Favorite Fast Talk Podcast Moments of 2022

Our hosts pick their favorite podcasting moments from 2022 with a variety of fun and informative guests. 

Trevor Connor Rob Pickels Fast Talk Podcast
Rob Pickels (left) and Trevor Connor (right) in podcast mode. Photo: Allen Krughoff

In 2022, the Fast Talk podcast was filled with moments that were fascinating, humorous, and at least a few times, hopefully quickly forgotten. As we approach the end of the year, our hosts Rob Pickels, Grant Holicky, and Trevor Connor look back on the year to select their favorite moments.  

Among these moments was a conversation with Dr. Stacy Sims about how the carbohydrate needs for women are actually different from most recommendations in sports nutrition research, much of which doesn’t consider the different needs of men and women.  

There are the first few minutes of our very first potluck podcast with Grant Holicky—he was on his phone, he got called out for it, we bantered for a few minutes, and the tone of our potluck episodes was born. We share some good training information but may not take as direct or serious a path in potluck episodes as in our typical podcasts. 

And, of course, it wouldn’t be the best moments of Fast Talk without a few engaging clips from talks with some well-known physiologists and coaches, including part of Dr. Stephen Seiler’s interview with coach Espen Aareskjold, Dr. Bent Ronnestad’s first-ever podcast talking about the research he did as a young PhD student, and an excerpt from our most popular podcast episode of 2022Dr Iñigo San Millán talking about what can happen when an athlete doesn’t recover properly.  

So, sit back and enjoy the best moments of Fast Talk 2022—and let’s make you fast! 

Episode Transcript

Rob Pickels  00:05

Hello and Welcome to Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance performance. I’m Rob Pickels, he’s Trevor Connor, and somewhere around here is Grant Holicky.

Trevor Connor  00:14

Is probably on his phone somewhere.

Rob Pickels  00:15

Well, Trevor, this was a good year.

Trevor Connor  00:19

Rob, this was a year you joined us back in January. So it’s been almost a year for you.

Rob Pickels  00:23

It has been a huge journey. I hope everybody’s been enjoying it along with me. I think that we had a lot of great learnings, a lot of great memories and a lot of great laughs And I think today, what we should do is round those up for our listeners.

Trevor Connor  00:36

So we are doing a favourites of 2022 episodes. Are you ready with your clips?

Rob Pickels  00:41

I’m ready with my clips. Are you ready with yours?

Trevor Connor  00:43

I spent all weekend working on mine. I’m excited for this. Grant. How

Rob Pickels  00:47

about you still on this phone? All right, well, here we go.

Trevor Connor  00:52

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Rob Pickels  01:35

So guys, I got a funny one for us. And I don’t know if this started me off on the right foot or the wrong foot. But, Chris, I’m glad that you’re sitting next to me now because you were sitting next to me when this funny thing happened, and you picked up on it immediately. And that’s how Trevor introduced me to the show. Using the word filling in for Chris. Yes,

Trevor Connor  01:58

that was a mistake that I will never live down.

Grant Holicky  02:02

Yes. And only 42 episodes later, he was back.

Rob Pickels  02:06

Believe it or not. You filled in for a bit. Well, obviously not filling in that well. So yeah, let’s listen to

Trevor Connor  02:15

we have a final thing that we need to do before we hit our sign off, which is announce our newest hosts. We have somebody who will be filling in for Chris and Chris, would you like to make an announcement though there is a there’s an asterix on this. But Chris, would you like to introduce our new host? This guy? Me?


You’ve already been introduced? Haven’t you? It’s been two weeks, isn’t it? Yeah,

Rob Pickels  02:40

I’m just filling in. How do you that doesn’t


match was for phrasing that was worth raising.

Trevor Connor  02:45

That is a fairly new did.


I have talked rarely you’re

Trevor Connor  02:51

struggling to try to get within the ballpark of what crystal? Wow. I mean, it’ll be I’d say

Rob Pickels  02:57

that it’d be big shoes to fill. But those are like what, nine, nine and a half years hero size 45. You know,

Grant Holicky  03:04

those are bigger than mine. Nine and a half


bowling balls don’t usually have feet.

Rob Pickels  03:11

You’re fortunate? It’s very true. Hey, Trevor, question for you. Yes. Do you ever have an episode where your mind is just blown by the guest?

Trevor Connor  03:23

I’ve had many. Well,

Rob Pickels  03:25

my I learned something clip comes from Dr. Stacey Sims, I thought that I was kind of knowledgeable about the topics of female athletes. But this conversation we had with her only a man would say that I know it’s true, I think I was shown Oh shone the light to tell you the truth. This conversation we had about carbohydrate and the female athlete and carbohydrate timing. For me. I 100% learned something and tried to put this into practice immediately after learning it. so props to Stacy for blowing my mind.

Grant Holicky  03:54

Basically, every time I listen or read anything by Dr. Stacey SIMS I walk away with that same mindset,

Trevor Connor  04:00

right? What I actually loved about that episode is we didn’t quite know how we were going to approach the episode and the episode evolved organically but really came out with a nice structure of let’s talk about the issues that women face in their 20s. Let’s talk about the issues women face in their their 30s, their 40s their 50s. And each phase ended up being a really good conversation. And every single time I was going didn’t know that didn’t know that. It was quite informative. So we could pick from almost any of those

Rob Pickels  04:30

without question let’s listen to

Trevor Connor  04:34

so I’m really interested in this because you look at sports nutrition right now it is all about carbohydrates. Like you look at the work of Dr. You can drip and it’s we got to figure out how to cram more into you than your body can normally handle because the more carbohydrates you can get the better but you’re saying that’s not necessarily what’s best for women. So what would be your recommendation? You know, for example, this is great. We’re now seeing Grand Tours for wind Men Tour de France is going on right now the men are cramming in as much carbohydrates as they can at the race. What would their strategy be?

Dr. Stacy Sims  05:07

So for women, it depends on the hormone profile. So if we’re looking at things like carbo loading, we know it doesn’t work for women, primarily because in the high hormone phase after ovulation, the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone, your job is to take carbohydrate and protein and shove it into the endometrial lining. So when women are like, Oh, I’m carbo loading, in fact, that carbohydrate is going to create glycogen stores in the endometrial lining not in the liver and the muscle. And we look at fueling that how the body fuels during endurance exercise in that high hormone state. This is where women clear blood sugar quickly and then go into more free fatty acid and amino acid utilization. So if you’re looking at high intakes of carbohydrate during that phase, it sits in the gut, because the body’s like, I can’t handle this much. I have a slower gastric emptying rate, I’m more sensitive to carbohydrate, I can’t absorb as much, especially if it’s fructose based. So when you’re seeing girls and women who are trying to put in a lot of carbohydrate in the moment, this is where they start hitting the wall, they start getting a lot of GI distress. So we look specifically at let’s increase total carbohydrate intake in the meals, because this is how your body is going to have more carbohydrate availability. And this is how we can tap into it. So then during exercise, you’re not going on necessarily grams of carbohydrate per hour, we’re looking more calories per day, how many calories and it depends on workload, and and again, the hormonal factor. So for the high hormone phase, and the calories per hour, there’s more coming from carbohydrate, if we’re in the low hormone phase, the body does tap into more liver and muscle glycogen. So you have a little bit more carbohydrate available for keeping blood glucose elevated. But we know that you go through that more rapidly. So in that particular phase, the low hormone phase, we want more carbohydrate with protein, because the default when we start getting too low, and carbohydrate is to burn through amino acids, and then get into free fatty acid use. So we have to understand where the woman is in her hormone profile to be able to be more prescriptive in what they need. When we’re talking about the elite level. In the more age group level, it’s more of a fitness dependent. So if your body is used to using more carbohydrate, then you’re going to be okay. If you’re using that as long as you’re attenuating GI distress. But the fitter you get the more we need to be in tune with where you are. Are you on an oral contraceptive pill? Are you using an IUD? Are you naturally cycling? Are you a Minarik? So all of these things can actually factor into what you need to use during your race or how you’re recovering? What is your fueling strategy. And we also know that nutrient timing for women is so much more important than men. And this comes from the hypothalamus reading the nutrition density and nutrition availability and women versus men.

Rob Pickels  07:52

So Trevor, this next clip is from Dr. Sen. Milan, and I know it’s a good one because you picked it too,

Trevor Connor  07:58

we independently pick this almost the exact same segment, nerd alert.

Rob Pickels  08:03

So it goes. But it’s worthwhile. And this was a hugely popular episode for us. This falls into my people have to know this category. And it was from our episode on the physiology and biomarkers of recovery. And it’s super interesting to hear Dr. Sam Milan, talk about how things like carbohydrate restriction, or gluconeogenesis, how that changes the hormonal profile and leads to overtraining. And again, this cascade was incredible knowledge drop.

Trevor Connor  08:29

And this is probably going to be the longest clip that we put in this episode, because you put in a nine minute segment and then said, Oh, we can cut out the last couple of minutes. But I’m not going to let us cut that out. Because that was a big moment for me where he talks about the fact that you have athletes that get fatigued, they go to a doctor who doesn’t understand athlete physiology and goes Oh, you have hypothyroidism. Yep, puts them on medication, and it can destroy their thyroid. And that was a big moment for me because we always talk are we really making a difference helping athletes with these episodes? We got feedback from an athlete who said thank you, because that was happening to me. I heard your episode. And I saved myself from having to be on medication the rest of my life. Right?

Rob Pickels  09:17

The hardest part with this clip was trying to just not put the entire episode in here. I was constantly looking for places to cut the clip off, but it was just it was such gold.

Trevor Connor  09:26

Well, let’s hear now.

Rob Pickels  09:28

No doctor send Milan when we’re talking about nutrition, being imbalanced with the training for you is that a general nutrition strategy? Is that carbohydrate restriction? What are we seeing from athletes that it’s causing the potential to increase the risk of overtraining?

Dr. San Milan  09:45

Yeah, that’s a great question. And I see that as a little bit of everything. But I think that if I would, were to kind of identify one element is usually carbohydrates, right? Athletes they they don’t many athletes, they tend to restrict carbohydrate. We are not having enough. We know that when you train, even though the aerobic level right or so on tour, so you can you can burn or oxidize about to 1.5 to 2.5 grams per minute. Right. So, yeah, that’s a lot of carbohydrates, although we normally think that this is just fat burning zones, right, but you also burn glucose, so we should not. Yeah, we should remember about that. So because those days are typical days where an athlete says, Oh, I train aerobic I burn fat. I don’t need to eat a lot of carbohydrates. Well, we’ll actually yeah, you burn that day, maybe 300 grams of carbohydrates or 500 grams of carbohydrates. So there, that’s right there your entire glycogen storages. So this is what Nutrition has to be there. And I think that carbohydrates, it’s a main problem that we see, then that’s when cyclists or, you know, athletes are getting to this vicious cycle that I call because let’s say that you didn’t think that you needed to replenish carbohydrates correctly today, but actually, you run out of glycogen storages or we’re low, and tomorrow, you have a big day, whether it’s intensity, or whether it’s duration, that you don’t have enough carbohydrates. So you’re going to start tapping on muscle protein, because as we know, muscle protein, different amino acids, a main one is glutamine can be utilized for energy directly into mitochondria, right? Or other gluconeogenic amino acids, like many of the branched chain amino acids can be become glucose, right? So the body has these ways to try to provide you energy. But in these situations when there’s no glycogen, yeah, it’s just like, it’s like the muscles to start eating themselves to feed themselves. And that’s where you start getting into more catabolic situation. And that anabolic catabolic or balance is disrupted. And that that can put any athlete right there in our training in no time.

Rob Pickels  12:00

Yes, certainly. You mentioned that there’s a increase in energy created from protein right through gluconeogenesis. What other downstream effects does training with low glycogen have? Are their endocrine system changes or anything else?

Dr. San Milan  12:15

Yeah. So that’s a great point, too. So one of the things is like, yeah, that you might have some hormonal imbalances, right, so and disruption. So for example, the precursor, right of protein license, which is protein breakdown, is cortisol. So this is one of the parameters or biomarkers that we see in athletes who have very high levels of cortisol is a hormone that responds to both psychological and physiological stress. So when an athlete is not mentally stressed, but you see very high levels of cortisol, that athletes, it’s breaking down more protein than normal, probably, and then you look at the anabolic side of it, which is testosterone. So you look at the ratio. And many times you see athletes with very low testosterone levels, because they have to keep replenishing, replenishing the catabolic effects, right of cortisol and lack of energy while training. So that’s where you start getting that catabolic profile of the athletes. And that takes them to a different layer, which is more inflammation, right? So the inflammation that we see, when when you have muscle breakdown, you end up with muscle micro tears and muscle damage, not seen as an injury, right. But you can see muscle damage. And there are multiple research studies on these right for decades, with muscle biopsies, looking at disruptions in the muscle structure. But we can we can see this in blood analysis and biomarkers. And the thing is, too is that the physiological mechanism to repair or one of the physiological mechanisms to repair muscles is inflammation, right. And inflammation also brings usually water retention or liquid retention. So this is one of the times also where the cyclists are, they’re trying to eat less, and then they get muscle breakdown and they get catabolic, and they end up gaining more weight. And a big part of that weight is liquid, right? And they say I gained three pounds or six pounds. So how in the world I’m meeting a lot less Yeah, but you have inflammation, low grade inflammation, and particularly in the boulder area. As we know people tend to be really hardcore when it comes to nutrition and training. And we see a lot of people with muscle damage and especially in the age groupers right i That’s something that caught my attention people in their 40s 50s 60s they have a lot of muscle damage chronically. And we still don’t know what the consequences could be about this. Because normally historically we haven’t seen this is the first time in in humans where we see people in their 60s 70s training and doing marathons the regular pace right but they have low grade chronic inflammation now we know from medical research and then pretty much logical studies that chronicle Oh, great inflammation can can lead to multiple diseases. So this is an area where I’m particularly concerned. And then the other endocrine responses that we see is like a thyroid function. So we know that this is the thing like I used to see before coming to Colorado, especially maybe one people a year are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Now in Colorado, you see it in other places in the country. Sure, I’m just you know, because we’re in Colorado, we, we see hardcore athletes all the time, right. But I, I’ve been seeing once a week, and immense majority of these people, they do not have hyperthyroidism. And the explanation is these days, they’re really tired really to take for months, and they’re dragging their feet, and they’re finally go to their doctors, and they do a blood analysis. And part of the regular panels that are done of chemistry panels is TSH, which is cheap to do. And then TSH shows it’s a little bit elevated. But in the in the low high end right of TSH. And so therefore, the doctor says, Okay, there’s like, chronic fatigue, which is a sign of hypothyroidism and their high levels of TSH. Bingo. So that athlete in many patients leaves that doctor’s office with a prescription with for firing medication. And when you have her medication, that you typically people start using maybe 50 miles, or 25 to 50 micrograms, and they’re sort of feeling good, but it’s artificial. It’s like if you’re tired and fatigued and you have a gallon of coffee, you’re going to feel good, but eventually you’re going to develop resistance. And this is where many of these people, they they start with 50 micrograms 75 100 125, and when they get to those levels, the thyroid function is gone. And there’s nothing you can do. So they have to be on that medication for the rest of their lives, where they never needed to be on that medication in the first place. So one of the things that I’ve been trying to do at the School of Medicine and trying to talk to several endocrinology is working with fire areas, right if like, whenever you see someone with that profiles, who’s an athlete or active individual who is chronically fatigued and tired, and slightly elevated TSH levels, please do more further analysis looking at T three T four antibodies, you know that they really can give you the whole picture. And the majority of the cases they do not have hypothyroidism. So anyway, this is another but this disruption in the endocrine system where TSH produces a little bit more than normal, and any my fullview thinking that you find you have hypothyroidism, which you don’t have.

Grant Holicky  17:39

So I’m a big fan of me. And so, you know, my favorite clip of the year is gonna be one with me in it

Rob Pickels  17:46

that you begged us to let you come on the show if

Grant Holicky  17:51

I don’t know. That’s how it was that how you remember that’s how I remember that’s fair. I remember it with Trevor on his knees asking me to come be on the show. But it’s neither here and it’s kind of it’s kind of irrelevant. You

Rob Pickels  18:03

know who it was, I think it was the fans, that begged for you to come on the show.

Grant Holicky  18:07

If that’s even remotely true. I’m blown away and honored. But I don’t know that that’s true, either.

Rob Pickels  18:13

Well, I will say the potlucks that we’re getting out here, Grant, they’ve been pretty well received. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. And I am going to attribute that to you.

Grant Holicky  18:22

Well, I will say if nothing else, as evidenced in this clip, there is just a massive amount of knowledge that’s put out there in the potlucks.

Rob Pickels  18:32

No, there’s not no don’t even Don’t even joke. What

Trevor Connor  18:35

is this clip?

Grant Holicky  18:37

Give us the con. This is the very beginning of the very first potluck.

Rob Pickels  18:42

Can I just say that this throw to the potluck is pretty much like a potluck episode in itself. Yeah,

Trevor Connor  18:47

probably. Probably. So can I give you my thought process? I’d love to hear started the first potluck many years ago when the first Jackass movie ever. I’ve read the reviews because I was really interested, what are the reviews going to be? And my favorite review of all time of a movie was somebody said, this movie might very well represent the start of the end of Western civilization. And I was going to these potlucks going what is this going to be like? Where are we going to go? We hadn’t figured out the format yet. We started this we did this first three minutes and I went this is the start of the night.

Grant Holicky  19:27

This is so essentially what you’re saying is that you could put my face on Fonzie his face when he was jumping the

Trevor Connor  19:34

shark. Yes, this clip is our we jumped the shark.

Grant Holicky  19:38

Alright, so let’s go to it. This is fast dog jumping the shark.

Trevor Connor  19:43

We have grant colicky who can’t stop playing with his phone.

Grant Holicky  19:47

I thought it’s just nice to be here. But you know unfortunately, you guys aren’t the most entertaining people in the world all the time. So I have to entertain myself the phone.

Rob Pickels  19:54

Yeah, I’m sure our listeners are looking at their phones too. While we’re talking so well.

Grant Holicky  19:59

Pickles, spend some So I’m talking about his home breakfast. I don’t even hear about your breakfast.

Rob Pickels  20:03

Hey, man, listen, when we got to do a soundcheck in the morning, I like to talk about what I had for breakfast, and we’re back to the latte back to the latte.

Grant Holicky  20:10

Thanks. And I’m happy to be here, Trevor, we appreciate it. I want

Trevor Connor  20:14

to I want to go to the hall lucky household so and I can see you yelling at your kids are playing on their phone at dinner and be like,

Rob Pickels  20:19

yeah, and real quick. Can I point out that this morning for breakfast Grant had toast with almond bread? Yeah, I toast with toast. Yeah, it was a toast sandwich. I think I’m picturing this as a piece of toast a piece of raw bread and another piece of toast Yeah,

Grant Holicky  20:34

I’m anti paleo

Trevor Connor  20:37

is truly about as on a paleo

Grant Holicky  20:40

as you can possibly get. I tend to do that. They sit there in the morning I try to think of what would be paleo and then I go the opposite.

Trevor Connor  20:49

Like some gluten spread to just put on top of the toast. What it’s like that

Grant Holicky  20:55

that Seinfeld episode where he ordered Chinese food and goes extra MSG. That’s gluten on that

Rob Pickels  21:03

was the closest thing to gluten spread be.

Trevor Connor  21:06

I don’t even know how you would make that I actually want to know like if you could separate gluten and turn it into a paste what we are with tasty.

Rob Pickels  21:13

Pay. Next episode. All right, we

Grant Holicky  21:15

paced episode. Yeah. Oh, man.

Trevor Connor  21:18

Okay, so this next clip is from Episode 213 with Neil Henderson a little bit of story. So Chris will remember this. This was an episode about the four days before a big event. And what you don’t know is Chris and I recorded an entire episode with a another guest on this topic that was not going to give names or anything else ended up being a very strange episode.

Chris Case  21:42

Yeah, I think there were a lot of valuable insights in the episode. But there were some it was just a weird dynamic. And ultimately, he or she asked us not to run the episode. So we you guys did it again, which is great.

Trevor Connor  21:56

Right? And that was how I loved it was there were so many good practical pieces of advice on that I was kind of disappointed in that. Yeah. But we brought in Neil and I gotta say, Neil hit a homerun on this. It was such a good episode on things you can do. And I was struggling actually to find the clip. But what I loved was he talked about sequencing that you sequence out those four days. And one of the most important reasons to do that is if you don’t fill your time, right before a big event, you get nervous. So even if part of your sequences just go see a movie,

Chris Case  22:31

right, map it out, preoccupy your mind. So you’re not fretting.

Trevor Connor  22:35

Alright, let’s hear it as I say. And you talked to us right before we went on there, I think you called it your your sequence. Yeah, sequencing. So tell us a little bit about this. So you create a whole plan for those final days for your athletes.

Neal Henderson  22:49

Yep. So the planning is really about helping an athlete be prepared, both physically and mentally. And so the sequencing is a series of training sessions, but also other elements that we put into that schedule to take up some of that time that would normally be spent training. So a great example of this actually, with Roland Dennis for is our record. We went to a matinee movie one day, it was half an hour away from where we were staying, the movie itself was over two hours long, half an hour drive back. So that took three plus hours of time in the middle of day on on what was scheduled to be a rest day. So that he wasn’t just thinking about that. Because the the one thing that often happens when you don’t have a plan to do something else with your time is you fill it sometimes with just spinning your wheels in your head and thinking too much and getting in your head if you don’t have really good foundation of mental training that you’ve been doing. And then you start to go into that place. Oh my gosh, you can be in trouble. And some of that might be an elevation, an escalation of your energy inappropriately in the days leading up to it, which means then you’re kind of empty on race day, I’ve seen that coaching collegiate athletes, a lot of times we would, when I was coaching the CU triathlon team, we would go out to California for the National Championships, which were there every year at the Wildflower triathlon, we’d have athletes, you know, we’d be leaving on Thursday, and they were already at, you know, 10 out of 10 level, and they dialed it up over the next few days on the drive out there, they get there. And then by the day before the race, they’re coming off a high because they’ve just been so jacked, and they didn’t, they didn’t manage that energy. And on race day, they were just flat because they literally had just been running that psychological side at maximum for days, and then had nothing left when it really mattered. So sequencing is about having certain things that you’re doing in training, but also making sure that you’re addressing all the rest of the non training time and making sure that there’s attention being paid to that and discus not just letting it up to chance.

Trevor Connor  24:52

So is this something that you write out? Is is a plan that you create for Yeah, so

Neal Henderson  24:57

in a training schedule, there’s certain components that We’re going to practice this, in advance of that, you know, let’s call it an A race, you know, very high important race, whether it’s a National Championship or a qualifying event, we’re going to go through this process typically a couple times in the lead up to that starting many months out. And one of the best ways to do that is when you’re doing some of your, your testing type efforts, just to see where your fitness is at, if it’s kind of a, you know, power testing day that you’re going to be doing, I will actually use the same sequence in the last three, four or five days that they’re going to use in their competition. And taking into account like when the travel days might be so in some cases, you know, you can just train you know, you travel three days, you know, three days before it, you do opener, and then race. That’s a kind of typical standard. If you’re only traveling a couple hours, if you have a longer travel, it might be happening five days out is that travel day, and so we might take that day completely off, and then think about, okay, riding easy, and then doing some openers and event having basically a schedule for that relative to actually what that travel schedule looks like if you’re doing big international travel. Ideally, you want to have that scheduled earlier. But very often, it’s just a matter of what’s available flights or what you know, what the timing of things is when other events you’ve got going on or work responsibilities that you can’t leave until this point or family and so you may not be working in the ideal situation. But if you run through that consistent type of schedule in those days, you have a familiarity with it. And so there’s not an absolute rigidity, but there’s some consistency.

Trevor Connor  26:38

And then what we might do is throw in a short clip of Neil pulled out his bag and we couldn’t not make fun of him for that.

Grant Holicky  26:45

Oh Neil’s low hanging fruit.

Rob Pickels  26:50

He did tee it up for us without question,

Grant Holicky  26:52

Robin, I’ve spent enough time around meal.

Rob Pickels  26:56

One of my favorite people in the whole world

Grant Holicky  26:58

Absolutely. One of the I’ve learned some of the most I’ve learned as a coach from Neil, but making fun of Neil’s kind of like making fun of Trevor. It’s pretty easy to do.

Trevor Connor  27:10

I thought I was prepared when I saw what Neil kept in his bag.

Rob Pickels  27:13

You don’t know prepared, which is why Neil, which is why Neil was such a great episode. A great, great contributor, a great guest. That’s why Neil was so great for this episode. Yes.

Trevor Connor  27:22

I don’t know if any of you guys have seen Harry Potter but they have in Harry Potter where they have a little bag and then they pull like a car out of it and pull things that are much bigger than the back. I was waiting for Neil to do that. I was waiting for Neil to pull entire bicycle airbike airbags rear wheel backpack. Neil pulled a bag, a smaller bag out of the bag that he came with that had raised food, various painkillers and kisses oh

Rob Pickels  27:50

no pain,

Neal Henderson  27:51

no Benadryl die. We have Sudafed in case you have a sinus issue. When you’re on a plane. Those kinds of headaches are the worst. It’s another student they are bad. And well, we got emergency meeting. You know,

Rob Pickels  28:07

I gotta scratch cigar

Neal Henderson  28:09

bar, we got a bag of almonds. We’ve got earplugs and in case you forget your headphones or you have a snoring roommate. When you room with people you don’t know you’re often gonna need those. We got some hand sanitizer. We got Imodium if you have a bad gi issue. That’s the other thing there. We have a packet of oatmeal. We have some lip balm, again, very dry. Have a toothbrush and toothpaste in there. Have some tissues, and most importantly, a small packet of Cholula

Rob Pickels  28:38

which can do anything for you. It can probably sanitize your water. If you’re drinking. It’ll put

Neal Henderson  28:45

you in a good headspace too. If you had bland food and you need to spice it up, you go to that your little it’s like bam, I’m ready for anything.

Trevor Connor  28:51

All I can say is we have picked the perfect person for this episode. Because they’re right there is his like prep for anything being ready. Yeah, and

Neal Henderson  29:05

this backpack goes with me ever when people pick it up. They’re like, what do you have in there? I’m like, I don’t have in there and it’s nothing. I don’t not have anything I have everything I need this exist for at least a week in a foreign land in money, coins, bills, all kinds of currency. I’m ready.

Chris Case  29:25

Alter exploration is a new custom cycling tour company created by me fast talk labs co founder Chris case. Alter exploration crafts, challenging, transformative cycling journeys in some of the world’s most stunning destinations. Ultras trips aren’t so much a vacation as an exploration of the destination and of yourself. At the end of every day. be preoccupied as much by the transformative experience, as by the satisfaction of exhaustion, reach a greater understanding of your physical and mental capabilities, while simultaneously experiencing a jaw dropping landscape life altered. Learn more about my Favorite adventure destinations and start dreaming at Alter exploration.com?

Trevor Connor  30:11

Okay, this next one is from a really recent episode. This is actually from Dr. Steven Siler show. This is his third episode where he brought in a very high level European coach, who develops World Tour athletes, and I’m gonna apologize profusely. When I read the intro for that episode A month ago, I listened to Dr. Sylar say the name and then I spent five minutes practicing it and have forgotten everything, Trevor, don’t

Rob Pickels  30:39

apologize. Just own it. Just get it out there.

Chris Case  30:43

It’s a Norwegian name is Oh, and I

Trevor Connor  30:45

know it doesn’t sound anything like it looks. So it is Esperen. ers gold. Perfect. We’ll go with go with that. My apologies. What I loved about this episode was you heard the physiologist, the person who has formalized this polarized training concept, talking to a coach who comes completely from the world of experience, very experienced coach, and listen to him talk about how he coaches, his athletes. And what you hear is all these principles that Dr. Sylar has put into his research being applied. And you hear that pure application side, which was just fascinating to me. So it was a really interesting episode to listen to

Chris Case  31:32

take it out.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  31:34

That’s where that urgency versus patience comes in. Because, you know, it’s easy to think, oh, man, my threshold is 320. And I need it to be free at Well, that’s a pretty damn big jump. And it’s not going to happen in one season. And I guess, you know, how do you What’s the timeframe and maybe even masters can learn from that the patience aspect of it?

Espen Aareskjold  31:56

Yeah, I think a good rule of thumb is, the lower the wattage, the power, the longer it takes to develop. So it’s easy to develop spread power all around threshold, or 30 seconds. So all that comes fast and goes faster way. But the foundation work that clear as to quite some time. But I also think that one of the main things that we are talking about that when we expose the riders for workouts, they have to be in in balance. So if you imagine that you have a battery and 100% and you go to do a session, then it’s probably easier for staff session is still hard. But then if you start the morning with low sleep, and kids who have been crying all night, which I actually have riders on the team that have skates, and sometimes the sleep quality is not good enough. So then we have need to have made this person to water camis because there’s no plan that’s so important that if you feel feel bad today that you should just do it to do it. So if your battery is at 80%, then there was all there will also be a relative effect. So it’s all about adjusting to where you are at any given time. And on progress, you will you will see more over weeks and months than from a day to day basis.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  33:24

Oh man, there’s there’s no athlete that doesn’t relate to this to the things you’re talking about now, which is that life happens. And there’s day to days stressors. So when that athlete is scheduled to do a workout, a hard session, but everything tells you that they’re not ready for it, or they’re they’re compromised at some level, whether it’s their 80% of 100. You know, so what is your typical rule of thumb? Is it better for them to do a reduced version of that hard workout? Or do you say no, we just go easy today? Or do you give them rest day? I mean, on that continuum? How do you solve that adjustment? Issue?

Espen Aareskjold  34:10

I’m going to start by saying what you research guys says so your scientist, it depends. It depends. Dang it. Yeah, no, no, but it really does. I think you have to look at the courses, you have to look at the total volume that you had coming up to the session, you have to figure out is there any illnesses upcoming and you have to look at the days to come. But most of the time, I’m just saying, take a day off, enjoy it. You’re not gonna you’re not going to get many of those and to like reduce the, like the mental stress of not having done a workout and a few. As you taught me if you’re going to have a 5% increase during a half a year or a year. How much better do you You need to be in each workout. That’s not much. I think it’s, we don’t need to have a lot of those workouts. But if they happen, seldom, then it’s okay. It’s not we have to look at the training program, the practice of activities, or the daily life, sleep, attrition. Are there any quarrels with their spouses, and their problems with children, etc, etc, because you have the training stress, and then you also have the cognitive stress. And it’s the sum of those who create the total stress. And if you have a lot of bad things on your mouth, mind, something that you worry about, then you will go throughout the day in the night and everything to reduce yourself. So your batteries, maybe at 60%, then it’s maybe maybe it’s best thing is to go to and do something you like and forget to go to training period, your friends, go see a movie, go to a pub or whatever.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  36:00

But it’s remarkable, even though a lot of our athletes that we work with will train 500 times in a year 600 Some of them in some sports, they will be so afraid of taking a day off? How do you manage that fear? The fear of you know, that I’m missing? Something that someone else that I’m competing against is getting? Because they’re not taking this day off?

Espen Aareskjold  36:25

That’s a good question. I think I think some of the times I just say maybe it’s my fault, because I put the training program that’s too ambitious. And then other times, the cost is quite clear, is back to to just putting things into perspective, if we have a workout or a training session that that’s going to be planned to increase your view of Max, then we know you need to be have a status be being like, also in a state of mind could dig dig deep enough, because those sessions are really hard. Another thing that we use a lot is we spoke scale. So for instance, if I can take a view to max session, then I say with the first first interval, then you should probably reach 15 on Boxing Day.

Trevor Connor  37:16

Okay, so this clip, I titled it truly practical advice. This is an episode that we did with Lauren Valley about cross training. So it’s about cyclists running and runners getting on the bike. And something that you know, we often sit down and evaluate or episodes how that go. And quite often we make the comment. We threw a ton of science in there, we brought in a lot of concepts. We didn’t get nearly enough practical advice. What was fun about this episode was his episode was just a giant, let’s give tons and tons of practical stuff. And she got to hear is what cyclists should be doing when they run and why cyclists tend to run wrong. And we were doing this right when I was getting into my month of running. And I started applying what she did

Rob Pickels  38:04

what was love Rona.

Trevor Connor  38:07

I started applying what she recommended, and wow, it made a difference. So this was I learned something. This was great practical advice.

Chris Case  38:15

Was it a month of running previously because you were doing it wrong. And now you could turn it into maybe two or three months of running.

Rob Pickels  38:22

Trevor’s a runner Now believe it or not, periodically you heard it here first.

Trevor Connor  38:25

Because of her I am now faster than 11 minute mile sweet wounds work. And I think he’s gonna walk walk a 10 minute mile,

Chris Case  38:33

my six year old child run an eight minute mile the other day. Yeah, I haven’t done that

Grant Holicky  38:36

yet this year. Just six minute child is six minute

Chris Case  38:39

child. You’re thinking about six minute abs, but

Grant Holicky  38:44

Okay, I’m sorry, your six year old eight year old six minute, whatever. Anyway, in all seriousness, this topic of runners riding and riders running is something that that I really enjoy. And I’ll try to put into the training for a lot of my cyclists that have them run.

Rob Pickels  39:01

That’s because your cyclists are cyclocross race. I’m talking about my road guys to do the same people.

Grant Holicky  39:06

No, I’m talking about guys that don’t get on 30. Yeah, they don’t get dirty, they don’t get hurt. So this is really informative and really helpful,

Trevor Connor  39:14

right? Let’s hear it now.

Lauren Vallee  39:17

I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of why a cyclist might run. And so when a cyclist is thinking about incorporating running into their program, a couple of things stand out. biomechanically, when one rides a bike, you’re in hip flexion. And when we’re running, you’re creating power through hip extension. And that is not typically a movement pattern that if you’re only cycling that you are used to except when you’re walking. And so the first thing is, a cyclist wants to understand that I may have this big aerobic engine, and when I go to run, I am learning a new skill. running as a sport, it seems quite simple. You just need running shoes, but there are things to think about. So I’ll start with that hip flexion position where you’re creating power on the bike. And why it’s important to understand cognitively, what’s happening when you’re running is run speed as a function of stride length and turnover, or cadence. And in order to increase stride length to go faster, a lot of cyclists will kick their leg out in front of them, because they’re used to being in hip flexion. And they don’t have that great range of motion to actually extend their leg behind them and drive their leg back using their glute and firing in that position. So it may be that if you’re a cyclist and starting to run, I would encourage you to start with, if you can aim for, you know, 90 strides, single foot strides permitted. That’s great. And I can walk you through how you actually count that. But watches like Garmins will tell you approximately what your turnover is. But taking short, choppy steps in the beginning. And running pretty light is going to be important for two reasons what I just said about hip extension and developing the range of motion that you’re going to need. And the second is developing the resilience and durability in the tendons and the ligaments of your body as you’re starting to run. Whereas we don’t have the same strain on your body when you’re cycling.

Trevor Connor  41:12

So yeah, actually, that’s really interesting. What ask you more about that. So I can tell you as a cyclist, who, in the offseason always puts on the running shoes, I always end up getting a lot of pain and my Achilles and I can tell you, I am a I guess what you’d call a foot dragger, I don’t really lift my feet off the ground and just kind of shuffle run. What should I or any cyclist like me? How should we improve that? What should we be focusing on as we run?

Lauren Vallee  41:41

So there’s nothing wrong with shuffling. And actually, if you’re using using reading just as a supplement to get some more cardiovascular training, some variety that it’s not a problem necessarily to shuffle. Actually, a lot of triathletes, even top triathletes who are running off the bike, do something called an Ironman shuffle, their feet stay quite low. They’re not like track runners where their knees are driving straight forward really high, and they have this high heel recovery. And so the first thing I would say is, you may just need to work on short bouts of hard running, possibly uphill.

Rob Pickels  42:18

So when I was looking through clips for this episode, I had different themes I had funny, and this one, this one’s informative. I think this entire episode, this was Trevor, if you remember the recording with Dr. Kenefick, it was 221 on dehydration. This whole episode was about a giant knowledge bomb. And in this one, you know Dr. Kenefick is talking about how hydration or dehydration is going to affect performance. But for me, what was interesting was the entire cascade of things that are happening throughout this, I thought was really informative and people should know it. Well,

Trevor Connor  42:50

let’s hear now. Are there general recommendations that you have for athletes in terms of fluid replacement based on sweat loss, and I’m thinking in particular, you recently just published a study where you were saying, to prevent dehydration, you generally need to replace about 37 to 54% of your sweat rate. But I found really interest is in this was in runners, you pointed out that under an hour of activity, you might not need to replace anything at all.

Dr. Robert Kenefick  43:19

Yeah. And then that gets back into that situation I was describing earlier of you know, it depends. So one of the ideas when we start talking about sweating, and that sweating relationship, the fluid loss and dehydration is its impact on performance. And if we have to draw a line in the sand, and there’s people who don’t agree with us, and that’s and that’s fine. But we just have to draw a line in the sand and look into the literature, when we talk about a 2% loss 2% dehydration, and that’s relative to your body weight. So if you were to lose 2% of your body weight through sweat, sweating, so measure, weigh yourself and then exercise for an hour. Where yourself again, if you haven’t taken anything, any fluid or food during that time, you can just do the math and you can calculate what your sweat rate was in that hour. How much did you lose? You know, did I lose? You know, half a leader or leader and whatever that is. And so that that can give an an idea to athletes to say I understand what my sweat rate is that sweat rate can change. I mentioned a climatization does it become acclimatized or acclimated, I actually will probably I will sweat more of my sweat will become more hypertonic I’ll serve more sodium, but I’ll lose more sweat, I’m more able off sweat earlier and activity. I’ll sweat more profusely. So my water, my fluid needs are going to be greater. So one of the things that I would say my colleague, Sam Shabbat, who writes quite often with me, one of the things that we would say for individuals who are serious about performance that they need to understand this idea of when they’re going to be approaching this 2% loss because that’s where performance is going to start to become altered. And if you can maintain your fluid balance such that you’re not approaching that 2%, then you should be okay, at least as far as performance goes. And you know, there, I’ve mentioned this before, there are downstream effects to becoming dehydrated to sweating. Now, as your blood volume becomes less, and you become hypovolemic, there are cardiovascular adaptations that happen as well. And some of those, like an increase heart rate, can also play a role on performance. It also plays a role on perception through ratings of perceived exertion, how hard do I feel I’m work. So all of these things should be taken into account activities, like you’ve mentioned, for an hour, you probably won’t approach 2% loss, because the duration just isn’t long enough. And for most individuals, it’s just not intense enough for you to generate that much heat when you lose 2%. In that period of time. It could be possible for very, very large individuals who are no, no, I don’t want to say this and say, Well, geez, you know, people who are blind men are playing football in the south. And you know, in August, wearing all that equipment, you know, those individuals might be able to do that, for the most part, or any any activities, it’s possible, you wouldn’t need to drink at all, during an event of an hour or less, because you won’t approach 2% loss, for the most part, when you are going to do activities. So you’re going to compete, and you are going to approach that 2% loss or you’ve calculated and figured out, how much do I sweat? I believe it’s important for individuals to have a plan, how am I going to think about fluid intake, to attenuate my losses such that I don’t cross that 2% mark. So an example for myself in 2012, I was running quite a bit, and I want to one of my goals was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And I sweat a lot. And I knew my sweat rate at the time. And I knew that for my circumstance, I had failed on a number of longer runs half marathons, approaching marathon distances. Because I was becoming too dehydrated, I couldn’t drink enough to offset how much I was sweating, I was approaching that 2% going over that 2% line, not having enough fluid, and that affected my performance such that I couldn’t qualify. So what I needed to do is to determine circumstances under which I wouldn’t sweat so much. And that would have have to be a cooler environment. So I went to finding the race in December, and going to that race because it was so cool. I wouldn’t have to thermal radiate as much, I wouldn’t lose as much fluid in still having a plan to drink in order to attenuate the fluid losses. So my performance would be less affected. So I would say that those circumstances when you’re looking at longer activities, now we’re talking endurance activities, could be cycling, could be running could be adventure, racing, any of these types of activities that are going on for those longer periods of time, you do need to start thinking about, Okay, how much food? Could I particularly lose in this event? If I know my sweat rate? How much do I really need to be thinking about taking in those circumstances to it’s important to have fluid that is not hypotonic. So fluid that has an electrolyte and the other thing we haven’t really mentioned is drinking in too much fluid and the dangers of hyponatremia. So situations where people lose an appreciable amount of sodium, we see this a lot and longer, longer duration events, their training scenarios in the military. And then people drink that just water, there’s you swipe a card hypotonic fluid intake, and that actually dilutes your sodium in your plasma. And that can have serious detrimental effects to the nervous system. It can cause seizures, it can cause death. And so that’s very, very serious. So there’s another idea, you know, you need to understand if you’re in these events, and you are losing sodium because it’s, you know, it’s going on for so long. Again, you need to be planning okay, what should I be drinking? Or what should I be eating so that I am not putting myself at risk for hyponatremia by drinking, just playing water and putting myself at risk.

Trevor Connor  49:10

Okay, so my next one is our episode with Dr. Bent runestad. Rob and I can both tell you this is one of the premier researchers pure let’s let’s get some studies and do some really good exercise physiology research. We’re always excited to read his stuff.

Rob Pickels  49:28

And I’m proud to say this was his first podcast recording ever

Trevor Connor  49:32

right and we almost kind of bullied him to come on the show because he English is not his first language. He was concerned. But we got him on and that was really exciting to us.

Chris Case  49:41

Probably mentioned his name 100 times on the show. Yeah, we have Yeah, there was

Trevor Connor  49:45

a bunch that we could have picked in this episode. But what I found really fun about the clip you’re about to listen to, is a you hear a little bit of that researcher he talks about some of the history research, how they come up with these concepts, but then what’s On, as he goes into one of his first studies as a PhD student, and goes into the wealth, they wanted me to study the athletes doing three hour rides, but I had to be the one in the room or they’re doing the three hour ride. So I really tried to push for a two hour ride. So you hear one of the preeminent researchers basically saying, I wanted to be lazy.


Let’s listen now. Yeah, so it seems to me that there is a potential to increase your your cycling performance by adding strength training.

Trevor Connor  50:34

So I know there was some research earlier on 80s and 90s, that looked at whether strength training could help endurance athletes, and he concluded it really doesn’t because they were studying vo two Max and economy and it doesn’t seem like strength training will help vo two Max, there’s mixed results on economy. So I guess my question to you and this is what I found really interesting in your research is where are the benefits? How does strength training help endurance athletes?


Yeah, probably, it’s we have the determining factors for us performance and probably that it seems like there is a small benefit on different places that ultimately adds up making the performance better in my point of view, so, take for instance, the work economy cycling economy measurements, as I read the literature, there is indications that when you are untrained or moderately trained, that you see an improved cycling economy, when re measuring it like the traditional way, by doing like five minutes submaximal exercise bouts below threshold, and you are in quite fresh state. There is in indications that work economy measure this way can be improved. What we have done in some of our studies we have we have prolonged this submaximal measurements. And in my first study, which was a part of my PhD, we had the ride cycling for three hours at low intensity. And then in the last hour of those three hours, we saw an improved economy, which we did not see in the beginning in the fresh state. And we finalized those three hours of submaximal riding with a payment at all our performance, that’s where they should have as high mean power output as possible. And then we saw that strength training group, which improved their economy during the last hour or those three hours submaximal riding had quite large improvement in five minute power compared to the control group. So maybe then you have to induce some sort of fatigue, in order to see the benefits of the strength training in terms of the cycling economy, which then might have saved energy for the last five minute bouts of that test.

Rob Pickels  52:57

We’d love to talk to you about that research protocol. Because, you know, as you pointed out the traditional way of measuring the economy there, we didn’t really see any improvement there. And that seems to be how most people would fall back to the laboratory based measurement. What inspired you did you have any insight into the fact that strength training might improve during longer durations? Why did you choose to do this sort of longer thing? And I love that you did because I think that that’s very relevant for people who are out on the road.


Yeah, and that thing you’re mentioning there is one factor. Because we know that in especially the road cycling, that cyclists are cycling for many hours. And if they are just sitting in the peloton and waiting to go, the final push towards the end of the race. So one part of our choice was to imitate real competitions. And then, of course, we had in back of our head potential mechanisms, why strength training, could in theory, improve performance and also work economy. And some of those are maybe easier to detect in a more fatigued state and in the first state, and then we had a discussion, actually, whether it should be two or three hours submaximal cycling, and I was the PhD students who are supposed to do all the work. So I tried to argue carefully, that two hours might be enough. But then I had some supervisors and there is a reason why you have some supervisors. So then they argue that the three hours should be good. So of course we went for three hours and afterwards, I do not regret that choice.

Dede Barry  54:47

Hey, listeners, it’s Didi Berry. Julie and I are launching our fresh new series this January that focuses 100% on the female endurance athlete as we bring in the new year. Our hope is to empower coaches and athletes with This cutting edge science based information that’s all about the female athlete will be covering topics like performance, nutrition, youth athletic development, and training throughout pregnancy. We look forward to sharing this rich and enlightening information with you.

Trevor Connor  55:16

All right, so let’s finish out our favorite episodes. We have to finish with this. Chris, you actually were here for part of 2022. So you you explain this one a little bit?

Chris Case  55:28

The episode or the fact that it was riddled with? Well, I

Rob Pickels  55:32

can explain it Chris stopped caring.

Chris Case  55:34

I just wanted to leave people with the gym. You know, I wanted to go out with a blaze of glory show what? It certainly wasn’t planned.

Trevor Connor  55:43

Can I give a little back, sir, because I’ve always interested this was part of it. So you might not know this. I don’t particularly like to swear. I very rarely swear. So there was that’s

Chris Case  55:54

wet. It gives it more power when you do

Rob Pickels  55:56

you really need him the golf to get him to swear.

Trevor Connor  56:00

Thanks, Rob. So something nobody knows is I was the editor of the show for a long time. This is true. And Chris would always record the intro at another time. So we wouldn’t record the intros live, we would do it later. And Chris, knowing that I don’t really like to swear, would always end the intro with the swear word of the week, and we’ll try to see how uncomfortable he could make me.

Chris Case  56:28

Yeah, that was fun. I was never sitting in the room while you were editing. So I don’t know how uncomfortable you got. But you tell me sometimes.

Trevor Connor  56:36

Probably the most uncomfortable I got is when we hired Jana. Neither of us knew her yet. And you did not stop the swirl. Yeah.

Chris Case  56:44

Well, I took a chance. I went on a little bit of a flyer I left her a swear word of the day. I’ve left Kelly’s swear words of the day as well. But with Jana, I, you know, I didn’t know her at all. And I left one but then she would give it back. And she basically ended everything when she used the ultimate. I’m not even going to repeat it on the air. But it was the ultimate swear word of the day. And I said Okay, you

Trevor Connor  57:08

win. So that Chris said his farewell

Chris Case  57:11

I wanted I wanted to see Trevor squirm as much as possible on my way out and so I left him a few little gifts. And it was in the moment I did not rehearse I did not plan and I did not practice and I just went for it. And it was very organic. And there was I think there was some some encouragement from the peanut gallery as well.

Grant Holicky  57:30

I was encouraging. I think I was back here doing this.

Rob Pickels  57:33

You know, you weren’t back here. You wouldn’t come into the office. You are on the computer.

Grant Holicky  57:39

Oh, I was I was in I remember that. I was in my garage on the computer listening to that. laughing Yeah, my

Rob Pickels  57:49

boss. Well, let’s listen to it now.


That was another episode of fast talk subscribe to fast talk. Wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcasts. Be sure to leave us a rating and reviews. The thoughts and opinions expressed on fast talk are those of

Dr. Stephen Seiler  58:06

the individuals.


We love your feedback. Join the conversation at fast talk labs.com to discuss each and every episode. See their member laboratories and Mother fat dog lab.com/join and become a part of the education and coaching community for Trevor. Ben Delaney. Grant hog. Robert tickles. You’re listening.

Rob Pickels  58:37

And don’t ever expect to hear Chris again.

Rob Pickels  58:46

Can we do that? Is that okay?

Trevor Connor  58:48

We can literally and I’m out