Virtual Velo Podcast-Ep. 10: The Death of the Cycling Off-Season with Zwift’s Coach Shayne Gaffney

In Episode Ten of the Virtual Velo Podcast, Ken, Joy, and Chris discuss the state of the cycling off-season in today’s multi-discipline and platform climate with Level 1 USA Cycling Coach and founder of GC Coaching, Shayne Gaffney.

Shayne has created 85% of Zwift’s training plans and guides the performance of a host of virtual and real-life athletes.

The VVP crew peppers the coach with everything they want to know about training and performance but are afraid to ask. Shayne followed the “tangents” to touch on several hot training topics, including the mental side of cycling and reconnecting with your “Why!”

Clip-in and take a conversational ride with us! 


Show Transcript:

Ken (00:00:13):

Welcome to the Virtual Velo Podcast, powered by the Zommunique. We are exercise and nutrition scientists, physical therapists and performance coaches. Most of all, we’re passionate about cycling and immersed in the virtual cycling community. Our goal is to inform, inspire, and challenge you. So come take another conversational ride with us today. Today we have Ken Joy and Chris the core. Nathan Garra could not join us today, so we’re gonna catch up with everybody, see how everyone’s been doing, and then we’re gonna introduce our special guests, which I’m sure you’ve heard of before. And let’s go ahead and start with Joy. How have things been in your life? Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Are you cooking up a storm?

Joy (00:00:59):

 no. <laugh>, I’m gonna make eggplant, Parmesan and <laugh>. That’s about it.

Ken (00:01:04):

Is that a Florida thing?

Joy (00:01:05):

It’s, yeah. That’s what we do in Florida is we make vegetables for Thanksgiving. Gotcha. Nope, nope. Nothing big. gonna hang out with my kid. Probably actually go mountain biking and make eggplant Parmesan.

Ken (00:01:19):

Nice. So I think the big mountain bike park that I know of is Santos. Is that near

Joy (00:01:24):

You? Nope. I wish it was. I love Santos. It’s probably one of my favorite places. We camp there at least once a year, and it’s my favorite trails, but it’s a few hours from me, so we’ll just do you know, some trails around Jacksonville? We have a, we have a lot of smaller trails which is fine for my 10 year old. He doesn’t wanna do much more than that anyway.

Ken (00:01:47):

Yeah. Santos has some pretty crazy wooden features. As a matter of fact, there is a guy who founded Ray’s indoor bike parks. You’ll find him in some of the colder cities of the country. Cleveland, yeah, Cleveland. And I wanna say Milwaukee. There’s one unfortunately he had a really bad spinal injury a couple of years ago, so I don’t, I haven’t heard much more about him since then.

Joy (00:02:11):

Have you not ever been to Santos?

Ken (00:02:14):

No, I’ve never been mountain biking in Florida, or I’ve never ridden a bike in Florida.

Joy (00:02:18):

You had, you’d like Santos, Santos does have a lot of it’s got the vortex, which the Vortex Trail is a pretty advanced double black diamond trail. And then all the wooden features in the middle pump tracks. It’s, I mean, it’s pretty intense. I don’t do any of that part. I don’t do any of that section. But then it’s got a lot of easy trails, a lot of flowy, a lot of miles, I mean, miles and miles of trails, which I like. I like the, the flowy miles of, you know, single track.

Ken (00:02:49):

And it’s, yeah. Yeah, most roadies do Joy,

Joy (00:02:52):

<laugh>, <laugh>. It’s got a nice little campground, so I I like to go there and camp out once a year. Nice. Nice. And so we also have Chris, Chris, how are things,

Chris (00:03:05):

Things are going well. I, I knew you were gonna ask me this question. I’m like, I, I really don’t have much going on, but I, once you brought up the, the Thanksgiving topic. Yeah. You know, I have, I have adult kids and my, my daughters home from college, so that’s always exciting. the having adult kids around the holidays adds a totally new dynamic to the family celebrations, if you know what I mean. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a different kind of a situation, but it allows me to relive my college days, which is always fun.

Ken (00:03:35):

Awesome. Well, I’m glad to hear that. Cool. Well, everything is okay with me. We had a bunch of people in the office for our quarterly, quarterly all hands gathering. And I got sick unfortunately, so I’m just on the tail end of that and can’t taste much. So Thanksgiving is just gonna be, you know, sampling the textures of a bunch of different casserole that have been dropped off by my family. And that’s, yeah. Hanging out with my wife and daughter. other than that, I hope to get out on a little bike ride today. you know, clear the system out, get it moving again. And so I’m really, really happy today that we have a special guest. If you’ve ever listened to the Never Going Pro podcast this is the co-host Shayne Gaffney. He’s with us. So this is me, him and Chris Schwenker, we got together and we made that podcast for a number of years. Maybe we’ll pick it back up again one day. But we’ve got him with us today. So Shayne, how are things going? Yeah,

Shayne (00:04:39):

So I think Chris Gorney is who you meant, but I would probably like Chris Schwenker better than Gorney

Ken (00:04:45):


Shayne (00:04:45):

On the podcast, if I’m honest with you.

Ken (00:04:48):

Yeah, probably so. Right. I mean, that’s kind of why I pivoted over here to these guys.

Shayne (00:04:53):

The Delta headphones, the constant lateness to the podcast. Yeah. What else does, does he always have something going on in the background?

Ken (00:05:01):

Yeah, something going on in the background. Babies, you know, you had another baby that was hard for us,

Chris (00:05:07):

Shayne. There’s only one thing I can say is you have to be careful for what you wish. Okay.

Shayne (00:05:11):

<laugh> <laugh>. Well, we did the podcast with you and it lasted, what, five days? That was a long recording.

Chris (00:05:18):

Yeah, that was nice. Six days.

Shayne (00:05:20):

No, I was kidding. That was a long way though,

Chris (00:05:25):

Speaking about myself as my favorite topic.

Shayne (00:05:27):

So yeah, one topic that lasted about four hours, so it was good. Yeah,

Chris (00:05:31):


Shayne (00:05:33):

Very Schwenker. But yeah, happy to be here. Thanks for the invite. Hopefully we can make more of these in the future.

Ken (00:05:39):

Yeah, absolutely. and so we’ve even come in pre-production today, we’ve even come up with another really good idea. We’re not even gonna talk about it today. It’s so good. We don’t wanna spoil the surprise. So what’s been going on with you, Shayne? Well, we, the audience who has listened to Never Gone Pro may know that you were over it. Zwift officially. Yeah.

Shayne (00:06:06):

Yeah. So I’m a, I’ve created probably, geez, 85% of the workout and training content on Zwift at the moment. I’ve done a bunch of like media, I’ve been broadcast stuff for them as well. obviously never going pro podcast as you mentioned. And then I am also a level one USA cycling coach. I own a business called GC Coaching work with a bunch of athletes on dirt. and I’ve worked from World Tour Pro athletes right down to somebody who is learning how to clip into pedals for the first time. Nice. So I love working with just a myriad of athletes that really keeps me motivated and going. And yeah, right now it’s with the product manager for the workouts and training experience. So little bit of mixture of business with gaming and then also my passion, which is obviously training and helping athletes improve.

Ken (00:06:59):

Nice. So in comparison to running GC coaching, which you’re doing one off training programs, I’m sure you, there’s a lot of commonality to a lot of those training programs going over into the world of tech and having to mesh with gamers and product and business. Like what has that been like?

Shayne (00:07:22):

Honestly, not terrible. I was a huge gamer growing up, especially like really hardcore RPGs or first person shooters was kind of my top two favorites. So I spent a lot of time just playing video games, as a kid, obviously the training in those kinds of knowledge and that aspect of things, I had no problem with business. I basically was baptized by fire when I decided to go full time as a cycling coach and grow my business to the point where I could support my family with it. that was terrifying. But I definitely learned a lot about products, about marketing about business, all those things without any real degree. And then product itself, I’ve done a recent certification through product school to be a senior product manager. So that was really good just to get some structure and some frameworks around what is a good pm, how do you actually lead a team all those kinds of things where I had some experience with, but not a ton. So honestly, it wasn’t a terrible transition and, it was an interesting conglomerate of all the stuff I’ve done in my career previous to this. Very cool. So it was kind of a nice transition.

Ken (00:08:36):

Very cool. Well we’re really excited to have you on today and the title of today’s podcast is Death of the Off Season with Shayne Gaffney. And the reason for this title is there’s not really an off season for virtual cyclist who can ride year round or those cyclists that mix it up like myself. They have many, many months of the year where it’s great to ride outside and trying to mesh together indoor and outdoor ambitions and when to push hard and when to ease up. So we wanted to get into some of that and see what your, your take is. If cyclists have a new round as ZRL races, that that comes up every, you know, quarter.

Shayne (00:09:28):

Yeah, so I think this is a lot to unpack. So I think the first thing is the title Death of the Off Season rubs me a little bit the wrong way just because I think the off season is pretty important for everyone because it allows you to take a break from racing, take a break from structure, and just really enJoy and reconnect with your bike again. And I think I’ve seen this mistake a lot where people find Zwift or they find something that they really love to do and they do it until the cows come home and then they burn themselves out 3, 6, 9 months later. So I think having a natural ebb and flow is really important to long term longevity in the sport. And it really just allows the athlete to reconnect with their why for riding their bike. Like most athletes don’t say, I wanna ride my bike cause I wanna do Zwift races.


Most athletes say I ride my bike cause I love to ride my bike and I love the wind in my face or whatever it might be. And then they find Zwift after that fact. So if you kind of forget your why and your reason for riding your bike, I’ve seen that end in disaster for a lot of athletes. So I think that’s one of the main benefits of the off season is that it also obviously allows for just mental recuperation cuz Zwift racing is fun, but it’s also really hard mentally to just push yourself, hang on the wheel, get dropped over the leg snapper for the ninth time in a row this season. Right. Are things that happen to athletes <laugh>, it’s brutal. And I think it’s good too just for muscle recuperation, you know, you do definitely get some muscle and some tissue breakdown just from doing a lot of high intensity repetitive movements. So having just a break from that structure I think is important. So, long story short, I definitely don’t want to kill the off season ever, but I do understand that there are different approaches to a season for an individual athlete and it’s a lot of it depends in that situation I think too.

Chris (00:11:39):

So I mean we we obviously established that you feel like the off season is a, is a good idea and you touched on the, the whole mental aspect of, of the, of everything. And, and I want to get back to that later on in the podcast cause I think that’s fascinating and I, we’ve had conversations about in the past. but so you know, we, the off season is a good idea, right? So what do you constitute as an effective off season for somebody like, you know, is it six weeks? Like, you know, the, the reason why I bring this up is because I I did an article with Alex Co who is a colleague of yours. He, he trains James Joseph Barnes who was one of the, the, the most successful eSports racers, you know, that, that, you know, over the last couple years he, he’s got a couple up and coming athletes like jail power and a few others.


And I did an article on him because James told me that, yeah, Alex told me to take six weeks off the bike and I’m like, six weeks off the bike, you know, what are you doing? You know, you know, it’s like it, I I sometimes feel that an off-season the longer the off season is, is kind of inversely the proportional to how good an athlete you are because I, I would, would never take six weeks off the bike because I’m that confident enough in myself to bring myself back to where I was. Like, I can barely stay away from my bike for six minutes cuz I’m afraid of that. so I’d like to get your, you know, your thoughts on that. Like what, what do you feel is the, is like the ideal off season if you could tell somebody exactly and then, you know, how do you, you know, how would you structure that?

Shayne (00:13:11):

So I’m gonna say this about a hundred thousand times this podcast. And I’m gonna say it depends. <laugh> it depends on the athlete, right? So most athletes, two to four weeks tend to be the sweet spot of an off season. And let me define off season two, cuz off-season does not mean okay you’re gonna hang your bike up for four weeks and just sit in your couch and crush Bon Bons. Do they make Bon B still?

Ken (00:13:38):


Chris (00:13:38):

Yeah, I hope so.

Shayne (00:13:39):

They do.

Ken (00:13:39):

Okay. I mean they got all kinds of other good stuff now too.

Chris (00:13:43):

<laugh> can those all have

Shayne (00:13:45):

That’s right. What I like is those Ben and Jerry’s frozen cookie dough.

Ken (00:13:49):

Oh yeah, those are good. Those, yep.

Shayne (00:13:51):


Ken (00:13:52):

There’s these Ben Jerry’s with like a core of jam that goes right from the top all the way to the bottom. Oh man, they’re so good.

Shayne (00:14:00):

Great tangent. So anyway, don’t be just like sitting on your couch not doing anything for four weeks cuz that is 100% how you’re gonna lose fitness. And pretty quickly the off season should still be some semblance of exercise, but it doesn’t have to be super structured. It doesn’t have to be progressively getting longer endurance rides. It doesn’t have to be anything you’ve done in the previous nine months, 10 months, whatever it might be. So usually what I’ll do with athletes is say if you wanna ride your bike, great, but put your computer in your back pocket. Don’t even look at your computer, just use it to actually upload the data post and literally just like ride your bike to enJoy riding your bike again, reconnect with your why. I think I said that at the top of the discussion. You can also do cross-training.


You know, you can go running, you can do strength work, which I think is important anyway. yoga, you can go into whatever you want to do. Typically I’ll avoid a lot of really high intensity workouts just because I think those can sometimes be detrimental just to recuperation, especially mentally for an athlete. But six weeks is, I think on the longer side. But if the athlete is burnt out, the athlete has done a ton of work, a ton of load, they’ve done a ton of volume, then you need that to recover from that load. And you know, probably better than anybody, the body responds to progressive overload and impulses. If you are really, really burnt out and you’re strained, you’re not gonna be able to generate nearly as strong of an impulse as you would one month after recovery. So if you wanna generate higher, and stronger impulses, you need to be fresh mentally and also physically and to think, I don’t wanna get personal, but after you did the ram, not ram you did that. Sorry, I didn’t wanna coin it incorrectly. What was, what was the name of the ride you did Cross country?

Chris (00:16:04):

Well, I called it the Dirt Dad fund across America, but basically I, I rode 4,000 miles in two months. I I know what you’re getting

Shayne (00:16:10):

Then. What did you do after that?

Chris (00:16:13):

Oh, <laugh>, zero <laugh>. No, actually, actually I didn’t, I tried to be smart. yeah I did. I felt that with all of that very basic zone two, you know, just riding to get from one place to the other and not really concentrating on how fast or doing intervals or or stimulating my aerobic system, really, I felt like I couldn’t generate any power. So I took a week to start act, you know, feeling like a human again because I very much didn’t. and then after that I, I hit the gym, I started focusing on building up my strength and anaerobic, you know, like five seconds to to 90 seconds power. And I did that for I would say about six weeks. And I gotta tell you the if, if this ZRL season has anything is any indication, it it worked out pretty well.

Shayne (00:17:04):

Yeah. So you kind of did a little bit of a transition phase slash off season where you changed up the focus of what your stimulus was based on how your body was feeling, how your body was responding. And I think the other thing too is like you rode across the United States, which is obviously insane, but like the amount of emotional and also mental toll that must have had, nevermind physical. I think that’s something we need to all just be aware of too, where training you might be training to improve your physical ability, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally training can also have sometimes a negative impact on how you feel. At least for me, how I felt as an athlete once I was, you know, eight months into the season, I didn’t wanna do another 40 20 VO2 max set again until I recovered from it. So I think that’s something to consider too with the off Season.

Chris (00:17:58):

You know, I know exactly what you’re saying. When I, you know, every morning I’d have to, you know, after six weeks went by, I wake up in the morning, it’s like I had to ride my bike 120 miles again today, <laugh>. Yeah. And it, it’s, it’s a real slap in the face, you know. but you know, the, the the goods outweighed the, the bad, you know, once I got going then it was, it was great and you know, the experience was incredible. But yeah, getting over that hump was and it was certainly something, you know, some of the days I’d be laying in the RV. Yes, I was in an RV for two months. just thinking about, you know, like I, you know, I got, I have an eight mile climb ahead of me tomorrow, you know what I mean? It’s, this is, this is gonna be brutal, but you know, it’s true. The mental aspect of, of sports is is extremely profound. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>


Like I know that you you know, we had spoKen earlier, you, you you, you focus on that a lot and one of the things that that we had discussed was visualization with your athletes. And I know it’s kind of like that, you know, we spoke about tangent, that’s, it’s a bit of a tangent, but, you know, I really, I really feel that’d be something valuable to discuss if you can take us through that. And even related to the off season, you know, would you be doing any visualization during the off season to make yourself better or more fresh when you come back?

Shayne (00:19:12):

Yeah, I mean, and I live in the tangents for my podcast, so any tangent, I’m always gonna go down and pursue <laugh>. So don’t feel like it has to be crazy structured. Cuz I think that makes for a good podcast too. Yeah. But yeah, I think visualization itself is exactly what it says. You’re basically visualizing how you want to perform or how you want to behave or how you want to act in some type of event. So I’ve used visualization before really large presentations to media if I’m presenting it. Or before race is obviously too for those kinds of things, but usually I use it before a really, really important event, a really important race. And it just allows you to kind of come back to center and come back to baseline again and shut your brain off. Cuz the goal is just to perform.


If we kind of boil it down, the only thing you just do in a race or an event is to perform. That’s really it, right? All the other stressors, all the other like, what if I don’t eat enough? What if I have to go to the bathroom? What if I, you know, get a flat tire? All those other things you can’t control. The goal is to basically remove those from the equation and remove those from your mind. So it pushes yours, it, it puts me at ease and allows me to focus on just what I need to do, which is pedal my bike and perform.

Chris (00:20:45):

So a lot of people listening probably are saying visualization. What is that? I’ve never done it. You know, I’m sure that there are, I’m sure that you’ve told you you’ve, you’ve explained it to your athletes a million times. Like what, what, what is the way that you explained it to them and are there specific like exercises that you can do to get better at visualization?

Shayne (00:21:04):

So kind of depends on the athlete too. I think a good example would be if I work with a downhill mountain biker where they’ve gone through the course, they know the turns, they know where the berms are, they know where the potentials are to lose time and to gain time and literally taking their handlebar, shutting their eyes and then visualizing themselves going down the course and memorizing how their bars are set when they have to lift up and down. Those are kind of the more kind of obvious ways to visualize something. But like I said, I think underneath of all the practice is really just about mentally allowing yourself to forget about all the stuff you can’t control and really just focus on what you’re there to do, which is to perform to the best of your ability on that day.

Ken (00:21:57):

That’s really interesting, and I’ve used that technique sort of I guess unconsciously before and I had my last mountain bike race of the 2022 season a few weeks ago. And I wish that I had visualized the start of the race beforehand because I showed up. I think I was a little bit high strung. I was having a hard time focusing and concentrating and if I had taKen more time to even just look on Google Maps at a satellite view of like, okay, I’m gonna want to line up at the line on the inside on the right hand side and we’re gonna rail these turns and this is when we bunny hop onto the grass and it could be slick and all of these things. And I didn’t do any of that when the race started. I felt a lot of hesitation and backed off and I ended up, I’m usually a pretty good starter and I usually can hit the trail, you know, for second, third wheel, whatever.


And I ended up hitting the trail sixth wheel. And I also don’t think I had visualized my sensations like my body sensations and saying Don’t freak out, it hurts. You’ve done the training. You’re not hurting any more than they are. And so once we got going I sort of visualized myself just holding pace and not panicking and enJoying myself and I ended up gaining a couple of spots back to get a podium. But that could have been the difference between me getting third place and getting second place. I think first place was outta my reach for this one. The guy that won was like a league is. but yeah, I mean I think there is a lot of value in that and having that is sort of on the to-do list on race day.

Shayne (00:24:07):

Yeah. Yeah. It’s just good, good practice. I think if you go to like a cross race, which I love to do like days at a cross race where you see the cat five, cat four and look at the start line and they’re, you know, jumping around, bopping around, looking up and down talking to each other, they’re not really, a lot of those folks aren’t really like focused and then you look at a professional UCI cross start, nobody is moving. Everybody is looking down the road and basically ready to pounce as soon as that green light flashes. There is a big difference between both athletes, both in a cross race, but the level of mental preparation is entirely different from a pro athlete to a cat four, cat five athlete in my experience. And visualization is one of those ways to kind of bridge that gap and improve the mental capacity. And of the athlete.

Joy (00:25:03):

Shayne, do you work with any triathletes and what’s your thought about working on your weakness during the off season? So for like triathletes, you know, let’s say their swim is their weakness in focusing on swim technique but even for a cyclist, if you know they have a weakness with a one minute power and focusing on something like that to where it’s not about racing but it’s more about focusing on just a weakness for a length of time.

Shayne (00:25:38):

Yeah. I do work with triathletes mostly on their bike though. cuz swimming is so difficult to improve through training peaks and just like <laugh> do the swim workout cuz I have no idea what you look like as you’re swimming. So usually if the athlete has a real weakness for swimming, I will say find a local swim coach and then take a couple classes with that swim coach so they can actually look at your form and then in the best cases, work with the swim coach, then we’ll work together to create a training plan for you. The swimming is so technique-driven and you know, for me that was always my weakness when I did triathlons. I, I always swam with like my butt way down and pretty much kicking at the bottom of s <laugh>,

Joy (00:26:29):

You need more higher body fat will help that

Shayne (00:26:32):

Terrible swimmer

Ken (00:26:32):

Just fat around the butt, cheeks, nowhere else. Yeah.

Shayne (00:26:36):

<laugh>. But yeah, so swimming I will definitely help athletes with, but if I know, I’ll know pretty quickly like, Hey, you’re a really bad swimmer or you really need a lot of help here, go hire a swim coach. And then as far as weaknesses go, the off season for me isn’t really about working on any, anything aside from enJoyment and like, again, finding the why and enJoying and having fun doing what you’re doing. Once we get to like the base phase, if we do a, a traditional periodized plan, then we’ll figure out, okay, what do you wanna work on this year? What are your goals this year? And then here is where you are physically, here’s how much time you have to train, how are we gonna go from point A to point B and gets you to where you want to be for your venture, for your race.


And sometimes it’s a hard conversation like, oh, I want to do my first Ironman but I’ve only done a sprint and my Ironman is three months away. I’ve had these conversations with people like, well you’re not gonna do an Ironman in three months and do you have like 12 hours a week to train? Right. Plus for an Ironman, well no I have like four or five, but I really wanna do one. So sometimes it’s those really hard conversations too during that phase of training have to happen. So it’s a little bit of dreaming season, a little bit of goal setting, a little bit of like come to Jesus like you’re probably not ready for this and a lot of enJoyment and having fun with what you’re doing.

Chris (00:28:09):

You lost, what the hell is going on in Ken‘s shed

Ken (00:28:12):

Right now, dog. Sorry man, my dog keeps dropping this ball right at my feet.

Joy (00:28:16):

Listen, mine’s pacing behind

Ken (00:28:18):

Me. Yeah. And so I was like, all right, get out, get outta here. You know, like she’s not getting my eye signals and my shoe signals

Chris (00:28:27):

And my dog is is downstairs hacking up the lung. I’m like worried about him. We got dog problems

Ken (00:28:32):

Here. No man, she’s so sweet. I’ve got this lab that just loves swimming and loves playing fetch. So anyway <laugh> moving on. So Shayne, we have this hypothetical athlete that wants to participate in all the ZRLs and how many times a year does this happen? Twice?

Shayne (00:28:58):

Yeah, I think it’s twice.

Ken (00:29:00):

So right. So the format is six races. So five weeks, essentially a three week break, another block, a three week break, a third block of six races, so 18 races and then some period of time off and then the whole thing all over again. How would you approach somebody who was interested in doing something like that? So essentially you’re gonna have two long periods of year of a year where they need to be pretty fit. And this is sort of what I was thinking of when I came up with the, the name, the death of the off season.

Shayne (00:29:45):

Yeah. So I think the athlete would still have an off season transition phase. It would just,

Ken (00:29:51):

But wouldn’t they have

Shayne (00:29:52):

Two? They have two, yeah. Okay. Ideally they have two. Some folks can go through and be able to push themselves between the seasons. So it’s almost like you have one really short season, you do a race season, you do like another like rebuild and then another race season. But most folks I work with need at least a week or two just to like cool the jets a little bit between those two races. Okay. but yeah, so I would approach it ideally, again it depends, it depends on the athlete, it depends on where they’re coming from, how much time I have to train. in my experience with racing is really


Anaerobic capacity derived. That’s in my experience the folks with the largest anaerobic capacities or FRC is what I use in WKO. The people with the largest FRCs typically perform really well cuz they’re able to just blow the pack up in that one to two minute range. Obviously you have to have some aerobic capacity to recover from those efforts. Not totally gas yourself out, but usually it’s anaerobic capacity work in that like prep season, I’ll focus on that a lot for most athletes. Some athletes are naturally anaerobically strong and I’ll know that just from testing them and looking at their data. So with those folks, this kind of depends on how much time they have to train. If they’re relatively time crunched, I might focus more so on sweet spot more on tempo, that kind of higher end aerobic work. But if they have oodles of time to train, then I’ll take a very traditional like zone two focused approach where we’ll do ideally longer, longer weeks at a zone two focused to build aerobic capacity.

Ken (00:31:43):

When you say they have a lot of time to play with, like how many hours a week are we thinking about here?

Shayne (00:31:49):

Yeah, so that, that depends on the athlete too. a newer athlete, you know, as long as you’re doing more time in zone two and more volume in zone two than you’re used to, you’ll see an aerobic benefit in most cases. So say you had an athlete that was six hours a week last year and they were pretty spent doing just zone two, we might want to aim for seven or eight hours a week this year. Just a really methodical, steady increase in overall volume. I’ve seen a good response to that. But again, some athletes don’t respond to zone two. Some athletes respond better to sweet spot, some athletes respond better to VO2 max work. It kind of depends on the athlete, what their best responses are, but structure would be that. And then during the race ZRL on Tuesdays. So most of the time, Monday would be an easy day recovery day, a good day to visualize, a good day to do some yoga, just do whatever you wanna do and let your body recover. Tuesday would be the race, Wednesday would be another easy day or like active recovery day when you might spin. Thursday tends to be a good day to do another block of intensity. And then Friday typically will be an off day before the longer rides on the weeKend, which typically are more aerobic focused. So usually it’s more polarized during ZRL season where it might be two days a week of really, really high intensity with three or four days a week of lower and longer rides, lower intensity and longer duration rides.

Ken (00:33:28):

So you’re still shooting to have those two days of intensity a week, one being the race, one being intervals. And so if you’re looking at like I said, a five week block, two or three weeks off another and then another, are you going to have to have one of those come to Jesus conversations with the athlete and let ’em know like, you’re not gonna be as good for all of these, you need to pick where you want to be the best?

Shayne (00:33:58):

No, usually it’s the opposite. Peaking for an event usually can’t happen a lot of times over the course of a season. So a lot of times it’s building, building, building and then maintaining for those six weeks. So if you’re all familiar with like that performance management chart on training peaks like atl, tsb, ctl, usually it’s build, build, build. And then during the race season it’s usually plateau slash a little bit of a reduction in overall CTL just because you’re prioritizing performance and recovery to allow the athlete to dig as deep as they possibly can during those key days, which is typically Tuesdays and Thursdays for most ZRL folks.

Joy (00:34:46):

Now Shayne, how have you seen a difference in your methods of coaching with Zwift in the ZRL races compared to like traditional outdoor racing where somebody has one big event every, you know, six months where they put all of their eggs in one basket compared to racing every week for five weeks?

Shayne (00:35:13):

Yeah, and I have, well I come from New England. So New England our seasons are usually three months long and you might literally race every single weeKend for three months straight. So it was interesting, the, the transition to Zwift wasn’t that much of a shock for me cuz you might do, you know, a crit one week and then a road race the next week and then a circuit race or a time trial. So you kind of cram a full season’s worth of races into three months time. and then for like the one off athlete, a lot of times it’s not you’re just doing one race and that’s it. We have a lot of times B or C type events where you, for this C race it’s just a training race, but you’re still gonna race it. You’re still gonna work on your fueling your hydration your visualization, prepare yourself as you would for your A event. For the B events


it might be a little bit fresher and you have a really specific focus of what we want you to work on. And then for the a race, it’s obviously like you’re there to set a PR you’re there to perform better than you did last year. So I still do some races with athletes and some specificity in terms of race and race specificity, excuse me, for those athletes that just do one race per season. it just depends on what kind of athlete I’m working with. So for me again, wasn’t a big transition, but it’s really important to more so feather the gas than to like floor it for the first week and then crash and burn for weeks two through five afterwards

Ken (00:36:56):


Shayne (00:36:58):


Chris (00:36:59):

Yeah. So you mentioned the the transition and the transforming and when I first found Zwift and then, and you talk about the, the anaerobic focus of it. When I first found Zwift I was doing a lot of outdoor, you know, hilly mountain, mountain bike, mountain biking, hilly road races in the northeast, like the green mountain stage race and the Killington stage race and you know, racing up Mount Washington and things. And I was like so super lean and I could do a constant pace for a really long time. A constant high pace for a really long time. when I got into, when I had enough of, you know, beating myself up and being cold and, and wet and became a real weather weenie, I started, you know, found the indoor racing was, you know, almost as competitive and, and more more cohesive than than racing outdoors.


You know, I was really having a rough time because I couldn’t deal with the surges that that happened during Zwift races. First of all, I couldn’t, I couldn’t even make it out of the pen with the, with the group first of all, you know, you know, three or four years ago, you know, the way that the stars were, they’re not like that anymore. But so you know what I’m, I’m trying to get at, one of the, one of the facets of, of my training that I really focused on was strength and resistance training and I, I you know, Joy and I worked together on an article for for the based on periodization of strength training. And it started with just anatomical you know, adaptation, you know, just conditioning the ligaments and the connective tissues and went, you know, spread the gamut all the way to you know, fast twitch trics. I’m wondering, you know, where you fit that into the, the training for your athletes and is that something that you would do during, you know, getting back to the off season? Like you maybe focused during that period of time as well?

Shayne (00:38:44):

Yeah, for sure. So most athletes I work with, we do about a two month focused block of strength work. So if we start from, say we go from the race season to the transition phase, the transition phase is usually two weeks to six weeks and that athlete’s goa is pretty much no structure, just literally reconnect with yourself and your bike again. Then we move into like the general preparation phase, which is where the strength work comes in. some athletes I’ll have them go into the gym and do like very traditional like squats, deadlifts like presses, those kinds of things. Some athletes can’t make it to the gym so it might be lunges with dumbbells or goblet squats or single-leg deadlifts, whatever you have the ability to do. So as long as you are providing some stimulus and you’re breaking down your muscle tissue to rebuild it stronger, that’s kind of all that we’re after with the strength phase.


And then this might be a little bit counter to what other coaches would do, but I do see benefits to lower cadence work on the trainer. So usually it’s two weeks or so of off the bike strength work and then two days a week of on the bike lower cadence work where we’re really working on applying force to the pedals. And I also might do some single leg drills which are also like counter like “I hate single leg drills, they don’t do anything for me”, but I disagree. And it’s just some other general cadence specific and pedal work just to, again, kind of improve the athlete as a whole entirely. And then from there usually it goes into the base phase and then build phase, peak phase, et cetera. so yeah, I see some hands up

Joy (00:40:42):

So well during the build and base phase, do you continue to do any kind of strength work with your athletes?

Shayne (00:40:49):

I do, yeah. So typically it’s the heaviest in the, the core focus during the general preparation phase is strength training and then as we get close to the base phase and through the base phase, the focus becomes more so on aerobic conditioning for the athlete. So instead of the focus of two days a week to even three days a week of strength work, it might reduce to two days a week and the reduced down eventually to one day a week just for maintenance. And the goal is not to really create any soreness or like really kill yourself with the strength work. The goal is to just maintain the gains that you’ve made over the off season.

Joy (00:41:28):

So does the the workouts themselves change from the standard deadlift squat rack to like more functional or would you still keep it the same type of workout base with the traditional squats and deadlifts?

Shayne (00:41:47):

I do a combo of functional with like general during the off season too. And then some athletes, I’ll say most athletes they need like a couple really individual or really specific things, especially if they have like lower back pain or tight hamstrings or whatever it might be. So a lot of times it’s some general work, a little bit of functional work and a little bit of specific work for that athlete cuz everybody is obviously unique in their own needs. And then the base phase, it’s still focused mostly on like traditional squats and deads and like presses, things like that. Once I get to the build phase where the focus is now purely on specificity and really getting the athlete ready to compete or to ride or whatever they happen to be doing during their season, then it reduces down to mostly functional and mostly body weight type stuff because I don’t want to have any real energy dedicated aside from the bike at that point.

Joy (00:42:52):

I do have one more question for you, Shayne. Is how much I’m trying to do the math, how much weight is that on your squat rack behind you

Shayne (00:43:00):

<laugh>? not enough. I usually have a couple people on each side of my squat as I do them. So

Ken (00:43:05):


Joy (00:43:06):

That’s some serious weight there.

Ken (00:43:07):

Totally kidding. Looks like two 20 some big, it looks like 2 25 to me.

Shayne (00:43:11):

You know, those, those foam weights to use in movies. Those are just those behind me,

Joy (00:43:16):

<laugh>, they just, sure it is.

Ken (00:43:19):

So one thing I’ve been noticing is I do squats, deadlifts leg press if I’m not going twice a week and if I go once a week I’m sore every single time and maybe it’s just because I’m trying to continue using the same weights. I usually do, you know, somewhere around body weight for squats and a little over that on deadlifts. Is that the mistake that I’m making and should I just be, or at least be moving another day a week? I, I, I’m kind of trying to balance that when I go down to one day of weightlifting a week, then that one day makes me really sore.

Shayne (00:44:01):

Yeah. So I think to unpack that when you’re strengthening, you’re working your muscles eccentrically as well as concentrically. So eccentric load is when the muscles have to lengthen under tension, and most of the research states that that’s when the muscles actually become torn, broke down. You get micro tearing within those muscle fibers and that creates the soreness that you experience. The concentric load is really cycling, right? Cycling is all concentric. There’s no eccentric loading and that’s when the muscles are actually having to shorten under tension. So for some athletes that have like extreme soreness, I, first thing I do is reduce the weight cuz I don’t want you to be dead for three days after you lift. If that isn’t working, then I might do some modifications and just focus on concentric movements. So you might do a squat from a seated position and you’re just focused on going from sitting to standing.


So you just get in that concentric load. and then a lot of times once a week, I’ve noticed the same thing, just anecdotally I don’t have any research to back this up, is you, I haven’t seen a lot of benefits from strength training as far as increasing weight at once a week, twice a week tends to be the sweet spot where like best bang for your buck and three times a week is great if you can kind of squeeze it in. But twice a week for me seems to be the sweet spot for athletes of doing enough weight, having some soreness but not like crazy soreness. And then seeing consistent and steady progress in their overall volume each week.

Joy (00:45:39):

Now I have a, a popular question that I know a lot of people debate is weights before cycling or cycling before weights 

I typically don’t combine the two. Usually I’ll do a warmup or something, but then let’s conserve your energy for what the focus is that day. So if the focus is strength training, then you should be warmed up but fresh for the weights and the vice versa. If the focus is cycling, then you should be fresh for the bike. I’ve seen very few athletes do that successfully. And that’s also where like the focuses, which I mentioned before, the focus is each phase or purposely. So the focus during like the prep phase is strength work, not so much on cycling versus the focus on base build phases or less so on strengthening and more so on cycling. yeah, the, what that is called is escaping me at the moment, but there is some research around that like, what’s that called Chris, interference?

Ken (00:46:49):

I know there’s a, I have heard of an interference effect where if you’re trying to do the aerobic and strength work too close to each other, they can interfere with each other or you’re not gonna get the same bang for the book. So like, just because of my schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would usually ride and strength train, but I would do one before work and one after. So there’s a good 10 hour gap between the two.

Chris (00:47:18):

Right? Give me a second, gentlemen. I am looking it up cuz I, the interference effect, that’s exactly what it’s called. Robert Hickson, a scientist at the University of Illinois in the 1970s is one who coined that term. I wrote an article about it. <laugh>. Yeah. But yeah, it’s, and then it was it’s since kind of been debunked, but Hmm. It’s it’s, it’s very much a debate because you know, if you, if you had to like, the way that I kind of structured it in my article was that you, if you have no choice, you have to do them both on the same day, then which would you choose? Like obviously you want to, if if if everything was ideal you would do weights on one day, you’d do your, your your, your heavy riding, intense riding on another. But if you are time-crunched until other people are especially that are in, you know, in the situations that we’re in, we have families, businesses, whatever.


sometimes you have the one day, and you gotta put ’em both in there. So you know, the consensus that, you know, with the research that I found was that whichever one you think is more important, that’s the one that you do first because you’re obviously gonna have more, you know, there’s no real scientific, you know, they, there are studies that show yeah, if you, if you do this then you’ll have a better workout strength wise or you know, but there it’s very, you know, it’s, it’s contradictory in a lot of ways, but yeah, that’s what’s called the interference effect. Very interesting. So anyway, I you said that tangents were okay and Yeah, when, when when I knew that we were gonna have you on, I was thinking to myself, what question would I wanna ask Shayne if I had the ability to ask him?


So what’s, let’s go back to the zero. So yesterday we had a zero race and it was pretty intense, six laps of that two bridges loop. And did, did you race Ken? You probably didn’t cuz you weren’t feeling well. So basically it was, you know, we’re talking about the, you know, the, the if and, and then you know, everything else the, there was, it was basically 13 anaerobic efforts over the course of an hour. Yes. And my, so I’m just looking at my stats now. I did, I averaged 225 watts and I’m 67 kilos. My normalized power was 300. It was, it was crazy. My if was 1.14 for the race

Shayne (00:49:24):


Chris (00:49:24):

So what I’m trying to get at is, the question that I want to ask you is, and this is a total tangent and you can say, Chris, you’re outta your mind, I’m not gonna answer that question, but should I be eating during this?

Shayne (00:49:40):


Chris (00:49:41):

Now, now take, I do a half hour fairly, you know, somewhat, you know, intense warmup ahead of time. Mm-hmm.

Joy (00:49:49):

<affirmative>, are you eating breakfast?

Chris (00:49:51):

Yeah, I eat a pretty hefty breakfast, but I do get up to, so for, for them, it’s, it’s, I’m, I’m a crazy man. Then, the race for me was five 30 eastern time. I was up at 3:00 AM getting something in my body so that I would be able to pedal the bicycle at five 30.

Shayne (00:50:07):

Yeah. So, no, I typically know 90 minutes tends to be that point at which you wanna start to eat for me, in most cases and athletes I work with but you should have enough glycogen on board in your liver, in, in your muscles to last about 90 minutes at least. So even if it’s really, really intense, you shouldn’t find much an issue with it. But that’s a good experiment where if you felt like you were getting lightheaded or you just felt those pretty common low blood sugar symptoms, you might want to have an extra serving of carbohydrate for dinner or get up at 3:00 AM and have an actual carbohydrate-rich meal before the race itself.

Chris (00:50:44):

Yeah. That, that I certainly do, but I need the two hours to metabolize it and, and to be ready. Yeah. The reason why I bring it up is because, you know, I I I interview these these premiere guys and some of the elite guys and a lot of them are, are pounding the gel for every 20 minutes that they’re on the bike.

Joy (00:51:00):

What about even just like liquid, you know not even like food or gel so much is like with liquid you can scoop out a certain amount of calories, so it may not even need to be much. It’s just a little bit to where you can take a few sips that’s gonna hit your system a lot quicker when you’re drinking it. And with the studies that have shown with just having them, it is like you can just have the sugar hits your tongue and it, and it affects your brain. And so something like that to where you don’t have to actually eat, but you could just have a sip of something.

Shayne (00:51:43):

Yeah. Victor Campanaerts did that for the hour record in an interesting video of him. He didn’t actually take anything, he just would swig it in his mouth and then spit it out. Right.

Joy (00:51:55):

But like, but and it’s, it’s supposed, I mean I think these are some newer studies that show just having sugar in your mouth Yeah. Affects your brain and, you know, stimulate you to increase your power or pace, whatever it may be. For runners, they do it too to prevent the gi distress of consuming them, the carbs or whatever it may be, but still gives you the energy.

Shayne (00:52:23):

So were these premier guys, I’m gonna go back to that. Were these premier guys doing it every 20 minutes during like a three hour race or for like a 40 minute?

Chris (00:52:33):

The this with Grand Prix isn’t three hour, you know, they, they’re not doing those long scratch races anymore. Now it’s just a series of well, you know, you know, I’m I’m telling you I shouldn’t have to tell, you know, you know more than I do. But now it’s all, it’s, it’s just basically a series of mini races for the most part. You know, they’re, they’re 20 minute to a half hour races, but they will, there are, they are extended over a period of time, but even the scratch races they, they you know, from, you know, the, the times I’ve spoKen to ’em, they’re, they’re eating something fairly frequently.

Shayne (00:53:07):


Chris (00:53:07):


Shayne (00:53:08):

I’d be curious once we start to see more of those like Super Sapiens type things come into play and once we get to see some more normalized data, I’ll be curious to see if we all are eating enough, eating too little. What am I trying to say? Like what is the optimal range of your blood sugar to be in during that type of competition and that type of event?

Ken (00:53:36):

Go ahead again. Yeah, no, tell us what Super Sapiens is Shayne

Shayne (00:53:40):

Super Sapiens is a blood glucose monitor that you got it attach to.

Joy (00:53:44):

We did the podcast with Pete

Ken (00:53:45):

Butler. Got it, got it. I didn’t the name brand. Yeah.

Shayne (00:53:50):

Yeah. But they all work on Freestyle Libre I think as the sensor, which is the pretty common diabetic sensor. So it’s taking the same sensor but applying it to a different audience, which is obviously athletes. But yeah, that’s like the next, I think that’s one of the next big things, quote unquote is like blood sugar modulation and blood sugar monitoring 24 7 and seeing

Joy (00:54:16):

I think so too, because so many people get that wrong. Yeah. Just in, in general, you know.

Shayne (00:54:21):

Well it’s hard to do unless you have the data to validate and support it. It’s all just being based off feel like I feel like this is the right amount of food or I feel like I’m performing well, which is obviously important, but the data validation is gonna be interesting to see once we start to see some stuff come out. You can’t get ’em stateside yet. Yeah. They’re only available in Europe. I think it’s an FDA issue or something. I don’t know. Yeah.

Joy (00:54:44):

Pete Butler knows the owner and was able to test it and so we did a podcast with him and it was pretty fascinating all the data that he had.

Shayne (00:54:52):

Yeah. Really, really cool

Joy (00:54:55):

What alcohol does.

Shayne (00:54:58):

Yeah, well you can wear some kind of HRV strap to see what alcohol does and <laugh> data pretty much immediately, at least for me, destroys my sleep when I drink alcohol.

Ken (00:55:10):

Yeah, that’s what I commonly hear. I was actually listening to a Whoop podcast the other day and they were talking deep diving on sleep and alcohol is one of the number one offenders for causing bad sleep.

Shayne (00:55:23):

Totally. Yeah. For me it was, alcohol was the number one and temperature was my number one benefactor. What’s the opposite of detractor?

Ken (00:55:35):

A track? promoter.

Shayne (00:55:36):

Promoter, I dunno. Yeah,

Ken (00:55:38):

<laugh>. Well I know like, so anyway, if you work for a SaaS company, they send out net promoter score and you’re either Okay.

Shayne (00:55:46):

So it might be,

Ken (00:55:48):

Yeah, promoter and detractor

Shayne (00:55:50):

NPS score is always increased when I have a low, a cool temperature when I sleep in, I always get terrible when I drink alcohol.

Ken (00:55:58):

Nice. Nice. Very good. Well, any other untouched topics on this? So what I’m getting is the title Death of the Off Season is there, that is not something that we should strive for. We should strive for having some sort of off season. Like even if we, if if it’s sort of this time of the year, once in the spring, once in the fall between your zero seasons take a little break and I think Chris has something he wants to add to.

Shayne (00:56:31):

Okay, Chris.

Chris (00:56:31):

Well, I just, you know, the, the, the reason why, you know, I brought the, the cast together to create the virtual all podcast was because of the dirt ad fund, you know, a charitable organization. I wanted to raise awareness and, you know, not everybody knows that you have a a cause that’s really near and dear to your heart Also, Shayne, and maybe you can tell us a little bit about it and, you know, whatever we can do to raise awareness and you know, get to get the word out there.

Shayne (00:56:56):

Yeah. let me close because that’s gonna be a huge transition. Yeah. So I think the, the death of the off season is it, it’s a great title cuz you’re gonna get lot clicks for sure. If you post

Ken (00:57:09):


Shayne (00:57:10):

So marketing is not above one. That’s great.

Chris (00:57:12):

We were trying to beat that other never going pro podcast.

Shayne (00:57:16):

Yeah, those guys are a bunch of gibronis. So you don’t have much worries there. There won’t be much of a challenge for you to do that. Don’t worry. I know all those guys. but yeah, I think the off season is really just, it’s important and I think general, general introspection, I guess that’s a good word to say. General introspection and like listening to your body, listening to your mind, and then really taking care of me, myself and I, I think that’s really, really important and that’s gonna lead to more compliance, stronger workouts, and ideally longer longevity in the sport if you’re able to take care of yourself and not just pounding yourself into the ground because you have to do ZRL race number six where you just mentally burnt out from doing it. So yeah, I think there are benefits to the off season.

Ken (00:58:08):


Shayne (00:58:09):

 yeah and the transition, big transition here. Yeah. So my daughter Grace was born with this thing called CMV, or cytomegalovirus. it’s, it’s actually congenital cytomegalovirus and congenital means that she was born with it and it was passed from her mom to her in the womb. And CMV is really, really common. about 80% of kids have it before they’re the age of four and, and most kids that have it after birth, it’s just a cold, nothing really crazy. However, for congenital kids, it leads to a lot of neurological issues because essentially it attacks the brain in the developing fetus. So for Grace, unfortunately for her, she got it really early in her development. she was born profoundly deaf. She had some issues with her vision, cerebral palsy and seizures and a G tube for food. She has a lot of unfortunately a lot of issues and she’s pretty severely disabled as a result of it.


So what I’ve been doing is, trying to raise awareness for CMV. So hopefully this podcast will help me do that. And then also try to pass legislation in Massachusetts to get CMV on the universal screening list for newborns. Because most newborns born with CMV. They aren’t like Grace, Grace is a pretty rare case, fortunately for other kids, but most kids that are born with CMV, they pass all their hearing exams at birth, but then we don’t know they have CMV and they gradually lose their hearing. So by the time they’re two or three, they could be profoundly deaf as a result of CMV activity. And if you don’t screen kids for CMV in the first 21 days of life, you can’t know if it’s congenital. So you can’t actually do any treatment for it, which are some kind of antiviral treatment, which actually has been shown to maintain and preserve hearing for the long term.


So that’s the main benefit of that bill is we’re trying to get universal screening for kids in Massachusetts as well as prenatal education. Cuz you know, an ounce prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. And prevention techniques are really simple. It’s basically every other virus on earth. So like, try not to exchange fluids with newborns or with toddlers. Like, don’t kiss a baby on the mouth, don’t share food with your kids. If you get pee on your hands after changing a diaper, wash your hands before you touch your infants or before you touch a pregnant woman. It’s just kind of basic techniques and stuff to control. But nobody is talking about CMV prenatally and nobody is being educated about CMV in their prenatal appointments. So I’m trying to change that as well in Massachusetts.

Ken (01:00:52):

Great. Good stuff. Yep. And Chris, do you have a Dad Fund update

Chris (01:00:57):

Now? I just I think the last, the last podcast I just told everybody to get there or is in, and I’m just hoping now that the orders get out to everybody in time. Just keep your fingers crossed. But anyway, no, it’s very, the the, their community is always extremely generous and gives us the opportunity to help people. you know, we’ve had some members that have had you know, children that, that have special needs and, and they need things and we’ve been able to help them. It’s kind of a, it’s kinda like a full circle thing like, like Shayne had mentioned. So yeah, it’s yeah, it’s what it’s all about.

Shayne (01:01:30):

Excellent. Absolutely.

Ken (01:01:31):

Yep. Well, it’s been a pleasure meeting with all three of you again, and happy Thanksgiving to our audience. Thank you for joining the Virtual zvelo Podcast and we will be back again soon with another interesting topic. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Shayne (01:01:46):

Bye all.

Indoor Training Series: Hyperthermia

Training indoors is great for a myriad of reasons and workout quality can be kept high, but training in this environment also poses some challenges that are different from riding outdoors. This series will attempt to cover those challenges in detail and provide actionable steps to take to reduce or avoid them completely. The first topic in this series will cover hyperthermia, which is simply a departure from the expected temperature range of the individual from baseline, and more specifically when the core body temperature exceeds 100F with 104F being considered life-threating (i.e. heat stroke).

Stages of Hyperthermia:

Initial Stage

  • Abnormal sweat rate
  • Labored breathing
  • High pulse rate

Intermediate Stage

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure

Advanced Stage (heat stroke)

  • Confusion
  • Cyanosis (bluish/purple coloring)
  • Unconsciousness/death

Causes of Hyperthermia:

Exertional: This is what we’re going to focus on in this post, and ‘exertion’ essentially means exercise. “Muscular exercise increases metabolism by 5 to 15 times the resting rate to provide energy for skeletal muscle contraction. Depending on the type of exercise, 70 to 100 percent of the metabolism is released as heat and needs to be dissipated in order to maintain body heat balance.” (Sawka, Usually, when you train indoors, the actual exertion and overall intensity tends to be higher relative to leisurely rides outdoors, coupled with the body being quite awful at turning food into mechanical energy, this results in a much higher amount of heat being released and which eventually needs to be dissipated. More on this later…

Environmental: Think of heatwaves, and especially those that are coupled with high humidity. Age also plays a factor here with the elderly not being able to keep cool relative to their younger and more fit counterparts. Don’t be a hero and try to keep the same intensity and exertion compared to riding in cooler temps. When it’s super hot, promise me you’ll bring it down a notch

Drugs: These won’t be covered much for the purposes of this article, but still something to be aware of, especially if you take any psychotropic medications (Xanax, Zoloft, Prozac). These medications may impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, and is also another reason why you should always get clearance from your doctor before starting any exercise program (Ohio Dept. of Mental Health).

Effects of Hyperthermia:

Central Fatigue

Central fatigue, related to the central nervous system or essentially the brain, “appears to be primarily related to inhibitory signals from the hypothalamus arising secondary to an increase in brain temperature” (Nybo). The hypothalamus, shown below, is fascinating and is really the primary physiological gatekeeper when it comes to exercising in the heat.


Without getting too tangled in the weeds, the hypothalamus is the body’s thermostat and does a great job keeping the core body temperature in a very tight range. When the body becomes too hot, the hypothalamus will inhibit many things related to heat creation, but for the focus of this article, exercise-induced hyperthermia will reduce voluntary muscular activation. Think of it like the captain of a ship calling for more power from the engine room, but the engine room telling them to go fly a kite! If you want to push up a climb harder, but your body temperature is too high, the hypothalamus will shut you down (hopefully).

Reduced VO2 Max

Ah, VO2 Max, I love and also loathe writing about it since there seems to be an ever growing list of definitions for it. Let’s K.I.S.S and say VO2 Max represents the maximum amount of oxygen that can be utilized by the body.

In another fascinating study, Nybo et. al, took 6 endurance-trained male subjects, and subjected them to a maximal effort at either their baseline core body temperature or hyperthermic (101.5F) after being artificially heated up. They found a decrease in VO2 Max of 16%, and roughly half the time completed between the 2 trials whether they were dehydrated or not:

Reduced Work Rate

If VO2 Max is reduced by that much, it’s safe to assume that overall work rate will be lower under hyperthermic conditions relative to cool, which is exactly what Périard and Racinais found in their study. Similar to Nybo, they took 12 well-trained male cyclists and subjected them to complete 750kJ of work in both a ‘COOL’ environment (64.4F) and ‘HOT’ environment (95F). They also had them complete the trial under hypoxic conditions (HYP below), so please ignore that data set:

They found a 7 minute difference between the trials to complete 750kJ! COOL (48.2 T 5.7 min) compared with HOT (55.4 T 5.0 min).

Long story short, training in the heat – which tends to happen more frequently while riding indoors – can really sap your ability to work at a high level. Fortunately, there are some things we can do so the heat won’t have as much of an effect

Preventing Hyperthermia:


This is something I have been doing recently with my ‘indoor-specialist’ athletes and it has been working well. The theory is that the body has a threshold core temperature, that when surpassed, results in a marked decline in performance (Gonzalez-Alonso, So, by pre-cooling your body and artificially lowering your core body temperature, you increase the buffer between your exercise starting point and temperature threshold. This is typically accomplished via ice vests, cold-water immersion, or air-conditioned rooms.


The research is a bit limited here, but the theory goes hyper-hydration might improve sweat rates by as much as 33% (Lyons, et. al) which in turn will increase the amount of sweat that evaporates – as long as atmospheric conditions are optimal, i.e. low humidity and circulating air – which lowers and keeps the core body temperature low. If you want to really deep dive on this subject, visit our friends at Skratch Labs and check out their blog post about their hyper-hydration mix.


This one should be fairly obvious, but clothing will act as an insulator. When you’re training indoors, or in hot environments, less is more. Now, this doesn’t mean strip down to your birthday suit, but the more skin you can have exposed to circulating air, the better!


This is the most important thing no matter how you slice it. If you aren’t acclimated to the heat, no amount of pre-cooling, hyper-hydration, or nude cycling will make a difference. Acclimating to the heat happens in different phases and durations, but to give you an overview:

Full adaptation is dependent upon the individual, with most being fully acclimated in the 7-14 day timeframe (Wendt et. al). Interestingly, most endurance athletes are already fairly well acclimated, and will reach full acclimation quicker relative to their unfit counterparts.

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There are also a myriad of other factors, as shown above, that occur when the body is properly acclimated to the heat (Pryor et. al).

Protocols for heat acclimation are also individualized and dependent upon the competition, but 90 minutes of training, for 10 days, with the air temperature above 85F has been shown to be sufficient for the majority of people. This acclimation process should be completed 1-3 weeks before the event date. For a deep dive on this topic, I highly recommend reading: Application of evidence-based recommendations for heat acclimation: Individual and team sport perspectives.


  • Hyperthermia is simply a departure from the expected temperature range of the individual from baseline, and more specifically when the core body temperature exceeds 100F with 104F being considered life-threating.
  • It is caused from exertion (exercise), environmental factors (heat waves), and psychotropic drugs.
  • It results in central fatigue caused by inhibition from the hypothalamus, reduced VO2 Max, and reduced work rate.
  • It can be prevented and reduced by whole-body cooling, hyper-hydration, exposing more skin to circulating air, and most importantly acclimating to the heat.
  • If you are gearing up for a Winter’s worth of indoor training, or moving to a warmer area, remember that your body will need time to acclimate (at least 10 days). So, I’d advise not going ham and keeping the training relatively easy to moderate until acclimation occurs.

Follow the GC Coaching Blog:


Périard, Julien & Racinais, Sebastien. (2015). Performance and Pacing during Cycle Exercise in Hyperthermic and Hypoxic Conditions. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 48. 1. 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000839.

Gonzalez-Alonso J, Teller C, Andersen SL, et al. Influence of nal absorption. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995; 27: 1414-20
body temperature on the development of fatigue during pro- 59. Gisolfi CV, Duchman SM. Guidelines for optimal replacement
longed exercise in the heat. Am J Physiol 1999; 86: 1032-9

Pryor JL, Johnson EC, Roberts WO, Pryor RR. Application of evidence-based recommendations for heat acclimation: Individual and team sport perspectives. Temperature (Austin, Tex.). 2019 ;6(1):37-49. DOI: 10.1080/23328940.2018.1516537.

Nybo, L., Physiology, D., Jensen, T., Nielsen, B., González-Alonso, J., Centre, T., . . . Kindig, C. (2001, March 01). Effects of marked hyperthermia with and without dehydration onV˙o 2 kinetics during intense exercise. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

L. Nybo, Nakata, H., Keiser, S., Lloyd, A., . . . McKenna, M. (2008, March 01). Hyperthermia and fatigue. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

Ohio Department of Mental Health. (n.d.). Prevention of Heat Related Illness. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

Sawka, M. (1993, January 01). Physiological Responses to Exercise in the Heat. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

HIIT Vs. LSD Training

In a perfect world you wouldn’t have to worry about having time to train. You’d have two or more uninterrupted hours every day for your workouts. You’d follow your training plan to a ‘T’ and you’d be performing better than ever.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world and you won’t always have the time you want or the time you need. That’s reality. You’re probably already committing at least 6-10 hours of time to training every week – That’s a lot of time.

When you don’t have time to go on a multi-hour ‘Long Slow Distance (LSD)’ ride, don’t skip the workout – find a solution. Significant amounts of research are starting to illustrate a possible method of training that significantly reduces your training time without sacrificing any of the training effect – ‘High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)’.

This training method can be adjusted and modified to fit most training needs in an extremely short amount of time.

Are Intervals Created Equal?

Despite your best intentions there will come a time when life will interfere with your training. You won’t have the time that day, week, month, or year to get it done. It happens – but what are you going to do to combat it? While there may not be an ideal solution – there are ways to get around your lack of time without sacrificing the effectiveness of the workout. In recent years some exercise scientists have shifted their research interests toward the effects of high intensity exercise on aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

While it may be too early to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of this training, the results have been interesting to say the least.

In 2017, research out of Ireland used elite rowers to study the differences between LSD training and HIIT. The rowers were asked to complete 10 training sessions per week for 8 weeks. The LSD group performed 10 aerobic sessions per week, while the HIIT group did 8 aerobic and two HIIT sessions each week. The HIIT sessions were only 15-20 minutes long and comprised of 6-8, 2:30 minute intervals. The results showed that the HIIT group experienced significantly greater improvements to their Vo2 max and power output at lactate threshold (1).

Research from Canadian scientists in 2008 found that 4-6, 30 second Wingate cycling bouts 3x per week produced the same results as 40-60 minutes of continuous cycling 5x per week.  Both groups were found to have experienced relatively equal improvements in endurance performance markers despite weekly time commitments of 1.5 hours vs 4.5 hours (2).

With this research being in its infancy, there is not much consistency in methodology from one study to the next. Each has their own interval time, intensity, target HR, recovery period – it’s impossible to tell what the correct interval “dose” may be.

How Do Intervals Improve Endurance?

The exact mechanisms behind how short duration, high intensity training impacts performance are not entirely understood but its been demonstrated to improve key factors involved in endurance performance.

Research from 2008 found that intervals increased the skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, resting glycogen content, reduced glycogen utilization and lactate production, increased capacity for whole-body and skeletal muscle lipid oxidation, enhanced peripheral vascular structure and function, and increased time to exhaustion (2).

Due to their highly variable nature, the way an interval workout is structured will have a significant influence on how it impacts your physiology.

Adjusting Intervals To Fit All Needs

The adaptations to this type of training are infinitely variable and unique to the individual. It’s unlikely that any two people will respond in exactly the same manner to the exact same workout. With a lack of available research on the topic it’s not yet possible, or responsible, to give exact training recommendations for this method of exercise. Not to say that performing HIIT is dangerous – it just puts a greater demand on your body and mind compared to other types of training.

An interval workout can take many forms – from 10 second all out efforts to less intense 5 minute bouts. Rest periods between intervals can last anywhere from twenty seconds to three or four minutes. The combination of interval length and rest length that you pick will ultimately determine the training effect that you will experience.

By adjusting your interval and rest lengths you’ll change the ratio of energy system contributions. Depending on the length of your intervals, a certain energy system will dominate energy supply and will experience the greatest amount of adaptation.

A Word Of Caution

HIIT may seem like the answer to all of your training problems, but too much intensity can lead to overtraining, injury, and often burnout. “Variety is the spice of life”, and that same motto should apply to your training to preserve your longevity in the sport (3).

An example I keep seeing repeated recently is the athlete who discovers Zwift, gets addicted to racing, races all day every day, and winds up hating their bike a few months later. Training at high intensity frequently is tough on the body, but especially the mind. If you enjoy Zwift racing, as most everyone does, keep doing it, BUT please ensure the training you’re doing is balanced. To use HIIT effectively, you need to arrive at each HIIT workout fresh to get the most out of the session, i.e. approach your training from a polarized point of view where the easy days are very easy, and the hard days are very hard – Doing each session ‘moderately hard’ will lead to stagnation rather quickly.

There is also no replacement for training volume. Increasing intensity will help continue to push your fitness further, but if you are truly at a plateau and can’t stomach another intense day, you need to find a way to increase training volume and/or frequency to continue progressing.

Finally, I construct training blocks in a periodized fashion for the athletes I work with (even though it is partially disputed above), whether traditional or reversed, for many reasons, but in the vein of this conversation, because it will naturally limit the amount of HIIT work you undertake – which is generally 8 weeks. After 8 weeks of HIIT I find the athlete is ready for a break from it, both mentally and physically.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to get in some extra work during a time crunched period, try adding in some additional HIIT sessions and see if that rights the ship.

With this level of intensity it’s difficult to say how many repetitions are realistic for you to complete, or how intense you can make them. You may be exhausted after one or it may take five. The point is to take your time and figure out what you can tolerate.  

And remember, HIIT is effective and efficient for nearly any cyclist, but can pose a risk if not performed properly – always listen to that voice in your head (no, not the screaming one) and respect how your body and mind are feeling.


  1. Niamh J. Ní Chéilleachair, Andrew J. Harrison & Giles D. Warrington (2017) HIIT enhances endurance performance and aerobic characteristics more than high-volume training in trained rowers, Journal of Sports Sciences, 35:11, 1052-1058, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1209539
  2. Burgomaster KA, Howarth KR, Phillips SM, Rakobowchuk M, Macdonald MJ, McGee SL & Gibala MJ (2008). Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. J Physiol 586, 151–160.
  3. Foster, Carl, et al. “The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs Steady State Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, Uludag University, 24 Nov. 2015,

What Is TSS®, And Why Do I Have A Problem With It?

TSS® stands for Training Stress Score and is a way to objectively quantify how hard or easy a workout is via a points-based system.

Dr. Andy Coggan and Hunter Allen pioneered TSS with the original seed concept being developed by Dr. Eric Bannister’s heart rate-based training impulse (TRIMPS).


TSS Points Breakdown

TSS points are accumulated by a workout’s relative duration, intensity, and frequency. Super simple example:

  • 1 hour at 100% FTP would equal 100 TSS.
  • 1 hour at 50% FTP would equal 25 TSS.

You get the idea! The actual TSS formula =

TSS = (sec x NP® x IF®)/(FTP x 3600) x 100

Joe Friel

Where NP = Normalized Power, IF = Intensity Factor, and FTP = Functional Threshold Power.

Now that we understand what TSS is and how it’s calculated, how can we apply it to training?

Enter The PMC

The Performance Management Chart® (PMC) is something most of us have seen before in one form or another and is based on Bannister’s TRIMPS method as well, with it being able to use power data in addition to heart rate data. The PMC is fed TSS data which results in all the pretty lines we see below:

Screenshot taken from TrainingPeaks

Crash Course For The PMC

If you have no idea what the above is, it’s fairly simple to understand:

  • The blue line = CTL (Chronic Training Load) = Fitness
    • “An exponentially weighted average of the last 42 days of training”. If you see the blue line trending upward, that’s a good sign the athlete is doing enough training to create a positive fitness response and vice versa.
  • The pink line = ATL (Acute Training Load) = Fatigue
    • An “exponentially weighted average of training stress from the past 7 days”. Fatigue must happen to create an overload and subsequent response, so imagine the pink line “pulling” the blue line upwards. More training fatigue = higher fitness response.
  • The yellow line = TSB (Training Stress Balance) = Form
    • Simply CTL minus ATL. A positive TSB is a good indicator the athlete will be fresh and have a good performance, and vice versa.
  • You can also see the natural ebb and flow of a season, when the athlete had a taper period, “peak” period, illness/injury, etc.

So, What’s My Problem?

If we remember, 100% FTP for 1 hour = 100 TSS. This statement makes a rather large assumption that everyone can hold their FTP for 1 hour, which isn’t true. This means the TSS accumulated will be skewed for each and every athlete that doesn’t have an exact time to exhaustion (TTE) at FTP of 1 hour. For example:

Athlete A

Athlete B

In looking at the 2 athlete examples above, we’re just concerned with MFTP (modeled FTP from WKO) and TTE, with TTE differing by almost 20 minutes. This should mean that Athlete A will accumulate 100 TSS if they maintained 336w for 32:14, versus Athlete B would if they maintained 299w for 51:54, which isn’t substantiated by the TSS equation.

In understanding that, another can of worms is the relative inaccuracy of the PMC chart, which is based purely on TSS data…

In Conclusion

TSS and the PMC are still useful to track trends in training, but using the data as an absolute can be misleading due to individual differences in an athlete’s FTP and TTE. I recommend looking at the PMC chart loosely to plan your training, but always listen to your body when push comes to shove in providing it with a training load as well as rest – e.g. if your “Form” is a +15, but you don’t feel ready to hammer it on the day, don’t!

The Never Going Pro Podcast, S2, Ep. 7

In this episode of the podcast we discuss how two pro riders, Nathan and Jeremiah use Zwift for training and how they discovered Zwift as a training tool. We also discuss the future of Zwift and opportunities for Zwift to improve, including naked weigh-ins at your local post office?

The Never Going Pro podcast is available on all major podcast networks, ENJOY!

The Never Going Pro Podcast – S2 Episode 2 – Base Training

In this episode of the podcast, Shayne, Chris, and Ken discuss base training and the pros/cons of popular methods.

Available on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and SoundCloud

Show Notes / Citations

Polarized Training Simplified

Sweet Spot, Threshold and Polarized Training … By the Numbers

Polarized Training And Stephen Seiler

What is Best Practice for Training Intensity and Duration Distribution in Endurance Athletes?

The Never Going Pro Podcast – S2 Episode 1 – Special Guest Tyler Pearce, AKA The Vegan Cyclist

In this episode of the podcast, Ken chats with Tyler Pearce, AKA The Vegan Cyclist. Be sure to check out his Youtube channel for some awesome content and his clothing line that won’t make you look super dorky, Ride Bikes Bro, bruh!

Available on iTunesStitcherSpotify, and SoundCloud

Show Transcript:

Speaker 1: 00:00:00 Welcome to season two of the never going pro podcast by dad’s inside riding trainers featuring GC coaching. It’s a podcast about riding bikes and Parenthood and trying really, really hard at both. I’m your host Ken the Badger novel, so Shane and Chris are not with me tonight. Typically we do a topic and dig into the nuts and bolts of the topic and then we’ll follow what with a guest interview towards the end. Tonight we have a really cool interview with Tyler Pierce, the vegan cyclist and I just sort of let the interview run its course and it ended up being a great standalone episode and interview and I hope that you’ll enjoy it. Come back and catch us for season two, episode two where we will discuss base-building and for now enjoy the interview with Tyler Pierce, the beacon cyclists, and here we go. This week we have a special guest that I’ve been a fan of for several years. Tyler Pierce, also known as the vegan cyclist, has a very popular YouTube channel currently with 112,000 subscribers and over 400 videos, which range from race recaps and product reviews and some lifestyle related videos. So Tyler, how are you this evening?

Speaker 2: 00:01:15 I’m fantastic. Thank you very much for having me on your show, man. You recently did one with, with my former teammate and friend Timmy, correct?

Speaker 1: 00:01:26 Yes, we did. Yeah. Yeah. And we loved him. He was actually really early on when we started a dad’s inside riding trainers. He was one of the first guys to jump on our squad and was very helpful in helping put together the indoor specialist race.

Speaker 2: 00:01:44 Yeah. He, I mean, he is definitely a dad trying to just get as much out of this sport as possible and it’s, it’s inspiring for sure. You know, and so anyway, yeah, he’s, he’s really cool. I, I didn’t, you know, we kind of always sorta kind of knew each other and then last year he was I had an opportunity to race with them and that was really, really cool.

Speaker 1: 00:02:05 Yeah, that’s awesome. And I know you also know Jeremiah Bishop, I’ve seen you guys hanging out in his videos. I got to interview with him too. And he’s like a super cool guy. Way laid back,

Speaker 2: 00:02:17 Dude. He’s the coolest when you get to a certain level of, you know, talent sometimes, like he just goes to your head, you know, so crazy. Because when I first met him, I met him in Vermont and I didn’t know who we was at all. I just, I didn’t have a bike to race there at the Ross patoot SIA or however you say it. And I just saw Canyon and I was like, I just went up to eight a Canyon van and was like, I need a bike. And so then when I posted that video, I got a lot, like, not a lot, but some hate being like, I can’t believe you didn’t even know that guy. Like, you know, how dare you, like you, you need to the legends of the sport. And even then I kind of started following him and want to, even when I went to his Fondo, I still didn’t really know the scope of his career.

Speaker 2: 00:03:09 Right. We were eating dinner after he took me on this just insane, like private ride, like it was one of the greatest moments of my life. And we’re just eating dinner and he’s, he’s telling me all about like Lance Armstrong and like that whole thing and like his whole career. And I was like, Whoa dude, I’ve been in the presence of greatness and I, and but that’s like the Testament to how chill of a dude he is. Yeah. You know, he never brings it up or he never like reminds you how great he is. We were riding on the last day I was there. He, we just kind of went on this ride and he stopped it. This car is bike shop and the, it’s so hard to explain, but the bike shop had this huge ledge out in front. A almost like a loading dock. Okay. Dude, it’s like five feet tall and somehow he just, bunny hops up this loading. And I was like, what did you do? Is it crazy? So crazy. I mean, he is a world class athlete and so, you know, but his attitude is, is so is so chill that man, I, I, I strive to be like that, you know, where it’s just, it doesn’t matter what you’re known for or like whatever is going on in your life, like just be a cool dude. And he just exhibits that to the fullest.

Speaker 1: 00:04:32 Yeah, he totally does. I got to meet him. He was just standing on the street at the world championships in Richmond a couple of years ago and just hanging out, just shooting with people and having a good time. And then, you know, he kind of lives in my region. Like I’m here in North Carolina, he’s in Virginia and we, we were at some mountain bike trail and went up this ridiculous Hill, me and a buddy and we are just hammering it as hard as we could. And then later on we looked on Strava and our times were like double [inaudible]. He had the K O M and w R his time was literally half of what ours was. So he’s, he’s the real thing.

Speaker 2: 00:05:09 But he was probably like cheering you on the whole time or like, man, you know, that was such a good effort. Like he would, he would like relate to you as if you almost took his KLM even though,

Speaker 1: 00:05:20 You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, for sure. So this is season one, episode two of the never gone pro podcast. And we are talking about building a strong base. And so what I’ve been seeing in your social media feed is you’ve been doing the 20 hour a week challenge, which is crazy. And so we wanted to hear a little bit about what your goals are for doing the 20 hour week challenge. Is this more like of a base building thing for later on in the season and how’s it playing out?

Speaker 2: 00:05:52 Yeah. Well, so it’s going to be something I want to do every year. This like changed my life. And, and it wasn’t December 1st I was coming back from [inaudible] the coast with my family. And, and my motivation is, was like at an all time low to ride bikes. I just, you know, the thing is, do the more you get fit the higher the peak you climb, the fall, the, the, the greater the fall. Every year you know, you, you want to make new gains and new improvements, right? And so in may of 2019 I did 380 Watts for 20 minutes at 155 pounds. Like wow. Unreal. Right? And like every year I keep like bumping that 20 minute power up. But the, but when you’re not on form, you now know, like when 250 Watts for 20 minutes, it’s like difficult. In the off season.

Speaker 2: 00:06:52 You’re just like, dude, I don’t want to climb this mountain again. I don’t want to put in the intervals I don’t like. It’s going to take me so much work to get back up to that, that, that peak and then surpass. It was very difficult. And so just December 1st he was just like, no motivation. All I wanna do is noodle around and go for adventures, which is cool, which is fine, but I’ve got this race season coming up and I, it’s, it’s like when I go out and do events, I don’t want to just be the dude off the back, you know, making videos. Like I want to be in the hunt. Right. So so anyway, so I was listening to Chris Deleah crowding, congratulations podcasts. I could just silly goose time only, but he said something Durney where he said, if you’ve ever done anything in your life, it’s because you decided to do it.

Speaker 2: 00:07:42 Sounds so simple, but anything you’ve ever done, it’s because you just mentally said, I’ve decided to do this. If you don’t do it, it’s because you’re like, Oh, well maybe there’s excuses and you’re hemming and hon. So I was like, dude, I’m just going to decide to do something crazy in December and, and I’m just going to decide to do it and it will be done. And so I in the car driving home, I was like, I’m going to train like a pro. I’m going to do 20 hours a week with structure. You know, I’m gonna have my coach dial me in and we’re going to do a three week build, one week recover. And we’re just going to see what happens. Cause I’ve only done 20 hours in a week one time before. And that was, you know, my whole training program always goes maybe like 15 hours, then like six, then like 12, and then eight, you know, it’s like, well, to ramp it up for a week, but then I got to go back to the responsibilities, you know, and when I do 20 hours in a week, it’s cause I’m neglecting my family, I’m neglecting my responsibilities.

Speaker 2: 00:08:43 I’m, I’m just waxed and you just can’t, it’s not sustainable. Right. So I was like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna focus super hard on doing this for three weeks. And so got home after this drive. Didn’t want to ride. Right. It was like a four hour drive. I’m tired. It’s like six o’clock at night. And without this challenge, I’m going to bed and eating, you know, with this challenge I was like well shit dude, it’s day one I got was day zero cause I was, I had to do an FTP test, I did an FTP test so that I could get some sort of gauge of where I was and where I’m going to end up being. Even though this wasn’t about building an FTP, this was just it. Just to see what my body can do. Like what if I just crushed myself for three weeks? Do I fail? Do I crack or do I set up my year to have the biggest peak I’ve ever had? Right. And so did you need an FTP number to base your, your intervals and your power and your training? Like was that sort of going into December? You know, my FTP for my training peaks and Swift was still set from my peak in may. You know, so it’s like your FTP is 340 Watts. I’m like no, no, no, no.

Speaker 2: 00:10:01 We reset it. And you know, it was the first week I did 20 hours all indoors. I mean, yeah. And, and I mean, you know, Swift when you’re on Swift on 100% of the time you’re on the bike is, is, is effective. Right? And so if you go out on the road for a four hour ride, you know, there’s a good 30 minutes of you probably doing nothing. You know, you’re doing your soft peddling, you’re turning if not even more than that. I think a lot of times, like out of a four hour ride, two hours of it is what you were really there to do. So when I was looking at their stats off of that first week, I had less than one minute out of 20 hours that I wasn’t pedaling. That is crazy. So if you want to say like 20 hours on the road, this, it fell more like what would 30 hours would feel like, you know, and then you’re not moving.

Speaker 2: 00:11:03 And so it’s just like my brain was melting. But anyway you know, CRA crushed the first week. My coach designed a program that wasn’t going to just take me cause I’m doubling my volume. My average week volume until that point was like 10 hours or like it was like nine hours, 58 minutes. Okay, we’re doubling my volume. I can’t also then throw in intensity [inaudible] it’s not gonna, it’s not gonna work. So we kept it pretty low. Intensity is like tempo was, was probably the biggest piece of that, you know, the most intense. So it wasn’t, I wasn’t like doing VO two max intervals or anything like that. It was just, even though there were intervals and there was over unders, you know, it’s like 180 Watts under and 20 over. Okay. Yeah. Just to keep it like from my brain, not jumping out of my skull.

Speaker 2: 00:12:00 Like I, I’m not going to just ride four hours constant, you know, like, yeah. Yeah, that would be terrible. And so so also during this, it wasn’t just like, Oh, I’m going to quit my job. I’m going to quit everything and just do 20 hours on the bike. Like I had to focus on my nutrition a ton. That was a big aspect of it. Even though my nutrition is pretty clean, like I’ve never done this kind of volume before. So then then also, so cow bike, PT, my physical therapist, I don’t want to then get injured going into 20, 20. So like I really focused on stretching and rolling and you know, the whole core work, like everything, like the whole, it was like a pro. I mean, I had, I had everything mapped out. And so when you, when you step back and you say, not only did I ride 20 hours of objectively a week, there were the all the hours into nutrition and, and stretching and rolling and just getting on the bike and off the bike, getting ready, showering, all this stuff was probably something like 35 hours in the week, dedicated solely to cycling, which is extremely irresponsible for a man who owns two companies and has two kids and a wife.

Speaker 2: 00:13:19 You know what I mean? Like, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I had to juggle my day job, which is web development and, and e-commerce data distribution. I had to manage, you know, my wife’s sanity, right? Like, so what is she, cause she’s watching my, I have a two year old daughter and then a nine year old son, which, you know, he’s like at, at school a lot of the time. So it wasn’t like that. But anyway, yeah. But a two year old is tough. I mean they, they demand a lot of attention and you know, you can’t tell them no. Like they don’t get that, you know, like when they, they want their daddy, they want their daddy and there’s nothing you can do about that. Well, and again, I can’t, I can’t go spend four hours in the dungeon and then, and go lay in bed. Like it’s, that doesn’t, my wife’s going to be like, Hey, you just got, you just got four hours you time. It’s, it’s now me time.

Speaker 2: 00:14:18 You know what I mean? Like, yeah, I have four hours by myself, but I’m waxed. So so I had to just manage all of this. And you know, I, I’m, I’m still developing the video to, to tell this whole story, but I live, I basically did a, a daily vlog on Instagram story. And I’ve saved all those, you know, so you can actually go to my Instagram page and under the Instagram highlights there’s like 11 of them, but it goes through the my daily schedule. I mean what I was doing like conference calls with, with clients you know, what the program will look like. I tried to really go through my mental struggles of just that. I didn’t want to do this, you know, cause sometimes people on Instagram, they’re just so motive motivational, like the rock. He’s just like always, you know, like live reps but it doesn’t, you know what I mean?

Speaker 2: 00:15:14 You like everyone has difficulty getting themselves motivated to do stuff. And so it was really kind of like an inception, like this weird thing where I set this goal and I put it out there and I, and I posted about it and then the community forced me to continue the project right there. What was watching all that. I was like checking out your daily feeds and updates. And there’s, there’s one story that really got me, man, you know, it’s that, you know, it’s one, it is, it’s the one where you accidentally drank your own piss. You got to bring that up man. You, you told us I was through, I think that was the third week maybe or towards the end of the second week. But I was just, I was, I was riding the struggle bus mentally, right? Like my body actually, like I was doing good on the bike.

Speaker 2: 00:16:14 I was doing good power. But just how many podcasts can you listen to? How many songs can you listen to? How many videos can you watch? How, what can you do to entertain your mind during all of this, this, this time? Cause you’re not out on the real road and do it. But I will say though, what’s, what’s oddly strange is that it, it didn’t taste bad. Like you think pisses get a taste. One would suspect. Yeah. Yeah. But it was, and the thing was that it was like week old piss, right? So it wasn’t that hot. It was actually cold. You know, I’m drinking my monster hydro and then I, and like the, I guess I was dehydrated cause it looked like it looked like orange monster hydro. And so then I drink it and I’m thinking, why is this not sweet? You know, but that was second man.

Speaker 2: 00:17:07 I’m about to cry right now, man. It’s all good. It’s, I mean, look, it happened and you know, but it was like my first initial thought was like, where did the sugar go? Did I get like a zero sugar one? And then I was like, Aw, I’m pissed. And it just more, more tasted like alkaline water, like a battery had been left in water. Anyway, dude, I immensely, my brain was, was falling apart during this whole thing. But other than that, I was actually extremely happy with how my physical body held up. How, you know, just with the nutrition and, and all the focus that went into off the bike stuff was, dude, it, it, we, I crushed it. It was great. And one of the biggest takeaways was because I had to manage all of the other stuff, was how much time in the day I spend doing nothing.

Speaker 2: 00:18:16 You know, like in through Instagram or you know, it might, I might write one email in 15 minutes and be like, yo, I’m working hard. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, to be able to fit in 20 hours a week of pure writing and then all and handle all of this stuff. I mean, there were days where I was running at 100% efficiency. The second I woke up to the second I fell asleep. Literally there was, there was no downtime. It was always doing something or, or even sometimes multitasking, right? I’m writing an email a while watching my daughter while stretching, you know what I mean? And so, but that’s not sustainable at all, you know? But what was really cool was that I, I took away from kind of throwing my life into like chaos was all these different places that I could improve my life.

Speaker 2: 00:19:10 And so it’s going to be something I’m going to do every year and, and next time I want it to be this, this challenge that we get the community involved with and whatever that may be 20 hours a week was just for me. You know, like that’s, that was a big challenge for me. But you could have people that 10 hours a week could be the same equivalent, you know, or 40 hours a week or whatever, whatever it is. There should be a moment where you take one month out of the, out of the year and just max out. Just see how hard can I go, how far can I push my life and see what kind of gains that I can make. Because it, it really, it made me, made everything in my life very more efficient. Knowing how much time I spend waking up and just laying in bed and kind of doing nothing, you know?

Speaker 2: 00:20:05 But I did, I lost two clients during this. I didn’t reply to emails quick enough and I had a client that had an issue and I was just too drained. I was too drained to mentally get on top of it. I, I ignored her email and, and it costs me, it costs me money. You know, and that, that, you know, so that’s not great. But Eamon Lucas is he’s a, he’s a pro cyclist from my area that actually races in Europe and you know, he’d kinda been chatting with me during this and he asked me, he said, is this something you would want to do often? And I straight up was like, dude, I don’t have the mental strength to be a pro cyclist. Okay. This is what he does. He does 25 to 30 hours a week, every week. You know what I mean?

Speaker 2: 00:21:00 I know like you always, I think we always think, Oh, do it. We be so sick to be a pro cyclist, to be so sick, to get paid money and ride your bike. But man, it doesn’t matter what if you’re getting paid for it or not. Just the ability to like flog your mind, you know, day in and day out. I, I don’t have it. And at one point, I think it was like right in the middle of week two, I got really worried that I was going to not like bikes anymore. I’m not having fun. This, this is not fun. And so I was like, I’m going to get out of this and never want to ride again. And so I don’t know if I had to do 20 hours a week, month after month after month after month, dude, I’m like going to take up fishing or something.

Speaker 2: 00:21:47 Well, so let me ask you this. You mean because like to be training, you were averaging like 10 hours a week all year. You had this killer FTP and great body weight. Do you think that if you had started at the age of like 16, 17 years old, that that would have been a route that you would have taken before you had all these obligations because you discovered this? I mean, you were still in your 20s but kinda missed the pro cyclists window 100%. So when I did my VO two max test, I was 82.6, which puts me at it an extremely high level, like Lance Armstrong’s like 84. Okay. Genetically speaking. I have a, have a motor, but when I was a kid, I was eating my, my favorite afterschool snack was Doritos take like nacho cheese, Doritos spread, sharp cheddar cheese over the top of that, do another layer of Doritos, another layer of sharp cheddar trees, put it in the microwave, take it out and just eat it.

Speaker 2: 00:22:55 And so like all I’m doing is chips and cheese. You know, as a kid, like I, I never really a stressed that motor. I, I never stressed the anaerobic side or it just didn’t, you know what I mean? So, yeah, I definitely think I missed the boat on, on what I could do because when you’re a junior, it’s, you’re, you’re basically doping, you know, your, your, your age, you know what I mean? Like you, you improve so quick, you know, my son, what he will be able to do one week to the next week is like, what the hell? You know what I mean? I, and as the older you get, obviously the, or the, the time it takes you to make gains and the time that it makes, it takes you to make losses. You know, they, they go like, it’s so much longer to make gains and so quick to lose them. But when you’re a kid, you know, you could ride your bike once a month and still make it

Speaker 1: 00:23:52 Gaines. Oh, it’s so fresh and, well, not frustrating, but it’s, it’s, it’s interesting to watch. I’m 44 years old and I coach a high school mountain bike team and these kids, they hang their bikes up in may and they don’t get on them again until like November the first. And within weeks there they’ve doubled their fitness. And that’s only riding like, you know, four hours a week because they’re not riding in between practices. Like they show up, they arrive for 90 minutes of practice on two days a week, and then they’ll ride on Saturday or Sunday with us. And they just, they just recover so fast, they can take so much, you know, and, and just hold on to all of it. And they don’t lose it fast either.

Speaker 2: 00:24:37 It’s age, doping, dude, it’s my man. It’s a, yeah, it’s really, really crazy. And so you know, but that kind of, it’s a bit of an excuse. Say, I mean, I don’t know if I could have ever done anything really special. I don’t, I don’t feel like I’m an athlete, you know? But but immediate, either way. I mean, I do have a genetic potential to be neat. You know, but again, like, so the thing is 10 hours a week has been my average for, you know, since I’ve been taking this seriously, you know, I’ll have, I’ll have some weeks where I’ll do 15 hours, but then I have some weeks that I’m doing three. And it’s that inconsistency that I think is, is hurting me a lot. But in 2018 towards the end of 2018 really when Swift really when I embraced this as whiffed is when I was able to keep consistent because for 2019 I did 140 hours on Swift.

Speaker 2: 00:25:36 Wow. That’s a lot. I would say a hundred of those hours I would never have done otherwise. Hmm. That’s pretty, I’m pretty confident. Like it’s raining outside, it’s snowing outside, it’s dark outside, whatever. Like the conditions were that at least out of a hundred hours, I’m not riding and so to, for Swift to be able to be a platform that just one, it’s, I honestly a lot of times just love getting on Swift, even if it’s like warm outside or nice outside do I want to do, is whipped race? Like that’s fun. Like I really enjoy it. And so that has kept me pretty consistent. And so like, you know, one thing I think is a couple of people have asked me is, do you think 20 training 20 hours a week is, is necessary? And I don’t, I don’t think it is. I don’t think it’s necessary. I think that if you train smart, you can get so much out of 10 a week.

Speaker 2: 00:26:37 You know, the 20 definitely, I mean, it helps, right? It helps a lot. You know, when I’m, if I’m going to go try to compete against Legion, whether the big team and, and California and Corey Williams is not only the greatest sprinter in maybe the world but he’s also then training 25 hours a week. How can you ever even expect yourself to come close to that? Right. So tell me what was the, how, how does your body respond to this? Like what, what changed through the training? Like what can you do now that you couldn’t before? What benefits did you read? So I think the benefits are still are still coming out because it takes a little while for your body to completely recover from that level of, of stress. But you know, it is, it’s being able to put out power at four hours versus one hour.

Speaker 2: 00:27:38 So, you know, you do 10 hours a week, a one hour crit, not that big a deal. You know what I mean? Like you, you’ll survive, you’ll be fine. It’s the four hour road race that you’ve already been, you know, bleeding out of your eyeballs for the first three and a half hours and now you got to make the move. Like it’s, it’s that that makes the difference. I, I was in a road race one time with a jelly belly rider who had, he was training for the tour of California. He was going to be in the tour of California and it was, so I got to race with them. I made a break with him and he would attack and they were such weak attacks. And I was like, bro, what are you a pro? Like what is this? But he could do that same attack at the beginning of the race.

Speaker 2: 00:28:25 And he did that same exact attack, that same amount of power at the end of four hours. And he’d drawn, you know, okay, I guess so here’s just chipping away at everybody’s matchsticks. And well, it’s just, it’s, it’s that when you have so much volume in your legs, you know, you’re able to have, you’re able to do closer to your maximum power output you know, at, at a longer stage of, of a ride. And so, you know, I think my last, the second to last ride that I did during this, so I was, you know, whatever, 55 hours and and I went and rode to Yosemite and it was a, from my house to Yosemite and back, I actually had to do a little extra loop to make it be a hundred miles or something like that. But anyway, it was about a six hour ride and man, I was doing, you know, 200 to 250 Watts.

Speaker 2: 00:29:23 Like I w I mean, I, I wasn’t noodling. But it was so enjoyable because I was going decently fast. I was feeling good that 10,000 feet of climbing that I did in the day, like, no big deal. Never at any point was like, Oh my goodness, here comes this next climb, Cod, this is going to suck you. Just, I just did it like it was, no, I was enjoying the ride all six hours. Never, never did I think amen. You know, this is gonna, this is gonna I’m going to pay for this effort later. I just felt invincible. And so when you, that was one of the biggest things is because we’ll also, I, I trained so much in those zones. I didn’t do a whole lot of high end during that. It was a lot of zone one design three. So my, my zone one is zone one, zone two, zone three were just like, I felt like I could ride that without burning any energy, if that makes any sense.

Speaker 2: 00:30:22 And so to, to sort of give you a followup on it, so I, I F in may of 2019, I did three 83 83 for 20 minutes, which I think put my FTP at like three 50 or something like that. It was like 350 Watts I think was my FTP. I weigh 155 pounds. So I think it was like the FTP was just under five Watts or like right at five Watts per kilo. And then, and I did, I did 350 Watts for an hour twice in 2019. So so anyway, then December 1st I did an FTP test and I did a three 11, so it was not very good for 20 minutes. So my DP was like two 98. So then when I was done with the so I did three weeks, 20 hours a week, so 60 hours. And then I did a recovery week at like 10 hours.

Speaker 2: 00:31:23 And then I didn’t FTPs and I did three 32 for 20 minutes, which put me my FTP at three 11 or three 12. But then in January, so far I’ve been doing a lot more high intensity. Okay. what is, I mean, what is the dates like this? The 27th. Okay. So just Saturday I did, I was leading out, one of my teammates were doing a lead out practice for a climb and I did three 80 for 15 minutes. Okay. So you’re, and then just pull, I just pulled off cause that was, that was, I wasn’t pacing for 20 minutes and then I kind of noodled for the next five, but I ended up doing three 51. I still manage an average of three 51 for 20 minutes. So now my FTP is like three 20 or three 25 or something like that. But I could have done three 65 on Saturday.

Speaker 2: 00:32:15 Like if I had paced for that. So already in like what, like a two month span, I’ve taken my FTP from two 98. You know, probably realistically it’s like three 30 right now. Sure. So, you know, that’s a big leap and not a very long period of time. But I expect, I expect to get back to an FTP of three 50 and more. But like the training that I’m doing now, the high intensity that I’m doing now, when, when, when I have an a two hour workout compared to the two hour workout plus ride for another two hours, I’m just like, Oh, do two hours and no big deal, you know? And then also the fact that so much of the time of the 20 hours a week was done on Swift, the amount of pedal revolutions and muscle contractions you’re doing. Like it was so efficient that now when I’m in a crit and I get to coast for 0.0 seconds, you know, in a turn I’m like recovered.

Speaker 2: 00:33:18 You don’t even like there’s, yeah, it’s so crazy that just the fact that you can soft pedal or do you know, or coast for a few seconds, you, you know, with, with all that volume in my legs, like I, I just recover instantly. And so it was again for cycling great for my whole life. Terrible. You know what I mean? So I don’t know how other people are able to manage so much and you know it during one of the Instagram stories, I, I’d kinda touched on this about having a priority B priority and C priority in your life. And I sort of run my life as like an an unbalanced balanced life is what I say. So on the year and everything is balanced. I think I, I shine equal amount of time and energy on my family, my job, my hobby, you know, health, diet, it’s all pretty equal.

Speaker 2: 00:34:16 But when you zoom in, you might say, okay, well this week he spent 20 hours a week riding his bike, you know, plus plus another 15 hours cycling related. But then, you know, so the week, so I did the three weeks, my week off, I was full gas with my family. So my a priority for the first three weeks of December was was cycling. And B priority was my family and C priority was my work. And, but then I, then you’re going to flip that, then you’re going to change that around. And so then the last week in December, obviously a for my family, you know, probably be for work and then C for riding, you know and then I just kind of move that around and, and try to fluctuate that. And for me that works. But there’s no way that I could say, Hey, you know what? I’m going to do 15 hours a week, every week, always. Without having to sacrifice something else in my life. Like I have too much else going on. And, and maybe for like a young book in college, like, what do you have going on? Ride your bike a hundred hours a week, like whatever. You don’t have all these other responsibilities, but as you get older and you start picking up these responsibilities, you know, you gotta manage them. Yeah. Isn’t that the truth, man? Tell me about it. And that’s really speaks

Speaker 1: 00:35:37 To the whole, the whole story of like how our Swift team came together to begin with. And you know, a lot of people are like, well, I prefer to ride my bike outside. I’m like, well, we can’t, we can’t. It’s like, it’s like, eh, you know, if you look at the, the, the rides that I did this year on Swift, those are just hours that wouldn’t have been done otherwise. Period. You know, it’s like I have to get my daughter to school every morning, which means in my wife, she’s a personal trainer. So she’s out that out the door by 6:00 AM and you know if I’m going to get any exercise that day it’s going to be in my shed, you know? And then I’ll get outside on the weekends and whenever I can and it works out.

Speaker 2: 00:36:22 What would I say dude is, and I said this is that the fitter you are, the more enjoyable cycling becomes. And so if, if staying fit means that you ride, you know, five days a week indoors, that weekend ride, that Saturday ride, how dope is that Saturday are going to be so much better. It’s so much better because you get to enjoy it cause you’re not bleeding out your, your ears and huffing and puffing and having all these guys drop you. If you are like well I only want to ride outdoors and so then you only ride outdoors once a week. Well then you’re going to get to the BIA point of like who you even riding with. Cause now all your friends are like, Oh bro, this guy likes, you know you’re, you’re slowing us all down. And so it’s, I mean, not that you have to be super fit to enjoy cycling, but you go and ride, you go and do a a a 3000 foot climb if you’re fit, you know, you could have a great conversation with guys up that climb. You’re not fit and you’re dreading it the whole time you’re standing, you’re, you’re sloshing side to side and like, so I man the indoor aspect of everything and either get it or you don’t get it. Yeah. Obviously I think there’s like a hardcore like aura around cycling, which is just like man up and get outside and, and ride in the dark and ride in the snow. And it’s like, bro, that’s unsafe. You know, like three in the morning while it snow on the ground. Like you go ahead dude, but I’m not doing that.

Speaker 1: 00:37:57 Yeah, yeah. No, I 100% agree. And you know, it’s like you get that beautiful spring day and you and your buddies take a two hour trip to go to your favorite mountain bike trail and then you’re waiting for your friends cause they’re terribly out of shape or you know, you’re the one that’s out of shape like you said. But now there’s no, no more of that, you know, like no matter what time of year it is, if it’s a beautiful day, it’s like, you know, wheels down in the dirt and let’s go.

Speaker 2: 00:38:24 And then I feel like you enjoy you, you appreciate it more when you go outside because sometimes OK, so like there’s been weeks I’ve done 17 hours outdoors and I dunno, like come Sunday and it’s like, God, I gotta do another two hour ride. You’re just sort of jaded about it. And no matter where you’re riding, if you’re riding through Yosemite, you might just be looking at your power meter being like, Ugh. You know, you’re not even looking at the sites, but when you’re indoors all the time and then you get outdoors, you’re like, Ooh, real trees. You know, I seem to appreciate outdoors more because that was one big thing. When I got my power meter and I started to take this serious, it happens to everyone, which is that you go hyperfocused on that number, no matter where you are in the world, you, you lose sight of what riding a bike really is, which is just getting you out in the world and enjoying it.

Speaker 2: 00:39:26 And you know, there’s a lot of different things people take away from riding, but it’s, it’s not about are you making this computer on your bike, say three 50 or two 50? Like that’s not really, that doesn’t really matter. But when you get, when you dive into that power world, it’s sort of kind of ruins everything around you. And, but with Lyft, I get to be the power douche on Swift. And then when I go outside, you know, sometimes I just put my, my Carmen or my, my wahoo in my pocket and I don’t even look at it, but I’m feeling great, you know?

Speaker 1: 00:40:03 Yeah, definitely. Well, thanks for sharing your insight on that. Also really quickly before, before we head out you know, obviously you are the vegan cyclist and I know that that has been a big part of how you got healthy. Like you said. I was reading your, your website earlier and you said you were eating fast food three times a day and you had a business prior, I believe, motorcycle

Speaker 2: 00:40:28 Shop, is that right? Yeah, I owned it, owned a motorcycle shops. So when I was young, my my grandma got me into riding motorcycles and my mom worked like two jobs and so on the weekends, you know, she couldn’t, there was no daycare or anything like that. So I’d stay with my grandma and my grandma would take me out riding motos EV every weekend. And we ride bikes as well, like we’d ride along the Creek. Anyway, my grandma really, she really was the one that kinda got me, sparked into the love of, of two wheels. And so always motos have kind of been a part of my life and just bikes in general. And in 2004 when I saw I was 18 I didn’t graduate high school. I dropped out of high school like, like a couple of months before I supposed to graduate just cause I wanted to make money, I wanted to chase the American dream and, and I wanted to wanted to drive Ferrari’s and like have chicks on my arm and like, I don’t know, just being 18, like that’s what I, and so I was like, dude, I’m school is dumb.

Speaker 2: 00:41:38 I’m going to go start selling cars, is what I was going to do. And, and I actually ended up getting a job. Like I was like, I got a job when I was 17. I was kind of lying to him. But I started like the day I turned 18, I started selling cars and like night, like not some PO dunk. Like it was a really nice dealership you made. They guaranteed you a lot of my, it was a really good job actually. And then, I don’t know, like my second month I made like five grand and I was like, bro, like life is so easy.

Speaker 2: 00:42:10 So I was, I just was kinda got wrapped up into this like chasing of money type thing. This was in 2004, 2005, which the economy in America was like [inaudible] literally you just said pretty pleased and people would give you money like for housing and stuff like that. So I ended up refinancing a house and pulling out 50 grand and starting a a motorcycle shop at 18 years old. And that’s, it’s trust crazy. But so, so anyways, so I did that for a little while, had no idea what I was doing, ran that business into the ground. And then, and, but while doing that business for three years, I would literally, we would get to the shop, I would have Carl’s jr fast food, like whatever. Then for lunch, McDonald’s, then for dinner, taco bell, you know, I mean, it was just like fast food three times a day.

Speaker 2: 00:43:09 And then maybe on the weekends we’d go out to a restaurant and eat just, you know, and so but I was kinda staying active and I was young so I wasn’t like super duper fat. It just, I wasn’t eating healthy at all. And then when my business failed, which the economy crashed and many businesses failed, so like, you know what I mean? Yeah. But so I went from just be in this like ball or like I had it, I had the American dream to then I lost everything within 30 days. I was trying to expand my motorcycle shop. I had a cash drawer full of cash. Like I just [inaudible] I was just an idiot. Like I was like, what, 21 and I’m just thinking, dude, life rips, you know, like it is so easy. I dropped out of high school and now I have this F-150 like a $50,000 truck with like, it was like a monster truck.

Speaker 2: 00:44:03 I had a toy hauler, I had like four motorcycles at the time, my, my wife now, but at the time girlfriend, you know, like I didn’t appreciate her at all. She just like kind of worked for free and dude, I was just a piece of, and so when I lost everything I continued to eat that way and, and then I had, I did nothing. And so then I lost my complete ego and every, my personal identity was wrapped up in, in mode and being a business owner with money and being young and, and then now I’m fat. I have no business. I’m like basically homeless. We’re staying in a foreclosed home, you know, like I had nothing and [inaudible] but it was the end. It’s cliche to say like, Oh, the thing that happened in my life is what made me, me. It’s always us trying to justify stuff.

Speaker 2: 00:44:53 But like, honestly, I was a terrible person with terrible goals. And then when all that was stripped away, it’s like money doesn’t mean anything. Materialistic possessions, that doesn’t mean anything. Like there’s no value in that. Like, yeah, it’s super sick. If you have a Ferrari in your driveway, but it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s like relationships and health are what, you can’t buy that with money. I can’t buy my wife’s love. I can’t, I can’t buy myself a six pack, you know, that’s like work that’s, that’s like real. And so you know, I, it took me a while to kind of even consider changing my diet. Like going vegan for one, if you were to tell me, Oh, you’re going to be a vegan cyclist, like bro, get out like no way. Like vegans are the hippiest, weirdest people and there’s no way I’m putting tights on. You know what I mean?

Speaker 2: 00:45:58 You know, like it’s not going to happen. And so I had this complete fallout. I, I was working in like a cubicle doing debt settlement. Like it was a struggle to even make any money whatsoever. But my girlfriend stood by me at the time and like I told her, I was like, you should just go, go back to your like, do like, leave me like, what are you doing? Like I’ve gotten nothing. And she hung up. She stayed with me. And so like that’s a whole life story. And so we’ll just keep it about the diet. But so eventually I saw a picture of myself at a wedding. And just in your mind when you look in the mirror, I dunno for me, I’m just, I see like a Greek God. I’m just like, bro, this, this guy’s good. You know, I saw a picture and I was like, I am terribly fat, but I didn’t think that.

Speaker 2: 00:46:49 And when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see myself fat. And I saw this picture, I was like, dude, I’m, I’m disgusting. And I was, I got up to like 210 pounds, which wasn’t like some people, 200, 10 pounds, they’ll, they’ll look good. I didn’t look like it was not God. I look terrible. And I think you’re building mine are very similar, like you know, mid one 56 feet tall. And at one point I had gotten, you know, almost 200 and it was not muscle. No. Yeah, just all fat changed to like, anyway, it was, it was no good. And so, you know, I tried to, I started working out a little bit. I was doing Brazilian Jiu during this time as well. There was, it was a big part of my life and, and so then I got really into jujitsu and I was training for the worlds and jujitsu you have to weigh in you have to weigh in right before you fight.

Speaker 2: 00:47:47 And so there’s no rehydration like you, you get that, that has to be your weight and it’s cause you’re gonna now go fight. So if you’re just starved and dehydrated, like you’re going to lose, you know, so you got to go in. So anyway, so I’m trying to lose weight and it, I think I was 24, 25 and I had eaten my first salad ever, right? I was like, okay, I gotta, I gotta lose weight. And it wasn’t about health. It was just about how can I lose weight. So I like went on a liquid diet. I ate a salad for the first time. And what was crazy is that like during this I got my weight super low. I think I got down to like one 60, from like one 90 very unhealthy though. Like I was starving myself and then I went to worlds and I lost the first match.

Speaker 2: 00:48:35 I lost within five minutes and I was like, Oh my God. So then I, I, I, you know, it’s like rubber band, right? Like I, I bounded back the other way. Like I was like, I been trying to be super healthy or lose weight and then it was like for nothing. So then I went back to eating just, and my wife and I, we got pregnant, we got prepped, she got pregnant, we planned it. But, so then I was, we were kinda talking like, you’re going to make a baby out of food. You’re going to eat and you’re going to make a leg, you know, in you, are we going to make our baby out of big Macs and French fries or are we going to make our baby, you know, out of broccoli and whatever. Like, right. Like, we want our kid to be super healthy.

Speaker 2: 00:49:22 You want them to be, have the best chance at life you can get. And so that sort of clip that, that flipped the switch towards just health conscious. And so this is both of you though, it’s not just your decision, but now you and your wife are both kind of taking this journey together. Yeah. Okay. Without her, by my side. I, I mean, I’ve leaned on her so much like she is, she is my rock. And so, so yeah. So we did this, we watched a documentary where Michael Poland said, eat whatever you want, just cook it yourself. And so that’s what we did. And so we did bacon cheeseburgers, but we cooked at ourselves. And so then when you start getting into that, you start sourcing better ingredients. We’ll do I want Kraft singles cheese or do I want to go to the farmer’s market and get some like, you know, locally sourced high quality milk cheese that’s like, you know, and then the grass fed beef.

Speaker 2: 00:50:18 And like you get into these, you start going down this path where you, since you’re touching the food, you’re going to put it in your mouth. It makes a difference. You start making this connection between what you’re actually putting in your body versus like when you go to a restaurant, some magic happens in the back and then, and then there’s something on your plate and then you’re full, right? Like you don’t actually put this between how that food got into your stomach in the first place. So so then we just slowly started this ball rolling towards health. And that was the goal. Health was, was the goal. And you start to see improvements. Your weight starts to come down, you know, you feel better. You like what you’re eating because you’re cooking it. And so then my son was born and we, we moved up to the foothills like we were living in a suburban area and I just wanted him to grow up, like in nature.

Speaker 2: 00:51:22 And so we moved up into the foothills and that’s where my hippiness level just skyrocketed. Right? I mean like if we’re, if we’re investing in hippie levels that’s you wanted to get in before I moved to the foothills cause like it was, we got chickens, we started having, we had our own chickens, we had like five acres. You know, that that was such a cool relationship with these chickens. Like one, they were silkies and I’ve told this story before, but they’re not ugly chickens. They’re like high quality fancy ass chickens. Like look up the silky, but are there adult chickens? Okay. You know, they would, they would come to our like patio door and like in a flower pot, like lay an egg and squawk and leave and, and it was just like, you know, so now we’re doing our own eggs and we slowly, like if you looked at the plate you know it in 2004 it was, the plate was, was not a plate.

Speaker 2: 00:52:19 It was a bag from a fast food restaurant. And then I would say maybe like 2010 the plate was, was spaghetti with bacon and some like bread rolls, maybe like more like 2008, then 2010, I would say it’s like a grass fed steak, maybe with some asparagus and some mashed potatoes with like butter and stuff and cheese. And then you start moving that plate into wild caught salmon and broccoli and Brussels sprouts. And then eventually the, the protein or the meat on the plate is so small, like the mower that you’re getting calories from the vegetables and the plants than you are, they mean. And so then I just, I dunno, I watched juror and rider, like as a cyclist at this time, and as I was trying to cyclist, you want to be better, you want to be faster. Yeah, of course.

Speaker 2: 00:53:14 I was watching during writer and he was just promoting this vegan lifestyle, very negative way to promote a vegan lifestyle. Like he’s, he’s not, he’s not the he’s a little divisive. Yeah, yeah, for sure. But he, he was showing you can eat plants and not die. And, and that was just like foreign to me. I was like, well, no, you have to have meat or else he would die. And since so watching him, it’s like, well that’s weird, you know, if he’s, if he’s seeing so many benefits from it, I wonder what that would be like. And I had bacon, eggs and yogurt for breakfast and I was vegan by lunch. It was so strange. So I came down from my office was upstairs. I told my wife, I was like, babe, I watched the wrong YouTube video and I’m vegan now.

Speaker 2: 00:54:05 And she’s like, what? And he know like, what are you talking about? Like you’re the most unlikely person to ever be vegan because of how meat heavy my whole life had been. And, and just how much of a a man’s guy that I was like trying to be early on in my life. Like just, this was just not in character, but it was, I don’t know. I don’t know why. I was like, it was just a flip of a switch and yeah, it was very strange how, like with, from breakfast to lunch, I was vegan and I’ve never looked back at all. And so then my wife, she was like, well sure, I’ll, I’ll do that with you. And, and so it’s kind of just been that way for about seven years now. But my son is, and my daughter, actually all my family other than me, I’m the only one’s a hundred percent vegan.

Speaker 2: 00:55:00 They’re plant-based. And I don’t, when I, when I made this decision, it’s like my son is too young to be able to make this decision himself. So I’m gonna, I’m going to try to not be like spazz tastic about this and force him to eat a way that then he’s going to revolt against when he becomes older. Right. So I’ve always said this, 90% plants for life is better than 100% plants for a month. And then you burn out. Like it’s longevity is the goal. You know what I mean? It’s not like, Hey, I’m going to make my son be the healthiest he can be from five to six. You know, I want him to have, I want him to be 25, 30, 40 years old and have healthy components to his life. And, and seeds that, you know, make it to where it’s his decision when he’s older. And so I mean, we don’t eat, we don’t eat, they don’t eat meat. They’ll eat some fish every once in a while. So I guess that’s me, but like, they’ll eat a little bit of fish every once in awhile. Cheese occasionally, but like, if he has a cookie and it has milk in it, like that’s not the battle. That’s not what, what I’m trying to fight. You know what I mean? It’s just what is your overall IOT look like? And if it’s mainly plants, you’re solid. Dude. I like,

Speaker 1: 00:56:23 That’s I think that’s really useful, you know, for people to hear what your story is, what your journey was like. And it was one about health and it was never about, you know, some sorta ideology really, you know, and I’m sure there’s ethical components to why you do what you do, but just seeing where it started and where it’s become, I think that’s really cool. And

Speaker 2: 00:56:45 Well, the ethical side of it is, you know, I think people lead with that and it’s just difficult, man. We’ve been, and I don’t want to, I don’t want to S I don’t want to say indoctrinated, but it’s just you grow up a certain way, thinking a certain way and it’s very hard to change those, those patterns, whatever that is. Diet, politics, do you know, I get whatever it is that you believe in. It’s very hard when you’ve have solidified those beliefs and those thoughts. It’s hard to change that. And so if you haven’t been exposed to cycling right or riding bikes and you’re just some guy drinking coffee, driving down the road, you hate those people riding bikes. Right? You don’t even know. You know what I mean? You haven’t even experienced that part of your life. You could be missing out on something.

Speaker 2: 00:57:35 And so I kinda try to live by like, you know, if you introduce new information to assist them, it’s either going to strengthen your standpoint or change your standpoint. And both of those things are great. So if you’re like, veganism is the dumbest thing ever, we’ll try it and it, and then you might try it and go, Hey, it didn’t work for me. I felt like a total turd, you know? And so then great, you’ve now strengthened your standpoint and you can now say with a fact, Hey, I tried eating plants and I couldn’t, they tasted gross. I felt horrible. Which isn’t the case. Not going to happen. But you know what I’m saying? A lot of times people, they, they’ll throw stones at an idea or, or lifestyle without even trying it. And so, you know, I mean it’s, it’s just with this on everything, all things in life within cycling, this is what I find is crazy is people are like bro gravel, so stupid gravel riding within groups.

Speaker 2: 00:58:32 This kind of indoor training that’s not riding bikes like bro, right. All the bikes. Like, it don’t matter if you, if I tried riding track bikes, I hated it. I hate track bikes, fixed gears, they try to kill you. But that’s okay. I can understand how some people enjoy that. It’s not my thing, but I tried it. So I introduced new information to the system. And I’ve strengthened my standpoint that that’s a death trap. But that’s okay. Like you go do whatever you want to do and, but now, you know, I don’t need to poopoo on, on track cyclists. Like that’s a, it’s a great sport. But what’s crazy is I now can understand them better because I’ve, I’ve written fixed gear and so now I appreciate when I see someone weaving in and out of New York. It’s like, dude, you don’t have breaks.

Speaker 2: 00:59:25 Like it’s one thing to say that it’s another to like actually be riding it and being like, Oh dude, 20 miles an hour with no brakes is actually very difficult. You know? And so you can appreciate that. So if someone was like tried going plant based for, you know, a month, even if it wasn’t sustainable for their life or they didn’t enjoy it or whatever the case, whatever their excuses for not, you know, eating a carrot every once in a while they might go, okay, I get it. Like I, I did feel somewhat good, but I actually just really liked Carney asada tacos and I like it too much to give that up. Sure. You know, now, you know.

Speaker 1: 01:00:06 Yup. Definitely. Well, Tyler, this has been a really fascinating conversation. I’ve really enjoyed it. Like I said, I’ve been watching your videos for years and I’ve seen you make all these progressions and I’ve, you know, to this day there’s two videos that are my favorite and that’s breathe and the one where you were telling the story about your wife and how you know, your, I think you asked her to marry you and she said no, and then she ended up marrying you anyway, which is awesome. But yeah. Before we go, I want to give you a chance to give a plug for your sponsors and your social media. So if you want to just tell us how we can find you and who’s supporting you, we’d love to hear about it.

Speaker 2: 01:00:47 Yeah, man. I mean, you can find me on YouTube for sure. It’s, it’s the vegan cyclist and I, I’ll say that dude, I kind of slightly regret naming my channel to vegan cyclists. It was it was just one of those things, man, that I didn’t know where this was going to go. And it was, it was a SEO tactic to try to whatever is, it’s the vegan cycles. I won’t yell at you about plants. I literally have never said the word go vegan. I’ve never encouraged anyone to go vegan. I just eat plants and I try to compete at the highest level that I can while maintaining adult responsibilities. And I tried to tell those stories. I try to be relatable and, and and that, and so then also Instagram is where I, I put a lot of focus and, and, and time and energy into my stories and, and Instagram posts and stuff like that as a sponsors.

Speaker 2: 01:01:40 I’m not trying to be one of them sponsored bros. I mean I do have a lot of support from a lot of, a lot of companies, but it’s, I’m not trying to make this into an ad. And I think that the people that have supported me all, they support me because I’m not always, Hey, brought to you by, you know, I’m not wearing a a wahoo fitness t-shirt right all the time. Or like a Swift hat. Like to me, dude, that’s just kind of like, ah, this isn’t, YouTube isn’t my full time job. If it was my full time job, of course I’d read you off the list of, of, of sponsors. But it’s not, and so it’s just me trying to tell cool stories. And in the videos, you know, you’ll, some of these videos are made solely because of the spa, the support and the sponsors. But they are so cool that it’s, they allow me to not have to be obnoxious about it and it should be in the background and some know sponsor plus. Oh, ride bikes, bro. I will, I’ll, I will, I will. I will put my my clothing company, ride bikes, bro. And that’s a, a casual t-shirt clothing company that’s all about riding all the bikes and I’m super proud of that, so I will plug that. All right, cool. Well, Hey, let’s do it, man.

Speaker 2: 01:02:56 Thanks bro.

Speaker 3: 01:03:01 Thank you everyone for listening to the never go on pro podcast and thanks again to Tyler Pierce. Rod on and I will see you in wa. Tobia.