Race Stress, Threshold Work, and Dealing with Health Setbacks

In this week’s show, we talk about how we deal with the stress of competition, whether threshold intervals are old news, and the mental side of dealing with health setbacks.

Racers up and ready at race starting line
Photo By: Shutterstock

This week’s Fast Talk podcast is a potluck discussion, in which the three co-hosts—Trevor Connor, Rob Pickels, and Grant Holicky—pick topics of interest and break them apart using a mix of science, humor, and experience. This potluck sees us cover race stress, as well as questioning the relevance of threshold intervals and how we deal with health setbacks.

How do we cope with race stress? 

Everyone experiences stress before competition. You may look around at your competitors on the start line and feel like they all look so calm and collected while inside you’re freaking out, but really most of us are all experiencing the same thing. Holicky talks about what you can do to reduce pre-race stress, but also concludes it might not be something you want to eliminate entirely—it has its purpose.

Are threshold intervals becoming an outdated form of training? 

Endurance athletes have been doing threshold work, i.e., steady intervals anywhere from five to 20 minutes, since the beginning of time (or close to it). However, recently, the research has been claiming that shorter and harder workouts, including sprints, produce better gains faster. Connor asks the question of whether there’s still a value to doing this type of work or if it’s becoming outdated. 

How do we deal with health setbacks?  

In this segment our hosts get fairly personal about their own health challenges including autoimmune disease and heart conditions. Pickels asks his co-hosts how these challenges have affected them or their athletes and if there’s any wisdom they’ve gained on how to deal with them.  

If you’ve had similar experiences, please share with the rest of our listeners in our forum discussion. 

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

Episode Transcript

Trevor Connor  00:04

Hello and welcome to Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance sports training. We’re here for another potluck, and I actually just got through the intro. That might be a first for the potluck.

Rob Pickels  00:16

Does the potluck need an intro? We’re here today with special guest, Grant Holicky.

Grant Holicky  00:23

Thanks for making me feel special again!

Rob Pickels  00:25

Who needs no introduction?

Grant Holicky  00:27

I could use some introduction.

Trevor Connor  00:29

Both of you are sitting here with your coffee’s looking like, Oh God, it’s early in the morning.

Grant Holicky  00:33

I don’t have any coffee.

Trevor Connor  00:35

Oh, good point. You got a water bottle. You don’t drink coffee?

Grant Holicky  00:36

I don’t drink coffee.

Rob Pickels  00:38

Remember he likes burnt terrible coffee. And he can’t find that in Boulder because Boulder has good espresso.

Grant Holicky  00:44

Wait, I stopped drinking caffeine because it helps my heart, so I only drink caffeine on race days. Which means it makes race days fantastic.

Rob Pickels  00:54

This is totally not a potluck topic for today. I’m the opposite. I cannot race or ride with caffeine. Feel like crap. Yeah, I drink caffeine Monday through Friday. I don’t drink it on the weekend.

Grant Holicky  01:05

That’s wild. I actually came across an article when I was in grad school on the periodization of caffeine use and decided to put it in. Well a, my blood pressure’s a little bit high. So, one I don’t drink caffeine, it helps a lot. But then I tried the periodization of it. And it’s fantastic.

Rob Pickels  01:22

You get a little a little bump there.

Grant Holicky  01:24

Just a little something.

Trevor Connor  01:25

I tried a caffeine pill once in a race and it about killed me.

Grant Holicky  01:29

Oh, no caffeine pills, don’t go there.

Trevor Connor  01:32

Well, I mean, I’m not, so I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. I did not grow up drinking Coke or Pepsi or any of those drinks. The first time I ever had caffeine besides a little bit and chocolate was I ordered a pizza my freshman year in college and it came with two free Pepsi’s.

Grant Holicky  01:47

You’re so Canadian.

Trevor Connor  01:49

So I drank one of the Pepsi’s I pulled an all nighter. I didn’t have any work to do. I would just running up and down my door knocking on people’s doors going please come out and play with me, please.

Grant Holicky  02:00

Oh my god.

Rob Pickels  02:01

I don’t know that that’s the caffeine. I think that was just mainlining high fructose corn syrup.

Trevor Connor  02:06

It’s probably a mix of all.

Rob Pickels  02:07

Yeah, exactly, perfect combo.

Trevor Connor  02:12

In our latest crafted coaching module 10, we’re turning our attention to the coaches who are bringing up the next generation of elites and enthusiast in endurance sports. Coaching juniors is wildly different from coaching adults. And all too often shortcuts and inexperience cause young athletes to burnout or quit the sport. Check out the Craft of Coaching at fasttalklabs.com. All right, so let’s get to our topics today. We seem to have a tradition Grant, we start with you and you have a I think a pretty interesting topic.

Racing Ages

Grant Holicky  02:43

So, we just were commenting before we went on air that I’m now 50 plus, as a racer.

Rob Pickels  02:49


Grant Holicky  02:49

Thank you. What are you? Oh, he’s yeah.

Rob Pickels  02:52

I’m not really a racer anymore. My racing age right now is 41, if recycled,

Grant Holicky  02:58

Holy crap, you look awful baby.

Rob Pickels  03:01

I look awful.

Grant Holicky  03:02

I thought you were my age. I’m sorry.

Rob Pickels  03:04

Are you serious?

Grant Holicky  03:05

I love the recordings, because everybody’s gonna see how good I look.

Rob Pickels  03:11

Full disclosure, I texted Grant this morning to let him know that we were recording and his response back was, Do you think I’m gonna look any better or something like that?

Grant Holicky  03:21

I think I said you are implying that I have a state other than the shovel.

Trevor Connor  03:28

It’s kind of part of your look. You’ve got that coach on the sidelines look. Which is who you are, you need that.

Nervousness Leading up to Races

Grant Holicky  03:36

It’s a little bit of who I am. Yeah, I can’t, I don’t have time. I just I don’t have the effort to like, think about what I look like. Anyway, but back to the topic. My question is, I’ve been racing for a long time. And I was racing as a competitive swimmer when I was seven, and have been racing, that kind of a level or intensity level ever since. My question to you guys is where we’re in our 40s or in our 50s. Do you still get nervous when you go to the race? And how has that changed? Because I know for me, it’s changed a lot through the years. And I know for me, I still get nervous. But what triggered this question was I was talking to an athlete, and they said, It’s silly, I think they’re 45. And they said, I can’t, it’s super silly, but I can’t get over how nervous I am before I race. What’s wrong with me? And my answer was, Dude, if there’s something wrong with you, there’s something wrong with me, because I always get nervous before I race. So I was curious what you guys.

Rob Pickels  04:40

Wow, that, you know, for me, it’s changed a lot throughout the years. So, my career sporting career started in track and field. And I was fortunate in high school that I was a pretty good athlete in a relatively small pond, so to say. And so I didn’t necessarily have a lot of competition and so I went into a lot of high school races just feeling very confident, not really nervous, per se. But then fast forward to college and I’m with appropriate competition, maybe running at some track meets that were really above who I was. And I can remember being in the bathroom before, and having nothing to do with the bathroom. It’s just the situation but like, physically shaking, I was so nervous and teammates on my relay team were like, Dude, are you okay? You know, and that just that uncontrollable sort of inside of you. And, you know, as you went through the years, you know, for me, it really changed a lot, specifically because track and field is what I was really competitive in. What I strove to be highly competitive in. Bike racing, for me has always been about fun. If I get on a podium, great life is grand, but I’ll never have the same competitive streak. And so for bike racing, oftentimes the nerves came down. I would say that I got excited for races but maybe not nervous because nervous almost to me implies a little bit of fear. Grant, I don’t know if that’s an actual component of nervousness, but that’s what I associated with. But what’s really, really hilariously funny for me is if I get nervous for anything right now, I get nervous for Zwift Racing. I swear. For some reason, Zwift Racing makes me nervous. And in all honesty, I think that what it is, is, it’s not about the competition aspect. It’s about the fact that the next 20 minutes, really going to hurt. It’s gonna be terrible. I think I go deeper into swift race, and we’ve talked about this before, then I can in any workout or anything else, I just know how ugly it’s going to get.

Trevor Connor  06:42

I want to come and experience the Rob Pickels pain cave, because he does base rides in ERG mode, he gets incredibly stressed about Zwift rides.

Rob Pickels  06:52

I’m really good at making myself suffer. And that doesn’t mean that I like it. It just means that especially on shorter things, being a sprinter, or whatever, I can turn myself inside out. And it’s pretty unpleasant in the moment. And for me, half the time is actually dealing with the not giving in, you know what I mean, like the finishing the workout. Because I’m so deep, you know, in it,

Trevor Connor  07:15

I am so the opposite on Zwift races, because I use them for training. And you’re right, that first 20 minutes is really hard. So I only ever generally race the first 20 minutes of a Zwift race, because that’s what I want. And then when it kind of slows down, and now it’s a state of ride I’m like, Yeah, I got what I want and I pull out the race.

Rob Pickels  07:32

It would be interesting, I think that if we looked Trevor at you, and I. You’re a stronger cyclist than I am, there’s no question about that. But if we were to look at our percent of threshold, I bet you I am significantly higher for that timeframe than you are. And that probably correlates to like a rating of perceived exertion or an effort level.

Trevor Connor  07:51

Probably the same, though, because you are an anaerobic animal, I’m not. So if I’m going a little over threshold, I’m basically at max. If you’re gonna let a little over threshold, you’re like, No, bring on more. So the the percentages isn’t a good indicator.

Grant Holicky  08:06

And that comes back to the whole idea of a true power profile, right of like, where you’re good, where you’re not good, and how those things kind of fall in. But I do think, you know, for me, you mentioned the Zwift race, and I think cross for me is that too. I know, if I’m in a competitive field, and I’m really like, I’m here to race, it’s gonna hurt so bad that I do get nervous for the hurt. But I still get nervous for the placement, like where am I going to come in? And I don’t know that it’s about anybody else, right? Like, I could come to the line with Adam Myerson, like I did this weekend, or people here like Matt Davies, or Carlos, or these guys that I really, really enjoy and race against a lot. I don’t care if they beat me. You know, we’ve talked all the time you go into a race, there’s, I don’t know, I think we’ve talked about this, there’s the three people. You walk into a race, there’s the person that you know, well, that you really ought to beat. The person that every single time you’re gonna go into a race, you’re gonna be butting heads with this person. And then there’s the person that like, that’s the pie in the sky. When I beat that guy. It’s great. And I have those people I think we all do. But it’s not really about those people for me, it’s am I going to perform. And I get nervous as to whether I can perform. And it’s not even at the level not looking at numbers and looking at a result. I think it’s back to what you’re saying, Am I going to be willing to hurt? The way that I want to be able to hurt so that I can walk out of this race and go, You know what? I rode that really, really well.

Rob Pickels  09:38

Can I ask Grant, when you question your ability to perform, is it on the physical effort side of things? Is it technical? And if it is a technical, does that lead to quote-on-quote sort of performance anxiety? Do you find yourself making mistakes that you shouldn’t make because of the nervousness and the doubt and the questioning in your headspace?

Grant Holicky  09:59

So I came to some cycling a lot later than most people, right? I grew up playing on bikes and we watched the tour and, and stuff like that. In 1987 you watch the tour two weeks later.

Trevor Connor  10:12

That was summarized down to two hours.

Grant Holicky  10:14

Yeah, it was great. And it was like the most dramatic thing you ever watched. And I’d go out and ride my bike, pretend that I was in the tour. I never raced in high school, and I didn’t ride my bike, really till I moved out here when I was 26. And then I was trying to learn how to ride a mountain bike because I was racing Exterra. So the technical sides of mountain bike warcross have always made me somewhat nervous, because my skill sets a little bit lower than people that grew up on a bike or grew up doing that. So, I used to when it came across, I remember worrying about nationals, and you’d see some YouTube video of nationals. And I’d be worried about how technical is that? How technical is that? Like, am I gonna be able to ride it? But a couple of years ago, what I realized is that I run well enough that, screw it, if I can’t ride it, I’m just gonna run and I’ll probably be as fast as everybody else anyway. So it’s not necessarily about that. It’s, I think it’s ingrained in me. I don’t know that I can get away from the nerves that I developed as a swimmer. Swimming is so black and white. You dive in the pool, you swim a time. It’s always the same. There’s no wind, there’s no sun, there’s no, it’s always the same. I did well, I did poorly. And it’s very much, this one of the things that I worked really hard as a swim coach to get out of is this black and white world. I want a 10th faster than my lifetime. Best time, great swim. I want 100th slower than my lifetime best one, failure. It can’t be that cut and dry. But that really stayed with me. I couldn’t get out of that as a triathlete. I think it drove me out of triathlon. And then when I came to cycling, I was able to approach it as a lot more fun. And it was new. So I was like, let’s just see how I can do. Hey, look at that. I’m doing okay. For me, the nerves come in when I start to get a level of proficiency.

Rob Pickels  12:03

When you have something to lose, at that point

Grant Holicky  12:06


Trevor Connor  12:06

But here’s the question, do you fully want to get rid of those nerves?

Rob Pickels  12:10

Oh you jerk, I was gonna go there.

Grant Holicky  12:13

Great minds think alike.

Trevor Connor  12:14

Well so, I have had a varied history with the nervousness before races, let me give you the hopefully the condensed version. Very early in my cycling career, I got incredibly nervous about races, like I knew the night before a race, I was not sleeping. It could just be just a little local race, and I wasn’t going to be able to sleep, I was going to be too nervous. And I kind of got used to that. And I tried all the techniques, the relaxation, the breathing, none of it worked for me. What finally worked for me was I went to this presentation given by the Canadian who won the gold in the skeleton, in the Olympics. And he was talking about the nervousness. And he talked about all those techniques, the breathing techniques, and the mental tactics and all that sort of stuff. And he goes, That’s all great. And that would help you at the local events. But he said, Let me tell you about my sport. My sport, there’s one race every four years that matters, it’s one minute long and less than a second separates first from last. He goes, If you don’t think you’re going to be bleeping a brick, on that start line, you got another thing coming. So he flipped it around and started going to the local races and trying to get nervous so that he could get used to racing nervous. And that clicked in my head and I started going to races and saying, Instead of fighting the nervousness, I’m just gonna be okay with it. I actually want to get nervous so I can get used to it. And that shifted suddenly the nervousness before the races made me feel like, Now I’m ready. And so it went from being something that hurt performance to something that now helped performance. But over time, that unfortunately worked too well, and I started going to races and not getting nervous at all. Like I would go to races. If you’re like, half of us are going to crash in this race. This is a really dangerous race. And everybody be like, Oh, my God, and really nervous. And obviously they’re going, Okay, whatever. Let’s go race. And what I unfortunately found is, I didn’t perform as well, actually having some of that nervousness helped.

Grant Holicky  14:22

Let’s be honest, they were kids when I worked with them Grant. I had kids, you have adults. Absolutely. So one of the things that we talk about a lot in mental strength is the appropriate level of arousal. Yep. And going into any type of performance with the appropriate level of arousal. I think we’ve been taught or we’ve been educated to think that we don’t want nerves. My whole point of this question is that, I just don’t think there’s that many people that go to the line without nerves because the whole point of being competitive is to do something. And that might be Rob trying to do his Zwift race to go deep. Right, because I used to joke for a while that my main goal with exercise or with racing was to look good for my wife. You know, I just wanted to look good naked. And okay, fine, but I know that I need to go deep in training or in racing or in any of those things to be at the level of fitness that I want to be at. And that’s going to hurt and that’s scary. So, if you’re going to the line without any change in your level of arousal, you’re probably trying to quiet the nerves. And by quieting the nerves, nine times out of 10, you’re bringing yourself to too low of a level of arousal. I found myself doing this a lot. Last year when I was so worried about the team and the kids and what was going on the kids, they’re 20 something. Fair enough, fair enough. But like, I would put all my effort into that. And I’d walk to the line and I didn’t have anything left for me, and the gun would go off and across race and I find myself in 10th in the first 20 seconds going, Oh crap, now I gotta race. So the appropriate level of arousal is super important. And unfortunately, for some people, that’s an extraordinarily high level of arousal. Yeah. And they just have to deal with it.

Rob Pickels  16:08

Something to back up what you’re saying, Grant, you know, Trevor, I love that you’re reframing the nervousness as positive, right? As opposed to negative. Those are very different mind spaces that lead to different performances. But as a corollary, when I was talking about my collegiate racing, those were large meets that we traveled to that I felt like that. Conversely, the whatever, and I was a 400-meter hurdler in college, right. And kind of like Grant, you’re saying with swimming, a 10th of a second makes a difference 1% effort and 400-meter hurdles changes your steps, and if your steps are off to a hurdle you are now finishing a second slower, so it magnifies. I could not and would not race at home meets because I couldn’t dial my arousal up enough to be on point, to have my steps correct, to be able to hit the times. So I would run seconds slower in a Tuesday race. It wasn’t even worth it. It was a totally apples and oranges.

Grant Holicky  17:09

Well I talked about the, I used to talk about this with swimmers all the time that, there’s this mindset that more racing is better. We’re gonna race all the time. We’re just gonna race, we’re gonna race, we’re gonna race, we’re gonna race, and you know, I used to joke with 100 breaststroker. And breaststroke has a lot is similar to hurdling, it’s very technical. You have to line it up. If your efforts slightly low, but I watched these guys go to meets and God it’s only high school meet. It’s not a club meet. Probably not gonna go that hard. And then they’d come back and go, Why’d I go so slow. Yeah, well, you didn’t go very hard. But I should still be fast. Well no, man. I mean, like, you’ve got to be jacked to do this, right. And so we started getting to a point with our younger athletes that we’re only going to race this when we mean to race this. And I do this a lot with my athletes, especially in cross. They’re like, Well, we’re going to train through this right? There are times that that’s applicable. But why would we race unless we can perform? Because in a lot of cases, the whole point of a race is as you said, I’m gonna go harder and race, then I’m gonna go on a train. So I want to go deep. Let’s be prepared to go deep. Let’s take some rest to go deep. Otherwise, you’re blocked up, you’re not gonna be able to go deep.

Rob Pickels  18:18

I think that there’s a time and a place though. I think that early on, and grit, maybe with sports that you don’t need to be totally dialed up to have everything click. People do need a number of races to become comfortable with racing. To be not fearful of that situation. But I do agree, you know, with with Melissa. She’s a 10,000 runner. We only raised the 10,000 on the track when she is racing to run fast. We do anything local, or we do training races, we focus on other distances, 3k, 5k, even a half marathon sometimes. But 10,000, if she’s doing that, it’s because she’s there to run fast.

Grant Holicky  18:53

Well, and I think in cycling, this is what you were saying, Trevor, you’re gonna go out and race all these cross races. How much do you care about across race?

Trevor Connor  19:01

And to be honest with you that I was just thinking about that. That’s part of the issue. Like you talked about the start and how important that is, and everybody’s sprinting off the start. I don’t feel any nervousness at the cross races. I’m there for training. So like, everybody sprints, and I’m like, Doo dah doo dah doo, and I’m like, 20 feet off of the back. But first corner, right? Fortunately, they all bottleneck there, and I catch them anyway. Right? Like, where I would have ended up anyway. But yeah, there is a recognition that if I was more nervous about this race, I might finish fourth and last instead of 30.

Rob Pickels  19:33

Do we need to put something on the line Trevor? I’m willing to require that you do something nice for me. If it means you know this is like what like, like people use this for smoking sensation, right? If you smoke, then you have to give me your vintage car, right or whatever. And people do this stuff. Trevor, what can we arrange? I think maybe listeners,

Grant Holicky  19:57

Well you don’t want us by

Trevor Connor  19:58

I want to tell you, I am realizing in Colorado, I am becoming the benchmark of failure. So I’ve done two cross races now, for cyclocross.

Grant Holicky  20:11

That was an awfully broad statement.

Trevor Connor  20:12

We’ll just talk cyclocross. But, so my first crosses race, I passed three people, all three of them DNF. Last weekend, I pass two people, they both DNF. I think, the second I pass somebody, the soul leaves their body, and they are.

Grant Holicky  20:30

The grim reaper of cross.

Trevor Connor  20:32

They’re like, Oh my God, Trevor just passed us. I’m never racing cross again.

How to Use Nerves to Your Advantage

Grant Holicky  20:36

Like time to go home. Yes, well ouch. Well, I’ll leave you with this story. One of the things that I started to do, and it’s only one technique, and there’s a bunch of different techniques, and I think, step one, from my point of view, as somebody who studied sports psychology, is to accept that the nerves aren’t going away. They’re never going away. And so a lot of those methodologies, the breathing, the things like that, unfortunately, they’re taught to people with this mindset that says, This is gonna make you feel better. It might not make you feel better, it might just allow you to function. And the nerves aren’t going to go away, you can’t make them gone. You have to figure out how you can use them to your advantage, or you can live with them. Yep, one of the things that I did is I used to get super nervous for cross races, I would lay in bed and visualize the start of a cross race, Not so that I could visualize me doing something fantastic or spectacular. And then I was going to back that up. I just want all the nerves that come. And I’d lay there in bed and I’d feel that butterflies in my stomach. I feel the tingle in my hand. I feel all those things. And I think I’ve mentioned this on the show before and then I would think of something that would make me smile. Something about cyclocross. And so often, it was the people I raced against or raced with. There’s a great community here of people my age, Michael Robson, Pete Weber, Brandon Dwight. Somebody would crack a joke on the line, and I would smile. And over time, I was able to associate the nerves with joy. And as we’ve mentioned, Trevor races great with anger, I race well with joy, so I would associate the nervousness with joy. And it didn’t make me feel any better. I just started to tap into the fact that that’s why I race. And that’s what’s fun. And that really is now the difference between me having a good race when I’m on the road working, or a bad race when I’m on the road working. Because if I’m caught up in, Oh God, like Sunday, this week, It’s gonna be rain, it’s going to be a train wreck, we’re going to be cleaning bikes, we’re going to be stressed, we’re going to be running around. That’s what I was thinking about when I was racing. And I raced poorly. Day before, This is gonna be a great day, everybody’s gonna go fast. And I raced well. So for me, it’s joy. That’s my takeaway from all this is, remember, it’s not going away. Figure out how you deal with it.

Trevor Connor  22:58

Find your mindset.

Grant Holicky  22:59

Yep. Great point. Great.

Trevor Connor  23:01

Let’s move on to my question. And I’ve kind of made it my goal in this potluck to take everything I believe in and question it. So with that in mind, you know I’m a big fan of threshold training. So I’m going to ask that, when I’m talking about threshold training, I’m talking about your your four by eights, your three by 15s, your two by 20s. That classic LT stuff. Right, that we’ve been doing for decades and decades.

Grant Holicky  23:28

But at what percent of threshold or FTP?

Trevor Connor  23:31

So right around FTP. So, maybe a little below up to 105%. If you get up to 120%, you’re doing a different type of workout. But over the decades, there’s been a lot of advances in interval training. You know, we’ve discovered the value of things like tabatas and your anaerobic capacity intervals. We’ve discovered that sprint training seems to benefit everything. But there’s an asterix to that. We’ve also discovered that all of these different forms of training tend to work through the same pathway. So my question to you is, am I being a retro grouch? With the threshold training? Is this an old school approach to training? And do you get all those gains from these other interval type workouts that do produce their gains a little bit quicker?

Different Forms of Training

Grant Holicky  24:19

I think this I mean, you guys know this, and anybody who listens to this with regularity know this about me is that, I like variety. I like to mix things up. I think certain athletes like that as well. It’s hard to go do the same workout over and over and over again, some athletes really like that, but I can’t get away completely from threshold training. I still use it an awful lot. I think it just does something that and I’m not even talking purely physiologically. There’s something about knowing you’re just gonna peg it for eight minutes, or 12 minutes, or hell five minutes with short rest, that I just got to stay here. And for some people, that’s heaven, but for a lot people, that’s really. Yeah, exactly that’s heaven for you, but for a lot of people that’s really, really hard. It’s a mental battle. And so it’s hard for me to get away from the mental side of threshold training, but also the physiological side of threshold training, it works. It really does work. And I think really, the key for me is, how do I integrate that in with all this other stuff that we’re kind of starting to understand can have benefit, without overloading an athlete to the point where they’re, you know, their training is borderline schizophrenic, or they’re just tired. Because one of the things that everybody forgets is that when you start creeping, not everybody, but it’s easy to forget, especially as an athlete, when you go over that 100% of threshold, it’s hard. And you can’t do that much of it. And if you do a lot of it, you better rest a lot. And that kind of stuff is loss. I think one of the reasons people love sweet spot is you can do a ton of it. And you can keep doing it. And you see the numbers go up like crazy, because I love training peaks, but it’s highly skewed towards that stuff. So it’s easy to go do, I just think that there’s other pieces of the puzzle that we have to include. I am never getting away from threshold work. But there’s other pieces of the puzzle we got to include.

Rob Pickels  26:22

Yeah, I tried to find out that piece of the puzzle. And this is the first potluck where I actually did a little bit of background research before I came in. I know, I wanted.

Grant Holicky  26:32

See I thought about that. I’m like, No, I got to be true to the potluck.  Did it tell you the fall asleep on the couch?

Rob Pickels  26:35

I wanted to come in prepared. But the problem is, I read, I don’t know, six, eight research studies before this, and I just came away more confused.  Yeah, no, fortunately, I didn’t. But, I wanted to take the stance of, of course, threshold training is needed. Let’s see what the science says, the science and I hate the word, the science, right, t he science is gonna back me up. And the study after study was basically like, sprint interval training is leading to all of these improvements that they’re not seeing with effort matched threshold intervals, longer intervals. And superficially, I guess you can swallow that pill and say, Okay, yeah, you know, what sprint interval training is what it is. And it’s better than threshold training is, but, I think that you have to think a little bit differently, and that’s where science can can lead people arise sometimes. If we begin looking at the measures that we have in here 3k TT, 20k TT, sure it makes sense. If those short, high intensity intervals are having improvement there. Is that the best way to win a mountain climb? I don’t know, because there’s no research out there that tells you anything about long duration over the course of hours, not at least in terms of this topic. The other side of it too is we know that there are responders and non-responders. What do we need to know, what do we need to factor of people’s individual physiology, to be able to say if a particular training methodology is important? Maybe for one type of athlete this is perfect, maybe for another one it’s not. I know I get great improvement from longer interval training. But I think that that’s because it’s training one of my weaknesses, which is also the other side of this. If you take trained athletes who have only ever done or put a lot of emphasis on these four to eight minute VO two efforts and suddenly you have them doing repeat 32nd intervals, they’re probably going to get better just because it’s a novel exercise. And I think that’s why you see positive improvement or negative or no change in study after study, it’s just based on the history of that particular individual. If we went purely physiology, there is a lot of research supporting sprint interval training. At the same time though I’m with Grant. I don’t know for me at my point in my life, if I miss a couple percent of gain, because I chose to do a longer climbing day instead of a sprint day, then that’s a couple percent I’m happy to give up because I probably enjoyed climbing up a beautiful canyon in Boulder, more than I did you know either short repeats up a steep hill or sitting on my trainer. I don’t always ride the train or in the garage Trevor.

Grant Holicky  29:30

And did you get that back, because of the joy you gain? Were you more likely to do the next workout because of the joy you gain?

Rob Pickels  29:39

Hi listeners, we just launched our new podcast series, Fast Talk Femme. Tune into hear co-host Julie Young and DD Berry, former pro cyclists and US National teammates, chat with a stellar lineup of experts to explore female physiology, nutrition, training through pregnancy, and more. Check it out at fasttalklabs.com.

Addressing Sprint Studies

Trevor Connor  30:02

So I do want to address those sprint studies because I do think there’s two important things to be aware of with them. So I still remember talking to one of my professors, exercise physiology professors in college. And I asked him the question, have you ever been surprised by the research? And he said, Yes, I was really surprised by the sprint research. By how much it improves all sides of your training or your physiology.

Rob Pickels  30:22

Wait, there was research this long ago?

Trevor Connor  30:25

Yes. Yes, there was. It was right after we invented the wheel.

Rob Pickels  30:28

Was it in black and white?

Trevor Connor  30:29

No, it was carved into tablet.

Rob Pickels  30:30

Oh. Took a long time. Yeah.

Trevor Connor  30:32

Cave walls in Fort Collins. That’s all there.

Grant Holicky  30:35

The paper.

Rob Pickels  30:37

The Papyrus. Yeah.

Trevor Connor  30:39

So, two things about that research. One is the sprint research that shows the biggest gains, was generally done with sedentary individuals. And you always have to be careful with that, because you take somebody who isn’t training at all, do anything with them, they’re going to improve. And that’s very different from somebody who’s a well-trained athlete. Even when you take the well-trained athlete, the whole idea of adding this amount of sprint work was fairly novel. A lot of these athletes were doing a lot more threshold work, a lot more VO two max work. So as you pointed out, they were suddenly adding the sprint work to their training, and it was novel. It was something new, so they might see some gains. The question is, if you did the study where you said, Let’s spend a year where you don’t do your standard training, you don’t do the threshold training and you don’t do the VO two max training, you just do sprints, where would you be? And my guess is not as in a good place.

Rob Pickels  31:36


Grant Holicky  31:36

There’s two things that I think are crucial here, and they tie together. Nobody likes to talk about this. But the subjects in scientific research are flawed. Across the board they’re flawed. For the things that we want to study, who we are studying are not the people that we’re going to go put this on. There are moderately trained individuals, that’s usually what you have coming into the lab. Because as Trevor just said, you’re not going to get a pro to change their training for a year just to see if it works. So, you have moderately trained individuals. What’s the definition of a moderately trained individual in the lab? They exercise three to four times a week for 45 minutes. Okay, that’s nobody that we actually work with. And this has been one of my big arguments about the bass period and and how much bass has to be done before VO two max is applicable. I understand that the research shows that, but who does it show it on? Of course, those people need a large amount of bass before you can load a huge amount of VO two max on them, because they don’t have that amount of bass. You and I could take a month off and we still have a good amount of bass, a large amount of bass walking into it. So that’s one thing like, who is the subject? And unfortunately, we can’t define the subject well enough, because we don’t get a lot of opportunities to experiment on elite athletes, because they’re coaches and they don’t want to be experimented on. The second thing is, it depends. Who are you? Rob talks about fast responders, responders, unresponders. Like there are people that are going to take a month to respond. There are other people like myself, who are very, very short responders, I can do a week, two weeks of training and be in a really, really good place. So what does that individual need? So this is what it comes back to so often for me with the potluck? Well, it depends, it depends. But one thing that I will say without a doubt. And early on in my career, I made this mistake, I am a high intensity guy. Like Trevor loves to bring these questions in so that we are beat somewhat at odds, because our training styles are a bit at odds.

Trevor Connor  33:43

I just don’t like him.

Grant Holicky  33:48

Fair enough, that’s fair. I would come in and I’d take on a new athlete, and I’d give them a bunch of intensity stuff. And they would perform. Their first year, through the roof, it’d be amazing. And then we’d have this second-year lull. Because I kept the training very often the same. What I started to find, is that I could bring somebody new in, put in intensity where they hadn’t had it before, I get a big bump, look like a genius, and then I’d have to shift the training back somewhat to what they were doing before and do this blend of the two, in order to continue to have growth and success. So I think for me, yes, coming back to what I originally said, I love high intensity work. I think that what it does, can be so specific to a type of racing, a type of performance those things. But, there are still those pieces of the puzzle that are classic, that work. They work for Rob, I know they work for me and if I don’t do them, I don’t like them. But if I don’t do them, I don’t get as good.

Rob Pickels  34:52

Something to consider here is that, take for instance this, I was a sprinter, right? In college my entire life was being a sprinter who basically only ever did sprint interval training. Was I the best aerobic athlete? No, it didn’t make me the best distance runner, I wasn’t the fastest person on the team in the 5k. So we can’t analyze this in a vacuum. Right? When we talk about threshold training, or we talk about sprint interval training, what we’re really talking about it is, as a high intensity, augmentation into an otherwise well-rounded training program. Right? If you’re following a polarized training model, we know that that is great for long term success. A large volume of aerobic work supplemented by some volume of high intensity work. In all honesty, I couldn’t care less if that high intensity work was at 100% of threshold or 130% of threshold or whatever it is. As long as it fits in that prescribed 20 ish, you know, percent or percent of sessions, that the polarized model, you know, is ultimately predicting. That piece is the most important piece. In my opinion, the decision between the exact threshold versus sprint intensity, that’s a secondary consideration that helps you get the last little bit, but it’s not the foundation of your training.

Trevor Connor  36:12

So here’s, and continuing with that, here was my explanation. And no, I didn’t do research. So I just kind of sat there and thought about.

Rob Pickels  36:12

You’ve been researching for years

Trevor Connor  36:17

Sure enough. So here’s my explanation. And I could actually dive pretty deep, we could bring in MCT one, MCT four, all that sort of stuff, and that’s your transporters for lactate. I’m actually not going to go there. That was originally where I was going to go today. But here’s my explanation. And I’m gonna use an analogy of a poker game. So, the high intensity work before I get to the analogy, that sprint work, they are Tabata type work, what we like about them is they produce a huge stress on the body. So they create a very big adaptive signal, which is part of the reason you see gains on them so rapidly. But you’re hitting a lot of the anaerobic system. What’s more important is those efforts, those really hard efforts, are not sustainable. When you’re talking about threshold work, so anaerobic threshold, lactate threshold, another term for that is MLSs, maximal lactate steady state. It is the highest intensity, you can go at that still sustainable for you. And I think training that sustainability is really important. And so here’s my analogy with the poker game. I think having that sprint power, having that one-minute jump wins you the poker game. But that sustainability, that ability to sustain a high wattage, that’s what gets you out of a seat at the table.

Grant Holicky  37:48

Yeah, I agree that.

Rob Pickels  37:49

I think so when we talk about like a physiological determinant of performance. But, I don’t think that we’re arguing that sprint interval training only improves your short power, right? There has been significant amounts of research that show it improves power at four millimoles of lactate, a corollary, for threshold, you know, that citrate synthase activity increases, which is a corollary for mitochondrial progress. And that’s what’s baffling to me is we’re getting these changes across all of these intensities physiologically in your body. So I don’t know, I guess at the end of the day, I have a workout today because it’s Tuesday, I think I’m going to do the repeated decreasing rest sprints, you know. I think maybe that’s what I got this afternoon.

Grant Holicky  38:32

All right.

Trevor Connor  38:33

All right, there we go. Okay, Rob, what do you have?

Rob Pickels  38:36

Yeah, Trevor, my question is, and this is one that, as always, my question is just sort of pop up in life. And life for me oftentimes takes some turns. So a little bit of background here, I have a bunch of autoimmune things that have propped up or cropped up, I should say, throughout the years. One is attacking my liver, I might have mentioned it, another one put me in the hospital with kidney failure. And because of these things, I get regular blood tests and urine tests to see how things are doing. Now throughout my life, I’ve been on and off steroids, I’ve been on and off immunosuppressants, all of these things. And they all affect how I feel in terms of day to day. And recently in this routine testing that I do another issue has popped up another autoimmune kidney disease. So I got a kidney biopsy, we know what it is, I potentially have a very interesting course of treatment in front of me. And that leads to my question, which is this. When you’re working with yourself or when you’re working with athletes, maybe because you’re both coaches, and sometimes it’s better to take someone else’s advice, not what you would do yourself. But when you’re working with yourself or athletes, how do you deal with these repeated curveballs? These repeated setbacks, that are thrown? You know, right now I otherwise feel good. I might have to start this medication. If I start this medication, I don’t know if the things I have planned in the future are even going to be achievable for me. How do you keep moving forward, keep enjoying the sport, keep maintaining a positive mindset?

Moving Forward After Setbacks

Grant Holicky  40:13

There’s a couple of things that I do. I actually have two athletes with autoimmune issues right now that they both popped up. Well, they didn’t pop up, but they both came to the fore while I was working with the athlete. So we had to make pretty mindful and dramatic shifts in the training in order to live with, you know, participate with. One of the things that that I’ve found is that when I write my training, I’m very, I don’t write very far down the road. I’ve actually moved away from highly defined periodized training plans. Because for the vast majority of the athletes, I coach, they’re going to change. And I’ve found that if I really define something clearly, by six months out, I have a hard time leaving it. I have a hard time walking away from that and doing something differently. It feels like a failure. Yeah. So one of the biggest things that we’ll do is almost come back to the drawing board every month, every two weeks, every three weeks, you know, how do we reset? And trying to get everybody in the room to take a breath and say, Where are we now? No, no, no, I don’t care about where we were going to be. I don’t care about where we were, where are we right now? That very, very present mindset. And I do it in my own life. I have a four-year-old and a seven year old, and I’m trying to race. I like to race. But that means they’re constantly sick. They’re constantly doing something. Something’s coming up, so how do I get flexible, stay flexible? What’s the corporate buzzword? How do I stay agile, in what I’m doing to feel good? I joke all the time that it’s about a streak. When you’re working with an athlete about a streak. What are we trying to do trying to keep the streak going? What goes wrong? Well, when we miss three days in a row, we broke the streak. Call me, text me, I can’t do this tonight. The workout you have written I can’t do it. What do I do instead? Do this. Now they have a directive from their coach that is going to allow them to feel successful. And what happened? The streak continued. And then maybe like a wild miss, like I used to just when I go to swim meet, swim meets are brutal. You know, I would have swim meets where warm up for prelims would start at 6:30. And finals would end at 8pm. So 6:30 in the morning, start 8pm finish, I’d have an hour in the middle of the day, I’d go back to my room, put on my running shoes that go for a 15-minute run. And people will be like, why? You’re not getting anything. You just talked about this with commutes. You’re not really getting anything under 20 minutes. But why did I do it? I kept my streak. Yep. And I felt good about my streak.

Rob Pickels  42:58

Yeah. And I want to be clear, too. This is not necessarily about me and autoimmunity, right? Everyone experiences setbacks in different ways. Every athlete deals with something like this throughout their life. Maybe it’s repeated injury, maybe it’s work demands or family demands or anything who knows? And ultimately, who cares, right? You know, but how do we keep moving forward when things seem like they’re pushing us back? Trevor?

Trevor Connor  43:23

So Rob, actually spent a lot of time last night debating this, because I’ve had a similar experience. It’s something that I’m actually dealing with right now, which I’ve never actually talked about on this show. We did our n one challenge last year. My n one challenge was I was gonna go to Joe Martin. We talked about my whole build up to it, and then I never went. I never really explained why. And so this is actually very hard for me to admit. But the reason why was I started noticing some weird things last summer, and went and got my heart tested about four weeks before Joe Martin, and got diagnosed with athlete’s AFib. Which was pretty hard to take, but also not unexpected when Chris was writing his book and I was editing it. I read that, you know, here are the indicators of somebody who’s more susceptible to this and I read this and went, Oh my God, this was going to happen. Completely like uh oh. So I kind of knew was coming and I’ve spent decades the way I race well is to beat myself up, to dig deeper into that pain cave to most people and eventually that comes back to you. So I shouldn’t have been surprised. But that’s why I didn’t go to Joe Martin. You know, three weeks before a big race being told you have a heart condition, it’s hard to go the race and do anything. And I’ve been dealing with it all this year, where I finally went, Okay, well, I can’t race the one twos anymore. I’ll race the Masters. Maybe I’ll enjoy that. But I would say half the races this year, I went into AFib and that was kind of under the race. I went down to Nationals, and race started, great. I was one of the first ones over the climb. I broke away soon after the climb and melt in the front going, It feels like my old racing and then I went into the actual what’s called atrial flutter, which goes hand in hand with with AFib field caught me, we got to the climb the next time I was the last one up the climb, and finished off the back because I couldn’t get my heart rate over 140. Just sitting there going, I don’t feel like myself anymore. At a seven hour drive home right after that race and I won’t lie to you, I stopped in Pueblo, went into McDonald’s. I can’t remember the last time I went to McDonald’s, bought a double cheeseburger, and went, Life sucks.

Rob Pickels  45:36

Big Mac is not the answer, Trevor.

Grant Holicky  45:40

Double cheeseburger might be though.

Trevor Connor  45:41

Yeah. So I don’t know if this helps the question at all, but I know what I had been struggling with. I’m recognizing, for all intensive purposes, my racing career might be kind of over. Like I might be able to still do some races. The cross races, it doesn’t affect me, that’s kind of fun. But I’ve probably done my last one to race, which bugs me a bit. What really bugs me is not so much that it’s ending, it’s that it didn’t end on my terms. I would have been happy, you know, I was on the best fitness last summer that I had been on in seven, eight years. Had I gone to Joe Martin, done the race, had a good race and said, That’s my last race, I would have been fine. But even if I got diagnosed, we had a talk to Chris and Dave are head of marketing, and I sat down and talked about this. They’re like, You can’t go to the race, you have a heart condition. I’m like, I feel like a failure not going to the race. The fact that I had been diagnosed with a heart condition just didn’t matter to me. I’m like, This was my goal. This is how I wanted to go out. I failed. And I couldn’t get around that.

Rob Pickels  46:50


How to Reframe and Redefine

Grant Holicky  46:50

That’s the biggest piece is how do you define success and failure? And when you’re on a track, and success and failure is defined very clearly by maybe results. But in your case, Trevor, this was being defined by preparation. How well am I prepared? And how well can I let that preparation out? An extraordinarily healthy approach to a race setting. But when that gets taken away, that distinction of success or failure can’t be used anymore, either. Because it’s unpredictable, right? You can’t use a traditional setting to define it because by nature, that setting can trigger you and put you off the mark. And I think a lot of people, that’s what they kind of fall into. We’re almost more victims of our studio, our setting, our play structure. And if I want to be, I want to raise cyclocross, if cyclocross gets taken away, okay, now what am I going to go do? There’s that transition period that is extraordinarily hard to transition from, and in some cases, impossible, because okay, well, I’m not gonna go pick up running, right? All right, like you can all see me now I’m not gonna go be a professional runner. But how do we redefine? How do we shift? And how do we structure? From my point of view, I think this is why having help, and what I mean by help is a coach, a sports psychologist, a therapist, all of those things, because it is so hard personally, to see the forest for the trees. How do we make this shift? And I think giving some guidance is incredibly important. And making that that shift, whether that’s athletics or live.

Rob Pickels  48:42

Yeah, Grant, it’s interesting that you mentioned you’re not going to take up running. That’s actually kind of what I did if you check my Strava, I’ve been running a few times recently, and the reason for that is, if I don’t feel good on the bike, and I’m highly tuned, right, without a heartrate monitor, I can tell you what my heart rate is within a beat or two, and I know exactly what it should be. When those things are off, it makes me feel or reminds me that something is wrong, right? But I’m a terrible runner. And I don’t do it very often. So there’s no norm there that I have to achieve. And so it’s almost been nice, and I’m now sore, you know, all the time from the running that I’m doing. But I can go out and run and not feel good or not even not feel good. I don’t know what good feels like when I run, so it’s okay.

Grant Holicky  49:31

Well, this is a great point. And I guess I should really not have said that because one of the things I want to do when I actually turn 50 is go run The Rut, which is an off-road ultra in Bozeman. And I run probably four days a week, I used to be a professional triathlete. I just don’t enjoy running. Now, I know I could. I guess what I really should have said is I’m not gonna go back to swimming, because that I will never go back to you. But I think that’s been one of the things that I’ve done throughout my career, I went to elite nationals as a swimmer, I shifted. I went to elite nationals as a triathlete, I shifted. I went to winter, not triathlon nationals, then I went to cross and I went to nationals in cross. I liked that shift, relearn, progress up. But this is again, what I think becomes so important is, how can we redefine the goals? How do we stay present? And how do we shift the path toward that different progression of goals? We talked about this with injured athletes all the time. This is your training now. Well, I can’t go out and be a football player and hit. Your training is your knee rehab. Can you do it at the exact same time? Can we give you a very similar structure that allows you to do it in this environment that makes you feel safe? How do we meet the athlete halfway? And then help the athlete with that support to then come halfway, or even a third of the way or an eighth of the way. Can they move it all towards us? And then we have to as coaches or the support structure, move the rest of the way to support them.

Trevor Connor  51:08

I think that’s what you’re bringing up is really important and I agree. Sometimes people need to go and get help and talk to somebody about this. But Rob, I’m guessing probably what you’re feeling what I’m definitely feeling is that you can call it powerlessness, lack of control, not having it be on your own terms. That’s certainly what bothers me. You know, I’ve had plenty of races where I’ve got popped, because the fitness wasn’t there. And I get kind of angry with myself and go, Dummy, but always at the back of my head, is this is something that I can control? Go improve your training and it won’t happen again. This year, I’ve had a bunch of races where I get popped, because I go into AFib and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. That’s a completely different feeling of, I can’t control this. I can’t do anything about this. So I think you’re right, at that point, you have to redefine things and look at, what can I do something about, what can I control?

Grant Holicky  52:03

What can I control? I was going to, one of the things I was going to bring up before you mentioned, what you’re dealing with is, I’ve seen this in a lot of professional cyclists through the last 10 years. They’re on target, their progressions fantastic. They’re at the top of the sport, they’re married, and this is just one unique kind of situation, they decide to have kids. And I’m talking male athletes. Female athletes, we’re totally understanding that disruption that that takes place when they decide to have children. Not to mention, the sport disruption that that is well documented, that takes place and is wildly unfair. But looking at some of these male athletes, when you have a kid, it’s no longer predictable, right. And that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve learned. The uncontrollables, multiply. His sickness multiplies. What you want to do, multiply. Where you want to put your time, all of these things. And I’ve watched a lot of athletes really struggled to continue their career at the highest level, once they’ve had kids. Very, very often, because they’re making quote on quote, the right choices. They want to hang out with their family. They want to be productive, they want to be helpful, they don’t want to go sleep in another room when their wife has the infant in the bedroom. They want to be a dad or they want to be a mom. Good. But what we have to learn to do is, these are my parameters now. I want to be the best I can be within these parameters. But I need to understand that I’m not willing to or able to work outside of these parameters. Can I reframe what I see as success? That’s hard to do.

Rob Pickels  53:40

Yeah, I think the reframing that you mentioned, Grant, and then also, something you mentioned earlier, was focusing more on the short-term instead of this ultra long-term planning. You know, those two things helped me deal with, Trevor exactly what you just mentioned. I know what it feels like to just be low on fitness. And to have a poor performance because of that. And like you, I’m okay with that. I don’t like it, but I know then, exactly. You know, whereas, if I begin taking medicine, or I have to sit out of training, which I have had to sit out of a lot of training the past few weeks, then it feels like there’s nothing you can do and then you feel helpless, right? And ultimately, I think at the end of the day, that is the thing that I struggle with the most. But Grant, the things that you’re identifying, it’s okay if medicine doesn’t make me feel good. It’s okay if medicine takes some of my ability away from me. What can I control? What can I reframe? How do I focus more on the short-term? And this is kind of what’s been hard for me, right, is last year I spent training for Trans Portugal mountain bike race early this year, March or April, something like that. And I wasn’t able to do it. First thing off the calendar. Next thing came off the calendar. Next thing. I lost, I have not done a single thing that I planned for this entire year, right? And I think that what I need to do is not think about what I want to do at the end of 2023. And maybe I need to think about what I can accomplish in the short-term, so that you don’t necessarily, I don’t want to say, set yourself up for disappointment, but open the opportunity for life to zig and life to zag out of your control.

Radical Acceptance

Grant Holicky  55:28

Well, this is so much what everybody, that the common athlete had so much trouble with with COVID, especially in the first year. And I can’t tell you how many athletes I knew that got through the first year of COVID no problem. They were training, they were on it, they were focused. At some point, they broke. And it was often when the event started coming back and then they all shut back down. And they just threw their hands up and went, Why am I even bothering? And they walked away. I’ve come to believe in something. And I’ve used it in my own life a lot with family, and with kids, and with things that come along with those pieces. I use it a lot on the road, running the cyclocross team and then trying to race at the same time. Radical acceptance. And what I mean by radical acceptance, is like, I’ll have a choice. This is the way things are. And jumping completely both feet, all into the cold pool and saying, This is where I am, now what? And I think for so many of us, what gets hard is the what ifs. But if only I had known earlier or if only I had known later. That’s one of the things that comes across for, you know, I’m sure Trevor is experiencing this a lot. What if I had just, you said it. What if I had just done Joe Martin, and then found out about this right after Joe Martin. And then I can turn around and go, All right. That’s the stuff that messes with human minds so much is the what ifs and how do I do this? So I really, personally, and it’s hard to do, but I talk to athletes about it too. It’s where we are now. Radical acceptance to say, This is where we are now. All of that just has to go away. We can repopulate that calender, we can repopulate it with different things in different ways. But we have to come back to this acceptance of, It’s a whole new life. And that is so hard, but I believe that’s the beginning of it.


Rob Pickels  57:30

It’s really interesting Grant because I’ve had some things that have literally tried to kill me. And I have had the radical acceptance of the medical issue, right? I do not lose sleep, I do not worry, medical side of things doesn’t bother me. What scares the bejesus out of me, is putting an event on the calendar, training up for it, not being able to do it. It’s interesting, you bring this up. I have not been able to translate that into the rest of my life. But that’s probably pretty important to do.

Grant Holicky  58:01

I think it is because for a lot of us, it is who we are. It’s part of who we are. And I always push athletes and try to help athletes not define themselves by their athletic success or failure. But part of who we are, is the things that we do, and the things that we love. And as athletes, so many of us look to personal validation to how well we can train, and I’m not saying, Can I hit 300 Watts? I’m just saying, Can I push myself? Can I get through this workout? As you said, somebody who knows how to go deep. All of those pieces of the puzzle, that’s the stuff that I love about sport. It’s the challenging myself, learning something about myself, and then coming back and maybe using what I learned about myself and the rest of my life to a benefit. Alter exploration is a new custom cycling tour company created by me, Fast Talk Labs co-founder, Chris Case. Alter exploration crafts, challenging, transformative, cycling journeys in some of the world’s most stunning destinations. Ultra strips aren’t so much a vacation as an exploration of the destination and of yourself. At the end of every day, be preoccupied as much by the transformative experience as by the satisfaction of exhaustion. Reach a greater understanding of your physical and mental capabilities, while simultaneously experiencing a jaw dropping landscape. Life, altered. Learn more about my favorite adventure destinations and start dreaming at altar exploration.com.

Rob Pickels  59:38

Well guys, what do you think? Another potluck episode, in the can?

Trevor Connor  59:42

The cans. Who wants to do a take us out here?

Grant Holicky  59:44

Not me.

Rob Pickels  59:45

It’s not in front of me so if you want it accurate, then. 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 tweet at us at FastTalkLabs. We’re treating Grant. He’s like Grant T. Holicky or something.

Grant Holicky  1:00:05

Rob Pickels  1:00:05

Grant J. Holicky. Okay. Okay perfect. Or tweet at Grant.

Grant Holicky  1:00:08

Oh no, no. Oh, what my Twitter? Grant Holicky.

Rob Pickels  1:00:11

Yeah, just Grant Holicky. Okay. This is all part of the outro still?

Trevor Connor  1:00:16

You were pretty good up until that point.

Rob Pickels  1:00:18

I know.

Grant Holicky  1:00:18

We can come back to that or we can just kind of this is how we end most of the potlucks anyway. Flaming disaster of words.

Trevor Connor  1:00:28

Become a member of Fast Talk Laboratories at fasttalklabs.com/join and become a part of our education and coaching community. For Grant Holicky, Rob Pickels, I’m Trevor Connor. Thanks for listening!

Rob Pickels  1:00:42

What the listeners don’t know is the outro was actually written with really poor grammar, and it has TK’s in place of details, so when you’re reading it, and I think you experienced this, or Tarkington actually recorded one with us, you have to do this mental math to fill in all of the blanks when you’re reading it.

Trevor Connor  1:01:00

Here’s the question. I’ll leave you with that we won’t answer, what is TK stands for?

Rob Pickels  1:01:03

No, I think I want to change up the outro. Listen for a new outro in the future. If you’re still listening, is anybody still listening?