Potluck Discussion: January Training Tips, Holiday Nutrition Fiascos, and Trying a New Sport  

In this week’s potluck, we discuss our favorite ways to approach training in January, practical weight management tips after the holidays, and what to consider when trying a new endurance sport.

FTL Episode 302 Website Graphic

What Are Our Top Suggestions for Training in January?  

For most of us, January is when the real training starts for the season. But even if your calendar looks different, this conversation still applies. You need to know what to do when you’re still months away from your first event, but still ready to start serious training. Coach Connor asks our team how they approach this important start to the base season. We discuss everything from specific workout suggestions, to mindset, to our differing philosophies on base training.  

What Practical Weight Loss, Weight Gain, and Nutrition Tips do you Implement and Why Do They Work? 

The holidays have come and gone, and if you’re like most of us, your healthy diet went off course for a bit. You might find yourself packing a few extra pounds at the start of this new year. Our first suggestion – don’t stress it. It’s going to come off. But, there are bigger questions around our diets. So, coach Pickels asks us how to take that extra weight off and what’s healthiest when it comes to holiday eating. The team doesn’t fully see eye to eye on this question, and some points were made about some people needing help gaining weight instead, so get ready for a spicy one. 

How Do You Set Realistic Expectations When Diversifying Sports or Starting a New Sport? 

At some point or another, even if we love our primary sport, most of us will feel a desire to try something new. It could just be a change in discipline, such as trying mountain biking if you’re a road cyclist. Or it could be something entirely new like switching from running to rowing. Griffin McMath asks the teams how to successfully make this change from a training, financial, and mindset perspective.  

Get ready for another potluck discussion and let’s make you fast! 

Episode Transcript

Trevor Connor  00:04

Well, welcome everybody to another episode of Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance sports training.

Rob Pickels  00:11

It’s not right, but I’m gonna let you say it.

Trevor Connor  00:13

I never know what it is. I’ve only started just doing it.

Rob Pickels  00:16

It’s your source for the science of endurance sports performance.

Trevor Connor  00:20



Hey, I know I know we want to talk about the podcast but you know what I want to talk about. I want to talk about that guy.

Trevor Connor  00:27

I want to go there too. We got a surly grant grant,


we have a grant holiday. Not only is he a surly grant Holic he this morning wearing slippers 17 degrees outside Prouty, buddy. He is also once again the coach of current cyclocross national champion, or I shouldn’t say that you’ve always been Eric’s coach. But Eric, that came out, right. Yeah, no. But hey, Eric Bruner who is somebody near and dear to my life all the way back boulder Junior cycling grant. You’ve been coaching him for the years since and he is once again cross national champion. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  00:59

yeah. It was pretty fun to watch. It was a super great race. Yeah. If you haven’t seen that race that is one to go watch cyclocross nationals from this year, it


had drama. It had performance. It had physicality. In fact, physical Yeah, I was like a hockey. Yeah, Trevor, you would love it. You too. It was the Canadian version of cyclocross. Yeah.

Trevor Connor  01:18

Am I wrong here? Are you also a national champion? No, no, I thought you you did the Masters I did back at 10th Oh, okay.

Rob Pickels  01:26

There’s a one in that. Yeah.

Grant Holicky  01:30

And I did not win but

Trevor Connor  01:32

wait a minute. He’s right. There’s a one that 00 is nothing

Grant Holicky  01:37

Yeah, yeah, one times zero actually the one of the guys I coach one my age group Justin Morgan. So that was see if


two national champions well and also and I feel bad for leaving him out but Scott Funston was second in the elite race who grant also coaches I don’t coach

Grant Holicky  01:55

him directly Chris McGovern coaches um but I work with a really on the team. Yeah, God Screw that

Trevor Connor  02:00

guy. So whatever it is Grant actually a good coach grant is a good coach and if people are looking for coaching then they can hit up either grant or myself at Forever endurance.com Just a little little plug I like it.

Grant Holicky  02:11

Well done. I

Trevor Connor  02:12

get to say you know the showing up and flip flops always wearing a hat you’ll look like a coach. If you


want the seat of the pants coach you can go with Grant if you want the well put together coach you can go with me. You get all of your options at Forever endurance.

Grant Holicky  02:24

Robin I may be the yin and yang here. Rob walks in and his overcoat and his nice his pico are looking scarf and his he looks put together I look like I always look


this is balanced. We are the balance in the universe. And the force in the force as a good

Trevor Connor  02:41

point because Rob is stylish. I’m not I was just saying that I have no fashion sense whatsoever. I just I have figured out how to wear clothing that doesn’t embarrass so the robin Bernsen


works out well. I the other side of the table it’s just like

Grant Holicky  02:55

garbage chic. Or it’s true.


It’d be funny if this this is an off white on it then you would be really fashionable would be you’re right right. You’re right. Trevor’s like off white.

Trevor Connor  03:04

What is so all of you have a style. My style is if I was standing beside a wall, you would notice the wall

Rob Pickels  03:10

your style is the shirts that you get gifted for Christmas.

Trevor Connor  03:13

That is exactly that’s true.

Griffin McMath  03:14

No, I like the polka dots. That’s not just the polka.

Trevor Connor  03:17

I will say I improve this year I was Christmas shopping. I was in the bay which is the Canadian Macy’s and they had button down shirts for $25 They were like 75% off.

Grant Holicky  03:31

They’re all flat on fleece line.

Trevor Connor  03:33

Yeah, so they were the ones that nobody else wanted, but I bought a bunch of 25 bucks you can’t go

Rob Pickels  03:38

wrong. Why not? That

Grant Holicky  03:40

is basically the core of any good fashion style. What’s the cheapest? Isn’t? Isn’t that what we do for usually How old are those jeans Trevor? I feel like they’re older than Griffin

Trevor Connor  03:50

scarily I think I bought these like I

Griffin McMath  03:52

don’t know whether that’s an insult or a compliment to me actually.

Grant Holicky  03:56

It wasn’t about you Griffin It was

Rob Pickels  04:00

not everything is about like

Grant Holicky  04:02

god it’s just going with the youngest person in the room so

Trevor Connor  04:04

then that’s a compliment they are older than Griffin younger than me


perfect. Well do think Griffin Yes. So they’re they’re retro they

Trevor Connor  04:16

Okay, shall we actually talk about something here? Um, yeah, let’s


podcasting is fun. Let’s talk about training because this is the source.

Trevor Connor  04:27

Oh, graduate stripping.

Griffin McMath  04:29

I know you were what? Your outfit but I can’t even speak so speechless

Trevor Connor  04:38

to try to get this train back on the tracks which is how we always start the potluck. We have a theme it’s January. It’s relatively early January when this is going live. I think this goes live around January 12. Most people just took the holidays. We all did the same thing. I’m not here to tell you guys what I ate on Sunday.


I holidays. So hard this year, holiday the crap out

Trevor Connor  05:02

of it. Yeah. So today,

Grant Holicky  05:04

I won that national championship.

Trevor Connor  05:06

I drove home for the airport on Sunday I stopped at a gas station. When I got to my house. I looked at the wrappers and things sitting on my passenger seat and I was just like, I become everything.


For the guy who is really against like sugary foods, he really loves candy. Yeah, hi.

Trevor Connor  05:24

This is like growing up. I was a candy fanatic. That’s always my issue. It’s like, when I say sugar is bad for you don’t eat it. It’s not like I’m going well. That’s great, because I hate sugar. I’m saying that going. I love sugar. I could when I was a kid, I buy like three bags of Skittles and eat them in one city. So


Skittles are the best. Well, yeah, you know, depending on your point of view schedule

Grant Holicky  05:49

like Skittles.

Griffin McMath  05:50

I’m not one to talk. I’m hiding a box of peanut butter captain crunch my friends. I didn’t bring up the office today. Sometimes you just need it.


I made good choices today. I stopped at Whole Foods and I got a banana and an apple because I forgot them at home.

Grant Holicky  06:05

Yeah. So you went to Whole Foods your banana and your apple and and it

Rob Pickels  06:09

was the most convenient

Griffin McMath  06:10

on the way here. You’re really living into that coat reputation. My shadow


as I was walking into that store was so on point,

Trevor Connor  06:18

like good. was part of what I go home as my dad is invested in a small chocolate company. So he doesn’t make any money off of it. But what they said it’s called

Grant Holicky  06:31

Canadian good chocolate company. But they sent

Trevor Connor  06:34

him free chocolate. So whatever I’m home, he has the stack of boxes that he gets for free. Just like here, Trevor have chocolates.

Grant Holicky  06:42

Chocolates? Yeah. Hey, free and


chocolate doesn’t say the only. Okay. Hey, let’s talk about training.

Trevor Connor  06:49

What’s your question? No, I


don’t want to do my Trevor’s questions. First. Yeah, always. Well, I

Grant Holicky  06:54

don’t have a question. No, no, no, you

Rob Pickels  06:56

had a question. We voted your question off the island.

Grant Holicky  06:59

That’s right. That’s why I know right? I

Trevor Connor  07:00

have a question. It’s very bitter. I’m not bitter necessarily. Questions were better. I was starting the countdown to start the show and I had to pause because you need to get out a few F bombs I did we start I

Grant Holicky  07:12

did. That doesn’t mean I’m upset necessarily. Just there’s things that I need to get out means otherwise.

Griffin McMath  07:17

Listen, that word depending on how you say it can meet a lot of different things I could

Grant Holicky  07:21

I could have been

Trevor Connor  07:22

exuberant. Rob was actually did a great common discussion about all the things that work can mean. It’s worth watching


Samuel Jackson narrated book called go to sleep.

Griffin McMath  07:31

Okay, yes, so good.

Trevor Connor  07:35

Fast talk laboratories offers deep dives into your favorite training topics like intervals polarized training, data analysis and sports nutrition. Take a look now at our cycling based training pathway, now’s the perfect time to see how to lay the perfect foundation for an awesome season. In our new guide to cycling based training experts Joe Friel. Dr. Steven Siler, Brian Kohler, Dr. Andy Pruitt, and I show why good base training isn’t just about writing endless miles. We share how to plan and structure your bass season, how to monitor your efforts, and how to track your fitness gain. So you start your next training phase with a strong aerobic engine. See more at fast talk labs.com/pathways? All right. My question. I’m going to read it. A lot of athletes let training slip over the holidays. I always personally consider January the start of true training for the season. What’s your favorite workout approach to January and this is for athletes that race or their season is kind of that March to September. So I know grant talking about cross athletes, the answer is keep resting. So talking more about people involved in that road season. So who wants to answer this question first? I definitely have my thoughts. Well,

Grant Holicky  08:49

I think it’s a little bit hard because people seasons are starting earlier and earlier in early now. And even masters racers in Colorado. They’re traveling down Arizona and doing Valley of the Sun or Tucson cycling classic are these races that are like February, mid February. For my athletes, I tend to kind of suggest that you leave those races to the Californians and the Arizonans and like they’re gonna come in fit negative come in flying super fast. Yeah, if you start your season in January here, I tend to advise a little mix of different things, maybe a little running, definitely get your strength work and do those things because it’s really hard to get a ton of volume in Colorado in January. I agree. And in a lot of the country, it’s hard to do that. I mean, there’s places that it works really really well but if it works really really well that’s people that I would advise take their break back in November. Crank back up in December, but for a lot of us Yeah, we let it go I let it go big time and maybe not quite as well as Rob This is why I’m wearing all baggy clothes to work. couldn’t fit nothing else fit Griffin

Trevor Connor  09:59

Oh no, this is why I had to get an app.

Grant Holicky  10:05

So yeah, like, I tend to approach it with a little bit of a training mix that maybe include some running, maybe include some lifting, maybe include some cross country skiing, maybe even some downhill skiing, just a little bit of everything, keeps things light keeps things fresh. And then as we move into those longer days of February, we start cranking back up a little bit more hours on the bike and try to take advantage of the sun. Yeah,

Rob Pickels  10:28

for me in January is oftentimes that rebirth, right? And the hope is that people don’t let themselves slip too bad in December, so that you’re not crawling out too deep of a hole. But I think that a lot of individuals, you know, they come into January, and one of two things happen, or maybe both at the same time. They assume that their fitness is what it was six weeks ago, when they kind of weren’t last training hard. And they just dive right back into training, trying to do the exact same workloads. And ultimately, I think that that can be detrimental, right? Because it’s so tiring when you’re trying to do things that are now too hard, because your FTP has has dropped by, I don’t know, 5%, maybe more. So I think that starting out with testing is always really important in January. And if that’s lactate testing, awesome, if that’s some sort of FTP performance test. And that’s great, too. Which leads me to my second point, I think that people can be in January, and they can say my fitness is so bad, they can almost be afraid to train. Because they don’t want to see these numbers, they don’t want to see these numbers that are lower than they should be than are lower than they were before. And so I oftentimes write some workouts that are maybe a little bit lower intensity for people, maybe what I do is I’ll shorten the rest a little bit so that they’re still getting a good workout. But I won’t do it as a high percent of their FTP as I normally would. Let’s help build some confidence back, let’s get back in the consistency of training. I think January is a great month to be kicking things off. But races aren’t necessarily one in January, right? So the perfect workout might not be as important. So

Trevor Connor  12:02

I gotta give a different answer what I love about that winter season, you know, we talked about some people do start racing in February. So really what we’re talking about is, you’re a couple months away from when you consider your season starting, what do you do. And to me, the biggest thing is now about getting consistent. Particularly if you are on that start racing in March or April, you just had the holidays, you typically lose that consistency, you’re gonna have weeks where you’re not training it at all. And I think the biggest gains come from when you can just say, I’m going to do a couple of good three, four week blocks, where all I have to focus on is my training, even in the season, you’re going to have races and events where you go, training has to take second wheel to getting ready for the events, you can’t always be consistent about your training in season. So I love you hit January, we’re now going to do two or three of these four week blocks and do this nice build. I do agree with you that the intensity can really hurt. So I personally don’t those two reasons for this. But I don’t like hitting athletes with the really high intensity in January. Why don’t I love it? I know you do. So I’ll get by explanation for why I do more threshold work. What is the high intensity hurts. Second, as goes back to we talked about this on the show and you’ll look at the research. The higher the intensity, the work, the quicker you see the adaptations and the plateau. Like you do sprint work. You see the adaptations in a couple of weeks and after like three, four weeks, you just don’t see much after that. You do like Tabata type work, you see most of the gains in about six weeks, when you’re doing work around your anaerobic threshold MLSs, whatever term you want to use, it’s 10 to 14 weeks to see the gains. So I see a real benefit of doing that work in this phase where we got a couple of months of training. And we can build that. And yeah, there is that argument that we’ve had on the show of is it different systems? Or is all this work hitting the same system as one system you just hit yet slightly different. That’s a different conversation. Well,

Grant Holicky  14:07

it is all the same system. But I agree with you and I’ll tend to do and I’m sorry to cut you off gruff and I know you have something that put in this but I really want to get back at Trevor.

Griffin McMath  14:20

I want to get between that. No, I

Grant Holicky  14:22

agree with Trevor and definitely I will do more tempo and threshold type work this time of year because you do need that time to build it in. The reason I like doing intensity year round is that it’s not just physical vo two Max is a gigantic zone. I will say this on repeat and people on the show will get sick of it. But that zone goes from 110% of threshold to max effort and it’s all purple on your computer.

Trevor Connor  14:48

That’s ridiculous. There’s

Grant Holicky  14:49

so much nuance in that zone. And there’s so many different places to play around in that zone and things you feel in that zone. So I like that it’s hard. Yes, I like that you can do Something in January, that’s short, that’s intense. And you get off the bike. And people feel like they did something, people really felt like they got something done today. And I think sometimes those base workouts, especially when they’re on the trainer, and they’re a little bit shorter, sometimes you get off, you don’t really feel like you did that much. So that’s kind of why I like that intensity. But I won’t argue with the fact that this is the time of year to get some of that LT and tempo work in and it works really, really well.

Griffin McMath  15:26

I would love to take us back, you said something a little bit ago about how the season is starting to creep earlier and earlier. And so my question is a why is that even happening? And B? Does that change the whole premise of the question of what to do in January?

Rob Pickels  15:43

I think that it’s really hard. I face this a lot. It just seems like a lot of the races that I like to do are in April. And then I have like this dearth of event through the middle of the summer dearth. You like that.

Griffin McMath  15:58

After that, I don’t like she’s one of those words I

Rob Pickels  16:00

don’t like. So yeah, I think it is hard, right? For the athlete. They’re at the whim of the calendar, right in some regard. And I think that there’s different types of athletes, right? There are athletes that are going to race the series that is local to them. And then there are athletes that kind of cherry pick, maybe more marquee events, right. And ultimately, I think the question is of the race promoters like why the heck are these events happening? So early in the year now? The athlete is at the whim of the race.

Grant Holicky  16:29

Well around here. You do see it. There’s not a whole lot in summer because it’s hot, right? And people don’t want to put on racist when it’s super hot. But you’re right. The super fun races around here or April, May.

Trevor Connor  16:39

It’s not just the heat. Another reason is people aren’t people, you make the money on masters riders and they vacation. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  16:46

they’re not around. That’s a good point. I have always missed that a little bit. But I think you’re right. And I don’t know. I mean, that does bring us to a whole nother question is, you know, are we talking about that in January? Are we talking about that December. And there’s these big picture arguments about the calendar. I mean, this is why we moved cyclocross nationals that December because everybody complained, oh, I can’t train through the holidays, which to me, I won’t get on my high horse. But it’s ridiculous. You’re preparing for a single one hour or 50 minute long masters raise how much you really need to be doing. Like, give me a break and enjoy yourselves. It’s not the end of the world to have a beer. This


is as we said, the coach of current cyclocross national champion.

Grant Holicky  17:26

But I want to come back to something that I think Trevor said, The streak and I’m a big believer from a mental performance standpoint about the streak, that the whole point of a resolution or the whole point of getting back to something is getting back to the rhythm and back to the streak. Give yourself the three days in a row, the four days in a row, whatever that is. So creating a way that allows you to still be interested, or if you’re coming off our super hard offseason, like Rob did, and by heart I mean, he like offseason parted, he was all in on his office number was, yeah. And I did too. I weighed myself at the gym yesterday, and I don’t care too much about my weight. And it was little, you know, Oh, crud muffins, I gotta get going here a little bit. And to me, that becomes about the streak, okay, I did a run today. And I’m gonna do this tomorrow, and I’m gonna ski hard on Saturday, it doesn’t matter what those things are. It matters that you get something done on a regular basis, because for most athletes, as soon as you’re back in that streak, you’re back in it, you’re gonna get excited about it. Again, you’re gonna see this movement toward and I think that’s really where we need to get back to is instead of this rest running away from let’s get this movement toward

Trevor Connor  18:45

itself that I want to quickly addressed to Griffin’s question I think is really important for people to understand. I see people all the time that go to valley of sun or go to this February races and go, I’m getting a leg up on the season. You’re not all you’re doing is moving your season, you’re starting out sooner, and you’re gonna start feeling stretched sooner. I remember when I was managing team Rio Grande, we had this rider on the team who will live down in California. And he went to those early January races and he was killing it. And he sent me this really excited email go look over well, I’m bracing right now I’m going to be crushing it this season. And I sent him an email back that he didn’t understand saying, I’m really concerned. And sure enough, he crushed it in January and February by the time team Rio Grande went to their first race in March. He was already overtrained, and he barely went to a race that season.

Rob Pickels  19:38

And I think that that’s what you have to be considerate of. Right. If you have an early season, it’s okay to start your season early. Just understand that a traditional leader season probably isn’t going to work out well for you. And as long as everything works together. I’m okay with people starting in February but just don’t expect to be good in the middle of the summer.

Grant Holicky  19:59

Oh Are you can expect to be good. But you have to split this up into three separate seasons, you’re going to be taking a week off in late May or early May, if they’re training in January. So, you know, we’ve talked about this a little bit more about how the athletes and we talked about it with Joe Friel, about how athletes are having to peak over and over and over again or hold these peaks. And how did they do it? This is one of the ways they’re going to do it. Yeah, they’re starting earlier. Yeah, maybe they’re even ending later. But there’s these breaks that are built in, so that it’s hard to do that super traditional long build up periodization piece. Instead, you’re hitting it, I’m really good here and then I’m gonna back off and I’m gonna take some rest. And I will scream from the rooftops that three, four, even six days to one week breasts man, they do not hurt you. They only help you and people just don’t want to take them now. So yeah, you can get cranking now. But just look for that week off somewhere down the road.

Griffin McMath  20:59

So unless someone splits up multiple seasons, the actual landscape of the competition could change if people are front loading, yeah, their season. And

Grant Holicky  21:07

you can do that listen, like you can know if you’re from California or Arizona that like I’m going to target value the song or I’m going to target one of these things because I have an opportunity to come in a leg up. So I’m going to do really well. And sometimes it’s

Trevor Connor  21:21

target Valley.

Grant Holicky  21:24

For a variety of reasons.

Trevor Connor  21:25

I’ve got a bias. Yeah, I apologize. The organizers of the Valley of the Sun are gonna hear this and hate me, but I just don’t like that race because everybody’s like, I gotta get a leg up. I’m gonna show up. Uh, you have spent particularly cat twos and I’m gonna get my upgrade and be a cat one by March. Yeah, everybody shows up. Nobody’s been a peloton for six months. It’s sketchy. A crash fest?

Grant Holicky  21:48

Yeah, it’s sketchy. It’s nobody’s fault. But when you look at your season, you may decide to target an early race because it suits you or it’s good for you understand that then build in a break somewhere so that you can go to the next race that suits you. You can’t hold an April peak. You can’t hold a march peak. You sure can’t hold a February peak for eight months.

Trevor Connor  22:12

No, you can’t. Last thing I will say to that. And then we’ll move on to Rob’s question people when we say this to people, they look at the pros and go, well how the pros do they raise February October? couple answers to that one is there pros. They’ve been doing this a long time and they have a stamina and resistance that most people don’t have. Be there’s two types of pros. There’s the Domestique Pro, who really never peaks. They’re just kind of 80% 85% all the time. And they’re 85% is good enough to do some damage and a pro race. And they’re disabled to go to race to race to race, but they’re never on top form. If you look at the the guys that are trying to win the Tour de France or the big events like a TATA A, you don’t see Tata and the march races of February or if he is he’s not doing much, right. He’s bundled up well.

Rob Pickels  23:03

And I think that that’s a great point, right? Oftentimes, people will look at somebody faster than them and assume that that person is always on their peak form and fitness because they’re beating you. Here’s the thing. They’re just faster than you. And oftentimes they are not trying that hard. They are not on their peak. I think what is on joven was this weekend, I saw a quote from Vanderpool and he demolished everyone in that race. And his quote was something like I tried not to expend too much energy, this race. Yeah, he’s just that much better he is, trust me, he is not racing. 100%, right.

Grant Holicky  23:34

But one of the things that I will definitely say is that I know we tend to look at this and go, I’m out of shape. I’m behind the eight ball and all those things. And all those things may be true. But in my mind, it’s not very hard to get an athlete to 90%, it’s very hard to go from 90% to 100%. You can be very good at 90%. You can be competitive at 90%. You can use racecraft at 90%. And


90% is better than 110%. Absolutely. So

Grant Holicky  24:06

remember that it doesn’t take that long to get to 90%. I would argue you can get there in six weeks, you can get there in two months, no problem. It’s that next leg up, that takes us this long time or this period to get there. So you can look at yourself in January and go I’m out. I’m out of shape. I’m in this weird place where I’m like, I’m actually in decent shape. But I’m a little overweight. That’s fine. It’ll come off. I know how to get it off. I know how to do those things. But I’m not panicked. I don’t get into a panic mode. I’ve got athletes that got sick. Everybody’s getting sick this year. The respiratory stuff that’s going around, you will get sick and you’ll get knocked out for a week or two. Don’t stress about it. It’s gonna be okay, we can get that back. You’re not as far behind as you think you are. And it comes back very quickly. The top end might take a little longer. That’s okay. But we can get there too.

Trevor Connor  25:01

That’s always my goal with the bases. Yeah, when you come out of a successful bass season, you should be able to hang to the end of the race with the people that you want to be competing with that just when the attack start, you’re gonna have nothing to respond to that. And then we build the top end, and then you’re winning races. Yeah.


Can we do this? Can we end this segment out on? If you could only do one workout in January? What would it be?

Trevor Connor  25:25

I can’t have one workout because again, I’m, I believe in the polarize approach. So it’s a lot a long, slow threshold workout,


the underlying assumption is that there is a majority of of base zones to

Trevor Connor  25:38

level work that for me, it’s the five by fives, or the four by its threshold work.

Rob Pickels  25:42

And for everybody listening to describe that. Trevor’s five by fives are like 90 95% of FTP, though, right around 100% 95 to 100, and then a short rest five minutes on one minute off five minutes on. So as opposed to a five by five that you could also do an A vo to level where you’re at 120%? Don’t

Trevor Connor  26:02

touch that in the winter. Yeah,

Rob Pickels  26:03

what would you do, I like you, and more of a max, aerobic power type of person. But I will say this very much depends on on the athlete you’re working with. And this is not a universal suggestion. But I will say long Max, aerobic power, long view to stuff is really hard and painful in January. So I skip the five minutes, the eight minutes stuff, and I’m a 3030 kind of guy. I think that that gets you up to that workload, it gets your legs used to dealing with that, but it doesn’t have the stress on the system that holding that power straight for five or eight minutes. Well, yeah,

Grant Holicky  26:38

I love that. And I love 4020s For that same reason. Now, one of the things and this will sound kind of odd that I don’t want to ever get rid of in January is peak sprints. And we’re not talking to to max work, I’m talking like, all out out of the side 10 sec out sprints, spread them out through a ride, do 567 of them, and a ride with them. And part of the reason I love mid January is your legs are actually kind of fresh, you’re going to see some sweet numbers in there. And that that excites people that’ll get you going even if you’re not seeing those other and all of a sudden you pop 1100 Watts, and you’re like, oh, but golden god, you get excited about the rest of the training. And there’s a huge technical component to top end sprinting. And if you can start working on it, now, you have a better chance to get to that plays with that really high cadence and that really, really 121 30 sprinting out of the saddle. And that you can hold that because you’re not necessarily going to be able to hold the top end power. But you can hold the technical things that you’ve learned about producing top end power.

Trevor Connor  27:39

And by the way, you want to hit your best sprint power ever do it in like November and December.

Grant Holicky  27:44

Barely riding the bike. It feels great, though you feel good about yourself. Yep.


Griffin is cued up over here. She knows. I know

Griffin McMath  27:51

for me, because I’m not a pro. ignore you. I looked right. Look at this. And you’re like, I want to know where are we going? Let’s do girl squats are my January in the gym. I like I like this primal functional movement. It benefits so many aspects of your physical health. And I now follow all of you on Strava. So I’m going to be watching you and mimicking what you’re doing but my endurance goals are for September. Squats

Grant Holicky  28:18

this morning. I gotta

Trevor Connor  28:20

say, you look at this and you go what doughnuts this evening?

Rob Pickels  28:24

Which leads me to my question.

Trevor Connor  28:26

Oh, it does. It does doesn’t lady up, lady up on that one.

Rob Pickels  28:31

I don’t know that. That’s the word. Teach you up. You know, I get my expression. Funny, funny expressions. I will say as as a quick aside, you know, we had family over our house for Christmas. And it’s been a long time since we’ve had like babies in the house. My kids are 11 at this point. And my brother in law was like, I’m gonna go put Olivia down. And we you know what she means like to put her down for a nap. But it’s just such an odd phrase of word that we all use, because in a different context, it has a very different meaning. Anyway, it was just like a little family inside the

Trevor Connor  29:06

baby. About listeners This is a great time of year to expand your training knowledge join fast talk laboratories now for the best knowledge base of training signs on topics like polarized training, intervals, data analysis, sports, nutrition, physiology, and more. Join fast talk labs today and push your thinking and your training to all new heights. See more fast talk labs.com/join.

Rob Pickels  29:39

Let’s see who holidays. I got on the scale much like everybody else and I looked at the number and I gasped much like everybody else. And this isn’t I don’t want to have a discussion a deep discussion about the philosophy of weight loss whether or not people need to lose weight. I am at a point right now where I believe that I am slightly above a healthy optimal weight For me, to tell you the truth, this is not about becoming a skeleton to win the Tour de France, right? I need to put that caveat out there. But what I’m actually interested in because everybody is different. And for me, nutrition stuff is so individualized for people, I don’t always think that there’s one optimal thing. I want to hear from everybody. What practical tips, or what practical actions do you include in your daily life, to improve your nutrition to improve your body composition? And why do you do those things for yourself? And my hope is that the listener can identify with somebody and say, Oh, God, I feel exactly the same way. Maybe that will work for me.

Trevor Connor  30:42

Shall we have the contest? I left at 162 pounds 172 this morning? Wow. Okay.


About 1010 over about 10 It’s better. I mean, I’m like six over now. I’m

Grant Holicky  30:54

about 10. Intense pretty normal. For me. I think some of it for whatever it’s worth think some of its but I was doing 20 Push Ups a day all through? Yeah, dude, you’re small. About that. But I do put on weight muscle fairly? Yeah, no, no, no.

Griffin McMath  31:08

I’m significantly under. When I was like, Darn it, like, I have been trying, yeah.


Okay. So that let’s expand my question. I didn’t want to you can talk from the other side.

Grant Holicky  31:20

I didn’t want to go first on this, but I will, we’ll lay something out there. The key to everybody in this room, whether you’re underweight or overweight, is we got out of our routine. Right, you can just leave it very simply as routine somebody like Griffin who has to pay attention to what she eats to make sure she stays where she wants to stay. Because she’s always anxious. And she’s like, you know, scared little bird and Trevor terrifies her. And anytime she’s in the office just like tweaking, you know,

Griffin McMath  31:51

like you walk in, and I’m found giggling in a corner somewhere.

Grant Holicky  31:57

Isn’t metabolism, metabolic rate, that’s nice and high. Getting back on point that routine, if Griffin has to focus on the right amount of food at the right times, in order to stay the weight she wants to stay at. That’s just as much routine as myself making sure that I am eating oatmeal in the morning, or not having a beer at night, or whatever those things are, as much to me is they’re not choices is their habit and routine. And January is a time that we can get back to habit and routine. So for me, the kids are out of school, I don’t even try anymore. I know I seriously, I don’t try to hold my routine, when everybody else around and do it man is off, it’s hard. This is the time that I get to enjoy that and not have any guilt over that. So I can go and have a couple of beers a night or go and do those things or eat differently in the morning or eat dessert. Because those things are social, you know, those aspects of what we do are social and they connect us to the people around us. And usually for me, I’m with Family, and I’m with those people that I really want to be with. Those are connecting pieces to those things. So I’m gonna lean into, I’m gonna I’m gonna enjoy him. But then I get back to January and I look at things and I go, Okay, kids are back in school, I can fall back into what is my routine. And that routine, I know, will drop the weight off that I need to get off, it will get me back to health, and I can move forward. That

Rob Pickels  33:27

was more insightful than I expected. Yeah, it was great.

Trevor Connor  33:29

That’s very good. This

Grant Holicky  33:31

is why I don’t ask questions anymore. I’ll just sit here and give them put on yours. I was

Trevor Connor  33:35

expecting a much psoralea grant today.

Grant Holicky  33:37

I never really surly. I think the habits

Griffin McMath  33:40

is a great point. As long as there are no other underlying conditions that are upright like that’s, that’s the caveat. Well,

Grant Holicky  33:47

you’re the one that’s going to think that way, obviously, as well you should write what are the underlying right, you know, what are the medical pieces? What are the phases and and you’re absolutely right, and I’m fortunate right I’m in a place where I don’t have any underlying issues. I don’t there’s a history of high blood pressure in the family. So I don’t drink caffeine anymore unless it’s a race day and there’s little things like that that I’ll focus on but I don’t have to worry about these other pieces of the puzzle so I can go and eat more sugar for me it’s sugar right it’s made to added sugar. I made a shift years ago I remember this that I went to natural peanut butter instead of all the sugar that’s added in typical peanut butter enter lost two pounds like it’s it’s noticeable. Stop drinking Coke and I lost weight. And for me, I have these little promises to myself and they’re not necessarily the healthiest things but on this day when I know I’ve worked really really hard I have a boy ice cream, you know, and it’s it’s that kind of stuff. That’s part of my routine. My routine is not living like a monk. It’s hardly that it’s just knowing I don’t drink on the night before my kids have school. Because I gotta get up early and I got to do those things and I need to sleep well. And so then I’m school, I have a beer, maybe I’ll have to, you know, I had to go chase Eric Brunner around for three hours on the bike, I’m gonna have a bowl ice cream because I’m probably under calorie anyway. But that all of those things and even those little treats, even those little pieces are part of my routine, I figured out a way to work them into my routine. So my routine feels good. It’s not abstinence. It’s not like I’m starving myself. It’s just part of life. And it rolls now. So I

Trevor Connor  35:37

absolutely love this question to the point that as you know, we’re working on a book right now. And there’s gonna be multiple chapters in this book addressing this exact question. I absolutely love reading the research and thinking about this. And to your point about routine, I’ll give you a little physiology behind this because I’m the same thing. That part of my routine when I’m not just at the weight I want to be at but eating healthy, which is really important to me to be there they go hand in hand, if you are eating healthy, your body is going to find a good weight. Yeah, so part of my routine is eating a low glycemic load diet. So I’ve never really spiking insulin. And when I’m eating a low glycemic load diet, and I’m in a routine, you know, I have my cheat days, I might go over to Pearl Street and they got this great ice cream shop there. Some ice cream, Spike my answer a little bit. But I go, Hey, you know, I really enjoy that tomorrow I can get back to the routine. It’s when you get out of the routine. So when I go home, I don’t want to offend my mom, I eat a lot of her cooking. I am eating high glycemic load day after day. And there’s a certain point and there is research on this. So here’s the issue. Insulin is it’s kind of a this catch 22 thing where eating a lot of sugar eating a lot of high glycemic index or high glycemic load foods, spikes insulin, but insulin increases hunger signals. So you’re eating and you’re getting hungrier and hungrier as you’re eating. And there’s further research showing that at a certain point, it impacts the part of your brain. That is basically your control center your willpower. And they have done research show and it literally shuts off your willpower. So I go home, trying to eat healthy, but I’m getting these insulin spikes, I’m getting these insulin spikes. And there’s just a certain point, it’s four or five days in where I go to the cupboard. There’s all my dad’s free chocolates. And I’ve said they’re going I shouldn’t eat these. I’m saying

Griffin McMath  37:40

you’re saying it between bites. Like

Trevor Connor  37:42

I will put down 10 chalk. Yeah. And go to bed with my heart rates and everything else go Why did I do that? No, no. And

Grant Holicky  37:50

there’s an endorphin spike when you get sugar too. And that’s something that you want you crave and you want it over and over and over again. So there are these negative or positive feedback loops, however you want to work them. And like I said, and I hear what you’re saying about ice cream every once in a while those things. That’s why I’ve worked it into my routine, like I can get to Friday and know I get to have a beer or I can get to Tuesday night, I’m gonna have ice cream with sprinkles and I’m gonna really enjoy it. And to me, that means that I’ve worked those endorphin rushes or those, you know, pleasure seeking moments into what I’ve done. And that way I can continue in perpetuity with it. And it feels good. But at the same time, I know that when I go home, much like you’re saying, Trevor, I’m just gonna lean into it. I just know this is where it’s going to be and it’s going to be okay, I go back up to Sydney, New York. I mean, chicken wings, I mean, pizza. I’m eating really good burned dairy ice cream. I’m gonna go down those roads, because they’re fun.

Trevor Connor  38:49

And it’s okay, here’s my counter to here’s my concern, because I used to be the same thing. And it’s the holidays. Let’s let it go a little bit. I’ll put onto it. I know I’m going to lose it in January. I’m not worried. But as you know, I’ve got a FIP Yeah,

Grant Holicky  39:00

yeah, this is back to what Griffin was saying, getting those

Trevor Connor  39:04

insulin spikes down. So I do not eat simple sugars anymore. Yeah. And my AFib was pretty much gone all fall. And that was my issue. I wasn’t concerned about gaining the weight over the holidays. But I noticed a couple of weeks into the holiday. Sure enough, if it was coming back, right. That’s my concern. And

Grant Holicky  39:24

this is this is what exactly what Griffin was saying about the underlying issues. And I don’t have that many. So I don’t need to worry about it, but many people do. And so you have to work that into how you make these choices.

Griffin McMath  39:38

Well, and even some of those choices that you make with sugars, you know if you can have healthy fats and fibers at the same time to just slow down right now.

Rob Pickels  39:48

So grant something you said before, you don’t do a program of abstinence, right. And that and that really resonated with me and you know, the example that I gave when I proposed this question was this I am of Very hungry person, I’m pretty much hungry all the time. I make it home from bike rides by thinking about what I’m going to eat. As soon as I walk in the door, I’m just hungry all the time. And for me when I was trying to do more of an absence, eat the same stuff, but just eat less. Yeah, I was always hungry. And that was a really bad place to be right? Because then you’re not enjoying our day today, then you’re dieting, then it’s all the negative things that come across with dieting and weight loss and all of those words. And so, you know, for me, what it became was how do I eat as much as possible, right, but of lower caloric density foods. And so almost every night for dinner, I’ll make an entire bag of frozen vegetables, maybe it’s broccoli one night, maybe it’s something you know, another night, and I’ll eat that entire bag of vegetables prior to eating like the main more, you know, because we’re cooking for the family who knows what it could be, it could be pasta, it could be anything like that. But by eating a large density of I shouldn’t say a large density, a large volume of food like that, I’m able to eat less of the things that tastes really good, less of the things that are just filled with cheese and carbs and everything else. But still walk away from that meal, feeling satiated, as opposed to just being like, I’m just going to eat a half a cup of pasta and one meatball and be hungry within 30 seconds of walking away from the table.

Grant Holicky  41:36

Yeah, and I also think there’s a piece to this, that eat what you really like last leave the meal with that taste in your mouth. But the really, really good stuff. Man, this is straight psychology, right? Like one of the things that you’re doing, and you don’t even know that you’re doing is like, I do this all the time with vegetables, I get them out of the way. And I’ll eat all of them first, same idea, right. And then I can go and eat that Alfredo sauce that I made the other night that’s really rich, but I’m leaving that meal gone. Ah, that was amazing that I ate so well tonight. And maybe I didn’t eat nearly as much of it as before. One last little thing that I do want to throw into this too is just very quickly about weight. And what we see as our ideal individual weight, we really have to approach this the way you would approach any goal in life, they have to be realistic. And I think far too often, I remember when I was like this when I was racing triathlon, I wanted to be 172 pounds, I’m never going to be 172 pounds. If I’m 180 to 182, I’m perfect for me. As soon as I went under 180, I was in 176 175, I couldn’t do the things that I needed to do. So maybe I go uphill faster. I couldn’t train I couldn’t perform. And dude, I can train like an animal at 188. Because I have all that access. And obviously I don’t want that down the road. But make good choices about what you’re establishing has a healthy weight for you and understand that. And the last thing I will say I’ve done this with athletes for years and years and years and years, the more you pay attention to it, the harder it’s going to be from

Griffin McMath  43:21

a different perspective, you know, I am significantly underweight for myself at this point. And we did all the labs and try to figure with found like a couple of things that might have been contributing to it. But I feel like if you’ve seen some of those hot ones episodes where people are really struggling, they’re just like, really trying to pack down those wings. That’s me trying to get in my protein count everyday we’re at the point where it is such a mental, like the mental burden or load of trying to calculate, okay, how can I try to increase calories, you get sick after certain point and you can do protein shakes you can you have to pair it with carbs and fats and all at the same time. There’s a real science to it. But if you are getting to the point, and this is one of the things for me, I mean, I try I stopped all exercise for a few weeks, I’m gonna get some pity weight, I’m gonna I’m gonna eat like, I’m going to stop working out and nothing it didn’t, didn’t work. And so you know, I tried the other route where I’m just going to do some strength training, I’m going to increase my protein, I’m going to increase my carbs the same time and I do all this and the mental load of that, that stress of trying to make sure that I was doing all the time made that worse. So for me, it’s about sneaking things in in addition to whatever I’m doing so that one I’m trying not to stress about food or calories and protein because it just makes it worse so I’ll eat the things that I like I don’t I try not to stress about it. I know that I can afford to gain a little bit of if you want to call it unhealthy way right now. do strength training as much as possible. I have a big endurance competition goal with some friends In September, but I’m I don’t want to train for that just yet, because I can’t handle that on my body. So for me it’s strength and resistance training. It’s protein, it’s a lot of carbs, I will eat tons of pasta right now I’m like, carbon era, you want me to throw in some egg, yo, yeah. And all this type of me, I will do it. And my, you know, blood pressure might go up in the interim, but

Trevor Connor  45:24

it probably won’t. So when I was racing full time, I was doing the calorie count thing. And it was pretty miserable it look, I will say this, you can eat McDonald’s all day. And if you’re counting your calories, you can get down to your target weight, it just can be miserable, and you’re not healthy. So I go back to what I said earlier of best way to get to the right weight is to eat healthy. And Rob talked about eating lower calorie density, I just wanted to flip that around and say, you want to simplify healthy eating down to the absolute basics. It’s eating nutrient density, making sure your foods have your nutrients. So I always love to point this out. There’s studies on pregnant women, they always joke about how pregnant women have these crazy cravings. Well, it looked into this, these different cravings that women would have whatever they were craving, that food would always be really high in a particular nutrient. And the women just intuitively understood this. And so they would crave it, they really needed that nutrient. So you really have to think of hunger signals are not an on off switch. Your body is craving something. So let’s say your body’s craving be six, and you go and eat a McDonald’s shake. Your body’s gonna go, that’s great. I’ll store that I still want you six. But yeah, give me what I need. So I’m not going to turn the hunger signals, right?

Rob Pickels  46:42

What vitamins in lasagna,

Griffin McMath  46:45

say what’s in the peanut butter Captain Crunch.

Trevor Connor  46:51

You want to turn off the hunger signals, focus on nutrient density. And I’m doing this off memory. So I might get this slightly wrong. But there is actually a table showing the most nutrient dense categories of foods to the least and I can always remember the top of it, I might get the bottom part a little bit off, but it basically goes most nutrient dense vegetables, then seafood, then fruits, then lean meats, then eggs, then legumes, round out the bottom three of the list. Now I can’t always quite remember the order is milk or dairy grain products. So you’re past us your breads, and bottle the list is nuts and seeds. Now I’m

Grant Holicky  47:31

going to take this back all the way to what I said at the beginning. And I think for everybody, everything you guys are saying it all comes back to routine. If Griffin’s gonna get enough of the food in and enough of the calories and she has to plan her meals, plan her snacks, plan what it is and hit the routine and know you’re hitting the routine, it takes so much stress out of the equation, I’m going to prep for this is what my ride is and I’m gonna eaten lunch after this ride, I’m going to eat this snack so that I don’t go into dinner having not eaten for six hours and be starving and eat a giant meal which our body is going to store. Well, that fat and then I’m going to get done because as Trevor said, you can’t turn off the hunger signals necessarily. And I still want sugar because I’m under calorie. So I’m going to use the ice cream routine is everything. When do you eat? How much do you eat and does it I don’t even think it matters how much you eat, the regularity of eating, whether you’re trying to gain weight or lose weight can have such an influence on what you’re trying to do. Because you’re not going through these big periods where you’re getting under calorie and you’re gorging yourself. So for me, always gonna come back routine routine routine, establish one that feels good. Establish one that you like that you can hold on to and move forward with it from that

Rob Pickels  48:43

I feel like this conversation went a little bit more philosophical and nutrition science than I wanted. So I’m going to throw in a couple more tips that I was thinking of in grant, you really brought this to the forefront of my mind when you were just speaking. And that is you pointed out you have to be on your routine. So you don’t end up at the gym starving because you haven’t eaten. This is another one of the sort of tips that I try to follow is even in times where I’m trying to lose weight, I still continue to eat throughout the day. Because what ends up happening is you’re like well, I’m gonna skip lunch and then I’ll have less calories. And you go for that ride and you’re dead tired and you bonk out on that ride. So you get home and you need 1000 calories of peanut butter or peanut butter Captain Crunch and things are now blowing out the window. Because you

Grant Holicky  49:31

stuff off the counter in your mouth. Exactly. Because you tried so hard in one direction. And Trevor, you know,

Grant Holicky  49:37

like you told that story about laying on the floor knocking things off the counter and eating them. I will always remember that when I come back from a ride bond. No.

Trevor Connor  49:45

So i That’s why I brought up the nutrient density. So when I was trading full time and eating a lot of high glycemic low nutrient density foods. I was starving all the time. I couldn’t go an hour without eating. When I eat a really nutrient dense meal. I can go five Six hours and not even think about eating. Oh

Griffin McMath  50:02

my gosh, what’s that life? Like? If I don’t eat every half an hour, I turn into that Gremlin from the movie The trolls, you know, really nice, like early 90s. Yeah, maybe the grandmas rising from the sewers midnight.

Trevor Connor  50:16

Berg, winter, the air is cold. But again, back to conditioning and looking to rev up your training. If you haven’t already, now is a great time of year to reflect on the past season. Specifically, when it comes to data and recovery to very important metrics in endurance sports, visit Bastok labs and take a look at our pathways on recovery and data analysis. These two in depth guides can help you get the most from your offseason. See more at Bastok labs.com/pathways. All right, well, we are at 55 minutes. This one’s been going long. But we still have a great question for Griffin, and we’re gonna cover it. So Griffin, take it away.

Griffin McMath  50:58

Yes. So my question is, when an athlete is looking to try out a new sport, whether it’s an addition to or they’re shifting their focus? How does one set realistic expectations and make a proper investment of themselves into this new sport? And that could be a lot of things, right? That could be their mental emotional investment into it? How much are they going to let their self worth as an athlete ride on this new sport, right? Or are they swiping the MX and getting all of the best gear right away? Are they completely switching their training plan for this? So that’s my question, what’s a good way to approach I would like to either add in or try a new sport.

Rob Pickels  51:42

I think that when people are trying new things, I love it, because there’s this youthful vigor that takes people over, right, and they are so excited. And that is so commendable. And it’s always something that you want to encourage you want to ride that wave because that helps build the love of the activity. And for me, I think in the beginning a lot is about being supportive of people in any manner that you can. And I’m okay with having some slightly outsized expectations. If somebody’s like, I’m going to be cross national champion, like Eric Bruner, I’m going to bring his name up as many times as I can, in this episode. He’s coached by Grant Holic if you didn’t know, maybe you’re gonna cut that down. But if they say, Hey, I want to compete at Nationals this year, it’s like, Okay, do you have some endurance background? Okay, we can work toward doing that, if that really is your goal, right? I’m okay with encouraging people not being like you’re a brand new cyclists, you’re never gonna make it there. That’s 10 years down the line? I don’t know might not be. But one of the biggest things that I see is getting into sports, I think is really hard for people from an equipment standpoint, right. And we are for the most part, cyclists in this room. And I’ve been a cyclist for a really long time. So it’s hard for me to really understand this. But I will I recently got into this thing online. It’s really nerdy. It’s online car race driving called iRacing. And it’s really equipment intensive as well. And for me, I went in and I bought the less expensive stuff, right, I bought used stuff. I tried to spend as little money as possible until I knew that I was in it for the long run. Because I wasn’t out that much if I didn’t like it after three months if I didn’t have time. But I will say when I upgraded from that beginner entry level stuff, I upgraded to end game sort of sort of product, you know, okay, I’m in it. I don’t want to upgrade four times because ultimately, that’s more expensive. I know I want to do this. I’m going straight to the stuff I’m going to be happy with for the next five years. And I think that people ought to do that. With cycling to start out as cheap as you can. Yeah, rent I shouldn’t it’s hard to rent a bike you can rent bikes, borrow bikes, buy used bikes go that direction, you don’t need top of the line equipment to go out there and have fun, make sure you love the sport and then invest your money. You’re a good

Trevor Connor  54:06

example of that. I sometimes work with athletes to say I want to try out time traveling. So I’ve tried it is a very specific sport that you’re either going to love or hate and

Rob Pickels  54:15

it’s equipment intensive. I hate to say it equipment makes a big difference. Let’s face

Trevor Connor  54:18

the difference between slapping some arrow bars on a regular road bike and a top TT bike. Particularly when you’re you’re not a top time trial is is pretty small.

Rob Pickels  54:30

Oh hold on. Wait, what? Oh, Andy Pruett is that you on the phone?

Trevor Connor  54:33

I’ve actually Addy has said this to me. So by suggested people if you want to try time trialing buy a used bike put some arrow bars on it see if you like it before you make the investment in the big arrow frame.

Grant Holicky  54:47

Yeah, you know this is interesting because for me this comes back to the question of mind today that we cut I better not at

Rob Pickels  54:56

all but he is working it into the episode.

Grant Holicky  54:59

Is there wonderful questions. But what I love about people try new things is the risk. And that’s what I love about it for myself, right? I think I’ve seen this happen multiple times over my sporting careers, I’ve gone and taken a risk and just tried something completely new. The beauty of that risk is that you have this improvement rate that’s super fast. And it’s really, really nice to see that huge improvement very quickly. It can be enthralling, it can be addictive to see that right away. But approaching anything new with realistic expectations is crucial. I’m not going to go from zero to 100. I’m gonna go from zero to 20. And I love what you guys are saying about the equipment, just get something that works, just get in the door, just start and then oh, I can buy this because it’s gonna make me feel even faster. Great, man, I can buy this because it makes me feel even faster. I feel like that’s what triathlon used to be triathlon used to be people walking in and going, well, I got a pair of goggles, I got a, you know, a sure hybrid bike, and I got a pair of running shoes, I’m gonna give it a try. Then the next time it went to a 10 speed bike back in the day. Now, you can spend hundreds of dollars on Super shoes, if you want to, you can graduate up through these things, as you get more interested or you get more dialed. And that’s great. I love that

Rob Pickels  56:23

Griffin, something that you mentioned, was defining your self worth as an athlete. And I want to put this grant, I’m going to tie this with your risk situation. And I’m going to I’m going to say something very clearly, your self worth has absolutely nothing thank you to do with how good you are with what event you do. And a lot of people do tie these things together, I’m going to like you no more, no less. If you choose to be a parasailor. If you choose to run 100 miles and fail, I don’t really care. Yeah, you know more than anything, I think you can be proud of people for going through the process, you can be proud for the grit and the determination. But in all honesty, the results in my opinion don’t matter. They don’t matter. FTP doesn’t matter.

Grant Holicky  57:08

I’m going to jump in on this because this is absolutely crucial at every level of the sport. This is one of the things that we talk about at the highest level of sport, in order to have retention of Olympians of World Championship, if they are defining themselves as an athlete first day will not last no at the top end of the sport, they may be incredible for two or three years, but you’re going to watch it happen over and over and over again. And you are going to see the people that define themselves as athlete first, like Lance Armstrong, make really poor choices in the things that they’re choosing to do for that sport. Your self worth is your self worth, your athletic endeavors are a piece of you and something that you get to express your personality through. They are not the definition of who you are, or your person

Trevor Connor  57:59

will take that a step further. That’s where I was gonna go with my answer to this, which is you read articles about somebody who is, for example, a really high level triathlete, and then they go and try a mountain bike race. And when you go, Oh, wow, you know, look at that completely different sport. And they’re really high level, we write articles about that, because that’s not the norm. That’s not what generally happens. So if you have been performing in one particular discipline, sport at a high level, and you make a switch, expect that you’re not going to be high level and whatever you’re taking on. But that’s part of the fun to me. So for example, when I was at my best with road cycling, there was a certain point where I’m like, I’m not getting any better. So there’s a joy of going and taking something else on to God, I’m not going to be nearly as high level, for example, cyclocross, I completely suck. But then you get that joy, again, of growing, building, improving. And that’s, to me the biggest reason to make a switch the the growth, the learning is the fun part. See,

Griffin McMath  59:00

this makes me so giddy because I looked at you. And I said that phrase, because your self worth has to be defined internally, it has to be internally sourced. But that that’s one thing. As I’ve you know, I’ve been here for however many months now. And one thing that I feel like I’ve witnessed as I’ve kind of been exposed to a variety of athletes and perspectives and coaching perspectives, not necessarily anyone in the room, but when people have talked about, oh, I want to try this other sport or how people have recovered from defeat in their primary sport, it’s been hard to not notice that some really untangle their self worth with their success or how much they’re investing. Like if they don’t have the best gear right away to start. I feel like some feel like they are not worthy then to show up at the start line. And so I’m so happy that all of you picked up on that because I wanted to see if I leave this there. Well, Someone touched it

Grant Holicky  59:53

and it’s incumbent upon those of us who are in the sport to welcome those people that are coming in to set that example. And I think when you’re at a high level in a sport, whether it’s a coach or an athlete, we need to be stewards of that sport, we need to be people that if we can pull anybody into the sport of cycling, we don’t know where the next great athlete is going to come from, and especially on the women’s side, where athletes hit their peak and hit their stride it late 30s 40 years old, can we please lower the barrier of entry to this for people to allow them to feel like they belong, allow them to feel like it’s a safe space. And we’re going to then enhance every aspect of our sport, from every level all the way up to the very, very top Griffin,

Rob Pickels  1:00:39

What is your September event that you have alluded to?

Griffin McMath  1:00:42

So this goes to take risks, but set realistic expectations for yourself, myself and a group of friends? I’d what’s called the rat race. Are you familiar with these? Yeah, it’s some type of length of an endurance event that happens in a variety of locations all over the world. So it could be a five or six day event that happens in Croatia, or a one to two day event that happens in Scotland, and a variety of other locations, Iceland, they’re at the most majestic views. And they’re typically multi sport. So the one that we’re looking at doing is 100 miles, maybe your 100 kilometers, I can’t remember how they are measuring it, but there’s cycling trail running, and then you kayak for a couple miles as well. And you can either go hard and do it all in one day. Or you can split it up into two days. And you can’t in between, there’s all these logistics. And so a group of us were like, well, the two day is something that’s probably achievable for us, because the way they kind of measured out, but I’ve never cycled that long in my life. I mean, after moving here from Hawaii, and then starting with this company, I had to buy a new bike. And I was like, Well, I don’t know, if I’m gonna like mountain biking more, or this. I mean, I suspect that I will. So I bought some six $700 hybrid mountain bike, and that’s going to be what I train on, and I can rent when I get over there. So for me, I am setting up a new training for myself, because I never really did endurance sports, I was always a team sport type of person. And so this is great. It’s a different type of relationship with yourself, if you are doing it with a team or a buddy this particular race, you have to stay within a certain distance of them to stay qualified, which I think is really neat. But when you’re training in a different state from someone else, you don’t really know your pace. So that’s what I’m training for going back to the land with my people.

Rob Pickels  1:02:32

Yeah, I love it. And I think that events like this, they’re almost perfect for this brand new risk taking situation, right? Because your success in events like this does not come from being a specialist in a sport, the best bike rider in the world is not going to do well in this race. And ultimately, here’s the thing, what ends up happening is your teammates, not as good of a bike rider as you are so you end up riding slow, and then you can’t paddle a kayak to save your life. Right. And so your success is going to come from dabbling in all sorts of things that is ultimately what’s going to improve your experience and your performance and everything else. So I think that it’s really interesting, and I’m excited for you. I can’t wait to hear more about it. Thanks.

Griffin McMath  1:03:13

So that’s where my joy comes in. I love I grew up on the water or watersports anyway, so the kayaking part and like getting put more put more miles there, then, you know, ultimately

Rob Pickels  1:03:23

you can be you know, I think that the other thing about this too, is that oftentimes these adventure races have teams, right a group of people, and it’s nice when different people are maybe a little bit more of a specialist Norden, more knowledgeable in one area where you can be a mentor, you know, maybe they know more about biking than you do great. You can learn from them and you know more about kayaking than they do vice versa.

Griffin McMath  1:03:45

So can I hire a cycling coach through your company? You guys know? Do you know any?


I know a guy that coaches Eric burner. But not, not Scott Funston. So I know

Grant Holicky  1:03:59

the company too. So we’re sorted there. Yes, you can hire somebody. And as we were talking about earlier, it’s nothing better than beginner athletes. It’s so much fun to coach beginner athletes now.

Griffin McMath  1:04:10

And it sounds like for the female comment you just made I’m about to enter my prime and I’m

Grant Holicky  1:04:15

gonna hit it from an endurance point of view. There is so much upside in the late 30s for female athletes.

Griffin McMath  1:04:22

That’s the first time someone has told me recently in my 30s that I have so much ahead of me. Something isn’t expiring, they’re like no, there is so much hope for you now this is when things begin. Oh, great. Like if

Trevor Connor  1:04:36

your aspirations would be a football player, yeah, sorry.

Grant Holicky  1:04:39

Yeah, they might be over or top level sprinter. They may be over birds athlete

Trevor Connor  1:04:43

quarterback decades. So on this note, I gotta share a quick story with you from the holidays because I’ve been getting more and more into running. It’s exactly what we’re talking about. Try something different grasses shaking his head. I’ve actually really started I used to, I like really starting to You enjoy it. Yeah. And I’ve said I’m a really slow runner. So over the holidays, I was out for a run. I’m like, Oh, I’m doing a good taste like about paid for my best 10k ever, which I got, and I was so excited that I got together for dinner with my nephew, who just ran a marathon. And I’m like, Dude, I wrap my best 10k ever. Like, how fast did you go? I’m like, 54 minutes that he looks at me goes. That’s not fast.

Rob Pickels  1:05:27

But it’s fast for me. Yeah, yep. Similar when I was in Lake Placid, you know, Lake Placid, right you barely possum. I was friends with Lowell Bailey, who eventually became biathlon world champion. His sponsor had switched from atomic to Rossignol. So he had a basement full of like World Cup level atomic stuff. And he was like, hey, I can set you up. And so he gave me an amazing pair of skis that had World Championship inspection sticker on it, and I show up at Mount Van hoevenberg, the Olympic venue, fall on my face trying to put the skis on, you know, because the Glide is so good. I get out there and I feel like I am crushing it. The wind is coursing through my hair. And I get back and I brag to Melissa. I was like I just skated 10k And this time, and she just looked at me and deadpan. She’s like you could have run faster than it was like, Oh, God, I’m bad. And that’s okay. Because that makes it fun. Right?

Grant Holicky  1:06:22

Oh, man. Yeah, I love that. And I think it’s a great point to end on. We were all beginners at some point. Every single one of us in every sport we’ve ever done or tried. We were all beginners at some point. And we had those people in our lives that supported that. We had those feelings that supported that. And it became something that we moved through and we got to express joy and express fun within. And it’s really important that all of us kind of foster that and other people. I think it’s really cool what you’re doing. And I think it’s cool. What, whatever anybody is out there trying to do because that risk and that chance that you’re taking, you’re just gonna find out so much about yourself by doing it. And that’s, that’s what sports about. Thanks.

Griffin McMath  1:07:09

I really appreciate that. I’m pumped. Does this mean you supporting me will mean that you’re going to bring me haggis at the next podcast episode.

Grant Holicky  1:07:17

Haggis, I guess. Okay, so Scotland. I think I don’t think haggis is nearly as important as like, people are going to be speaking with a Scottish accent. There needs to be a Duolingo for a Scottish accent. Even though it’s not a


second language. It’s a language you can understand if you can understand the kind

Grant Holicky  1:07:36

of sort of Navy Yeah, you’re screwed. You’re gonna need a Scottish translator. Oh, my

Griffin McMath  1:07:41

family can do the accent because we are Scottish. And that’s the only accent I can’t do. Like I could do with thick Russian accent I can do all these other accents. My French is even but you asked me again to give the accent of my own like mother tongue and I can’t do it. I

Trevor Connor  1:07:58

can’t even do a Canadian accent and I was born no

Trevor Connor  1:08:05

candidate everybody’s like, Oh, you’re American, right? Because you have an American accent. It’s so sad. I

Grant Holicky  1:08:11

see that I can see that. I’m going to Tavar Czech Republic for World Championships. And this is the home of my people. Are you um, check it yeah.

Griffin McMath  1:08:22

Tell them how to pronounce your last name.

Grant Holicky  1:08:24

Well my last hockey now. This is the correct way to pronounce hockey.


It’s grant Dr. Lisicki Polish gotta remember this

Grant Holicky  1:08:34

and just my father is we’re actually bohemian so my dad’s entire side of the family is bohemian. If my grandmother was alive she’d be slapping me silly to say that I’m check because Bohemia we can

Rob Pickels  1:08:46

go into the history of this makes sense. Yeah, now I get it. Yeah, but I get to go to check. I’m really excited. It’s exciting. Awesome, classic venue for crosswords. I will say

Trevor Connor  1:08:55

by last name is Connor. And the correct way to pronounce it anytime I order food at a restaurant is apparently O’Connor’s.

Grant Holicky  1:09:04

Is that the restaurant you’re at O’Connor’s? That’s that’s a great honor.

Trevor Connor  1:09:07

I order food and they ask for my name. I tell them Trevor Connor and then they start yelling Kevin O’Connor.

Grant Holicky  1:09:12

Kevin O’Connor.

Trevor Connor  1:09:13

How did you get that you

Grant Holicky  1:09:14

should open a Canadian restaurant where

Rob Pickels  1:09:17

was that the kid in home alone

Grant Holicky  1:09:18

may I’m just thinking this named O’Connor’s

Grant Holicky  1:09:21

and they’ll serve fine Canadian cuisine.

Trevor Connor  1:09:24

What is Canadian poutine just poutine

Grant Holicky  1:09:27

everywhere just poutine

Trevor Connor  1:09:28

I did go to the Epcot we went to the restaurant to eat the Canadian foods. We looked at the menu and I’m like, I’ve never had a single one of these things. Ever.

Grant Holicky  1:09:38

I was always wondering what Canadian food is but poutine is high on basically

Trevor Connor  1:09:42

poutine poutine by right grip and you want to take the rule on the potluck. You can’t read it. Have you been doing it? She has been listening. Let’s see if she can remember cuz I

Griffin McMath  1:09:52

don’t know how to close out a potluck.

Trevor Connor  1:09:55

Starts with that was another episode of fast talk. Keep it going.

Griffin McMath  1:09:58

That was another episode. If I don’t know what though, that was.

Rob Pickels  1:10:02

Kelly will beep it you can say ****,  it’s fine.

Trevor Connor  1:10:06

No you can’t.

Griffin McMath  1:10:07

Wait and then what do I say? That was another episode of..

Trevor Connor  1:10:09

The thoughts

Rob Pickels  1:10:11

and opinions expressed on this episode are those of the individual Oh my god.

Griffin McMath  1:10:17

Okay, that was another episode of Fast Talk the opinions and perspectives expressed on this episode are that solely of the contributors and not of Fast Talk or Fast Talk Labs.

Trevor Connor  1:10:29

It’s really of no value.

Grant Holicky  1:10:32

Please visit our your the socialist person and you’re pushing this.

Griffin McMath  1:10:35

I know I’m excited but I’m nervous right now because you’re all staring at me.

Grant Holicky  1:10:38

Why are you doing this?

Griffin McMath  1:10:40

Flutter and it’s pouring back here the lights are making me a

Rob Pickels  1:10:43

little Not gonna lie.

Trevor Connor  1:10:45

radian at a review.

Griffin McMath  1:10:47

To learn more about Fast Talk and Fast Talk Labs, please check out our website at fasttalklaboratories.com

Trevor Connor  1:10:55


Griffin McMath  1:10:55

Did I just say Fast Laboratories?

Trevor Connor  1:10:57

Yeah, we did.

Grant Holicky  1:10:57

I can’t spell laboratory so labs.

Griffin McMath  1:11:00

Yeah. Thank you fasttalk.labs.com I don’t want to do this. This is making me nervous.

Trevor Connor  1:11:03

Let’s just be clear. If you did it right on the potluck, we would kill that and then make you do it wrong.

Griffin McMath  1:11:03

Kelly don’t let any of this see the light of day, okay?

Rob Pickels  1:11:17

To be coached by the coach of national champion, Eric Turner, you can visit foreverendurance.com.

Griffin McMath  1:11:24

Can I just record this?

Trevor Connor  1:11:24

Grant Holicky, Griffin McMath,

Rob Pickels 1:11:26

You should just keep going.

Trevor Connor  1:11:28

Rob Pickels, I’m Trevor Connor. Thanks for listening!