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

Hi Team - love the podcast. I have an interesting question I haven’t been able to find an answer to: is training’s long term affect on hormones (ie RED-S, etc…) determined by relative energy availability, training volume, or type of training? It’s likely that they all contribute, but there isn’t a clear cut answer about how the baseline endocrine function of a high-volume endurance athlete might vary from the normal population, assuming perfect nutrition. I’ve dealt with RED-S myself in the past, and I’d love to understand this mechanism to better determine how to train in the future.

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Hello team, Long time listener to the podcast.

My question for you all is how accurate are the calories burned during a workout while wearing a heart rate strap and using a power meter? The reason for the question is to work on body composition this fall should you eat back the calories burned but still staying a deficit to loose some body weight and work on my body composition? I have heard that it is not accurate and you should not eat back some of the calories burned during your workout. Thanks in advance!

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I read a lot of times (on multiple forums) where cyclists use training readiness as a guide to the amount of TSS to do each day to “stay in the green”.

WKO5 shows -11 down to -29 TSS/day as the optimal training level before it changes to over training. So these cyclists would train the next day based on the amount of TSS needed to keep the Form in that zone.

It seems counter-productive to be doing that amount of TSS every day to stay in that “optimal” range. Or is it?

I’ve done all my training based on “total TSS per week”, and look at progression week on week for the days when I do train, eg. VO2 session is 3x5m, 4x5m then 5x5m over 3 weeks, and the Endurance/Tempo rides would be 3, 3.5 and 4 hours respectively each Saturday. Therefore TSS can ramp up about 40-70 TSS/week, depending on the time of year and the volume/intensity mix.

Hello Coaches,
I am looking for suggestions on how to deal with the “After A-event” blues. This seems to happen to me every year, I pick my events/races for the upcoming year around December and then start training and working with my coach towards those goals with a focus on the A-Event. I try to pick something that I really want to do and look forward to. After months of training and completing the big day, I have a day or two of afterglow and leftover adrenaline, but by the next training session, I am just going through the motions. This can last a couple of weeks sometimes longer. I don’t seem to have the same experience with the other things on my calendar only the A-Event for the year. Is this common to other athletes, if so how do you deal with the feeling?

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Hi Fascats,

This is my question:

We all know all sport watch companies are giving their preferred algorithm for training load, claiming theirs to be the best way to quantify how stress affects the individual. Garmin chose EPOC with the Firstbeat algorithm to measure it.

In their whitepaper, they claim this algorithm also considers factors of difficulty. For example, doing a couple of sprints and immediately doing a 20 min. Threshold effort would give higher EPOC and Training Effect scores than doing a Threshold effort and immediately doing those sprints.

Despite this technology seeming very well executed and science-based, I don’t see any elite athletes using their Garmin’s training load, in favor of using CTL as the choice of the pros, despite the drawback that CTL has of accounting for TSS equally in any situation. I haven’t found any research papers apart from the ones from Firstbeat, validating EPOC training load as an effective way to track it. In my experience, when I followed a CTL-based plan, Garmin indicated I was overreaching many times. I felt more tired overall, but my power went up faster.

What are your thoughts on this?



Hey guys-
Newbie racer here. How would one use their FTP to calculate power output for a 2 to 3 hour race? Asking because I have a tendency to go out too hard.
Ed Rowell

We all know the benefits of a group ride, but what if your group is obsessed with Strava Segment hunting. For example - a 50k ride could have 2 or up to 8 planned segments while a 100k ride could have 6 to 15.

How do you go about making these group rides part of your training and fit it in to weekly plans? The tricky part is the number of segments/intervals are random week to week in both quantities and length/intensity.


Hello! I am a coach for a local Junior Development team. In several interviews of professional roadies, most recently on the TrainerRoad Podcast with Matteo Jorgensen, American road pros talk about the difficulty of racing in Europe. One of the biggest obstacles is learning positioning in Junior fields of 70+ riders. The US only has 2-3 races on the calendar with Junior fields that large. How can Junior Devo coaches help their riders learn about position an race dynamics in road, gravel, and MTB racing when Junior fields are so small?

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Besides gym work, what are some good recommendations that a rider can do in the offseason to help have a successful next season? DO these recommendation vary if you’re a roadie, gravel rider or Mt Biker?

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Thanks everyone for so many thoughtful questions! @Ben and I will get them all together and we’ll do our best to answer them on the pod next week!

In the meantime we recorded a great episode about using your data to review your season - should hit the airwaves any moment

Thanks again for the q’s - we’ll add any late ones to the #23 episode tbr (to be recorded) in October

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Hello and happy Friday everyone!

The episode is LIVE (!) Listen in to see if you won :joy:

If we didn’t get to your question, be on the lookout for a follow up training tip that does answer your q. And as I said about there is always Episode #23 next month!!

Have a great weekend and hope you get in a good ride or two!

The answer to the question surprised me re: repeating training plans each year for similar annual goals! I understand how you don’t want to do the same stuff year-in and year-out, such as repeating a sweet spot plan ad-nauseam, as it will stagnate our adaptations.

However, if we are annually following a proper periodization sequence with something like the 32-week plan followed by an intervals plan, or ala-carte foundation>winter weights>SST1-3>intervals we WOULD expect see improvements year to year? I find it hard to believe there’s any better way to spend winter and base/build than these well-established 10-wk and sweet spot plan sequences. Our general base fitness would be stronger each year and even though it’s the “same plans”, they’re properly sequenced and designed to avoid plateaus.

We’re good to repeat the proper FasCat plan sequences each year, right?


Hey @chad it depends.

How good were you following the plan? 100% good = need a new plan (which was my answer)

80-90% compliant - you are probably good to follow the plan again and try to do better, recover better, have better nutrition, be ALL in for each and every one workout.

Of note we did update the off season plan and revised it to make it better , for rest weeks, periodization and

Our 30 week plan includes 3 all new re-designed plan for 2022 that are optimized when paired together:

  1. 3 week Fall Foundation (new for 2022 :boom:)

  2. 10 Weeks of Weight Lifting (new for 2022 :boom:)

  3. 16 Weeks of Sweet Spot (new for 2022 :boom:)

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