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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Velonews "Fast Talk" Podcasts

I've turned to these as a pretty nice resource - lots of interesting topics, and they generally bring in some real experts/pro coaches, etc.  Not to mention a decent dose of science (most of the time).

Check them out:

Episode 26 - Cramping Myths Debunked

This one was amazing.  Imagine, real science about cramping, not just urban legends!

It's not electrolytes, so stop wasting money on salt pills.  It's not hydration.  It's nothing you can fix by purchasing a product.

No, it's something much harder to fix - it's your conditioning.  If you don't train enough or you push too hard training the week of a race, you're at risk for cramping.

Don't show up for a 3+ hour event where you plan to race hard having not done the miles/intensity in training.

I've had serious cramping problems but it's always early season at Paris to Ancaster.  Long race at a time I haven't done much that long or that hard... in years I have, no cramping!

Episode 10 - Hit Race Weight The Right Way

Garbage science - and they knew it, but they posted it anyway.  They warned up front that the science was garbage (not in so many words).  Dr. Philip Goglia is not a guy I'd line up to hear again - he can stick to telling the stars nonsense fad diet advice.

The one thing I did get out of this one - it's better to leave weight loss to the off-season and base building periods, not during the race/training season.  Trying to lose weight when you're in race season is counter-productive, you'll just feel like hell (and have the results to match).

I think I already knew that, because no matter how many calories I burn I manage to not lose weight during the summer... food tastes good, exercise prompts appetite.  And when I have created large caloric deficits, it's lead to lethargy and crappy workouts.

As for the milk-bashing and stuff, give me a break.  The nonsense about  heat ... heat is a by-product of caloric expenditure, it's not the cause.  A calorie is not a measure of heat, it's a measure of energy.

But I digress.

Episode 2 & 3 - High vs Low Intensity

This one was excellent.  I learned two key things (but the entire podcast is worth a listen):

  1. The body can't handle more than 2 high intensity workouts per week - you burn out.  And this is true for both amateurs (me!) and pros alike - the stress it puts on your system isn't something you can train to take more of.  
  2. High intensity work isn't a substitute for piling on base miles... but if you're not a pro with 5 hours a day to spend on the bike, it's probably fine (but taking into account point #1
They talked a bit about reverse periodization  - conclusion: nobody is really doing reverse periodization (ie. intensity early and base miles later).  What they are doing is introducing intensity throughout their training, rather than only doing base miles at the start.  For pros this is partly about being ready for their early races.

What should a week look like for a time-crunched cyclist?

  • 2 intense workouts per week. Short intervals with little rest (ie. 20s all out, 10s rest, repeat for 4-5mins) have best results.  
  • 1 long ride, 4-5h at "talking pace".  In the season this can be made more intense, but not crazy.
  • Alternative to long ride - 95% of threhold for 20 minute intervals - not nearly as good, and not a real substitute for the long ride (but could work in the winter to some degree)

Happy 'casting.

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