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Podcast focused on the science and physiology behind training and racing

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Podcast focused on the science and physiology behind training and racing

Old 04-30-19, 10:15 AM
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ToddTheBod
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Podcast focused on the science and physiology behind training and racing

Hi everyone, my buddy and I recently started a podcast focusing on explaining more of science and physiology behind training, different training protocols, etc. in the hopes that it gives everyone a better appreciation and understanding for why training works.

If you are interested, please give us a listen here: Empirical Cycling - Podcast Episodes, or search for "empirical cycling podcast" on soundcloud, stitcher, iTunes, spotify, etc.

We also love to get listener comments, questions, and topic suggestions! Several of our episodes have already been listener suggestions.

If you've got any commments/questions, feel free to shoot them over to empiricalcycling@gmail.com.

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-19, 10:24 AM
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What's your background/experience with bike racing @ToddTheBod?
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Old 04-30-19, 11:27 AM
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His partner in crime Kolie is my coach! The podcast is legit.
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Old 04-30-19, 12:05 PM
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If @thekillerpenguin ensdorses him than he has my endorsement, as well as my people, the cat fours.

So long as it doesn't cover illness prevention cus tpk gets sick every other week.
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Old 04-30-19, 12:11 PM
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Dude I swear there is some sort of hex on me regarding the month of April. Kolie is a coach not a witch doctor, there's nothing he can do about it!
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Old 04-30-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
What's your background/experience with bike racing @ToddTheBod?
Been racing bikes since grad school; going on 9 years now. I've raced road, CX, and track, now primarily do track sprints at the elite national/DFL at UCI races level. Before then I was a competitive swimmer for over a decade but retired after my NCAA career concluded.
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Old 04-30-19, 12:36 PM
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I rescind my previous position of skepticism

I'll check out the podcast later tonight, after track
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Old 05-01-19, 10:27 AM
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I listened to part of the Ashton Ambie interview and the How High Intensity Interval Training Makes You Faster. IMO, both were well done.

As a trackie doing pursuit, I like Ambie's description of competitors beating the crap out of each other on the track aspect that I enjoy at races and at coached sessions at the track. It does not take many competitors and in fact it only takes two, to have a great competition and determine a winner. In pursuit, every pedal stroke counts. Many racers think and USAC promotes the idea that large fields legitimize a competition. Ali and Frazer put on a great show that epitomized the top of the heavy weight boxing pyramid. Ashton's description of gravel races being more like time trials was interesting where he finds himself going toe to toe with one or two other riders.

The How High Intensity Interval Training Makes You Faster podcast was similar in style to others I have listened to and papers I have read but well done. The key question that is left unanswered is how to make the concepts work for the listener to achieve goals. Law firms are experts at presenting material that puts a hook with tasty bait on it to get clients to hire them. And many times they charge for the presentation. That approach is okay and fine by me and great sales and marketing. I was sort of happy to learn that I probably do not have any calcium leakage (any leakage for old guys is generally bad) but then again maybe I should.

I will let my current coach worry about any leakage...I just ride these things and do what I am told to do.
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Old 05-01-19, 12:08 PM
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I've seen several of Kolie's articles on TrainingPeaks, and I've read a few, but many tend to be a bit too technical/sciency for my taste. (I don't have a degree in biology or sport science, and this is just a hobby for me, so I prefer things dumbed down. I feel like those articles are targeting other coaches more than general athletes.) I haven't listened to these podcasts. Are they as technical as the articles?
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Old 05-01-19, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I've seen several of Kolie's articles on TrainingPeaks, and I've read a few, but many tend to be a bit too technical/sciency for my taste. (I don't have a degree in biology or sport science, and this is just a hobby for me, so I prefer things dumbed down. I feel like those articles are targeting other coaches more than general athletes.) I haven't listened to these podcasts. Are they as technical as the articles?
No they are more athlete focused.
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Old 05-01-19, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
The key question that is left unanswered is how to make the concepts work for the listener to achieve goals. Law firms are experts at presenting material that puts a hook with tasty bait on it to get clients to hire them. And many times they charge for the presentation. That approach is okay and fine by me and great sales and marketing. I was sort of happy to learn that I probably do not have any calcium leakage (any leakage for old guys is generally bad) but then again maybe I should.

I will let my current coach worry about any leakage...I just ride these things and do what I am told to do.
The key takeaway here is that if you're well trained, some of the stimulus you'd receive from HIIT, i.e. calcium leakage, doesn't actually occur, so they're not as useful/don't work well for well trained athletes. The other takeaway is that doing HIIT has potentially unintended consequences regarding carb vs. fat burning. Doing too much HIIT will make you very good at carb burning, which makes you not good over long aerobic races.
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Old 05-03-19, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
The key takeaway here is that if you're well trained, some of the stimulus you'd receive from HIIT, i.e. calcium leakage, doesn't actually occur, so they're not as useful/don't work well for well trained athletes. The other takeaway is that doing HIIT has potentially unintended consequences regarding carb vs. fat burning. Doing too much HIIT will make you very good at carb burning, which makes you not good over long aerobic races.
What does "well trained" mean in this context. I typically consider myself "well trained" but that doesn't necessarily mean what a coach might mean.

Personal context: Riding seriously for about 10 years now, first 3-4 were sort of aimless, no real structure. Last 6ish have been 70% structured with some real coaching thrown in.

I've listened to the FTP episode and partially through the Ashton interview. Liking them thus far and really appreciate things like un-truthing the "FTP = 1-hour max power" myth.
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Old 05-03-19, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ancker View Post
What does "well trained" mean in this context. I typically consider myself "well trained" but that doesn't necessarily mean what a coach might mean.

Personal context: Riding seriously for about 10 years now, first 3-4 were sort of aimless, no real structure. Last 6ish have been 70% structured with some real coaching thrown in.

I've listened to the FTP episode and partially through the Ashton interview. Liking them thus far and really appreciate things like un-truthing the "FTP = 1-hour max power" myth.
The study we were referencing used subjects with VO2maxes around 65-69 ml/min/kg as their "elite" population. Mid to upper 60s is going to make you a decent racer but not an elite pro racer. Hard to say exactly what kind of wattages you could expect with that VO2max without knowing your bodyweight.
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Old 05-03-19, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
The study we were referencing used subjects with VO2maxes around 65-69 ml/min/kg as their "elite" population. Mid to upper 60s is going to make you a decent racer but not an elite pro racer. Hard to say exactly what kind of wattages you could expect with that VO2max without knowing your bodyweight.
So takeaway is that me, who probably doesn't have a VO2max in the 60s let alone mid-upper, still has a lot to gain from HIIT?

I'm still a bit confused, to me, a rather nerdy when it comes to training science, but still a layperson, "well trained" is a few rungs below "elite".
I ride 7-10 hours a week, 5-7 of which is structured workouts. So I'd call myself "well trained". But I'm nowhere near "elite".
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Old 05-05-19, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ancker View Post
So takeaway is that me, who probably doesn't have a VO2max in the 60s let alone mid-upper, still has a lot to gain from HIIT?

I'm still a bit confused, to me, a rather nerdy when it comes to training science, but still a layperson, "well trained" is a few rungs below "elite".
I ride 7-10 hours a week, 5-7 of which is structured workouts. So I'd call myself "well trained". But I'm nowhere near "elite".

I don't know what your numbers are, but I think you need to keep in mind that the study labeled them "elite" because they're in the 1% of VO2max for people if you just randomly selected them off the couch. Fast cat3s can probably test up in the upper 60s.
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Old 05-05-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
The study we were referencing .
Reference?
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Old 05-05-19, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
I don't know what your numbers are, but I think you need to keep in mind that the study labeled them "elite" because they're in the 1% of VO2max for people if you just randomly selected them off the couch. Fast cat3s can probably test up in the upper 60s.

Fast cat 3s? Seriously? Upper 60s vo2 max...I wouldn't expect a cat 3 to be a cat 3 for very long. I mean, in competitive cycling, many cat 3s are people who stuck with the sport long enough to get an upgrade. Hardly physiological outliers.
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Old 05-05-19, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
Reference?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20571821/
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Old 05-05-19, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Fast cat 3s? Seriously? Upper 60s vo2 max...I wouldn't expect a cat 3 to be a cat 3 for very long. I mean, in competitive cycling, many cat 3s are people who stuck with the sport long enough to get an upgrade. Hardly physiological outliers.
VO2max is HIGHLY trainable. Everyone here posted in this thread right now would test in the upper percentiles vs. the average popular of untrained humans.

Edit: obviously not conclusive, but I'm not crazy in saying that there are cat3s are in the 60s, and fast ones could be mid to upper 60s: https://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/5...e-pro-cyclists. I do not mean that ALL fast cat3s would be mid to upper 60s, but there will be fast cat3s in the mid to upper 60s.

Edit: here's some more data, cat3s at 65 +/- 2: http://sites.edb.utexas.edu/uploads/...le-Results.pdf.

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Old 05-06-19, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ancker View Post
So takeaway is that me, who probably doesn't have a VO2max in the 60s let alone mid-upper, still has a lot to gain from HIIT?
Whether you've got something to gain from HIIT is not a function of your absolute vo2max, but a function of how well trained you are relative to yourself. If you're getting off the couch after some time off, you'll gain something aerobically and anaerobically. After a few months of training, aerobic gains are more difficult to come by and anaerobic gains might be easier, depending on the training you've been doing.
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Old 05-06-19, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by thewattsdoc View Post
Whether you've got something to gain from HIIT is not a function of your absolute vo2max, but a function of how well trained you are relative to yourself. If you're getting off the couch after some time off, you'll gain something aerobically and anaerobically. After a few months of training, aerobic gains are more difficult to come by and anaerobic gains might be easier, depending on the training you've been doing.
Interesting. I always assumed that given my current amount of consistent training, that my limiter is that I don't have enough base to support a high top end.
I do intervals pretty much all year, mainly because I assumed that give my 7-10 hours of available training time meant I needed to focus more on the pointy end.

I was considering making a shift to doing a more traditional base/build/specialty cycle starting this fall.

I figure the answer is that I could probably benefit from both doing more base _and_ adding VO2/MAP intervals.
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Old 05-06-19, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post
VO2max is HIGHLY trainable. Everyone here posted in this thread right now would test in the upper percentiles vs. the average popular of untrained humans.

Edit: obviously not conclusive, but I'm not crazy in saying that there are cat3s are in the 60s, and fast ones could be mid to upper 60s: https://www.cyclist.co.uk/in-depth/5...e-pro-cyclists. I do not mean that ALL fast cat3s would be mid to upper 60s, but there will be fast cat3s in the mid to upper 60s.

Edit: here's some more data, cat3s at 65 +/- 2: http://sites.edb.utexas.edu/uploads/...le-Results.pdf.

Highly trainable but genetically limited, right? Meaning that it may not take much to go from a sedentary 40 to a well-trained 55, but no amount of training beyond that will boost vo2 max if that's your ceiling. I mean, with three years of very specific vo2 max training I haven't been able to lift my 5 minute power a single watt. And that's after a decade of very structured training as a base. There's just nothing more there.

I don't doubt there's any number of crazy numbers at most any level. But I'm very incredulous of the idea that there are a significant number of cat 3s (and by extension, 2s and 1s with even higher vo2 maxes) in that upper echelon of vo2 max.

The couple of people I've known who have had upper 70s low 80s vo2 max could jump off the couch and produce the power that it takes me months of very, very hard training to accomplish. And they can do those efforts over and over and over again. It was brazenly obvious there was something unique about their abilities. They just rode off the front of races all the way up to the 1/2 level.

I don't see any cat 3s that can do anything remotely like that. And it's the rare cat 1 I see that can do stuff like that.
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Old 05-06-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddTheBod View Post

Edit: here's some more data, cat3s at 65 +/- 2: http://sites.edb.utexas.edu/uploads/...le-Results.pdf.

That's some weird data. Sample size? And all the cat 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s are at 7% body fat? Really? Everyone?!

And then the plummet at 35+? There are no cat 1,2,3, or 4 35+ guys to sample from with 7% body fat?
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Old 05-06-19, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
That's some weird data. Sample size? And all the cat 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s are at 7% body fat? Really? Everyone?!

And then the plummet at 35+? There are no cat 1,2,3, or 4 35+ guys to sample from with 7% body fat?
In Texas 35+ 4/5 is a racing category in master's.
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Old 05-06-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Highly trainable but genetically limited, right? Meaning that it may not take much to go from a sedentary 40 to a well-trained 55, but no amount of training beyond that will boost vo2 max if that's your ceiling. I mean, with three years of very specific vo2 max training I haven't been able to lift my 5 minute power a single watt. And that's after a decade of very structured training as a base. There's just nothing more there.
This is true, but it's true for almost every physiological metric. What's more complex is that your metrics are going to be both driven and limited by your genetics when it comes to your baseline, your epigenetics when it comes to your environment/history, and then also your genetics AGAIN when it comes to how well you respond to different modalities of training. Perhaps you just do not respond well to the VO2max training you've been doing.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post

I don't doubt there's any number of crazy numbers at most any level. But I'm very incredulous of the idea that there are a significant number of cat 3s (and by extension, 2s and 1s with even higher vo2 maxes) in that upper echelon of vo2 max.
I think the problem is that you're comparing the rate of naturally occuring mid-to-upper-60s VO2maxes in the general population and extrapolating that to the rate that they'd occur in well trained populations.

Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
The couple of people I've known who have had upper 70s low 80s vo2 max could jump off the couch and produce the power that it takes me months of very, very hard training to accomplish. And they can do those efforts over and over and over again. It was brazenly obvious there was something unique about their abilities. They just rode off the front of races all the way up to the 1/2 level.

I don't see any cat 3s that can do anything remotely like that. And it's the rare cat 1 I see that can do stuff like that.
Upper 70s and low 80s is far and away ahead of "mid to upper 60s".

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