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!
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Reverse vs. Traditional Periodization for Triathlon Training
Periodization vs Reverse Periodization
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.
Shayne: The five to eight year olds are hollering right now.
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: 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?
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.
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…
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…
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.
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?
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?”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?
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.
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