Multiple-time Polka Dot Jersey Holder, Toms Skujins, discusses lactate testing, CGMs, ketone strips, and taking his own blood on the side of the road.
If you’re a listener of this show, you understand that nothing can replace hard work if you want to be at your strongest. But that doesn’t stop many of us from keeping an eye on the newest gadgets and tools with the hopes that one or two of them will give us that little bit more; that slight edge that pushes us over the top.
What might surprise you is that is something that we share with even the highest-level professionals. And while many of us imagine a battery of physiologist and coaches precisely tuning their every decision, that’s often not the case. Many pros get their information from the same places as us and just like us, they’re often found stopped on the side of the road struggling with their newest gadget.
That has been the case with today’s guest, a jersey leader at the Tour de France. Toms Skujins is a Latvian rider on the World Tour team Trek-Segafredo. He has worn the Polka Dot Jersey at the Tour de France and won multiple National Championships and one-day races.
Today Toms talks with us about the many tools he’s experimented with over the years including continuous glucose monitors, ketone strips, the CORE Body Temperature Monitor, Oura rings, the Leomo accelerometer, and even conducting lactate tests on himself. Some have given him that extra edge, while others have left him bleeding on the side of the road – literally.
So, let’s dive into a few of these training aids and let’s make you fast!
(Kulawiec, Zhou, Knopp, & Chase, 2021; Thomas, Pretty, Signal, Shaw, & Chase, 2017)
Kulawiec, D. G., Zhou, T., Knopp, J. L., & Chase, J. G. (2021). Continuous glucose monitoring to measure metabolic impact and recovery in sub-elite endurance athletes. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, 70, 103059. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bspc.2021.103059
Thomas, F., Pretty, C. G., Signal, M., Shaw, G., & Chase, J. G. (2017). Accuracy and performance of continuous glucose monitors in athletes. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, 32, 124–129. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bspc.2016.08.007
Unknown Speaker 0:11
Hello and Welcome to Fast dock your source for the science of endurance performance. I’m your host Trevor Connor filling in for Chris case who’s at cyclocross worlds right now, we are listener of the show you understand that nothing can replace hard work if you want to be at your strongest. But that doesn’t stop many of us from keeping an eye on the newest gadgets and tools with the hopes that one or two of them will give us that little bit more. That slight edge that pushes us over the top. What might surprise you is that is something that we share with even the highest level professionals. And while many of us imagine a battery of physiologist and coaches precisely tuning their ever decision, that’s often not the case. Many bros get their information from the same places as us and just like us, they’re often found stopped on the side of the road struggling with their newest gadget. That has certainly been the case with today’s guest, a jersey leader at the Tour de France. Tom’s going is a Latvian writer on the World Tour team trek Segafredo. He has worn the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France and won multiple national championships in one day races. Today, Tom’s talks with us about the many tools he’s experimented with over the years, including continuous glucose monitors, ketone strips, the core body temperature monitor, or rings, the Luoma accelerometer and even conducting lactate tests on himself. Some have given them that extra edge while others have left them bleeding on the side of the road, literally. So let’s dive into a few of these training aids and let’s make you fast.
Unknown Speaker 1:41
listeners. We are excited to announce our ninth pathway which is focused on indoor cycling. Members of fast dock labs can explore the best ways to get the most out of riding inside our new indoor cycling pathway taps experts like Coach Joe Friel. Dr. Stephen Chung, Dr. Andy Pruitt to explore how indoor and outdoor riding are different how to adjust your training indoors, and how to avoid biomechanical problems that affect many indoor cyclists. We draw from sports scientists Rob pickles for ways to make with an effective way to train indoor cycling is not the same as riding outside, follow our indoor cycling pathway to get more from indoor. See more at fast dock labs.com.
Unknown Speaker 2:25
It has been a really long time since we’ve had Tom on the show. Welcome back to fast talk Tom’s. It’s great to be back. Thanks for having me yet again. So I’m going to start by saying obviously, I am a data guy versus not. But I love data, Rob never figured out where you are, oh, man, I love toys and tools. But we create an outline for the show. And I put it in a little comment in the outline of Tom’s fill in some of the stuff that you’ve been experimenting with. And you’ve written out this list that I’ve met to I’m going to be doing this whole podcast picturing is like the cyborg with all these various devices connected to this long list of stuff that you’ve tried and used. And I also know that was it a month ago, you contacted us about borrowing our lactate monitor and some test strips. And I think we asked you, so who’s testing you? And you’re like, No, I’m testing myself, which I have to give full credit to I’m not sure I could take lactates while I was doing a test on a bike on myself. Yeah, exactly. Like, that’s one of the things I’ve actually recently started doing. And all that list that you saw, obviously, I don’t have it on me 24/7. Since I started ft. Bad that would be that would be quite entertaining if I use all the tools all the time. But yeah, the lifetime testing is always like you say it is sometimes challenging to do on your own. And there are definitely a few good stories that come out of it. But I gotta say that for one, my coach is always very impressed with the accuracy of the data I get, which is always really good. My coaches Sebastian, wherever, where you guys have had had on the podcast before, he’s the guy behind the inside. And so we do we do lactate testing here and there. Obviously, I really decided, let’s say three years ago that I’ve been doing enough mileage every year I do more than 30,000 kilometers. And I thought maybe it’s time to switch to smarter training instead of more training. And I figured that lactate was something that, especially with working with Sebastian, that we really actually were not using enough because also was I mean, it’s right now with inside especially it’s so easy to do with all the portable lactic meters you don’t really need to lab so I was like, let’s try let’s do it. And yeah, there’s been a few times where usually I mean, taking the lactate when you’re you’ve done a steady effort is definitely way easier than when you’ve done an all out effort. So usually my tactic
Unknown Speaker 5:00
For the fallout ones is that after I finish three, four minutes all out, which is usually the hardest one to do and measure is that I sit down on the ground. And occasionally it’s in a turn, because there’s just like, like little extra space on the ground.
Unknown Speaker 5:18
And you can avoid getting run over by a car that might be coming around. Yeah, that that helps for sure. But I’ve had in drone a Cassini Neotoma rolling down the hill while I’m sitting on the ground in a trend, like breathing heavily just like trying to measure my life that look at me like, I’m some sort of clown, or I don’t know what she was thinking actually, that maybe it crashed or whatever. And I’m trying to say Yeah, hello. Hi, I’m okay. It’s all good. I’m just moving my lactate. I just need to take some of my blood. Yeah, normally line here. Yeah, I’m really hard. Or another time I was doing it here. And then door. I had, yeah, pricked my finger. But the balloon was not like coming out. So I mean, obviously, you’re trying to squeeze and then suddenly, it just like burst, the stream of blood that came out of my hand, or finger just went all across my face or down my glasses and all my body. So I had like, this big strip of blood just Yeah. On me, which was also very entertaining. Luckily, that day, I didn’t see anyone nor did anyone really see me. So because that could have been even scarier probably to see at moments like these. Has the thought ever gone through your head that maybe there’s something wrong with the sport we have all chosen to do here? Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely, there’s definitely some things that you think it would be very hard to explain to your family or someone outside the sport that? Yeah, so what I do is I go as hard as I can, then I try and use this little needle to prick my finger. So that blood comes out lying on the side of the road. Yeah, well lying on the side of the road, because going as hard as you can doesn’t hurt enough. Yep. Yeah, there’s definitely if you take a zoom out of it, then it’s quite entertaining to explain to someone, I want to take a slight step backwards. Actually, you are a professional athlete, arguably on one of the best World Tour teams out there. And Yet, You’re doing this to yourself on the side of the road, does it seem a little weird to you that you are sometimes probably experimenting with stuff, you have a world class coach, that is I’m sure, advising you at times, but at other times, it seems like he must be just flying by the seat of your pants, as they say a little bit and seeing what works. That to me strikes me as pretty weird that a professional would be doing that. Would you agree with that? Yeah, I mean, definitely, when you think pro, you don’t think laying on the side of the road, trying to get blood out of yourself. But cycling is, is definitely not like other sports, I’d say. Especially if you look at any team sports, where there’s always a team base, you’re always there, the coaches are always just next door or whatever, cycling is very international, and people live all around the world. So of course, there’s labs pretty much everywhere nowadays, like some kind of sports labs. But if you want to keep it consistent, if you want to keep the same protocol, it’s not that always you can try and convince allowed to do the same protocol. Plus riding on the road. And testing on the road is definitely way better than doing it on a trainer with a mask and hoping that the temperature is right, the humidity is right and all that. Because I mean, that also affects really how you call how you will perform and what the test results will be. So I always really, once I realized that testing on the road is available. Even I mean, you can go back and look at just like the same old 20 minute all our tests, right that people use, there’s a reason that it works. And that there’s a reason why people start using that instead of labs. It’s just because it’s a lot of times more realistic, easier to do. And yeah, just gives you sometimes even more accurate, more usable data, then somewhere in a lab in some random town.
Unknown Speaker 9:17
Yep. All fair and fully agree. But you brought up a point that raises one of the questions I really want to ask because I hear a lot from the masters, the amateur athletes that I coach, they’ll give me that comment of Well, I’m not a pro I don’t have the access to the tools and testing and everything they have access to. And there is this image that pros have everything they need and these great labs and and all the resources and my question to you is and obviously you just told us a story that changes the image a little bit. Is that the case do pros really have access to all these tools and all the resources that that they need. I mean, there’s definitely
Unknown Speaker 10:00
Always options to get to those tools and get to those resources. But it is time and money because not always they are provided. And if you have to fly every single time to the same lab, because you started there and you want to keep the same protocol, or have the same physio look at you every single time or whatever, it gets complicated. And it is also a question of money as well, and the funds and where you put your resources. Because I mean, not everyone is making the salary of theatre, Saigon, you know, because then you can just hire someone that is always there with you, and always does your testing for you. But yeah, that all costs money, of course, another question that takes us a little bit backwards, and could have been asked right at the very beginning, obviously, you have tried a lot of these tools, you are willing to do some of this stuff to yourself, because you see the value in it. How important though, are they in the grand scheme of training? Could you do your job, you think at this point, at this level, in this modern age without these tools, I mean, there’s definitely tools like we talked, there’s definitely tools, toys that make more sense than others. If for one ride, you forget your heart rate monitors, probably not a problem, at the same time, power meters that are now so widespread and 10 years ago that we’re not, then sure you can be pro with our power meter, but you will most definitely not be reaching your maximum, you will definitely be leaving something on the table. And yeah, it is a lot about finding the balance and what data you look at what data you don’t look at, where do you invest the money? And what actually is important and also, like, obviously, I don’t test myself and electric meter every day, or look at my power meter 24/7 There is time and place for it. Yeah, it’s also about timing and also knowing when to use which tools let’s say Tom’s you bring up that point. And if we look at your list here, you know to outline for the listeners, you have a continuous glucose monitor, you have power meter, you have core temperature, you have glioma accelerators, you have recovery tools, power breath, ketone pee strips, and cell fingerpicking is sort of the outline that you provided a lot of this stuff that you’re commonly using, how do you integrate this data? How do you know what to listen to? When do you ever choose to ignore something and favor? Something else? How does that work in your mind? Yeah, it’s a good question. I think I go through phases. And I think it’s actually probably good to go through like cycles, even with let’s say, all these new fit bands of orderings. And we’ll recovery tools and everything. It’s if you look at every single day, every single race day, then it probably gets in your head. And you might say, Oh, I have a low score. But that low score might be from just wrong measurements, and that it gets in your head and you’re like, Oh, I’m not gonna perform today. And then you have to remember that sport is such a mental game as well that you can’t look to the data too closely. You always have to take a grain of salt with it, so to say. So for example, with the Yeah, CGM use it only in like specific cycles, when I’m really playing around with some nutrition. I don’t use it every day, it was actually interesting to put it on during the offseason, where I was not paying attention to my diet, and not exercising and seeing how that impacts the glucose levels. So I just always try to find, let’s say, interesting points in training in the year in the cycle of training, where to Yeah, play around with, with a tool that I have the two tools I have accumulated over the years. So I really want to dive into this list of the tools and things that you’ve tried here. Because I am a geek, I try everything. And there’s a few things in this list. I’m like I didn’t even know that existed. So this is going to be a lot of fun. But before we dive into these, I do want to ask that question of you know, you are a pro, you are a top level pro, you have Warren, one of the leaders jerseys at the Tour de France, you don’t get much higher than that. So I get with somebody like you, you’re looking for those marginal gains, you’re looking for those little things that can just give you that little bit more. But a lot of our listeners are not pros. What’s your overall feeling of? Are these tools beneficial for them as well? Or are they not in such a need of these little marginal improvements? The best answer for this is that the tools you need are the ones that you’re going to use if you buy electric meter. And you’re like, Oh yeah, now I can do the lactate testing and it’s really going to help me train better.
Unknown Speaker 15:00
But if you don’t use it, it’s not it’s worth nothing. But if you even buy a foam roller, and you make sure you use it, you make sure you use it not just for foam rolling Posterize, but stretching and even just a reminder to take recovery seriously, that will help you. And a foam roller is way cheaper than a power meter or whatever else, you know. Sure, Trevor, if I can talk about this from the other side, right, I’m about as opposite of a rider as Tom’s here.
Unknown Speaker 15:32
I’ve never worn a jersey, I’ve I’ve, I’ve I ride in tank tops more than jerseys, oftentimes,
Unknown Speaker 15:39
you know, and obviously a 2% gain, it’s not going to do anything for me, right, I’m gonna I’m gonna go from being a mile behind to slightly under a mile behind. But I think the opposite side is sometimes this is just interesting, right? It’s just fun to learn about things and to be inquisitive. And, you know, the 2% gain isn’t isn’t necessarily the goal, I think for all athletes. Yeah, I, I can say the same thing, even though I have a power meter on my bike, but the battery died six years ago, you know, I don’t use any of this stuff. But I can still see how it’s intriguing to people to understand a bit more. It can be about improvement, but it’s also just sometimes about understanding how the body works. progress takes place. Why are you grinning at me like that, Trevor? Thank you can’t believe the words that are coming out of my mouth. Right? Actually, I’m completely caught on what Rob said the baby, this is just fun. And I’m just having this image of one of our listeners on the side of the road with their finger believing. Well, this is fun.
Unknown Speaker 16:43
My response to that is maybe cycling isn’t your biggest problem right now. Yeah. Well, Trevor, I think you need to get up to speed because I’ve used everything on this list aside from the glucose monitor. And that’s really just because they’re pretty hard to get in the US right now. I have not done ketone pee strips. I gotta admit, I’m excited to talk about this.
Unknown Speaker 17:03
Do you want to start there, Trevor? It is. Interestingly, it’s highlighted in yellow on our document as well, which is the color of P Yes. Yes. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 17:15
Well, Tom’s Why don’t we let you pick? Let’s dive into some of these tools. Where would you like to start? Well, I mean, we can start with your piece trips, if you if you’d like. I mean, that was something I got. I haven’t used that much. But obviously with the low carb training things, and even ketones coming out in like liquid form, and people trying to use them in races and so on, that was really something that actually I experimented quite a bit with, like low carb rides and trying to help my efficiency, the very first year I was on Cannondale, my first ever World career. And I gotta say that that year at home, I really didn’t do more than five hour rides. But sometimes I would do the five hour rides with outs, an intake of any carbs. So by the time Flanders rolled around, even at our six plus, I was feeling super good. So I mean, pee strips were just a nice indicator, obviously, it is still not the most accurate way to measure them, but they’re cheap. And they’re easy to use that you don’t have to prick your finger every time you want to take a little blood sample. I did use during the rides to see where I am more or less, even if I am in ketosis or not. And yeah, I think that really helped improve my endurance that year. One thing I will comment on that is there a lot of people who try to get into a ketogenic state, either they believe that it helps performance, or quite often there’s a belief that it helps with health. And we’ve talked about that in other episodes. I’m not going to dive into that. But what I will say is, it’s actually a lot harder to get into a ketogenic state than people think, particularly if it’s something that you do frequently, because your body adjusts a bit. So yeah, I can see the value of having these peace reps who might go well, I’ve reduced my carb intake. I think I’m in a ketogenic state, but you think you are. And this is something that that can easily tell you, Yes, you’ve actually obtained ketosis here. Because if there are benefits to this, you have to be in ketosis to get that benefit. So it’s good to know that yes, all that work you’ve been doing is actually getting you to where you need to be. The only thing I have to do have to mention as I just realized that there are things that people don’t think about when you I mean, sometimes I would take the piece trips on rides, and obviously you fall on the side of the road, and that happens to take a little major break. And that happens more often than not, it doesn’t happen like it happens on a long ride. For sure, at least once but then the problem is where do you put this trip? Like you don’t want to put it on the side of the road, right? So do you put it back in your pocket?
Unknown Speaker 20:03
But I’ll let people that do get them figured themselves. How do they want to approach that? That thing? So we now have you on the side of the road, your finger is gushing blood. You’re peeing on a strap and trying to figure out what drivers give you a wide berth? Don’t they?
Unknown Speaker 20:20
Don’t mix the two of those. This Yes, I am the sole reason drivers hate cyclists.
Unknown Speaker 20:26
So where should we go next? This is a big list. I mean, we can go on to just because I just now I was telling you guys that I set up my aura ring. We even though it’s not on the list, I feel like yeah, recovery tools include things like the aura ring that helps you track your sleep. Same with whoop, I had the feeling that I actually tried the route for a long time. But once I saw that the aura ring has, it gives you also an indication of the temperature. And that really, I have heard from other riders that it is a really good indicator to see when you are getting sick. And especially now that we’re talking about people getting vaccinated, and you can see that your temperature is a little bit elevated the next day or whatever, after getting a shot or let’s say you do a call ride and come back bit extra fatigue and whatever. And you have in theory planned a big ride, but you see that your temperature is elevated, it’s 100% worth calling the day off. Yeah, and taking it easy. But another reason I feel like these devices are useful, especially for amateurs is when you have a family, when you have kids that sleep gets sometimes put into the backseat and you kind of forget about it, then you try and train through it. Actually, the biggest reason why I got the aura ring is because we have a baby coming in May. And I figured that it will probably be some sleepless nights. So another device that tells me to back off, because I am definitely one that has a hard time backing off and training, something that will help me to decide easier to back off will be most definitely useful tool so that I am a bit fresher and not not digging myself into a hole. Well, first a big congratulations. I didn’t know that. Thank you know, can I ask both of you guys, because you have experienced I have experienced with this as well. It sounds as though you’re using it really just for sleep tracking and sleep metrics. Tom’s Would you agree with that? Or are you wearing this all the time, even when you’re out on the bike and quantifying kind of your daily strain to what I was using the word but I actually kept it on the whole time. But from what I understand quite a few writers do take the ring off. Because yeah, it gives too much of a strain. And like, obviously, we are kind of the outliers in the activity you do during the day. So it’s Yeah, I think people need to kind of see where they are and experimented with it a little bit themselves. I haven’t used the ordering long enough to decide whether or not I’m going to keep it on every single ride or not. But you got to remember that writing is not always the only activity and you might have a rest day but you might be running around town or I don’t know doing some housework and then you realize that actually that strain of the day is quite high. And that also is something that you need to take into account not just sleep, not just HRV, but I think it’s definitely useful. Also, just in daily activities, let’s say
Unknown Speaker 23:36
the listeners, we’re pleased to announce the release of our eighth pathway. Our newest pathway is focused on exercise in the cold. Just in time for the chill of winter exercise. Members of fast soft labs can explore the best ways to train in cold weather, and how colder temps affect our performance. The exercise in the cold pathway features Dr. Stephen Chung, one of the world’s leading environmental physiologist, as well as Dr. Inigo Sun Milan, our Canadian CEO and coach Trevor Connor and Dr. Andy Pruitt. winter training isn’t as simple as just adding another layer follower exercise in the cold pathway to learn more.
Unknown Speaker 24:20
So sticking with the recovery, you have a list of some other recovery tools that you find beneficial, which are the ones that you’ve tried that you keep using and to say I absolutely have to stick with this. This is this is a great tool. Actually one of the things I can’t get enough of almost the NormaTec slash high price booths, the inflatable ones, just because the first time I really noticed the difference was when I have double days and I use it between the sessions, especially if it’s like a hardship session in the afternoon after like a four hour ride. Then the gym session is a really higher quality than it would have been
Unknown Speaker 25:00
Same with post travel sometimes, even if you don’t ride or let’s say sometimes our travel to the race is in the afternoon, so you kind of have to ride in the morning to get a ride in before the race. But then if I once I get there, I get into the boots and yeah, get the blood flow working. Even the massage is sometimes better if you do pre massage that yet the next day, just the legs don’t feel don’t have that like post travel fatigue, or you’re like feeling sluggish in the beginning, you really are more responsive. And that’s something I yeah, definitely use the most. But I never shy away from a foam roller. I always carry it with me to the races, even though we have people doing massages and everything. I still feel that sometimes you find the spots as one year might not. And yeah, you can have some extra time to work on that. Tom’s on the massage topic. Have you used any of the percussion massages from the Reagan hyper ice and other brands, I have, like three high price guns, the hypervolt of the mini one and like two bigger ones, I definitely use them quite a bit. And that’s also something that I feel like is for a lot of people easier to use. And I was talking with one of our seniors actually about this. And he was like, yeah, if I’m rolling on the floor, while we’re watching a movie with my wife, she looks at me weird. But with hypervolt Like we’re both sitting on the couch and it feels less odd. So it’s definitely something that is worth considering for people as a recovery tool. Yeah, perfect. It’s funny, my wife and I, we each have one and sometimes we’re on the couch. And we’re each using it. And it must be like there’s yeah, there’s a an earthquake occurring, you know, with anyone else in the house with us is probably getting the same effect that we are based on the vibrations. And this is when your daughter walks in the room and just goes You two are so weird.
Unknown Speaker 26:58
I don’t want to know what you guys are doing in here.
Unknown Speaker 27:01
Tom’s oftentimes zoned out riding my my daily route involves going by what I think is still the Leo mo office here in Boulder, can you tell me about your use of their product? Yeah, actually went to their office 2020. And they were developing some new stuff, whether accelerometers or whatever you want to call them. We were doing some squawk testing to see the speed of the squat bar, which was which is something I do every once in a while as well. That’s not on the list. But now that we’re speaking of it, I recall that Yeah, at camp like just now we were measuring the speed of the bar, measure the power output. So you put different weight on the bar, do squats at speed as fast as you can. And you measure like what’s the velocity of the bar. And Leo Mo, were trying to I don’t know how, how well they developed this in the end, but they were trying to have their little devices, you just put them on the bar. And then they will be able to tell you how fast the bar is moving, which is super interesting for not just powerlifting. But there is some studies behind Yeah, trying to find the biggest power you can produce because obviously, power is forced by time or time by work you’ve done, I guess. So the heavier your weight, you move faster, the better, obviously, but at one point, you’re moving to heavier weight, and you can’t get it fast enough that the power is actually dropping. Like imagine being on too big of a gear, and you just can’t turn it over. So I implement that into training. But yeah, the first interaction will be almost really was through against Sebastian, where we were trying to more look at pedal efficiency. And trying to see also on the TT bike, how your body is moving, because TT bike is always a little bit more straining on the body. And especially when you go hard if you put one of the devices on your shoulders, then you see how your body is like maybe starting to tilt out of that array Dynamic Position, which again, is a indicator of okay, maybe the position is a bit too aggressive or whatever, or you’re not trained well enough. And then you see what time that you can keep in the position even at high power or whatever. So with glioma, there’s quite a few, quite a few things you can do. Yeah, sure. Now, for those who aren’t familiar with Leo, Mo, because it’s a pretty small brand, I think in the cycling space. I have a little bit of experience. I helped with some research for this company prior to them actually coming to market when they when they were first coming to the US. And ultimately what this is, is it’s a system of accelerometers. I believe they include six or eight accelerometers with the system that all speak to a head unit and the purpose of that is you’re able to put these accelerometer devices on various parts of your body so you can put one on your knee, you can put one on your foot, you can put them on your hips, you can put them on your shoulders Tom’s as you mentioned, and
Unknown Speaker 30:00
The head unit records the past that these are taking. So you can get, say, a very accurate knee tracking movement. Is your knee tracking vertically? Is it moving in a figure eight sort of fashion, you could make adjustments to your bike or to your setup and see if there is improvement. So it does also have bike fitting sort of capabilities, which is the aspect that I was really familiar with back in the beginning. So it’s interesting to hear how they’re expanding that program, and going to this say, measuring power during weightlifting and these other applications. Yeah, that was a really good sign now. I should have explained it a little bit more what it is. But yeah, you hit a nail on the head. That’s yeah, in the beginning, they were really used for the tracking bike position. Because obviously, again, when you’re riding outside, it is different than riding on a static trainer. And you can take these things outside and ride around. Yep. Well, I think one of the other items on this long list here, Tom’s are the CGM, continuous glucose monitors. They seem to be coming very popular. The Super sapiens is one example. But As Rob mentioned earlier, they’re hard to get in the US there not? Is it because of FDA approval at this point. So perhaps you could explain not only what you’re using it for Tom’s but tell us a little bit about how it is used. Do you put a patch on your body? What are the mechanics of it? Yeah, so the so the mechanics of it are pretty simple. It is kind of like a little patch that you put on your triceps. And in theory, it measures continuously your glucose in your muscles or bloodstream and not sure on this. But you have a little phone app that shows you where you are at. And obviously Firstly, it was used, I think actually by the Novo Nordisk guys, because for them, it’s very, very crucial to know where they are those that you don’t know, no, no, this is 100% type one diabetes team, the old team type one team, that is just changed the name. And yeah, that for those guys, obviously, it was really important. But yeah, slowly, we have seen that there’s also benefits for everyone else to see if maybe you’re under fueling. Or suddenly your sugar crashing. And yeah, just being more cautious conscious about your fueling. And actually, the biggest thing I took away from using it or have taken away from using it for now is how different foods affect my blog glucose, but not just, let’s say different foods, but also the timing of them. And even let’s say a breakfast that includes eggs and oatmeal. Pending, if you have eggs first or oatmeal, first, we’ll have a different response. Obviously, there’s also other indicators. But yeah, you really want to kind of manage your glucose levels to not have that big spike because that means a big crash. So if you can level out during daily life, your glucose and then have like, level that out, make it smooth, make it not spiked too high, because then it won’t crash too low. But then during races or training sessions, keep it fairly high. That means that you’re feeling well enough and that you’re not bonking towards the end of the race, that your efforts are as quality as they could be. That’s kind of the experience I’ve had. And yeah, experimented with even different drink mixes, different concentration of the drink mixes different gels, different bars to see what kind of response I get from each because obviously, there’s times when you don’t need that glucose spike, especially if you’re doing a long endurance ride. It’s not necessarily that you drink the most sugary drink that gives you the highest spike. So there’s always Yeah, a little bit of experimentation and just the fueling and when to use it how to use it sorta. So do you eat the eggs first or though meals first, I do eggs first because that, that definitely helps. I mean, it’s kind of simple. Once you realize it that you do need to like slow down to spike, as long as you have eggs or some something fatty, before the fully carb meal or fully carb the food that it will just slow it down a little bit then you’ll not have that big glucose spike. So maybe at Thanksgiving, start with a turkey and then go to the other mashed potatoes.
Unknown Speaker 34:44
Yeah, you’re speaking my language. For a point of clarification. This sensor that they’re using is actually measuring glucose in the interstitial space. So there’s a very small, very fine needle, right that kind of gets inserted relatively painlessly underneath the skin. So
Unknown Speaker 35:00
This system is probably going to track a little bit behind the blood glucose levels that we’re seeing if we go directly from the blood, it just takes a little bit for it to diffuse in and out of the interstitial space there. But definitely interesting, you know, for monitoring relatively real time, I’m finding it really interesting how you’re, you’re seeing these very actionable results that you’re getting the water that you’re eating, the specific foods that you’re eating, are all having these different effects. And, for me, as a scientist, it’s really interesting to see this workout in practice, right? These are all topics that we know that we talk about, but frankly, we kind of have to assume are working in this manner. But But to get this readout, this graph that that shows you that proves the concept is pretty interesting. One of the things I find really interesting about these continuous glucose monitors is we are going to start getting some information that we’ve never had before. And I’m going to give you an example. This is a study that I read last night that was published in November of 2021. So still very recent study called continuous glucose monitoring to measure metabolic impact and recovery in sub elite endurance athletes. And the gist of it is they put these monitors on 10. Endurance athletes are not top level pros, this is basically amateur athletes. And the one thing I feel glad it doesn’t hurt, because on all 10 athletes, they put three monitors. At the same time, I think they were testing the different brands. But they had these athletes do a test to exhaustion. So it was basically a lactate test protocol where they increase the wattage 20 Watts every 33 minutes until you can’t keep going anymore. And then they monitored them for four days. And what they showed was, even though they weren’t consuming a ton of glucose, that big effort actually produced that same glucose spike, basically, the body release glucose into the system. And just as interested in what you saw for up to four days afterwards, was the body’s ability to regulate glucose was reduced, not unlike what you see in a diabetic, which is surprising because you tend to think exercise improves our ability. And there’s plenty of research showing us that exercise improves our ability to manage glucose. But here’s an example and you take a when you do a really hard effort like that, like do something to exhaustion, that you’re actually saying the opposite effect is actually hampering our ability. Well, it doesn’t even need to be that deep, Trevor, right. If you put this on somebody and you send them down a roller coaster, you’re going to get a glucose spike, you know, and I would love to put this on my mountain bike and see what happens to my glucose as I’m climbing, using up a lot of energy working really hard, and the turn and go downhill and scare the bejesus out of myself. You know, what does that do to your glucose over time? That’s a good point. Okay, I think we’ve covered most of what’s on that list. Tom’s What else do we need to what else is here? What else would we like to talk about? core temperature, there’s actually new company or new to me, core body temp, I think they are. And they have this little device, kind of the same size of one of the Liova salaam, accelerometers that you only have to put on your heart rate strap. It just like slides onto it sorta. And it measures your body temperature from Yeah, outside your body. So I actually have it on my heart rate strap pretty much all the time, unless I’m charging it, or I’m not sure Lamaze, I’m washing my heart rate syrup so that it records every ride. And the data is there when I decide to look at it. And yeah, you can also see it real time on the head units on the Wahoo. So yeah, it was actually I started using it last year. And it was really interesting to see the data from Tokyo, how the body temperature really went high up, because obviously Tokyo was a hot human race and a long one. And we did some heat training beforehand for the adaptation. And unfortunately, I didn’t have it then. But for sure when I do some heat training. If I do some heat training this year, then it’ll be even more interesting to see how the adaptation works and how how the body adjusts to Yeah, the heat. Tom’s I think this core body temperature sensor is really interesting. You know, prior to this being here at fast talk labs, I was at Pearl Azumi. And so this heat transfer topic is sort of near and dear to my heart. And something that’s really interesting about this device is it’s actually a thermal energy transfer sensor, or that’s what they bill it as. And the difference is that one side is measuring the temperature against your skin, but the other side is measuring the environmental temperature and what they’re trying to do is look at the difference between the two so they can kind of understand, well, how much heat can the environment
Unknown Speaker 40:00
intake, you know, from the body, and therefore how does that affect your core temperature? You know, and this is something that I relied pretty heavily on as I was training for Kokopelli in a day, because our window for completing that ride, unfortunately meant we were going to have to do part of it in the heat. And unfortunately, that undone our, our effort, we didn’t unfortunately make Kokopelli in a day. Um, you know, but but paying attention to core temperature leading into that was really interesting. Now Tom’s what I’m interested in, I used it really just as a sensor to monitor where my core temperature was at. I personally haven’t gotten into any of the, the testing protocols that they’ve done, or the the heat training protocols that they’ve done. I almost feel like they they advocate for a step test, just like a lactate test in a lab, a step test where you’re looking at rises in core temperature. Have you done any deeper research on that? Yeah, you’re right, they do have a protocol. And I looked at it, and I was like, This is crazy. So I never did it.
Unknown Speaker 41:03
But also, because I got the device, kind of after we start had started the already he training for Tokyo. But if I do it again, you can guys have can have me on the podcast again. And we can talk about a bit more. But yeah, they do have some sort of like ramp test that you have to find your like, high heat temperature or whatever they call it. That is the let’s say, threshold zone comparatively on your power meter that if you stay at that it is like gets the max out of you for the heat adaptation or something. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so Tom’s I guess I have one final question for you, which is just have a little fun here. What is the craziest tool that you have tried any any good final stories for us? Well, actually, that, I don’t know if you would call it the craziest. But the most stupid neurotic tool that I’ve used, that is also maybe the silliest and just shows how sometimes you can dive down that rabbit hole and decide that every tool in the world is useful for whatever reason, was, I bought these, I don’t know, off of eBay, or Amazon or whatever is like something really random, electronic skinfold measurement calipers, because I decided that it’s going to be a great way to track my body fat. But for one, the only place you can really might measure is like your belly in your legs. But for two is just like, so unnecessary and so stupid that I used it twice and never again. I have never heard of electronic skinfold measurements. No, that is stupid.
Unknown Speaker 42:55
I have some calibers somewhere. But they’re good old fashioned, just little scale on the thing that you have to read yourself. Well, wherever you bought them, Tom’s put them right back up on if it was eBay, put them right back up there and try to say, hey, these were used by a professional athlete, maybe you’ll actually get a little bit more from for them. Good plan. If anybody needs a pair of skinfold calipers, contact homes, we can put that on our Instagram account if you’d like Thompson’s garage, yeah, perfect. I need I need to get rid of some other things also that are collecting dust. So feel free to reach out. Sounds good.
Unknown Speaker 43:31
All right, let’s let’s close out with some really short take home messages. Trevor, I’m looking at you go first to wrap up this episode. Wow. If I have a serious one, it’s obviously there are more and more tools out there. It’s actually great to talk with somebody who’s going and try and all these to see what they’re about and what is valuable and what is not. But Tom’s I feel like I should stop here because I’m probably stealing the the take home that you said earlier on, which is probably the best one about whether you’re going to use it or not. So I’ll throw it to you and see if you have a better take home than I do. Yeah, I mean, as I said in the very, very beginning, the tool that you will actually use is probably the one that you should get. But at the same time, no tool is going to help you get out the door. And as long as you get out the door and go actually training. That’s that’s the best tool in the toolbox. Rob, why don’t you close this out? Because I don’t have anything to say about gadgets. Yeah, well, I think the last thing is, you know, it can be fun and interesting to play with these toys to collect all of this information. But the real important thing is is knowing what to listen to knowing what to pay attention to and what to action on and when. And that’s really the most important part. Cool. Very good. Thank you, Tom. Thank you guys. That was another episode of fast talk. Subscribe to fast talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcast and be sure to leave us a rating and review
Unknown Speaker 45:00
The thoughts and opinions expressed on fast talk are those of the individual. As always, we love your feedback. So join the conversation at forums dot fast talk labs.com to discuss each and every episode, become a member of fast talk laboratories at fast talk labs comm slash join and become a part of our education and coaching community. For Tom squinch Rob pickles. Trevor Connor. I’m Chris case. Thanks for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai