Potluck Discussion: Angling Our Hoods, Reconsidering Long Thresholds, and Extreme Measures

We have a wide range of odd and interesting topics for you in this week's show.

potluck 4 sunset photo
Is riding at sunset good for your training? Co-host Rob Pickels poses this question in the show—and this photo was taken by Pickels while riding near Louisville, Colorado.

Welcome to another potluck conversation with regulars Grant Hollicky, Trevor Connor, and Rob Pickels. In these discussions, we pick topics that we find interesting and break them apart using a mix of science, humor and our own experience.

Should We Angle Our Hoods?

It’s becoming increasingly popular among younger cyclists to angle the hoods on their bars inwards. However, many of the older generations don’t like the trend. Coach Holicky asks, who has it right? Should we really even care? Or is the best answer just “you do you”? 

Are Longer Threshold Intervals Just As Good As Our Favorite 5x5s and 4×8 Minute Intervals? 

Coach Connor has been an advocate of shorter threshold work with very short recoveries such as 5×5 minute thresholds with one-minute rests and 4×8 minute intervals with two-minute rests. However, this year he’s been feeling a need for a change. Connor was shocked to find he really enjoys 2×20 minute intervals. The question is whether they are just good as his OG threshold work?

What Extreme Measures Have We Gone to For Racing and Training?

Physiologist and adventure rider Rob Pickels asks the group what extreme measures they have taken for the sake of their training. With this roundtable, the team wasn’t short on answers, but the more important question was whether these measures demonstrated commitment or were they simply bad choices at the time?  

Get ready for some interesting conversations—and let’s make you fast! 


We’re sure many of you have had similar experiences. Please share with the rest of our listeners in the forum discussion. 

Episode Transcript

Trevor Connor  00:04

Welcome, everybody to another episode of Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance sports training. I think I got it right this time.

Rob Pickels  00:12

Hey, guys, you know what we should do today?

Grant Holicky  00:14

What should we do today? Let’s do a potluck while I’m here. So I guess we might as well.

Rob Pickels  00:19

Do you bring a casserole?

Grant Holicky  00:20

What do I bring to a potluck? Okay, that is a great question. What is your typical go to to bring to a potluck?

Rob Pickels  00:27

I don’t have any friends.

Grant Holicky  00:28

That’s a cop out.

Trevor Connor  00:30

 I don’t have any family.

Grant Holicky  00:34

You have family!

Rob Pickels  00:36

Whatever my wife makes.

Grant Holicky  00:37

Oh, there it is. Okay,

Rob Pickels  00:39

no, no, no. Let’s see. What would I bring to a potluck like lasagna? I like bringing lasagna to things. It’s pretty good. Way more time consuming than it should be. But oh, well. What do you take?

Grant Holicky  00:47

Do you take pancakes with maple syrup?

Trevor Connor  00:49

Syrup? No, that’s not paleo at all. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  00:52

Trevor’s pancakes. Cassie casting you though symptom?

Trevor Connor  00:57

Yeah, got my issues with those.

Rob Pickels  00:59

I’m sure sprinkle some paleo.

Grant Holicky  01:01

No, I like to eat chicken wings. I make a really good hot wing sauce. And I like to bring chicken wings.

Trevor Connor  01:07

Here’s my philosophy on potluck. Do I like the people or do I not? Because if I don’t, I will cook something to do with my cooking. If I like them. I’m gonna stop at the supermarket on the way and get something that actually tastes good.

Rob Pickels  01:22

Fair. Can you cook legitimate question? Are you low? No.

Trevor Connor  01:25

That’s what I tell people. If you want to talk to me about nutrition, I can tell you what to eat. If you want my help on how to make it taste good. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

Grant Holicky  01:34

Can you cook?

Rob Pickels  01:35

Yeah, yeah, no, I love to cook because I’m like an experimenter. I love to try different cooking techniques. And I’m a gadget guy. So I got Oh, okay. I’ve been sick of eating steak. And it is glorious. Yeah, it’s legitimately good. I gotta try that. Yeah, you can borrow it if you

Grant Holicky  01:51

know we we have one. I like to cook too. i My problem is I’m an experimenter as well. So I’ll make a sauce. And my wife got that sauce was great. Yeah. Would you do an algo? I’d

Rob Pickels  02:06

never. It’s a it’s like a one hit wonder. So she’ll often

Grant Holicky  02:09

say make that sauce you made last time and I try and she’ll look at me and go, it’s not as good which is a bit of a story of my life with my relationship.

Trevor Connor  02:17

So here’s the last 10 years of cooking for me because I cook for myself. Every every night I go home I go What would I like to eat tonight? I think of all these great ideas. And then I followed up with the question of what can I actually do and then I just give a big sigh I cook the same thing they cook the last night which was also the same thing I cooked the night before we

Grant Holicky  02:40

have determined this impasse potluck your love of the same thing. Oh, it’s the

Trevor Connor  02:45

only thing I cook stir fry my go to a stir fry because that’s all I can do. But you can change there’s a lot of like many dressings that I can put on top of there you

Grant Holicky  02:55

go there you go. That’s like a bunch of LT workouts you can do lots of different things to achieve the same thing. You certainly

Rob Pickels  03:01

can but I don’t know that we’re this whole episode isn’t about cooking as it

Grant Holicky  03:05

could be but no

Rob Pickels  03:07

questions. I guess that was my question.

Trevor Connor  03:12

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Rob Pickels  04:00

Great, what’s your question today?

Grant Holicky  04:01

All right. My question is this. And as we’ve noted in the past that I tend to get into a little bit of what’s happening in the world right now. Rob will tell his stories. Trevor will stay married to his science. So here’s my question. You seen it all in the tour this year. We’ve seen it on the cross bike we’ve seen all these things. There’s this trend of turning the hoods in on the bars. There is this trend of going to 38 wide bars with the hoods turned in there is a joke on somebody that I think their hoods could touch it they

Rob Pickels  04:36

were closed. There was also a trend of going to 48 wide bars and turning the hoods in on the ground. We’re playing one day I’m gonna turn my hoods out. I think just to buck the trend.

Grant Holicky  04:47

I think that’s great, but I have been noticing some of my contemporaries in age a poopoo in the hoods turned in for ability to drive the bike Komotini bastards I I have seen some poo the idea of the hoods turned in for aesthetics

Rob Pickels  05:05

retro Roach baby robbed third thing I don’t have a third the third thing

Grant Holicky  05:09

either but what is your take on the bars turned in trend

Rob Pickels  05:13

I’m not the first person to look at because of this I’m not like a value judgment like you should or you shouldn’t do something kind of

Grant Holicky  05:19

guy that’s an answer. That’s an answer. I

Rob Pickels  05:21

frankly I don’t really care. I hate this is my cop out episode. You guys have copped out in the past. I don’t really care what people do. I love that answer more power to them. I would be more impressive. They were wearing tank tops in the tour while they were doing you know, let’s just Buck all the trends. But no man for me. I don’t care if they’re doing it because it’s faster if they’re doing it because they think it looks better. Makes no difference to me. You do you done like drop? What about you can’t even say anything?

Grant Holicky  05:46

To me. He’s just staring at me.

Trevor Connor  05:49

So you’re asking the guy the handlebars of my bike over there. We’re probably bought in the 1990s. Yeah, but you’re you should be asking me whatever the trend was in 2003

Rob Pickels  06:01

Old School Ergo drop, I feel like well, I’m

Trevor Connor  06:03

serious. I’ve got handlebars in my garage that I bought in the 90s that I probably put on one of my bikes or another. I don’t think I bought a new set of handlebars and 20 years. So you’re asking me about this bar. I need somebody to explain to me what this trend is because I have not got up

Rob Pickels  06:19

you can still turn your hoods in. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I need a five mil Allen key. You can just loosen that baby up, turn it in a little we’ll do it right now. And we’ll do it right now and see how you like rice. Go get me an Allen set. And I’m gonna I’m gonna fix Jarvis bike. I thought Trevor

Grant Holicky  06:33

would have an answer on the aerodynamic piece. I really did. I thought it’d be all about it.

Trevor Connor  06:38

My answer is kind of a throw here because we actually had Leonard Zinn on the show, we brought up those handlebars and he just said, I don’t get it. Okay, so I personally don’t get it. But I was waiting for Lennar to be like, well, here’s all the science behind it because he is the tech guys would let her goes. I don’t get it. I’m right there with him.

Rob Pickels  06:59

107 and a half feet tall, he can’t do anything. I love letters. Going out the window.

Grant Holicky  07:07

I’ve seen the head tube on his bikes.

Trevor Connor  07:11

It’s all so here’s the question because there are trends that you see in the gear that actually have an explanation be it aerodynamic, be it performance? Sure. There are other trends that are let’s just face it. They’re fashion, absolute. Which one is this?

Grant Holicky  07:26

I think it got it start from a belief that there is an aerodynamic advantage. And I think that now it’s become a degree of fashion. And I fall in the camp very similar to rob, which is who cares? I do think, guys my age get into this idea that the way the bike should look should always be the way the bike should look. I remember when they started wiring cables underneath tape, oh my gosh, and people lost their mind because that doesn’t look right. That doesn’t look right now the trend is make sure there’s no wires or cables anywhere, nothing showing, again, ostensibly under the idea that there’s a huge aerodynamic advantage aerodynamic advantage to this. Sure, maybe there is but it’s not dramatic. But it looks really sleek, and it looks really cool. So this

Trevor Connor  08:24

is totally off the cuff. And this might be right or wrong. But here’s my potential explanation. If you have the lower part of the drops, so they stick out. That means the top of the handlebars are a little narrower. My guess is the reason in here is when you’re up on the hoods, you’re trying to be aero, you’re broken away. So bring those hoods in closer to bring your arms in and get more aerodynamics, weeded out on the bottom of your drops, you’re sprinting, you want more leverage on the bike, and the further out they are, the more leverage you have. So that’s my guess of the explanation behind these. My one issue with this and they’ve done this in windtunnel testing is unless you bring your arms right together, so they’re practically touching, bringing the arms in closer makes no difference. So just giddy a couple inches closer. no difference whatsoever. So to me, I get the leverage for when you’re sprinting. I don’t get the bring the hoods a little closer in order to get a little more dynamics that’s for the science I’ve read has been proven doesn’t help.

Rob Pickels  09:26

You know, the best part of this conversation is the three of us have absolutely no clue why people do this, which really just drives home the fact that I’m like, 40 years old, I’m getting older. And we’re like speculate like, why are all these kids doing it this way? We have no

Grant Holicky  09:42

this is my whole point that there’s a whole bunch of people our age sitting around, they got no clue to do and I know they’re just passing judgment based on what they think is the right thing that should be done. And here are the roles. My point is screw your rules. Who cares? If they want to do this, I’m tired of people getting up there and going well you can’t drive your bike when the hoods are turned in. You can’t I can’t I’m terrible driving my bike with the hoods are turned down hearing What’s it matter?

Trevor Connor  10:13

So here’s my white counter argument. I don’t see the 20 something year olds buying all the new trendy stuff, because a lot of them don’t have any money. Now the people who are buying all the new technology, the new in thing are the people in their 40s and 50s because they can afford

Grant Holicky  10:29

  1. But this isn’t new technology. This is just Rob said this has taken a five mil and turn in your hoods. And you don’t really have to do anything about this.

Rob Pickels  10:37

Now I do wonder because I’m speculating and I hate to speculate and I hate the fact that I have to. Is it risk comfort maybe like and maybe even more more of a neutral position when

Grant Holicky  10:47

you are I will I have tried this minor Lee he tried it. A lot of my riders are mid 20s in their hoods are turned in. And I’ve tried this on on my cross bikes, when you are in your hiding position is somebody wants to describe it to me when you’re trying to get arrow and trying to get small and your forearms are down on the tops of your bars and you’re holding onto your hoods, and they’re slightly turned in. It’s way more comfortable. Yeah, I mean, that’s why you see arrow bars, that tips of the arrow bars are turned in. So some of that’s aerodynamics, as you said, when you can bring something together in front of your chest, you create an aerodynamic advantage but that slight turn in is more comfortable. You don’t want to be out there like this. Yeah,

Trevor Connor  11:32

I will fully tell you is a breakaway writer. I completely set up my handlebars for breaking away and not sprinting because it’s me why bother?

Grant Holicky  11:41

So we can look at you.

Trevor Connor  11:43

I always kept my hoods a little higher than most people on the handlebars. Not as much as you see now, but I always have been turned in just a little because that was more comfortable.

Grant Holicky  11:52

And I remember to when we went to hydraulic disc brakes and the hoods themselves got Jaeger. They got

Rob Pickels  11:59

those first RAM ones.

Grant Holicky  12:01

They were they were huge. But all the sudden you could ride gripping the tops of your hood, and not necessarily your bars. Yeah. And so the other thing that may come into this is what did those younger riders learn to ride on? What do they like? What do they like to grab onto? Because we grew up? What did we grew up riding on, like Woods made out of gum, right? I grew up riding mountain bikes, personally, whatever. But I think that’s a thing that us older masters guys that have the money that are buying the stuff, as you say, need to get over ourselves a little bit and stop declaring what is appropriate and not appropriate for a professional rider in their mid 20s. Because this drove me a little bit crazy when people were like, oh, you can’t handle your bike on hoods turned in like that. Like I can’t You can’t but they sure as hell can. Because they’re riding right, right. Sure. Yeah, no doubt. And yeah, that was a little bit of my high horse this week. But I was just curious to where you guys came with it. I don’t know that you gave me much.

Trevor Connor  13:04

We gave you the right. Like

Grant Holicky  13:06

some of this is about fast talk version. Seinfeld.

Trevor Connor  13:10

Look at who you’re talking to. That over there. You’re looking at it. It’s a sloping 2014 That is my newest bike.

Grant Holicky  13:20

I don’t know I looked at that and thought it was pretty fancy for you. It is bad. So that’s my point. You show up for races in like jerseys that barely freakin fit and nothing match is your train wreck man. And then you just go sit on the front and demolish everybody for an hour.

Trevor Connor  13:35

I’m proud of this. You have no idea like this isn’t it’s actually part of his

Rob Pickels  13:39

image. He cultivates

Grant Holicky  13:42

this feeling of not caring.

Trevor Connor  13:44

Yeah, I remember when I got into racing and I was racing up in BC when I was starting to take it really seriously. Swain tough which up to races at suede would be this guy sitting under a tree and a beat up kid on a Norco bike, which in Canada, you’re like, seriously, you’re on Norco swing, okay. So you would look at all this and go, Who is this guy’s a train wreck. And then you get in the race and he would destroy all of us. And I was like, that’s who I want to be

Rob Pickels  14:10

  1. That’s the ultimate flex, right? It is if you look like you’re trying really hard and blah, blah, blah, whatever people expected or they make fun of you. But if you look like you don’t care, flexing hard on people.

Grant Holicky  14:24

So this is my approach to life. If everybody can. You don’t if everybody just underestimates you every time you walk into a room,

Rob Pickels  14:32

it’s not that you look like you don’t care. It’s that you look like you’ve given up. Difference. It’s an important difference to like, great, you have something to live for.

Grant Holicky  14:44

Give it up and who knows.

Trevor Connor  14:47

We’ll look we have gotten every little bit of blood out of this stone and it was not

Grant Holicky  14:52

a lot but I Okay, so we’ll move on here from that to you, Trevor. Okay, I’ve

Trevor Connor  14:58

got a question and guess what? It is a training question how awesome and I’m gonna go with what I’m doing in my own trading, because I want to hear your opinions on this. I have always, when you’re doing threshold work been more into the short intervals five minutes, maybe eight minutes with very short recoveries because if you have the short recoveries, if you do five by fives, it’s really a 25 minute effort, because your body isn’t going to back down that much. But you could do it at a higher wattage, and you get a higher quality workout. I was never a big fan of the 1520 minute threshold intervals. Because I just don’t feel your doom was with his high quality this year, just because I’ve been doing the five by fives and the four by eights for so many years. I wanted to try something different. So right now I’m doing two by 20s. Actually, I’m doing them on sunshine, you hit the top at 1990.

Rob Pickels  15:52

I love it. But it’s a hard place to do long intervals,

Grant Holicky  15:54

right? I don’t have a problem with it. I

Trevor Connor  15:58

roll a boulder uphill for

Trevor Connor  15:59

you. So yeah, I technically do a two by nine teams. And I’m loving. Okay, now

Trevor Connor  16:06

I get why you’re doing by 19. So they are

Trevor Connor  16:09

a lot of fun. I probably because it’s up the dipper. But here’s my question. And I want to just lower what I was doing the chair four by eight. So I was doing those probably about you’re surprising the only about 20 Watts higher if I get in as good a workout, because I’m struggling with that, because I was always so against the 1520 minute interval.

Trevor Connor  16:29

So something that’s really important to think about here is Trevor, who knows so much about training constantly asks us questions about trading. Because I’ve always thinking about I think everybody should have the dubious advice he’s been giving us Lee has no clue what he’s doing out there. But this is my kid.

Trevor Connor  16:47

I know. You’re kidding. But look, this is my approach. I think if you ever just go this is the absolute truth. I’m never going to really question it. You get outdated everything, even if I felt very strongly about it. I think you always need to go back and read question. And the answer might be Yeah, no, we had it right the first time. Yeah. Or you might discover something new. But if you aren’t requested, if you are willing to challenge even your most sternly felt beliefs, I feel you fall behind. So this is what I do. This is how I experiment. I love to challenge ASICs

Trevor Connor  17:18

I’m gonna jump on this one first, unless you have when you’re doing longer intervals, then you’re obviously trying to target a threshold wattage or threshold adaptation or whatever else. And we do have a great threshold episode that people can listen to with Hunter Allen. So that implies to me you have a very specific goal with why you’re doing this workout. And I believe that a volume at this intensity level, I do think that volume is important. And that maximizing volume is there. And so if you have a decreased fitness, and you’re only able to do five minutes, then do five minutes and try to work that up. And for somebody that’s stronger like Trevor, than working toward an hour’s worth of work at this level is great. But this is more of a maximizing that volume, right? Where it seems to me if you’re doing shorter intervals at 20 Watts more, are you doing the same workout? Or are you targeting something totally different? Now, if we’re talking about doing a threshold, and you’re targeting 95 to 100% of your FTP, if you can do that only for 10 minutes and hold that because that’s all the ability that you have, then yeah, let’s break that up into five minute chunks. Let’s break that up into eight minute chunks. Let’s make it so that you can do 20 minutes, 30 minutes worth of work there instead of flaming out at 10. And then not being able to do a second one because you’re so fatigued. You know, Trevor, in your case, though, I think because you can hold that 95 to 100% of your FTP for 20 minutes. And do it again for the next one, then I think that yeah, that is the progression of an athlete. And that in my opinion, those longer intervals are important, because I think that there are other adaptations, and this is getting more sciency than a potluck, typically is that are involved with say, some glycogen depletion, and PCG one Alpha expression and all of those aspects that you do need that volume to get the total thing. So my vote is if you can do it for longer, do it for longer if you can’t, then do it shorter, but maximize your totals.

Trevor Connor  19:18

So what quick response? Remember the definition of FTP is the power you can hold for an hour. Yep, I guess so everybody can do 20 minutes at 95% of their FTP or they got their FTP

Grant Holicky  19:30

really raw. All right, this brings to the next piece of the puzzle. Okay, so why do we do intervals in the first place because our power is not something that mentally or physically you’re going to be able to do all the time, you probably are going to need to be tapered, prepared physically to do that and really mentally need to be prepared to do that. Alright, so let’s back it up. So we’re going to break that into pieces. The shorter the piece or the shorter the rest longer the piece, you get a little bit of a longer rest right We what’s generally the rule of thumb is, if you’re trying to keep something at the threshold idea, make sure the rest is less than half of what you’re doing just a general rule of thumb. So if you’re doing five minutters, you’re trying to recover at one to two minutes, something along those lines of mental break, I have a whole bunch of things to throw at this, I like to go the longer stuff early in the season with just a little bit lower intensity, because we’re working our way up to that. I think that usually the load early in the season is probably a little bit last, maybe they’re not the rider is not as tired, they’re probably not as mentally fatigued, they haven’t been racing nearly as much. So they’re going to be able to handle that 20 minute mentality, low low power output still in the same range, still in the same training idea. But then when we get into the season, a little hotter out little different situation, maybe we got some residual fatigue from racing, then we’ll go to the five by fives, we’ll go to the four by 10s. Or on that idea of Dr. Sylar, maybe we go four by eight, we have an exceptional great week, maybe we’ll go five by eight this week, we’ll extend that time under load

Trevor Connor  21:05

in year four by eights, we’re talking above threshold or below FTP,

Grant Holicky  21:08

four by eights. This is a totally different question. But I don’t have any understanding of why anybody would do an eight above.

Trevor Connor  21:15

Because you can. Next.

Grant Holicky  21:18

That’s the anyway, I do agree with you. I have one last piece to put in this. And this is a little bit of a soapbox. And I think this is the great part about potlucks is we need to get to get up on our soapbox for a minute. People do threshold intervals up hill to buy 19 to buy 20 up sunshine is easy to do at that wattage, yes, quotes. Easy. Now go out, find a flat course right and give me two by 20 on a flat course letter, people aren’t gonna be able to do that. It’s a super hard thing to do. So depending on where you are in the country, do you have mountains to go uphill for 20 minutes? No, maybe this is when we break it down into five minutes. Because you can stay on top of the pedals for five minutes or eight minutes or something along those lines. I would advise anybody who exclusively does their intervals in the mountains to do some of them on flats, because we do not raise in the tour. If you raise in the tour. Yeah, get in the mountains. But if you’re not a tour racer 90% of the races you’re gonna see around here on flats, make sure you’re able to put that power

Trevor Connor  22:29

look another way a great way to do this, which I used to have the opportunity for, is there a weekly time trial going on? Yeah. And I used to love to go to that because then you have that motivation about the power out on the stuff that that’s flatter.

Grant Holicky  22:43

Yeah. And that’s a great, that’s a great point. Having in this is one of the things that I actually like Zwift for is whiffed racing is not super punchy. It’s there’s some surges in it, but you get it, you can do a 1520 minute crit. And you’re basically hanging out at your threshold the entire time with a little surge above a little surge below. And so it’s very real world ask LT work.

Trevor Connor  23:09

The flip side of this though, is when it comes to doing all of your training on the trainer. Again, that’s not very good specificity for going and racing.

Grant Holicky  23:19

You can turn your hood so far and so far, you

Trevor Connor  23:22

don’t even need hoods at that point. But you had to bring that back. You know, for a cyclocross, as the weather gets bad. Yeah, days get dark. I know, I find a lot of time on the trainer and I can crush trainer workouts, but it doesn’t translate through riding through heavy ground that’s bumpy. It’s just it’s not the same, you have to be doing applying this power where you need to when you actually perform.

Grant Holicky  23:46

So that’s, uh, that that would be my take. I like the longer stuff early, Trevor, that I love the idea of mixing things up. I love the idea of keeping him mentally fresh, because what are you going to be able to handle and create a cumulative time at an energy system? And that’s, as you said, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to be in this LT energy system for a period of time. And if you can’t do it in two by 20, you can’t get 40 minutes in. That’s the one downside of five by five. It’s only 25 minutes under load.

Trevor Connor  24:21

Yep, definitely.

Trevor Connor  24:22

This is the truth here is this is because grant never writes anything down. So he can’t remember the last workout he gave his athlete. So he just gives them stuff that gives them something. Thinking about going, Yeah,

Grant Holicky  24:36

I do. I do think that after some of these potlucks, I always go back and wait and see how many clients I lose.

Trevor Connor  24:44

I think this is true of all mutual self destructs is

Grant Holicky  24:47

pulled back the curtain and I have a whole bunch of athletes. Check it.

Trevor Connor  24:52

So look, I will before we move on to Rob’s question, I’ll give you the little bit of the history here and why I’m experimenting with this. We We’re talking with Dean College in the winter, and he was talking about his routine. And he does in the winter, as you said earlier on, give his athletes he actually gives a three by 20, because he wants to have an hour. And his comment was, I have seen no difference in the improvements if they do it at 100% of FTP or 95% of FTP. So what to get that accumulation of time and 90% 5% of FTP, three by 20 is actually a very manageable workout. At the time, I was doing my four by eights, and I wasn’t enjoying stuff like this my 15th year doing four by eights. I’m tired of them. He brought that up, and I’m like, let’s give it a try. Even though I’ve spoken out against this and hate to say it, I’ve been loving him.

Trevor Connor  25:43

Yeah. And that’s right there. That’s it for me. I don’t know, which is better. I don’t know if we can know which is better. But the best thing, go and try it. Yeah, see how it does for you,

Grant Holicky  25:55

I will admit to being in a place last week where I went out and said I’m gonna do some threshold. And it was hot, and I was struggling. And I looked at it and went, I just can’t get 10 minutes under load in a row. today. I’m gonna do six by five, because I’m going to get myself 30 minutes out of that. And I can stay under load for that long, even in pieces. And I think it was purely mental because I was only going to take two minutes rest between the fives and it worked out just fine. That was gonna take three, three and a half minutes rest between the 10s. But it worked for me that day. And I think we used to go with Neil all the time. And Neil loved sunshine. Yeah,

Trevor Connor  26:36

I hate because we used to work at the bottom, literally, right.

Grant Holicky  26:40

So everything we would do would be going up sunshine. And we would do five by fives up sunshine. And I remember or Pyramid of Power or something of sunshine. I remember people looking at me going How am I supposed to be recovery Watts going up this?

Trevor Connor  26:54

Yeah, it’s like a 15%. Great, right. So

Grant Holicky  26:57

two by 20 makes a lot of sense up that because you’re not recovering when you stop pedaling. Literally turning back. Yeah, downhill. Yeah. And you might not have enough time for that. Like you’re doing 250 Watts recovery. Yeah, just to move

Trevor Connor  27:11

hey, I will say I was testing a Pro Tour rider for HIPAA purposes. I won’t say who it was. And at the end of their tests, they said hey, I’m gonna go out and do a quick recovery cooldown ride and they went up. I was like, holy in your world. Is that?

Grant Holicky  27:26

Right? Yeah.

Trevor Connor  27:33

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Trevor Connor  28:05

Oh, guys, my question always begins with a story and for full disclosure, because we’re always learning things about people. The reason they become story based is I don’t really think about these until I’m riding my bike the day before we record I come relatively unprepared and I take that time.

Grant Holicky  28:21

And yet everybody makes fun of me.

Trevor Connor  28:24

I know it’s true, but I look showered this morning.

Trevor Connor  28:30

Look, you know, these potluck episodes have done to me like I’m 51 years old. Spending the whole year going I am 51. And single. I don’t get it what’s going on after these potluck episodes of like, Oh, I get it.

Trevor Connor  28:47

I get it. So we’re actually entertained by this then Trevor at fast talk. labs.com is waiting to hear from

Trevor Connor  28:56

our fourth episode if anybody ever wanted to date me and they listen to these, I’ve never dated again.

Grant Holicky  29:02

I just I love how you’re looking at me as if the potluck format is entirely my phone. The name is your name is my phone. This format might be my fault too.

Trevor Connor  29:12

But you know,

Grant Holicky  29:13

I think it’s good. I think we all get like I said the curtain is being pulled back.

Trevor Connor  29:17

So there I was just riding along which is how all good bike riding any good stories with gerrae. I was just riding along at 10 o’clock last night because I have taken to this habit of doing weekly night rides on Wednesday night. Mostly because I like to do a volume day after an intensity day and I do a shorter climbing workout on Tuesdays full disclosure, and this is the only way I can get a long ride in during the week. You’re busy. We’re all busy. We’re involved in small businesses and families and whatnot. How do you get writing time in my solution was this I go home I hang out with my family. I cook dinner I put people to bed and then I get on my bike and I set off into the sunset literally last night

Trevor Connor  29:59

to back this ice sent rob a message at six o’clock last night I hear nothing at hen 10 By phone beings and it’s Rob go, I just finished my ride getting your message.

Trevor Connor  30:09

They texted you back from the garage. I was still kitted up in the sweating when I sent that message. And I have a beautiful sunset picture that maybe we can use for this episode from last night. But my question is this, what extreme measures? Have you guys gone through to get training in? And at the end of the day or the end of the season? Was it worth it? Should you have gone to that measure?

Grant Holicky  30:33

I have a lot of experience with this because I used to travel so much when I was coaching swimming. And you know what, either when I was racing triathlon, or I was racing cross and trying to be really serious about it. I have a lot of workouts that I did on an incline bike in a hotel, workout room, everybody’s staring at Yeah, hammering that seated bike

Trevor Connor  31:00

thinking that you’re doing 900 watts for 20 minutes. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  31:03

really feeling good about myself walking out of there. Yeah, so I did a lot of that, honestly. And I think within reason, I would find some benefit out of that, I think I had to go in understanding that, while this is working a very different muscle group than when I would be sitting on a bike right? Or I found a upright bike, but the saddle was bigger than my head. And I hurt if I tried to ride for more than a half an hour, I do think what I started to do was move to a place where I would try to load before I left and then just go on the trip and say, You know what, this is my rest and adaptation. And I’m just gonna let it be. Because eventually what I started to find, and I think this is a little bit of what you may be alluding to, is the fatigue, the stress, all of those things started to overwhelm the potential fitness gain. I was getting out of them. So I would go on, I would go in these situations and start to exercise for sanity not trained for benefit.

Trevor Connor  32:12

Yeah. And I’m glad you brought that up, because that’s exactly the reason I’m thinking about this. I didn’t finalize my question until this morning, when I looked at my whoop score and it was in the single digits. My heart rate was through the roof, my heart rate variability was down, you know, and I question I was like, man, should I have actually gone out to do that ride was that worthwhile for me if it hit me so hard. Fortunately, I always take Thursdays as a recovery day. And so today’s a recovery day for me, but I got to ask that I had fun. I’m glad that I did it for it served that purpose, but I’m not sure it was the best choice for training for me. I remember

Grant Holicky  32:44

playing indoor soccer back in the day, and you’d play games at 10 o’clock at night. And I remember coming home from a 10 o’clock game, getting home, drinking a beer, in part to try to calm myself down so that I could fall asleep. It cannot fall asleep after working out that late I remember vividly after cross Vegas like being awake till three in the morning. Not just because not because there’s some huge after party going on either like just sitting there like, oh my god, I cannot get to sleep because I am just so jacked up. I think it really messes with the rhythms. Trevor,

Trevor Connor  33:22

I’m sure that you have I’m silent here because I’m just overwhelmed by the question. I think the easier question for me is what extreme measures have I not gone to?

Trevor Connor  33:32

I can picture Trevor renting this like Aqua bike that he rode across a lake because it was the only thing that he could pedal. One of those pedal kayaks he’s like on the ground, just making pedaling motions in the air, you know.

Trevor Connor  33:44

So continuing with the making sure I’d never get a date in my life. Another thing you should know about me is when I get an objective be at a workout or a race or whatever in my mind. He gonna do it. I’m gonna do it, no matter what. So do that. Like, I have twice now been hit by cars in the middle of a race or a workout. And my response after I picked myself up is I have to finish the race and or the workout. Not I got hit by the car. Right? But workout ain’t done kid at

Trevor Connor  34:18

  1. So ankles broken, but the workout ain’t done.

Trevor Connor  34:23

Case of the race. I fractured my femur. Nice. I kept racing.

Trevor Connor  34:27

All right. Was that a smart thing to do, Trevor? No, no,

Grant Holicky  34:31

I don’t. I don’t think he’s the right choice. I

Trevor Connor  34:36

mean, the actual bubble was one of the cars in the caravan stopped a couple of cars out but one of them they picked me up off the road they put me in the car and I’m still kind of delirious what’s happening. I look outside and the guy is out there fixing my bike because the handlebars had been turned. And my responses oh good chairs. Like I can ride that. I could ride it so I get on the car. They’re like literally what are you doing? I just walk over to To him, I grabbed my bike and they’re all yell at me like, Stop, what do you do it I get on the bike and I raise another two and a half hours.

Trevor Connor  35:06

I want to know about training. What crazy training things have you done, Trevor?

Trevor Connor  35:11

Oh, God, like I said, I’m just overwhelmed here. Like I’ve already told you about the ride where I was so done, I literally had to crawl into my kitchen, lie down on the floor, and then just make things fall off my calendar so I can eat them. I have done that. Honestly, I think the craziest one, which isn’t going to sound that crazy was you know, I love my training camps. And I just decided by last winter at the center, up in Canada, we had a six day training camp, and I was going to put in over 40 hours. And this isn’t easy. 40 hours. This is the trading camp where on the third day, who Shang broke us up into groups of four. And we did I think it was 10 by 12 minute team time trials. And I was in a group with two Olympians. And we were all it was all about. Let’s see who cracks first. So this was not easy. 12 minutes. One of the guys in my group, a friend named Derek at the end of that we were riding home close to about the six hour mark. We’re on the bike path, a woman in her 60s passes us on a commuter bike. And I look at Derek and go should we catch her and Derek looks at me and says I can’t. And the next day I got up leg shaking, absolutely destroyed. Like what am I going to do today? Seven hours? Yeah, of course. Yeah. Okay, same thing more intensity. So this was not an easy, I ended up doing 42 hours. And it was a hard 42 hours. I think that might actually even though it doesn’t sound that extreme. If you do what we were doing over those six days,

Trevor Connor  36:52

that sounds pretty extreme. The funny part of this is you had a lot of outs. So you could have fixed this train wreck at any point in time.

Trevor Connor  36:58

I didn’t want to

Trevor Connor  37:00

join this. Alright, realize the secret I did not

Trevor Connor  37:03

have a whoop score. But if the whoop went into the negative

Grant Holicky  37:09

one, I did have a rider recently who called me up and said, Hey, my whoop score this morning was one I’ve had that was like, that must have been a good night, buddy. Oh, wow, you got after it. Good job. I

Trevor Connor  37:21

know. I think that people can end up in situations where they want to drive. It’s like a sign right? Where you drive it even lower. Look at how hard I work. Yeah.

Grant Holicky  37:29

And I do think that’s a big piece of this, right? It’s we are committed to the work, whatever that work is that we can’t like one of the things that I don’t like about training peaks is that they give you the red or the orange when don’t do it. And I really think that’s disruptive to athletes when they’re looking at that and they see a lot of red. It’s a value judgment. Yeah, it is. Especially if that is based on it’s almost only based on time. Oh, 100%. That’s all it’s based, right? No question. So like, they did a 90 minute session with intervals. And I put it in as two and a half, they got a big red thing. They didn’t miss that much. They miss like an hour of bass riding. And what are they training for the training for across race? Okay, you probably miss nothing in the grand scheme of things. So I think a lot of what we ended up doing is this idea of I said, I’m gonna get it done. So I have to get it done. I do think there’s a big piece of taking that step back and asking, Is this the right choice? Not a plug for any specific coach, because as we’ve discussed, you probably want to hire none of us after this.

Trevor Connor  38:37

But I’ve given up on anybody hired me. And I bet that nobody’s gonna date me nobody’s gonna live the remainder of my life. That’s where I’m

Trevor Connor  38:49

gonna try to adopt a dog and the dog.

Trevor Connor  38:53

To the end of the day, I’m done. I’m out.

Grant Holicky  38:56

I get a phone call. Who’s this? It’s Trevor’s dog. Come pick me. But I do think this is where a coach is valuable, right? This is that person to say? No, don’t do that. But not

Trevor Connor  39:09

good. Yeah,

Trevor Connor  39:10

I will fully say this is my do. As I say not as I look, the only thing I will say about that asset to me, it was the only thing that gave me an advantage, whatever you want to call it an asset and race it because when I am in a race, that is my mindset, I will get hit by a car fracture my fever and I keep racing, I don’t quit no matter what. And that was an asset. But taking that into training. We could do a whole episode with the stories of how I’ve gotten myself in trouble because that is can be a really dumb attitude. And

Grant Holicky  39:43

you got to know that about yourself. You got to know who you’re dealing with here and I used to. I had a colleague who’s been on the show, Neil is a great example of somebody who remember one of his athletes pinned him up for the state TT and they pin the pin through through his skin and he didn’t I know Yeah, until he’s pulling the skin suit off and said, Oh, it’s stuck on my undershirt. There’s like Neil, you not wearing an undershirt. And it’s so like that ability to turn off the brain and just get really tunnel vision. Don, the outcome athletes are fantastic at that. But it doesn’t always serve the right purpose.

Trevor Connor  40:25

So I actually have another story to share, just because why not? Let’s flog me a little more.

Grant Holicky  40:30

Listen, you’re flogging yourself.

Trevor Connor  40:34

So I’ll do this. But there’s a theme

Trevor Connor  40:35

here. That’s fair. So

Trevor Connor  40:38

this is a true do not do what I do tour of the healer 2012 I probably got in the best shape of my life for that race. I wanted to go to that race and get a result. Because the previous era had a really good race and I threw my back out, so I’m like, I gotta get revenge. I ate some other theme. The day before the race started got bad food poisoning. That night. I was in and out of the bathroom at least 10 times. Did you cook it yourself? I actually think it was a grapefruit. Pretty sure it was a grapefruit

Trevor Connor  41:10

Okay. Said no one ever

Trevor Connor  41:12

said no. I’m saying now. But whatever it was, okay, it out of the bathroom. 10 times, I started the race the next day. That race. If anybody does healer, the first day is what 100 miles. It’s mostly flat until you hit a category one climb at the very end and finishes at the top of the climb. So you had a good weight loss. I somehow managed to stay with the

Trevor Connor  41:38

field almost to the climb because your watts per kilo were good.

Trevor Connor  41:41

Just because I feel honestly, God popped. I was dead last finisher. But I got to the top. I walked over to the Gatorade table where they are handing out drinks to get a drink the water behind the table. I have no idea what I looked like. But obviously I looked horrible because she took the drink out of my hand and walked me to the med tent. And I got three IV bags. My blood pressure was 60 over nothing. And they said if the third IV bag they said if this doesn’t do it, we are taking you to the hospital. They let me go after the third IV bag. And of course what did I do started the next day I started the next day. Well, you were fully hydrated. So obviously the first time and I was doing great for the first 80% of the race until all of a sudden in the middle of the race. I pulled over I ran into a field. I traumatized the cactus.

Trevor Connor  42:37

Whoa. But the cactus didn’t traumatized you all

Grant Holicky  42:40

the time do Milan.

Trevor Connor  42:42

I gotta tell you what it is gonna say I traumatize a cactus. I finished that day. I finished healer. That was stupid. I will be the first to say that was just absolutely dumb.

Grant Holicky  43:01

Well, yeah, I’m glad you said it. I was waiting for the moral of the story. As long as the moral of the story was

Trevor Connor  43:07

really, I’m all for self reflection is probably worthwhile. What was the point of it?

Grant Holicky  43:12

I think the point of this is coming back to Rob’s initial question is like my ask is Think it through my ask is go to that place and say why am I doing this? I know I always come back to this. Am I doing this for the experience? Great. Go do it, man. But don’t confuse Don’t fool yourself. Yeah, don’t confuse something epic with something beneficial. And I think that’s something that is hard for a lot of athletes. A lot of people to get together just because it’s epic. Just because it’s huge. Just because it’s different. Doesn’t mean it’s good.

Trevor Connor  43:49

To make that point. I finished ILA. It was probably two months before I could raise 100% Again, I did damage. Yeah, don’t damage or did you do

Grant Holicky  43:58

damage last night, Rob?

Trevor Connor  44:00

I don’t think I did. Okay, I had fun. I have a rest day. If all goes if all goes well for rides this weekend. I’m in the clear.

Grant Holicky  44:07

What are you doing for your rest day? You’re just gonna sit you you sit. Yeah, you know,

Trevor Connor  44:11

my rest days are days off. 100%. And then Friday is an easy base ride and then big days on the weekend and then easily base on Monday. So I tried to get a good polarization with the intensities out there but one day off completely.

Grant Holicky  44:26

Yeah. So by just kind of added into this, I’m going to Montana on Sunday. Yeah, you are. So I will stay on the gas all the way through Saturday. Yep. And then go to Montana and just not worry about it for a couple days. Just not gonna worry. I’m gonna dig a hole. But then I’m gonna go to Montana and be like, I earned this beer. I earned this fish in time. That’s kind of my mentality behind it.

Trevor Connor  44:52

You got it. Listeners since you listen to fast talk Every week you know that knowledge is power and power is B, there is no better way to get faster or to achieve your goals than by training smarter, not harder.

Trevor Connor  45:09

We know that more is not better. So check this out, we have reduced the price to join fast talk labs. So you’re saying less is more, something like that. Now listeners can join fast dog labs for just $5 per month that’s 75% Less, get full access to all our guides to training science intervals, sports nutrition pathways and data analysis all from world class experts for just $5 a month. There’s never been a better time to join Fast Talk Lab. Join now at fasttalklabs.com.

Rob Pickels  45:40

That was another episode of Fast Talk the thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual, join the conversation at forums.fasttalklabs.com or join our coaching and education community at fasttalklabs.com/join. Something something something for Trevor Connor, Grant Holicky, Bryce, our videographer in the background. Thanks, Bryce. I’m Rob Pickels. Thanks for listening.

Trevor Connor  46:08

That was surprisingly close. Well done.

Grant Holicky  46:12

That was pretty good. I’m impressed.

Trevor Connor  46:14

You flipped. Let’s become a member of Fast Talk Laboratories at fasttalklabs.com/join and become apart of our education. You flipped them.

Grant Holicky  46:22

I was impressed as you should be.

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