The Never Going Pro Podcast – Episode 9 – Reverse Periodization, Dirty Kanza, and special guest Timmy Bauer

In this episode of the podcast, Shayne, Chris, and Ken Discuss reverse periodization and how it can be used to train for ultra-endurance events like the Dirty Kanza, plus special guest Timmy Bauer, Cat 1 road cyclist, Indoor Specialist, & Ambassador for Science In Sport. Enjoy!


Available on iTunesStitcherSpotify, and SoundCloud


Show Notes:

Reverse vs. Traditional Periodization for Triathlon Training

Periodization vs Reverse Periodization

Reverse Periodization


Show Transcript:

Ken: Did you guys hear about the butcher that sat on his meat grinder?

Ken: He got a little behind in his work.

Shayne: I like it.

Ken: It’s a butt joke. Who doesn’t love a good butt joke?

Shayne: It’s a dad butt joke.

Ken: It’s a dad butt joke.

Shayne: A dutt joke.

Ken: Yep.

Shayne: The five to eight year olds are hollering right now.

Ken: Hurrah!

Shayne: People don’t know that we have a huge amount of five to eight year olds who listen to this podcast. It’s like a thousand.

Ken: Whether they want to or not, you need to be quiet in the back seat and listen because this is going to make you a faster cyclist.

Chris: I had a friend of mine this last week. Actually someone we’re going to invite on the podcast. He’s getting his PhD in neuroscience, in nutrition and he works with athletes. So it’d be really interesting to let him and Shayne go toe to toe and argue.

Chris: But yeah, he…

Ken: Like a nerd fight?

Chris: Uh-huh (affirmative). And I told him about it and he goes, “Oh well listen to the podcast.” And he said, “I’m starting the first one now.” And it occurred to me, I was like, “Oh don’t do it. Don’t do that. Start at number four.” But we needed three to get it together. So he might’ve listened to the first one of them. Stop being my friend. So we’ll see if he’d have it on the podcast.

Ken: Yep. So that could be the hidden episode. We could just hide episode one cause it kind of sucks.

Chris: It’s good idea.

Ken: And that could forever be the one that true never going pro fans are taken to the internet to try to hunt it down.

Shayne: It’s going to be an movement. It’s going to shut the internet down. Five people.

Ken: Yep.

Ken: Well here we go. Welcome to the Never Going Pro podcast by Dad’s Inside Tiding trainers featuring GC coaching. It’s a podcast about riding bikes and parenthood and trying really, really hard at both. I am your host Ken, the badger owl and with me is Shayne Gaffney, owner of GC coaching.

Shayne: Hey everyone.

Ken: And Chris Gorny, fellow dirt teammate, passionate cyclists and outstanding dad.

Chris: Good morning.

Ken: And yeah, usually we take a few minutes to catch up with the crew. Everybody’s getting ready for the holidays. We figured we’d talk a little bit about our setups and our bikes. So what’s new with you guys?

Chris: Can I start and say two things?

Ken: Yes.

Chris: First off… Good job Badger. The last couple of weeks, that intro… We’ve left the comical breaks in there because we think it’s funny to make fun of you when we edit this, but you killed it.

Ken: Thanks.

Chris: That was great. Good job.

Chris: I agree.

Chris: And secondly, I’ve mentioned this, my wife listens to this podcast and every time you say “passionate cyclist” and “outstanding dad”, my wife kind of laughs at me.

Ken: Does she roll her eyes?

Chris: She does. Yeah. It’s really, really funny. She came back from running this last weekend. She’d listened to the last podcast and she said, “Hey. So I listened to the podcast.” I said, “Okay.” She goes, “I have some thoughts about it.” And I’m like, “Oh no.” She goes, “I think it was your best one.” So she fed me up. I was like, oh I really think she was going to trash it. And then she goes, “It was your best one.” I was like, “Oh okay.” So I guess we’re getting better at this.” I’m doing good. We are not particularly ready for the holidays. It occurred to me today that I have not bought my wife’s gifts for Christmas so I’ll be doing that this morning at work. But I do know…

Ken: We’ll release this on December 26 then.

Chris: Yeah, well she only bought gifts for me and my daughter and all of our family. So I have one job to do. But other than that, we’re doing good. We’re going to go to the mountains for the holidays. So that’s all we got. What’s going on with you Shayne?

Shayne: The holidays are usually crazy busy, but this year is actually going to be pretty good where everybody’s coming to my house because I’m the only one with kids right now in the family. So we have, my parents are both divorced, remarried. And my wife’s parents are both divorced and remarried. So you can imagine that gets a little complicated with four houses to go to. So everybody’s coming to my house, which is going to be awesome. And yeah, Christmas presents are already bought. Everything’s wrapped, so we’re in really good shape right now, which is good. But thanks to my wife for that not to me. Yeah, what about you Ken?

Ken: I am pretty much ready. I’m going to go get my wife some mountain bike gloves and she’s done most of the shopping for the rest of the family, which is pretty cool. A lot of other stuff going on. I got a promotion, but I also interview for a different job at the same time. So like that’s kind of crazy. I don’t know what… My future is a little uncertain, but all the opportunities look good.

Shayne: Can you tell us…

Ken: And…

Chris: Is it too soon? Will it ruin your chances if you tell us what you interviewed for?

Ken: It might ruin the chances so, but no, it would be getting into a different industry. We’ll see how that works out. It would be going more into tech and away from property management and so yeah, it would be a really interesting transition career-wise.

Ken: Training, things are going good. Got in a 10 hour week. Last week I started lifting some weights so that’s feeling good. I started really light so I wasn’t super sore and so far things are going fine there. And excited about taking a couple of days off from the Christmas holiday and moving into 2020 with some fun goals both professionally and with my family and my training. So yeah, that’s where I’m at.

Shayne: I think it’s cool 2020 I feel like people get really jazz over New Year’s anyways, but the year 2020 just sounds like everybody’s going to be even more motivated and excited to change or improve. Just because the year is so cool. Like 2020. I think it’s because we finally know how to say it. You know what I mean? Before it was like 19, 2018. The teens felt awkward.

Shayne: In 2011 I feel like there was no standard, but now I think it’s everybody knows it’s 2020 and there’s 2021.

Ken: Right. Easier. Well there’s an entire decade and we didn’t even know what to call it.

Shayne: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I think that’s the reason for so many problems is it was just a base level confusion on when you don’t have your nomenclature down you don’t know what to say. I think that’s going to be the change.

Chris: I’m stoked man. I’m looking forward to see what happens.

Ken: Cool. Well we were going to talk a little bit about how we train and what kind of bikes we ride. So I guess I will go first. I am riding a beat up old 2000 … Excuse me. Yeah. 2012 Fuji…

Shayne: 2012?

Ken: It’s the 2012 Fuji Granfondo. REM break bike. I did put some nicer wheels on it and I’m running that on a Cyclops hammer, a generation one hammer, which is still… It’s got 10,000 miles on it and it’s still going strong.

Ken: The bike is getting beat up from the salt. So for instance, I sheared one of the heads off of the bolts that holds the bottle cage on. So I have one bolt on it and one zip tie. And so yeah. Yeah. Be careful with your bikes, make sure you grease up your bolts and take everything apart and clean it up every now and again.

Chris: Grease your bolts.

Ken: Yes.

Chris: Always grease your bolts. That is our public service announcement for today.

Ken: Yep. And then I’ve got a sweeter, much sweeter mountain bike. I have a 2019 Specialized Epic S-Works of course. It’s awesome. It’s got a FOX 34 front fork. I won’t get into all the other details, but it is a cross country race machine.

Chris: But you want to.

Ken: I do want to, but shoot me a PM if you want all the specs and no I won’t tell you my address.

Chris: We’ll tell everybody. So if you really want to know where he lives, message one of us and we’ll tell you where he lives.

Ken: All right, well let me go ahead and call my insurance agent and lower my deductible.

Chris: What about you Shayne?

Shayne: I have a Specialized Tarmac Road on a kicker right now. That’s kind of where I do 90 plus percent of my training on Swift. And then I have a giant TCX Cross Bike as well. I think I have 25,000 miles on the Specialized right now. Something like that. So quite a bit. But no problems not going in with, it’s been rock solid since day one. And the kicker probably has, what? Three years worth of miles on it. Who knows how many virtual miles that might be. But same thing, rock solid. So knock on wood hopefully that lasts me another season.

Shayne: Training wise, Ken’s in the man shed and then I have like a downstairs office/training room/storage facility for old toys and clothes/everything else. So, that’s where my training space is.

Chris: Old toy down with the old toys.

Shayne: That’s it. That’s it. What about you?

Chris: My kind of little cycling room is actually our garage. We have a single car garage attached to our house and we don’t need it. And so we’ve got big storage things out here and set up in the middle of garage is a little workout area that we can use. And then I have the new Tacx Neo two, which is sitting next to the Wahoo KICKR right now in my garage, which the Wahoo KICKR is not mine. So I’ve got to give that back to the people I’m borrowing it from. But right now it makes me seem super wasteful that I have both of them here, but I bought one and borrowed the other. But it was fun to compare them. The Tacx Neo two is a considerably more real to what it feels like to ride out on the road, which took me a little of time to get used to.

Chris: But, that’s what I ride inside with two little fans that are considerably underpowered, but yet I don’t spend money to get a better fan, so I just kind of sweat and there’s a pool on the little stain part of my garage floor. But my bikes…

Shayne: [inaudible 00:10:02].

Chris: Well, I cleaned that, actually cleaned it last night in the driveway and had to spend some time spraying down the driveway from where a bunch of bike grease was starting to stain. Which is code for clean your bike more often. But I have a 2018 Focus IZALCO Max, which… And it’s got exposed cabling and rim brakes. But I’ve got a Mavic 45-mil Ferring, carbon wheels, [inaudible 00:10:30]. I’ve got like three or four seat posts that I changed out and I’ve been trying to figure out a different saddle position for a little while, but it’s great.

Chris: I had this same bike a year earlier but totally changed it out because I liked the color of the 2018 more. I know there were other reasons too. I got a good deal when I swapped him out and I got some great component upgrades but…

Shayne: All right, that makes me feel better.

Chris: Yeah. Ultimately…

Shayne: Just the color?

Chris: It was white and everyone here has black bikes. And I like being the one guy who’s got the all white bike.

Shayne: White bike with hairy legs.

Chris: Yeah. No I shave my legs. I’m not a monster in the bedroom. This last week I did something I’ve never done before. I… Or two weeks or a week ago I switched out my group set or my cassette and I just never did that by myself before. But when I got the Tacx Neo two, instead of getting a cassette for that, I just put my… I cleaned my cassette, put it on that and bought a new one.

Chris: And it was actually really easy. I knew how to do it. I just had never done the work for it, but it was kind of fun.

Shayne: There’s some great videos too on YouTube and stuff like that do all that stuff. And you saved so much time. You also save so much money too.

Chris: Well it’s easy I already had all the bike cleaning stuff and so I just use that to clean the cassette and I didn’t even need a solvent today. It was really easy and they make those cassettes so stupid proof that even I could do it.

Shayne: Yeah. I love it too. It makes you feel good about yourself too when you do it.

Ken: Yeah, absolutely. What dad doesn’t love to save money?

Chris: That’s true.

Ken: And also, what dad doesn’t love a good focus question?

Chris: Most of them.

Ken: Okay, well we got a cool focus question this week.

Chris: That was a great Segway, Ken.

Ken: Wasn’t that? Did you like that? How I slipped that in there?

Chris: Hey, just a daily public service announcement. Again, this is now a period where my daughter might come run screaming into the room, so just be ready for that.

Ken: No worries. This comes from Nathaniel. I’m going to try to pronounce his last name, but [inaudible 00:12:41] perhaps.

Chris: That sounds right.

Ken: Yeah, Nathaniel [inaudible 00:12:43], he came up with the sweetest graphic for Christmas for team dirt. It was awesome. So go to our Facebook page and check it out. And his question is how to transfer from training longterm indoors to singular outdoor events or single outdoor events? And I see that Shayne has done a lot of research on this and he also trains a lot of athletes that have done this. So I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Shayne: Sure. So the big thing is what the event is. Is it a mountain bike single track events? Or is it a gravel event? Or is it just a Grandfondo that’s mostly on the road. Because, the big thing is you’re going to have the fitness from riding indoors. You may not potentially have the endurance depending on how long your ride is, but most importantly is your bike handling is probably not going to be great, especially if it’s an indoor.

Chris: That would be my daughter.

Ken: I can hear her. Two walls and a kitchen. Did you run out of Cheerios this morning or something? What happened?

Chris: It’s most likely that she was grabbing onto a drawer in the kitchen and then fell backwards, which is kind of…

Ken: Ouch. Little pinch action.

Shayne: So your fitness will be there, but the big thing is your bike handling. It probably won’t be there unless you do a lot of outdoor riding, which I’m sure it can attest to.

Shayne: because you didn’t mean that if you’re on the train or you just basically sitting and spinning. Even on rollers, you don’t get a ton of handling. You can get your straight line ability better on rollers. And I think rollers are good for roadies that kind of maybe lose that ability to hold a straight line, which is important riding in a pack or things like that just for safety. But really mountain biking, gravel grinding, you really have to expose yourself to those elements to improve at them.

Ken: One of the things that I run into on longer mountain bike rides is like you said, you know the leg strength is there, but my shoulders and traps get really, really tight on long rides. I’m just not used to putting any weight over my bars cause I can, I mean, I don’t even need to hold the bars at all on the trainer. So, that’s one of the biggest things that I run into. And there’s only so many plank holds that you can do that are going to sort of mimic, mimic that stimulus. I, I have to get out there. And so it seems like I can do all the deliberate stuff on the trainer and when I ride outside I’m just out there playing and having fun.

Shayne: Right. Yeah. Use, that’s how I’ll structure too is you’ll do like the fitness work indoors and then if you have a cyclo cross race coming up, you might do some, practice over barriers or turning drills or writing in sand, gravel, single track, bunny hopping. All those skills that you don’t really get riding indoors. But if you go, like you said, it’s more about fun and skills work then is actually about really improving fitness.

Chris: Sorry you don’t bunny hop trainer.

Shayne: I don’t bunny hop too much on a trainer. Sometimes in the rulers I do from feeling really special.

Chris: With that swift update where you have to start bunny hop and stuff.

Shayne: That’s right on a… What’s the name of that new chorus? Repack Ridge.

Ken: Oh yeah, repack Ridge. What I was going to say is there was a really cool video that came out this week. It was a, I want to say it was a cycling tips video where they went and visited the SARS headquarters and they were talking about the future of indoor riding and they’re trying to make it as similar to outdoor as possible. So they have something that’s similar to a rocker plate and it rocks left to right. But yeah, but it also rocks forward and back. So it sits in sort of like a cradle and when you stand up out of this saddle, the bike will and you accelerate. It’ll move forward, it’ll move back, and it’ll move side to side. And then of course the wahoo kicker climb has been out for a long time. That actually adjusts the front end of the bike up and down.

Ken: So it’s getting there. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t want to, I would love to have a smart bike one day in the future, but they’re just coming out now. So I’m just going to ride the current setup that I have as long as possible until I can get a more realistic like generation two, three, four, whatever.

Shayne: Yeah, for sure.

Ken: A smart bike.

Chris: Well, I will say that it’s actually the big difference between the Tacx, the Tacx Neo two, the wahoo kicker that’s in my garage is you’ve got a little more like wobble is probably the word for it. And it’s intentional. So the tax actually, I mean its nothing like we’re talking about, but its not as rigid of a connection. It’s still solid and safe. You’re not putting any pressure on your frame or anything, but it, you, you lose kind of like when you’re outside, you lose a little of power in the flex of your frame. That’s what’s happening. And so, it’s, I’d say I actually saw a little of a power decrease switching to the Tacx because I’m having to a little harder to just keep steady and stable rather than just like hammering power.

Chris: Which at first I hated, but now I’m realizing that’s going to help me outside of time. But so I mean that on steroids is where everything’s going and I think you’re right. Eventually putting a bike on a trainer will be passe because there’ll be a $1,500 indoor trainer that rocks left and right. It goes up and down. You know, you can bunny hop, I don’t know. You know what I mean? They’ll splash water on you if you’re doing a cyclocross course.

Ken: Well that certainly is the hope. There is a sort of a mountain bike training tool. It’s called a Rip Row. And Lee Likes Bikes came out with this thing and it’s pretty neat. It basically rocks side to side, but it is a machine that you can use to mimic the pumping motion of being on a mountain bike and, and so it definitely, in my perfect bike gym, I would have one of those as well. So check it out. It’s called a Rip Row. And those guys do a lot of neat training videos and a lot of training seminars around the country.

Shayne: Is that R-I-P-R-O-W?

Ken: Yes. R. I. P. R. O. W. Yep. The RipRow.

Shayne: Never heard of it before. I’ll check that out.

Ken: Yeah, it’s neat. It’s neat stuff.

Shayne: There’s a trainer trying to find it right now. I think they might’ve pulled it down because it was like a really kind of, they were a little too ahead and it’s by BKool, which I think is a Spanish or a German company. And for a while. Yeah, they did, I’m looking right now and I ended up pulling it off the market, but they tried to go to market. No, no, I know it’s up there. They might’ve just changed it a bit, but it was basically a built in pivot on your back axle so that like it already would kind of go left and right. And it was, it was really, it was almost kind of suspending your bike rather than propping it from the bottom. It actually connected above your cassette and so it actually had your bike suspended like that, which was saying [inaudible 00:19:58], but I think they like put it out in the market and then pulled it back and then it’s out again is a little different. So it seems like they were maybe pushing a little too hard.

Ken: That’s cool. Yeah. There was some kind of kinetic trainer that was like that as sort of a sweet is like in a swing swings back and forth.

Shayne: Yeah, it’s really cool to see like the arms race between all of these companies to come up with like the new best thing or whatever. But yeah, so I think transferring from trending longterm indoors to singular events outdoors is all about bike handling primarily. And then the other big thing is endurance, which I kind of touched upon. The guess secondary focus question this week comes from Josh [inaudible] and he asks, “would it be possible to train effectively using… We have to for an event like the dirty Kanza.” So dirty Kanza, if you guys don’t know, it’s a 200 mile gravel event. They also do, I believe, a 100 mile event as well this year. Is that right? Okay. So yeah, so it’s a very, very long, very gnarly kind of a one of those quote epic events or bucket list events that people like to do.

Chris: That’s from my neck of the woods. I grew up an hour from there.

Ken: Oh really?

Chris: Yeah. Yeah man, that’s an important Kansas. I grew up an hour away.

Shayne: Yeah, I’ve worked with a couple people that have done it. I’ve never done it myself, but people that have done it seems to, everybody says this kind of, it’s like a life changing altering thing that people do, which is really cool.

Chris: Yeah. I’m going to give two secrets away right now that I hope, I hope nobody yells at me for, so the hardest part, the hardest thing in the world is actually to get in to the DA. I’ve heard that I actually didn’t get it in last year. I tried to with my friends and they all got in because they knew that the.. You know, again, here’s the secret, right? Supposedly, and it’s not written down anywhere that if you also buy the kit that goes with the event somehow you always make it through the lottery. I don’t know anyone who got the kit who didn’t get in.

Ken: There’s another secret too.

Chris: Yep. Are you talking about the middle school that I don’t know about the middle school, the middle school, the one that I heard was if you donate to the local middle school, I forget if it’s like the arts and sciences program or something like that. You also magically get in because it’s tied to the race somehow.

Ken: I haven’t heard that tip, but I did hear if you sign up for the training camp and dirty Kanza, you’re guaranteed entrance. We have one of our members that’s doing that. Graham, he’s going to be doing the training camp this year and so he was guaranteed a slot and he’s going to decide later whether he’s going to do the 100 or the 200 because the training camp is 50 miles on day one, a hundred on day two and 50 on day three. So you know, if he’s not dead after those three days, then he might consider doing the 200 miler.

Shayne: Let’s see. Here’s the thing. I’m from Kansas, from the Prairie area, and then it’s redness to the Flint Hills, which is where employer, Kansas, where the DK is and people, people don’t really understand. I mean, there’s so many people who get into this race and have no idea what they’re doing because they don’t understand how totally difficult the terrain is. It’s a huge amount of elevation. Not only that, but there’s a lot of steep descents and they’re not just smooth descents you’re going down and rutted tractor paths. And the Flint Hills are exposed. There’s no shade, there’s no cover and they will not come get you. You’ve got to have your own support vehicle following you. On whatever road can maybe be nearby. So even that, you’re setting up your own stops. Plus, if you’re not from there and you’re not used to the wild changes and heat storms, like there’s been years where they’re like slammed by huge thunderstorm.

Shayne: I mean like then they’re not going to, they’re not going to like start the race if they think it’s going to be unsafe or they might. But I mean like people get their fricking rear ends kicked out there and like you’ll see people just like falling apart who have incredible fitness, bikes break in half. People carry extra like derailers in their pack. They carry extra chains. It’s unbelievable. Like people bring extra cassettes cause this it like there’s even photos of guys who have these like bike frames that literally snapped in half going down.

Ken: That’s nuts. Yeah. Wow.

Shayne: I’ve got friends who did it last year and the ones I was trying to do with one of them, who’s a very experienced cyclist, fell going on descent and ended up getting a concussion and just tore up just bloody everywhere. And then he didn’t go to the hospital until, I think he was traveling three days later for work and went to a hospital in California and they’re like, “yeah man, you, you should not be here.”

Shayne: He broke his helmet and I mean it’s awesome, but there’s zero exaggeration about how much the single kick you in the tail. So I mean fitness is important as luck as it seems.

Chris: Yeah. It’s, they started six, right? 6:00 AM.

Shayne: I think it’s maybe a little earlier, but they start early. Yeah.

Chris: It’s cut off at midnight?

Shayne: Something like that. Yeah. It depends which of course you’re doing.

Ken: 18 hours. That’s a long day man. That is a long day and saddle. You look at the guys and the guys who are really good at it, they actually have Aero bars on their gravel bikes and we just cruise.

Shayne: I have heard of that. I heard there was some controversy around that, but when you had answered this guy’s question on Facebook, you had mentioned something I had never heard about, which is reverse periodization. Because he’s starting to train now for this thing that’s in what August

Chris: DK is in. When is DK? I should know that.

Chris: It gets September.

Ken: All right, so September. So it’s late in the summer, but tell us about this reverse periodization.

Chris: Yeah, so traditional periodization is whatever.

Chris: No, sorry. We’re way off June 1st.

Chris: June 1st.

Ken: Whoa. Okay.

Shayne: So okay, reverse periodization.

Chris: Yeah, so let me start with traditional sort of traditional periodization is where you do high volume, low intensity, which is like zone two miles, which you see all the pros and those guys doing. Then you move into the build phase, which is more kind of growing some sport specific endurance, some sports specific intensity. Typically, VO two max, things like that. And then you have your peak and race phases. Reverse periodization is when you don’t do a tremendous amount of volume during the base phase because you don’t have the time A) to train or B) you live in an environment or a climate where you just can’t do that much training cause it’s snowing or it’s cold or whatever. So I think most drifters tend to use our verse period addition approach, even though they may not realize it where they do a lot of structured work in a lot of racing on Swift during the winter months.

Chris: As the weather gets better they may transition to outdoors more. Then, their writing gets longer and longer and the intensity gradually decreases. So, that’s really where reverse periodization is. You do low volume, high intensity in the beginning. Then you gradually transition to high volume, low intensity as the event approaches. And again, traditional is reversed where it’s high volume, low intensity first, and then lower volume, higher intensity is later.

Chris: So for something like the DK, which it can potentially take somebody the way we say 18 hours, right? 6:00 AM to midnight, that’s 18 hours. It can take 18 hours potentially for somebody to finish. That’s a perfect use of reverse periodization because as you get closer to your event, specificity is really what matters. So the most specific thing that you can do for the dirty Kanza isn’t a swift race. It’s you know, a 10 hour long endurance ride. So you’re almost training much better using a reverse period addition approach, in my opinion, for ultra endurance events. Doing it that way, then you are cramming a ton of volume six months away from the event and then gradually decreasing your volume as you’re increasing your intensity as the event approaches because you’re almost using specificity in reverse, which is not the ideal way to train for the event that you’re going for.

Chris: Does that make sense?

Ken: No, it does make a ton of sense. And I think like you said, like by default, that’s what a lot is. Swifters are doing as much as I do love riding swift still much more than an hour. I usually don’t do much more than an hour, maybe 90 minutes once or twice a week. I’m trying to push it up to two hours. Right. Yeah, but it does, it does start this.

Shayne: Even if you’re a racing cyclist, I gave him the cat three race cat two race. Typically, the early 90 minutes to two hours long. So you only need to do, or a tremendous amount of volume anyways, even during the base phase. Really two hours is going to be your longest event. So it’s more about intensity anyways in view to max repeats, things like that. It’s going to raise your [inaudible 00:29:16] ceiling as high as you can. Reverse periodization and really lends itself well to alter endurance events, in my opinion and my overall experience as a coach.

Chris: Like parenting to alter endurance event.

Shayne: Yeah, and I’m in the low volume, high intensity phase for sure.

Chris: Well I think parenting is more of a high volume, high intensity. What’s that?

Ken: It is unrelenting for sure.Well, this is good stuff and thanks Shane for bringing some insight into how we can use our, our, our trainers to transfer into the things that we really love to do outside.

Ken: We have an interview coming up with Timmy Bauer. Timmy Bauer is on the indoor specialist team for Zwift. It is one of the most dominant indoor teams out there. He’s a cat a plus, or a cat one in real life. He does a lot of [inaudible] events and then he also is A plus rider on Zwift. He was on SP2, which is that spirulina team. He was on that last year and he’s doing some other stuff this year, but we had a really good time talking to him about how he uses indoor training to transfer to outdoor training. So we’re going to move on to that interview right now.

Ken: So this week’s guest is Timmy Bauer. He is one of the guys on the Swift indoor specialist team, but he’s also a cat one racer and he’s been on some, he’s been on some pretty serious race teams over the years that you may have heard of. So good morning, Timmy, how are you?

Timmy: Good morning Ken. It’s great to be here. I’m doing great.

Ken: That’s awesome. So tell, tell the audience what time it is, where you are.

Timmy: Right now it’s about 3:57 AM this is normal wake up and Zwift time for me get the hours in before the kids wake up.

Ken: Gotcha. So how many hours do you usually put in each week or does it vary throughout the year?

Timmy: It definitely varies. Obviously right now it’s pretty cold where I live in the part of California I’m in, we do get snow and it is pretty chilly in the mornings, so it’s a little hard to get motivated sometimes to get out in the cold because my setup is in the garage, but normally shoot for 10 hours. Goal, obviously, when I’m really striving to get fit is 15 hours.

Timmy: Being a dad, you know that you got to make a your time valuable and you got to really get good stuff in while you can with with kids and other life things and job and everything else that goes along.

Ken: Yeah, I mean I know your buddy vegan cycle is Tyler Pierce. I saw on his video he’s pushing up the 20 hours a week and it seems like that’s pretty normal for you know, cat one and pro racers and you found that, I mean did you put in your time when you were younger really doing those big hours and now you just find that you, it’s not as important?

Chris: For sure. When you’re building your base people call it, you’re working to get your cycling legs. It takes a couple of years to get those and once you get to a certain level you can maintain it and you learn what you need to do and how you need to do it. You can become so much more efficient as you become wiser about your fitness and your base of cycling fitness.

Chris: So definitely when I was younger I only had one kid. It was a little easier to crunch a few more hours in. But having two kids is definitely more challenging. I can’t imagine the guys that have three, four, five, that’s crazy.

Ken: Yeah, I’ve got one and just when kindergarten started this year, I went from being really consistent at about eight hours a week drop them down to six hours or so and I’m now we’ve been doing that for three or four months and I’m finally starting to figure out how to get it back in there. But it’s every, every semester, every year things change. You got to figure out the puzzle all over again.

Chris: I’ve definitely noticed with Zwift you can fit in so many more quality miles too. You don’t have as many junk miles as I used to get when I was riding outside and training outside. Right now, like basically this last year I solely trained on Zwift and was very competitive throughout all my races. Even on the USA crit series, which is a pro one event, I went to five of those this year and by far had the best fitness I’ve had out of any year and it was all done on Zwift. It was really awesome.

Ken: Well, that kind of brings us to our focus question for the week, which is transferring from training longterm indoors to singular events outdoors. Can it be done? And then sort of follow up that question, there was a guy on the dad’s inside riding trainers Facebook page that asked fellow dirt members, like would it be possible to train on Swift and then do dirty Kanza.

Chris: Oh, for sure.

Ken: You kind of just answered that question a little, but we’d love to hear your elaboration. Like how long ago did you get into Swift? And I mean, how much do you still ride outside?

Timmy: Yeah, for sure. So let me just jump to the question. Dirty Kanza would totally be accomplish-able training on Zwift. But my Zwift story started on November 8th, 2017 I started Zwift and on the 28th I posted a kit, a picture of me and my kids. I’m one of the message boards and Jason Stern commented on it. It was me with both my kids on the bike in front of me on the trainer. And he said, dude, you’d be a great, a great addition to dirt, you should check it out. So before that I’d always seen the dirt name and I was like, Oh, what are these gravel writers doing? Why is there so many gravel writers on Zwift?

Ken: Yeah.

Timmy: So then I researched it, checked out the Facebook group and immediately joined it and I’ll never forget my first race. I was in the middle of my off season just starting my build for the 2018 season and Stern, he was there. A bunch of great guys were there. Aaron Michael [inaudible 00:00:35:54], there’s so many cool guys there. And it was just a blast and I was on Discord and it was just amazing. And I was just like, “Oh my gosh, what is this?”

Ken: Yeah.

Timmy: And it just took off from there. I got hooked man. And the results were killer and it’s just it was a life changing event for me. Transferring that to outdoor cycling, I was really nervous. Oh I’ve been on two wheels since I was three years old. I raced the motorcycles from age 3 to age 18 and got into cycling in my twenties and I was like, “man, am I going to lose all my bike handling skills? Like am I going to be terrible outside like what’s going to happen?” But I had no problem. I was great. I think last year I trained a total of 47 days outside and 37 of those were races. So that means I only did 10 training rides last year outside and I did over 9,000 miles on Zwift.

Ken: That is nuts. So and you found, well I guess like. For a couple of years, I was doing outdoor group rides in a pack and but what I noticed is like the less I ride in a pack, the harder it is for me to hold a wheel for. I’m just like nervous about wrecking into him. It’s funny, I think, “Hey, I’m a mountain biker.” Like all the outdoor riding I do is on a mountain bike and I’m going to jump into this group road ride a mountain bikers are just great bike handlers but it’s not the same skillset. It’s definitely different.

Timmy: It is for sure. I’ve just been very fortunate and gifted that I have those skills of pack skills. I feel once you get it in and you feel really comfortable in a pack as something you kind of can’t lose. You can brush up on it once in a while by once in a month hitting a group ride if you need to. I tell you, holding a wheel on Zwift is so much harder than holding real life cause you can’t see their body English. You, you can’t read the person in front of you on Zwift you’re just looking at an avatar. You can watch the little number on the side but sometimes it’s so difficult with the powerful guys out there knowing when they’re going to jump and accelerate. I’ve been off the front of Zwift races before was Ali Jones or Alex West and it’s just nuts. Just like all [inaudible 00:38:28] Aw man, how are they holding four-thirty right now? Like what?

Ken: Yeah.

Timmy: It’s cool. It’s really cool.

Ken: Yeah. So here’s the interesting question for you. I think it’s like there’s this like new training puzzle that everybody is trying to figure out. In the past it was really easy to say, “okay, it’s October, all the kids are in school, the bike races are done for the year and we’re going to do this traditional like transition to build block until the first of the year and then start building up and then we’ll have like our specialty phase.” But with Zwift there is no off season.

Timmy: There isn’t.

Ken: You’re racing for indoor specialists, one of the most powerful teams on Swift and you guys never stopped. So how do you keep from burning out or plateaued or any of these other things? Or can you just keep a high level of fitness all the time?

Timmy: You definitely cannot. So you’ve got to find a time to switch off. The team I’m part of is literally the greatest cycling team I’ve ever been a part of, indoor or outdoor. And we’ve got an awesome group of guys. We have so much fun. And I think that’s what drives us all to work so hard and, and to try so hard. And then we have the support of the dirt guys. It’s so cool cause you can jump in any race and there’s going to be a dirt guy and they’re so awesome. They’re always there to help you out. It’s so great because you share something in common. But as far as going back to your question, there’s no way to hold a solid top fitness 365 days a year. So you got to find a time to switch off. For me, it’s always been October.

Timmy: And so what’s worked? The indoor specialist guys are cool enough to let me drop down in October and start picking it back up in November. So I can still have a little time to let my body settle down and then really chase back hard. Right now I’m back on that upward climb. I had an unfortunate event this July and broke my hand at salt Lake city in the USA right there. So that kind of maybe start in my off season a little earlier, but I’d really tried to push through that injury riding the time trial bike one hand on this race. I moved to switch the, the shifter to my left side so I could just keep [inaudible] gears. I still have to have some time off. Matt Gardner, one of my teammates and indoor specialist, he’s one who can hold a top level of fitness for a very long time. And a lot of the guys on our team, they don’t race outside. Me and Matt C are two of the only that do race outside. So, they aren’t truly indoor specialists. I’m lucky to be a little of both.

Timmy: You still got to have off season whether you plan it in the fall like I do or the other guys, a lot of them actually take a dip in the spring and go on a little vacation like this past May and June. A couple of them took a little vacations and went and did outdoor things. You got to find a time to refresh your body.

Ken: So what did that look like for you for October? What did you do different? Did you just not write at all or you took like two weeks off and then two weeks of just sort of playing around on a bike here and there?

Timmy: I’ve never not rode at all. I’ve always loved it. So my off season would normally consist of maybe tops two or three days off a week. Okay. But just dropping the intensity, not doing intervals. Try not to race. That’s so tempting to always race.

Ken: Yeah, it is.

Timmy: Trying to dropping the intensity and enjoying your family, making time to do special things with your kids and your wife. Let’s be real, even during the season you have to do that as a father that’s what comes first, bike racing is number two. So you know, you’ve got to be creative, but my off season is normally trying to ride maybe three or four days a week instead of my normal six.

Ken: Well, here’s the fun. Here’s the funny thing about cyclists is like if you really love it, it’s really hard to stay off the bike. I mean you want to ride.

Timmy: So true. Yeah. That is so true.

Ken: You know, I did quite a bit of training and dedicated trainer rides this, this summer, really all year. Then, probably in the last three or four weeks I’m like, “I just can’t do it. I can’t make myself do an FTP test. I can’t make myself do a sweet spot workout. Forget it.” So I took some extra days off. I had a cold, I was like this is a good opportunity to chill and now Nika season has started. So, I’m trying to horn in these afterschool mountain bike practices with the high school team two days a week along with you know, other stuff. And I remember this time last year it was easy to do, say the morning grind Fondo on Wednesday morning, and then do the afternoon ride with the kids. But I couldn’t keep doing that cause the kids kept getting fitter and faster.

Ken: Come around February. I was like, okay, I can’t do both of these on the same day. You know, it’s, it’s just impossible.

Timmy: I will say though, that double rides, meaning morning and evening rides are one of the best ways to get fit and fast.

Ken: Okay.

Timmy: I love doing that during the week. Doing like I always just do Double Down Tuesdays and I’d ride in the morning and the evening and that’s just so fun. You definitely have to find times to take a break. It’s tricky being a dad because you have so many other things going on. Some of these single guys, they can focus and just solely train and not have any distractions from their bike where we have so many distractions and responsibilities that hit us in everyday life. It’s crazy.

Ken: Yeah, that is very true. So one of the videos that I loved is you build out like a little mountain bike track in your backyard for your kids and I’m seeing you and your kids railing these dirt berms and that just looks like so much fun.

Timmy: Yeah, we’ve got to, we literally created one right in our backyard and then on the back of our property we’ve got a bigger one and it’s so fun for the kids cause they can learn all sorts of technique and bike handling skills and they just have a blast. My son, Hudson, he’s going to be two January 3rd and he’s been on a Strider bike since he was nine months old and the kid just loves it. He rips around these dirt tracks and these burns and makes motorcycle noises.

Timmy: And my daughter, Delaney, she’s seven years old and she’s got this Scott mountain bike. It’s so cool. And she just has a blast on it. I mean he’s got fat wide tires, disc brakes. This is the coolest bike ever and she just rips on it is so fun. It’s the best time just riding with them and, and just kicking back and enjoying bikes.

Ken: Yeah, that’s super cool. So they just built, they’re building a pump track in my neighborhood, one for the adults and one for the kids side by side. and it should be…

Timmy: That’s awesome.

Ken: It should be open in about a month if it ever stops raining. Yeah.

Ken: So I have to ask you a question. Is okay, is dirty Kansas something you’re looking at this year?

Timmy: Not for me.

Ken: And why is that?

Timmy: Well, so I’ve got a budget. Okay. Money doesn’t grow on trees. So I’ve got to pick my events and really enjoy them. There is a SoCal kind of gravel race that I wanted to do. The name is slipping me right now, but Dirty Kanza definitely interesting. And if I ever get a gravel bike or can afford to have a cross style bike, boom would totally do it. I don’t think I would do dirty Kanza on a road bike.

Ken: I understand that.

Timmy: The Belgian waffle ride, the Belgian Waffle Ride is the one that I’m looking at doing this year. I was going to do it last year, but something came up with my daughter and I wasn’t able to go. But, I’m looking forward to doing it this year. And that would be my first time doing that event. The Belgian Waffle Ride is a little shorter than the Dirty Kanza. But the Dirty Kanza looks awesome. It’s definitely something I want to do. I really want to do in some of those gravel events, but I’ve really put my road cycling career first because we all know that this only lasts for so long. I do know guys that are still racing the cat pro one level at 40 but that’s kind of not normal.

Timmy: 30 is normally your prime, and I’m getting really close to that. I’m 27 you’re getting a little nervous, but I’m definitely putting that first and foremost just because I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t have enough money to have unlimited bikes or I would.

Ken: Right, I understand that one.

Timmy: In mg=y garage think I have nine.

Ken: Yeah.

Timmy: Four for me. I built one for my wife and my kids have three or four. And when I buy a kid’s bike, I don’t buy a kid’s bike. I go and buy the nicest bike cause it’s got to last multiple kids. Yeah. So if you invest in a quality bike, you can get that through multiple kids. It’d be solid.

Ken: Yeah, but I always had Huffy. Toys R Us bikes and Huffy bikes.

Timmy: I did too.

Ken: My daughter’s first bike was a specialized, her second one is this sweet Sunday BMX and it’s like as long as she’s my daughter, she’s going to, she’s going to have a six at of wheels.

Timmy: I remember buying my daughter her first bike, we were at a bike store. I was getting into cycling, but I had no idea I was ever going to race. I was like, I’m not interested in racing. Me and my wife went down, we bought these, I bought a felt, she bought a track, he was on sale. I was able to get the track credit card. We got them both and this was 2014, all 2014. I was like, Oh this is great. And then we go back down there to get some more stuff. And my daughter sits on this little track pink track, and she was just saying a couple words and she looks at me and says, “Daddy, I want this bike please” heart melted. I was getting my wallet out as quick as I could. Bought this little track.

Ken: Man, you’re a sucker. Just like me.

Timmy: I am dude. The kids, the kids are awesome though. That’s your life. It’s the best thing. It’s the best thing about you. And you can’t be more than blessed to have them between both of our kids. We lost a daughter 28 weeks into pregnancy to Potter syndrome, and I tell you, it will put it in perspective and make you appreciate things so much more when you go through a turmoil like that. It’s just something. You never know what’s going to happen to your kids and you’ve got to enjoy them and love them as much as you can.

Ken: I remember reading your blog about that and I was, it got me, man, it got me.

Timmy: Yeah. You know, there’s so many parents that go through it, but it’s like this hidden scar that nobody talks about. And I feel if you can talk about it maybe it’ll help some of those other parents that have been that and we’ll be going through that in the future because that’s not an uncommon thing. It’s the hardest, one of the hardest things you’ll go through in life.

Ken: Sure.

Timmy: It’s, it’s rough. That’s what makes you stronger. That’s what makes you enjoy what you have and appreciate how blessed you are.

Ken: I can see how that really helped you and your wife bond and also just talking about how technology can separate us, but then it can also help us build such a strong network. Cause before we started team dirt, I was just about done with Facebook. I was just like there’s just, there’s nothing but politics and anger here. And then we started team dirt and now every day I go to Facebook. And it’s just dad’s talking about bikes and sharing experiences about their kids on bike. It’s just like, wow, this is really amazing. I’m so glad that this thing just took off the way it did because there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of parents out there that feel isolated and this is just one more tool to bring us together.

Timmy: Yeah and going through life as a parent is hard enough by itself. But going through life and trying to be fit and disciplined is so hard. And if we can all encourage each other like we do, it makes it so much easier and so much more exciting cause you’re looking forward to riding with these people. You’re looking forward to seeing these people, giving them ride ons. It’s just the best. And the special events. I mean it’s so cool to community we, you and Stern have built, cause you guys were the founders and I know there’s a couple of other guys with you guys, but it’s amazing. It’s the coolest thing about cycling and it helps so many of us. It helps me race outside and it helps sone other dads in other ways. It’s the coolest thing. Dirt. I couldn’t imagine life without it.

Ken: That’s great Timmy, and I think we can wrap up there, but really quickly I want to give you the opportunity to tell us about what’s coming up next for indoor specialists and give us a plug for your sponsors and then we’ll…

Timmy: Yeah.

Ken: We’ll wrap up there.

Timmy: You know for sure we’ve had a really exciting change of events. We’ve been working with Saurus and we’ve all got these new Saurus H3 trainers and I started out on a kicker. I am so impressed by the H3 it’s so much quieter. It’s a mind blowing and it’s so much smoother. The wahoo kicker was great. I am not wanting to bash people, but I do prefer the Saurus H3, hands down, over the kicker and it’s also cheaper, mind blowing. We’re really fortunate to work with them. Like I said, we’ve got some awesome guys in the team. Literally 300 group messages a day, if not more. Like we talk every day like it’s the greatest thing on earth, these guys and the team, we’ve built. It’s so fun and it’s really awesome to have a big company come along like Saurus support us. Were just mind blown with their, their product.

Timmy: And what’s really cool is we’re helping develop it and doing all sorts of calibrations and dual recordings for them and working directly with the company to improve their training and try to make it the best one on the market, if it’s not already there. So, that’s been really exciting. We’re all ripping in and doing our best to race. The guys are smashing it. Ryan and Holden and Matt both the Matts, all three of the Matts, they’re ripping so good right now. Tolly, he’s an old dirt guy. He’s a large supporter of our team and one of our sponsors, Tolly Lester. And he’s coming back from his summer break. Aaron Cole his down in Australia as well. And we’ve got a new guy named Brad Norton from Australia who’s really strong, a masters world champion on the track. So that’s exciting too. And we’re looking forward to riding with him more.

Timmy: We’ve got some great guys. Our rosters changed up a little this year. A few guys ended up leaving the team, which is always sad, but we’ve also got some new guys come on and it’s so fun. Both the Matts but so much work into iy. Matt Gardner and Matt Brandt and we’re so thankful for that. And Holden, I remember him coming on right before net and I was like a “triathlete, like really”. And he’s so strong. He’s a sprinter. What triathlete is a sprinter?

Ken: Right?

Timmy: So, it’s so fun. We have such a great time and we’re so thankful to be working with Saurus and with Tolly’s support the Lester company. It’s just been awesome this year and we’re looking forward to the next year and also just to dabble outside next year. I’m really excited.

Timmy: My parents started this new thing called Bauer racing and we’re going to go have fun, enjoy it with the kids and hit some events that I haven’t been able to do racing for teams and other writers. So, just going to focus on that and I’m able to work with Science and Sports still. They’ve been a huge supporter of me. I’m one of their leading ambassadors in the USA and also got LEO onboard for clothing. Then, Tyler’s clothing company, Ride Bikes Bros, is also one of my supporters. So, we’re just going to have fun, enjoy the racing outside. I’m going to hit quite a few of the USA crit events, which really interests me cause who doesn’t like racing with a hundred guys on a downtown circuit with potholes, manhole covers at like an average of 30 miles an hour? It’s the bet.

Ken: Sounds awesome Timmy. Well you have awesome holiday season. Thank you for joining us for the podcast today.

Timmy: Thank you Ken. I’ve had a blast.

Ken: I hope you enjoyed the interview and thanks again to Timmy Bauer for taking the time to be on NGP. Chris and Shayne. Great catching up with you as well and happy holidays.

Chris: Happy holidays.

Shayne: Yeah, you too. Thank you.

Ken: Thank you everyone for listening to never going pro podcast on and I will see you in Watopia.

The Never Going Pro Podcast – Episode 8 – Training Software and Special Guest, MTB Pro Jeremiah Bishop

In this episode of the podcast, Shayne, Chris, and Ken speak about the main cycling training platforms giving “what’s hot” and “what’s not” for each. Our special guest this week is Jeremiah Bishop, Canyon ambassador. Enjoy!


Available on iTunesStitcherSpotify, and SoundCloud


Show Notes:

Jeremiah Bishop’s Site

Software Comparison Chart


Show Transcript:

Ken:
This week I heard the best joke. It’s a animal joke. You all want to hear it?

Chris:
Yes.

Ken:
Okay, so a platypus walks into a bar … so stupid, so stupid.

Chris:
Keep going.

Shayne:
Already better than anything else you’ve ever said, so that’s good.

Ken:
All right, so a platypus walks into a bar owned by a duck. He finishes his drink and he asks for his check. Duck billed platypus.

Shayne:
That’s a good one, I like that one

Chris:
That’s pretty good, man, it was cute.

Shayne:
Yeah, I like that one.

Chris:
Yeah, yeah.

Shayne:
Yeah, it’s really cute, yeah.

Chris:
Duck billed platypus.

Ken:
Yup.

Shayne:
I like it.

Ken:
That’s better than my other, you know, walked into a bar joke. You know the blind guy walked into a bar and a wall and a chair.

Shayne:
That might be the best one in eight, what’s this? Nine episodes now, eight episodes?

Ken:
This is episode eight, so eight …

Shayne:
Makes it the best one yest.

Ken:
That might be the best one … well, thank you, thank you.

Shayne:
Yeah.

Ken:
Well, welcome to The Never Going Pro Podcast by Dads Inside Riding Trainers featuring GC Coaching. It … Did I mess that up?

Chris:
Just keep going.

Ken:
We’re doing all right? We’re keeping … Okay, we’ll keep it going.

Ken:
It’s a podcast about riding bikes and parenthood and trying really, really hard at both. I’m your host Ken The Badger Nowell and with me is Shayne Gaffney owner of GC Coaching.

Shayne:
Hello, Everyone.

Ken:
And Chris Gorney, fellow DIRT Teammate, passionate Cyclist, and outstanding Dad.

Chris:
Hello.

Ken:
How’s everybody doing?

Shayne:
Good, ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Got a relatively short drive, only about 90 minutes. The problem is my entire family have the first round of illnesses going through the house, so hopefully, they’ll be better by tomorrow, but we’ll see.

Chris:
Ooh, oh, no way.

Ken:
That’s pretty bad.

Shayne:
What about you guys?

Ken:
Hanging at the house, cooking turkey, got my wife’s family coming over.

Shayne:
Nice, are you deep frying it or traditionally, like baking it?

Ken:
We got one of those giant turkey roasters . It’s like a big crock pot.

Shayne:
Okay.

Ken:
I borrowed that, so yeah, it should be cool.

Shayne:
Awesome.

Ken:
Yeah, so anyway … Welcome, Everybody to the-

Shayne:
Can we do some badger eats quick? What do you guys …

Chris:
Oh, yes … Now I’m paying attention.

Shayne:
Because I’m curious what the South eats on Thanksgiving.

Ken:
We don’t get to cook for Thanksgiving everything that I would like to cook, because-

Chris:
Can we do this in two segments? I’d like to know what you’d like to cook and I’d like to know what you actually are cooking?

Ken:
Okay, well, from my family, where I’m from, we like to take fresh vegetables and cook them into oblivion with fat and salt. Broccoli is smothered in cheese …

Shayne:
Oh, yeah.

Ken:
And cream and it’s unrecognizable as a vegetable and then … What’s the other thing we like? We like the green bean casserole which you get those like Durkee fried onions out of a can and you put them on top. Yup, yup, those I like that..

Shayne:
Me, too.

Chris:
I feel like I need to be the dissenting voice and act like I’m indignant that you eat those, but I mean who doesn’t like those? Everybody likes those.

Shayne:
Yeah.

Ken:
Man, I ran it by my English expat in-laws and they were just disgusted. They were like, “We’re having none of that,” so, hey, whatever, you know. We’ll have turkey …

Chris:
Hold on, hold on, your English expat in-laws?

Ken:
Yes.

Chris:
Is your wife British?

Ken:
Her mom is and her dad is and she’s got English passport. I guess, she’s a dual citizen.

Chris:
Wow.

Ken:
Yeah.

Shayne:
They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving there, right?

Chris:
Sounds like a Hallmark movie now, like this British … You know, socialite marries some sort of like backwater monster thing [crosstalk 00:04:07]. Reforms him.

Ken:
Yeah, well … Hey, let me tell our audience about my podcast partners here. You guys are going on and on about shaving your legs and when I started giving you some pushback, it ends up with me being called a stupid redneck.

Chris:
Hey, I don’t think anyone called you a stupid redneck. I think the phrase was, “I’m trying to not call you a stupid redneck,” so it wasn’t exactly … and I’m not saying it was me. It might have been Shayne.

Ken:
Oh, well, see … So you were trying to rise above your instinct then?

Chris:
Yeah, but I still wanted to let you know. Again, not saying it was me. It could have been Shayne.

Shayne:
Definitely was not me, but okay.

Ken:
Nah, Shayne’s nice than you.

Chris:
That’s …

Shayne:
Thank you [crosstalk 00:04:49].

Ken:
Yes, so … Go ahead.

Chris:
There is an interesting comment in that dialogue where, you know, there’s like a soothsayer reading tea leaves within a cycling group of, you know, you come up on somebody, never ridden in a group before with him and maybe you’re just joining the group or you’re out on the road and you just kind of latch onto somebody and you see a bunch of people with shaved legs and you see a guy without shaved legs. Do you (A) be concerned because maybe they’re new and you don’t want to hold their wheel too tight or (B) go … or maybe it’s the other way and maybe because they don’t shave their legs, you’re actually the strongest person in the group? I mean, you don’t know.

Shayne:
What month is it?

Chris:
Fair point. I live in California, so months don’t matter. It’s all the same weather every day.

Shayne:
[crosstalk 00:05:35], yeah, so if it’s March or April here, then I wouldn’t be too … Not prejudiced … I wouldn’t be too … what’s the [crosstalk 00:05:45]-

Ken:
No, prejudice I the right word.

Shayne:
The right word I’m looking for?

Chris:
All right, yeah, so in that case, then yeah, if it’s late spring, summer, I’m not following that wheel. I’ll be that guy, for sure, 100%.

Chris:
I think, since we’re talking about platforms, I think Zwift … Not that we’re getting into it yet, but we can … What if Zwift had a special setting where you could have shaved or non-shaved legs on your avatar?

Shayne:
I’d have shaved legs.

Ken:
I’d have shaved legs for the arrow effect.

Chris:
I would have one unshaved leg and one shaved leg.

Ken:
I’m sure our Sports Scientist Shayne Gaffney knows, is there a real aerodynamic benefit of having shaved legs?

Shayne:
Yeah, it’s negligible but there is some, yes.

Ken:
Okay.

Shayne:
But, I mean, let’s call a spade a spade, I mean, people shave their legs, because they’re assimilating into the culture. That’s really all they’re doing it for.

Ken:
Okay.

Shayne:
There’s always like, aerodynamic advantage and what else have I heard? Easier to take care of road rash if you crash.

Chris:
Which, hey, that’s true, yeah, but maybe not as much as … It’s not like the only thing you can lean on.

Shayne:
No, I mean, I’d definitely start shaving it because I looked at people that had … Who were faster than me and they shaved their legs, so I was like, “Hey, I’m going to do it, too.” Now I just do it because I think it’s what you’re supposed to do, so like you said, just kind of assimilating into the culture.

Chris:
Yeah, do you and your wife rub legs together?

Shayne:
We do, yeah.

Chris:
Yeah.

Shayne:
I actually really enjoy it, but …

Chris:
Does one of you get angry at the other when there’s stubble?

Shayne:
I am a better leg shaver than she is, I think.

Chris:
Yeah, my wife listens to these podcasts, but I will say that there was a season while we were dating where she was concerned that my legs were smoother than hers and I remember we’re on a walk and I remember where we were when we were talking about it and I was doing triathlons at the time and she was like, “Wait, you shave your legs?” And it was this whole thing and I was like, “Oh, man, this might be a turning point in our relationship.” I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go.

Ken:
Yeah, I don’t even think my wife knows I do a podcast.

Chris:
Oh, she’s too concerned with what the Royals are doing and …

Ken:
Yeah, the Royals … She’s way into Crossfit, man. She’s watching all that Crossfit stuff, but her shoulders look nicer than mine, so there’s that.

Shayne:
Does she eat Paleo?

Ken:
We, you know … No, not anymore … We tried-

Shayne:
I know you don’t eat Paleo.

Chris:
Yeah, you for sure, I mean you eat like a caveman, but not that way.

Ken:
I’ll eat like the caveman that walked into the grocery store and his eyes just popped wide open.

Chris:
I was going to say landfill, but, yeah, [crosstalk 00:08:44] …

Ken:
So you know, interestingly enough, like Crossfit has gone through its own nutrition phases. Like back when I started in 2009, 2010, everybody was into the Zone diet and then it was the Paleo diet and then they sort of relaxed and got into the Primal Blueprint, and then later [crosstalk 00:09:05] your Macros. Now everybody’s just doing Macros. I don’t even know what they’re doing anymore, but, yeah, anyway.

Chris:
I don’t remember the Zone diet phase. I only remember the Paleo, Primal, and yeah, just those two. I don’t remember the Zone phase. That’s interesting. They’re super good at naming things, though. I mean that’s interesting.

Ken:
I think that the Zone diet was the official diet that they … Well, they for sure taught it when I took my certification in 2010 and then again in 2015. They were still talking about the Zone.

Chris:
Huh, I don’t remember that, that’s interesting. .

Ken:
Yeah, it is.

Chris:
It’s the first gym I worked for, I did indoor cycling classes and there was a half of a … Like a personal training gym and the other half was a Crossfit box.

Ken:
Cool.

Chris:
So probably like, ’09, ’10, ’11, somewhere in that range, and I don’t remember people … People were always talking about Paleo and what they were eating but I don’t remember the Zone diet being one of those things.

Ken:
Yeah.

Shayne:
Anyways.

Ken:
Yup, sure was.

Chris:
There’s a friend of mine whose name is Matt Taylor who is getting his PhD in these kinds of things and he was a huge Crossfit guy, and really just super strong and really fun to do workouts with and he … I forget his actual degree but it was all about … it wasn’t nutrition but it was more research based, with how to do with that and he would always talk about Macros and he kind of scoffed at all these diets, because he just actually knew what he was talking about. It was fascinating to sit down with him and … you know, [inaudible 00:10:40] podcast more about how you’re eating all the time than just some of the time, and so it was just fascinating, which seems like we spend all this interview talking about different kinds of diets, when in reality, it’s more about the long term and your actual habits, not your fads, but, anyway, different podcast.

Shayne:
Yup, yup.

Ken:
Speaking of this podcast, we got a-

Chris:
This podcast.

Ken:
This one. Let’s talk about what we’re going to be talking about today. First of all, there is a bad ass cyclist that we interviewed to day and his name is Jeremiah Bishop and if you haven’t heard of him, he is a very well decorated mountain biker who has been on the United States mountain biking scene, even the international scene to some degree for decades. He’s still out there killing it so hang out until we’re done talking and make sure you listen to that interview because he’s a super cool guy, and then today, we’re going to be talking about four big digital cycling tools, platforms, apps, whatever you want to call them and that’s going to be Training Peaks, TrainerRoad, Strava, and Zwift sort of a compare and contrast and maybe you can figure out what is right for you and your goals and your preferences.

Chris:
I have two things to say. One, did you ask … Because I haven’t listened to it … Did you ask Bishop if he shaves his legs?

Ken:
I don’t think we got that deep into the weeds in our conversation. He probably does though.

Chris:
Okay.

Shayne:
I bet he does.

Ken:
Yeah.

Chris:
I’m just saying.

Ken:
I bet he does.

Chris:
You talked about mountain biking, so there you go, hairy monster in the woods, but the other thing is everyone should know that we, for this podcast, are using what could quite possibly be the world’s best research matrix, the Excel sheet.

Ken:
Yes.

Chris:
That The Badger is very proud of.

Ken:
Yeah, man, this spreadsheet …

Shayne:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:12:33] that’s in the show notes.

Ken:
We’re going to put this …

Chris:
Seriously.

Ken:
We’re putting the spreadsheet in the show notes, so we’re actually trying to figure out, well, how are we going to go about talking about these different things and so I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to start by talking about one platform and then the other and then we can sort of share anecdotally our experience with each one. I think we need to start with the mother of all cycling apps, which is Strava, sound good to you?

Chris:
It sounds great. Should we kind of disclaimer here and say like, “We’re not necessarily endorsing any specific one and pretty much everything you’re about to hear is going to be solely opinion based, so please argue with us and we’d love to get feedback. We’d love to get comments and if there’s things we’re missing, for sure, let us know, because I’m sure all of our wives would love us to have more monthly subscriptions to cycling things for us to test out, so …”

Ken:
I think that’s a fair statement. Also, none of these people pay us and we’re going to try to be …

Chris:
It’s true, not yet.

Ken:
Not yet. They’re listening though.

Shayne:
Let me … I do work for Zwift and Zwift does pay me, so I may be a little quieter during that conversation.

Ken:
Okay, got you.

Chris:
No, they’re going to stop paying you if you don’t ‘fess up.

Ken:
But then I’ll be quiet, but nothing like I’m [crosstalk 00:13:49] …

Chris:
I guess I should say I’m also, since we just moved to California, I’m currently borrowing a trainer from Zwift until my new trainer gets here, so …

Ken:
Well, and you know what, I love Zwift. As a matter of fact, I love all four platforms and so we’re going to dig in and talk about Strava. So Strava, when you go to their website, the tagline is, “The number one app for cyclists and runners,” but I have another one that we can use, titled, “Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free,” and the reason I say that is like there is a huge suite of tools on Strava that you can get at no charge, so if you’re just a very casual cyclist then that might be a good place to start, because this doesn’t cost you anything.

Chris:
You’re talking about Summit versus their … or you’re talking about their kind of pro version where you can pay extra for their Summit features but you really don’t necessarily need them and it’s just a free app?

Ken:
Right, so there is a free app that has a lot of features so you’ll be featured on their King of the Mountains and all the segments. You can see those. You can see who rode with you if you were on a group ride, and then there are the Summit features and so those start at $2 per feature and if you … or $2.50 per feature and it’s like … It’s a total of eight bucks if you get everything or $60 a year. Eight bucks a month or 60 bucks a year.

Chris:
Did they change that or is it piecemeal? I thought it was just one cost?

Ken:
It is. No, it’s piece-

Chris:
Okay, so they changed it?

Ken:
They changed it a couple of years ago, so-

Chris:
Oh, yeah, I am up to date.

Ken:
Yeah, so the …

Shayne:
When they did it, I believe when they upgraded, if you were already paying for premium, they gave you everything in Summit for the same price, but if you were new to Summit, they you have to pay everything in piecemeal. I think that’s how they did it.

Chris:
Hey, this is the point where I said I was going to mention the thing that I hadn’t yet mentioned.

Ken:
What?

Chris:
My daughter just woke up, so the likelihood of her running in here and screaming is pretty high, so we’re just going to let that happen.

Ken:
We’re going to let it … yeah.

Chris:
It’s about prepping a parent, so everyone just be prepared.

Ken:
Yeah, sounds good. We sort of looked at a number of different things for each of these platforms. The price, training plans, fitness tracking, social features, and then of course, what’s hot and what’s not. So as far as training plans go, Strava, I’m going to say is pretty weak. They have some training plans but I haven’t seen any changes there in years and it doesn’t support Erg Mode or SmartTrainers, anything like that.

Shayne:
Right.

Ken:
They really excel with their social features. They’ve kind of gone all in on their social features over the years where they have tools for organizing group rides and also blogs for cyclists and they also have like a cycling club tools, so you can … Yeah, it’s like a form, sort of for your cycling club.

Chris:
Well, it’s become a verb, like that’s when you know it’s there. It’s like, “Oh, did you Strava that?” I hear people say that all the time in cycling groups, “Oh, make sure you Strava that,” and so you’re like, “Okay, it’s reached very status, so therefore it’s major.”

Ken:
Oh, it’s a huge app.

Shayne:
Yeah.

Chris:
Yeah, I mean I was a little sore about when they pulled off the Relive thing last year. Was it earlier this year when they killed that? Earlier this year?

Ken:
It was this year.

Shayne:
Earlier this year.

Chris:
Yeah, because we use that all the time. Like you know, you’d be able to kind of track who’s where but then they’ve got that new service. My only beef with Strava … I love Strava, pure opinion here, I use it all the time. I’m not a social media guy but I was just not so much used to do, but I love Strava. My wife uses it, too, and they’ve got a lot more info online, like to get on their website, there’s a lot of … but it’s kind of difficult to find. That’s my only thing is it’s, you know, your first … If you’re using the app, it’s great. There’s actually a lot more data and you can kind of see even where you ran into other people who you don’t even know. There’s all this extra things you can do.

Ken:
Right, right.

Chris:
But you don’t ever think to go to the website. I mean, it’s like what you do when you’re at work and you’re like, “I mean I need to change my brain for 10 minutes.” You can go to Strava or something but … and I’ve never figured out why some efforts are hidden, some segments. Have you guys ever seen that on the website? There’s little tabs that says, “Show hidden segments.” I’m like, “What [crosstalk 00:18:28] hidden segment?”

Ken:
Yeah, I think I know why. Because what you can … This is I’m guessing here. You can star segments that you want to show up, be prioritized in your feed and perhaps it is an algorithm that’s hiding the segments that nobody is starring. That’s my assumption.

Chris:
Okay, I’ll buy that.

Shayne:
I think it’s … You can create segments and then you can hide them on yourself or like … Not you can hide them yourself, but the person that created the segment can hide the segment. They also hide them if they’re marked, if they’re flagged as dangerous, too.

Ken:
Yeah, yeah.

Chris:
Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve never even thought about that.

Ken:
They do.

Shayne:
Like they added a stop sign or like they added a 90 degree corner or whatever, an athlete can flag it as dangerous and then Strava will automatically hide that and also remove the leaderboard as well.

Ken:
There was a lawsuit a number of years ago where somebody was killed doing a downhill segment like it was a mountain that ran through the middle of San Francisco or something crazy like that.

Chris:
Oh.

Ken:
Yeah.

Shayne:
Yeah, and people are, I mean people do Strava. That’s one of the big strength in my opinion for Strava is the KOM because it gives you that competition feature which we really didn’t have before. Zwift, which we’ll get to later, but like if you only did a race once a week, maybe twice a month, then the other times of the season, you really didn’t have anything to really push you, to motivate you to dig deep, besides the group ride. So segments are really good for being able to kind of harness that inner adrenaline, that inner kind of beast that you only get when you’re racing something or you’re kind of chasing that carrot. That’s a great train tool, as long as obviously it’s safe.

Ken:
Oh, yeah.

Chris:
It’s a good way to push yourself every … Like, so I ride … Again because of where I live, I can pretty much ride out every day and so I split my time between on the trainer and outside and it’s easy to stay motivated on the trainer because there’s training plans and races but outside when you’re in group ride, you’re not necessarily control the pace. Strava, it actually helps a lot because everybody’s aware of kind of certain ride segments and so the pace quickly picks up. You can really use the Strava segments to create some non or to create some healthy competition in a group ride every morning, rather than just trying to be a jerk and race that guy to the flagpole or whatever.

Ken:
No, and I mean, I think that that was really the game changer. I think as far as I’m concerned, that was their unique selling proposition is they sort of gamified cycling, but also they have …

Shayne:
Yeah, outside.

Ken:
Right, outside cycling. Also, one of their strengths is … or one of the aspects we were going to talk about on all four of these platforms is fitness tracking and so what they track is mileage and hours. It has a four week summary that will show you what your average ride volume’s been over the last four weeks. There’s a training calendar view and a training log view, and a My Activities view. It will also match your rides with other participates and Premium members can use their fitness and freshness tracker to see their Chronic Training Loads, they CTL. I put that it does not display training stress score.

Shayne:
Right.

Ken:
I think that’s correct. Maybe you could correct me if I’m wrong there.

Shayne:
No, they have a proprietary measurements. I think it’s Training Impact, I believe it’s called.

Ken:
Okay.

Shayne:
No, [crosstalk 00:22:19] it’s called Training Load, so Training Load is a type of TSS.

Ken:
Okay, so they do kind of have … These had the same points?

Chris:
And it’s a feature of Summit and so you have to pay for it.

Ken:
Yup.

Shayne:
Yup, yeah, TSS, CTL, ATL, all that stuff is proprietary to TrainingPeaks.

Ken:
Okay.

Shayne:
If a software wants to use it, they have to pay TrainingPeaks for the licenses.

Ken:
Got it, got it.

Shayne:
That’s why you see other stuff.

Ken:
As far as being a training interface Strava really is not a training interface. It only tracks the rides that you have done virtually or in real life and it is compatible, it syncs with Zwift and TrainerRoad but not TrainingPeaks. So I think TrainingPeaks and Strava are more or less competitors or they have enough crossover to where they have decided not to play too nicely with each other.

Shayne:
Right.

Chris:
Exactly. Strava’s kind of, you know, as far as how people use it, it’s kind of the end of the line. Like regardless of what other platform you use, Garmin, Zwift, whatever, TrainerRoad, you end up seeing it on Strava also. It’s kind of the bottom of the bucket when things land.

Ken:
Yes, yes, that is true. As far as what’s hot and what’s not, Strava is all about the segments and the KOMs and what I put is what is not is that they’ve been focused so much on social media that they really haven’t catered much to the competitive cyclists in recent years. I think they’ve kind of stagnated and missed an opportunity to really roll out more training features for cycling geeks like me.

Ken:
They also cut of Relive, which pissed a bunch of people off, but you know, hey …

Chris:
So Relive for people who don’t know was kind of like a flyover. It was linked to Strava and after you would ride your ride, you’d get an email a little bit, the strange amount of time is always like 15 or 20 minutes. Like you’re wondering like what computer was processing what where, but you’d get this email and then it would essentially be a flyover based on Google maps of your ride. Then it would kind of show you your peak heart rate and the highest elevation, maybe your fastest speed. If you took any photos, they would automatically like pop up and pause, so it’s kind of like a one minute review of your ride, which is pretty cool and you could kind of see your friend’s and how they are related, but it’s gone.

Ken:
Yup. Well, let’s talk about TrainingPeaks, you know what, I think Shayne probably has the most insight because as a Cycling Coach, he uses TrainingPeaks quite a bit. Shayne, you want to tell us a little bit about it?

Shayne:
Yeah, TrainingPeaks is my app I spend the most time in, I think, professionally, working with my athletes, and it’s also how I create their workouts, training plans, get a bird’s eye view of the season, progression, regression, FTP tracking. I mean, that’s kind of my go to app for everything I do for my nine to five job. It is not Strava where it has a social media component to it. It’s very one on one, coach to athlete relationship. There is communication between it, but I guess that’s just with athlete to coach. It does have a great calendar but TrainerRoad has a calendar, too, which we’ll get to later.

Shayne:
I think the most powerful thing that it does for athletes and coaches alike is just the amount of proprietary data and information that you get. Like we’ve already talked about TSS, CTL, TSB, ATL, intensity factor, a variability index, sufficiency factor, all those things you hear about and all those kind of word soup acronyms you see constantly, those all come from TrainingPeaks essentially and other people use them, typically pay them licenses to use them.

Ken:
Okay.

Shayne:
Yeah, so that’s kind of …

Chris:
What kind of person do I need to be or what if my goals are blank, would TrainerPeaks really help me? Like what’s the situation where it would be the ideal platform?

Shayne:
The ideal platform, I think, just in my personal opinion, it’s for everybody that wants to get a little bit more nerdy with their training or geek out a little bit on the data but it also just gives you, I think, better insight into what you’re doing now, what you’ve done in the past, and what you need to do in the future to go from point A to point B. It’s just another way to make your training more objective and a little bit more science based and data based as opposed to training off a feel or training off of miles and elevation and time, training off of TSS, which is a much more objective way to train. You know, making those small changes can result in a pretty big change in fitness.

Ken:
What I put is that their fitness tracking is their core competency and that’s really what they built their entire platform around. It’s definitely not a social media platform, and then what I put as far as compatibility is it does sync with TrainerRoad and Zwift, but not directly with Strava, so say for instance, if you did an outdoor ride, and you were using your Garmin, that could upload the TrainingPeaks and Strava separately, but they’re not going to crossover.

Shayne:
Right. Yup.

Ken:
So like when I do an outdoor ride, I use a Lausanne bike computer and it uploads directly to TrainingPeaks. I put what is hot …

Shayne:
I think …

Ken:
Go ahead.

Shayne:
[inaudible 00:27:54] I think the automatic push of workouts to Zwift I think is their best feature they have developed in the past probably two years. I think that’s revolutionized people using TrainingPeaks and gotten them a much bigger chunk of the market and that’s really my basis of like my training plans that I … Not my training plans, but my pre-made plans. I make sure that everybody knows that’s an option how to use Zwift, because that just makes your life much easier because you just have to log into Zwift and your work is waiting there for you, so I think that’s a huge, huge feature to have that nobody else does.

Ken:
This is why I’ve recently started paying for the premium training piece there, is their free version of the training piece, which is pretty good, but if you want the analytics and I you want your dashboard to be able to show a million different graphs, that are personalized to you, I mean that’s where it’s at. As far as what’s hot, I said, they have an annual training program or a plan where you can layout your whole year with your A, B, and C races, whatever, and as far as what is not, I said I was hoping for a one stop shop and to replace TrainerRoads plans and Strava’s Summit. But unfortunately or fortunately they do sell their plans separately for anywhere from five bucks to I think 800 bucks. They’re some really expensive plans on there.

Chris:
But it makes sense if you’re … I mean if your goal is like what Shayne said is like you’re a way past dedicated amateur like us and you’re trying to … this is your thing, like $800 for a training plan a year is actually … I mean if you compare that to the amount of money people pay for a personal trainer and things like that, it’s not crazy.

Ken:
Oh, that’s true. That is true.

Shayne:
Yup.

Ken:
Yeah, so …

Shayne:
I’ve always like to compare like companies to like the cell phone market, like Apple versus Android. I feel like TrainingPeaks is more, the training plan market is more of an Android approach where it’s open source, anybody can create stuff and put it on there. Whereas Zwifts, TrainerRoads is more of an Apple where you’re getting a product that will work within their ecosystem but you really can’t … There’s not a lot of choice and not a lot of variety.

Ken:
I see. I think that’s a good analogy.

Chris:
I will say in TrainerRoad, I mean at first glance, TrainerRoad has a million workouts and their plans aren’t necessarily super diverse but [crosstalk 00:30:30] …

Shayne:
Yeah.

Chris:
Yeah, yeah, TrainerRoad has … I mean I don’t even know how many workouts they have so there is …

Shayne:
I think it’s 2,000.

Chris:
2,000? Wow.

Shayne:
I think so. Yeah, 2,000 and change.

Chris:
That’s a ton. I think, I’ve always kind of compared TrainerPeaks and TrainerRoad. TrainerRoad is definitely easier to just jump in and start using.

Shayne:
Yup.

Chris:
But I will say that for me there’s kind of the … With TrainerRoad, it’s a little more difficult to … I think we were talking about this the other day. I was texting Shayne maybe, probably on the bike, because Shayne and I apparently, sometimes randomly run into each other on Zwift, which is funny, but there’s kind of a compete … It’s difficult to be dedicated to a training plan on TrainerRoad and to ride outside, because TrainerRoad presumes you’re just on it and nothing else, so it packs your week up, so if you’re doing seven hours of training, it’s like seven hours of training. It doesn’t have that same annual approach as TrainingPeaks does and so it’s kind of difficult to stick to a plan on TrainerRoad, unless you live in Arctic and you’re never outside, so I guess that kind of [crosstalk 00:31:46].

Ken:
I’m going to dissent a little here.

Chris:
Dissent.

Ken:
I’m going to dissent a little bit. I put that their core competency is their training plans. We talked about the different workouts, 2,000 of them, but they have a plan …

Chris:
That’s crazy.

Ken:
They do, they have a low, medium, and high volume plan to fit your time constraints, so for instance a low volume plan is only going to put you on the trainer three days a week and for a total of three hours and 30 minutes. That’s going to give you ample time to ride outside, so you know, if that is one of your things where you’re going to do the three hour group ride every Saturday, but you want to make sure you’re focusing on some specific weaknesses and getting that progression in, you can do that with TrainerRoad.

Chris:
Well, sure, but since it’s based on TSS, which I enjoy on TrainerRoad, you know, they’re trying to figure out how much you can handle a week, based on your availability. You know, if you’re going to ride outside on a Wednesday, but you’ve got … They’re planning their … Each week based on, well, if you’re going to spend this much effort on Monday, this much on Wednesday, this much on Friday, and they even map it out in a calendar where you’re supposed to have rest days, so if you fill some of those rest days with riding outside, unless you’re just like cruising, that can actually affect … and maybe I’m wrong, Shayne, you tell me. Like to me that actually can affect your training day on Friday if you’re supposed to be fresh.

Shayne:
Yeah, you’re [crosstalk 00:33:12] at all, yup, and we’re really jumping around now, but that’s where the flexible … People always joke it’s not really flexible … but that’s where the flexible plans came from on Zwift was when I designed the building up plan, I was asked, “What days of the week do you want these to be available on and how much time in between workouts does each one need?” That way, I can say, “All right, Red Unicorn is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” because people usually have more time over the weekends but the athlete needs 24 hours of recovery after the workout is complete, so they’re not going to sacrifice anything for the next workout.

Shayne:
See, you couldn’t do a double session that day, for instance, but that’s always been an issue with self-coached athletes is they have a plan to go with but like how compliant and how consistent are they going to keep themselves to the plan when like tomorrow morning there’s a two hour dirt group ride on Zwift going on. Like I want to do that ride even though it might have a 120 TSS or whatever and then I’d be dead for my ride on Friday.

Chris:
Right.

Shayne:
So that’s always been the issue with self-coached athletes.

Ken:
Well, I think to the broader point is that we all ride bikes because it’s fun and …

Shayne:
Yup, yup.

Ken:
We also … I think that … I read this in the Cyclist Training Bible, “Either you believe riding faster is more fun or you don’t.” So we want to train to get faster so we can have more fun but at the same time we don’t want to be toiling away on a trainer by ourselves when we could be roasting the streets or the trails with our friends.

Shayne:
Sure, yup.

Ken:
But sort of-

Shayne:
Yeah, I think TrainingPeaks … [inaudible 00:35:05] but TrainingPeaks was designed for coaches really to use and then some athletes that wanted to learn more about the acronyms and the data, they used TrainingPeaks with good results but I don’t think TrainingPeaks is appropriate for most people unless you really know what you’re looking at in terms of the data …

Ken:
Okay.

Shayne:
And how to read the acronyms and how to read the charts, you know, because there’s a lot of stuff you can potentially miss and you’re kind of paying for something that you’re not really getting a 100% use out of.

Ken:
Right.

Chris:
You know, Shayne, The Badger is not most people.

Shayne:
He is.

Chris:
He’s unique.

Ken:
I love data. I’m a data geek. I love it and so I’m willing to pay for the TrainingPeaks plan, and by the way, TrainingPeaks is 20 bucks a month, unless you get the year long subscription, which is a 100 bucks, $99.20, and you know, if you are a data nerd like me, even if you might not be able to interpret the data very well, it could be interesting to you.

Ken:
So we sort of have been jumping around between TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad. I did want to point out …

Chris:
You want to talk about TrainerRoad?

Ken:
Talk about the core competency of TrainerRoad and their tagline is “Best value in cycling training,” and I think that’s actually a pretty good tagline. The core competency is that all training plans are including in your subscription. You have thousands of workouts to choose from and they will take you through a logical progression, from base to build to specialty and they have low, medium, and high volume plans to fit your time constraints. Since all the plans are created in house, they are very coherent and there’s also a workout creation tool but you have to download that separately. Their calendar is awesome. It’s very similar to TrainingPeak’s calendar and it makes it really intuitive to move workouts around and reschedule and copy things.

Ken:
Not much in the way of social features. They do have forums and a team mana-

Chris:
Oh, they do?

Ken:
They do, they do have forums and-

Chris:
Did not know that.

Ken:
And a team management tool, but I think one of their biggest things is they really have a great podcast. It’s probably cycling’s most popular podcast, so I think that that’s a really sweet feature a trainer rode and that costs nothing.

Chris:
Second, second most popular podcast.

Ken:
Second most popular podcast, those guys are pretty good.

Chris:
They’re pretty good.

Ken:
They’re okay. That guy needs kind of think [inaudible 00:37:42], whatever.

Chris:
Hey, our podcast just hit 10,000 listeners last week, which is …

Ken:
10,000 listeners.

Chris:
Disturbing the fact that there’s that many of you listening to us out there, but pretty cool for us.

Ken:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yup, yup

Shayne:
That’s pretty cool. I dig it.

Ken:
So a-

Chris:
Hey, so my … I was going to say my two cents here is … and honestly, I’m like, thinking about my budget and realizing that I pay for three of the four of the things we’re talking about today, so I’m going to realize that I pay for everything at TrainingPeaks and sounds like Ken pays for all of them.

Ken:
No, just TrainingPeaks and Zwift. I’m done with TrainerRoad for right now, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Chris:
Okay, well.

Ken:
That’s under the what’s …

Chris:
No, no, I want to know.

Ken:
That’s under the what’s hot and what’s not section, but go ahead.

Chris:
Since this is all basically subjectively based other than our little fancy Excel sheet here, I … and maybe it’s kind of like a back … I mean it’s not something everybody always does, but I like TrainerRoad because you can actually, based on RPE, Relative Perceived Effort, you can estimate TSS through your calendar afterwards, so I spent like 50% of the time on the Trainer, 50% of the time on the road at the end of each week I can actually get online and all my rides sync onto TrainerRoad, and so I can like go, “Oh, man on Thursday we just hammered that 40 miles and I was spent, and you know, we had all these sprints and there was long poles at the front in the wind,” and I’m like, “All right, man, I was like an eight out of 10, like maybe not a race, but like I’m pretty tired.”

Chris:
So I can actually estimate that and then it takes the time, the distance, elevation, heart rate, and then your RPE and it actually estimates TSS, which is not necessarily perfect, it’s not necessarily scientific, but it’s getting closer than just not having it at all.

Ken:
Right.

Chris:
So I actually can kind of map out my efforts … You have to do it manually, for sure, but it … and they call it estimated stress, is what they call it, but it’s my favorite thing and so it’s kind of like the hub I use, so clearly I use TrainerRoad, but what is ironic is typically Saturday Sundays is when I ride on TrainerRoad and I’m most tired on Mondays because those things just kick my … Their workouts, some of their workouts are just super tough.

Shayne:
Yeah, it’s quality work in there.

Chris:
Yeah, some of the work.

Ken:
Yup, but just so the audience knows that Strava and TrainingPeaks will also estimate your TSS or whatever their version of it is based on your heart rate, so just putting that out there, and then you don’t have to manually enter it in.

Shayne:
Boom, yeah.

Chris:
It’s like our water boy, Gatorade, H2O argument. “Train your peaks, no train a road, or train your peaks,” and then someday someone’s going to buy both of them, and it will be the same thing.

Ken:
Well, they’ve all got money from me, so glad to support all these platforms. Any other input into TrainerRoad from you guys, before we move on?

Shayne:
I think TrainerRoad’s done the best recently for improving their overall just like user interface and kind of getting features to the masses relatively quickly. Obviously, they’ve had a couple pretty substantial price increases, too, but we’ve definitely seen improvement in the overall quality with those price increases as well. Go ahead.

Chris:
Yup, it’s super boring though. It’s super boring.

Shayne:
Yeah, but like they say all the time in the podcast, like they’re not a game company, they’re not like an entertainment company. They’re a training company.

Chris:
Right.

Shayne:
They go in with the preconceived notion that whoever uses their platform will have like a cycle crash race to watch or a banging sound system or Zwift or whatever, so they’ll have something else to kind of distract you from intervals

Chris:
That’s what I do. I think that’s what a lot of people do is you can run Zwift simultaneously which is just like enough of a hit in the head to forget what you’re doing a little bit, and so that’s what I do. I mean, I run Zwift and TrainerRoad simultaneously, it works really well. If you’re uploading it to Strava, you in the end, you have to delete one of them or you’ll be double posting.

Shayne:
Right.

Chris:
So I just go in and delete my Zwift post, because the TrainerRoad upload’s more data to the free version of Strava, than Zwift does but it works. I mean it’s a little clunky.

Ken:
Well, right, and I put is, you know, or what’s hot and what’s not on that platform is what’s hot is that it is training simplified. If all you care about is getting a good plan at a good price without gimmickry and you’re self motivated, it really is the best value and what’s not is the biggest complaint about TrainerRoad is it’s boring. Suffering extreme discomfort while watching blue box on the screen takes a certain type of dedication to stick with it, unless you’ve got techno.

Chris:
Yeah.

Ken:
Then it’s easy.

Chris:
That’s true, I mean but that’s the deal and that’s [inaudible 00:42:44] there like I think most cyclists in general are going to have some degree of self motivation. I think that just kind of comes with the territory. You like the pain, you like the suffering. You’re the kind of person who when it’s windy you’re not dissuaded from going out and riding into the wind, kind of got some grit, so I think that if you’re struggling to get on Zwift then TrainerRoad is probably not for you.

Ken:
Right.

Chris:
But if you’re okay like being in your pain cave alone for an hour and some of their workouts on TrainerRoad are like four hours long. I don’t know how anyone can do that, but they … it definitely takes a degree of self-motivation and dedication and commitment to do TrainerRoad.

Ken:
It does, so there you have it with TrainerRoad, now we have Zwift for last and their tagline is “Serious training made fun,” and this has been a big game changer. As much as I try to be agnostic about these four, I’m going to just let it rip.

Chris:
Do it.

Ken:
Zwift is my favorite. Its core competency is that it’s a game. It does make riding and indoor trainer fun and there are … Let’s see, I calculated here … There are 1625 workouts in their library and nine cycling specific plans. As Shayne was mentioning, they do have the Flex training plans and he was instrumental in rolling those out, because he does do some work for Zwift. You have a ability to reschedule workouts and I found it’s not quite as flexible as moving stuff around on the TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad calendar but there is … It’s better than it used to be, for sure.

Chris:
Yup, that’s true.

Ken:
Yup, and they’ve also … You can build your own rides or your own workouts in a variety of different other apps and upload it as a ZWO file. Like I think that they’ve been really cool with allowing their file, allowing you to create stuff outside of their network.

Shayne:
Yeah, and they have, I mean, what’s on Zwift.com and what’s the other one that you mentioned the other day? I can’t remember it’s their weird name.

Ken:
They just changed their name to Trainer Day.

Shayne:
Okay, Trainer Day, so that’s they have a couple of other websites with like whatever, 5,000 workouts on that Trainer Day website you were saying.

Ken:
On Trainer Day, yeah, yup.

Shayne:
Crazy, yeah, so there’s so many work [inaudible 00:45:22] you can really choose from.

Ken:
Yeah.

Chris:
We can say that Zwift is the only training platform that I know of that bases their training effort on how many pieces of pizza you’ve earned.

Shayne:
That’s right.

Ken:
Yeah, so their …

Chris:
Which I mean that’s a metric I care about.

Ken:
That’s true. So we’re in terms of fitness tracking is very basic, it tracks your weekly mileage, your hours, and the equivalent slices of pizza that you’ve earned. However, they also sync to …

Shayne:
However.

Ken:
Zwift power which is very robust in the amount of data that it collects but only for organized races and rides.

Chris:
It’s like a B side thing, Zwift and then the B side is Zwift Power.

Shayne:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yup.

Ken:
Now, Shayne, is there a relationship there? I mean, what’s the relationship between …

Shayne:
With Zwift Power and Zwift?

Ken:
Yeah.

Shayne:
No, they’ve tried it. I mean there’s obviously some communication and they have access to API, but I don’t think there’s any real like partnership going on between the two of them or like the want for partnership because Zwift, they’re in update probably six months ago. They released the leaderboard segments after the races. Remember when they did at?

Ken:
Yeah.

Shayne:
On the Zwift companion app and same thing with Zwift Power so instead of having a link with Zwift Power, they just made their own thing.

Ken:
Got it.

Shayne:
Zwift, I think is going to be … they’re into creating stuff bespoke to them and their program, not partnering and like getting stuff created and just buying it.

Ken:
Right.

Shayne:
So people always say, “Why doesn’t Zwift just buy TrainerRoad?” Because I don’t think they want to be TrainerRoad. They want to be Zwift. They want to have their own flavor, their own, like I said, bespoke things built for them. They have the biggest budget and they also have the biggest in terms of reach, so we’ve already seen them work with BUTI.

Chris:
Do you know how many people are on Zwift, Shayne? Like what’s their ride account?

Shayne:
I don’t know, it was over a million. It was like 1.5 million registered users, but again, who knows … one time, I think the most I’ve ever seen is 12,000 riders on at one time..

Ken:
Which is crazy.

Shayne:
Which is a lot of people, yeah. So they’re the youngest in the game and they have the most potential and kind of speaking from the inside, from internally, there’s a lot of good stuff that will come next year, from training plans right through to e-races through to new roads, courses, things like that. They had a massive $120 million investment and they’ve done a huge round of hires and now they’re starting to crank out more stuff with the new hiring that they’ve done, so we should see a lot more, a lot faster growth next year and hopefully hear less of that “coming soon,” which has been kind of a tagline for them, versus, “Coming Zoon,” which is sexy and much less [inaudible 00:00:48] coming up next year.

Ken:
Well, I just celebrated my two year anniversary on Zwift and I’ve seen a lot of changes. I’ve seen them roll out a lot of routes, I’ve seen them roll out a lot of fun tours and things that you can engage in, new bikes and gear that you can get in game. I put that their core competency is it is a training interface with the supports ERG mode and by gamifying the experience, it’s made indoor cycling more … It went from making indoor cycling a fate worse than death to actually fun, yeah.

Chris:
That’s true. Well, it changes it like, I wanted to make funny jokes so I pulled up the Zwift companion up and Adam Yates is Zwifting right now, which is cool, cool. You can look, you can follow Adam, watch his avatar ride which is something I guess, but I was going to say The Badger has ridden 8500 miles on Zwift in two years.

Ken:
Yes, sir.

Shayne:
There you go, Badger, [inaudible 00:49:41].

Chris:
Yeah, you’re a level 37 Dungeon Master.

Ken:
I am and that’s 8700 miles that I would not have ridden at all. It’s not like I would have ridden those miles outside if I didn’t have a Zwift. No, those miles just would not have been ridden, because I’m [inaudible 00:49:58].

Chris:
Yeah, which now that I’m looking is trash compared to how many miles Shayne has ridden, which is more than 12,000 and he is a level 43 Dungeon Master.

Ken:
Damn, how long you been on there?

Shayne:
I wasn’t Beta, so I was at …

Ken:
Yeah.

Shayne:
Three and a half years, four years? But my elevation, the first thing … Well, not the first thing … But the second thing, I always go for the train bike so I have like crazy amounts of elevation, too, so I would have more miles if I had less elevation. [crosstalk 00:50:31]

Chris:
I see. I’m a level 24 Dungeon Master, so I’m behind both of you all.

Ken:
Well, you know, if you’ve got that California weather, I mean, I think all of us agree that most of us still prefer to ride outside. There’s true indoor specialists but I’m riding outside every chance I get.

Chris:
We know who we’re thinking about when we say that.

Ken:
Yes, we do.

Chris:
Yes, we do. Hey, but, I will say, this is an update for everyone who’s been in suspense. Three episodes ago I made the comment that I screwed up my signing up for the Everest Challenge to get the [inaudible 00:51:07] because I’m aloof. Turns out I didn’t. Turns out I did sign up a long time ago and had just never looked again, so I’m actually pretty close.

Ken:
Cool, that is awesome.

Chris:
Yeah, so there you go, right. It’s some sort of achievement.

Ken:
Very cool, so let … Go ahead.

Shayne:
When you say close, are you at the top, are you past the mountain already?

Chris:
I think I’m … I’ve got like, I don’t know, 130,000, 140,000 foot climb.

Shayne:
Okay, yeah, that’s one of my favorite Easter Eggs still on that platform.

Chris:
There’s what?

Shayne:
That’s one of my favorite Easter Eggs on that platform still is people think they just have to climb Everest and they get the [inaudible 00:51:46] but it’s like 10 times …

Chris:
Oh, yeah, yeah. I think I meant like what I’ve started doing once I realized I was back on it, this is what Ken and I were talking about, once I realized, “Oh, I did actually sign it …” Because when I thought I hadn’t signed up for it, I was like, “Well, screw this. I’m not putting much effort into it, but once I realized I was already like a 120,000 feet climbing towards like one sixth, whatever you need, I just, every time I get on to do a TrainerRoad, I just pick the steepest, longest climb on Zwift every time and just run TrainerRoad.

Shayne:
Yeah, yup.

Chris:
And so I get all the elevation climb with during a workout, so it’s a bit cheating, but it’s definitely working.

Ken:
Hey, you put in the time.

Shayne:
Yeah, two birds one stone.

Chris:
I’m still kicking my rear, almost passing out on the bike occasionally, but …

Shayne:
Yup.

Ken:
And wrapping this up, I just wanted to say, this what my picks for what’s hot and what’s not on Zwift is what is hot is the game is very engaging and what is not is Zwift has a long way to go until it’s a plug and play platform with the … Some people have appeal of Peleton. You buy a bike, you pay a subscription and it just and it just works. Getting set up with Zwift and syncing your devices to a computer can be pricey and frustrating, and they’ve largely been focused on the end game features and e-sports and for me, I would love to see them start to put some more of those resources in their training tools. But, hey, I get it. It’s a bit company, a lot going on. This isn’t an indictment of what they’re doing. It’s just an observation. It’s a little bit more complicated than getting on a Peleton bike, which we didn’t include in our four, that could have been a fifth.

Shayne:
Yup.

Chris:
Okay.

Shayne:
We also didn’t talk about the Sufferfests either and that’s I think a really good one for training purposes, because they’re the only … I’ll make this really quick … They’re the only software that separates your anaerobic from your aerobic power, when they do that full frontal test, so intervals that are over threshold, they’ll be different based on how you tested during the full frontal test, which is huge. That’s where I wished, I hope this [inaudible 00:54:02] will go some point to …

Ken:
Well, can’t you just tell the to go that way?

Shayne:
Because once you get over … I can, yeah, but my problem is I can’t program it. I can write the workouts but I can’t program the actual game itself. I’m not that smart.

Ken:
Got you.

Shayne:
So once you go over the threshold, using percentage of FTP, over threshold gets really murky, because people have different sizes, aerobic engines and things like that, so Sufferfest does that very well where they’ll individualize your training more based on how you tested.

Ken:
I have not tried Sufferfest, but that’s definitely on my list of things I’d like to check out. Well, guys, I think we’ve done a good podcast talking about these different platforms and anything else you want to add before we wrap up and head over to Jeremiah Bishop.

Chris:
I want to say do the platform that keeps you engaged and keeps you riding, with the one that’s most fun and keeps you staying fit. That’s the right one.

Shayne:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:55:03].

Ken:
I agree. Well, thank you both for joining us again. Check out the interview with Jeremiah Bishop and Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody, although this will probably post after the Holiday. Ride on and we will see you in Watopia. Peace.

Ken:
Post after the Holiday. Ride on and we will see you in Watopia. Peace.

Ken:
This week we have a very special guest and I’m extremely excited about. Jeremiah Bishop is one of America’s most decorated and well known Mountain Bikers. He is a legend. If you poke around on his Wikipedia page, you will see that he has won all of the major US based Mountain Bike Stage races, including the American Mountain Bike Classic, Breck Epic, Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, and the Trans-Sylvania Epic. He is also the host of the Alpine Loop Grand Fondo in the Mountains of Virginia, Shenandoah Valley and a Brand Ambassador for Canyon. At the age of 43, Jeremiah is still mixing it up as a Pro Mountain Biker and Gravel Racer and won several races this year including the Hillbilly Rebay, which I love that video, by the way.

Jeremiah:
Right.

Ken:
Yeah, he’s also a dad and like many of the parents out there, he’s balancing work, family, and his passion for bikes. So Jeremiah, I first heard about you when my buddy Zack Terry was training for the Alpine-

Jeremiah:
Oh, yeah.

Ken:
Yeah, you remember him.

Jeremiah:
I sure do.

Ken:
He was doing social media for performance bikes.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, well, thanks for that glowing introduction. [inaudible 00:56:43] I’m kind of blushing a little bit.

Ken:
Well, hey, you earned it, you did all those things, which is really cool, and then later on I met you at the World Championships. We were kind standing it in Church Hill somewhere.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, yeah, in Richmond, that was super fun.

Ken:
Yeah, it was awesome, man, and you were just [inaudible 00:57:05] roads on like, dude, this is crazy, you know.

Jeremiah:
I’m just a guy who likes to ride bikes. I just happen to find a way to get paid to do it.

Ken:
Yeah, well, that’s cool. You’ve been at it a long time, so when did you … How did this go down? I mean, Mountain Bikes weren’t really the thing till the mid ’90s?

Jeremiah:
Oh, man. Oh, yeah, I mean I started … Mountain Biking’s been a thing or a long time. I think it’s gotten to be a bigger participant sport, for sure, than when I started, but, yeah, I mean when I started, it was during the heyday of American Mountain Biking. You had Ned Overend, John Tomac, Tinker Juarez, you know really the first generation of pop culture Mountain Biking. There were definitely pioneers prior to that that were racing at a very competitive level and those first sort of mentors or not mentors but heroes of mine really set the stage for my career and some of the ways in which I pursued my career and how I would, yeah, kind of approach my goals and kind of things that I looked to do and aspire to do.

Jeremiah:
I think it’s really fun to have, yeah, some kind of neat examples like that, but also some kind of cool stories like I’m the only teammate of Tinker Juarez to ever stay at his house.

Ken:
No kidding?

Jeremiah:
I know that sounds … I don’t know if that sounds strange to you, but I have people who come visit me to ride like every month.

Ken:
Okay.

Jeremiah:
Like they come hang out, we go out, I show them around to a good brewery or something. We go ride bikes or I’ll stay extra after somebody’s … or stay after an event at somebody’s house and go ride bikes, at least until I had kids. It was kind of like, you know, a nationwide couch surf surfing competition, you know where I’d be like looking for cool places to ride between races. In any case, to be the only person, the only teammate of Tinker’s to ever stay at his house is kind of like, “Wow, that’s kind of strange,” but you know, it’s pretty cool to not only meet some of my heroes out there, but, yeah, kind of pioneer and sort of be a leader in some respects in the Mountain Bike community and I made most of my career racing Cross Country Mountain Bike racing, but I always loved Ultra Endurance Racing. I love Road Racing, Cyclocross.

Jeremiah:
I’ve done a little bit of everything and so back to what I was saying, John Tomac was a early influence. He doesn’t know it, doesn’t know me, but you know I always had those posters of Johnny T. on my wall, in the bike room and he was a really complete rider, you know, went and raced for 7-Eleven on the road, high level road racer, criterion racer, wins downhill races, wins world cup, cross country races. Yeah, do everything. You know, and I thought that would be awesome to be a well rounded rider, and I can check that check box, sort of on my bucket list of things look to do and definitely did some really neat things like winning the Mid-Atlantic Cup for Cyclocross. I raced in the National Cyclocross Championships, I won a UCI race in Hendersonville once.

Jeremiah:
You know, the stage race thing, that kind of became a later specialty but interestingly, anytime you have this really well rounded tool box as a bike racer, it could apply to other races and a stage race is the ultimate combination of all those. So you need speed, because sometimes you just want to sit in and mark your opponents, sometimes there are big dirt road sections where you save energy, sometimes, yeah, you need top end to be able to deliver for a prologue stage or a really explosive short stage and you need endurance for the long stages. That’s kind of been a real neat playground for me in the latter half of my career.

Jeremiah:
I did some stage races, much to the chagrin of my team manager. They were focused on cross country races and they would always ask why I’m like wasting time doing these dumb races and now who’s laughing. You know, it’s a big thing now, these races like Breck Epic, that’s a lot of people’s career highlight or their season goal. Pisgah Stage race, Tran-Sylvania Epic, those are maybe not as well known races but just as good as far as course quality and the experience is super, super fun.

Jeremiah:
I’ve also had the chance to race on the international level at a lot of these great stage races, which is super cool. I’m the only American rider to win a stage of TransAlp and third in the overall, so only rider to go top three in overall, so pretty proud of that. Cape Epic, you know, it’s been really, really cool to race the Cape Epic from five different occasions and through most of my career, racing for Topeak-Ergon in a support role, so a support role is kind of like a road.

Ken:
Right. So Dave Wiens, he was a big rider with your team a number of years ago, wasn’t he?

Jeremiah:
Absolutely, so Dave Wiens was, yeah, winning his last NORBA Nationals when I was racing junior and just trying to get out of my own way. So, yeah, Dave is also part of that generation and now we’re friends. He still races for Topeak-Ergon, so kind of my … I don’t know if you’d call it a fellow Canyon Riders, and he’s also a dad. His son’s racing now and is super cool, so those two are racing in the same races. He and his son raced nationals this year and I think they were in the same class. I don’t know, but anyway, it’s pretty cool. It’s full circle. It’s neat seeing a lot of friends’ kids getting into riding now and, yeah, it’s been a really wild ride. It’s been really a dream come true to live the life and lifestyle of a Professional Mountain Bike Racer. I’ve also had a really unique opportunity to give back and do things like the visit I did last weekend.

Jeremiah:
I went to do this event in North Carolina for Canyon, for this guided tour. There was a tour company that Canyon was working with to provide bikes, demo bikes, called Chasing Epic, and Chasing Epic has these guided trips all along around the country and for a few of them, we’ve got Canyon bikes as an option. I brought down some of the demo fleet, got some people on bikes, rode with them. It was a hoot, a lot of fun hanging out but I also visited a youth home, so it’s a home for displaced youth in North Carolina called the Black Mountain Home and so they take care of kids that are either have parents with extreme substance abuse problems or they’re orphaned, and things like that. They have a mountain bike program. I mean how cool is that?

Ken:
I think that’s awesome and one thing, so last year I started as a NICA Coach.

Jeremiah:
Oh, cool.

Ken:
Yeah, for a local high school here.

Jeremiah:
That’s awesome.

Ken:
And you know what, the whole thing about NICA is not make kids faster, not shred with kids, it’s get more kids on bikes. I mean, that’s the whole mission and and trying to … I mean, honestly, mountain bikes can be really expensive. How can we reach out to other communities that maybe aren’t as privileged and help them to get out there and enjoy some of these trails.

Jeremiah:
That is a 100% what it’s about. You know, racing was a catalyst for a lot of the change personally for me in my life that took place in growing up and in getting out of a neighborhood that was riddled with drug and crime and things like that and to find my own path in life. I think it can do it for me, it can do great things for other people and so anytime you can share the sport I mean, I think that’s such a cool thing to do.

Jeremiah:
So this children’s home has a mountain bike program and they’ve had it for a few years. They got trails on their campus, kind of in the foster home and they lead mountain bike rides and get kids on bikes, and, man, I thought it was the coolest thing.

Ken:
You’ve been riding Canyon bikes for a long time, even before Canyon USA became a presence in America, if I’m correct in that. How long have you been an ambassador and so you’re transitioning from being a full time Pro to being more of an ambassador from what I was reading on Single Tracks a couple of days ago.

Jeremiah:
Yup, yeah, is correct, Ken. I basically have been racing with Topeak-Ergon for several years and then Canyon, finally decided to push into the US market and I’ve done a little bit of consulting for some of their early events, prior to them really having a good events team in place, help them out, and went to [inaudible 01:07:07] Valley which was the first event that they had for a demo event and, yeah, we had a great time with it, and I had one more year in my contract with Topeak-Ergon and then basically, Topeak-Ergon gets swept up by Canyon and became Canyon-Topeak.

Ken:
Okay.

Jeremiah:
So it was even closer to the Canyon side of things and our paycheck, so to speak, came from [inaudible 01:07:32] and Canyon managed the team and at the end of … not 2019, 2018, end of 2018 the team was folding. They were putting, I guess, more chips into the road team and into the World Cup focus, and yeah, basically it was a good opportunity for me to pursue this role as an athlete ambassador for Canyon.

Ken:
Very cool.

Jeremiah:
As like ambassador is kind of like a multifaceted job description in which I help manage and execute demo events and public facing events on the East Coast but then I also have my athlete hat that I put on and I might be taking media out, [inaudible 01:08:19] classic or I might race BC bike race or I might be out there racing Dirty Kansa, but it’s usually after about 10 hours of working the Canyon booth and getting [crosstalk 01:08:31] to sign up for the newsletter and chatting with people. It’s actually really been cool in a lot of ways, because I’ve never had this much interaction with my fans.

Ken:
Okay.

Jeremiah:
In the last four years, I’ve had more interaction with my actual fans of my career this year than I have in the last four years. Pretty cool.

Ken:
It is very cool and when I was watching that Hill Billy Roubaix video, which you won and that was awesome, it’s like you ended up coming over to this huge van with Canyon bikes and you’re hanging out with people and kind of working, too. I was like, “Wow, man, that’s a hell of a day.”

Jeremiah:
Yeah, oh, it could be pretty … Good thing I’m an endurance racer, I tell you what, Ken, because basically I think this is … Some of these days would kill a lot of people.

Ken:
I’m sure, I’m sure.

Jeremiah:
Like we definitely hustle and some races, it works. I can make it happen and then sometimes I’m just too exhausted and just have to deal with the reality that I’m not invincible.

Ken:
Right, right.

Jeremiah:
I guess, [inaudible 01:09:47] is so exhausted, like I was just whooped and I was like, “Well, I’m going to try to be in the mix and maybe I’ll start to feel a little more fresh after about four hours and it didn’t happen.

Ken:
Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever felt fresh after four hours. So what does training look like for you now? Not that-

Jeremiah:
Yeah, training …

Ken:
Well, what did it look like then when you were really, really hammering it out? Like how many hours a week and how’d you structure I?

Jeremiah:
I could pull it up on TrainingPeaks right now.

Ken:
Okay.

Jeremiah:
You know, it’s really interesting because with the analytics that we have and I was one of the early pioneers for mountain bike training with the Power Meter, along with Hunter Allen.

Ken:
Okay.

Jeremiah:
Hunter was my coach for a large period of, I guess, the latter half of my cross country career and early half of my sort of endurance focused part of my career and we developed some proprietary workouts. I do my own thing now and have Bishop Training, but, yeah, we collaborate, and, yeah, it’s been a really wild ride and the sort of learning a bit about that side of it, but back to the training. My training was a lot like a road stage racer.

Ken:
Okay.

Jeremiah:
Especially like with Topeak-Ergon and with Canyon-Topeak, because my job was basically to either support the team or take a leading role and trying to win races in North America, for example, and then when you look at Transalp, I was on the lead team for Transalp and, yeah, we were bronze medal there at the toughest stage race in Europe so pretty cool, and yeah, the hours were big, you know, definitely really a lot of aggressive training and I think I’m quite well known for my hard training and my style of training and it’s definitely, yeah, some pretty heavy stuff.

Jeremiah:
I would be running CTL like a 110, 120 quite commonly throughout the season. That’s kind of on par with some of the road stage racers. Granted if you’re doing a grand tour, you’re CTL will get even higher than that, 150, 160, you know what bends will commonly be at for the tour [crosstalk 01:12:08].

Ken:
Sure and for our audience here, if you could elaborate on CTL a little bit, like what is exactly did that stand for and how do you gauge it?

Jeremiah:
Oh, yeah, a CTL is basically, it’s a rolling average of your training load, basically, and if you look at whether it’s TrainingPeaks or whether you look at Strava, both of them have sort of a tool for modeling your training and looking at your total stress load or total training load. Give you an idea, basically, in order to get to a CTL, when you’re looking at a CTL that’s closing in on 130, I mean it’s basically like riding blocks of tempo, like 30 minute blocks of sub-threshold five times a weeks. Like five days a week of really, really hard work.

Ken:
Right.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, on a four hour ride, so it’s sort of a barometer of the total training load, that might be like a 22 hour week, for example, doing good hard work.

Ken:
That is a lot of work, and I think what we’re seeing with ours, with team, Dads Inside Riding Trainers is a lot of us are right at that six to eight hour week mark and just trying to make the most of it, and I know, most of us do prefer to ride outside but it’s just not the reality that we can. You know, my wife, she’s a personal trainer, she gets up and leaves the house really early and so if I want to ride, it’s got to be inside, and it was like a fate worse than death, getting on a traditional training [inaudible 01:14:09] …

Jeremiah:
Yup.

Ken:
And then Zwift came along, I was like, “Whoa, this went from sucking to actually being fun.”

Jeremiah:
Yup.

Ken:
The problem is the FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, and you know, like you want to race everyday and you can’t, and you know if you want to keep progressing and do well during the mountain bike season, like you have to do some dedicated training workouts and so like that’s how this whole thing came about is just a group of guys that were seeing each other’s names over and over again on the Zwift races in the morning.

Jeremiah:
Oh, cool, yeah.

Ken:
Yeah, and then we just blew up and became this huge team.

Jeremiah:
That’s awesome. I can’t wait to get in there with you guys. That’ll be super fun.

Ken:
Yeah, yeah, it’ll be super fun. Like when do you usually ride?

Jeremiah:
Oh, Ken, you know, it’s pretty varied at this point. So right now, my work schedule’s actually really lightened up. Don’t tell this to my … You know, people at Canyon, because [inaudible 01:15:06] me like, “Go to a shopping center and sign stuff in like Des Moines, Iowa.” So anyway, yeah, my schedule has been crazy this year. It’s been nuts. You know, you get the kids off to school, you pack the sprinter, you drive to Benville, Arkansas. You do a demo, you are exhausted, you’re packing up all these dirty bikes, washing bikes, lifting stuff. You get back, you change, you run for a half an hour and that’s your workout for the day.

Ken:
Wow.

Jeremiah:
You kind of have these fits and starts of the schedule. Sometimes, yeah, I mean, I’m mostly a poor weather Zwift rider. I’ll admit that I don’t have a regular schedule. Although, in the case of getting on with you guys one of these mornings, here in November, we’ll definitely do it. It’ll be super fun, and, yeah, sometimes my daughter likes to ride on, jump on Zwift or co-ride with me as I call it, and yeah, super fun. It’s really motivating and it’s neat to see people from around the world, different time zones, people I’ve met at races.

Jeremiah:
Like I met this guy at … Was it Andalusia bike race or Transalp, anyway, yeah, so I mean, a competitor. He’s like, “Hey, Bishop, what’s up?” And it’s just such a neat way to connect with people, as well as motivate, and to answer your question, back to your question about how is my training different. Well, as time crunched, definitely have times when I don’t always feel that great, but that’s always been the case, you know, to some degree or another. As I get older though, I have more variables like my right knee, today. I just came back from the gym. I ran back here to get this podcast going and it was abbreviated work out, because my right knee was basically just bothering me.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, kind of weird, don’t know if it’s from the dropper post. I have a really long dropper post on the neuron and I did a mountain bike ride yesterday and maybe I came off a rock funny, while the seat was really low and, yeah, it’s kind of it’s a little bit of a tweak but I do what I can, when I can. I think that’s the takeaway, I think, to the dads out there is you can’t over think it. You know, do what you can, when you can, and sometimes you’re going to have 33 minutes. You know, a gap comes in your schedule and you’re like, “Wow, I probably can’t get my bike ready and do a proper ride but maybe I can just put my cycling shoes on and rip out the door, go sprint up a few hills and rip a couple of downhills and I will feel awesome the rest of the day. I tell you what, it’s so true.

Ken:
Yeah, it is true, and some of that is just like I have to do it for my sanity.

Jeremiah:
Yes, that is … so I’m kind of in that crossroads between making a living racing bikes, where you know it’s amazing the stuff you’ll make yourself do if that’s how you pay your mortgage and feed your kids. Like the level of training, that psychotic training that I would do is when I look back on it now, some of these rides in like the rain, like for five hours and like snow rides with like three by 20 or four by 20 threshold intervals, like with the wind howling like yeah, I mean some of the stuff I would do is just kind of ridiculous and now I’m kind of a little bit more, I’m a little more practical about it honestly. You know what, you can get a damn good workout on Zwift in 50 minutes.

Ken:
Yes, yes, you can. I’ve been buckled over the bike at the end of some 50 minute long workouts or races. It’s just unbelievable how time efficient it is and so that loops me around to how I found out that you were on Zwift. I’m sitting here watching this crazy workout of you doing four by four, 400 watts on a pair of rollers, on one of your videos.

Jeremiah:
Yeah.

Ken:
“I mean this guy’s crazy,” and then you were saying to me before we started recording that you were on the first ever Zwift race. How did that come about?

Jeremiah:
You know, it’s funny. I think much like most of my odd, like projects or things I do, it starts out as a Facebook message that I kind of think is a joke. You know, someone’s making, “Hey, you should come to Benville and do this bike race.” I’m like, “Okay, what kind of spam is this?” You get a lot of invites to go and do stuff. I love to entertain the real invites, you know, if it’s a legit appearance or something like that.

Jeremiah:
Anyway, so I got this invite to go and do this race, Zwift race in Roanoke and I’m like, “Mm, yeah, I don’t know.” They were like, “Oh, we’re going to have it at a brewery. It’s going to be like super fun, and there’s going to be like a studio audience and they’re going to record it.” I was like, “Okay, all right, all right, well, I mean whatever.” It’s kind of a game and it’ll be fun, and it’s also the first one, you know, a live e-sports event like that. I was like, “Sure, I’ll check it out.”

Jeremiah:
I went down to this thing. Scottie Weiss was there, who you guys probably know is a madman on Zwift. It’s kind of like half of what he’s known for at this point but he’s former masters world champion. Funny, because I don’t ride with a guy at all. He lives like 90 minutes from here, but you know, he’s Masters World Champion. I’ve seen him at road races here and there but, yeah, super fast dude. We had a Hill Climb National Champion Ben Wright who I invited to come out, a handful of other top regional riders came out. I think John Long was there and handful of other local fast guys and, yeah, I definitely got my ass kicked.

Jeremiah:
But, yeah, part of that was the … In the early phases of doing anything, there’s a lot to learn and …

Ken:
Sure is.

Jeremiah:
[inaudible 01:22:01] I think we’re not consistent across the board and I kind of talked to the guys at Zwift about this a little bit as well, as the Cyclogen guy so this was a Cyclogen race, which is sort of like a parallel league to Zwift now that Zwift has gotten into it. I think the fidelity of the data for high level e-sports racing is going to be critical and you almost need like a third party verification, because Zwift and the other areas or other leagues, they want everybody to believe.

Ken:
Right.

Jeremiah:
But if you don’t believe in the data or have any mistrust in the data or how the race is lay out, then it sort of deteriorates the whole thing and, of course, everybody’s seen the guy who puts in that he weighs 70 pounds on Zwift and fly by you. So in any case, for those prize money races, I think they should have a third party validation, but anyway, so this one was a rough but interesting first start and I knew it was a learning opportunity more than anything and it was a really cool chance to just kind of explore that and it was fun. It was really cool chasing people down, making alliances on the rode, just like riding outdoors.

Jeremiah:
I didn’t know about a lot of the sort of strange I guess physics that they programmed into it in order for it to be easier for the average person or beginner to operate. For instance the sticky draft, I didn’t know about that. I didn’t know about the fact that if you … Because there are no brakes on Zwift, so if you coast, you’re lightly breaking.

Ken:
Right.

Jeremiah:
And so I was trying to catch up to somebody, knowing that in the real world I can coast on their wheel and recover for a few seconds. Instead I would sprint up to their wheel, coast, which was basically like grabbing the brakes. It’s like grabbing a fistful of brake and then there’s a big gap again and then you have to sprint again and of course, after the third time of sprinting, you’re completely toast. Yeah, learning how to ride Zwift in and of itself is also sort of a game. It’s just like a video game. You have to have game skills in order to figure it out, but it was really interesting and I could see the potential right away for e-sports to grow and I think we’ll see more of it.

Jeremiah:
Personally, I think it’s not riding outdoors so why not gamify it even more, because let me tell you what …

Ken:
That’s my feeling. That’s my feeling. We need banana peels.

Jeremiah:
We need missiles.

Ken:
Dude, rocket [crosstalk 01:24:48] …

Jeremiah:
We need missiles. There would be nothing more fun than shooting missiles at Ben King while I’m riding with him, you know. Direct hit, bwwuuuk.

Ken:
So yeah, he was pretty close to you. You guys are all up in your Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, he’s about 60 miles from here so we meet up in the middle to do rides every once in a while, probably once a month in the winter. Jordan [inaudible 01:25:11] also lives near and …

Ken:
[crosstalk 01:25:14]

Jeremiah:
Yeah, we’ve got a lot of really talented riders like Bryan Lewis who probably should have won the Hilly Billy, yeah, lives nearby. Absolute ripper, so we’ve got a lot of talented riders in the area and, yeah, Ben, every once in a while, like if there’s a ice storm or something, you know, he’ll text me. “Hey, you want to get on Zwift?” I’m like, “Sure,” and so we just use the phone.

Jeremiah:
So this is kind of funny, we just did a phone call and put in the ear buds, so instead of, yeah, making it overly complicated, yeah, it’s definitely helped be a motivator, especially when the weather gets foul or days get short.

Ken:
We use Discord. So we’ll get the whole, like we’ll have a CAT, A through D.

Jeremiah:
All right.

Ken:
For all of our races.

Jeremiah:
Well, you guys have to tutor me here.

Ken:
Yeah, I’ll hook you up, man. I’ll hook you up.

Jeremiah:
All right.

Ken:
I’ll put you on one of our morning races.

Jeremiah:
I’ll get on the Discord. Yeah, and it’s funny, because you mentioned the rollers and, yeah, being the mountain biker that I am, I love the balance component and with the inside ride rollers, you can stand out the saddle at six or 700 watts, no problem. So it’s partly just because the balance component is more realistic. I don’t feel like I’m chained down to some contraption. I can ride Zwift on the Wahoo, I’ve got one but I really much rather ride the rollers, even if it’s slightly disadvantageous.

Ken:
Yeah, I can understand that, especially for … I mean it’s part of your craft. It’s part of training for work.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, yeah.

Ken:
So I get the additional need for that. Well, JB, this has been a really fun conversation and I hope that we do get to ride together on Zwift sometime. Canyon, they’ve got their own pro team now, so shout out to them, to your sponsor or the company that you’re work with now.

Jeremiah:
Yeah.

Ken:
And also, tell us a little bit about you, how can we find you? You’re a professional coach as well. If we wanted to get a training program …

Jeremiah:
Yeah, for sure, so I have training plans on TrainingPeaks, so if you look under author, Jeremiah Bishop, then you’ll see a lot of the training plans I’ve done for mostly mountain bike racing and stage racing, hundred mile races. So very directly in my wheelhouse, I do work with professional and amateur road athletes and Cyclocross athletes and for more information about me and my coaching, and our guys, so to speak, I work with a couple of other great coaches, go to JeremiahBishop.com.

Jeremiah:
You can also find me on Instagram. My Instagram handle is … I’ll tell you that in a second … and then you also see a Facebook fan page on, yeah, just look up my name, so it’s an official Facebook fan page. I also have a personal page but I try to direct people to the Facebook fan page for the more race oriented stuff and, yeah, yeah, so you’ll find me there and yeah, I do a little bit of everything when it comes to sharing stoke for the sport.

Jeremiah:
I also host the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. My wife runs the event, so she’s completely in charge, so if you see a picture posted on there, it’s definitely not me. Entirely her thing and, you know, but we have a great time and it’s an event I started as a charity fundraiser and awareness piece for prostate cancer awareness project. So if you’re a male over 40, make sure to get your PSA checked once a year with your physical, track it. It can definitely give you a big flag if you have an anomaly there and taking your health care seriously is something that we all need to do, especially as dads, because you want to be around a little bit later, you know, when all this good stuff happens.

Jeremiah:
Yeah, so Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, check the Instagram page, Facebook page, and that is the event is AlpineLoopGranFondo.com, pretty simple.

Ken:
Okay, cool. JB, thanks again for joining us today.

Jeremiah:
You bet, Ken.

Ken:
Yeah, and I hope to talk to you again soon.

Jeremiah:
Hey, well, I hope to see you guys on Zwift. That hopefully will be next.

Ken:
I’ll make it happen. I’ll shoot you an email.

Jeremiah:
Awesome, sounds good. Thanks again.