Q&A on Returning from Injury, Weight Management, and Fast-Twitch Fibers, with Renee Eastman

With the help of CTS coach Renee Eastman, we field questions on injury, the power of consistency, weight vs. power, and fast-twitch fibers.

Renee Eastman, CTS coach

We start today’s Q&A with a discussion on returning from injury. That’s because Renee Eastman, our guest coach on this episode, just suffered a nasty crash. She’s also come back from many injuries and bone breaks: “I’ve broken just about every bone in my body, including back (L1-3 fusion), elbow (with reconstructive surgery), clavicle (2x), hand, foot, kneecap, and now ribs,” she says.

So, we start with some big questions:

  • What are the best practices when returning from injury?
  • How do you prepare your body to reduce the risk of injury from what can be an injury-prone sport?
  • How do you deal with the long-term side effects or manage pain from past injuries?

The importance of consistency

The next question comes from Amanda Johnson in Middlebury, Vermont. She writes:

“As a working mother of two kids, I struggle to find the time to train at the level I want—I’m not trying to be a pro, I just love being active and racing at a decent level. Given my work and life schedule, I seem to ride a rollercoaster when it comes to training, which leads to big swings in my motivation, nutrition, and even sleep. Do you have any tips on how I can bring more consistency to my training? Also, what should I expect of myself if I can find that consistency? Big gains or simply less of a rollercoaster ride?”

Weight versus performance

The next question comes from Dom Porzak in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He writes:

“As someone who is naturally built more like a linebacker than a cyclist, I know that I’m at a disadvantage when it comes to power-to-weight ratios. I don’t lift, I’m just muscular. I eat well—lots of fruits and vegetables and no grains—but I’m not lean. So, my question is, is there anything I can do to better manage my weight so that my performance on the bike naturally increases?”

Fast-twitch muscle fibers

This series of questions, all about fast-twitch muscle fibers, comes from Velibor Dokic in Norway. He writes:

“There is so much talk about slow- and fast-twitch muscles, and how it’s genetically pre-decided how many fast-twitch fibers we have and how little we can do to change that. How are fast-twitch muscle fibers distributed? And where do we have most of our fast-twitch muscles? (Not taking into account our upper body.) Are fast-twitch fibers more collected in a group of fibers or randomly placed? Or since one fiber can be as long as 40mm, are both types of fibers in one length? If I do a fasted ride and go totally empty of glycogen, will the fast-twitch muscles burn fat the rest of the ride?”

Episode Transcript

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