Advanced version of the plans and then went into the Hill Climb plan (also advanced) to get ready for my late season races. As the season is coming to an end (I don’t race cyclocross) the question that my wife(who rides as much as I do) and I keep discussing is how do we get faster next season? This question really stems from the July 1st episode, “Overcoming a Plateau”, but has been mentioned in other episodes of your show. My understanding from everything your team has mentioned is that you need a new stimulus which is to either increase volume, increase intensity, improve diet, or have greater variety in your training. My question is if we’re already winning in the kitchen, completing advanced FasCat plans, doing our yoga and core work but largely have the same goals for next season(long endurance events), how do we go about getting faster? How do we vary the inputs to continue to grow, can we simply follow the same plans and because our FTPs are higher that counts as a new and higher stimulus or is it more nuanced than that?

We’re big believers in the FasCat team and all that you’re doing, thank you and FTfP!


Hi FasCat Team!!! Kudos again with a magnificent team and marvelous coaching plans.
I feel so happy!! I just enrolled to my second training plan I just increased 14% of my ftp.
Congratulations again with great plan.
I’ve listened to fasCat podcast and I’ve transitioned into morning workouts. I feel great and energized trough my day. However, as my Base to race training plan is coming soon I would like to know what to eat before my early morning intense workout (4:30am)?
Since is early in the morning I usually get my protein shake after workout and light breakfast after If time is permitted before heading to work.
Thank you in advance.

1 Like

Hello! With the road season closing down, what do you think of going off the deep end for strength training and doing minimum aerobic maintenance? Pack on lower body and general upper body strength and muscle with a solid periodized 5-day/wk plan, increase protein intake, maybe two or three aerobic rides a week for maintenance (throw in a few sprints for good measure to mix it up). Then when race season begins to ramp up in the spring, start weaning back into a regular cycling program.

With the development of a new complementary sport, a cyclist can develop a lot of new muscle fibers. When he or she transitions back to cycling as the main sport, I’m sure there will be strength loss as fibers decrease in size, but that literally grew capacity for top end growth through greater recruitment and honestly just more fibers.

1 Like

How does a person recover from multiple failed FTP tests over the course of a full cycling season? Failing to hit even a modest FTP. Or not being able to complete a 20-minute test.


Using a Garmin 255 recently and noticed (including on the screenshot in this post) there is a caution area on the high side of HRV status, in addition to those on the low HRV side traditionally associated with overreach, fatigue, stress, poor sleep, etc. From Garmin’s site:

“Mounting evidence shows a relationship between abnormally high HRV values relative to your personal baseline and functional overreach (overtraining), especially when that overreach is achieved through large amounts of low-intensity physical activity. In these situations, your parasympathetic system is working hyperactively towards the goal of reestablishing homeostasis. (HRV Status | Garmin Technology)”

With that in mind, can HRV be used to “score” your adaptive response during different parts of a training plan? For example, higher than baseline HRV during off season base training, average during season with sweet spot training, and lower than average following races/high intensity specialization phases.

Really interested in HRV and the Optimize app since it takes other factors into consideration rather than just your training load.


How many diabolicals do you prescribe to hold Ben’s wheel when he goes from videographer to bike racer, Ooof… :wink: haha?

Lol, we should ask him @Ben ?!

1 Like

Take two and call me in the morning, @tim.cahhal :laughing:

What’s up next on your gravel calendar? See you at BWR UT?

1 Like

@Ben On it, haha

I am racing the next three weekends back here in Wyoming, beginning with Fistful of Dirt on Saturday.

Best of luck at BWR!

1 Like

How can coach Jake tell that I am fatigued and need a rest before I can? What data is it that shows it might be time for an unscheduled rest?

1 Like

Hello Fascat Team

I have always wondered how accurate the calories being burned throat my Wahoo cycling computer says. I wear a heart rate strap and use a power meter.
So my question is to change my body composition this winter I know I have to be in a deficit. So if I normally eat 2500 calories in a day. But during a ride it says I burn 1200 calories is it accurate? If I add the 2 together I get 3700 calories. So could I use that to have a ball park of my daily intake? Probably clear as mud. I was thinking if I use those numbers I take away 300-500 calories and it should put me in a deficit??

Hello FasCat team.

Once to twice a year my work schedule has me do 4-5 weeks of incredibly long hours working 6 days a week, 12 hours days. This schedule allows me to do short 30-45 minute workouts after some of the work days, and a longer ride on my day off.

For people like myself with such an odd schedule, what do you think would be the optimal way to maintain CTL, or at least minimize CTL loss during long work week periods like this?

Nick Lesinski

1 Like

When peaking for a hill climb event (popular in the UK) when should you start to care (a little more) about losing a couple % of weight given the importance of W/kg in these events.

I’m conscious it shouldn’t be an extreme change and nutrition is important all year round but for me it’s balancing having energy throughout final training rides to dropping to a slightly lower (but safe) weight.


When is too much, too much

We are really enjoying listening to your podcasts, new to the cycling community and have the following question. We found several articles on junior training programs but nothing for ages below that category. Without sounding crazy, are there certain thresholds we should be adhering to for structured time on a bike for those youth below the U17 category for a weekly average. Our concern is that our son is overly consumed with structured hours on the bike and might be doing too much at the age of 14. His weekly totals are 10-12 hours plus a bunch of unstructured rides. Any feedback/guidance would be appreciated.

1 Like

Hello all…I’ve done the weight lifting plan, and MTB interval plans. I’m currently in the 18 weeks of sweet spot(basic) plan. My job has me out of town 3 to 4 days a week. This is nearly every week of the year. The 3 one hour workouts and 2 rides on the weekends is not feasible for me most of the time. I end up doing 3 day(sometimes 4) blocks before going back on the road. My question is, if I have 3 days to train what workouts are most important? In the sweet spot plan would it be the first hour long workout with Sweet spot intervals, and then the 2 longer weekend rides? When I’m on the road I usually have 3 days where I can rest up. I’d imagine I’m not the only fascat on here that doesn’t have the typical work schedule. Thanks for your time!

I am a 59 year old who has developed a Tachycardia a year or so back. It seems to me that it was the result of 4 or 5 years of heavy road cycling training and racing that wore me down to the point that my heart rate was always low and did not respond easily to intense activity, and when I really wound it up a Tachycardia event was triggered. I ran a CTL of 85-100 over that period

To avoid having an ablation or taking Beta Blockers, i decided to dial things back a bit with my training and this has stopped the Tachycardia events. CTL sits around 60 now. But, the downside is I have lost my motivation to compete and fully get through training plans. I want to feel that desire to race and train really hard again, but i want to use additional tools to help me not go back down the whole of overtraining.

Which brings me to the question. How can an athlete best incorporate the outputs from a smart wearable like the Forerunner 955, to modify or tweak their training plan and training behaviour on a day to day basis, with a view to both avoid overtraining, but also to maximise training effect?

I am aware of the theory of HRV for example, but not so much how to actually use it on a day to day basis from the perspective of a coach.

I’m trying to learn from this season’s experience where I didn’t have enough time before my A race to complete both the 16 week sweet spot and hill climbing interval plans, so I’m starting my sequence earlier with 10 week weight lifting, 16 week sweet spot, and then hill climbing intervals. What I realized is that this plan is going to span my 2 week vacation over Christmas where I’m out of country.

So, here is my question:

How do you recommend dealing with planned vacations? I’m not going to have access to a bike. Am I better off waiting to start the ramp until I get back in January? Or just taking a break for 2 weeks before hopping back in? Or some other method?

Hi Fascat team.

I’m curious what you think about low cadence workouts and when to do them? Increasingly I find myself riding gravel to get away from cars and just enjoy cycling again in no eye on the numbers and forgetting about the weird obsessions we roadies seem to have. On gravel I do more low cadence grinding. Is it my imagination or is this building strength that I then apply when using a higher cadence?

Sincerely, Gear Grinding Daniel

Hi Team,

I am a masters crit racer returning after some time off the bike (battled and won against stomach cancer - shout out to fellow cancer survivors and their families!). I work full time and am looking for a Winter plan to prepare me for masters 50+ criterium races next year. I’ve previously had success on a pretty polarized training diet consisting largely of short intervals and sprint work.

Your training plans contain, what appears to me, to be a lot of sweet spot training. Question - is it appropriate for a masters athlete preparing for short, 1 hour, criterium races to be including a lot of sweet spot training in their winter training plan or should I instead be focusing more on short intervals to try and bring my sprint power (back) up?