Q&A on Time Trial Pacing and Position, INSCYD, and Tough Love, with Janis Musins

Janis Musins helps us answer questions on time trial pacing, TT position, INSCYD testing, and the coach-athlete relationship.

Janis Musins

Janis Musins, owner of Train2Win Endurance Coaching in Latvia, joins us to discuss how to pace time trial efforts, how to optimize your TT position, interpreting INSCYD data, and the coach-athlete relationship.

Our first question comes from Ernie Blankenship in Independence, Missouri. He writes:

“I have a hard time pacing in time trials. Some people recommend that I have a steady pace throughout the effort. Others are adamant that I need to vary my pace given the terrain and technicality of the course—for example, surging over hills and accelerating out of corners to get back up to top speed as quickly as possible. What is your advice? And does it depend on the level of the rider?”

Our next question comes from Marcus Clifton in Cork, Ireland. He writes:

“Being a bit of an experimenter and a physics geek, I like to work on my own time trial position. I’ve read many things from many people on the balance between aerodynamics and power output. I always like to ask experienced coaches that simple question: When you’re working with an athlete on his or her TT position, how do you address the balance that must be struck between these two characteristics? And will you modify based on the type and length of the course, or do you prefer to find the “best” position and stick with it?”

Our next question comes from Maria Hopkins in California. She writes:

“I am preparing for my first cycling race at the end of the summer. I’ve taken the INSCYD test and it tells me that I have a VO2max of 47.5, a VLamax of 0.55, and a threshold of 2.9 watt/kg. How should these numbers inform my training plan? If I understand correctly, it would be helpful to lower my VLamax given the type of riding I’ll be doing in this race. So, how can one bring down their VLamax without jeopardizing other strengths they may have?”

Our next question comes from Klara Steiner in Stuttgart, Germany. She writes:

“My coach is a stickler for the details. If he schedules a three-hour ride for me and I do a four-hour ride, he is not happy. If I do less than I should, he is not happy. If I do something that I’m satisfied with, he will often ask why I’m satisfied and then find something that makes me realize what I’ve done is not as good as I think. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I personally find it very motivating. However, it took a long time to get to this point where this ‘tough love’ approach felt beneficial. My question is, how do I know that this type of coaching dynamic is the best for me? Is it possible that I would thrive or see even bigger improvements with someone who wasn’t such a stickler?”

Episode Transcript

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