Inside the New Science of Climbing

We turn ourselves into mad scientists and rode several time trials up Boulder climbs with Sepp Kuss to learn the new science of climbing.

To start, we turned ourselves into mad scientists and convinced WorldTour pro Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) to join us. We rode several time trials up a few Boulder climbs in our quest for answers. Joining us for the podcast is Ryan Kohler of the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center, who helped with the experiments on the road.

Episode Transcript



Welcome to fast off the velonews podcast



everything you need to know to write.


Chris Case  00:12

Hello and welcome to Fast Talk. I’m Chris case fellow news managing editor joined as always by my extraordinary co host, Coach Connor. If you’ve read the January February issue of velonews, you surely noticed a feature article written by Trevor Nye trying to answer some big questions about climbing the gist of it. We turned into mad scientists and convinced New World Tour pro set coos who’s now riding for lotto nl Jambo Colorado native to time trial, a few boulder climbs with us in the quest for our answers. Chief among the questions was simply, does climbing come down to power to weight? Does your climbing technique make a difference? In other words, if two riders weigh the same, an average the same wattage? Will they have the same time up a climb regardless of how they ride? answering that question led to several other questions, including how does the riders type affect their climbing? And what’s the difference between pros and amateurs? Let’s not keep it a secret. CEP was a lot faster than us. In fact, he was fantastically fast. In terms of the other questions, however, we discovered what we thought were some surprising answers about how different riders climb how cadence plays a part. And if those basic online calculators you could find really can predict your time up a climb. We also collected a ton of climbing data on all of us, including novel on the road biomechanical analyses. The other thing that surprised us while doing our research for this article is a number of those questions that haven’t been addressed by the current scientific research. A month ago, we posted a podcast discussing discussing what that current research says about climbing. This article is all about what we discovered that the current research doesn’t fully address. That’s why we’re so excited. This special episode of Fast Talk takes a deeper dive into our little experiment than any number of magazine pages ever could. Over the next hour, we’ll go a little more in depth, and maybe in times a little a lot more in depth into our results and what we think they mean. No, our experiment could not be published in the journal Science or nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. But we had a lot of fun. And we discovered some things that we’re very excited about. And most importantly, we hope our turn as mad scientist’s, ultimately helps you all become better climbers. Joining us for both this podcast and someone who helped us an immense amount out on the road is Ryan Kohler of the University of Colorado sports medicine and Performance Center. Ryan was there to test us take our lactate levels at the tops of these climbs laugh at us when we were gagging, and choking and wheezing. And he helped us interpret all the data. We couldn’t have done it without him. We couldn’t have done it without the Performance Center. We thank them profusely for their help. And with that, let’s make you fast at climbing. Hey, Trevor, let me tell you about this really cool life insurance company that specializes in athletes, healthy, active people, cyclists and runners. It’s called health IQ. And they’re able to give us favorable rates for insurance, because we’re so healthy. They have a special website for Fast Talk listeners, www dot health slash Fast Talk while you’re on their site, submit race results screengrabs of your Strava or map my run account or other proof that you’re a regular cyclist, or athlete and get a better quote. That’s a pretty cool product, don’t you think?



What did we really want to look at in this, this study? And maybe Trevor, do you want to sort of outline what we were looking for?


Trevor Connor  04:03

Yeah, I’ll start by saying this is definitely the three of us at our nerdiest, we kind of put on the mad scientist caps and said what what can we do that would be fun with climbing? That hasn’t been done before? Certainly, this isn’t gonna be published in any major journal. It isn’t that sort of quality, but we had a lot of fun exploring things that we couldn’t find answers for anywhere. And we’re as well we’ll kind of talk about through the course of this podcast, found some really kind of cool things that we haven’t seen before. So the driving question that started this whole thing was really wanting to explore this idea of is climbing just power to weight basically, if you average a certain wattage, is that going to determine how fast you go up a climb? Or does the train effect it does the the climbing style effect it? Does the writer effect it? So that was the driving question and that led to A couple other questions. One was about different rider types. So that’s part of the reason we had Chris step and I, Chris and CEP are both pure climbers. I am very, very much the the time traveler style rider, which means I like to just put my head down and go really, really steady and never get out of the saddle. climbers like to get out of the saddle, they like to attack they like to jump. So we want to see if that different style that different type of rider affects how they climb. And then the third question that unfortunately, just naturally came out of this study was looking at the difference between amateurs and pros, because step was clearly a pro rider, Christian I clearly weren’t.



And so many ways he was far superior and more professional than we were.


Trevor Connor  05:49

And is this the point? Can it can I give my excuses now we have to do this before the podcast is over.



Please, Trevor, give us all your many excuses. Yeah. So


Trevor Connor  05:59

first of all, here is one of the differences between pros and amateurs. Sep gave us all his excuses before he did the time trials, and then he absolutely crushed them. Chris and I gave no excuses beforehand. Now we’re into given our excuses. Now we’ve done the time trials. But I am going to say when you hear all my numbers in my defense, I had just arrived at altitude. I had just taken my three week, offseason break, and my back was out. So please don’t judge me by



about to tell you the biggest excuse of all your business, your biggest excuse of all you forgot to mention. What was that? Your old?



Oh, thanks, Chris. Yes. So are you?



I’m not as old. That’s, that’s one of my excuses.


Trevor Connor  06:46

Chris, and his defense was actually sick when we did these time trials.


Chris Case  06:51

Yeah, I Well, I was I was in the midst of cyclocross season. And what for whatever that means. It means I had a lot of practice accelerating out of dirt corners, but climbing legs, so to speak, weren’t really there. But I didn’t perform terribly, I wouldn’t say But yeah, on the second time trial, I was pretty pretty sick, recovering as fast as I could, at least and I think that showed. So hey, Trevor, tell us a little bit more about why we chose the people we briefly discussed that. But then also the particular hills that we chose the segments that we chose,


Trevor Connor  07:30

think the people so simple answer, you and I were crazy enough to do this. And we actually convinced Seth to do it. So that’s our selection of people. But we did talk about the fact that we wanted a couple contrast, we definitely wanted to pro you know, somebody at the highest level to see how they climb. And we definitely want it to be able to compare that time traveler versus the climber. Since Sep is at a much higher level than I am. It wasn’t a great point of comparison. Looking at me versus CEP, Chris and I are usually pretty similar level. When we did this, we originally going to do these time trials in the summer. At that point, Chris, and I would have been pretty much the same level. We weren’t quite the same level when we did it because Chris, as you pointed out, you are on top form for cyclocross, and I was just coming off of my offseason, but you still get that good contrast looking at you and I have the time trial style rider versus the climbing style rider. So for the climbs, we use three climbs but we’re really focusing on two of them which is Flagstaff and left hand and anybody who has been to Boulder Colorado, you know, these climbs they’re they’re pretty famous. Flagstaff is very twisty. It’s a good Alpe d’Huez type climb, it’s very variable grade, you have stretches that are just four percents, you have stretches that are get up to 16 to 18%. So it is a climbers climb. If you go on Strava, you’ll see a lot of top names in that top 20 on the on the list. For me, it was a 30 minute climb for Sep not so much. So we’ll call it a 30 minute too much faster time. Lefthand we basically took a segment of that climb because the whole climb itself takes an hour and a half. So we used a segment that was about similar time to Flagstaff. And interestingly, it’s starting altitude and finishing altitude was virtually identical to the Flagstaff segment. And if you’re in Boulder, and you want to try these, we mark these segments in in Strava, but the idea here was to get to climbs in that 25 minute to 30 minute range, one being very steep and variable, left hand is just kind of this steady, mostly five to 6% grade the whole way up. It does get a little steeper at points, but it’s a quite consistent grade climb. So we want to compare those two



times and I think it’s even cooler. closer to 4%. On average,


Trevor Connor  10:01

it is not steep, and it does not change. Yeah, the other one that we threw in there just to experiment a little bit, or get a little more data was part of what’s called Magnolia. The whole climb is 30 minutes and ridiculously steep, we use the steepest, 10 minutes stretch of that climb. So it was just painful. And it was basically to see just how fast each of us could climb,


Chris Case  10:26

maybe we can move on to some of the interesting. Well, there wasn’t that much equipment that isn’t available to most people, we obviously had our power meters or heart rate monitors. Something that maybe not everybody can do on their own is we were taking lactate levels out in the field. And Ryan was helping with that. But I’m kind of curious to have Ryan describe the Leo mo devices that were used to get some interesting biomechanical data from Trevor and set on some of the climbs. So yeah, maybe Ryan, could you describe the lemo devices for us?



Sure, they’re the Luma devices were for sort of very large garmins that focus on picking up biomechanical data. So we had each rider outfitted with accelerometers. And in some different areas on the body, we had, we had two on a thigh, one on the low back, and two more on the feet. And that just gave us a good kind of lower body overview of what was going on as they were climbing. And the Lima devices pick up a ton of data, the file sizes for a short ride are massive. So we get a lot of data from throughout the entire pedal stroke. Yeah, we have those on everyone as they were doing the climbs. And basically, it’ll it’ll pick up things like ranges of motion and the legs and the feet. They’ve got maximums, minimums averages, we can see maximum and minimum of what, oh, sorry, angles and all kinds of motion. Yeah. So we’ll see how those angles change over time. And then we have things like pelvic tilt, and rotation in there as well. So it really just allows us to get a lot of data for you know, how the body’s moving over those climbs with even small changes in in terrain, or, you know, when fatigue starts to set in, we can see those changes come up mechanically. So it’s a great way to just sort of dig deeper into some of the data as since we had lactate data, at the end, we knew how hard people were going. But lilyana devices allowed us to get a better sense for their pedaling style and, and see what types of riders had like how they pedal differently. And see if there were any changes that would indicate any fatigue or anything else like that as they were climbing.


Trevor Connor  12:44

I’m sure a lot of people are gonna say, at some point when they read the article, oh, well, wheels would have made a difference, or this bike would have made a difference. We really tried to eliminate that as a factor. Yes, equipment was was probably can affect your climbing. But we basically standardize all of us, we are all in very similar race bikes with very similar race wheels. So that wasn’t really going to be something that differentiated one of us. We are also all using our own power meters and power meters are notoriously variable, you have two power meters, they’re going to read differently. What we did try to do thanks to Ryan is, when we tested in the lab to find our physiological thresholds, we actually did it on our own bikes. So we made sure that the the power meter that recorded our physiological threshold was the same one that we were using for the time trials to at least get that consistency. The other thing was nice, as Ryan tested all of us on the same wahoo kicker. So we could at least see how we, each of our power meters varied from that wahoo and Ryan, maybe correct me on this. But when I when we looked at the data, for example, my threshold on the wahoo was 300 watts, my threshold on the My power meter was 300 watts. So I seem to be right on with the wahoo with CEP, his threshold on the I’m trying to remember this, I believe his wahoo threshold was 330. And his threshold on his power meter was 326. I might have those reverse. They were definitely 326 and 330.



They were close. Yeah, he was in that range.


Trevor Connor  14:30

Chris was the one that we saw a big variance on the wahoo he was



broke the machine.



Power too much power.


Trevor Connor  14:39

You know, that’s what you were saying about CEP. Remember, as you know, Brian after the test he like he just wouldn’t stop. But Chris was to add on the wahoo and 267 on his power meter. So that was a about a 6% difference and his So his power meter on his bike was reading low. And that’s going to be important later because when we did all the calculations it based on his his bikes power meter, it kept under estimating him his times.


Chris Case  15:14

And some of that information or some of the, basically, the fact that my power meter was reading low was was backed up by the prediction calculators that you used online by calculate what are the names of them again, Trevor, cycling and bike


Trevor Connor  15:34

So we use bike calculator comm that we ended up using the the article we I tried to use analytics cyclist, but there’s a lot of information that you need to put in there like very particulars of the air pressure, the rating, the kind of basically the gradient of the road, not the steepness, but but how rugged The road is, for lack of a better word, there were a lot of things that we didn’t have the information for. So I really couldn’t get decent predictions off analytics cycliste


Chris Case  16:03

back up for just a second, what we were looking to see is does it come down to power to weight and they’re these these websites have engines where you plug in some variables and it will spit out a predicted time based on those variables, length, grade, etc. And we wanted to see how accurately they would predict our our time’s


Trevor Connor  16:24

right. The other reason we ended up tossing analytic cyclus is for the article, thinking of our listeners, by calculators kind of nice that you put in it. Things like where you in the drops, or where you on the hoods. It’s very user friendly, where analytics cyclist is asking things like, please give your your exact frontal area which nobody’s know. So it looks like it’s fantastic. fantastic tool if you have all that information, but but most people aren’t going to have that information. So we went with a tool that that any of our listeners are and our readers would be able to use. And the really interesting thing about bite calculator is all the variables were the same for all three of us, except for two things, our power and our weight.



And what did we find? I mean, we found some pretty incredible results with that in terms of the accuracy of their predictions, basically spot on. Right?


Trevor Connor  17:23

So bearing in mind, we use very different types of climbs, we have very different styles of riders. And when all you do is put in an average wattage that doesn’t say anything about what was this person style, were they standing up, were they sitting down, were they punching over the steep parts and then slowing down on the easy parts are where they’re trying to hold a consistent wattage. None of that goes into average power. So considering the fact that the only things that differed between the three of us were that entry for average power, and our weight, and we came into the lab before we did the time trials and Ryan would weigh us full kit with our bike so exactly what we would weigh out on the road. So you look at my results on left hand, my actual time was 2901. My predicted time on bike calculator was 2903. On Magnolia, my actual time was 1251. My predicted time was 1251. I was actually the one anomaly where it under guessed my time on Flagstaff but it was still pretty good. So my actual time was 30 minutes, eight seconds. My predicted time was 30 minutes, 22 seconds. In the case of step, it underestimated his times and all three climbs. But on all three climbs it was by exactly seven seconds.



It’s pretty interesting. It’s pretty damn accurate.


Trevor Connor  18:52

So for example on Flagstaff he did 2345 his estimated time was 2338.



He really needs to go faster. I mean 2338 would be much more impressive to me.


Trevor Connor  19:10

So after all, those expectations



said come on.


Trevor Connor  19:13

So here’s our quick side note set before hands like I don’t want to do this. I don’t want people seeing my numbers in November. I’m so out of shape right now. This is a famous climb. This is a climb that a whole ton of pros have done on Strava CEP goes out and it’s 32 degrees out it’s cold. We’re all bundled up. And he sets the second fastest time on flags.



At least on Strava.


Trevor Connor  19:39

The only time that is faster than him on Strava is Tom Danielson and Tom Danielson set that two days after getting busted for doping.


Chris Case  19:47

Well, I talked to step yesterday in fact, and he was like No, I really wasn’t writing much. The numbers based on previous year compared to previous years. You know, I was pretty I was pretty low and similar to where I have been in the past. So terms of her his perception he was in, you know, the place you would expect him to be at in November, which is not great shape, and to set that time to ride that fast. feeling that way, at that time of the year, I have a lot of I’m excited to see what he can do in the world tour. He’s probably going to get his head kicked in a little bit this first year, maybe years after that, but he obviously has some incredible natural talent.


Trevor Connor  20:32

So basically, what we’re saying is with what we’re seeing from this guy, keep an eye on him. Yeah, it’s impressive. Yes, so just rounding it out. So this was almost even more proof for me, Chris, your times estimated times were way over what you actually did. So for example, in Flagstaff, your time was 2701, your bike calculator time was 2818. But on all three climbs, it came up with a time that was about 5%. Slower, which and going back to what we talked to talked about just a minute ago, with the power meters, your power meter was under reading by if the wahoo kicker was accurate, your power meter was under reading about five 6%.


Chris Case  21:22

Right? Okay. So in a lot of ways, this information probably isn’t surprising to people. A lot of people would say weight or power to weight is what it takes to be a good climber. Maximizing that ratio. And having a good power to weight ratio is is really what it comes down to. And we only confirm that with our little experiment, or at least part of our experiment. What’s really interesting, I think, is how we got there and and what we found when we dug a little deeper into the data, and we looked at how we rode these particular climbs.


Trevor Connor  22:02

But before we move on, I just want to emphasize this, this was surprising to me, it was shocking how accurate these estimated times, were. Considering the the few variables that we put into these, these tools, I really did not expect to see that sort of accuracy. That was shocking to me,


Chris Case  22:24

it might be my experience with our record and plugging numbers into a formula. Totally, totally different scenario. But I’ve been through this before and have seen what you can do with these calculators. So maybe that’s part of why I’m not as shocked. But that being said, to have it literally predict your time to the second on Magnolia is is is pretty shocking. You’re right, you’re right. And within two seconds for 30 minute climb up left hand.


Trevor Connor  22:54

Yeah. Especially because when I looked at the tool, it was just things like, are you on the hood? So are you are you in the drops versus analytic cyclists where you gotta get in frontal area? It’s asking for all these really



sign variables and temperature. Yeah, wind speed. And and by calculators


Trevor Connor  23:11

like, no. And are you on tubulars? Or are you on knobby tires? Those were the things and it was really very simple to answer questions. And I was putting all this stuff in going, it ain’t even gonna be close. So I will tip my hat to the crater, a bite calculator, He impressed me.


Chris Case  23:33

All right, moving on. Let’s talk a little bit more about what we found. When we dug a little deeper into the data, I thought unfortunate that we can’t Well, at some point, you will see this either online or in the magazine, these heat maps that you created. And maybe maybe you want to talk about how you created them Trevor, and then we can dig into the details of what they’re showing us and so pull out some of the most interesting findings there.


Trevor Connor  23:59

First of all, I will tip my hat to the folks over at training peaks. This is a variation on a graph that they created and Wk IO that I spent some time modifying for article but it’s a pretty cool graph and basically what it does is you you take your training zones your power training zones, and it color codes them because if you ever look at a graph of your power, it’s very quite variable line and it’s really hard to see what’s going on with your power you can’t look at a power line and just go Okay, so right now the you are in zone two now you’re in sweet spot now you were up at threshold. So it helps with that it basically anytime you’re in your threshold range, it color codes that yellow if you are in your vo two max range of color codes, that orange sweet spot is this more kind of beige ish color, what people think of a zone to what I call a robot threshold is green and then that easy lsds zone One pace is green. And finally, when you’re above vo, two Max, when you’re an anaerobic capacity, it’s just a deep red. So you can take a look at the article and see the heat maps of our different time trials. But it really showed both the differences between the time travel style rider and the climber style rider. And it also showed the difference between a very experienced pro and Chris and I.


Chris Case  25:29

Yeah, so if you were looking at Trevor’s, for example, starts off, and he’s in the red. But generally, if you just glanced at this thing, you’d quickly understand that he was spending a lot of time in those couple of those yellow or shades. And that meant that he was writing at threshold essentially, are very close to it. You know, and then you look down at ceps graphic, and it’s entirely red, and orange, deep orange. And that’s, it’s just an instant read of what’s going on in terms of where they’re riding at.


Trevor Connor  26:06

And this was one of the really important discoveries that we made when you’re looking at a climber versus a time trial time trials. So we felt at least for our article, we answered this question that yeah, it comes down to power to weight. But that did raise the second question of, so are you doomed to whatever power is measured as your your lactate threshold? So for example, in the lab, my lactate threshold was measured at, I think it was 310. So it was a 300. Thank you. So am I destined to go up a climb at 300 watts. And you do see at least we saw a difference in the style of rider. So let’s start with kind of the obvious one, I’m the time travel style rider. And it seems In my case, I’m somewhat destined, or limited by my my physiological threshold, you always expect somebody to do a 20 minute 20 to 30 minute time trial a little over their physiological threshold. And that’s exactly what I did. So my physiological threshold was 300. And what was really interesting was on both Flagstaff and lefthand, the two long climbs, I average, exactly 319 watts, which was about 100 and 506%, of my physiological threshold. So in a little over, not a lot. And it seems In my case, as the time trial style writer, I have that limit, I have that line, I just right at it. And I’m kind of stuck there. It was a very different story with with Chris and Sep. They didn’t seem to be as limited. CEP was quite phenomenal on on Flagstaff, his physiological threshold was 330 watts on Flagstaff, he averaged 387 watts. So way above his physiological threshold that was Christina said that was 119% of his 17 and



a half percent above lactate threshold. Yeah,


Trevor Connor  28:02

you weren’t quite as dramatic, but you were pretty darn close.



So yeah, 267 in the lab, and 309.



Up Flagstaff for seven minutes.



Right 115.6%.


Trevor Connor  28:18

But then you look at your left hand climbs. And, interestingly, that came down, both of you on the flatter steadier climb, average closer to like 110 111% of your threshold. So it was lower power closer to your physiological threshold. So you weren’t as consistent as I was, I seem to there’s a lock in, you guys seem to have that ability on the steeper more variable climbs to exceed your physiological threshold. And there were some clues to why that was in the heat maps. And Chris, as the climber, you should probably be the one one addressing this.


Chris Case  28:59

Yeah, I think you look at the heat maps, there’s a gradient line on there. So you can actually see where the the gradient is changing, getting steep. And you’ll notice that both Seth and I have these these bursts of power, where we’re charging up steeper sections, at least in part, but we’re not paying a physiological price, especially in comparison to someone like Trevor, he really pays a price if he goes too far above threshold Hill, essentially, he blows up. You see that on both the heat map and what we’ll talk about in a little bit. You see that in his his form on the bike, which we discovered through the lemo device in the biomechanics. So it’s really interesting that when when you compare second eye on Flagstaff, versus our efforts on left hand, we actually in a sense, struggled More when the gradient is consistent. And I think that’s, I know we’re jumping ahead. But that’s really one of the more interesting findings of all of this stuff is the hypothesis that you came up with Trevor, based on this information? I don’t know if you want to share that now.


Trevor Connor  30:19

Yeah, so that was fascinating when we added in the the lactate data. And Ryan, thanks again, for sitting there at the top of some cold climbs and taking our lactate levels. But again, you saw with me is the time trailer, I had very consistent wattage and I had pretty consistent lactates at the end of each climb. So Ryan, why do you Why would you take a lactate at the end of these climbs? What is that showing you?



Yeah, I mean, that way, you know, we’ll, we’ll end up seeing just how hard you were going. And yeah, the easy job, even though it’s cold, you guys are doing all the hard work. But yeah, lactate, so give us an idea. Since these columns are relatively short, you know, it’ll just give us a good sense for how hard you guys were going. But yeah, maybe we saw the higher lactates in more of the the pure climbers with Steph and Chris. And then, and you were a little bit lower with that, which would indicate that, you know, you’re, you know, you’re you’re pacing yourself, and you don’t produce a lot of lactate. But one thing I don’t think we’ve we’ve talked about too much is just the training habits across all three riders, either. You know, and that’s, that’s maybe another question, you know, to think about, with, with Chris coming off of cross season, you know, you see have a better ability at this point to push those shorter, harder efforts where you train more like a time trials, like this long, steady, you know, is that going to limit you over time? And I know, we saw some pretty cool things with your lactate data from the lab that might have indicated, you know, it was a partly your training as a partly your genetics, you know, just what you’re predisposed to where you’re, you’re just going to pace yourself more and produce less lactate, and you’re just somehow better adapted to, yeah, to ride that edge, but not go over it. Whereas, Chris and Seth, I mean, Seth, Seth is obviously hugely gifted with his physiology. So even, you know, on his essentially offseason time here, he’s he’s still able to push really hard, you know, it with Chris is part of his training plan. It is what he sort of geared toward. I wonder about that, too.


Trevor Connor  32:19

Yeah. So I mean, I’ll tell you what, me my, my lactate levels are naturally pretty low. And that’s typical of the more time travel style rider where Chris and Sarah are both getting up to 910 mil millimoles per liter, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in my life. Which again, is consistent with some of the research on the climber style rider, they can hit those higher lactates and tolerate them. If I start hitting six, I’m toast. I don’t have anything left in my legs. Yeah, you made a good point, Ryan. I mean, the there is a training aspect. There’s also the fact that I was not acclimated in anybody can tell you when you go to altitude and you’re not acclimated, you can’t go above threshold that just kills you. So I was certainly it took my normal time, trial style, physiology, and kind of exaggerated.


Chris Case  33:10

All that being said, it the data shows that Steph and I were working harder, but not able to go as high above our lactate threshold, generally speaking, is that and that’s kind of the basis for this. climbers may thrive in terrain that allows them to push above threshold and then back off, clear it, push again, back off, clear it and vary their pace in order to perform at a higher level in a sense,


Trevor Connor  33:45

right? No, that was that was really cool. So remember, on both the long climbs, I averaged the exact same wattage, my lactate, my peak lactate on Flagstaff. So the right the end of the climb was was 4.6 millimoles per liter. Left hand It was 6.1. So it was a little higher in left hand. But we did left and a week later we did Flagstaff just a couple days after I arrived at altitude. And one of the the adaptations acute adaptations to altitude after about a week is actually an improvement in your anaerobic metabolism. So you would expect me to be able to hit a little higher lactate levels in that second week. So for all intents and purposes, my lactates were the same. Chris and Sep averaged lower power on left hand. But on Flagstaff, their lactates were 6.4 and 5.6. So more in line with mine left hand where they essentially did not perform as well, relative relative to me, they performed worse. Their lactates on left hand were 9.4 and 9.8. So they weren’t performing as well but physiologically their body was their bodies were struggling more Which was absolutely fascinating. So yeah, my theory that as Krishna said, or our theory was this, the being able to vary their pace for climbers is critical to be able to manage lactate levels to be able to maintain homeostasis, but the Rhine What do you think?



Yeah, I agree. It seems like there’s it would be really interesting to take more lactate samples for Chris and Steph, I think throughout something like Flagstaff climb. Where Yeah, I mean, we see so many times where their heat maps are above threshold, you know, they do seem to almost need that, that variability to where they can push hard sustain higher lactate, activate that glycolytic system and utilize that strength of theirs. And then when they do back it down, in some of those lighter sections, it just clears so quickly, and yeah, they really do need that. But it would be interesting to see if for you I’m sure you’re lactase were pretty similar throughout based on your pacing, but yeah, with Chris and Sarah and if we would see some bigger swings in that just based on their on their heat maps. Yeah, they just they just need that to allow their body to kind of physiologically do its thing, you know,



future experiments.






Girl coming out.


Trevor Connor  36:06

Well, you even saw it in in our descriptions. This was kind of fun. I remember we are at the top of Flagstaff, we all started talking about the wall. So anybody who’s done Flagstaff when you get to about the 22 for me when you get to about the 20 minute mark. five minute mark, maybe I don’t know. Yeah. 15? Yeah, you hit this wall that is 16 17%. It’s three minutes, but it looks like 10 It feels like 10 minutes a death. Yeah, it kills you. It is the last time I ever had to get off a bike and walk up a climb was that climb was that wall several years,



when was that?


Trevor Connor  36:46

That would have been 2003.



Okay, so a while back a while back.


Trevor Connor  36:52

And I got to the top and I was like the wall killed me. Because I had to go over threshold, I had to go into that anaerobic capacity range that that read on the heat map. And I blew up, I was done. From that point forward, I was crawling to the finish line. And while I’m sitting there complaining about the wall as the time trailer steps, like I was so happy when I got to the wall, because then I could just go really hard for a bit.


Chris Case  37:21

You see that? You see that on the heatmap? That’s for sure. There’s a giant, giant spikes of red all where the where the wall is, and it doesn’t actually fade away too much after that.


Trevor Connor  37:33

No, that’s what’s amazing. He goes right back to that orange vo to max range, where you look at me, I Go Red for a little bit. And then all of a sudden, you’re seeing blues and greens, I am just crawling after that wall. And that’s I think the one of the big differences between that time style style writer and that climber, the climber does better if they can vary the pace if they can take advantage of their ability to tolerate those high lactate levels, as long as they have moments when they can back off, where I performed relatively better on the very steady climb, because I could just lock in my power and sit there.



Jerry, you’ve been putting in some big miles recently, I saw your Strava account and what was it 800 miles he wrote last week.


Trevor Connor  38:27

You really want to exaggerate it that much, Chris? Yes, I did put in 800 miles. I was just and then I worked a 70 Hour Workweek and I slept one hour a night.



Yeah, well, that’s actually not an exaggeration. And this


Trevor Connor  38:41

is why I will never get life insurance.



Speaking of life insurance, health IQ is a life insurance company that specializes in healthy, active people like cyclists, runners, and people like you, Trevor,


Trevor Connor  38:53

maybe not me.



In any case, they’re able to give us favorable rates for life insurance. And they have a special website just for us Fast Talk listeners, www dot health Slash Fast Talk, listeners of the show can go there for a free quote. While you’re there, submit race results screengrabs of your Strava or map my run account or other proof that you are indeed a regular cyclist and get a better quote.


Chris Case  39:25

One thing that’s interesting too, about the so the wall is the defining feature in a way of Flagstaff, it’s steep, but I think it’s too long for another tactic that came out of the data that self employed to improve his climbing which was pushing not on this deepest parts but over the steepest part. So you see that early on in his data or in his heat map where you have to compare gradients to to power and you’ll notice that it’s not so much on this steepest parts that he’s he’s locking into a nice pace, a nice hard pace on the steepest parts. But it’s when he starts to crest that he really delivers a dose of power. And there’s, if you’re going up a steep section, a very steep section, and you add 50 watts of power, maybe you go a mile or two per hour, mile per hour faster. But if you wait until you’re cresting, and you really give the power then and accelerate over the top, you might put in 50 watts more power there, but you might actually accelerate three to four miles per hour. I don’t know if there’s any physics science to back that up. But it just makes logical sense to me that that is a really smart way to use the drain to your advantage.



Right? Yeah, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard any science or physics behind it. But I know even running when I was younger, in Yeah, learning to race on the road. And running even it was, that was one of the key things that better athletes would always tell me is, Hey, you know, when you’re getting this off, it’s sort of what we fall back into. And you know, whenever the body is getting weak, are overloaded, and we want to recover. You know, we just Oh, it’s easier here. Let’s slow down, as opposed to No, let’s push a little more and get carry momentum.



Yeah, and I think Nordic skiers use this quite a bit as well, you know, they’re able to glide over top in a different way than maybe a cyclist would, but they are going to go steadier on the climb, and then really give it a good push as they crest.


Trevor Connor  41:37

So the one theory I had, and this is I’m sure somebody will write in and absolutely destroyed us. Because I’m drawing on memory for many of you thrive on that abuse, though, don’t you? I love that abuse. So please, somebody totally prove me wrong here. But I vaguely remember that when you relate velocity and acceleration to power, that velocity has a squared relationship to power where acceleration has a cubic relationship to parent



alert, nerd alert.


Trevor Connor  42:08

So there’s Yes, my math of the day. But the point being here, when you are on that that steep part of a climb, you’re not really accelerating, you’re just going to steady pace. When you come over the top, because the grade is decreasing, you are gonna even if you hold a steady power, you’re going to accelerate. So if power has a bigger impact on acceleration than velocity, if you have a moment where you’re going to go over threshold and push a higher wattage, use it where it’s going to have a bigger impact, which is on acceleration. So don’t use it on the steady part of the climb, where really, you might accelerate a little bit. But as soon as you finish putting out that big bit of power, you’re going to slow right back down, use it coming over the top to really enhance your acceleration, get up to speed and then go back to holding that that more steady threshold power.


Chris Case  43:01

One of the other things that I know you’ll love to talk about Trevor is the sort of the sense of someone’s limits, but particularly set, he had a great sense of his his limits, and he didn’t go over them and he was within a particular ride. The best Pacer not best pace or between efforts, but within an effort. He wouldn’t go too hard too early, he would be very consistent throughout. Whereas you and I, particularly me, I went out way too hard. And I think here’s one of those excuses. In cyclocross, the start is extremely important. You go out really hard. I maybe that had some bearing on why I was going out so damn hard, but it backfired. You know, you go out, you blow up a little bit. It’s hard to recover on a climb. It’s hard to recover at altitude and you pay that that price.


Trevor Connor  43:58

I was certainly the most consistent across efforts, meaning if you want to use an analogy, I’m that guy that no matter what restaurant I walk into, I order the same thing at every single restaurant. So it didn’t matter if it was a 30 minute climb. It didn’t matter if it’s a 12 minute climb didn’t matter if it was variable or consistent. I just went okay. 320 watts, let’s hold it.



So what’s your what’s your meal of choice like a BLT or?


Trevor Connor  44:28

Let’s save that for attrition episode.



That’s our next podcast fast up. Trevor’s lunch choices.


Trevor Connor  44:36

So this gets into that whole and Brian, please. Since since Chris and I have a little bit of ego at stake here jumping in at any point. But the difference between a pro and not pros Chris and I how’s that sound?



sounds fine. I’m not definitely not a dream. I seem as if you’re a pro,


Trevor Connor  45:02

I still go into the pro races, I just get dropped a lot more now.



Whatever works for you, Trevor.


Trevor Connor  45:11

But what was absolutely fascinating with seps profiles of his time trials is you you look at his heat map and you go, this guy doesn’t know how to pace he was going up in anaerobic capacity range constantly, he was way above threshold, he’s absolutely going to blow up. And then when we just did his, the the trend line for his power and cadence, they were perfectly flat perfectly horizontal, he did not, you know, even though you see variance in his power is the average power that he was holding did not change throughout each time trial. The only place it was different was on the the 12 minute or 10 minute for him climb up Magnolia, where you actually saw his power go up over the course of the climb. Chris and I over all the climbs, you saw a downward sloping trend line in both our power and arcades. We both blew up to at least some degree on these time trials. So we did not pace ourselves nearly as well as set paced himself.


Chris Case  46:17

And this all this information Actually, it’s interesting. It corresponds with our perception of, of all of this stuff. In a sense, we wrote brief summaries of of how we felt sort of diary entries of our pacing our sensations during the climbs, and it matches up. I knew as soon as I was done with flags that I went out to heart, I knew it. And I I also described some of the the bursts that I put in and things like that. But it’s it’s pretty, it’s pretty interesting that our perceived effort matched up quite well with the data.


Trevor Connor  46:54

Yeah, no, we were we were all aware of what we were doing. You were particularly aware of the fact that you are in cross mode right now. So you were destroying those first two minutes?


Chris Case  47:04

Yeah, I think at one point I was beating left, set up left hand for like the first four kilometers, I actually increased my gap because we didn’t start at the same time. We had a minute in between each of us. And yeah, I pulled away from step on left hand for first 4k and then



went off a cliff. see a change in your heat maps there?



Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s probably when he noticed that when he passed me, but there’s definitely if you see any giant holes in my data, where I don’t I stop pedaling. It’s because step past me. While instagramming and whistling.



This is a thing he would not change. And yes, were the great lead up even on shallower grades. He’s still he still pushed out. That was like his, his go time.


Chris Case  47:54

Yeah, there. Yeah, exactly. And he actually he did. He mentioned that, in his his, sort of his his thoughts and summary of his effort was, he was looking on left hand for spots where he could surge like he does on a variable climb like flags that they’re fewer and farther between. But he sort of tried to employ that strategy, and obviously, fairly effectively, not as effectively.


Trevor Connor  48:22

Yeah. So just because I’m not done making fun of you, Chris, we actually on Strava, you can put each of our efforts overlay them on top of one another. So you can see where we if we started at the same time where we would be relative to one another. And on all three time trials, there was a point right near the beginning of the time trial where Chris was in the lead



telling you, you got to race more cyclocross races, and you’ll know what it’s like, this start is important.


Trevor Connor  48:55

I have done a few I get it and I get the during class modes. That’s That’s how your


Chris Case  49:01

brain? Yep. So I think the other really fascinating piece that came out of our little study here was the the biomechanical data we got from the lemo devices, and Ryan’s the most familiar with the technology and the data and interpretating it so why don’t you tell us a little bit more about that?



Sure. So between Seth and Trevor, I think they were the only the only ones we had some good data on. Yeah, we can see pretty clearly were set just also he had an extremely smooth pedal stroke and sort of a nice, you know, footprint of pro rider had this level to you know, we see that Trevor’s overall he has, you know, on the on the left side, some some dead spots in there pretty consistent areas.


Trevor Connor  49:47

Just to clarify here we’ve beaten up in the fact that I was the slowest we beaten up the fact that I blew up on the climb. So now let’s also beat up on the fact that I have a horrible pedal stroke is Is there any else we want to make fun of before we’re done today, please, at this point, I’ve got nothing to lose. So let’s go.



Well, maybe I mean, we’ve probably seen worse, but



maybe maybe once or twice.


Trevor Connor  50:13

Wow, that is the nicest compliment I’ve gotten the whole time.



We have seen worse. You know what, in your defense you did I know you were having some some back issues at the time, which definitely affects your vote, you can see how it’s affecting your pedal stroke. But yeah, I think WhatsApp, it just it just shows how when he’s at those high wattage is we know he’s out of the saddle attacking at that point, you know, that see? So maybe we see those dead spots showing up at that time, when he’s seated like that. He’s extraordinarily smooth. Yeah, I think with with yours, Trevor? Yeah, it was just, we saw, you know, some consistency throughout there. But once we once you got down on on some of those deeper sections that sort of seemed to kind of throw you off your game there a little bit where, you know, maybe you had to get up and stand a little more. Any, it just took you out of that ability to hold your steady pace, then yeah, your biomechanics started to break down a little bit more.


Trevor Connor  51:08

So that piece was pretty interesting. It’s also interesting that you when you look at that pelvic angle that really shows when somebody is standing up or seated, how actually how rarely set stood up. And it was really just those moments to attack over the climbs, where, again, to make fun of myself, you saw me being much less consistent getting where I’m talking right now about Magnolia I was in and out of the saddle a lot more, you can see I was struggling a lot more.



Yeah, we can see really clearly, if we look more into the viola data, especially on Magnolia steps, he had some very distinct changes in his pelvic angle. And and they were all very similar, like you see these little spikes when it when the angle changes. And you can see they’re very focused moments. And then when we look at years, we see initially, you know, some some changes in there somewhere that those spikes are a little bit higher. Other times they seem a little bit subdued. So it, it would indicate to me that Yeah, as you’re struggling with those above threshold efforts, that is changing your biomechanics, more or less steps biomechanics chain don’t change as much. Does that make sense? It does. I’m



curious if you have any thoughts on why that would be? So?



Trevor’s kind of so yeah, when when those spots where we kind of we see your pelvic angle change? I mean, it’s sort of where your core is that you’re sort of wrestling the polar bear up there, right. On the bike?



Good way to put it.



Yeah. Whereas Steph is he seems to maintain those biomechanics. And he, you know, he gets to the same angles each time, you know,



when he was laying a squirrel, at least very easy. He’s got a broadsword, he just destroyed that thing.


Trevor Connor  52:43

The thing that you showed me, that was absolutely fascinating to me, because you have this this circular graph that shows where your dead spots are happening on your pedal stroke, and at what wattage is, and you see, in my case, real issues with my left leg. And my back problem is unilateral. So that really shows that Yep, back problem is just taking me apart. But you look at seps. And just almost no dead spots. And Ryan, you pointed this out, but really the only time you It seems that you saw dead spots in his stroke was at lower cadences higher wattage is, which tended to be the moments he was standing up. Is that correct?



Yeah, that’s what it seemed like. But even though there’s dead spots, they didn’t seem to affect them that much. In some cases, yeah, it was a little bit more or less side than right side. But it’s really, they seem really spread out where we get kind of that that shotgun appearance of things, they seem very spread out. Whereas in others, we see that like, on your Magnolia, we can see they’re a little more focused in certain areas. So it almost I almost look at that, as you know, yes, he has dead spots. But they’re, they’re very small, they might affect him minimally throughout the pedal stroke, as opposed to having like one huge area to worry about. But


Trevor Connor  53:59

yeah, seems to have it on those lower cadences where you look at mine. And on that left leg, the coming over the top of the pedal stroke is just a solid green color.



Yeah, even with SAP, I mean, in general, too, we really don’t see a lot of dark blues. So I mean, it speaks to his ability to just hold that higher cadence. And he’s very well adapted to that. Whereas I feel like yeah, and that might be one of those differences with pros versus amateurs. And we see this, I mean, now that it’s indoor cycling season, you know, we always see people there are a lot of kickers and whenever the you know the power is driven up there first go to because it’s flat is Oh, let’s go to 100 RPM to get through this interval, as opposed to you know, allowing that force to develop over the pedals and, you know, learning to produce more force on the pedals like that. So when they do go outside in the spring and summer and then get on Flagstaff and Magnolia there. It’s not like this shock to the system. When, you know, when they get on a 16% grade and all of a sudden, their body breaks down because they’re at 55 years. 60 RPMs, which was really addressed because we talked with Seth about that he


Trevor Connor  55:03

said that in training on climbs, he spent a lot of time working on Katyn. So he loves these intervals where he’ll do a couple minutes at like 50 RPM, and then a couple minutes at 110 rpm and he just goes back and forth, always the same wattage that will work on both the high cadence and the low cadence. But what we couldn’t get into the article, we didn’t have the space as much as we wanted, was when he’s actually time trialing. It was remarkable compared to Chris and I, how high a cadence he held and how consistent his cadence would only vary about 20 RPM, even on climbs like Magnolia and, and Flagstaff and where you would see Chris and I getting down towards bogging out bogging down, basically hitting 50 rpm. I don’t think CEP ever dropped below 60.


Chris Case  55:52

I think that that speaks to the fact that he wasn’t going as low as us. So he was able to maintain a higher cadence given his gears which he wasn’t writing anything special, you know, in terms of race gears, but we probably should have if we want it to be at our at our best on a climb like Magnolia. So it speaks to the fact that if you really want to be a good climber, you should, there might be a point where your ego should be set aside, and you get the gearing and the compact crank set or the the combination of gears from back that works for you, your terrain, and your skill set.


Trevor Connor  56:34

And this so when we did look at the research on climbing, I looked for studies that explored biomechanical differences between climbing and riding on the flats. And there were a couple that found differences found differences in muscle firing patterns. So initially, it did look like climbing was different, but then when they they factored in cadence, those differences went away. So the conclusion of one of these studies was that, yes, we have different different muscle firing patterns climbing, but it’s entirely due to the fact that our cadence drops when we climb. And the other thing they showed in the study is it’s less efficient. So the conclusion of the study was, learn how to keep a higher cadence climbing, if you can, because you’re you’re potentially going to climb better and the more you can actually have your your cadence on a climb look like your cadence on the flats, potentially, the better you’re going to do. And you know, the more efficient muscle firing pattern you’re going to have. And that’s exactly what we see with SAP. Not with you and I.



So you guys need to get on



our knees compact. Okay, absolutely. I, I’ve already admitted comp, what are you writing? Trevor?


Trevor Connor  57:48

I’m on 36 I’m old, I can’t go to compact. It’s just it’s against the rules.



cielos No, everywhere



you also live. The majority of the Your time is spent in Toronto, where you could probably write up 75. Front to the front. chainring.


Trevor Connor  58:08

But my whole time in Colorado, I refuse to ever go compact. Matter of fact, when I got a new bike there, and it came with a compact, I just took it off and sold it. Oh, boy, maybe I should be. But I will tell you that. You know, I’m now 11 speed and the idea of getting that now.



They’ve gone to 13 already. But by the way. You’re that far behind?


Trevor Connor  58:32

I went to 11 speed in September. Thank you.


Chris Case  58:34

I say no more? Well, those tips right there leading well into maybe what we should close with, which is what do you do with all of this great information? What should people take away from this podcast? What can they do themselves to go out and be a better climber?



Yeah, yeah, I think pacing and egos can go a long way. So I think, like I said, I see a lot of a lot of our athletes where they do have a hard time pacing, being able to work on that and get, we can get everybody to that area and like less steps level of understanding, essentially, you know, and this is another one where someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but years ago, there was a life coach seminar that he came to where I was working, and he had a term called taleo anticipation. And it’s something I still use these days with my athletes and I throw that around and they look at me funny when I say it, but um, but really what that what it is, is having that ability to that that forethought to say okay, I’m climbing for 20 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour, whatever the case is, and say, and intuitively know, the kind of it pretty close what you can hold, you know, and it’s not always related to just the power or just heart rate, but it’s just those sensations in your legs. So I think different ways we can help athletes learn how to pace themselves and and have that anticipation can really help them with the client. And then if we pair the kind of ego piece with it to say, yeah, it’s okay to get a bigger cassette if you need one, you know, and and learn, like take that load off your legs so you can accumulate more, more time climbing without being overly fatigued. I think those are, you know, two big areas that I always shoot for the athletes. I think


Chris Case  1:00:20

to step back from that just a second. And maybe one of the first steps is knowing what type of rider you actually are. Are you somebody who is physiologically built like step an eye? So a climber, so to speak? Or are you more built? Like, Trevor, the time trial is body? Do you thrive when things are steady and consistent? Or do you thrive when it’s more technical, when there are changes in grade turns,





Chris Case  1:00:51

and so forth. And once you’ve identified which rider type you are, then you can work towards the strengths that you have, since you’re the time trial is Trevor, maybe you should go into how you take this information and put it into practice.


Trevor Connor  1:01:09

Yeah, and you should do the same for climbing. But as the time travel style writer, and I can tell you this from experience racing, because I’ve actually, I’ve had some of my best races on very hilly courses. But I really when we hit a climb, I just ignore what’s going on with the rest of the field guys attack, I don’t care, I am just going to lock it in at my power. And I’m going to get up that climb as fast as I can, but it’s going to be very steady. And what I tend to find is guys will attack they’ll go up the road, but I know that most of the time I’m going to see them again pretty soon to some degree, especially if the whole peloton is responding you do need to respond to those attacks. Because there still is a aerodynamic effect from the drafting effect from the peloton on climbs. And if you get popped, you’re probably done. So you do need to respond to a degree but you have to be really careful as to time travel style rider have too many efforts above, you’re gonna blow up. And I always have that point where I just go, Okay, now I’m doing my own pace, wherever that puts me, especially on those steep, nasty climbs. As time travel, you need to know which climb you thrive on. And it’s those steadier, lower grade ones. And in the past, I have taken advantage of those to try to hurt actually the climbers by just driving at a high pace, I know they’re gonna be sitting in my we’ll never get that chance to recover. And I’m going too fast for them to really launch a good attack, and know that they are hating what I’m doing to them. Because you remember, we were on Mount Evans, and you were putting the boots to me on all the steep part. So we got to that our long steady grade. And that’s where I made you suffer for what you’ve been doing to me earlier on Remember that?



Yes. I tried to forget it. But


Trevor Connor  1:02:57

so Chris, what? What about as a climber? What do you recommend? Yeah,


Chris Case  1:03:00

yeah, it’s, it’s in a way, the opposite of that, you know, you want to vary your pace. And that’s because of the sort of a hypothesis we came up with, which is, you thrive when you’re able to go above threshold, and then settle back and clear. And then do it again and repeat that process. I think that’s when knowing the climb itself is a is a great thing, because you can hurt your rivals that are built like time trials even more, both physically and psychologically, of course, don’t stare at your power meter and think that I need to go at a certain peak pace, because it’s my threshold, you know, you can go over it. The question is, how much and how often and you have to experiment to figure that out. People that are pure climbers tend to be smaller people, lighter people. That’s a part of your advantage when it comes to climbing. It’s a disadvantage when you’re on flats. But you can use it to your advantage because you don’t suffer the consequences as much when you stand and push out of the saddle. So ride to those strip ride to your strengths. Hurt time trial is when you can by attacking them. And don’t be afraid to put in those surges well above threshold, but make sure that you’re aware of how hard and how often you can do that. Those are the breakdown sort of for the different groups, but there’s definitely some other things we could pull out of our study that applies to everyone.


Trevor Connor  1:04:43

So I’ve got two other suggestions on my end, one. So this was set brought this up. Actually in a previous interview I did with Joe Dombrowski. He brought this up, play with cadence. If you don’t have climbs near you do this on the flats. If you have clients Go and do threshold efforts up those climbs or sweetspot efforts up those climbs, but do that variants in cadence, do some of it at 5060 RPM, then go up to 110 rpm and then drop back down. This is something I’ve heard again and again from climbers is learning how to climb at both low cadence and high cadence. So I think that is one of the most important take homes. And then I think the biggest theme underlying this whole podcast, I hope has been clear to everybody is go to my Strava. See what I’m doing. Don’t do any of that. Because apparently, I suck in every way possible when it comes to



use Trevor, as an example of exactly what not to do. That is great advice. We should put that on a T shirt.


Trevor Connor  1:05:53

Oh, by the way, hire me as your coach after 20



years, I say not as I do,


Chris Case  1:05:59

right. I think some of the other things we touched upon when we were talking about the Elmo data is a strong core is really critical for time for climbing. Well, if you don’t have that strong core, you turn into a sloppy mess like, like Trevor. And his Of course, was was built off of the fact that he had this back issue that led to a weaker core. But the same applies if you’re perfectly fit, and no, no injuries, but your core is weak, you’ll break down, it will happen at some point in your climbing. Again, to go back to the way that CEP showed how he could attack over climbs and not necessarily on the steepest parts of climbs. I think that’s really valuable advice for people to up their game quite a bit when it comes to climbing in a more sophisticated way. It’s something that neither Trevor and I did very well at all, I’m looking forward to thinking about climbing more in that way, when the summer comes around, and I start doing more of it. It’s it’s a, it’ll be fascinating to see how it all plays out on the road. And without going into a ton of detail. Because this is a very, you know, in a way a controversial issue. It comes down to weight in a sense, and being lighter is is better. There are healthy ways to lose weight, if that’s what you’re looking to do. We’ve had podcasts essentially about that very topic. But you know, you want to target a percentage of body fat that’s not too low 9% roughly for men 11% for women, or there abouts. And do it in a healthy way and not drop weight in a particularly fast or unhealthy way.


Trevor Connor  1:07:49

Yes, let me just interrupt really quickly. This is in the research. And this is really important. And Dr. Hugo sambal on has brought this up in the past, when you are talking about a spare tire around your waist, losing weight is only going to make you faster up climbs. So it’s great to lose that weight. Once you drop below that healthy body fat percentage. Once you drop below certain weight and you start you’re going to start losing muscle mass, you’re going to start losing important tissue, then actually you can hurt your power to weight ratio, you can actually become a weaker climber. So there is a slower climber, there is a point where dropping more weight is going to hurt you not help you.



You know, I look at it as a constant series of choices that gets you there. It’s not like one big thing where you go on an extreme diet or anything like that. It’s a constant series of the right choices that are going to trend you in that direction. And that’s where you can then avoid getting too low, because you’ll be able to see that trend line essentially.


Chris Case  1:08:49

Thank you, Ryan, for all of your effort on the project and your time today. Again, thanks to the Performance Center here at the University of Colorado. And just to just to pitch another article that appears in the January issue that Ryan helped me write Ryan did much of the work on it. Of course, he’s a trained nutritionist. And this article the diagnosis column in this month’s issue is about a writer who was struggling to lose weight and Ryan helped him lose weight in a very smart and intelligent and methodical way, which is the right way to do it. So check that article out in this month’s issue.



That was another episode of Fast Talk. As always, we love your feedback. Email us at Webb letters at competitor Subscribe to Fast Talk on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play. Be sure to leave us a rating and a comment. While you’re there. Check out our sister podcast the velonews podcast, which covers news about the week in cycling. Become a fan of Fast Talk on slash Vela news and on slash velonews Fast talk is a joint production between velonews and Connor coaching. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual for Trevor Connor and Ryan Kohler. I’m Chris case. Thanks for listening