Potluck Discussion: Choose the Right Climb, Find Lost Motivation, and the Best Cross-Training

The season is coming to a close and as our hosts help their athletes through these final weeks, there are a few questions that are coming up for both athlete and coach. 

Potluck EP 288 FT288: Potluck Discussion - Choose the Right Climb, Find Lost Motivation, and the Best Cross Training

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

Should Your Rides Be Long and Hard or Longer and Easier? 
As Coach Connor prepares for his usual end-of-season foray down to the Tour of Tobago stage race, he’s been thinking about the best way to prepare for the final day—a five-hour ride with 10,000 feet of climbing on roads that exceed 20% grades. His question is whether he should be doing three to four hour rides climbs and hitting them hard, or, if he should be doing six-hour rides and keeping the climbs easier. As Coach Holicky likes to say, the answer depends.  

What Do You Do When Your Motivation Fades? 
October has arrived, and if all your target events are behind you, losing motivation isn’t necessarily the worst thing. But this year, Coach Pickels found his motivation waning in May and didn’t know how to get it back for the rest of the season. He asked our crew what he could have done to bring the motivation back. 

RELATED: How to Extend Your Season

What Is the Best Cross-Training 
Coach Holicky asks a simple question that every coach is going to give a different answer to. What, in the opinion of the hosts, is the best cross-training for cyclists both in the off-season and during the season, when athletes are looking for something else to do? 

We’re sure you have had similar experiences and have your own answers to these questions. Jump onto the forum and share how you would answer each of these questions with the rest of our listeners. 

Episode Transcript

Trevor Connor  00:04

Well, welcome to another potluck, which means we’re gonna screw up the beginning of our show, which is what?

Rob Pickels  00:11

No, we’re not going to screw it up. You’re gonna screw it up.

Grant Holicky  00:12

You’re gonna you’re gonna screw it up

Trevor Connor  00:14

Yeah, I already screwed.

Grant Holicky  00:15

We don’t know how to – I don’t know how to do it.

Trevor Connor  00:17

We are the something-something for your, the performance of science.

Rob Pickels  00:23

Welcome to another episode of Fast Talk, your source for the science of endurance performance. Rob Pickels here with Trevor Connor and Grant Holicky.

Trevor Connor  00:33

Well done. And can I just say, I’ve kind of accepted the fact that we’re not going to do any research for these episodes, we’re going to come in and give our opinion accepted the

Rob Pickels  00:43

fact I think that that’s a core tenant of one of these.

Trevor Connor  00:46

So we have taken this to another level, because we are literally going into this one. And we don’t have all our questions.

Rob Pickels  00:53

I thought of my question on the way over here.

Grant Holicky  00:54

I thought of my question when I was here.

Trevor Connor  00:56

I was hitting record.

Rob Pickels  00:58

Can I point out grant texted us 20 minutes ago and said, Hey, guys, we can record this episode in 20 minutes if I can get my act together. You got here quick. Where were you?

Grant Holicky  01:08

I was at home. I was ready to go man.

Rob Pickels  01:10

You sent that text and left home and got here you live like three times further away than ideal. Yes. But you got here before me.

Grant Holicky  01:17

I did not have to make a latte. You did not. But

Trevor Connor  01:21

I did. I will also point out as I was trying to do that intro which I completely flooded. Both of you were stripping. Yeah, it’s

Grant Holicky  01:27

hot in here. It gets hot and cold in town. And it’s hot in here. That’s not a good combo. It’s good. And

Trevor Connor  01:34

so this is, this is where potlucks are at. I hope everybody’s excited.

Rob Pickels  01:38

Everybody wants a hot steaming pot.

Grant Holicky  01:41

I’m just shaking my head at Rob Nichols. Right as you should

Rob Pickels  01:44

pick out you’ve got your feet up. I love it, you grab the spare chair. That’s the best way to do a potluck is this is the way to do it.

Trevor Connor  01:51

So we’re gonna change our order up today because I was the only one to prepare the question ahead of time. So we’re gonna start with my question

Grant Holicky  02:00

like how it makes me sound. I don’t know why anybody would ever hire me after listening to this show. You’ve been

Rob Pickels  02:06

typecast. Just so you know, yeah, have

Trevor Connor  02:08

destroyed the future career. For all three of us on the show. Let’s just Let’s just face I think Rob’s

Grant Holicky  02:13

is intact. Rob’s the one that comes out of these potlucks looking like yeah, that’s fair.

Rob Pickels  02:18

Hill, just so you know. All right. Well, I’ll

Grant Holicky  02:21

work on that skill.

Trevor Connor  02:26

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  02:52


Trevor Connor  02:53

yes, you want to ask a question. I do want to ask a question. So this is coming from my personal experience. But I think it’s an interesting question we can go a whole lot of ways with so I would like to see where you guys go with. I am a couple of weeks away from tour of Tobago, which is my big event. And the last day of the tour Tobago is this absolutely brutal GranFondo II type race course with a whole ton of climbing 9000 feet of climbing. So I am trying to get ready for that. I’m trying to build my stamina for that final day. And of course, I have been going out and doing a lot of climbing on my weekends doing longer rides. But here’s the thing I have been thinking about, which would put me in a better place, going out and just do in three, four hours, but hitting some climbs really hard or going out and do and six hours of climbing because this race takes about five hours to do six hours of climbing but keep it all slow and easy. And I will say I did both. Two weeks ago I did the I’m gonna ride six hours both days on the weekend. But every climb I was pretty close to my slowest time on Strava. I was just chugging away. This weekend, I went and joined a group ride. We had Matt cook and a bunch of other guys there and we hit a bunch of climbs and we just pin them. So grant they’ll throw it to you first.

Grant Holicky  04:20

Well, it is potluck and it’s me. So I would say it depends. It depends.

Trevor Connor  04:25

I knew that was gonna be the answer.

Grant Holicky  04:28

What it depends on in my mind is what what are you doing the rest of the week? And my point is this if you’re struggling to get quality based time in consistent, long, slow distance rides. I don’t love that terms. They don’t have to be slow necessarily, but conversation pace rides, right? If you’re in in the normal week and you’re not gonna get anything over two and a half hours, then yeah, I think that six hour ride wherever things get pretty moderate on the weekend is is pretty important. Because I know for me, if I have limited time during the week, dude, I can get the intensity and that’s not a problem I can hit the intensity what starts lacking is those base rides that are going to allow me to come out of that intensity with anything. And how many stages is this?

Trevor Connor  05:15

It’s four stages, but I only care about the last day but it’s long,

Grant Holicky  05:19

but you’re gonna have some riding and legs right so I personally love if you’re getting some intensity in during the week stacking the three days of the week and a little bit right with something that’s very neuromuscular, even sprint T or cadence work on Friday get things going after was typically a rest day Thursday for my guys. Saturday could do something more specific you could get after some of those things get after some Lt. You know, you’re getting used to that feeling as much as anything else. But Sunday, man, nice long ride, enjoy the views. Make sure you can get the right amount of food in really spend that amount of time out there. That would be my gut reaction. But like I said, it depends on what you’re doing during the week.

Rob Pickels  06:04

Yeah, grandmas. It’s funny you and I, we structure our training really similarly. I love the Thursday, rest day, I love stacking intensity and then volume. I think that that does a lot when we look at muscle fibers. But that is science and potlucks. They’re not about soccer, right? I

Grant Holicky  06:18

forgot. Yeah, no, it’s

Rob Pickels  06:19

true. Sorry about that. Well, you just can’t justify anything with science, you can still have the same thoughts. That’s that’s totally fun. For me, Trevor, it’s a slightly different question for me. Are you trying to increase your fitness prior to this event? Or are you trying to get your body ready for the challenge of one day? I think that different people need different things based on who they are in the needs of the event. If you remember, when we talked about my trans Portugal, the training and the advice that you guys gave was the biggest issue you have to overcome for that is the multiple days on days end. And in some regard, it wasn’t about fitness, it was more about that durability. And so I’m turning that question back on to you. If it’s a fitness issue to get you through this, then I think you need to be looking at these climbs as ability to train at threshold or vo to power and to attack them that way. If you’re more of a while this is the biggest day I’ve done in a long time. None of my training is geared toward that. My Fitness is great. My view to max is the best that it’s ever been. I can hold my threshold wattage my watts per kilo as good as I’ve ever been. Well, then I think that the durability side comes back in and it’s like, yeah, you need that longer slow or moderate burn. Because your biggest challenge isn’t keeping up with every one or dropping them your biggest challenge is dropping them at the end or being there at the end. And so I can’t answer the question, but that’s how I would look at it is ultimately what do you need as an athlete to be most successful in this particular event?

Trevor Connor  08:05

No, it’s a really good question. I get where you’re going out with that because particularly any of our listeners who are intrigued by this or they’re going to have different scenario, some people are going to be doing a big hard grand fondo but they just want to finish and I agree with you 100% It’s go out get that volume like it is a five hour GranFondo make sure you’ve done a five hour ride leading into it. It doesn’t have to be hard. Other people are like yeah, I’m there to race and I agree maybe then the the long volume isn’t enough. In my case, it’s both because last year when I did that final stage it was far and away the hardest day I had had on the bike all year and that killed me I was dying by the end of it. Am member towards the end of the race thinking next year I got to do some big rides like this so that when I come here, it’s not a shock to the system. I go this is hard, but I’ve done this.

Grant Holicky  08:58

Yeah. And I think one of the things for me that’s really interesting ties what both of you guys are saying together a little bit and people know I take this banter on training but what do you feel like you need becomes really important in this discussion to right where are you confident were you not confident and it’s funny because you can train way over here on the sweetspot thing. But if you feel really really confident you’ve got high end hit, you’re gonna do okay with it, and you’re gonna find it. But long days this is work gravel, I think comes into play a lot like a seven hour day, eight hour day on the bike, people feeling like they a can get the nutrition and B they can stay on the bike that long See, they can push at the end of those things. And this comes into that idea. We’ve talked about this on the show. I know I have, we can combine those two things a little bit too, right. We can put three hours in on the bike, three hours of solid base, make sure there’s some fatigue and then hit a couple climbs hard. So you’re having to ride that hard place already. with some fatigue. And I think that’s an interesting way to look at interval sessions that a lot of people tend to warm up, get them done, and then maybe tour around a little bit and go home. But I know there’s coaches that will put them a certain number of kilojoules into a ride, I’m not bad exact on the on the numbers, but get this many KJ is in and then do the intervals. I’m a little bit more about time, get in three hours, then do the intervals and then roll home. So another option there.

Rob Pickels  10:26

Yeah, Grant, you bring up a really important point. And that is ultimately practicing for that big day. Yeah. And I would say all things being equal, if it’s not clearly you have to work on your fitness or you have to work on your durability. I would lean toward the longer day so that you can practice things like nutrition, how much you drinking water you eating. We all know what tastes great in the first hour, it tastes like crap in the sixth hour, your stomach can’t handle it. But also a long that. And Trevor, depending on what our weather does, trying to do this in representative conditions. Ultimately, because we’re looking at this as a race day prep, then I think that that really matters. If you are going to do those bigger, longer days, I do try to kind of mimic the course, maybe not ride it at the intensity and obviously not the exact same climbs. But if it’s big climb in the middle, a little bit of a lull, and then you know, then you can design a course locally for you there. If you’re going to try to mimic race day, then you really have to try to mimic all the aspects of race day to be as effective as possible.

Trevor Connor  11:32

Yeah, I fully agree with that. And to that point, about a month and a half ago. So early August, I went and did my first big long ride to kind of see where I was at. So I not exactly the same as the race I’m doing. But I did the climb up to the top of trailwood Ridge, which is total of about 1000 feet of climbing. And I will tell you, I wasn’t mess. First couple hours were fine.

Grant Holicky  11:58

You were at crazy altitude. didn’t know. But I mean, it

Trevor Connor  12:01

was worse than that, like I got out of Estes Park to start the main climb. That’s where I discovered that I’ve got real issues with my shoes and my positioning. And I had to like on the last three 4000 feet of climbing, I had to stop like three times to take my shoes off and work my feet because I couldn’t pedal perfect. I’m glad that I am dying like exhausted all this. I will lie like if you read my Strava comments for that ride. I didn’t quite get to the top and it’s because of this crazy lightning storm came over the mountains and all of a sudden I had to turn and get the heck down the mountain blamed on the lightning storm. But

Grant Holicky  12:44

you might say that sad. I was like, Oh, thank God.

Rob Pickels  12:48

You know, there’s like a restaurant up there. You could have finished taken shelter, let the storm passed, eaten some french fries and then rolled out which

Trevor Connor  12:56

seemed impossible. So what I ended up doing was I went down to the visitor center in Estes Park, and I kid you not I went into a back corner and took a 14 minute nap.

Rob Pickels  13:07

Nice. Just you like put the sweatshirt. So

Trevor Connor  13:11

it was the only like, even though it was mostly downhill back to Boulder. It was the only way it was going to make it. So I knew right then and there when I did that ride. I won’t survive Tobago unless I get this in order. And well I’ve been

Grant Holicky  13:25

in your experience brings a piece of the puzzle and apply to hitting the amount of time you’re going to spend on the bike. And a race is so important because there’s equipment pieces, there’s nutrition pieces, there’s just passing that much time in a saddle pieces. I think that stuff’s really, really important. And you can get in the state of mind a little bit. And there’s

Rob Pickels  13:43

Shammi cream pieces. There’s everything you gotta you got to work out the details,

Grant Holicky  13:48

pack a little extra Shamy cream, I know.

Trevor Connor  13:51

So if our audience is interested, what I’ve been doing since then is doing those long rides on the weekend. But after that, epic fail, I was started I’m at like three and a half, four hours have been building up. Over Labor Day weekend. I did my first training camp and two years where I did, basically six hours a day for three days. Wow. Look at you.

Grant Holicky  14:15

On her big legs on Trevor. Yeah. Well, let

Trevor Connor  14:17

me tell you the epicness of this thing. On the Sunday when I started it was 93 degrees out towards the end of the ride I was heading up toward which is at 9000 feet and I kid you not I had to turn around because of the snow. Yeah, sounds about right. It was snowing up there. I was in Crested Butte mountain and it was accumulating so I had to get the heck down and I got rained on and it was very cold. That doesn’t make for a fun weekend.

Grant Holicky  14:42


Rob Pickels  14:43

you know it does make for a fun weekend next year. Trevor, you should go to Italy with Chris case and alter explorations for YOLO mites 8000 5000

Grant Holicky  14:53

be totally up his alley.

Rob Pickels  14:55

It would personally

Grant Holicky  14:56

Take me. Oh Chris would take you.

Trevor Connor  14:58

Well, Chris will not take me on any long ride he doesn’t even invite me to them anymore.

Grant Holicky  15:07

All right, fair enough.

Trevor Connor  15:08

All right, did we squeeze all the juice out of this lemon think

Grant Holicky  15:11

we did it justice

Chris Case  15:15

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Rob Pickels  16:22

Training who trains anymore? Trevor apparently I knew he was the only only one no grant you still train but me. I’ve kind of lost my training Mojo I’m not going to live. As everybody knows I had a pretty big spring, right? I rode my mountain bike mostly across Portugal I missed a day because my bike got lost by the airline. I know I went to Finland and did some of Finland gravel. And that was the breaking point for me, right? We’ve talked about this where I dropped out of Finland gravel, because I kind of thought it would be more fun to go paddleboarding with my kids. And since then, that mindset, and I don’t necessarily think it’s sort of overtraining, I think that I’m just a little bit bored with riding bikes right now. And to go out and ride the same roads. And the same trails that I always ride is just not that inspiring. I still love riding my bike. As I mentioned, I had a great three, four day weekend in an RV with some friends and we mountain bike all over the state. And it was amazing. And we had so much fun, but I just can’t bring myself to train. And what I’m asking of you guys is because I know I know my mojo was going to come back probably in the middle of winter, and I’m going to be super stoked for next year. And all of these big plans, my friends are all gonna say I’m crazy. I want to make sure that I’m still in a good place to do all the things that I love to do. I don’t want to give up on biking per se, I don’t want to give up on fitness and all of the things that I love. But gosh, man, it’s the Fall Winter is coming. What the heck do I do in the meantime? To keep my sanity to keep my fitness? When I don’t want to be out there doing hill repeats on my bike? Do I Find a parallel sport? Do I just ride for fun? How do I make it through the next three months so that I’m still in a good place when it comes back?

Trevor Connor  18:13

Before we even answer that question. One thing that I think is worth same, everybody hits that point where they start to get stale and go this isn’t fun anymore. And I need to take a break. A suggestion I always have for my athletes is let’s pick something for me it’s it’s Tobago, let me tell you, like I’m starting to feel that little bit of it’s the end of the season Am I still motivated today who gets me really motivated. But most years after I finished Tobago, I fly home with my bike and a bike bag, I throw the bike bag in my garage, and I don’t reassemble my bike for a month. It’s like I’m done. I’m happy. That was my big event. It’s over. And I do find often having that thing, that last thing we’re gonna go, I’m gonna do this and then the season is over really helps even if it’s just I’m gonna go out on whatever Sunday and do this big epic ride and then put the bike

Grant Holicky  19:06

away. Yeah, and I think that’s it’s a little bit unique about your season. Rob, where it happened in May. Yeah, that’s exactly what I was gonna say. I mean, you had transport vehicle in May, right? So in order to be ready for that you’re cranking pretty hard before it’s even nicer. you’re cranking hard through the winter. And I’m really adamant with people that have long seasons or they’re trying to combine two seasons that there needs to be that break that’s built in somewhere else to right there a reason to kind of shut down and I think people are really hesitant to do that mid season be Oh, well. I got cross. Well, what about cross? I mean, if I take two weeks off now, I can’t do that for cross. I think what you’re experiencing a little bit is that we all have that breaking point, you know, especially when it’s targeted toward an event. I think there’s people out there and I get into this a lot where I train to train. It’s part of what I You it’s part of my sanity, it’s my break from work. It’s my break from parenting, it’s my break from all those things. I like to go hard. I’ve always done that. That’s just some of who I am. But that’s an hour and a half. Right? You know, maybe I’m hitting a trainer, maybe I’m doing something like that. But when I have an event calendar, and a lot of my events are tied to my athletes events. So when I get done with cyclocross nationals, yeah, I don’t touch the bike. Or maybe I’ll ride it with them when we get to Europe. But then when they’re done in Europe, I do another one, which is probably the complete wrong time for me to take a break. But I’m sitting there in middle of February gone, oh, exhausted. I haven’t done really anything in a month, but I’m exhausted. It’s that mental piece that really can wear us out. So I guess what both of us are talking about here is that’s pretty normal and the timing of it for you. It’s just really odd. But let’s roll the part two of the question or two.

Rob Pickels  20:58

Well, what to do now? Well, actually, let’s let’s stay with part one real quick, because as you were talking grant, I had an epiphany. I think that why this year has been particularly hard for me, and you call it out. I target a really big event really early in the year. And that meant I spent so much mental energy having to train at a time that I didn’t want to train Absolutely. The holidays. Absolutely. My trainer is in an uninsulated detached garage. It’s usually the same temperature in my garage as it is outside, walk to the garage through the snow, I have the shovel my way from the back door to the garage. No joke, I usually do it in a pair of snow boots and bib shorts. It’s a great low, I’m sure try it. Yeah, it’s fallen, you know, but that’s like hours of my life, that you really have to motivate yourself to shovel your way to the garage to sit on the train or for two or three hours. On frankly, I really didn’t want to do it. But I was able to for the most part, I didn’t really do all the training, I wanted to but for the most part. But I think that I spent so much mental capital to pull that off, that I’m just left with nothing at this point,

Trevor Connor  22:11

you know, to be honest with you, you were basically doing a very non traditional season, you had your big amounts, then. And you didn’t really have anything after that I would have continued the non traditional season. I think, if I were you, I would have just taken June off.

Rob Pickels  22:28

And I would have taken June off if it wasn’t for Finland. And I’ll blame that one of my wife, my wife ran masters World Championships in Finland last year. And she loved it. And she wanted to go and she was looking for a reason to go back to Finland. And so that’s where Finland gravel came from. And so I did take the break, but I took it after Finland, I tried to train through Finland. And then I did I took more than a month off the bike.

Grant Holicky  22:55

But what’s hard now is there isn’t that event, say in December or January that you have to get going nowhere, right. And without that event, that’s where the motivation is going to lag a little bit. And when you look at a season that way, you have to look at the season, not as the months and dates on the calendar, you have to look at it as the season in and of itself. And maybe it would make sense to put something in there. But maybe it would make sense to put something completely different in there. Yeah. Right. And so this comes to part two a little bit as what do I do now? And you know, that’s really interesting, because my question was going to be, where do you guys add cross training in? That’s not the bike. And I don’t even really considered strength cross training. I think strength is very necessary for the bike. Right. But where do we put that cross training in in an existing schedule? Do we keep it in an existing schedule? Or is it very much an offseason thing, so I will take yours and roll it into my head and do it, do it. But I do think it’s really important and can be incredibly helpful to have a cross training component that you feel comfortable with, that you can turn to in the offseason that is going to help you develop or retain aerobic fitness, maybe some of the same crossover and strength so that when you come back to the bike, maybe your legs are a little behind, but your aerobic capability is pretty solid.

Trevor Connor  24:22

So can I interrupt quickly did grant just roll us into his question without actually asking a question. Well,

Rob Pickels  24:29

he seamlessly roll he’s like the chipotle of question asked her.

Trevor Connor  24:34

I wish I had known you in high school because I bet you are amazing with your teachers in coming up with making them feel good when you didn’t do your homework. He

Rob Pickels  24:43

didn’t. He didn’t have to say the dog ate his homework. He just got them to unassign the homework to him, right? I sit here brokenhearted. You know I can’t

Grant Holicky  24:54

go close by Trevor.

Trevor Connor  24:56

I can’t even do this but grant like the teacher is gonna go where Here’s your homework, and you’re going to do some soliloquy that ends with and that’s why I feel you should give me an A plus, where you were explaining why you didn’t do your homework. And somehow the teachers gonna go yes, yes, that makes sense.

Grant Holicky  25:13

Or my goal is to just talk long enough that they forgot their question. But that’s why I did so well in high school in my first semester of college, and I’m going to put this out there in the world, that midterm my first semester in college, I had three F’s and a D minus, that translates to a GPA of point, one, four for your square root club. I was point 144. And I managed to stay in college and get my you know what together pretty quickly, but that transition was hard, because what you’re describing did not work with a college professor. Not well, at least. I tried. I try. I definitely tried. But back on task. While we’re talking, I don’t think it matters at this point. But what do you guys tend to go to as an offseason kind of cross training piece? And I think we’re gonna touch base for for you on this too.

Trevor Connor  26:14

Let me just quickly throw this up. Because I think you’re gonna be really happy with the start of my answer, which is kind of going with your question and finishing Rob’s question of EO Rob is demotivated right now, he doesn’t want to go out and do the training. What should you do now? My answer, at least initially, is what sounds like fun. I think this is the point where you don’t go, what is optimal for the crosstraining so that you can be ready and May when we’re sitting here in September. I don’t think that’s going to get you overly motivated. I think you just need to look at what gets you out there. What’s going to make you put on the workout clothes and go and do something that you’re just going to enjoy and say hey, I just want to do this for the sake of doing it, whether it’s hiking, running, weights, roller skating, whatever it happens to be,

Rob Pickels  27:05

Wow, can you get old school? Yeah,

Trevor Connor  27:07

I was about to say rollerblade. I’m like, No, I gotta go older school.

Grant Holicky  27:10

One of the things that I really like with athletes, too, is to change it up in another way, too, which is the look at this and say, let’s find a competition in the offseason that you have to train for it. That’s not cycling. That’s new. That’s different. And it speaks to what Trevor saying about the fun. But the other thing that it brings into the table that I think is neat is for maybe the first time in a long time for a lot of us, you see that really big learning curve, that steep learning curve where you get really good at something really quickly. And that starts to feed in that competence piece of the SDT the self determination theory that we talked about a lot in here about defining motivation. You’re excited, it’s fun, it feels good, and that really can roll over from sport sport. Think you got to get the Nordic skis back on

Rob Pickels  27:58

but haven’t been Nordic skiing God, I’m a terrible Nordic skier. I have been doing a lot of iRacing online car racing because you know what I do? But I’m terrible. I am. It is a frustrating experience. And I can’t understand why I’m so slow.

Trevor Connor  28:15

So that actually reminds me just to make you very happy. After you told us about all your iRacing I don’t I’m not going to spend the money on that. But it motivated me I went and found a Gran Turismo emulator, okay, and downloaded it and I had been playing Gran Turismo and your motivation

Rob Pickels  28:38

nice, perfect. It’s fun, right? It is actually. Well, when when you get good at that, then you can switch over to the real men who do iRacing and women and real people. You can switch over to real people. Yeah, racing.

Grant Holicky  28:51

I don’t do that. It’s not my thing. Dude. Stay away. Okay, but what do you do? I mean, what else do you enjoy? Nothing.

Rob Pickels  28:57

Just the bike. You know, I love running. The only problem is I get injured. I’m like sitting here with an SI joint issue because I went running the other day.

Grant Holicky  29:05

Yeah, but you don’t go running smart. You don’t do a smart build up. You decide to go for a 10 mile run is

Rob Pickels  29:11

not true. That’s not true. I decided to go for a four mile mountain run straight

Trevor Connor  29:18

on maybe then you do a combo of hiking and jogging do.

Rob Pickels  29:23

Yes. That’s called the raking. Yeah.

Trevor Connor  29:25

So you’ll look to add to that, what I’m going to say is sometimes it’s taking something that you know and that you do frequently, and just change it up a little bit. So an example I’ll give you is two years ago when I was in October and really demotivated and didn’t really want to train. I had actually just bought a new house. And I put weight equipment in my basement. And I’m like, on the one hand, I’m really motivated to go into the weight room because I got all this new weight equipment. It’s cool. On the other hand, I don’t want to build a weight plan. So I spent A month where I went down there, I’m like, every time I go down here, I’m just gonna do what I feel like benchpress. I did bench press, I did just about every exercise under the sun. But it was just kind of go down there. What do I feel like doing today? And that’s what I’m going to do? Well, I

Grant Holicky  30:15

think coming back to the crux of this, I mean, you almost have to shift the goal a little bit, okay. And the goal might not now be competition. So what’s the goal? Why will you exercise and you know, the running joke in my household is that I like to be competitive. My wife likes to be competitive at sports events, we trained to do those things. But the ultimate goal is just to look good naked, like to not get, by the way now to shape No, we’ve stated that we find these things in order to age gracefully, in order to be as healthy as we can possibly,

Trevor Connor  30:46

while you guys were taking your shirts off,

Rob Pickels  30:48

just you know what straining we’ve been doing.

Grant Holicky  30:54

But I think ultimately, that can be an offseason shift, you know what I want to be healthy, I want to make sure that I’m maintaining this, I don’t want to get on a roller coaster. So that means that I’m building toward this goal that’s completely different, that can take a completely different type of exercise. It can just take activity instead of training. And I think those two things are totally different, right. And I think that’s a place I’ve written out in many programs stay active, but don’t train. And I put train in quotes, because people know what we mean, when we say training.

Rob Pickels  31:25

Yeah, in maybe there’s a little bit of a divergence right now for me, because my body kind of feels like it wants to train, it’s ready to train. It’s just It’s my mind that isn’t there. And ultimately, I think I’m just looking for permission to go just ride my mountain bike every day and have fun. Yeah, and forget about the base zone and just do vo two Max climbs until I can’t do it, and then go downhill again.

Trevor Connor  31:48

That’s what I mean, by changing it up. You can even do something you regularly do just say there’s no training plan, I’m not going to track this, I’m not going to look at my zones. Let’s go to some of those trails you never do because they’re they’re not good training, and hit them and just go I don’t care. I’m just gonna have Yeah,

Grant Holicky  32:05

yeah. And I think there’s plenty of those, right? There’s plenty of these places that we avoid, because it’s not good training, or it doesn’t work for today. And you can go and just ride. And that’s that idea of be active, do stuff don’t train. And I think that’s really important. But what else do you do? Now? I want to go to my go back to your question. Yeah. Why I want to go back to my question is, the reason this comes up a little bit for me is that we live really close to my kids school. They ride their bikes to school every day. And we used to walk up to school with them, because they were three or four and riding their bike was really slow. And eventually, you know, river got a little faster, we’re running behind him trying to keep up. Now we run to school every day. And then we are already up there. It’s only a half mile. But now we elongate these runs. And most mornings when I’m in town, I’m doing a 234 mile run every morning, and then doing my normal bike training on top of that, and I found huge benefits to that on a bunch of different angles. So I’ve included running into that. What other sports do you guys kind of encourage in terms of crossover and I can explain like what those benefits are. But

Trevor Connor  33:16

I’m gonna say the one thing that’s really important is don’t keep doing the sport, you do all the time, cycling is an imbalanced sport really work some muscles that doesn’t work others running also is a bit of an imbalance, sport, all these sports, if they’re all you do is the one sport you are going to be imbalanced. And this is the time of year to say, I’m going to do things that have a different movement that work different muscles, a lot of ways you can skin that cat, but don’t just say, you know, I’m a cyclist. I’ve been racing all year. Now all I’m going to do is just go mountain bike for a month. Yeah, you’re gonna get yourself out of balance.

Rob Pickels  33:55

But I will say mountain biking is a bit of cross training in that it is training complementary skills. But no, I do agree with you, Trevor. The other thing that I want to say as a caveat before we begin this is if you are still trying to be in a peak performance mode for that particular sport, that the cross training really shouldn’t come at the expense of the training for that sport. We all know triathletes, I love you. But you’re not the best cyclists in the world. Not the best runners in the world, not best swimmers in the world, you’re pretty good at all three of them. And so I think grant your case is that you’re able to do all of your bike training with additional running added on top of that. And I think that that’s sort of the question that you’re asking here where we’re not taking hours a week out of your bike training and doing a different sport. It’s what do we do on top of it?

Grant Holicky  34:43

Well, and I think part of what got me on this is that what I found and this goes back to when I broke my collarbone years ago and I had to do a lot of walking and just I needed to move and I couldn’t run because I was in a sling and I did a lot of walking and I was walking three four miles a day I was walking kind of hard and I came out of that with a shocking amount of fitness. I was blown away at

Rob Pickels  35:05

how you are just recovered from being overtrained? No,

Grant Holicky  35:09

not at all, because it happened at the beginning of cross where I tend to be a little undertrained coming in, yeah, but I was really kind of blown away is we forget that, you know, low zone two on a bike is really equivalent for a lot of us to a high rate of walking, it’s not really equivalent to running, running, it’s harder for a lot of, especially if we’re not efficient. So he’s doing all this walking, and it came out and aerobic ly I was fit in like it was my legs that were failing me for the first time in my life, not my lungs, when I got back on the bike. And I’ve retained some of this running. And what I’ve found is it especially if I do it in the right energy system, so for me, base running is 910 minute miles, it’s not very fast. And that’s how we’re running. But it’s this compliment, because it’s more time in a bass zone that I wouldn’t normally get it becomes this two day thing I had an athlete asked me today, Trevor’s nodding his head vehemently because there’s some evidence that the two a day can help, had an athlete asked me about two days on the bike. But where I watch a lot of athletes go is kind of do two in the morning, two in the afternoon, and like, that’s a lot, you know, like, nice way to do today’s is that our spin in the morning, and then a workout in the afternoon have that and that running became that piece for me. And one last thing I’ll throw out there is the running also really good for the bones for cyclists. And we’ve watched a lot of cyclists like fall over barely hit the ground five bones break, oh, there’s

Trevor Connor  36:38

a lot of research showing osteoporosis and bone loss in cyclists you need to do this other work. So some of

Grant Holicky  36:45

that pounding could be a benefit to that.

Rob Pickels  36:48

Yeah, yeah, it certainly can be, you know, Grant, I think that if we look at really any of the rhythmical endurance sports, then the central adaptations that you’re going to be having, meaning your hearts ability to pump oxygen, and pump blood that happens regardless of the sport doesn’t matter if you’re walking, running, hiking, Nordic skiing, pool, awkward jogging, and that stuff transfers over, right, the things that don’t necessarily transfer over the things that happen in the periphery, because you’re using different muscles and a slightly different movement patterns, so on and so forth. But that is where I think coming up with cross training that is similar enough to a rhythmic endurance sport, that you’re able to maintain a relatively steady workload for amount of time, but has complementary benefits. You’re saying being a weight bearing activity, Nordic skiing doesn’t necessarily have that same complimentary situation, because you do like the pounding. But other things that do like weightlifting, they don’t have the endurance aspect of that, you know, and so I do think that running is very unique. But what I will say is, if you are doing it on the cross training side of things, then something like trail running, or running in a manner that allows you to cut left and right up and down more or less pounding, the one downside about just regular old running on the street. And you see this in runners all the time, that rhythmical repetitive loading in one particular manner. It does strengthen and increase bone mass, but it tends to do so in very specific ways that are aligned with the forces that Sharon’s seen, and ultimately things like stress fractures or whatnot can develop for cyclists. I do think it’s beneficial, but maybe not as beneficial as a running on a trail, or a soccer match that you’re playing, you know, for relatively long amounts of time, you know, maybe it’s a less competitive more of a fitness, you know, a beer league sort of soccer. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  38:47

I think a lot of that stuff’s important. And I do think one of the things that’s worth kind of throwing out there to, my guess is a lot of our listeners, at least in my experience, as a coach is when you give that other sport, they gotta swallow their pride a little bit. And notice what I’ve talked about when I go from my runs, it’s 910 minute mile, sometimes slower, that’s slow.

Trevor Connor  39:07

I do a month of running in the fall, I build up to the tip.

Grant Holicky  39:12

But and as a former triathlete, there was a point in time where I was training much faster than not running, you know, sixes off the bike. I was never a fast runner, but it was okay. So coming back to that thing and going alright, the running as a compliment or run walking is I think it’s something that’s really you know, it got brought up again earlier. And in terms of the hike, walk, raking, raking, raking, yeah, but even in the neighborhood, just having a little bit of that walk, run even a walk. I like putting walks in people’s recovery days, because I do think it just a little bit different, give something different. The other thing

Trevor Connor  39:49

that I think is absolutely critical to add during that time of year is my ex wife was a pole vaulter.

Rob Pickels  39:57

That’s right. My current wife

Trevor Connor  39:59

I actually knew Oh, surprisingly, large amount of help.

Rob Pickels  40:03

Sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean to you there.

Trevor Connor  40:07

Do you know how many meats I went to and I was counting less. And if you’re not a pole vaulter, you don’t know what that means. But look, I gotta say one thing that I think everybody needs to include, at this time here is some sort of strength training, some sort of functional work. To me that is critical. Like I said, there’s this kind of weird contradiction in doing the sports where you can get very good at a sport, but at the same time, your body becomes increasingly fragile, right? And you need that time to just get your body healthy, and strong again. And so I’ve athletes all the time, they’re like, the strength or team you gave me how’s that gonna make me stronger on the bike, or how’s that gonna make me a stronger runner, and I go, it doesn’t, it’s going to make you healthy. And it’s the reason that you’re still gonna be biking or running 20 years from now. But I do think

Grant Holicky  40:57

it’s also important as we kind of go into this time of year to note that you can go off the bike, you know, and do something different, and train in a different way and come back to the bike. not worse, may be better. Some of the best years I’ve ever had on the bike where we’re coming off of a full season of Nordic skiing. And I’m watching a lot of guys, especially masters guys, and women now doing a lot of uphill skiing, and ski Moe. And man, they’re coming back as a robic monsters when they get into the spring. And they’re excited about the bike, you know, they’ll do a schema competition or they’ll end there kind of winter season transition, they’re pumped for the bike, they’re excited for the bike, and their aerobic fitness is through the roof schema.

Rob Pickels  41:43

That sounds good to me right now.

Grant Holicky  41:45

But I think there’s that component of things that say, Hey, listen, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same, to still be really beneficial, and can do really wonderful thing. So the motivation, you’d be a good ski mower.

Trevor Connor  41:58

Don’t worry, it’s middle of September in Colorado. You can ski mow in about a week now.

Grant Holicky  42:02

Yeah, you’re we’re not very far away.

Rob Pickels  42:04

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Rob Pickels  42:49

Well, guys,

Grant Holicky  42:50

I think that might wrap it up. That’s a short one for us. So

Trevor Connor  42:54

It was a short one.

Rob Pickels  42:55

leaving here and I’m going to buy some skimo gear. Actually, let’s be honest, I’m gonna do 22 hours of research before then,

Grant Holicky  43:06

can I actually just point out I would have been the one that would leave here in bio gear and then call Rob and go What did you research? You’re gonna research.


Can I point out I always wondered about this. We live in Boulder, middle of Colorado. Everybody thinks of ski and when they think of Colorado. Nope. There are no ski shops here.

Rob Pickels  43:25

This there are one there’s no

Grant Holicky  43:27

worry. Wow. Christie. Epic. There’s at least four and Tammy

Rob Pickels  43:33

there’s crystal crystal.

Grant Holicky  43:35

That’s thriller. I’ve

Trevor Connor  43:36

Never seen any of these dude

Rob Pickels  43:37

blinders man. Yeah. You don’t really ski that’s


because you can’t not see my shots on boulder. You can’t go three blocks without seeing a bike shop and Boulder and

Rob Pickels  43:49

some of those are ski shops too.

Trevor Connor  43:51

That is a good point. Boulder cycles. Boulder.

Grant Holicky  43:54

Nordic Tom. Yeah, no, that’s good.

Trevor Connor  43:57

Okay, I stand corrected.

Grant Holicky  43:58

You should stand corrected, but you’re sitting and that’s the appropriate way to finish this episode. That has been another episode of fast dock. Keep go I don’t know the outro but bring it up. But keep going the opinions of Rob and Trevor and especially grant Holic you’re not the opinions of this company. So don’t sue us.

Rob Pickels  44:24

We’ll Trevor’s our it’s his.

Trevor Connor  44:26

sue him. Don’t sue

Grant Holicky  44:28

  1. Check us out on the social media things were on Instagram and the tweeter and we had her and even on the website is x now. It is it’s tweet it will always be tweeted to me. And on the website you can check out us eating hot wings and sweating profusely

Rob Pickels  44:47

grant Holic and Rob pickles. I’m Trevor Connor. Thanks for listening. Is that online? No. Yeah, it is. Go figure. I thought we told you I’m out of the loop. Oh, I apologize about that I was hurt and I told you it went up last week. Oh, how’s it doing? People? I can’t do it. Well check it out. It’s a lot of fun. Okay. It

Grant Holicky  45:07

is it is highly entertaining. Nice. Especially.

Rob Pickels  45:11

Seiler was here and he didn’t hit us up. I’m sad.

Trevor Connor  45:14

It was here for six days. I reached out to him not here here.

Grant Holicky  45:17

He was in the States. He wasn’t in Boulder. He was talking. Stop USA Swimming.

Trevor Connor  45:21

Yeah, I love how we kind of all of a sudden somebody comes over from Europe to the United States. They’re nearby. Oh, is

Grant Holicky  45:28

it kind of a big

Trevor Connor  45:29

country? It’s

Rob Pickels  45:30

the closest closest we chatted a little bit about that. Dude, I had some Thai food this weekend. tore me up. You’re kind of weak. I don’t know that. I’m weak.


You’re the guys are like the hot sauce.

Grant Holicky  45:41

I love hot sauce.


I had no bones about coming into that episode and going “I’m a wimp.”

Grant Holicky  45:46

Well that episode got me fired up.

Rob Pickels  45:49

Dude, I’m still eating those hot sauces. Dirty Dicks, man that stuff is so good.

Grant Holicky  45:53

Time to be done.


We’re done right there. And why are you still listening?