Join us as we go through our favorite moments of 2021 including conversations with:
- Dr. Asker Jeukendrup
- Kristin Armstrong
- Jim Miller
- Jeff Winkler
- Neal Henderson
- Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson
- Svein Tuft and Erinne Zarsadias
- Glenn Swan
Chris Case 0:11
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of fast talk. I’m Chris case here with Coach Trevor Connor. This is your source for the science of insurance performance. This is our favorite moments of 2021. Trevor, I started going through the last year of episodes. And I can’t say that there was a overriding theme to the episode are the moments that I chose. But going through these, again, looking at this list here, there are some really big names on the list of people that we spoke to in 2021. That’s not uncommon for us, but the names that we had the Olympic champions, the very prominent researchers and scientists we had on the show. Yeah, something to be proud of, I think, and I’m happy that we were able to bring this type of information in this type of expertise to our listeners.
Trevor Connor 1:08
Yeah, no, there’s, for me at least some really exciting episodes this year where we covered I think, some some hot topics. We had some big names who haven’t had on the show before. Yeah, as I was going through this and trying to pick which clips I wanted for the the end of the year, unlike last year, just like yeah, what were the clips that were fun? What were the clips that were entertaining? I found that I was really leaning into some episodes where we talked about things that for myself, as a cyclist as a coach, as a physiologist, we talked about things that had had a big impact on my career at one stage or another, you know, right from bringing in my first mentor to talk with us. So there was a bit of a kind of a personal side to this with the clips Very good.
Chris Case 1:57
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 let’s dive into our first clip today and that is from Episode 150. Entitled are their benefits to carbohydrate manipulation with Dr. Oscar you can droop we chose a clip that has to do with metabolic flexibility high fat low carbohydrate diets to me and I know you’re gonna back me up on this Trevor it’s really interesting. We went into this episode thinking oh, doctor you can droop is a you know, kind of a fan if you will, of this type of stuff. We’ve heard he has a reputation for pioneering in some ways when it comes to nutrition. What we’ve ended up realizing is he was saying and let’s not jump there just yet there’s a lot of stuff that we still don’t know about carbohydrate manipulation Yeah, I
Trevor Connor 3:26
actually really like that when you talk with a researcher and they’re not cut and dry black and white, you know, Dr. You can droop is one of the researchers is really been looking at this train high sleep low approach to carbohydrate manipulation, he is big on carbohydrate manipulation. So when we came into the recording, I was somewhat expecting him to say no, you have to do this, it’s the best thing in the world, everybody should be doing this is going to make you super fit and really liked that instead of doing that he came in and said everybody’s individual, everybody’s got to do what’s right for them. And no, there isn’t enough research in this I’m not gonna say unequivocally is the best thing for everybody.
Chris Case 4:05
And I think you’ll hear a little bit of that in the the clip we’ve chosen here. So let’s check out Dr. You can drink now.
Asker Jeukendrup 4:12
What is clear is that whatever diet you give to humans, they will adapt to it. Some diets, you adapt very quickly, some diets like a high fat diet that takes a little bit longer to really adapt to it. But ultimately you you will adapt to it and you will be able to do similar types of things with a completely different fuel mix, then that’s the fact now if we if we then look at like performance, then there are some things of physiology that do not change whether you’re adapted or not. If intensity is really high, you need to glycolysis they’re like that, that is just physiology, whether you can adapt for as many years as you like. You’re still if the enzyme MCs high enough, you’re still going to need glycolysis with high intensity exercise, you’re still going to need carbohydrate as the as the main fuel. So and this is why I think a diet, any diet, where that that is the one solution for all problems doesn’t exist. A high carbohydrate diet is not a solution to all problems. A high fat diet or a keto diet is not a solution to all problems. And I think if you want to train your carbohydrate and your fat metabolism, because I think I read a lot about the keto diet and metabolic flexibility, well, you’re actually making your body very inflexible, because your body is becomes really good at using fat really poor at using carbohydrate, same thing that would happen if you if you always were on a high carb diet, you become pretty inflexible. We said earlier, we have become very dependent on carbohydrate. So the the only way to stay sort of metabolically flexible is to give different challenges to the body at different times. And when it comes to training, we find this very normal, they find it very normal that we don’t train the same every day. And we break up the training as much as began, we give different stimuli. And I think we should do the same with with nutrition, not not everyday the same some days, high carb, some days low carb. And if you really want to get to the effects that that we are talking about here, I think you have to really push this to two extremes, sometimes not every day. But sometimes
Trevor Connor 6:36
I’m actually really glad to hear you say that because I agree I don’t think for performance, a Keto type approach, in the long term is beneficial. But I also do think we went a little too far with the endurance athletes should be getting every carbohydrate they can possibly find in their system and you should be eating 700 grams per day. I don’t think that’s necessarily beneficial either.
Asker Jeukendrup 7:02
No, no, it’s not. Of course, it’s off the two methods is probably the lower risk method. That’s that’s for sure. But I still don’t think that there is one diet that is that is suitable for all situations.
Chris Case 7:17
Alright, the next clip we’re going to hear is from Episode 154. The Art and Science of time trials with Kristin Armstrong and Jim Miller, one of the most prolific, most decorated time trial and coach Duo’s in the history of cycling. I think it’s fair to say this clip, Trevor, you chose it is truly a statement and a testament to the mindset of a champion.
Trevor Connor 7:43
Yeah, this was one that I really enjoyed, because this was just meant to be an episode about time trawling, and I thought it was just gonna be, well, here’s the training to do here’s techniques for time traveling, and I’m thankful for this not the direction that we went, I have always been fascinated by the mindset, the attitude, the approach of your true champions, your top champions, which is unique. And I’ve actually sat down and wrote down what I felt the characteristics are of that sort of mindset. And listening to Kristin in this episode, I was like, That is the way a champion thinks like, you can just hear it badly. Does she have the time traveling and the fitness dialed in? She has that mindset side dialed in, like I haven’t seen in a while. Yeah. And what was interesting is after the episode, we did get a response. So I think it was one or two people said they actually didn’t like her attitude in the episode. Mm hmm. And I heard it and there was a basically, to be nice. They were kind of saying she was coming across as a bit of a jerk. And I listened that when No, I actually don’t see that what I’m seeing is that that mindset, which can be confused as being a jerk,
Chris Case 8:54
arrogant, but it’s focused, it’s very focused, it’s very deliberate. It’s it’s on task.
Trevor Connor 8:59
And look, I’ve struggled with this because there are plenty of people who who crossed that line who are top champions that are also actually kind of jerks. I don’t think Kristen is but I’ve wrestled with this for a bit earlier on in my coaching career going if I’m going to try to get athletes to the top level, do I have to tell them they got to be a holes and I didn’t want that, you know, I want them to have character and what I where I landed with this is I saw there are three traits you absolutely must have to be a top champion. One is you have to have subjects to is you have to suffer more pain, train harder, be more attentive to every detail than any other athlete out there. Talents, not enough. Yeah, and
Chris Case 9:45
it’s very clear Jim and Kristen pay attention to the details because that whole episode Yeah, yeah.
Trevor Connor 9:51
The third element and this is where it gets mistaken with thinking there jerk in the competition. You have to be willing to rip your opponent’s lungs out with a spoon and feed them to eat.
Chris Case 10:05
That’s a weird, but yeah, I get what you’re saying.
Trevor Connor 10:07
But that doesn’t mean you have to take that off the bike in competition, everybody understands, everybody’s here to win. And you have to have that mindset. But it doesn’t mean that it has to be off the bike too.
Chris Case 10:20
There’s an envelope of time, a couple days, maybe even before that race starts where the the senses are heightened, and they’re in the mode, they’re in the zone and and yeah, can come across as unpleasant or just not nice to be around. And she admits that in the episode, but that’s what it took you to
Trevor Connor 10:39
look, my first ever Pro Res one of my training friends who was there, he was on a pro team, a big pro team. And their team was up at the front of the field, setting the pace. And being new to the pro field and not getting that there’s a pecking order here. I was like, oh, go to the front. So I go up, go alongside him and go, Hey, how you doing? And he looks at me and goes, what the effort you do. And he grabs me by the jersey pocket and throws me backwards. Mm hmm. Couple days later, we’re back training. He’s my friend again. Yeah. But in the race. That’s the mindset. And it’s a hard thing to reconcile and get. So I love this clip from Kristen, because you see all those elements. Obviously, she’s talented. You see that attention to every little detail that willingness to hurt more than anybody else willing to go that step further than everybody else? And also that in the race? Don’t mess with me. Yep. And that’s a champion.
Chris Case 11:38
All right, let’s hear from Kristin and Jim. Now.
Jim Miller 11:42
For her, it wasn’t just the time trial day, it was the Time Trial Week, and from about seven days out into the time trial, she was absolutely unbearable to be around for everybody. You know, for me, I at least recognize that that was how she mentally prepared to go to this place. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable. They call it endurance for a reason. Because you have to endure it. It took her five, seven days to mentally prepare to do this. But then on the day, she could always go to that far, far, far edge of accepting the pain and working through it. And it was never, you know, as much as she won, she won so much. It’s unbelievable. It didn’t ever change. It was always the same from the very first time to the very last time she raced a time trial. And that week was just gonna be miserable for everybody.
Chris Case 12:26
And what, Jim, let’s get some dirt on.
Trevor Connor 12:29
You had a chance to defend yourself here, Kristin. Yeah, she can. Her husband did even say on Time Trial Week, she was mine. And then after interest.
Kristin Armstrong 12:40
I remember there’s a few time trials where I didn’t win. And I would go back to you know, we all have our team bands and team tents. I had teammates literally hide from me.
Chris Case 12:53
She’s on a rampage. I wasn’t
Kristin Armstrong 12:55
like a an athlete who, you know, would scream at my team or anything. It was very internal. But they were so scared. And they had no idea what to say to me. And so to this day, I still have you know, athletes that were to my teammates that they will continually joke about about that. Yeah. And, you know, I think that the preparation that Jim is speaking of is there is a mind preparation that you go through, and it’s not like I have it on my calendar and I say, Oh, hey, yeah, on Monday that 12. I want to start my time trial, mental preparation. It’s not that calculated, it just happens. And your mind goes in this funk, you go into this focus mode, and it is unbearable. I mean, my husband and Jim were pretty much you know, we think about when we hear you know, people hiring psychologists, I’m like, my husband and Jim are my psychologist. So I didn’t need a psychologist, they were given that gift from me, because he had to deal with these crazy emotional swings. But again, it was just on these big days preparing for that one event. And in figuring out how I was going to nail it each time.
Jim Miller 14:00
This was an interesting process. You can see other people be super relaxed and have a good time laugh. But on time trial day they start getting that mindset or start zeroing in on what they had to do. But it was always funny because I would look at her competitors and see them start going through this on on, you know, the day of and when we would show to the race on the day of it was super simple. Show up, get changed, get on the trainer, same warm up straight to the star ramp, same discussion, basically. And then straight in the car and we did our thing. And literally we had this feeling of on race day, all that preparation had come together and it was the stress was over now is just time to execute is where you can see on other people’s faces that on race day the stress showed up. So I think the process of getting yourself there mentally early was really a huge success factor and her career is uncomfortable. It was for everybody around her and it was really you know, she wasn’t grumpy to to everybody. It was really it was really a husband and wife But that goes with the territory, right? And probably the dirty Yeah, yeah, maybe. But if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna play in this arena that but just that comes with the territory, so you have to manage and deal with it and you just know it’s part of the process and it is what it is. But then come race day, you’re always paid off. So
Chris Case 15:17
can you actually take us inside this process? Kristen, how did you practice this in training?
Kristin Armstrong 15:23
Again, there’s so many unique pieces to how I train versus textbook, you know, some of the questions that y’all sent over and that I knew we’re gonna discuss today. It’s interesting, because those questions are some of the general populations questions. And, you know, if I were living in the same town as Jim, I probably have a cup of coffee with him right now. And we probably just shake our heads and be like, gosh, you know, every everything that everyone does around time trawling in my brain is like, this is just so traditional. Like I had women send me their training and say, What’s wrong with me? Can you look at my training? What am I doing wrong? I’m like, everything. I mean, I’m not the total geeky, like, physiology gal. I know, my training. I know my I know my physiology. I majored in exercise physiology, I can train people well, but in the day, I think that there’s a lot of what people think in or how people think they should do it. And there’s so many people saying that this is how you should train for time trawling that everyone does it right, this is how it happens. It’s kind of like, when we chose tires, everyone’s like, well, that’s the fastest tire. I’m like, No, it’s not have you tested it? Whereas you read an article, people send me links all the time. Oh, look at this tire. It’s like the fastest I’m like, according to who according to the person who made the tire? Or is it according to the third party that I had tested all the tires. This is kind of the level Jim and I took it to is, we didn’t accept that some company came out said this is the fastest chain, we tested the change, we tested the friction. Oh, and by the way, the tests were done by us, like third party, we hired other companies that weren’t affiliated with these. Brian’s number one, most of my races that counted were between 30 and 40 minutes long in duration. When I did prep, when you talk about mental prep, how do you prepare for these, there’s not a lot of time trials on the calendar to prepare for these. So we had a time trial that we did, it was mid season to end the season. And it was a local time trial. And I’ll never forget the first time I showed up to it. I was in my head to toe race get up. Like I had my booties on I had my time trial helmet on. I had my pre race mix. I had my trainer, I had my skin suit, and people looked at me like I was crazy. They’re like, oh, so what are you doing? Like the local Bowl championships here today, Kristin and I was like, every time trials of World Championship for me, and they’re like, whoa, okay, well, guess what, three years later, everyone shows up in their, in their booties in their aero helmet at this race.
Chris Case 17:58
Alright, let’s keep on this theme of sports psychology and mindset a bit. This next clip is from Episode 158. entitled How to manage unwanted thoughts through stoicism. This was with Dr. Simon Marshall and Leslie Patterson, Trevor, he describes the brain in terms of having these two components, the chimp and the professor and I think that that resonates with you that clicks with you? Well,
Trevor Connor 18:25
I I love the stoic approach to sports psychology in general, that just being highly directed, and not letting a whole lot of distractions and other things lead you off course. So I love that conversation with him. But I think their description of this chimp brain, which tends to control us and causes our fear and makes us do crazy things, and the professor brain and how they interact and how the professor brain is actually kind of at a disadvantage is really fascinating. I still remember the first time I went to a presentation on it and go on. That’s pretty cool. That makes a lot of sense. So I think it’s a great way to look at sports psychology and how to approach races when you’re feeling that fear and anxiety. And I think it’s a good thing to share again.
Chris Case 19:09
Excellent. Let’s hear from Simon now.
Simon Marshall 19:13
Yeah, I mean, it’s a juicy topic. And it’s interesting is once you get behind the awkward Latin names of sort of brain anatomy, you actually find you know, one of the world’s best thriller novels, right. So it’s really fascinating how our brain has evolved and certainly the metaphor that we use of this chimp and professor and or just thinking about you’re having multiple kind of personalities in your in your brain is not certainly new. It’s been around for many, many years. You might have heard, you know, the lizard brain or the elephant and the rider and so on. And, and it really stems back to some fairly strong evolutionary biology of bow. If you think about how humans when we have evolved over the millions of years to cope with our increasingly complex environment. And obviously, before we were human, we were in water we were water based and, and so the environment there was very simple, we used to really have a brain that was a stimulus response organ, you know, I see things I sense things and I react and there’s really not much sort of emotional processing. And then as we started to come on land and forage for food and, and we had a different set of predators, different parts of our brain develop, but the part that’s really been with us the longest, well, there’s the one part has been with us even longer than that called the cerebellum. But the main part that’s been with us the longest is it in terms of more closely resembles and is functional today is called the limbic system, it’s about the size of a, an avocado, depending on how big your brain is, or head head is, but rice is right in the center of your head. And the human brain has got like a tree if you cut it open. So laterally and count the rings you can hold hold a tree is it’s the human brain is very similar, the part in the middle is the oldest and the part on the outside is the newest. And the limbic system is really where all of our emotions are formed and created. And emotions are fairly sort of like Fisher Price tools that our human brain has to sort of know that blunt instruments to not just in the ribs, to tech to tell us to take action. And that’s really what the purpose of human emotion is, I think, come on human, you need to do something move away, or approach other two kind of basic things. And, and then it was given a whole bunch of sort of chemical weapons to ensure that we listened to those messages, even though that they were kind of crude messages. And so a number of things that happen with the limbic system and one of those these sort of endowed powers it’s been given to make sure we always listened to it because it’s first primarily goal, first primary goal is to keep us alive. That’s a noble goal. And we never want to get rid of that. So and the kind of the, the powers that’s been given neurochemical powers to make sure that we listened to it are really to keep us alive. And even some of the things that causes distress or destructive emotion in contemporary life are still at their heart survival mechanisms. So for one example is okay, we have a fight or flight response, as we all know that if you’re being chased by a woolly mammoth, or a tiger or whatever, Hunter back predator back in the day to run as fast as you can, or fight, that’s obviously the most simple version of it. But there are other now more subtle mechanisms that still relate to survival. So for example, the human brain really is terrified and will crapped the bed if it thinks that it might either be humiliated, embarrassed, or shown to be inadequate, especially in front of other people. And we can all relate to those things, we, you know, the thought of getting up and doing karaoke or you know, having to do a presentation or something, those are very modern, but in, in ancient times being awestruck, if you if you weren’t able to be provide a worth to a group or a tribe or a skill, you couldn’t hunt, and gather and so on, you were often ostracized. And so you were really probably doomed to have a life a solitary life that would end in probably a probably a pretty grim death. And so some of these mechanisms are still in place. And so the two main ones that the limbic system still has that it’s five times quicker, it processes sensory information five times quicker than the rest of our brain. So what does that actually mean? Well, we all know of our main senses, right, our touch and our sight and hearing and so on, we’ve got internal senses as well called interoceptive senses like hunger pains and so on. But those senses are processed by our limbic system lightning speed, are far quicker than you are able to realize what’s happening. And a good example of this is the startle reflex if you’ve ever been swimming in something in the ocean and something brushes up against your leg, you haven’t had a chance you’ll have this like oh, you know get away or your your recoil, you have another chance thing oh, there could be something dangerous here. I think that’s what it could be I better get out of the way this is happening in milliseconds. So this is an example of this lightning speed your limbic system has to process and then sends a whole set of signals chemical and electrical signals to fear centers, like almost like satellite dishes that sit that scan the skies or environment for incoming threats. And that sets off a cascade of hormonal responses and neurotransmitter responses to get us ready right we know heart rate goes up, blood pressure goes up, you might have butterflies and so on. And there are some physical sense a psychological sense state sensations as well like worry and rumination and self doubt and so they happen fairly quickly. So by the time our, our frontal cortex, our wrinkly smart brain at the front has had a chance to catch up and think about it rationally. That train has already left the station right the we’ve got our adrenal glands are firing and so on. We’ve got adrenaline and noradrenaline firing And then so those are the things that happen very quickly. And then to add sort of insult to injury about this, the second thing that this limbic system has is in doubt chemical power, is that the moment there’s threat detection centers lit up, it also throws a chemical brick at the part of our brain, the frontal cortex, what we call the professor brain, so that it can’t rationalize its way out of a life and death situation about 30 neurotransmitters are, are released, and they go into our frontal cortex is a gross simplification of the science, of course, but and then it’s sort of not paralyzed, but kind of slow down the processing. So the Jedi skills that we do have facts and logic, which is the Jedi skills of our professor brain, are rendered largely ineffective, or they’re just not very good. It’s very and we all know this, if when you’re really nervous, or tense, is hard to sort of think your way to think clearly or to make good decisions under pressure. So you’re the victim of that, that brain physiology. And again, we often get annoyed and angry at this process. Why can I think this? And why am I so biased? And why do I choke or make mess up? Or why I just need to pee and put five times the morning of a race or so on. But all of those mechanisms are designed to keep you alive. So they’re good. And so one of the strategies is a reframing of what that stuff means.
Trevor Connor 26:20
Okay, so Chris, this next one is from Episode 163 training principles from the 1980s are still all you need with Jeff Winkler. So this was a clip that you picked. I know, this was an episode you’d been excited about for a long time. So why don’t you tell us why you picked this one?
Chris Case 26:35
Yeah, I mean, the title is a bit of a tongue in cheek, we were debating, we actually kind of accumulated points for the different decades that we were talking about the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s, close to the end of the episode, we’re kind of wrapping things up. And he’s really giving that breakdown of, you know, these are the things I love about the 80s. And I kind of wish they still existed. But you know, there’s things about modern training principles and modern training practices that I really liked, too. And he’s kind of going between the two worlds. Of course, I’m a simple guy. And I like simple things. And I have not a much of a data hound. So this spoke to me quite a bit. And yeah, I think it was a fun episode that we had been talking about for quite a while. So let’s check out what Jeff has to say.
Jeff Winkler 27:21
I suppose I’d like to just say that, like, you can’t write off the old school. I mean, the old school has some valuable contributions to the training process. And of course, I you know, it was interesting, when I came back to coaching with the existence of all of these tools and techniques and systems for analysis, I had kind of a harsh reaction, initially, I immediately saw Oh, the value of the feedback, it’s great, you know, to be able to put a number with power. But some of the analysis that has arisen out of having all of this data, my first reaction was, this is like, it seems like a bit of false precision, that we don’t fully understand the systems that are operating. And so while we are measuring them, we may still not really be to the end point, right? You know, we’re early days in terms of understanding the physiological systems and then linking them to the tools that we measure. And so I think the challenge is not to get lost in this precision and data and analysis, because it is not 100% accurate. And it’s actually hard. It just creates new questions, which maybe is not moving us always forward, right, where we maybe we’re mired with a lack of information. Now, we’re mired too much, or a tendency to focus on things that may not really be that productive to focus on. I think that probably in another 40 years, it’s going to be a different story. And I think that’s going to be big data as a result of big data and machine learning and what have you. I think that’s probably where we’ll start to really understand the trends and the underlying data that it’s very hard for us to parse out right now.
Chris Case 29:13
It sounds like what you’re saying is, if we took a step back from where we were sitting, and looked at the the playing field that we’re in right now, we are a little bit lost in the forest, there’s so much information, so much data to be used. We just aren’t exactly sure yet how to use it best. And in some ways. What we’re collecting is not as accurate. If you want to use that word as it could be in in 40 years, we’ll see drastic changes it might be in 10 years, we’ll see drastic changes in the improvements of data analytics far surpasses where we’re at right now.
Jeff Winkler 29:52
I think that that’s at least partially true that we’re struggling to extract meaning out have the data and the tools that we have. We’re certainly successful at certain levels. But I often feel as if we’re looking at we certainly are seeking precision like we want to link what we see on the sensors to an underlying condition, and then sort of change how those things interrelate and do a better job of training and developing fitness. But anyone who spends time reading studies on on exercise science, you’re going to be left with this idea of we don’t know what we’re doing, right? Because we get conflicting results a lot of the time. And it’s because of the details. We don’t fully understand the black box, I mean, or there’s at least a certain aspect of black box to things still with the body. But that doesn’t mean the tools aren’t useful. You just have to just don’t think they’re gonna answer all questions, but they do do a very good job of answering some questions.
Trevor Connor 31:01
Listeners, Chris and I are excited about an upcoming milestone here fast on January 27, we will release our 200th Fast talk episode, we’re proud to have brought you 200 episodes featuring the world’s most respected and influential experts in training, physiology, sports nutrition, bike fit, recovery, sports medicine, plus some bad jokes about Canada. So we have a very special 200 episode plan for you. And we’d like you to be a part of it. Record your best questions on your smartphone Recorder app and email them to info at fast talk labs.com By January 1. Any topic is fair game, but we are especially excited to hear your questions about the future of endurance sports. So again, record your questions and send them to info at fast talk labs.com. Okay, so this next one is episode 166 effective two day workout strategies with Neil Henderson. So I’ll admit, even though I have kind of that obsession with the long ride versus two days and love getting Neil in on the show, you pick this clip?
Chris Case 32:08
Well, you know, I think in different ways for a long time, we fielded questions from people, Can I skip the first three hours of my five hour ride, you know, stuff like that, it’s become a bit of a running joke with us. But this episode was really fun for me because it was one of those where a coach was putting into practice a successfully with athletes, something that science hadn’t totally caught up with yet. And I think it’s starting to, but it really hasn’t fully confirmed what coaches have been seeing. I think the other part of this that speaks to me is the fact that I often commute. And you know, that might not be the first thing you think of when you think of two day workout strategies. But you can effectively use your time, morning and evening. If you commute to work effectively. That’s a great way to implement some of this into your training. And so it was great to hear Neil, a really successful coach a high level coach, talk about that using today’s effectively with elite athletes, but also with some of the other masters athletes that he works with when it comes to using commutes as as part of that two day strategy. So that was fun for me.
Trevor Connor 33:21
Right? Well, let’s hear it as I say,
Neal Henderson 33:24
in my opinion and experience, I would say that there is absolute clear advantages to incorporating to a day sessions into your training and in some cases, doing it one to substitute for a single long training session. And secondary primary reason to do that to be able to create a greater stimulus for training with performing a high intensity session in the morning, and then a lower intensity training session in the afternoon. Those are the the two ways that I would do that. And recommend folks do that whether you’re an amateur rider or World Tour Pro,
Chris Case 34:06
Trevor, what have you seen both in yourself and maybe some athletes you’ve coached?
Trevor Connor 34:11
So I am going to start with the bitter pill that I don’t want to swallow. And then I’ll finish it up with a little bit of defense of the long ride. But if I am reading this science, right, and I’m very excited about the science, I’m going to keep reading it I just gave an explanation of how these two days can produce a lot of the gains that you get from long rides and actually hyper activate this whole pathway. there’s potentially a lot of good gains from these two days. The other thing and add to that you go back to that that Larson review where he talked about the science behind the short high intensity versus the long ride where he concluded his review was to say that long slow hits this calcium calmodulin calcium urine pathway. High intensity as I remember hits the a MP K pathway and he basically said if all your ever doing is hitting one of those pathways, you’re going to be limited, you really have to hit both. And so he actually made the argument for a polarized approach to training. Because of that, if you do the two days, the way that Neil just described, you’re getting that high intensity in the first workout. So you’re hitting that a NPK pathway, but in that second low intensity workout, you’re hitting more that calcium calmodulin calcium urine pathway, so you’re getting the sort of gains that you would get from a long ride. Plus, like I said, you’re kind of supercharged in it. So here’s a way of actually hitting both pathways in the same day. So if I’m reading the science, right, if that’s correct, there’s a real benefit to this. So yeah, I’m trying to swallow this bill. The one thing I will say in defense is, Larson brought this up as well. High Intensity work causes autonomic stress and too much autonomic stress is what leads to overtraining, if you are constantly replacing your long rides for two days, you run that risk of really fatiguing yourself. So I think my answer would be, I think it would be good to periodically replace a long ride with this, I would not be doing it all the time. Yeah, I
Chris Case 36:07
think that there’s certain situations here, for example, what Neal started the show with a story of Rowan. And if it’s nasty weather out there, and you risk getting sick, and you think you want to do that six hour ride, but man, it’s better to just try to break it up and do two swift sessions or something like that. That’s that’s a great application. We also talked about some of the things that I don’t think today’s can ever replace, which is that specificity of race distance, the psychological aspect, the fueling all of that. But certainly, it can be a convenience, if you can work it effectively into your program, for example, people that do commute, but you have to, you can’t just do the same thing every day, or you’re going to get stale, or you’re going to get overworked or whatever you have to you have to think a little bit more about it. And so there are definite ways to incorporate two days in effectively. And I think at the same time, there are things that it just cannot replace, but I would ask a follow up question of you, Neil, do I have it right? Do you think that there are certain things that you just cannot replace, when it comes to that one long ride are there times when you’re just like, I don’t see the benefit all the time?
Neal Henderson 37:17
Yeah, I still do find the value in having a long ride as part of your training schedule and things. It’s something that needs to be done. Now how long that is, is again, relative to the time of year and what you’re getting ready for. So in some cases, for somebody who’s doing you know, shorter races, a criterium a 3045 minute race, a long ride, you know, three hours is long, relatively speaking, and you’re going to get a lot of appropriate training stress from that, relatively speaking. But you don’t have to do whatever you you consider that long ride relative to your training history and demands every single week. And so that’s where I see for a lot of amateur riders, they kind of get stuck in a rut of Saturday’s always my long ride or Sunday, or whatever day it is, it’s they do the same thing week in and week out, most of the year round. And for me, replacing some of those sessions and varying things is really where we see some of those, those benefits. So changing things up in most cases is, is going to provide value as long as as long as there’s a purpose to it. You know, if you just do the same thing, week in and week out without ever changing, you’re going to get stale, you’re not going to get the adaptations that are truly possible. And so in most cases, I would say for those long rides for a lot of amateur ride riders, maybe you do two weeks, you know, consecutively with that long ride on the weekend, that might be normal. If you’re working and whatnot and family, you get that long ride Saturday or Sunday, a couple weeks in a row. And then the third week, you don’t do that same long ride, you maybe do a shorter, intense session in the morning, do some hunting, do stuff around the home, get get things done that you wouldn’t have otherwise done because you’d normally be doing that long ride. And then in the afternoon, go out and do a little bit of a shorter endurance ride maybe an hour and a half or two hours and see how your body is responding and adapting to that as well as you know, maybe how how much more tranquil your home life might be?
Chris Case 39:13
Yeah, I mean, I was going to say to there is the convenience factor, but I gotta say sometimes just getting the one long ride and might actually be more convenient than the two rides where you’re having to prep and having to shower afterwards and all that sort of stuff. So context matters and situation matters. And
Neal Henderson 39:30
absolutely, yeah, your laundry is clearly a part of that. That’s your non training stressor in some cases.
Chris Case 39:37
All right, let’s turn our attention now to Episode 175. That was entitled lessons on race targeting goal setting and mindset with Olympians Swain. Tufte and Aaron czar. Sidious. Trevor, both of these folks are friends of yours, it’s fair to say and they offer some great wisdom that went beyond training in this clip till More.
Trevor Connor 40:00
Yeah, just goes back to what we talked about the beginning, which was this year, there were some things that had some big personal impacts on me that came out in our 2021 episodes. Swain and Aaron, like me were coached by who Shang Amuri. And I think they are two of the more worldly experienced and smartest people I know. And which is a fun episode with them because we had a theme, but really, we just went all over the place and they had a lot to share. And one of my favorite stories from Swain is about that tattoo on his arm, which I’m not a tattoo fan. But if I was going to get a tattoo, that’d be a pretty cool one. I just didn’t do it because
Chris Case 40:37
he didn’t get it first.
Trevor Connor 40:40
But the idea behind it was really cool. And I think it’s something that really plays well into sports, and how to keep sports enjoyable and keep balance.
Chris Case 40:51
Excellent. Let’s hear from Swain and Aaron now.
Svein Tuft 40:55
That’s the risk, you just keep bypassing all these great moments in between.
Trevor Connor 41:00
Yeah, it’s kind of a live in the moment. And so I and I have to point this out. I’ve always loved that tattoo you have on your arm have never be here again, which I think speaks to this.
Svein Tuft 41:09
It actually had it parallels a lot of what we’re talking about, I was living a life of Yeah, I was just looking towards the next thing all the time. And missing these beautiful moms, I think of like our life in cycling, I know Aaron is to say like you travel all these great places, and your mind’s just on the thing. And you’re you’re missing out on all these great experiences. You know, I think back to our Symmetrix days, with a lot of the Canadian boys here we were going down to South America on these crazy adventures. And and I hit a point in my life where I just like I realized I wasn’t actually enjoying the moments, I was just thinking about the thing down the road. And I mean, tattoos are a funny thing, because you do them when you’re younger, and you’re like, oh man that, you know, that’s so crazy or whatever. And but it’s something that still holds true to me. Like, I still feel that like, there’s so many times you’re in a moment. And even if you go to the same place twice, you’re never going to be that same person. And that in that same zone. And I think to times when I’ve tried to recreate things that were awesome in my life, they’re never the same. And they’re never as good. It’s because you were it was just part of what you were experienced at that time of your life. And you were able to soak all those things in but I guess the point is, is like just be receptive to that, like, each moment could be the best moment of your life. And I know for a lot of people that might hear that and be like, Oh, that’s sounds like bull. No, but I know I bypassed a lot of great moments in my life just obsessing and looking at the wrong thing.
Chris Case 42:41
I think that that is a great point from both of you. I wonder if we could explore that a little bit more, because I think there’s a as with so many things, there’s a balance there. You can’t always be goofing around and still expect success to follow. I don’t think how would you recommend somebody balance the lightheartedness it takes to keep joy in their training and racing, but also be serious enough that they sort of fulfill their potential or live up to the expectations that they’ve set for themselves?
Unknown Speaker 43:13
I think if we can answer that one,
Erinne Zarsadias 43:16
we’d have an answer. Individually, each person’s going to be different. Don’t you agree? Like there is no magic answer to that. You have to listen to what’s important to you, and what works for you. It there’s trial and error to it as well.
Chris Case 43:32
I like to ask the hard questions, guys. What do you think fine?
Svein Tuft 43:36
Well, I think, again, like yeah, there’s there’s no right answer. And each case is different. And the sport attract a certain type of individual, a type A individual who likes to, to get serious and really obsess about things. But again, I think it’s like so much of life and, and that it’s hard to convince to someone who’s in that moment in their life, but it’s about perspective on everything, and how you perceive stress. And I think that’s the biggest factor is if you’re always perceiving everything as a stressor, and like, it’s so hard and you’re having to do so much discipline. It’s just, it’s not a fun way to go through through life, if it’s just about and going back to your comment to Aaron, like, it’s totally true. professionals don’t have to live that way. Yeah, we have to work hard. We have to, like do our training in a specific way. But it comes back to that perspective. How are you going about each day? And just that question, you ask yourself, like you get up in the morning and you’re like, how am I going to look at these things? And I remember that’s how, you know, in Grand Tours, I would I would go do some yoga before each day, spend time outside and in my head. I was trying always trying to assess how I was going to approach each day. What was my my goal for for that time, and it really really helped me kind of understand what were the real goals, not just, if I was just going along with everything else, like in not thinking about it, it was just having that awareness of how I want to approach each day. So it’s, it’s a super complex question, and nothing that I have the answer for. But if I’m going to say anything, it’s to sum it all up. It’s just how do you perceive stress? And what’s your perspective on what your, your actual goal is out of this?
Chris Case 45:30
Playing devil’s advocate here? What if taking it seriously is exactly what brings them joy. Maybe there are other things going on in their life, they just aren’t happy about and I’m making up a scenario that may or may not be plausible, the focus that they can bring to the sport, and that seriousness, is exactly what brings them joy. I think in that case, what would you say in that case, to that person,
Svein Tuft 45:56
I think for some people, you You’re, you’re bang on, they might need that in their life. But I think you have to be careful that you’re not running away from other things. And I think that’s the thing that I get a little leery about when I see, I’ll just speak from my own example of like grown men who have families who have jobs, and they’re obsessing about their bike racing in the local bike race, and they’re living like a professional, and they’re sacrificing other aspects of their life that, you know, I think, just again, my opinion, are more important than their local results and the crit, and I think that’s where it becomes dangerous. So you have to, it’s great, if it’s an outlet, that’s actually like a benefit to your life, and adding some good things to your life, some good value, but it’s not healthy, if it’s taking away from the things that are truly important, which are your family, and how you support that family.
Trevor Connor 46:56
Something that I want to add. So Chris, you know, I started my coaching career working with younger athletes who were trying to go from the amateur to the pro ranks and really enjoyed working with that group. But something that I saw pretty much every single athlete deal with, and it was a career ender for many was that transition from something that had been their enjoyment, their fun their their release, to becoming really serious, and becoming their job. And how hard that was on every almost every athlete, then finding that balance. I’ve rarely saw it be a pro. And they said, now this is my sole focus, and I need to be really serious about it was much more, where do I get my enjoyment in life now, and the ones who couldn’t find that enjoyment, end up quitting and some of that a lot of potential. It was the ones that could either go back to keeping, even though it was now their job keeping cycling fun that were successful or found. Other things to enjoy.
Erinne Zarsadias 48:05
That’s interesting, Trevor, yeah, I could see that happening a lot. Especially these days, with all the technology and gadgets that the young riders are, are using for training, it takes a lot away a lot of the fun. I think Swain and I have discussed this stuff before with the funding group that we work with, with these young riders, like swing and I both started racing, without all those gadgets, and we didn’t have power meters at the beginning. And, and those were the fun days where, you know, you just go out and you hammer and you go back and you’re wrecked. And but you’ve, you know, kicked the crap out of your friends and your training partners and eaten some candy and now you go home and you sleep. And I think today’s generation probably does have a lot of a harder time finding the enjoyment with all those numbers. And it would be a balance of you know, maybe letting the computers go once a week and just going out and having fun with your friends. And remembering those times of just like hammering the hammering the roads and, and having fun on it. Right. And getting back to the basics of just bike riding.
Chris Case 49:09
Alright, now let’s jump over to a clip from Episode 179. Do you need a mentor? This happened to be recorded with Coach Connors mentor, Glen swan. Trevor, tell us a little bit about what we’re going to hear I know it involves this this infamous famous what which one is it Tuesday night race up in Ithaca area.
Trevor Connor 49:31
And I gotta say that the order we put these episodes in, I’m starting to feel like we’ve turned this summary episode to personal therapy session for me. We’re going through my life history here. So I apologize, everybody listening about that. But now this is fun. So this is my original mentor Glen swan. And we had this in Ithaca, New York Tuesday night race, which was still some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. But it played a bit Egg Roll for me for a lot of people into turning them into racers because of the mindset because of how we approached it. It wasn’t just a show up, sit in the field and go for the sprint at the end, there was a whole way that we had to race it.
Chris Case 50:15
Racers make the race right. Yep. Excellent. Well, let’s hear more from Glenn. Now.
Trevor Connor 50:21
I would say Glen to me, and I’m glad we have you for this episode, you are just representative of what a mentor is. So Glen has a bike shop that he runs out of his house. And when I was learning to ride, it’s a shop I went to and you learned very quickly, you didn’t just go up there to buy something and leave. If you walked in there, there was a good chance they were going to serve you dinner and keep you around for an hour. And you’d go up there and you’d talk cycling. And Glenn would tell you things tell you stories explain things to you that he talked about the previous nice race, and he would give you pointers and advice. So you’re kind of going up there and almost getting a class. Glenn also has a couple miles of trails on his property that people come up and ride and ski in the winter. And you set up the Tuesday Thursdays who had a Tuesday night race and a Thursday time trial. And there were unspoken rules that you said about how these were raised.
Glenn Swan 51:17
The fundamental point of our Tuesday night races in particular was to race hard to earn the respect of your peers, by the way you raced, we really didn’t give a damn about who won the race on any given week. If you sucked wheel all day and want to sprint, you didn’t really earn anybody’s respect or friendship. But if you ripped everybody’s arms and legs off all night long, you made the race for everybody else. So we were racing for the respect of our peers. And we also had an incredible group of guys, I wish I could take credit for the Tuesday night race reputation for producing a lot of great racers. But there were a number of guys who were willing to you know, we spent the first month in the springtime doing coaching rides, as opposed to getting right out there and racing. So we were teaching people how to ride in baselines, we are teaching them how to be alert to what’s going on in the the overall pack. We are teaching people how to think in races, and how to ride safely and how to support each other. We don’t have as much of that with the current crop of Tuesday night, guys. But this is one old guy who’s saying, Gee, my era was the golden era. But for everybody, I’m sure their error is the golden era. But bottom line was, there were a bunch of guys that set a very good tone. And we’re emphasizing that a race should be better because you were part of it. And not that we were out there because each one of us wanted to win every race.
Trevor Connor 53:06
There was certainly a tone and Glenn. You know, Glenn said to me, this is one of the biggest compliments he ever received. It was at a race in New England. And race organizer official came up to you and said You can always tell the Ethica riders.
Glenn Swan 53:20
Yeah, they raced in a way that was actually noticeably different. We made races happen.
Chris Case 53:27
It makes me want to know a little bit more about why you had this attitude. And maybe that has to do with a mentor you had in your life.
Glenn Swan 53:38
Well, there was a very influential article, I still have the original copy of it in my desk at home. It was from the New York Times. And I’m forgetting the name of the running doctor. But it was back in the era of well, my housemate Jack Fultz. And Bill Rogers. And all play is where life lives where the game is the game. And that it was recognizing that when we are in a race, when we are in a game, the world melts away. And the game is everything you play as hard as you can. And you try as hard as you can to win or to do what what your goal is. But when the game is over, everybody rejoices in the game that took place. Whether you won or lost didn’t really matter. It was just that you played as hard as you could the world was just the game for that period of time. And then we got back to the real world. And that very much influenced me.
Chris Case 54:40
Alright, and finally, what would a best of 2021 Episode be without a little Dr. Seiler? We’ve got a clip here from Episode 185. Comparing training methods across endurance sports with Dr. Steven Siler Trevor, we’re pulling a clip where we actually make fun of you a little bit for your lack of ability to pronounce a certain word.
Trevor Connor 55:03
Can you believe that I pulled this? Exactly. I figured, like when we were picking these, I’m like, oh, Chris is gonna grab this one. Of course, it’s all five minutes of making fun of me.
Chris Case 55:13
Well, it’s not, it’s not just making fun of you, then we move past it. And there’s some. There’s some fun in here and some learning to do in this clip about I’m not even going to say it. I’m going to wait, I’m not even going to give her
Trevor Connor 55:25
where to where to get me to say no,
Chris Case 55:26
if I can remember, Dino, he gave us a little.
Trevor Connor 55:30
Let me go to my Google Drive. So Morphosis that’s it. Wow, I can actually do this now. Yeah, you certainly. Yeah, I got made fun of but it is a concept that I absolutely love, because it just shows some of the beauty of our physiology that we just don’t over build anything. So yeah, there’s probably some good making fun of me in here. But there’s also some good points.
Chris Case 55:53
Absolutely. As always, honestly, with Dr. Seiler, here he is.
Trevor Connor 55:58
So getting back to comparing the training in these different sports, it’s you’ve definitely demonstrated that they all polarize. But does seem there is one thing that is very different is how volume is added. And that seems to be where Cycling is a bit of a unique sport, because all the other sports do it by frequency of workouts.
Dr. Stephen Seiler 56:21
Yeah, are you mind. So what happens is, it’s almost like cellular proliferation first, the cells get bigger, and then they split. So first, the workouts get longer, but then they reach some some critical links. And then they start splitting up and say, well now and start doing two workouts so and for runners, that’s probably you know, somewhere between 60 and 80 minutes, they’ll or a maybe 90, but they’re not going to do two hour easy runs. That’s a once a week kind of thing. And the same with rowing, you don’t see too many rowers doing to our rows, they’re doing 80 minute rows, 60 minute rows, but they’re doing two of them are two times 8590 minutes. So they’re getting three hours of work. But the younger athletes will do once a day. And then as they get older, we’re going to we’re lengthening their workouts. They’re going from eight kilometers to 10 to 12 to 14. And then we reach some point where we say, Alright, you’ve reached the point where I think we’re going to do two workouts a week or two days a week, you’re going to do doubles. Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready. So that’s that’s the transition. It’s us. First LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, and then split. Cycling doesn’t do the split. It just gets longer longer. But I think we’re seeing some of that split now.
Trevor Connor 57:40
Do you think that’s a good thing? Do you think that this is something other sports have figured out that cycling’s behind the little behind
Dr. Stephen Seiler 57:48
me, I mean, I do think it’s a bit a bit of Winnie the Pooh both wanting to have my cake and eat it, too, that probably there is utility in both, we’re actually gearing up I’ve got a application in the European Union for a big study, looking at precisely this, comparing long four hour rides with two times two hour and actually do it and doing a three hour three week intervention and trying to see if we can tease apart stress responses and adaptive responses to the two different approaches, you know, it’s going to be it’s a tough study to achieve to find enough cyclists that can will and are willing to do this kind of thing. But I think that’s where we’ve got to go. We’ve got to look at not only the adaptations, but also the stress responses and see how the balance has been shifted by these two approaches. In the literature. There’s there’s hands in both directions that yeah, like you I know, you’re a fan of the long sessions. I’ve listened to the podcast about this the long versus two times short, and I think it was really good. And it goes into those weeds and the the pluses and minuses of the two because the longer sessions you in that workout, you generate you amplify some adaptive signals, probably with glycogen depletion, and so forth. Whereas with the two times two type scenario, you create maybe a longer window of responsiveness. So what are the jury’s out? I don’t think there’s a clear answer and probably we’re not going to end up even with some more research we’re probably not going to end up saying nope, cyclists have just been stupid. You know, it was two times two all along you know, it was doubles all along. I don’t think that’s what we’ll find. We’ll find that probably that judicious use of both is a good way to go. Meaning some you know, the cyclist is going to need some need some long rides when they race law.
Trevor Connor 59:39
Chris has given me this look of the jury’s still out on cyclists but Trevor you’ve definitely been stupid.
Dr. Stephen Seiler 59:47
Well, no, I I’m gonna be honest with you guys. And again, I’m the sports scientist I make a living trying to pretend like I’m supposed to be really smart on this stuff. But good grief coaches and athletes have been experimenting on this for decades. So I don’t think they’re stupid. They I don’t think they’ve missed out and just thought we never thought of two times two, you know, we never thought of doing doubles. Of course they have, you know, so, you know, we just have to accept that one of the big issues is cycling does have some long races and a lot of sound time. And so part of that is you got to prepare for that. But I do think that in a modern, you know, with what we’re seeing in with more cross communication between the different sports and that, that we’re seeing some fertilization, some new ideas, and we’re seeing some of our best cyclists are saying, hey, you know, what, I can do doubles. This is good, this can be a good approach, and especially with the advent of these virtual methodologies, where it makes it less boring, you know, there’s a lot of different things that are coming together. Right. And so I think that’s why we’re starting to see more a little bit more flexibility up in the heads of some of our our cyclists. So that’s a good thing. I you know, but I don’t think we’re going to, in five years come out, be able to come back to say, well, we have the answer. It’s complex. And the degree of overlapping the degree of individualization the degree of interaction with nutrition and genetics and so forth, is going to be so significant that I don’t think we’ll see a black and white deal it’ll be it’ll be gray.
Chris Case 1:01:27
That was another episode of fast talk. Subscribe to fast talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcasts and be sure to leave us a rating and a review. The thoughts and opinions expressed on fast talker are those of the individual as always, we’d 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.com/join and become a part of our education and coaching community. For Dr. Oscar you can droop Kristin Armstrong, Jim Miller, Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Patterson, Jeff Winkler, Neil Henderson Swain. Tufte Aaron’s our Sidious Glen Swan, Dr. Steven Siler and Trevor Connor, I’m Chris case. Thanks for listening.