In this episode, we chat with Holden Comeau and Matt Gardiner of Team Saris + The Pro’s Closet about all things eRacing including; where they think it’s headed; differences in training, strategy, psychology, and nutrition compared to IRL racing; and what it’s like to set a Guinness World Record. Enjoy!
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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?
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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!
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.
In this episode of the podcast, Shayne, Chris, and Ken discuss making the impossible possible: Racing every week on Zwift year-round and continually building fitness over time. Our special guest this week is Matt Gardiner from Team Indoor Specialist and the fastest accountant on Zwift!
In this episode of the podcast, Shayne, Chris, and Ken Discuss reverse periodization and how it can be used to train for ultra-endurance events like the Dirty Kanza, plus special guest Timmy Bauer, Cat 1 road cyclist, Indoor Specialist, & Ambassador for Science In Sport. Enjoy!
Ken: Did you guys hear about the butcher that sat on his meat grinder?
Ken: He got a little behind in his work.
Shayne: I like it.
Ken: It’s a butt joke. Who doesn’t love a good butt joke?
Shayne: It’s a dad butt joke.
Ken: It’s a dad butt joke.
Shayne: A dutt joke.
Shayne: The five to eight year olds are hollering right now.
Shayne: People don’t know that we have a huge amount of five to eight year olds who listen to this podcast. It’s like a thousand.
Ken: Whether they want to or not, you need to be quiet in the back seat and listen because this is going to make you a faster cyclist.
Chris: I had a friend of mine this last week. Actually someone we’re going to invite on the podcast. He’s getting his PhD in neuroscience, in nutrition and he works with athletes. So it’d be really interesting to let him and Shayne go toe to toe and argue.
Chris: But yeah, he…
Ken: Like a nerd fight?
Chris: Uh-huh (affirmative). And I told him about it and he goes, “Oh well listen to the podcast.” And he said, “I’m starting the first one now.” And it occurred to me, I was like, “Oh don’t do it. Don’t do that. Start at number four.” But we needed three to get it together. So he might’ve listened to the first one of them. Stop being my friend. So we’ll see if he’d have it on the podcast.
Ken: Yep. So that could be the hidden episode. We could just hide episode one cause it kind of sucks.
Chris: It’s good idea.
Ken: And that could forever be the one that true never going pro fans are taken to the internet to try to hunt it down.
Shayne: It’s going to be an movement. It’s going to shut the internet down. Five people.
Ken: Well here we go. Welcome to the Never Going Pro podcast by Dad’s Inside Tiding trainers featuring GC coaching. It’s a podcast about riding bikes and parenthood and trying really, really hard at both. I am your host Ken, the badger owl and with me is Shayne Gaffney, owner of GC coaching.
Shayne: Hey everyone.
Ken: And Chris Gorny, fellow dirt teammate, passionate cyclists and outstanding dad.
Chris: Good morning.
Ken: And yeah, usually we take a few minutes to catch up with the crew. Everybody’s getting ready for the holidays. We figured we’d talk a little bit about our setups and our bikes. So what’s new with you guys?
Chris: Can I start and say two things?
Chris: First off… Good job Badger. The last couple of weeks, that intro… We’ve left the comical breaks in there because we think it’s funny to make fun of you when we edit this, but you killed it.
Chris: That was great. Good job.
Chris: I agree.
Chris: And secondly, I’ve mentioned this, my wife listens to this podcast and every time you say “passionate cyclist” and “outstanding dad”, my wife kind of laughs at me.
Ken: Does she roll her eyes?
Chris: She does. Yeah. It’s really, really funny. She came back from running this last weekend. She’d listened to the last podcast and she said, “Hey. So I listened to the podcast.” I said, “Okay.” She goes, “I have some thoughts about it.” And I’m like, “Oh no.” She goes, “I think it was your best one.” So she fed me up. I was like, oh I really think she was going to trash it. And then she goes, “It was your best one.” I was like, “Oh okay.” So I guess we’re getting better at this.” I’m doing good. We are not particularly ready for the holidays. It occurred to me today that I have not bought my wife’s gifts for Christmas so I’ll be doing that this morning at work. But I do know…
Ken: We’ll release this on December 26 then.
Chris: Yeah, well she only bought gifts for me and my daughter and all of our family. So I have one job to do. But other than that, we’re doing good. We’re going to go to the mountains for the holidays. So that’s all we got. What’s going on with you Shayne?
Shayne: The holidays are usually crazy busy, but this year is actually going to be pretty good where everybody’s coming to my house because I’m the only one with kids right now in the family. So we have, my parents are both divorced, remarried. And my wife’s parents are both divorced and remarried. So you can imagine that gets a little complicated with four houses to go to. So everybody’s coming to my house, which is going to be awesome. And yeah, Christmas presents are already bought. Everything’s wrapped, so we’re in really good shape right now, which is good. But thanks to my wife for that not to me. Yeah, what about you Ken?
Ken: I am pretty much ready. I’m going to go get my wife some mountain bike gloves and she’s done most of the shopping for the rest of the family, which is pretty cool. A lot of other stuff going on. I got a promotion, but I also interview for a different job at the same time. So like that’s kind of crazy. I don’t know what… My future is a little uncertain, but all the opportunities look good.
Shayne: Can you tell us…
Chris: Is it too soon? Will it ruin your chances if you tell us what you interviewed for?
Ken: It might ruin the chances so, but no, it would be getting into a different industry. We’ll see how that works out. It would be going more into tech and away from property management and so yeah, it would be a really interesting transition career-wise.
Ken: Training, things are going good. Got in a 10 hour week. Last week I started lifting some weights so that’s feeling good. I started really light so I wasn’t super sore and so far things are going fine there. And excited about taking a couple of days off from the Christmas holiday and moving into 2020 with some fun goals both professionally and with my family and my training. So yeah, that’s where I’m at.
Shayne: I think it’s cool 2020 I feel like people get really jazz over New Year’s anyways, but the year 2020 just sounds like everybody’s going to be even more motivated and excited to change or improve. Just because the year is so cool. Like 2020. I think it’s because we finally know how to say it. You know what I mean? Before it was like 19, 2018. The teens felt awkward.
Shayne: In 2011 I feel like there was no standard, but now I think it’s everybody knows it’s 2020 and there’s 2021.
Ken: Right. Easier. Well there’s an entire decade and we didn’t even know what to call it.
Shayne: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I think that’s the reason for so many problems is it was just a base level confusion on when you don’t have your nomenclature down you don’t know what to say. I think that’s going to be the change.
Chris: I’m stoked man. I’m looking forward to see what happens.
Ken: Cool. Well we were going to talk a little bit about how we train and what kind of bikes we ride. So I guess I will go first. I am riding a beat up old 2000 … Excuse me. Yeah. 2012 Fuji…
Ken: It’s the 2012 Fuji Granfondo. REM break bike. I did put some nicer wheels on it and I’m running that on a Cyclops hammer, a generation one hammer, which is still… It’s got 10,000 miles on it and it’s still going strong.
Ken: The bike is getting beat up from the salt. So for instance, I sheared one of the heads off of the bolts that holds the bottle cage on. So I have one bolt on it and one zip tie. And so yeah. Yeah. Be careful with your bikes, make sure you grease up your bolts and take everything apart and clean it up every now and again.
Chris: Grease your bolts.
Chris: Always grease your bolts. That is our public service announcement for today.
Ken: Yep. And then I’ve got a sweeter, much sweeter mountain bike. I have a 2019 Specialized Epic S-Works of course. It’s awesome. It’s got a FOX 34 front fork. I won’t get into all the other details, but it is a cross country race machine.
Chris: But you want to.
Ken: I do want to, but shoot me a PM if you want all the specs and no I won’t tell you my address.
Chris: We’ll tell everybody. So if you really want to know where he lives, message one of us and we’ll tell you where he lives.
Ken: All right, well let me go ahead and call my insurance agent and lower my deductible.
Chris: What about you Shayne?
Shayne: I have a Specialized Tarmac Road on a kicker right now. That’s kind of where I do 90 plus percent of my training on Swift. And then I have a giant TCX Cross Bike as well. I think I have 25,000 miles on the Specialized right now. Something like that. So quite a bit. But no problems not going in with, it’s been rock solid since day one. And the kicker probably has, what? Three years worth of miles on it. Who knows how many virtual miles that might be. But same thing, rock solid. So knock on wood hopefully that lasts me another season.
Shayne: Training wise, Ken’s in the man shed and then I have like a downstairs office/training room/storage facility for old toys and clothes/everything else. So, that’s where my training space is.
Chris: Old toy down with the old toys.
Shayne: That’s it. That’s it. What about you?
Chris: My kind of little cycling room is actually our garage. We have a single car garage attached to our house and we don’t need it. And so we’ve got big storage things out here and set up in the middle of garage is a little workout area that we can use. And then I have the new Tacx Neo two, which is sitting next to the Wahoo KICKR right now in my garage, which the Wahoo KICKR is not mine. So I’ve got to give that back to the people I’m borrowing it from. But right now it makes me seem super wasteful that I have both of them here, but I bought one and borrowed the other. But it was fun to compare them. The Tacx Neo two is a considerably more real to what it feels like to ride out on the road, which took me a little of time to get used to.
Chris: But, that’s what I ride inside with two little fans that are considerably underpowered, but yet I don’t spend money to get a better fan, so I just kind of sweat and there’s a pool on the little stain part of my garage floor. But my bikes…
Shayne: [inaudible 00:10:02].
Chris: Well, I cleaned that, actually cleaned it last night in the driveway and had to spend some time spraying down the driveway from where a bunch of bike grease was starting to stain. Which is code for clean your bike more often. But I have a 2018 Focus IZALCO Max, which… And it’s got exposed cabling and rim brakes. But I’ve got a Mavic 45-mil Ferring, carbon wheels, [inaudible 00:10:30]. I’ve got like three or four seat posts that I changed out and I’ve been trying to figure out a different saddle position for a little while, but it’s great.
Chris: I had this same bike a year earlier but totally changed it out because I liked the color of the 2018 more. I know there were other reasons too. I got a good deal when I swapped him out and I got some great component upgrades but…
Shayne: All right, that makes me feel better.
Chris: Yeah. Ultimately…
Shayne: Just the color?
Chris: It was white and everyone here has black bikes. And I like being the one guy who’s got the all white bike.
Shayne: White bike with hairy legs.
Chris: Yeah. No I shave my legs. I’m not a monster in the bedroom. This last week I did something I’ve never done before. I… Or two weeks or a week ago I switched out my group set or my cassette and I just never did that by myself before. But when I got the Tacx Neo two, instead of getting a cassette for that, I just put my… I cleaned my cassette, put it on that and bought a new one.
Chris: And it was actually really easy. I knew how to do it. I just had never done the work for it, but it was kind of fun.
Shayne: There’s some great videos too on YouTube and stuff like that do all that stuff. And you saved so much time. You also save so much money too.
Chris: Well it’s easy I already had all the bike cleaning stuff and so I just use that to clean the cassette and I didn’t even need a solvent today. It was really easy and they make those cassettes so stupid proof that even I could do it.
Shayne: Yeah. I love it too. It makes you feel good about yourself too when you do it.
Ken: Yeah, absolutely. What dad doesn’t love to save money?
Chris: That’s true.
Ken: And also, what dad doesn’t love a good focus question?
Chris: Most of them.
Ken: Okay, well we got a cool focus question this week.
Chris: That was a great Segway, Ken.
Ken: Wasn’t that? Did you like that? How I slipped that in there?
Chris: Hey, just a daily public service announcement. Again, this is now a period where my daughter might come run screaming into the room, so just be ready for that.
Ken: No worries. This comes from Nathaniel. I’m going to try to pronounce his last name, but [inaudible 00:12:41] perhaps.
Chris: That sounds right.
Ken: Yeah, Nathaniel [inaudible 00:12:43], he came up with the sweetest graphic for Christmas for team dirt. It was awesome. So go to our Facebook page and check it out. And his question is how to transfer from training longterm indoors to singular outdoor events or single outdoor events? And I see that Shayne has done a lot of research on this and he also trains a lot of athletes that have done this. So I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
Shayne: Sure. So the big thing is what the event is. Is it a mountain bike single track events? Or is it a gravel event? Or is it just a Grandfondo that’s mostly on the road. Because, the big thing is you’re going to have the fitness from riding indoors. You may not potentially have the endurance depending on how long your ride is, but most importantly is your bike handling is probably not going to be great, especially if it’s an indoor.
Chris: That would be my daughter.
Ken: I can hear her. Two walls and a kitchen. Did you run out of Cheerios this morning or something? What happened?
Chris: It’s most likely that she was grabbing onto a drawer in the kitchen and then fell backwards, which is kind of…
Ken: Ouch. Little pinch action.
Shayne: So your fitness will be there, but the big thing is your bike handling. It probably won’t be there unless you do a lot of outdoor riding, which I’m sure it can attest to.
Shayne: because you didn’t mean that if you’re on the train or you just basically sitting and spinning. Even on rollers, you don’t get a ton of handling. You can get your straight line ability better on rollers. And I think rollers are good for roadies that kind of maybe lose that ability to hold a straight line, which is important riding in a pack or things like that just for safety. But really mountain biking, gravel grinding, you really have to expose yourself to those elements to improve at them.
Ken: One of the things that I run into on longer mountain bike rides is like you said, you know the leg strength is there, but my shoulders and traps get really, really tight on long rides. I’m just not used to putting any weight over my bars cause I can, I mean, I don’t even need to hold the bars at all on the trainer. So, that’s one of the biggest things that I run into. And there’s only so many plank holds that you can do that are going to sort of mimic, mimic that stimulus. I, I have to get out there. And so it seems like I can do all the deliberate stuff on the trainer and when I ride outside I’m just out there playing and having fun.
Shayne: Right. Yeah. Use, that’s how I’ll structure too is you’ll do like the fitness work indoors and then if you have a cyclo cross race coming up, you might do some, practice over barriers or turning drills or writing in sand, gravel, single track, bunny hopping. All those skills that you don’t really get riding indoors. But if you go, like you said, it’s more about fun and skills work then is actually about really improving fitness.
Chris: Sorry you don’t bunny hop trainer.
Shayne: I don’t bunny hop too much on a trainer. Sometimes in the rulers I do from feeling really special.
Chris: With that swift update where you have to start bunny hop and stuff.
Shayne: That’s right on a… What’s the name of that new chorus? Repack Ridge.
Ken: Oh yeah, repack Ridge. What I was going to say is there was a really cool video that came out this week. It was a, I want to say it was a cycling tips video where they went and visited the SARS headquarters and they were talking about the future of indoor riding and they’re trying to make it as similar to outdoor as possible. So they have something that’s similar to a rocker plate and it rocks left to right. But yeah, but it also rocks forward and back. So it sits in sort of like a cradle and when you stand up out of this saddle, the bike will and you accelerate. It’ll move forward, it’ll move back, and it’ll move side to side. And then of course the wahoo kicker climb has been out for a long time. That actually adjusts the front end of the bike up and down.
Ken: So it’s getting there. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t want to, I would love to have a smart bike one day in the future, but they’re just coming out now. So I’m just going to ride the current setup that I have as long as possible until I can get a more realistic like generation two, three, four, whatever.
Shayne: Yeah, for sure.
Ken: A smart bike.
Chris: Well, I will say that it’s actually the big difference between the Tacx, the Tacx Neo two, the wahoo kicker that’s in my garage is you’ve got a little more like wobble is probably the word for it. And it’s intentional. So the tax actually, I mean its nothing like we’re talking about, but its not as rigid of a connection. It’s still solid and safe. You’re not putting any pressure on your frame or anything, but it, you, you lose kind of like when you’re outside, you lose a little of power in the flex of your frame. That’s what’s happening. And so, it’s, I’d say I actually saw a little of a power decrease switching to the Tacx because I’m having to a little harder to just keep steady and stable rather than just like hammering power.
Chris: Which at first I hated, but now I’m realizing that’s going to help me outside of time. But so I mean that on steroids is where everything’s going and I think you’re right. Eventually putting a bike on a trainer will be passe because there’ll be a $1,500 indoor trainer that rocks left and right. It goes up and down. You know, you can bunny hop, I don’t know. You know what I mean? They’ll splash water on you if you’re doing a cyclocross course.
Ken: Well that certainly is the hope. There is a sort of a mountain bike training tool. It’s called a Rip Row. And Lee Likes Bikes came out with this thing and it’s pretty neat. It basically rocks side to side, but it is a machine that you can use to mimic the pumping motion of being on a mountain bike and, and so it definitely, in my perfect bike gym, I would have one of those as well. So check it out. It’s called a Rip Row. And those guys do a lot of neat training videos and a lot of training seminars around the country.
Shayne: Is that R-I-P-R-O-W?
Ken: Yes. R. I. P. R. O. W. Yep. The RipRow.
Shayne: Never heard of it before. I’ll check that out.
Ken: Yeah, it’s neat. It’s neat stuff.
Shayne: There’s a trainer trying to find it right now. I think they might’ve pulled it down because it was like a really kind of, they were a little too ahead and it’s by BKool, which I think is a Spanish or a German company. And for a while. Yeah, they did, I’m looking right now and I ended up pulling it off the market, but they tried to go to market. No, no, I know it’s up there. They might’ve just changed it a bit, but it was basically a built in pivot on your back axle so that like it already would kind of go left and right. And it was, it was really, it was almost kind of suspending your bike rather than propping it from the bottom. It actually connected above your cassette and so it actually had your bike suspended like that, which was saying [inaudible 00:19:58], but I think they like put it out in the market and then pulled it back and then it’s out again is a little different. So it seems like they were maybe pushing a little too hard.
Ken: That’s cool. Yeah. There was some kind of kinetic trainer that was like that as sort of a sweet is like in a swing swings back and forth.
Shayne: Yeah, it’s really cool to see like the arms race between all of these companies to come up with like the new best thing or whatever. But yeah, so I think transferring from trending longterm indoors to singular events outdoors is all about bike handling primarily. And then the other big thing is endurance, which I kind of touched upon. The guess secondary focus question this week comes from Josh [inaudible] and he asks, “would it be possible to train effectively using… We have to for an event like the dirty Kanza.” So dirty Kanza, if you guys don’t know, it’s a 200 mile gravel event. They also do, I believe, a 100 mile event as well this year. Is that right? Okay. So yeah, so it’s a very, very long, very gnarly kind of a one of those quote epic events or bucket list events that people like to do.
Chris: That’s from my neck of the woods. I grew up an hour from there.
Ken: Oh really?
Chris: Yeah. Yeah man, that’s an important Kansas. I grew up an hour away.
Shayne: Yeah, I’ve worked with a couple people that have done it. I’ve never done it myself, but people that have done it seems to, everybody says this kind of, it’s like a life changing altering thing that people do, which is really cool.
Chris: Yeah. I’m going to give two secrets away right now that I hope, I hope nobody yells at me for, so the hardest part, the hardest thing in the world is actually to get in to the DA. I’ve heard that I actually didn’t get it in last year. I tried to with my friends and they all got in because they knew that the.. You know, again, here’s the secret, right? Supposedly, and it’s not written down anywhere that if you also buy the kit that goes with the event somehow you always make it through the lottery. I don’t know anyone who got the kit who didn’t get in.
Ken: There’s another secret too.
Chris: Yep. Are you talking about the middle school that I don’t know about the middle school, the middle school, the one that I heard was if you donate to the local middle school, I forget if it’s like the arts and sciences program or something like that. You also magically get in because it’s tied to the race somehow.
Ken: I haven’t heard that tip, but I did hear if you sign up for the training camp and dirty Kanza, you’re guaranteed entrance. We have one of our members that’s doing that. Graham, he’s going to be doing the training camp this year and so he was guaranteed a slot and he’s going to decide later whether he’s going to do the 100 or the 200 because the training camp is 50 miles on day one, a hundred on day two and 50 on day three. So you know, if he’s not dead after those three days, then he might consider doing the 200 miler.
Shayne: Let’s see. Here’s the thing. I’m from Kansas, from the Prairie area, and then it’s redness to the Flint Hills, which is where employer, Kansas, where the DK is and people, people don’t really understand. I mean, there’s so many people who get into this race and have no idea what they’re doing because they don’t understand how totally difficult the terrain is. It’s a huge amount of elevation. Not only that, but there’s a lot of steep descents and they’re not just smooth descents you’re going down and rutted tractor paths. And the Flint Hills are exposed. There’s no shade, there’s no cover and they will not come get you. You’ve got to have your own support vehicle following you. On whatever road can maybe be nearby. So even that, you’re setting up your own stops. Plus, if you’re not from there and you’re not used to the wild changes and heat storms, like there’s been years where they’re like slammed by huge thunderstorm.
Shayne: I mean like then they’re not going to, they’re not going to like start the race if they think it’s going to be unsafe or they might. But I mean like people get their fricking rear ends kicked out there and like you’ll see people just like falling apart who have incredible fitness, bikes break in half. People carry extra like derailers in their pack. They carry extra chains. It’s unbelievable. Like people bring extra cassettes cause this it like there’s even photos of guys who have these like bike frames that literally snapped in half going down.
Ken: That’s nuts. Yeah. Wow.
Shayne: I’ve got friends who did it last year and the ones I was trying to do with one of them, who’s a very experienced cyclist, fell going on descent and ended up getting a concussion and just tore up just bloody everywhere. And then he didn’t go to the hospital until, I think he was traveling three days later for work and went to a hospital in California and they’re like, “yeah man, you, you should not be here.”
Shayne: He broke his helmet and I mean it’s awesome, but there’s zero exaggeration about how much the single kick you in the tail. So I mean fitness is important as luck as it seems.
Chris: Yeah. It’s, they started six, right? 6:00 AM.
Shayne: I think it’s maybe a little earlier, but they start early. Yeah.
Chris: It’s cut off at midnight?
Shayne: Something like that. Yeah. It depends which of course you’re doing.
Ken: 18 hours. That’s a long day man. That is a long day and saddle. You look at the guys and the guys who are really good at it, they actually have Aero bars on their gravel bikes and we just cruise.
Shayne: I have heard of that. I heard there was some controversy around that, but when you had answered this guy’s question on Facebook, you had mentioned something I had never heard about, which is reverse periodization. Because he’s starting to train now for this thing that’s in what August
Chris: DK is in. When is DK? I should know that.
Chris: It gets September.
Ken: All right, so September. So it’s late in the summer, but tell us about this reverse periodization.
Chris: Yeah, so traditional periodization is whatever.
Chris: No, sorry. We’re way off June 1st.
Chris: June 1st.
Ken: Whoa. Okay.
Shayne: So okay, reverse periodization.
Chris: Yeah, so let me start with traditional sort of traditional periodization is where you do high volume, low intensity, which is like zone two miles, which you see all the pros and those guys doing. Then you move into the build phase, which is more kind of growing some sport specific endurance, some sports specific intensity. Typically, VO two max, things like that. And then you have your peak and race phases. Reverse periodization is when you don’t do a tremendous amount of volume during the base phase because you don’t have the time A) to train or B) you live in an environment or a climate where you just can’t do that much training cause it’s snowing or it’s cold or whatever. So I think most drifters tend to use our verse period addition approach, even though they may not realize it where they do a lot of structured work in a lot of racing on Swift during the winter months.
Chris: As the weather gets better they may transition to outdoors more. Then, their writing gets longer and longer and the intensity gradually decreases. So, that’s really where reverse periodization is. You do low volume, high intensity in the beginning. Then you gradually transition to high volume, low intensity as the event approaches. And again, traditional is reversed where it’s high volume, low intensity first, and then lower volume, higher intensity is later.
Chris: So for something like the DK, which it can potentially take somebody the way we say 18 hours, right? 6:00 AM to midnight, that’s 18 hours. It can take 18 hours potentially for somebody to finish. That’s a perfect use of reverse periodization because as you get closer to your event, specificity is really what matters. So the most specific thing that you can do for the dirty Kanza isn’t a swift race. It’s you know, a 10 hour long endurance ride. So you’re almost training much better using a reverse period addition approach, in my opinion, for ultra endurance events. Doing it that way, then you are cramming a ton of volume six months away from the event and then gradually decreasing your volume as you’re increasing your intensity as the event approaches because you’re almost using specificity in reverse, which is not the ideal way to train for the event that you’re going for.
Chris: Does that make sense?
Ken: No, it does make a ton of sense. And I think like you said, like by default, that’s what a lot is. Swifters are doing as much as I do love riding swift still much more than an hour. I usually don’t do much more than an hour, maybe 90 minutes once or twice a week. I’m trying to push it up to two hours. Right. Yeah, but it does, it does start this.
Shayne: Even if you’re a racing cyclist, I gave him the cat three race cat two race. Typically, the early 90 minutes to two hours long. So you only need to do, or a tremendous amount of volume anyways, even during the base phase. Really two hours is going to be your longest event. So it’s more about intensity anyways in view to max repeats, things like that. It’s going to raise your [inaudible 00:29:16] ceiling as high as you can. Reverse periodization and really lends itself well to alter endurance events, in my opinion and my overall experience as a coach.
Chris: Like parenting to alter endurance event.
Shayne: Yeah, and I’m in the low volume, high intensity phase for sure.
Chris: Well I think parenting is more of a high volume, high intensity. What’s that?
Ken: It is unrelenting for sure.Well, this is good stuff and thanks Shane for bringing some insight into how we can use our, our, our trainers to transfer into the things that we really love to do outside.
Ken: We have an interview coming up with Timmy Bauer. Timmy Bauer is on the indoor specialist team for Zwift. It is one of the most dominant indoor teams out there. He’s a cat a plus, or a cat one in real life. He does a lot of [inaudible] events and then he also is A plus rider on Zwift. He was on SP2, which is that spirulina team. He was on that last year and he’s doing some other stuff this year, but we had a really good time talking to him about how he uses indoor training to transfer to outdoor training. So we’re going to move on to that interview right now.
Ken: So this week’s guest is Timmy Bauer. He is one of the guys on the Swift indoor specialist team, but he’s also a cat one racer and he’s been on some, he’s been on some pretty serious race teams over the years that you may have heard of. So good morning, Timmy, how are you?
Timmy: Good morning Ken. It’s great to be here. I’m doing great.
Ken: That’s awesome. So tell, tell the audience what time it is, where you are.
Timmy: Right now it’s about 3:57 AM this is normal wake up and Zwift time for me get the hours in before the kids wake up.
Ken: Gotcha. So how many hours do you usually put in each week or does it vary throughout the year?
Timmy: It definitely varies. Obviously right now it’s pretty cold where I live in the part of California I’m in, we do get snow and it is pretty chilly in the mornings, so it’s a little hard to get motivated sometimes to get out in the cold because my setup is in the garage, but normally shoot for 10 hours. Goal, obviously, when I’m really striving to get fit is 15 hours.
Timmy: Being a dad, you know that you got to make a your time valuable and you got to really get good stuff in while you can with with kids and other life things and job and everything else that goes along.
Ken: Yeah, I mean I know your buddy vegan cycle is Tyler Pierce. I saw on his video he’s pushing up the 20 hours a week and it seems like that’s pretty normal for you know, cat one and pro racers and you found that, I mean did you put in your time when you were younger really doing those big hours and now you just find that you, it’s not as important?
Chris: For sure. When you’re building your base people call it, you’re working to get your cycling legs. It takes a couple of years to get those and once you get to a certain level you can maintain it and you learn what you need to do and how you need to do it. You can become so much more efficient as you become wiser about your fitness and your base of cycling fitness.
Chris: So definitely when I was younger I only had one kid. It was a little easier to crunch a few more hours in. But having two kids is definitely more challenging. I can’t imagine the guys that have three, four, five, that’s crazy.
Ken: Yeah, I’ve got one and just when kindergarten started this year, I went from being really consistent at about eight hours a week drop them down to six hours or so and I’m now we’ve been doing that for three or four months and I’m finally starting to figure out how to get it back in there. But it’s every, every semester, every year things change. You got to figure out the puzzle all over again.
Chris: I’ve definitely noticed with Zwift you can fit in so many more quality miles too. You don’t have as many junk miles as I used to get when I was riding outside and training outside. Right now, like basically this last year I solely trained on Zwift and was very competitive throughout all my races. Even on the USA crit series, which is a pro one event, I went to five of those this year and by far had the best fitness I’ve had out of any year and it was all done on Zwift. It was really awesome.
Ken: Well, that kind of brings us to our focus question for the week, which is transferring from training longterm indoors to singular events outdoors. Can it be done? And then sort of follow up that question, there was a guy on the dad’s inside riding trainers Facebook page that asked fellow dirt members, like would it be possible to train on Swift and then do dirty Kanza.
Chris: Oh, for sure.
Ken: You kind of just answered that question a little, but we’d love to hear your elaboration. Like how long ago did you get into Swift? And I mean, how much do you still ride outside?
Timmy: Yeah, for sure. So let me just jump to the question. Dirty Kanza would totally be accomplish-able training on Zwift. But my Zwift story started on November 8th, 2017 I started Zwift and on the 28th I posted a kit, a picture of me and my kids. I’m one of the message boards and Jason Stern commented on it. It was me with both my kids on the bike in front of me on the trainer. And he said, dude, you’d be a great, a great addition to dirt, you should check it out. So before that I’d always seen the dirt name and I was like, Oh, what are these gravel writers doing? Why is there so many gravel writers on Zwift?
Timmy: So then I researched it, checked out the Facebook group and immediately joined it and I’ll never forget my first race. I was in the middle of my off season just starting my build for the 2018 season and Stern, he was there. A bunch of great guys were there. Aaron Michael [inaudible 00:00:35:54], there’s so many cool guys there. And it was just a blast and I was on Discord and it was just amazing. And I was just like, “Oh my gosh, what is this?”
Timmy: And it just took off from there. I got hooked man. And the results were killer and it’s just it was a life changing event for me. Transferring that to outdoor cycling, I was really nervous. Oh I’ve been on two wheels since I was three years old. I raced the motorcycles from age 3 to age 18 and got into cycling in my twenties and I was like, “man, am I going to lose all my bike handling skills? Like am I going to be terrible outside like what’s going to happen?” But I had no problem. I was great. I think last year I trained a total of 47 days outside and 37 of those were races. So that means I only did 10 training rides last year outside and I did over 9,000 miles on Zwift.
Ken: That is nuts. So and you found, well I guess like. For a couple of years, I was doing outdoor group rides in a pack and but what I noticed is like the less I ride in a pack, the harder it is for me to hold a wheel for. I’m just like nervous about wrecking into him. It’s funny, I think, “Hey, I’m a mountain biker.” Like all the outdoor riding I do is on a mountain bike and I’m going to jump into this group road ride a mountain bikers are just great bike handlers but it’s not the same skillset. It’s definitely different.
Timmy: It is for sure. I’ve just been very fortunate and gifted that I have those skills of pack skills. I feel once you get it in and you feel really comfortable in a pack as something you kind of can’t lose. You can brush up on it once in a while by once in a month hitting a group ride if you need to. I tell you, holding a wheel on Zwift is so much harder than holding real life cause you can’t see their body English. You, you can’t read the person in front of you on Zwift you’re just looking at an avatar. You can watch the little number on the side but sometimes it’s so difficult with the powerful guys out there knowing when they’re going to jump and accelerate. I’ve been off the front of Zwift races before was Ali Jones or Alex West and it’s just nuts. Just like all [inaudible 00:38:28] Aw man, how are they holding four-thirty right now? Like what?
Timmy: It’s cool. It’s really cool.
Ken: Yeah. So here’s the interesting question for you. I think it’s like there’s this like new training puzzle that everybody is trying to figure out. In the past it was really easy to say, “okay, it’s October, all the kids are in school, the bike races are done for the year and we’re going to do this traditional like transition to build block until the first of the year and then start building up and then we’ll have like our specialty phase.” But with Zwift there is no off season.
Timmy: There isn’t.
Ken: You’re racing for indoor specialists, one of the most powerful teams on Swift and you guys never stopped. So how do you keep from burning out or plateaued or any of these other things? Or can you just keep a high level of fitness all the time?
Timmy: You definitely cannot. So you’ve got to find a time to switch off. The team I’m part of is literally the greatest cycling team I’ve ever been a part of, indoor or outdoor. And we’ve got an awesome group of guys. We have so much fun. And I think that’s what drives us all to work so hard and, and to try so hard. And then we have the support of the dirt guys. It’s so cool cause you can jump in any race and there’s going to be a dirt guy and they’re so awesome. They’re always there to help you out. It’s so great because you share something in common. But as far as going back to your question, there’s no way to hold a solid top fitness 365 days a year. So you got to find a time to switch off. For me, it’s always been October.
Timmy: And so what’s worked? The indoor specialist guys are cool enough to let me drop down in October and start picking it back up in November. So I can still have a little time to let my body settle down and then really chase back hard. Right now I’m back on that upward climb. I had an unfortunate event this July and broke my hand at salt Lake city in the USA right there. So that kind of maybe start in my off season a little earlier, but I’d really tried to push through that injury riding the time trial bike one hand on this race. I moved to switch the, the shifter to my left side so I could just keep [inaudible] gears. I still have to have some time off. Matt Gardner, one of my teammates and indoor specialist, he’s one who can hold a top level of fitness for a very long time. And a lot of the guys on our team, they don’t race outside. Me and Matt C are two of the only that do race outside. So, they aren’t truly indoor specialists. I’m lucky to be a little of both.
Timmy: You still got to have off season whether you plan it in the fall like I do or the other guys, a lot of them actually take a dip in the spring and go on a little vacation like this past May and June. A couple of them took a little vacations and went and did outdoor things. You got to find a time to refresh your body.
Ken: So what did that look like for you for October? What did you do different? Did you just not write at all or you took like two weeks off and then two weeks of just sort of playing around on a bike here and there?
Timmy: I’ve never not rode at all. I’ve always loved it. So my off season would normally consist of maybe tops two or three days off a week. Okay. But just dropping the intensity, not doing intervals. Try not to race. That’s so tempting to always race.
Ken: Yeah, it is.
Timmy: Trying to dropping the intensity and enjoying your family, making time to do special things with your kids and your wife. Let’s be real, even during the season you have to do that as a father that’s what comes first, bike racing is number two. So you know, you’ve got to be creative, but my off season is normally trying to ride maybe three or four days a week instead of my normal six.
Ken: Well, here’s the fun. Here’s the funny thing about cyclists is like if you really love it, it’s really hard to stay off the bike. I mean you want to ride.
Timmy: So true. Yeah. That is so true.
Ken: You know, I did quite a bit of training and dedicated trainer rides this, this summer, really all year. Then, probably in the last three or four weeks I’m like, “I just can’t do it. I can’t make myself do an FTP test. I can’t make myself do a sweet spot workout. Forget it.” So I took some extra days off. I had a cold, I was like this is a good opportunity to chill and now Nika season has started. So, I’m trying to horn in these afterschool mountain bike practices with the high school team two days a week along with you know, other stuff. And I remember this time last year it was easy to do, say the morning grind Fondo on Wednesday morning, and then do the afternoon ride with the kids. But I couldn’t keep doing that cause the kids kept getting fitter and faster.
Ken: Come around February. I was like, okay, I can’t do both of these on the same day. You know, it’s, it’s just impossible.
Timmy: I will say though, that double rides, meaning morning and evening rides are one of the best ways to get fit and fast.
Timmy: I love doing that during the week. Doing like I always just do Double Down Tuesdays and I’d ride in the morning and the evening and that’s just so fun. You definitely have to find times to take a break. It’s tricky being a dad because you have so many other things going on. Some of these single guys, they can focus and just solely train and not have any distractions from their bike where we have so many distractions and responsibilities that hit us in everyday life. It’s crazy.
Ken: Yeah, that is very true. So one of the videos that I loved is you build out like a little mountain bike track in your backyard for your kids and I’m seeing you and your kids railing these dirt berms and that just looks like so much fun.
Timmy: Yeah, we’ve got to, we literally created one right in our backyard and then on the back of our property we’ve got a bigger one and it’s so fun for the kids cause they can learn all sorts of technique and bike handling skills and they just have a blast. My son, Hudson, he’s going to be two January 3rd and he’s been on a Strider bike since he was nine months old and the kid just loves it. He rips around these dirt tracks and these burns and makes motorcycle noises.
Timmy: And my daughter, Delaney, she’s seven years old and she’s got this Scott mountain bike. It’s so cool. And she just has a blast on it. I mean he’s got fat wide tires, disc brakes. This is the coolest bike ever and she just rips on it is so fun. It’s the best time just riding with them and, and just kicking back and enjoying bikes.
Ken: Yeah, that’s super cool. So they just built, they’re building a pump track in my neighborhood, one for the adults and one for the kids side by side. and it should be…
Timmy: That’s awesome.
Ken: It should be open in about a month if it ever stops raining. Yeah.
Ken: So I have to ask you a question. Is okay, is dirty Kansas something you’re looking at this year?
Timmy: Not for me.
Ken: And why is that?
Timmy: Well, so I’ve got a budget. Okay. Money doesn’t grow on trees. So I’ve got to pick my events and really enjoy them. There is a SoCal kind of gravel race that I wanted to do. The name is slipping me right now, but Dirty Kanza definitely interesting. And if I ever get a gravel bike or can afford to have a cross style bike, boom would totally do it. I don’t think I would do dirty Kanza on a road bike.
Ken: I understand that.
Timmy: The Belgian waffle ride, the Belgian Waffle Ride is the one that I’m looking at doing this year. I was going to do it last year, but something came up with my daughter and I wasn’t able to go. But, I’m looking forward to doing it this year. And that would be my first time doing that event. The Belgian Waffle Ride is a little shorter than the Dirty Kanza. But the Dirty Kanza looks awesome. It’s definitely something I want to do. I really want to do in some of those gravel events, but I’ve really put my road cycling career first because we all know that this only lasts for so long. I do know guys that are still racing the cat pro one level at 40 but that’s kind of not normal.
Timmy: 30 is normally your prime, and I’m getting really close to that. I’m 27 you’re getting a little nervous, but I’m definitely putting that first and foremost just because I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t have enough money to have unlimited bikes or I would.
Ken: Right, I understand that one.
Timmy: In mg=y garage think I have nine.
Timmy: Four for me. I built one for my wife and my kids have three or four. And when I buy a kid’s bike, I don’t buy a kid’s bike. I go and buy the nicest bike cause it’s got to last multiple kids. Yeah. So if you invest in a quality bike, you can get that through multiple kids. It’d be solid.
Ken: Yeah, but I always had Huffy. Toys R Us bikes and Huffy bikes.
Timmy: I did too.
Ken: My daughter’s first bike was a specialized, her second one is this sweet Sunday BMX and it’s like as long as she’s my daughter, she’s going to, she’s going to have a six at of wheels.
Timmy: I remember buying my daughter her first bike, we were at a bike store. I was getting into cycling, but I had no idea I was ever going to race. I was like, I’m not interested in racing. Me and my wife went down, we bought these, I bought a felt, she bought a track, he was on sale. I was able to get the track credit card. We got them both and this was 2014, all 2014. I was like, Oh this is great. And then we go back down there to get some more stuff. And my daughter sits on this little track pink track, and she was just saying a couple words and she looks at me and says, “Daddy, I want this bike please” heart melted. I was getting my wallet out as quick as I could. Bought this little track.
Ken: Man, you’re a sucker. Just like me.
Timmy: I am dude. The kids, the kids are awesome though. That’s your life. It’s the best thing. It’s the best thing about you. And you can’t be more than blessed to have them between both of our kids. We lost a daughter 28 weeks into pregnancy to Potter syndrome, and I tell you, it will put it in perspective and make you appreciate things so much more when you go through a turmoil like that. It’s just something. You never know what’s going to happen to your kids and you’ve got to enjoy them and love them as much as you can.
Ken: I remember reading your blog about that and I was, it got me, man, it got me.
Timmy: Yeah. You know, there’s so many parents that go through it, but it’s like this hidden scar that nobody talks about. And I feel if you can talk about it maybe it’ll help some of those other parents that have been that and we’ll be going through that in the future because that’s not an uncommon thing. It’s the hardest, one of the hardest things you’ll go through in life.
Timmy: It’s, it’s rough. That’s what makes you stronger. That’s what makes you enjoy what you have and appreciate how blessed you are.
Ken: I can see how that really helped you and your wife bond and also just talking about how technology can separate us, but then it can also help us build such a strong network. Cause before we started team dirt, I was just about done with Facebook. I was just like there’s just, there’s nothing but politics and anger here. And then we started team dirt and now every day I go to Facebook. And it’s just dad’s talking about bikes and sharing experiences about their kids on bike. It’s just like, wow, this is really amazing. I’m so glad that this thing just took off the way it did because there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of parents out there that feel isolated and this is just one more tool to bring us together.
Timmy: Yeah and going through life as a parent is hard enough by itself. But going through life and trying to be fit and disciplined is so hard. And if we can all encourage each other like we do, it makes it so much easier and so much more exciting cause you’re looking forward to riding with these people. You’re looking forward to seeing these people, giving them ride ons. It’s just the best. And the special events. I mean it’s so cool to community we, you and Stern have built, cause you guys were the founders and I know there’s a couple of other guys with you guys, but it’s amazing. It’s the coolest thing about cycling and it helps so many of us. It helps me race outside and it helps sone other dads in other ways. It’s the coolest thing. Dirt. I couldn’t imagine life without it.
Ken: That’s great Timmy, and I think we can wrap up there, but really quickly I want to give you the opportunity to tell us about what’s coming up next for indoor specialists and give us a plug for your sponsors and then we’ll…
Ken: We’ll wrap up there.
Timmy: You know for sure we’ve had a really exciting change of events. We’ve been working with Saurus and we’ve all got these new Saurus H3 trainers and I started out on a kicker. I am so impressed by the H3 it’s so much quieter. It’s a mind blowing and it’s so much smoother. The wahoo kicker was great. I am not wanting to bash people, but I do prefer the Saurus H3, hands down, over the kicker and it’s also cheaper, mind blowing. We’re really fortunate to work with them. Like I said, we’ve got some awesome guys in the team. Literally 300 group messages a day, if not more. Like we talk every day like it’s the greatest thing on earth, these guys and the team, we’ve built. It’s so fun and it’s really awesome to have a big company come along like Saurus support us. Were just mind blown with their, their product.
Timmy: And what’s really cool is we’re helping develop it and doing all sorts of calibrations and dual recordings for them and working directly with the company to improve their training and try to make it the best one on the market, if it’s not already there. So, that’s been really exciting. We’re all ripping in and doing our best to race. The guys are smashing it. Ryan and Holden and Matt both the Matts, all three of the Matts, they’re ripping so good right now. Tolly, he’s an old dirt guy. He’s a large supporter of our team and one of our sponsors, Tolly Lester. And he’s coming back from his summer break. Aaron Cole his down in Australia as well. And we’ve got a new guy named Brad Norton from Australia who’s really strong, a masters world champion on the track. So that’s exciting too. And we’re looking forward to riding with him more.
Timmy: We’ve got some great guys. Our rosters changed up a little this year. A few guys ended up leaving the team, which is always sad, but we’ve also got some new guys come on and it’s so fun. Both the Matts but so much work into iy. Matt Gardner and Matt Brandt and we’re so thankful for that. And Holden, I remember him coming on right before net and I was like a “triathlete, like really”. And he’s so strong. He’s a sprinter. What triathlete is a sprinter?
Timmy: So, it’s so fun. We have such a great time and we’re so thankful to be working with Saurus and with Tolly’s support the Lester company. It’s just been awesome this year and we’re looking forward to the next year and also just to dabble outside next year. I’m really excited.
Timmy: My parents started this new thing called Bauer racing and we’re going to go have fun, enjoy it with the kids and hit some events that I haven’t been able to do racing for teams and other writers. So, just going to focus on that and I’m able to work with Science and Sports still. They’ve been a huge supporter of me. I’m one of their leading ambassadors in the USA and also got LEO onboard for clothing. Then, Tyler’s clothing company, Ride Bikes Bros, is also one of my supporters. So, we’re just going to have fun, enjoy the racing outside. I’m going to hit quite a few of the USA crit events, which really interests me cause who doesn’t like racing with a hundred guys on a downtown circuit with potholes, manhole covers at like an average of 30 miles an hour? It’s the bet.
Ken: Sounds awesome Timmy. Well you have awesome holiday season. Thank you for joining us for the podcast today.
Timmy: Thank you Ken. I’ve had a blast.
Ken: I hope you enjoyed the interview and thanks again to Timmy Bauer for taking the time to be on NGP. Chris and Shayne. Great catching up with you as well and happy holidays.
Chris: Happy holidays.
Shayne: Yeah, you too. Thank you.
Ken: Thank you everyone for listening to never going pro podcast on and I will see you in Watopia.
In this episode of the podcast, Shayne, Chris, and Ken speak about the main cycling training platforms giving “what’s hot” and “what’s not” for each. Our special guest this week is Jeremiah Bishop, Canyon ambassador. Enjoy!
Ken: This week I heard the best joke. It’s a animal joke. You all want to hear it?
Ken: Okay, so a platypus walks into a bar … so stupid, so stupid.
Chris: Keep going.
Shayne: Already better than anything else you’ve ever said, so that’s good.
Ken: All right, so a platypus walks into a bar owned by a duck. He finishes his drink and he asks for his check. Duck billed platypus.
Shayne: That’s a good one, I like that one
Chris: That’s pretty good, man, it was cute.
Shayne: Yeah, I like that one.
Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Shayne: Yeah, it’s really cute, yeah.
Chris: Duck billed platypus.
Shayne: I like it.
Ken: That’s better than my other, you know, walked into a bar joke. You know the blind guy walked into a bar and a wall and a chair.
Shayne: That might be the best one in eight, what’s this? Nine episodes now, eight episodes?
Ken: This is episode eight, so eight …
Shayne: Makes it the best one yest.
Ken: That might be the best one … well, thank you, thank you.
Ken: Well, welcome to The Never Going Pro Podcast by Dads Inside Riding Trainers featuring GC Coaching. It … Did I mess that up?
Chris: Just keep going.
Ken: We’re doing all right? We’re keeping … Okay, we’ll keep it going.
Ken: It’s a podcast about riding bikes and parenthood and trying really, really hard at both. I’m your host Ken The Badger Nowell and with me is Shayne Gaffney owner of GC Coaching.
Shayne: Hello, Everyone.
Ken: And Chris Gorney, fellow DIRT Teammate, passionate Cyclist, and outstanding Dad.
Ken: How’s everybody doing?
Shayne: Good, ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Got a relatively short drive, only about 90 minutes. The problem is my entire family have the first round of illnesses going through the house, so hopefully, they’ll be better by tomorrow, but we’ll see.
Chris: Ooh, oh, no way.
Ken: That’s pretty bad.
Shayne: What about you guys?
Ken: Hanging at the house, cooking turkey, got my wife’s family coming over.
Shayne: Nice, are you deep frying it or traditionally, like baking it?
Ken: We got one of those giant turkey roasters . It’s like a big crock pot.
Ken: I borrowed that, so yeah, it should be cool.
Ken: Yeah, so anyway … Welcome, Everybody to the-
Shayne: Can we do some badger eats quick? What do you guys …
Chris: Oh, yes … Now I’m paying attention.
Shayne: Because I’m curious what the South eats on Thanksgiving.
Ken: We don’t get to cook for Thanksgiving everything that I would like to cook, because-
Chris: Can we do this in two segments? I’d like to know what you’d like to cook and I’d like to know what you actually are cooking?
Ken: Okay, well, from my family, where I’m from, we like to take fresh vegetables and cook them into oblivion with fat and salt. Broccoli is smothered in cheese …
Shayne: Oh, yeah.
Ken: And cream and it’s unrecognizable as a vegetable and then … What’s the other thing we like? We like the green bean casserole which you get those like Durkee fried onions out of a can and you put them on top. Yup, yup, those I like that..
Shayne: Me, too.
Chris: I feel like I need to be the dissenting voice and act like I’m indignant that you eat those, but I mean who doesn’t like those? Everybody likes those.
Ken: Man, I ran it by my English expat in-laws and they were just disgusted. They were like, “We’re having none of that,” so, hey, whatever, you know. We’ll have turkey …
Chris: Hold on, hold on, your English expat in-laws?
Chris: Is your wife British?
Ken: Her mom is and her dad is and she’s got English passport. I guess, she’s a dual citizen.
Shayne: They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving there, right?
Chris: Sounds like a Hallmark movie now, like this British … You know, socialite marries some sort of like backwater monster thing [crosstalk 00:04:07]. Reforms him.
Ken: Yeah, well … Hey, let me tell our audience about my podcast partners here. You guys are going on and on about shaving your legs and when I started giving you some pushback, it ends up with me being called a stupid redneck.
Chris: Hey, I don’t think anyone called you a stupid redneck. I think the phrase was, “I’m trying to not call you a stupid redneck,” so it wasn’t exactly … and I’m not saying it was me. It might have been Shayne.
Ken: Oh, well, see … So you were trying to rise above your instinct then?
Chris: Yeah, but I still wanted to let you know. Again, not saying it was me. It could have been Shayne.
Shayne: Definitely was not me, but okay.
Ken: Nah, Shayne’s nice than you.
Chris: That’s …
Shayne: Thank you [crosstalk 00:04:49].
Ken: Yes, so … Go ahead.
Chris: There is an interesting comment in that dialogue where, you know, there’s like a soothsayer reading tea leaves within a cycling group of, you know, you come up on somebody, never ridden in a group before with him and maybe you’re just joining the group or you’re out on the road and you just kind of latch onto somebody and you see a bunch of people with shaved legs and you see a guy without shaved legs. Do you (A) be concerned because maybe they’re new and you don’t want to hold their wheel too tight or (B) go … or maybe it’s the other way and maybe because they don’t shave their legs, you’re actually the strongest person in the group? I mean, you don’t know.
Shayne: What month is it?
Chris: Fair point. I live in California, so months don’t matter. It’s all the same weather every day.
Shayne: [crosstalk 00:05:35], yeah, so if it’s March or April here, then I wouldn’t be too … Not prejudiced … I wouldn’t be too … what’s the [crosstalk 00:05:45]-
Ken: No, prejudice I the right word.
Shayne: The right word I’m looking for?
Chris: All right, yeah, so in that case, then yeah, if it’s late spring, summer, I’m not following that wheel. I’ll be that guy, for sure, 100%.
Chris: I think, since we’re talking about platforms, I think Zwift … Not that we’re getting into it yet, but we can … What if Zwift had a special setting where you could have shaved or non-shaved legs on your avatar?
Shayne: I’d have shaved legs.
Ken: I’d have shaved legs for the arrow effect.
Chris: I would have one unshaved leg and one shaved leg.
Ken: I’m sure our Sports Scientist Shayne Gaffney knows, is there a real aerodynamic benefit of having shaved legs?
Shayne: Yeah, it’s negligible but there is some, yes.
Shayne: But, I mean, let’s call a spade a spade, I mean, people shave their legs, because they’re assimilating into the culture. That’s really all they’re doing it for.
Shayne: There’s always like, aerodynamic advantage and what else have I heard? Easier to take care of road rash if you crash.
Chris: Which, hey, that’s true, yeah, but maybe not as much as … It’s not like the only thing you can lean on.
Shayne: No, I mean, I’d definitely start shaving it because I looked at people that had … Who were faster than me and they shaved their legs, so I was like, “Hey, I’m going to do it, too.” Now I just do it because I think it’s what you’re supposed to do, so like you said, just kind of assimilating into the culture.
Chris: Yeah, do you and your wife rub legs together?
Shayne: We do, yeah.
Shayne: I actually really enjoy it, but …
Chris: Does one of you get angry at the other when there’s stubble?
Shayne: I am a better leg shaver than she is, I think.
Chris: Yeah, my wife listens to these podcasts, but I will say that there was a season while we were dating where she was concerned that my legs were smoother than hers and I remember we’re on a walk and I remember where we were when we were talking about it and I was doing triathlons at the time and she was like, “Wait, you shave your legs?” And it was this whole thing and I was like, “Oh, man, this might be a turning point in our relationship.” I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go.
Ken: Yeah, I don’t even think my wife knows I do a podcast.
Chris: Oh, she’s too concerned with what the Royals are doing and …
Ken: Yeah, the Royals … She’s way into Crossfit, man. She’s watching all that Crossfit stuff, but her shoulders look nicer than mine, so there’s that.
Shayne: Does she eat Paleo?
Ken: We, you know … No, not anymore … We tried-
Shayne: I know you don’t eat Paleo.
Chris: Yeah, you for sure, I mean you eat like a caveman, but not that way.
Ken: I’ll eat like the caveman that walked into the grocery store and his eyes just popped wide open.
Chris: I was going to say landfill, but, yeah, [crosstalk 00:08:44] …
Ken: So you know, interestingly enough, like Crossfit has gone through its own nutrition phases. Like back when I started in 2009, 2010, everybody was into the Zone diet and then it was the Paleo diet and then they sort of relaxed and got into the Primal Blueprint, and then later [crosstalk 00:09:05] your Macros. Now everybody’s just doing Macros. I don’t even know what they’re doing anymore, but, yeah, anyway.
Chris: I don’t remember the Zone diet phase. I only remember the Paleo, Primal, and yeah, just those two. I don’t remember the Zone phase. That’s interesting. They’re super good at naming things, though. I mean that’s interesting.
Ken: I think that the Zone diet was the official diet that they … Well, they for sure taught it when I took my certification in 2010 and then again in 2015. They were still talking about the Zone.
Chris: Huh, I don’t remember that, that’s interesting. .
Ken: Yeah, it is.
Chris: It’s the first gym I worked for, I did indoor cycling classes and there was a half of a … Like a personal training gym and the other half was a Crossfit box.
Chris: So probably like, ’09, ’10, ’11, somewhere in that range, and I don’t remember people … People were always talking about Paleo and what they were eating but I don’t remember the Zone diet being one of those things.
Ken: Yup, sure was.
Chris: There’s a friend of mine whose name is Matt Taylor who is getting his PhD in these kinds of things and he was a huge Crossfit guy, and really just super strong and really fun to do workouts with and he … I forget his actual degree but it was all about … it wasn’t nutrition but it was more research based, with how to do with that and he would always talk about Macros and he kind of scoffed at all these diets, because he just actually knew what he was talking about. It was fascinating to sit down with him and … you know, [inaudible 00:10:40] podcast more about how you’re eating all the time than just some of the time, and so it was just fascinating, which seems like we spend all this interview talking about different kinds of diets, when in reality, it’s more about the long term and your actual habits, not your fads, but, anyway, different podcast.
Shayne: Yup, yup.
Ken: Speaking of this podcast, we got a-
Chris: This podcast.
Ken: This one. Let’s talk about what we’re going to be talking about today. First of all, there is a bad ass cyclist that we interviewed to day and his name is Jeremiah Bishop and if you haven’t heard of him, he is a very well decorated mountain biker who has been on the United States mountain biking scene, even the international scene to some degree for decades. He’s still out there killing it so hang out until we’re done talking and make sure you listen to that interview because he’s a super cool guy, and then today, we’re going to be talking about four big digital cycling tools, platforms, apps, whatever you want to call them and that’s going to be Training Peaks, TrainerRoad, Strava, and Zwift sort of a compare and contrast and maybe you can figure out what is right for you and your goals and your preferences.
Chris: I have two things to say. One, did you ask … Because I haven’t listened to it … Did you ask Bishop if he shaves his legs?
Ken: I don’t think we got that deep into the weeds in our conversation. He probably does though.
Shayne: I bet he does.
Chris: I’m just saying.
Ken: I bet he does.
Chris: You talked about mountain biking, so there you go, hairy monster in the woods, but the other thing is everyone should know that we, for this podcast, are using what could quite possibly be the world’s best research matrix, the Excel sheet.
Chris: That The Badger is very proud of.
Ken: Yeah, man, this spreadsheet …
Shayne: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:12:33] that’s in the show notes.
Ken: We’re going to put this …
Ken: We’re putting the spreadsheet in the show notes, so we’re actually trying to figure out, well, how are we going to go about talking about these different things and so I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to start by talking about one platform and then the other and then we can sort of share anecdotally our experience with each one. I think we need to start with the mother of all cycling apps, which is Strava, sound good to you?
Chris: It sounds great. Should we kind of disclaimer here and say like, “We’re not necessarily endorsing any specific one and pretty much everything you’re about to hear is going to be solely opinion based, so please argue with us and we’d love to get feedback. We’d love to get comments and if there’s things we’re missing, for sure, let us know, because I’m sure all of our wives would love us to have more monthly subscriptions to cycling things for us to test out, so …”
Ken: I think that’s a fair statement. Also, none of these people pay us and we’re going to try to be …
Chris: It’s true, not yet.
Ken: Not yet. They’re listening though.
Shayne: Let me … I do work for Zwift and Zwift does pay me, so I may be a little quieter during that conversation.
Ken: Okay, got you.
Chris: No, they’re going to stop paying you if you don’t ‘fess up.
Ken: But then I’ll be quiet, but nothing like I’m [crosstalk 00:13:49] …
Chris: I guess I should say I’m also, since we just moved to California, I’m currently borrowing a trainer from Zwift until my new trainer gets here, so …
Ken: Well, and you know what, I love Zwift. As a matter of fact, I love all four platforms and so we’re going to dig in and talk about Strava. So Strava, when you go to their website, the tagline is, “The number one app for cyclists and runners,” but I have another one that we can use, titled, “Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free,” and the reason I say that is like there is a huge suite of tools on Strava that you can get at no charge, so if you’re just a very casual cyclist then that might be a good place to start, because this doesn’t cost you anything.
Chris: You’re talking about Summit versus their … or you’re talking about their kind of pro version where you can pay extra for their Summit features but you really don’t necessarily need them and it’s just a free app?
Ken: Right, so there is a free app that has a lot of features so you’ll be featured on their King of the Mountains and all the segments. You can see those. You can see who rode with you if you were on a group ride, and then there are the Summit features and so those start at $2 per feature and if you … or $2.50 per feature and it’s like … It’s a total of eight bucks if you get everything or $60 a year. Eight bucks a month or 60 bucks a year.
Chris: Did they change that or is it piecemeal? I thought it was just one cost?
Ken: It is. No, it’s piece-
Chris: Okay, so they changed it?
Ken: They changed it a couple of years ago, so-
Chris: Oh, yeah, I am up to date.
Ken: Yeah, so the …
Shayne: When they did it, I believe when they upgraded, if you were already paying for premium, they gave you everything in Summit for the same price, but if you were new to Summit, they you have to pay everything in piecemeal. I think that’s how they did it.
Chris: Hey, this is the point where I said I was going to mention the thing that I hadn’t yet mentioned.
Chris: My daughter just woke up, so the likelihood of her running in here and screaming is pretty high, so we’re just going to let that happen.
Ken: We’re going to let it … yeah.
Chris: It’s about prepping a parent, so everyone just be prepared.
Ken: Yeah, sounds good. We sort of looked at a number of different things for each of these platforms. The price, training plans, fitness tracking, social features, and then of course, what’s hot and what’s not. So as far as training plans go, Strava, I’m going to say is pretty weak. They have some training plans but I haven’t seen any changes there in years and it doesn’t support Erg Mode or SmartTrainers, anything like that.
Ken: They really excel with their social features. They’ve kind of gone all in on their social features over the years where they have tools for organizing group rides and also blogs for cyclists and they also have like a cycling club tools, so you can … Yeah, it’s like a form, sort of for your cycling club.
Chris: Well, it’s become a verb, like that’s when you know it’s there. It’s like, “Oh, did you Strava that?” I hear people say that all the time in cycling groups, “Oh, make sure you Strava that,” and so you’re like, “Okay, it’s reached very status, so therefore it’s major.”
Ken: Oh, it’s a huge app.
Chris: Yeah, I mean I was a little sore about when they pulled off the Relive thing last year. Was it earlier this year when they killed that? Earlier this year?
Ken: It was this year.
Shayne: Earlier this year.
Chris: Yeah, because we use that all the time. Like you know, you’d be able to kind of track who’s where but then they’ve got that new service. My only beef with Strava … I love Strava, pure opinion here, I use it all the time. I’m not a social media guy but I was just not so much used to do, but I love Strava. My wife uses it, too, and they’ve got a lot more info online, like to get on their website, there’s a lot of … but it’s kind of difficult to find. That’s my only thing is it’s, you know, your first … If you’re using the app, it’s great. There’s actually a lot more data and you can kind of see even where you ran into other people who you don’t even know. There’s all this extra things you can do.
Ken: Right, right.
Chris: But you don’t ever think to go to the website. I mean, it’s like what you do when you’re at work and you’re like, “I mean I need to change my brain for 10 minutes.” You can go to Strava or something but … and I’ve never figured out why some efforts are hidden, some segments. Have you guys ever seen that on the website? There’s little tabs that says, “Show hidden segments.” I’m like, “What [crosstalk 00:18:28] hidden segment?”
Ken: Yeah, I think I know why. Because what you can … This is I’m guessing here. You can star segments that you want to show up, be prioritized in your feed and perhaps it is an algorithm that’s hiding the segments that nobody is starring. That’s my assumption.
Chris: Okay, I’ll buy that.
Shayne: I think it’s … You can create segments and then you can hide them on yourself or like … Not you can hide them yourself, but the person that created the segment can hide the segment. They also hide them if they’re marked, if they’re flagged as dangerous, too.
Ken: Yeah, yeah.
Chris: Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve never even thought about that.
Ken: They do.
Shayne: Like they added a stop sign or like they added a 90 degree corner or whatever, an athlete can flag it as dangerous and then Strava will automatically hide that and also remove the leaderboard as well.
Ken: There was a lawsuit a number of years ago where somebody was killed doing a downhill segment like it was a mountain that ran through the middle of San Francisco or something crazy like that.
Shayne: Yeah, and people are, I mean people do Strava. That’s one of the big strength in my opinion for Strava is the KOM because it gives you that competition feature which we really didn’t have before. Zwift, which we’ll get to later, but like if you only did a race once a week, maybe twice a month, then the other times of the season, you really didn’t have anything to really push you, to motivate you to dig deep, besides the group ride. So segments are really good for being able to kind of harness that inner adrenaline, that inner kind of beast that you only get when you’re racing something or you’re kind of chasing that carrot. That’s a great train tool, as long as obviously it’s safe.
Ken: Oh, yeah.
Chris: It’s a good way to push yourself every … Like, so I ride … Again because of where I live, I can pretty much ride out every day and so I split my time between on the trainer and outside and it’s easy to stay motivated on the trainer because there’s training plans and races but outside when you’re in group ride, you’re not necessarily control the pace. Strava, it actually helps a lot because everybody’s aware of kind of certain ride segments and so the pace quickly picks up. You can really use the Strava segments to create some non or to create some healthy competition in a group ride every morning, rather than just trying to be a jerk and race that guy to the flagpole or whatever.
Ken: No, and I mean, I think that that was really the game changer. I think as far as I’m concerned, that was their unique selling proposition is they sort of gamified cycling, but also they have …
Shayne: Yeah, outside.
Ken: Right, outside cycling. Also, one of their strengths is … or one of the aspects we were going to talk about on all four of these platforms is fitness tracking and so what they track is mileage and hours. It has a four week summary that will show you what your average ride volume’s been over the last four weeks. There’s a training calendar view and a training log view, and a My Activities view. It will also match your rides with other participates and Premium members can use their fitness and freshness tracker to see their Chronic Training Loads, they CTL. I put that it does not display training stress score.
Ken: I think that’s correct. Maybe you could correct me if I’m wrong there.
Shayne: No, they have a proprietary measurements. I think it’s Training Impact, I believe it’s called.
Shayne: No, [crosstalk 00:22:19] it’s called Training Load, so Training Load is a type of TSS.
Ken: Okay, so they do kind of have … These had the same points?
Chris: And it’s a feature of Summit and so you have to pay for it.
Shayne: Yup, yeah, TSS, CTL, ATL, all that stuff is proprietary to TrainingPeaks.
Shayne: If a software wants to use it, they have to pay TrainingPeaks for the licenses.
Ken: Got it, got it.
Shayne: That’s why you see other stuff.
Ken: As far as being a training interface Strava really is not a training interface. It only tracks the rides that you have done virtually or in real life and it is compatible, it syncs with Zwift and TrainerRoad but not TrainingPeaks. So I think TrainingPeaks and Strava are more or less competitors or they have enough crossover to where they have decided not to play too nicely with each other.
Chris: Exactly. Strava’s kind of, you know, as far as how people use it, it’s kind of the end of the line. Like regardless of what other platform you use, Garmin, Zwift, whatever, TrainerRoad, you end up seeing it on Strava also. It’s kind of the bottom of the bucket when things land.
Ken: Yes, yes, that is true. As far as what’s hot and what’s not, Strava is all about the segments and the KOMs and what I put is what is not is that they’ve been focused so much on social media that they really haven’t catered much to the competitive cyclists in recent years. I think they’ve kind of stagnated and missed an opportunity to really roll out more training features for cycling geeks like me.
Ken: They also cut of Relive, which pissed a bunch of people off, but you know, hey …
Chris: So Relive for people who don’t know was kind of like a flyover. It was linked to Strava and after you would ride your ride, you’d get an email a little bit, the strange amount of time is always like 15 or 20 minutes. Like you’re wondering like what computer was processing what where, but you’d get this email and then it would essentially be a flyover based on Google maps of your ride. Then it would kind of show you your peak heart rate and the highest elevation, maybe your fastest speed. If you took any photos, they would automatically like pop up and pause, so it’s kind of like a one minute review of your ride, which is pretty cool and you could kind of see your friend’s and how they are related, but it’s gone.
Ken: Yup. Well, let’s talk about TrainingPeaks, you know what, I think Shayne probably has the most insight because as a Cycling Coach, he uses TrainingPeaks quite a bit. Shayne, you want to tell us a little bit about it?
Shayne: Yeah, TrainingPeaks is my app I spend the most time in, I think, professionally, working with my athletes, and it’s also how I create their workouts, training plans, get a bird’s eye view of the season, progression, regression, FTP tracking. I mean, that’s kind of my go to app for everything I do for my nine to five job. It is not Strava where it has a social media component to it. It’s very one on one, coach to athlete relationship. There is communication between it, but I guess that’s just with athlete to coach. It does have a great calendar but TrainerRoad has a calendar, too, which we’ll get to later.
Shayne: I think the most powerful thing that it does for athletes and coaches alike is just the amount of proprietary data and information that you get. Like we’ve already talked about TSS, CTL, TSB, ATL, intensity factor, a variability index, sufficiency factor, all those things you hear about and all those kind of word soup acronyms you see constantly, those all come from TrainingPeaks essentially and other people use them, typically pay them licenses to use them.
Shayne: Yeah, so that’s kind of …
Chris: What kind of person do I need to be or what if my goals are blank, would TrainerPeaks really help me? Like what’s the situation where it would be the ideal platform?
Shayne: The ideal platform, I think, just in my personal opinion, it’s for everybody that wants to get a little bit more nerdy with their training or geek out a little bit on the data but it also just gives you, I think, better insight into what you’re doing now, what you’ve done in the past, and what you need to do in the future to go from point A to point B. It’s just another way to make your training more objective and a little bit more science based and data based as opposed to training off a feel or training off of miles and elevation and time, training off of TSS, which is a much more objective way to train. You know, making those small changes can result in a pretty big change in fitness.
Ken: What I put is that their fitness tracking is their core competency and that’s really what they built their entire platform around. It’s definitely not a social media platform, and then what I put as far as compatibility is it does sync with TrainerRoad and Zwift, but not directly with Strava, so say for instance, if you did an outdoor ride, and you were using your Garmin, that could upload the TrainingPeaks and Strava separately, but they’re not going to crossover.
Shayne: Right. Yup.
Ken: So like when I do an outdoor ride, I use a Lausanne bike computer and it uploads directly to TrainingPeaks. I put what is hot …
Shayne: I think …
Ken: Go ahead.
Shayne: [inaudible 00:27:54] I think the automatic push of workouts to Zwift I think is their best feature they have developed in the past probably two years. I think that’s revolutionized people using TrainingPeaks and gotten them a much bigger chunk of the market and that’s really my basis of like my training plans that I … Not my training plans, but my pre-made plans. I make sure that everybody knows that’s an option how to use Zwift, because that just makes your life much easier because you just have to log into Zwift and your work is waiting there for you, so I think that’s a huge, huge feature to have that nobody else does.
Ken: This is why I’ve recently started paying for the premium training piece there, is their free version of the training piece, which is pretty good, but if you want the analytics and I you want your dashboard to be able to show a million different graphs, that are personalized to you, I mean that’s where it’s at. As far as what’s hot, I said, they have an annual training program or a plan where you can layout your whole year with your A, B, and C races, whatever, and as far as what is not, I said I was hoping for a one stop shop and to replace TrainerRoads plans and Strava’s Summit. But unfortunately or fortunately they do sell their plans separately for anywhere from five bucks to I think 800 bucks. They’re some really expensive plans on there.
Chris: But it makes sense if you’re … I mean if your goal is like what Shayne said is like you’re a way past dedicated amateur like us and you’re trying to … this is your thing, like $800 for a training plan a year is actually … I mean if you compare that to the amount of money people pay for a personal trainer and things like that, it’s not crazy.
Ken: Oh, that’s true. That is true.
Ken: Yeah, so …
Shayne: I’ve always like to compare like companies to like the cell phone market, like Apple versus Android. I feel like TrainingPeaks is more, the training plan market is more of an Android approach where it’s open source, anybody can create stuff and put it on there. Whereas Zwifts, TrainerRoads is more of an Apple where you’re getting a product that will work within their ecosystem but you really can’t … There’s not a lot of choice and not a lot of variety.
Ken: I see. I think that’s a good analogy.
Chris: I will say in TrainerRoad, I mean at first glance, TrainerRoad has a million workouts and their plans aren’t necessarily super diverse but [crosstalk 00:30:30] …
Chris: Yeah, yeah, TrainerRoad has … I mean I don’t even know how many workouts they have so there is …
Shayne: I think it’s 2,000.
Chris: 2,000? Wow.
Shayne: I think so. Yeah, 2,000 and change.
Chris: That’s a ton. I think, I’ve always kind of compared TrainerPeaks and TrainerRoad. TrainerRoad is definitely easier to just jump in and start using.
Chris: But I will say that for me there’s kind of the … With TrainerRoad, it’s a little more difficult to … I think we were talking about this the other day. I was texting Shayne maybe, probably on the bike, because Shayne and I apparently, sometimes randomly run into each other on Zwift, which is funny, but there’s kind of a compete … It’s difficult to be dedicated to a training plan on TrainerRoad and to ride outside, because TrainerRoad presumes you’re just on it and nothing else, so it packs your week up, so if you’re doing seven hours of training, it’s like seven hours of training. It doesn’t have that same annual approach as TrainingPeaks does and so it’s kind of difficult to stick to a plan on TrainerRoad, unless you live in Arctic and you’re never outside, so I guess that kind of [crosstalk 00:31:46].
Ken: I’m going to dissent a little here.
Ken: I’m going to dissent a little bit. I put that their core competency is their training plans. We talked about the different workouts, 2,000 of them, but they have a plan …
Chris: That’s crazy.
Ken: They do, they have a low, medium, and high volume plan to fit your time constraints, so for instance a low volume plan is only going to put you on the trainer three days a week and for a total of three hours and 30 minutes. That’s going to give you ample time to ride outside, so you know, if that is one of your things where you’re going to do the three hour group ride every Saturday, but you want to make sure you’re focusing on some specific weaknesses and getting that progression in, you can do that with TrainerRoad.
Chris: Well, sure, but since it’s based on TSS, which I enjoy on TrainerRoad, you know, they’re trying to figure out how much you can handle a week, based on your availability. You know, if you’re going to ride outside on a Wednesday, but you’ve got … They’re planning their … Each week based on, well, if you’re going to spend this much effort on Monday, this much on Wednesday, this much on Friday, and they even map it out in a calendar where you’re supposed to have rest days, so if you fill some of those rest days with riding outside, unless you’re just like cruising, that can actually affect … and maybe I’m wrong, Shayne, you tell me. Like to me that actually can affect your training day on Friday if you’re supposed to be fresh.
Shayne: Yeah, you’re [crosstalk 00:33:12] at all, yup, and we’re really jumping around now, but that’s where the flexible … People always joke it’s not really flexible … but that’s where the flexible plans came from on Zwift was when I designed the building up plan, I was asked, “What days of the week do you want these to be available on and how much time in between workouts does each one need?” That way, I can say, “All right, Red Unicorn is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” because people usually have more time over the weekends but the athlete needs 24 hours of recovery after the workout is complete, so they’re not going to sacrifice anything for the next workout.
Shayne: See, you couldn’t do a double session that day, for instance, but that’s always been an issue with self-coached athletes is they have a plan to go with but like how compliant and how consistent are they going to keep themselves to the plan when like tomorrow morning there’s a two hour dirt group ride on Zwift going on. Like I want to do that ride even though it might have a 120 TSS or whatever and then I’d be dead for my ride on Friday.
Shayne: So that’s always been the issue with self-coached athletes.
Ken: Well, I think to the broader point is that we all ride bikes because it’s fun and …
Shayne: Yup, yup.
Ken: We also … I think that … I read this in the Cyclist Training Bible, “Either you believe riding faster is more fun or you don’t.” So we want to train to get faster so we can have more fun but at the same time we don’t want to be toiling away on a trainer by ourselves when we could be roasting the streets or the trails with our friends.
Shayne: Sure, yup.
Ken: But sort of-
Shayne: Yeah, I think TrainingPeaks … [inaudible 00:35:05] but TrainingPeaks was designed for coaches really to use and then some athletes that wanted to learn more about the acronyms and the data, they used TrainingPeaks with good results but I don’t think TrainingPeaks is appropriate for most people unless you really know what you’re looking at in terms of the data …
Shayne: And how to read the acronyms and how to read the charts, you know, because there’s a lot of stuff you can potentially miss and you’re kind of paying for something that you’re not really getting a 100% use out of.
Chris: You know, Shayne, The Badger is not most people.
Shayne: He is.
Chris: He’s unique.
Ken: I love data. I’m a data geek. I love it and so I’m willing to pay for the TrainingPeaks plan, and by the way, TrainingPeaks is 20 bucks a month, unless you get the year long subscription, which is a 100 bucks, $99.20, and you know, if you are a data nerd like me, even if you might not be able to interpret the data very well, it could be interesting to you.
Ken: So we sort of have been jumping around between TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad. I did want to point out …
Chris: You want to talk about TrainerRoad?
Ken: Talk about the core competency of TrainerRoad and their tagline is “Best value in cycling training,” and I think that’s actually a pretty good tagline. The core competency is that all training plans are including in your subscription. You have thousands of workouts to choose from and they will take you through a logical progression, from base to build to specialty and they have low, medium, and high volume plans to fit your time constraints. Since all the plans are created in house, they are very coherent and there’s also a workout creation tool but you have to download that separately. Their calendar is awesome. It’s very similar to TrainingPeak’s calendar and it makes it really intuitive to move workouts around and reschedule and copy things.
Ken: Not much in the way of social features. They do have forums and a team mana-
Chris: Oh, they do?
Ken: They do, they do have forums and-
Chris: Did not know that.
Ken: And a team management tool, but I think one of their biggest things is they really have a great podcast. It’s probably cycling’s most popular podcast, so I think that that’s a really sweet feature a trainer rode and that costs nothing.
Chris: Second, second most popular podcast.
Ken: Second most popular podcast, those guys are pretty good.
Chris: They’re pretty good.
Ken: They’re okay. That guy needs kind of think [inaudible 00:37:42], whatever.
Chris: Hey, our podcast just hit 10,000 listeners last week, which is …
Ken: 10,000 listeners.
Chris: Disturbing the fact that there’s that many of you listening to us out there, but pretty cool for us.
Ken: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yup, yup
Shayne: That’s pretty cool. I dig it.
Ken: So a-
Chris: Hey, so my … I was going to say my two cents here is … and honestly, I’m like, thinking about my budget and realizing that I pay for three of the four of the things we’re talking about today, so I’m going to realize that I pay for everything at TrainingPeaks and sounds like Ken pays for all of them.
Ken: No, just TrainingPeaks and Zwift. I’m done with TrainerRoad for right now, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Chris: Okay, well.
Ken: That’s under the what’s …
Chris: No, no, I want to know.
Ken: That’s under the what’s hot and what’s not section, but go ahead.
Chris: Since this is all basically subjectively based other than our little fancy Excel sheet here, I … and maybe it’s kind of like a back … I mean it’s not something everybody always does, but I like TrainerRoad because you can actually, based on RPE, Relative Perceived Effort, you can estimate TSS through your calendar afterwards, so I spent like 50% of the time on the Trainer, 50% of the time on the road at the end of each week I can actually get online and all my rides sync onto TrainerRoad, and so I can like go, “Oh, man on Thursday we just hammered that 40 miles and I was spent, and you know, we had all these sprints and there was long poles at the front in the wind,” and I’m like, “All right, man, I was like an eight out of 10, like maybe not a race, but like I’m pretty tired.”
Chris: So I can actually estimate that and then it takes the time, the distance, elevation, heart rate, and then your RPE and it actually estimates TSS, which is not necessarily perfect, it’s not necessarily scientific, but it’s getting closer than just not having it at all.
Chris: So I actually can kind of map out my efforts … You have to do it manually, for sure, but it … and they call it estimated stress, is what they call it, but it’s my favorite thing and so it’s kind of like the hub I use, so clearly I use TrainerRoad, but what is ironic is typically Saturday Sundays is when I ride on TrainerRoad and I’m most tired on Mondays because those things just kick my … Their workouts, some of their workouts are just super tough.
Shayne: Yeah, it’s quality work in there.
Chris: Yeah, some of the work.
Ken: Yup, but just so the audience knows that Strava and TrainingPeaks will also estimate your TSS or whatever their version of it is based on your heart rate, so just putting that out there, and then you don’t have to manually enter it in.
Shayne: Boom, yeah.
Chris: It’s like our water boy, Gatorade, H2O argument. “Train your peaks, no train a road, or train your peaks,” and then someday someone’s going to buy both of them, and it will be the same thing.
Ken: Well, they’ve all got money from me, so glad to support all these platforms. Any other input into TrainerRoad from you guys, before we move on?
Shayne: I think TrainerRoad’s done the best recently for improving their overall just like user interface and kind of getting features to the masses relatively quickly. Obviously, they’ve had a couple pretty substantial price increases, too, but we’ve definitely seen improvement in the overall quality with those price increases as well. Go ahead.
Chris: Yup, it’s super boring though. It’s super boring.
Shayne: Yeah, but like they say all the time in the podcast, like they’re not a game company, they’re not like an entertainment company. They’re a training company.
Shayne: They go in with the preconceived notion that whoever uses their platform will have like a cycle crash race to watch or a banging sound system or Zwift or whatever, so they’ll have something else to kind of distract you from intervals
Chris: That’s what I do. I think that’s what a lot of people do is you can run Zwift simultaneously which is just like enough of a hit in the head to forget what you’re doing a little bit, and so that’s what I do. I mean, I run Zwift and TrainerRoad simultaneously, it works really well. If you’re uploading it to Strava, you in the end, you have to delete one of them or you’ll be double posting.
Chris: So I just go in and delete my Zwift post, because the TrainerRoad upload’s more data to the free version of Strava, than Zwift does but it works. I mean it’s a little clunky.
Ken: Well, right, and I put is, you know, or what’s hot and what’s not on that platform is what’s hot is that it is training simplified. If all you care about is getting a good plan at a good price without gimmickry and you’re self motivated, it really is the best value and what’s not is the biggest complaint about TrainerRoad is it’s boring. Suffering extreme discomfort while watching blue box on the screen takes a certain type of dedication to stick with it, unless you’ve got techno.
Ken: Then it’s easy.
Chris: That’s true, I mean but that’s the deal and that’s [inaudible 00:42:44] there like I think most cyclists in general are going to have some degree of self motivation. I think that just kind of comes with the territory. You like the pain, you like the suffering. You’re the kind of person who when it’s windy you’re not dissuaded from going out and riding into the wind, kind of got some grit, so I think that if you’re struggling to get on Zwift then TrainerRoad is probably not for you.
Chris: But if you’re okay like being in your pain cave alone for an hour and some of their workouts on TrainerRoad are like four hours long. I don’t know how anyone can do that, but they … it definitely takes a degree of self-motivation and dedication and commitment to do TrainerRoad.
Ken: It does, so there you have it with TrainerRoad, now we have Zwift for last and their tagline is “Serious training made fun,” and this has been a big game changer. As much as I try to be agnostic about these four, I’m going to just let it rip.
Chris: Do it.
Ken: Zwift is my favorite. Its core competency is that it’s a game. It does make riding and indoor trainer fun and there are … Let’s see, I calculated here … There are 1625 workouts in their library and nine cycling specific plans. As Shayne was mentioning, they do have the Flex training plans and he was instrumental in rolling those out, because he does do some work for Zwift. You have a ability to reschedule workouts and I found it’s not quite as flexible as moving stuff around on the TrainingPeaks and TrainerRoad calendar but there is … It’s better than it used to be, for sure.
Chris: Yup, that’s true.
Ken: Yup, and they’ve also … You can build your own rides or your own workouts in a variety of different other apps and upload it as a ZWO file. Like I think that they’ve been really cool with allowing their file, allowing you to create stuff outside of their network.
Shayne: Yeah, and they have, I mean, what’s on Zwift.com and what’s the other one that you mentioned the other day? I can’t remember it’s their weird name.
Ken: They just changed their name to Trainer Day.
Shayne: Okay, Trainer Day, so that’s they have a couple of other websites with like whatever, 5,000 workouts on that Trainer Day website you were saying.
Ken: On Trainer Day, yeah, yup.
Shayne: Crazy, yeah, so there’s so many work [inaudible 00:45:22] you can really choose from.
Chris: We can say that Zwift is the only training platform that I know of that bases their training effort on how many pieces of pizza you’ve earned.
Shayne: That’s right.
Ken: Yeah, so their …
Chris: Which I mean that’s a metric I care about.
Ken: That’s true. So we’re in terms of fitness tracking is very basic, it tracks your weekly mileage, your hours, and the equivalent slices of pizza that you’ve earned. However, they also sync to …
Ken: Zwift power which is very robust in the amount of data that it collects but only for organized races and rides.
Chris: It’s like a B side thing, Zwift and then the B side is Zwift Power.
Shayne: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yup.
Ken: Now, Shayne, is there a relationship there? I mean, what’s the relationship between …
Shayne: With Zwift Power and Zwift?
Shayne: No, they’ve tried it. I mean there’s obviously some communication and they have access to API, but I don’t think there’s any real like partnership going on between the two of them or like the want for partnership because Zwift, they’re in update probably six months ago. They released the leaderboard segments after the races. Remember when they did at?
Shayne: On the Zwift companion app and same thing with Zwift Power so instead of having a link with Zwift Power, they just made their own thing.
Ken: Got it.
Shayne: Zwift, I think is going to be … they’re into creating stuff bespoke to them and their program, not partnering and like getting stuff created and just buying it.
Shayne: So people always say, “Why doesn’t Zwift just buy TrainerRoad?” Because I don’t think they want to be TrainerRoad. They want to be Zwift. They want to have their own flavor, their own, like I said, bespoke things built for them. They have the biggest budget and they also have the biggest in terms of reach, so we’ve already seen them work with BUTI.
Chris: Do you know how many people are on Zwift, Shayne? Like what’s their ride account?
Shayne: I don’t know, it was over a million. It was like 1.5 million registered users, but again, who knows … one time, I think the most I’ve ever seen is 12,000 riders on at one time..
Ken: Which is crazy.
Shayne: Which is a lot of people, yeah. So they’re the youngest in the game and they have the most potential and kind of speaking from the inside, from internally, there’s a lot of good stuff that will come next year, from training plans right through to e-races through to new roads, courses, things like that. They had a massive $120 million investment and they’ve done a huge round of hires and now they’re starting to crank out more stuff with the new hiring that they’ve done, so we should see a lot more, a lot faster growth next year and hopefully hear less of that “coming soon,” which has been kind of a tagline for them, versus, “Coming Zoon,” which is sexy and much less [inaudible 00:00:48] coming up next year.
Ken: Well, I just celebrated my two year anniversary on Zwift and I’ve seen a lot of changes. I’ve seen them roll out a lot of routes, I’ve seen them roll out a lot of fun tours and things that you can engage in, new bikes and gear that you can get in game. I put that their core competency is it is a training interface with the supports ERG mode and by gamifying the experience, it’s made indoor cycling more … It went from making indoor cycling a fate worse than death to actually fun, yeah.
Chris: That’s true. Well, it changes it like, I wanted to make funny jokes so I pulled up the Zwift companion up and Adam Yates is Zwifting right now, which is cool, cool. You can look, you can follow Adam, watch his avatar ride which is something I guess, but I was going to say The Badger has ridden 8500 miles on Zwift in two years.
Ken: Yes, sir.
Shayne: There you go, Badger, [inaudible 00:49:41].
Chris: Yeah, you’re a level 37 Dungeon Master.
Ken: I am and that’s 8700 miles that I would not have ridden at all. It’s not like I would have ridden those miles outside if I didn’t have a Zwift. No, those miles just would not have been ridden, because I’m [inaudible 00:49:58].
Chris: Yeah, which now that I’m looking is trash compared to how many miles Shayne has ridden, which is more than 12,000 and he is a level 43 Dungeon Master.
Ken: Damn, how long you been on there?
Shayne: I wasn’t Beta, so I was at …
Shayne: Three and a half years, four years? But my elevation, the first thing … Well, not the first thing … But the second thing, I always go for the train bike so I have like crazy amounts of elevation, too, so I would have more miles if I had less elevation. [crosstalk 00:50:31]
Chris: I see. I’m a level 24 Dungeon Master, so I’m behind both of you all.
Ken: Well, you know, if you’ve got that California weather, I mean, I think all of us agree that most of us still prefer to ride outside. There’s true indoor specialists but I’m riding outside every chance I get.
Chris: We know who we’re thinking about when we say that.
Ken: Yes, we do.
Chris: Yes, we do. Hey, but, I will say, this is an update for everyone who’s been in suspense. Three episodes ago I made the comment that I screwed up my signing up for the Everest Challenge to get the [inaudible 00:51:07] because I’m aloof. Turns out I didn’t. Turns out I did sign up a long time ago and had just never looked again, so I’m actually pretty close.
Ken: Cool, that is awesome.
Chris: Yeah, so there you go, right. It’s some sort of achievement.
Ken: Very cool, so let … Go ahead.
Shayne: When you say close, are you at the top, are you past the mountain already?
Chris: I think I’m … I’ve got like, I don’t know, 130,000, 140,000 foot climb.
Shayne: Okay, yeah, that’s one of my favorite Easter Eggs still on that platform.
Chris: There’s what?
Shayne: That’s one of my favorite Easter Eggs on that platform still is people think they just have to climb Everest and they get the [inaudible 00:51:46] but it’s like 10 times …
Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah. I think I meant like what I’ve started doing once I realized I was back on it, this is what Ken and I were talking about, once I realized, “Oh, I did actually sign it …” Because when I thought I hadn’t signed up for it, I was like, “Well, screw this. I’m not putting much effort into it, but once I realized I was already like a 120,000 feet climbing towards like one sixth, whatever you need, I just, every time I get on to do a TrainerRoad, I just pick the steepest, longest climb on Zwift every time and just run TrainerRoad.
Shayne: Yeah, yup.
Chris: And so I get all the elevation climb with during a workout, so it’s a bit cheating, but it’s definitely working.
Ken: Hey, you put in the time.
Shayne: Yeah, two birds one stone.
Chris: I’m still kicking my rear, almost passing out on the bike occasionally, but …
Ken: And wrapping this up, I just wanted to say, this what my picks for what’s hot and what’s not on Zwift is what is hot is the game is very engaging and what is not is Zwift has a long way to go until it’s a plug and play platform with the … Some people have appeal of Peleton. You buy a bike, you pay a subscription and it just and it just works. Getting set up with Zwift and syncing your devices to a computer can be pricey and frustrating, and they’ve largely been focused on the end game features and e-sports and for me, I would love to see them start to put some more of those resources in their training tools. But, hey, I get it. It’s a bit company, a lot going on. This isn’t an indictment of what they’re doing. It’s just an observation. It’s a little bit more complicated than getting on a Peleton bike, which we didn’t include in our four, that could have been a fifth.
Shayne: We also didn’t talk about the Sufferfests either and that’s I think a really good one for training purposes, because they’re the only … I’ll make this really quick … They’re the only software that separates your anaerobic from your aerobic power, when they do that full frontal test, so intervals that are over threshold, they’ll be different based on how you tested during the full frontal test, which is huge. That’s where I wished, I hope this [inaudible 00:54:02] will go some point to …
Ken: Well, can’t you just tell the to go that way?
Shayne: Because once you get over … I can, yeah, but my problem is I can’t program it. I can write the workouts but I can’t program the actual game itself. I’m not that smart.
Ken: Got you.
Shayne: So once you go over the threshold, using percentage of FTP, over threshold gets really murky, because people have different sizes, aerobic engines and things like that, so Sufferfest does that very well where they’ll individualize your training more based on how you tested.
Ken: I have not tried Sufferfest, but that’s definitely on my list of things I’d like to check out. Well, guys, I think we’ve done a good podcast talking about these different platforms and anything else you want to add before we wrap up and head over to Jeremiah Bishop.
Chris: I want to say do the platform that keeps you engaged and keeps you riding, with the one that’s most fun and keeps you staying fit. That’s the right one.
Shayne: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:55:03].
Ken: I agree. Well, thank you both for joining us again. Check out the interview with Jeremiah Bishop and Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody, although this will probably post after the Holiday. Ride on and we will see you in Watopia. Peace.
Ken: Post after the Holiday. Ride on and we will see you in Watopia. Peace.
Ken: This week we have a very special guest and I’m extremely excited about. Jeremiah Bishop is one of America’s most decorated and well known Mountain Bikers. He is a legend. If you poke around on his Wikipedia page, you will see that he has won all of the major US based Mountain Bike Stage races, including the American Mountain Bike Classic, Breck Epic, Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, and the Trans-Sylvania Epic. He is also the host of the Alpine Loop Grand Fondo in the Mountains of Virginia, Shenandoah Valley and a Brand Ambassador for Canyon. At the age of 43, Jeremiah is still mixing it up as a Pro Mountain Biker and Gravel Racer and won several races this year including the Hillbilly Rebay, which I love that video, by the way.
Ken: Yeah, he’s also a dad and like many of the parents out there, he’s balancing work, family, and his passion for bikes. So Jeremiah, I first heard about you when my buddy Zack Terry was training for the Alpine-
Jeremiah: Oh, yeah.
Ken: Yeah, you remember him.
Jeremiah: I sure do.
Ken: He was doing social media for performance bikes.
Jeremiah: Yeah, well, thanks for that glowing introduction. [inaudible 00:56:43] I’m kind of blushing a little bit.
Ken: Well, hey, you earned it, you did all those things, which is really cool, and then later on I met you at the World Championships. We were kind standing it in Church Hill somewhere.
Jeremiah: Yeah, yeah, in Richmond, that was super fun.
Ken: Yeah, it was awesome, man, and you were just [inaudible 00:57:05] roads on like, dude, this is crazy, you know.
Jeremiah: I’m just a guy who likes to ride bikes. I just happen to find a way to get paid to do it.
Ken: Yeah, well, that’s cool. You’ve been at it a long time, so when did you … How did this go down? I mean, Mountain Bikes weren’t really the thing till the mid ’90s?
Jeremiah: Oh, man. Oh, yeah, I mean I started … Mountain Biking’s been a thing or a long time. I think it’s gotten to be a bigger participant sport, for sure, than when I started, but, yeah, I mean when I started, it was during the heyday of American Mountain Biking. You had Ned Overend, John Tomac, Tinker Juarez, you know really the first generation of pop culture Mountain Biking. There were definitely pioneers prior to that that were racing at a very competitive level and those first sort of mentors or not mentors but heroes of mine really set the stage for my career and some of the ways in which I pursued my career and how I would, yeah, kind of approach my goals and kind of things that I looked to do and aspire to do.
Jeremiah: I think it’s really fun to have, yeah, some kind of neat examples like that, but also some kind of cool stories like I’m the only teammate of Tinker Juarez to ever stay at his house.
Ken: No kidding?
Jeremiah: I know that sounds … I don’t know if that sounds strange to you, but I have people who come visit me to ride like every month.
Jeremiah: Like they come hang out, we go out, I show them around to a good brewery or something. We go ride bikes or I’ll stay extra after somebody’s … or stay after an event at somebody’s house and go ride bikes, at least until I had kids. It was kind of like, you know, a nationwide couch surf surfing competition, you know where I’d be like looking for cool places to ride between races. In any case, to be the only person, the only teammate of Tinker’s to ever stay at his house is kind of like, “Wow, that’s kind of strange,” but you know, it’s pretty cool to not only meet some of my heroes out there, but, yeah, kind of pioneer and sort of be a leader in some respects in the Mountain Bike community and I made most of my career racing Cross Country Mountain Bike racing, but I always loved Ultra Endurance Racing. I love Road Racing, Cyclocross.
Jeremiah: I’ve done a little bit of everything and so back to what I was saying, John Tomac was a early influence. He doesn’t know it, doesn’t know me, but you know I always had those posters of Johnny T. on my wall, in the bike room and he was a really complete rider, you know, went and raced for 7-Eleven on the road, high level road racer, criterion racer, wins downhill races, wins world cup, cross country races. Yeah, do everything. You know, and I thought that would be awesome to be a well rounded rider, and I can check that check box, sort of on my bucket list of things look to do and definitely did some really neat things like winning the Mid-Atlantic Cup for Cyclocross. I raced in the National Cyclocross Championships, I won a UCI race in Hendersonville once.
Jeremiah: You know, the stage race thing, that kind of became a later specialty but interestingly, anytime you have this really well rounded tool box as a bike racer, it could apply to other races and a stage race is the ultimate combination of all those. So you need speed, because sometimes you just want to sit in and mark your opponents, sometimes there are big dirt road sections where you save energy, sometimes, yeah, you need top end to be able to deliver for a prologue stage or a really explosive short stage and you need endurance for the long stages. That’s kind of been a real neat playground for me in the latter half of my career.
Jeremiah: I did some stage races, much to the chagrin of my team manager. They were focused on cross country races and they would always ask why I’m like wasting time doing these dumb races and now who’s laughing. You know, it’s a big thing now, these races like Breck Epic, that’s a lot of people’s career highlight or their season goal. Pisgah Stage race, Tran-Sylvania Epic, those are maybe not as well known races but just as good as far as course quality and the experience is super, super fun.
Jeremiah: I’ve also had the chance to race on the international level at a lot of these great stage races, which is super cool. I’m the only American rider to win a stage of TransAlp and third in the overall, so only rider to go top three in overall, so pretty proud of that. Cape Epic, you know, it’s been really, really cool to race the Cape Epic from five different occasions and through most of my career, racing for Topeak-Ergon in a support role, so a support role is kind of like a road.
Ken: Right. So Dave Wiens, he was a big rider with your team a number of years ago, wasn’t he?
Jeremiah: Absolutely, so Dave Wiens was, yeah, winning his last NORBA Nationals when I was racing junior and just trying to get out of my own way. So, yeah, Dave is also part of that generation and now we’re friends. He still races for Topeak-Ergon, so kind of my … I don’t know if you’d call it a fellow Canyon Riders, and he’s also a dad. His son’s racing now and is super cool, so those two are racing in the same races. He and his son raced nationals this year and I think they were in the same class. I don’t know, but anyway, it’s pretty cool. It’s full circle. It’s neat seeing a lot of friends’ kids getting into riding now and, yeah, it’s been a really wild ride. It’s been really a dream come true to live the life and lifestyle of a Professional Mountain Bike Racer. I’ve also had a really unique opportunity to give back and do things like the visit I did last weekend.
Jeremiah: I went to do this event in North Carolina for Canyon, for this guided tour. There was a tour company that Canyon was working with to provide bikes, demo bikes, called Chasing Epic, and Chasing Epic has these guided trips all along around the country and for a few of them, we’ve got Canyon bikes as an option. I brought down some of the demo fleet, got some people on bikes, rode with them. It was a hoot, a lot of fun hanging out but I also visited a youth home, so it’s a home for displaced youth in North Carolina called the Black Mountain Home and so they take care of kids that are either have parents with extreme substance abuse problems or they’re orphaned, and things like that. They have a mountain bike program. I mean how cool is that?
Ken: I think that’s awesome and one thing, so last year I started as a NICA Coach.
Jeremiah: Oh, cool.
Ken: Yeah, for a local high school here.
Jeremiah: That’s awesome.
Ken: And you know what, the whole thing about NICA is not make kids faster, not shred with kids, it’s get more kids on bikes. I mean, that’s the whole mission and and trying to … I mean, honestly, mountain bikes can be really expensive. How can we reach out to other communities that maybe aren’t as privileged and help them to get out there and enjoy some of these trails.
Jeremiah: That is a 100% what it’s about. You know, racing was a catalyst for a lot of the change personally for me in my life that took place in growing up and in getting out of a neighborhood that was riddled with drug and crime and things like that and to find my own path in life. I think it can do it for me, it can do great things for other people and so anytime you can share the sport I mean, I think that’s such a cool thing to do.
Jeremiah: So this children’s home has a mountain bike program and they’ve had it for a few years. They got trails on their campus, kind of in the foster home and they lead mountain bike rides and get kids on bikes, and, man, I thought it was the coolest thing.
Ken: You’ve been riding Canyon bikes for a long time, even before Canyon USA became a presence in America, if I’m correct in that. How long have you been an ambassador and so you’re transitioning from being a full time Pro to being more of an ambassador from what I was reading on Single Tracks a couple of days ago.
Jeremiah: Yup, yeah, is correct, Ken. I basically have been racing with Topeak-Ergon for several years and then Canyon, finally decided to push into the US market and I’ve done a little bit of consulting for some of their early events, prior to them really having a good events team in place, help them out, and went to [inaudible 01:07:07] Valley which was the first event that they had for a demo event and, yeah, we had a great time with it, and I had one more year in my contract with Topeak-Ergon and then basically, Topeak-Ergon gets swept up by Canyon and became Canyon-Topeak.
Jeremiah: So it was even closer to the Canyon side of things and our paycheck, so to speak, came from [inaudible 01:07:32] and Canyon managed the team and at the end of … not 2019, 2018, end of 2018 the team was folding. They were putting, I guess, more chips into the road team and into the World Cup focus, and yeah, basically it was a good opportunity for me to pursue this role as an athlete ambassador for Canyon.
Ken: Very cool.
Jeremiah: As like ambassador is kind of like a multifaceted job description in which I help manage and execute demo events and public facing events on the East Coast but then I also have my athlete hat that I put on and I might be taking media out, [inaudible 01:08:19] classic or I might race BC bike race or I might be out there racing Dirty Kansa, but it’s usually after about 10 hours of working the Canyon booth and getting [crosstalk 01:08:31] to sign up for the newsletter and chatting with people. It’s actually really been cool in a lot of ways, because I’ve never had this much interaction with my fans.
Jeremiah: In the last four years, I’ve had more interaction with my actual fans of my career this year than I have in the last four years. Pretty cool.
Ken: It is very cool and when I was watching that Hill Billy Roubaix video, which you won and that was awesome, it’s like you ended up coming over to this huge van with Canyon bikes and you’re hanging out with people and kind of working, too. I was like, “Wow, man, that’s a hell of a day.”
Jeremiah: Yeah, oh, it could be pretty … Good thing I’m an endurance racer, I tell you what, Ken, because basically I think this is … Some of these days would kill a lot of people.
Ken: I’m sure, I’m sure.
Jeremiah: Like we definitely hustle and some races, it works. I can make it happen and then sometimes I’m just too exhausted and just have to deal with the reality that I’m not invincible.
Ken: Right, right.
Jeremiah: I guess, [inaudible 01:09:47] is so exhausted, like I was just whooped and I was like, “Well, I’m going to try to be in the mix and maybe I’ll start to feel a little more fresh after about four hours and it didn’t happen.
Ken: Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever felt fresh after four hours. So what does training look like for you now? Not that-
Jeremiah: Yeah, training …
Ken: Well, what did it look like then when you were really, really hammering it out? Like how many hours a week and how’d you structure I?
Jeremiah: I could pull it up on TrainingPeaks right now.
Jeremiah: You know, it’s really interesting because with the analytics that we have and I was one of the early pioneers for mountain bike training with the Power Meter, along with Hunter Allen.
Jeremiah: Hunter was my coach for a large period of, I guess, the latter half of my cross country career and early half of my sort of endurance focused part of my career and we developed some proprietary workouts. I do my own thing now and have Bishop Training, but, yeah, we collaborate, and, yeah, it’s been a really wild ride and the sort of learning a bit about that side of it, but back to the training. My training was a lot like a road stage racer.
Jeremiah: Especially like with Topeak-Ergon and with Canyon-Topeak, because my job was basically to either support the team or take a leading role and trying to win races in North America, for example, and then when you look at Transalp, I was on the lead team for Transalp and, yeah, we were bronze medal there at the toughest stage race in Europe so pretty cool, and yeah, the hours were big, you know, definitely really a lot of aggressive training and I think I’m quite well known for my hard training and my style of training and it’s definitely, yeah, some pretty heavy stuff.
Jeremiah: I would be running CTL like a 110, 120 quite commonly throughout the season. That’s kind of on par with some of the road stage racers. Granted if you’re doing a grand tour, you’re CTL will get even higher than that, 150, 160, you know what bends will commonly be at for the tour [crosstalk 01:12:08].
Ken: Sure and for our audience here, if you could elaborate on CTL a little bit, like what is exactly did that stand for and how do you gauge it?
Jeremiah: Oh, yeah, a CTL is basically, it’s a rolling average of your training load, basically, and if you look at whether it’s TrainingPeaks or whether you look at Strava, both of them have sort of a tool for modeling your training and looking at your total stress load or total training load. Give you an idea, basically, in order to get to a CTL, when you’re looking at a CTL that’s closing in on 130, I mean it’s basically like riding blocks of tempo, like 30 minute blocks of sub-threshold five times a weeks. Like five days a week of really, really hard work.
Jeremiah: Yeah, on a four hour ride, so it’s sort of a barometer of the total training load, that might be like a 22 hour week, for example, doing good hard work.
Ken: That is a lot of work, and I think what we’re seeing with ours, with team, Dads Inside Riding Trainers is a lot of us are right at that six to eight hour week mark and just trying to make the most of it, and I know, most of us do prefer to ride outside but it’s just not the reality that we can. You know, my wife, she’s a personal trainer, she gets up and leaves the house really early and so if I want to ride, it’s got to be inside, and it was like a fate worse than death, getting on a traditional training [inaudible 01:14:09] …
Ken: And then Zwift came along, I was like, “Whoa, this went from sucking to actually being fun.”
Ken: The problem is the FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out, and you know, like you want to race everyday and you can’t, and you know if you want to keep progressing and do well during the mountain bike season, like you have to do some dedicated training workouts and so like that’s how this whole thing came about is just a group of guys that were seeing each other’s names over and over again on the Zwift races in the morning.
Jeremiah: Oh, cool, yeah.
Ken: Yeah, and then we just blew up and became this huge team.
Jeremiah: That’s awesome. I can’t wait to get in there with you guys. That’ll be super fun.
Ken: Yeah, yeah, it’ll be super fun. Like when do you usually ride?
Jeremiah: Oh, Ken, you know, it’s pretty varied at this point. So right now, my work schedule’s actually really lightened up. Don’t tell this to my … You know, people at Canyon, because [inaudible 01:15:06] me like, “Go to a shopping center and sign stuff in like Des Moines, Iowa.” So anyway, yeah, my schedule has been crazy this year. It’s been nuts. You know, you get the kids off to school, you pack the sprinter, you drive to Benville, Arkansas. You do a demo, you are exhausted, you’re packing up all these dirty bikes, washing bikes, lifting stuff. You get back, you change, you run for a half an hour and that’s your workout for the day.
Jeremiah: You kind of have these fits and starts of the schedule. Sometimes, yeah, I mean, I’m mostly a poor weather Zwift rider. I’ll admit that I don’t have a regular schedule. Although, in the case of getting on with you guys one of these mornings, here in November, we’ll definitely do it. It’ll be super fun, and, yeah, sometimes my daughter likes to ride on, jump on Zwift or co-ride with me as I call it, and yeah, super fun. It’s really motivating and it’s neat to see people from around the world, different time zones, people I’ve met at races.
Jeremiah: Like I met this guy at … Was it Andalusia bike race or Transalp, anyway, yeah, so I mean, a competitor. He’s like, “Hey, Bishop, what’s up?” And it’s just such a neat way to connect with people, as well as motivate, and to answer your question, back to your question about how is my training different. Well, as time crunched, definitely have times when I don’t always feel that great, but that’s always been the case, you know, to some degree or another. As I get older though, I have more variables like my right knee, today. I just came back from the gym. I ran back here to get this podcast going and it was abbreviated work out, because my right knee was basically just bothering me.
Jeremiah: Yeah, kind of weird, don’t know if it’s from the dropper post. I have a really long dropper post on the neuron and I did a mountain bike ride yesterday and maybe I came off a rock funny, while the seat was really low and, yeah, it’s kind of it’s a little bit of a tweak but I do what I can, when I can. I think that’s the takeaway, I think, to the dads out there is you can’t over think it. You know, do what you can, when you can, and sometimes you’re going to have 33 minutes. You know, a gap comes in your schedule and you’re like, “Wow, I probably can’t get my bike ready and do a proper ride but maybe I can just put my cycling shoes on and rip out the door, go sprint up a few hills and rip a couple of downhills and I will feel awesome the rest of the day. I tell you what, it’s so true.
Ken: Yeah, it is true, and some of that is just like I have to do it for my sanity.
Jeremiah: Yes, that is … so I’m kind of in that crossroads between making a living racing bikes, where you know it’s amazing the stuff you’ll make yourself do if that’s how you pay your mortgage and feed your kids. Like the level of training, that psychotic training that I would do is when I look back on it now, some of these rides in like the rain, like for five hours and like snow rides with like three by 20 or four by 20 threshold intervals, like with the wind howling like yeah, I mean some of the stuff I would do is just kind of ridiculous and now I’m kind of a little bit more, I’m a little more practical about it honestly. You know what, you can get a damn good workout on Zwift in 50 minutes.
Ken: Yes, yes, you can. I’ve been buckled over the bike at the end of some 50 minute long workouts or races. It’s just unbelievable how time efficient it is and so that loops me around to how I found out that you were on Zwift. I’m sitting here watching this crazy workout of you doing four by four, 400 watts on a pair of rollers, on one of your videos.
Ken: “I mean this guy’s crazy,” and then you were saying to me before we started recording that you were on the first ever Zwift race. How did that come about?
Jeremiah: You know, it’s funny. I think much like most of my odd, like projects or things I do, it starts out as a Facebook message that I kind of think is a joke. You know, someone’s making, “Hey, you should come to Benville and do this bike race.” I’m like, “Okay, what kind of spam is this?” You get a lot of invites to go and do stuff. I love to entertain the real invites, you know, if it’s a legit appearance or something like that.
Jeremiah: Anyway, so I got this invite to go and do this race, Zwift race in Roanoke and I’m like, “Mm, yeah, I don’t know.” They were like, “Oh, we’re going to have it at a brewery. It’s going to be like super fun, and there’s going to be like a studio audience and they’re going to record it.” I was like, “Okay, all right, all right, well, I mean whatever.” It’s kind of a game and it’ll be fun, and it’s also the first one, you know, a live e-sports event like that. I was like, “Sure, I’ll check it out.”
Jeremiah: I went down to this thing. Scottie Weiss was there, who you guys probably know is a madman on Zwift. It’s kind of like half of what he’s known for at this point but he’s former masters world champion. Funny, because I don’t ride with a guy at all. He lives like 90 minutes from here, but you know, he’s Masters World Champion. I’ve seen him at road races here and there but, yeah, super fast dude. We had a Hill Climb National Champion Ben Wright who I invited to come out, a handful of other top regional riders came out. I think John Long was there and handful of other local fast guys and, yeah, I definitely got my ass kicked.
Jeremiah: But, yeah, part of that was the … In the early phases of doing anything, there’s a lot to learn and …
Ken: Sure is.
Jeremiah: [inaudible 01:22:01] I think we’re not consistent across the board and I kind of talked to the guys at Zwift about this a little bit as well, as the Cyclogen guy so this was a Cyclogen race, which is sort of like a parallel league to Zwift now that Zwift has gotten into it. I think the fidelity of the data for high level e-sports racing is going to be critical and you almost need like a third party verification, because Zwift and the other areas or other leagues, they want everybody to believe.
Jeremiah: But if you don’t believe in the data or have any mistrust in the data or how the race is lay out, then it sort of deteriorates the whole thing and, of course, everybody’s seen the guy who puts in that he weighs 70 pounds on Zwift and fly by you. So in any case, for those prize money races, I think they should have a third party validation, but anyway, so this one was a rough but interesting first start and I knew it was a learning opportunity more than anything and it was a really cool chance to just kind of explore that and it was fun. It was really cool chasing people down, making alliances on the rode, just like riding outdoors.
Jeremiah: I didn’t know about a lot of the sort of strange I guess physics that they programmed into it in order for it to be easier for the average person or beginner to operate. For instance the sticky draft, I didn’t know about that. I didn’t know about the fact that if you … Because there are no brakes on Zwift, so if you coast, you’re lightly breaking.
Jeremiah: And so I was trying to catch up to somebody, knowing that in the real world I can coast on their wheel and recover for a few seconds. Instead I would sprint up to their wheel, coast, which was basically like grabbing the brakes. It’s like grabbing a fistful of brake and then there’s a big gap again and then you have to sprint again and of course, after the third time of sprinting, you’re completely toast. Yeah, learning how to ride Zwift in and of itself is also sort of a game. It’s just like a video game. You have to have game skills in order to figure it out, but it was really interesting and I could see the potential right away for e-sports to grow and I think we’ll see more of it.
Jeremiah: Personally, I think it’s not riding outdoors so why not gamify it even more, because let me tell you what …
Ken: That’s my feeling. That’s my feeling. We need banana peels.
Jeremiah: We need missiles.
Ken: Dude, rocket [crosstalk 01:24:48] …
Jeremiah: We need missiles. There would be nothing more fun than shooting missiles at Ben King while I’m riding with him, you know. Direct hit, bwwuuuk.
Ken: So yeah, he was pretty close to you. You guys are all up in your Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Jeremiah: Yeah, he’s about 60 miles from here so we meet up in the middle to do rides every once in a while, probably once a month in the winter. Jordan [inaudible 01:25:11] also lives near and …
Ken: [crosstalk 01:25:14]
Jeremiah: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of really talented riders like Bryan Lewis who probably should have won the Hilly Billy, yeah, lives nearby. Absolute ripper, so we’ve got a lot of talented riders in the area and, yeah, Ben, every once in a while, like if there’s a ice storm or something, you know, he’ll text me. “Hey, you want to get on Zwift?” I’m like, “Sure,” and so we just use the phone.
Jeremiah: So this is kind of funny, we just did a phone call and put in the ear buds, so instead of, yeah, making it overly complicated, yeah, it’s definitely helped be a motivator, especially when the weather gets foul or days get short.
Ken: We use Discord. So we’ll get the whole, like we’ll have a CAT, A through D.
Jeremiah: All right.
Ken: For all of our races.
Jeremiah: Well, you guys have to tutor me here.
Ken: Yeah, I’ll hook you up, man. I’ll hook you up.
Jeremiah: All right.
Ken: I’ll put you on one of our morning races.
Jeremiah: I’ll get on the Discord. Yeah, and it’s funny, because you mentioned the rollers and, yeah, being the mountain biker that I am, I love the balance component and with the inside ride rollers, you can stand out the saddle at six or 700 watts, no problem. So it’s partly just because the balance component is more realistic. I don’t feel like I’m chained down to some contraption. I can ride Zwift on the Wahoo, I’ve got one but I really much rather ride the rollers, even if it’s slightly disadvantageous.
Ken: Yeah, I can understand that, especially for … I mean it’s part of your craft. It’s part of training for work.
Jeremiah: Yeah, yeah.
Ken: So I get the additional need for that. Well, JB, this has been a really fun conversation and I hope that we do get to ride together on Zwift sometime. Canyon, they’ve got their own pro team now, so shout out to them, to your sponsor or the company that you’re work with now.
Ken: And also, tell us a little bit about you, how can we find you? You’re a professional coach as well. If we wanted to get a training program …
Jeremiah: Yeah, for sure, so I have training plans on TrainingPeaks, so if you look under author, Jeremiah Bishop, then you’ll see a lot of the training plans I’ve done for mostly mountain bike racing and stage racing, hundred mile races. So very directly in my wheelhouse, I do work with professional and amateur road athletes and Cyclocross athletes and for more information about me and my coaching, and our guys, so to speak, I work with a couple of other great coaches, go to JeremiahBishop.com.
Jeremiah: You can also find me on Instagram. My Instagram handle is … I’ll tell you that in a second … and then you also see a Facebook fan page on, yeah, just look up my name, so it’s an official Facebook fan page. I also have a personal page but I try to direct people to the Facebook fan page for the more race oriented stuff and, yeah, yeah, so you’ll find me there and yeah, I do a little bit of everything when it comes to sharing stoke for the sport.
Jeremiah: I also host the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. My wife runs the event, so she’s completely in charge, so if you see a picture posted on there, it’s definitely not me. Entirely her thing and, you know, but we have a great time and it’s an event I started as a charity fundraiser and awareness piece for prostate cancer awareness project. So if you’re a male over 40, make sure to get your PSA checked once a year with your physical, track it. It can definitely give you a big flag if you have an anomaly there and taking your health care seriously is something that we all need to do, especially as dads, because you want to be around a little bit later, you know, when all this good stuff happens.
Jeremiah: Yeah, so Alpine Loop Gran Fondo, check the Instagram page, Facebook page, and that is the event is AlpineLoopGranFondo.com, pretty simple.
Ken: Okay, cool. JB, thanks again for joining us today.
Jeremiah: You bet, Ken.
Ken: Yeah, and I hope to talk to you again soon.
Jeremiah: Hey, well, I hope to see you guys on Zwift. That hopefully will be next.
Ken: I’ll make it happen. I’ll shoot you an email.
Ken: Okay. I warned my daughter about using her whistle inside, and gave her one last chance. Unfortunately she blew it.
Chris: Man. They just get worse. They just get worse.
Ken: Yeah. Well, that’s kind of my job. I’m the designated bad joke lobber.
Chris: So here’s a question, we all hate these jokes-
Ken: Yeah. Lobbing. I would think that’s a word. The person that lobs jokes.
Chris: I think maybe that’s a Southern colloquialism. To lob.
Shayne: Y’all lob.
Chris: I guess you would say that. Lob things. How do you spell that?
Ken: Anyway, guys. Welcome to The Never Going Pro Podcast by Dads 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” Nowell, and with me is Shayne Gaffney, owner of GC Coaching.
Shayne: Hello, everyone.
Ken: And Chris Gorney, fellow DIRT teammate, passionate cyclist, and outstanding dad.
Chris: I’m always bothered when we say outstanding dad, because I’m wondering if people are going to be judging me for that?
Shayne: I know I am.
Chris: I mean, I’m sorry. What I meant was, hi!
Ken: Hello, Chris. It’s good to talk to you today. How is everybody doing? You dodging the wildfires in California?
Chris: I for sure could make irreverent jokes, but I think my entire family has Alzheimer’s and I’m not mocking people with Alzheimer’s, but every single day we get a text from the same people in our family asking, “Are the fires near you?” First off, look at a map. They all have our address. Google it. Secondly, we are not worried about the fires until downtown Los Angeles burns. Like where we’re at, compared to where the fires are at. But it’s nice, I guess, that people care. I suppose.
Ken: We just don’t care enough to Google it-
Chris: But it’s every day.
Ken: … to make sure you’re really okay.
Chris: Yeah. What it tells me is that they’re looking at the news, and the news is like, “All of California is on fire.” The fires are serious. There’s huge evacuations. I had a meeting downtown LA on Monday. Man, you see the smoke. You can smell it in your car. It’s everywhere.
Ken: That’s crazy.
Chris: We’re in Long Beach, man. I’m by the ocean. You wouldn’t even know here, even though it’s 30 miles away. Anyway, so thanks family who might be listening. Appreciate it, but look at a map once in awhile. That’s us.
Ken: Well, yep, that’s us. Anyway, we’ve got a great show lined up for you this week. This week we are going to be talking about supplements, and we have a very special interview with Shane “GPLama” Miller. I’m super excited to introduce that to you at the end of the show. But one of the big things in the news since the last time that we spoke about, was this guy that ran the two hour marathon.
Chris: I want to give it a shot, hold on. Ready? Here we go. Crap! Where is it? Kipchoge.
Shayne: Yeah, there you go. Yeah.
Chris: Did I do it?
Shayne: I’ll take that. I think so.
Chris: Okay. Okay.
Shayne: Eliud Kipchoge.
Chris: You guys wanted Shayne to do it, but then I just thought I’d be the first one off the high deck.
Ken: Well, congratulations to Kipchoge. Is that right?
Shayne: Yeah, it’s Kipchoge.
Ken: For the two hours marathon. I saw just some little Tweets about it here, and a news article about it there, but I really don’t understand. What did they do? They had just guys jump in along the route and pace him for a couple of miles here and there?
Chris: It’s called a phalanx. It’s an inverted V.
Chris: I googled this. I’m not that smart.
Ken: Like geese?
Chris: Basically, you remember the movie The Mighty Ducks? They had the Flying V? Okay, that but reverse.
Shayne: Okay. They had people rotating, too, every lap.
Ken: So they did it on a course, a lap?
Shayne: They did it on a course, yeah. That’s why technically this isn’t the world record, because it was done with rotating teams, and they were all out on the same course at the same time.
Ken: Got it.
Chris: You’re not allowed to rabbit anybody. That’s the thing.
Shayne: No. Right. Technically he ran sub-two, but it’s also technically not the world record.
Chris: Can we also say technically no one wants those people at a party? The guy ran. I mean, we can get into it, we’re getting into it. The guy ran a sub-two hour marathon. I can’t do it. Everyone should calm down. I mean, it’s incredible. Okay, the shoe gives a 4% boost because of foam, or whatever. Maybe. They’re saying it does, they think. They’re not sure how. That’s the research, is like, “Yeah. It does something. No one knows why, or how.” It’s not doing what they designed it to do, but it’s doing something else that has the same result and they’re not sure how.
Shayne: Right. I mean, that’s how you and I originally got into this conversation was, I saw an article that said that the shoe isn’t really a shoe anymore, it’s becoming a spring. Some people were a little bit up in arms over that. Is this record an actual record? Or just say another technological advance? As opposed to a physiological one. I like to compare that to cycling, because cycling is obviously very technology-driven, especially with a time trial. Then I sent you the picture of Rohan Dennis, and then the guy who came in last place, I can’t remember his name. I’m sorry. Just the comparison of their-
Chris: That’s probably because he came in last place.
Ken: You’ve got a point.
Shayne: So obviously Rohan Dennis is a phenomenal athlete, but I also can say that obviously the stuff he rode and the technology that was behind him gave him somewhat of an advantage, too, in terms of the time.
Chris: So, three thoughts-
Ken: Okay, go ahead Chris.
Chris: Three thoughts. These are well-formed. One, if we’re talking about springs in shoes, they’ve had Moon Shoes around for like 30 years. I’m just saying, we’ve all played on Moon Shoes. We understand bouncing doesn’t necessarily help everything. Although, I do want to see that now. I want to see someone run a marathon in Moon Shoes. [crosstalk 00:06:08]-
Shayne: [crosstalk 00:06:08] see Kipchoge run a marathon? I think they’re Moon Shoes, yeah. I know what you’re talking about.
Chris: In Moon Shoes. Sure.
Shayne: They’re green and purple?
Chris: Sure. Secondly, did you guys catch that it was sponsored by Ineos? Essentially, there’s one of your cycling connections.
Chris: That’s who did it. Ineos continuing their dominance in sponsoring the endurance sport world. Third, and this was my point to you Shayne, it was like, “Hey, look. I think there’s a difference,” this is a real point, not the other BS points. “I think there’s a difference in running and cycling in that there is a heavy,” and people are going to disagree with this, that’s why it’s an opinion, so everyone can shut up! “But there’s a heavy difference in cycling than to running.” Running has a purity to it that is one of the things I actually like about it, is like, “Hey, you can just go do it. You just need a pair of shoes, you go.” It doesn’t take all the extra tech, and I feel like there’s much fewer opportunities for technological advancements in running, that I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with what they’re doing.
Chris: I think this is the beginning of some serious leaps in technology in running. So everyone is kind of pissed about it. I imagine there are similar arguments when they went from composite to carbon fiber bikes. You’re like, “Wow. No, this is too light. It’s too light. It’s too light.” That’s what this feels like to me. I mean, what do you guys think?
Ken: Well, I-
Chris: Good thoughts.
Ken: Those are good thoughts. Ultimately the guy propelled himself. There wasn’t a battery in the shoe. There wasn’t some sort of fuel source in it.
Ken: But what it reminds me of was the 2008 Olympics where they all had those Speedo super suits, and they just smashed every single world record.
Ken: They finally were like, “Hey, listen. Just to keep a level playing field, let’s just ditch the suits, it’s not really adding anything to the sport.” Also, these power lifting guys, they wear these big rubber suits too, and they squat a thousand pounds. People aren’t touching those weights raw. It’s dazzling to see it, but I don’t know. I don’t know. I think it is impressive.
Chris: It’s impressive, man. He ran a sub-two.
Ken: Yeah. It is impressive. I’m not against what he did based on the little I know, which is this conversation right here. It’s just some shoes.
Ken: But I mean, I do think it’s interesting with how technology is a big part of what sells cycling. I mean, people geek out on it.
Ken: It’s part of the hobby. We love reading about it, we’ve got magazines about it. I love going to the bike shop, and I love going to bike demo days and seeing all the small tweaks that they make to mountain bikes every year. To me, it’s part of the fun, is the technology, and the data.
Shayne: Sure. Definitely.
Ken: We get to collect the data. I mean, that’s essentially what you are, Shayne, is a data scientist that analyzes this stuff and then basically gives people a program to follow.
Ken: I think it’s really cool.
Shayne: Yep. Yep. I think running is going that way; especially with the advent of the Stryd Power Meter. I don’t know if you guys have seen that.
Shayne: But I have a couple of athletes that I work with who are triathletes, and they use a Stryd Power Meter and it’s definitely been revolutionary for their training. I think we’ll definitely see more of that going the way of power, and just with cycling. Cycling is almost 20 years ahead of running, in terms of technology. It’s interesting to see Ineos take over, and then all of a sudden the technology is becoming a much bigger component to things now, which is kind of cool. Even they use the Ineos wind tunnel to kind of perfect that flying V thing that they did.
Ken: That’s crazy.
Shayne: Everything they did was kind of cool.
Chris: Well, there’s even a thing about the structure of the shoe, particularly the carbon fiber. Again, it was just something I read. It was maybe relieving a little bit of strain on the calf muscles from lateral flexing that’s required to keep balance, so it’s actually essentially improving long-term efficiencies by not wasting as much as energy. That sounds like cycling; that’s what that sounds like. [crosstalk 00:10:01] transfer.
Chris: How much flex are you losing in the frame? That’s what that starts to sound like, to me. I mean, I don’t know. You can go down this rabbit hole pretty far. Okay, so he was drafting. Let’s call it drafting. Okay. Well, I mean if you run the mile on the track, like at the NCAA’s or something, those guys are in a pack and they rotate out. It’s rarely one guy in the front the entire time who wins it. I mean, at what level are you saying, “Well, okay. You were behind someone for 50% of the time, so now it doesn’t count.” I mean, where is that line?
Chris: Now granted, they did this on purpose. I don’t know. It’s a rabbit hole. I think at the very least you just have to say, super impressive. I mean, he’s the first guy to do it. Let’s see what happens the next couple years. I mean, if somebody could do it in regular equipment they would have done it by now.
Ken: Yeah. Yeah. That is interesting.
Ken: Also, they’re starting to put power meters in everything. They’re starting to put power meter, or the strain gauges, on brakes for bikes so you can start to analyze your braking, and seeing where you can pick up efficiencies there. But, yeah. Really cool stuff.
Chris: Just further making all cyclists the worst person to talk to at a party, is what that’s doing.
Ken: Hey, you’re going to the wrong type of party.
Chris: [crosstalk 00:11:12].
Ken: Hey, the parties I go to only have cyclists. So there we go.
Chris: Wow. Wow. I need different friends. I think we said that in another episode. Man!
Shayne: I say it all the time.
Ken: Well, so check this out. Not quite in the same vein as the technology thing, but still based in performance. We have a focus question this week. It from [Scott Olson 00:11:34], and he asks, “Supplements.” Yeah, you ready?
Shayne: Shout-out. Scotty!
Ken: He said, “Supplements; are there any of them that are actually worth the price? Or is a solid diet good enough?” I see that Shayne has got some science, and a couple of specific supplements that he wants to talk about. The takeaway here is a bunch of them just don’t do anything.
Shayne: Well, at least that haven’t been proven yet by placebo, double-blind kind of studies. I typically like to talk about four; which are beta alanine, creatine, caffeine, and sodium phosphate.
Chris: Sodium phosphate?
Shayne: Sodium phosphate.
Shayne: It’s an interesting one. Beta alanine is probably the most popular one, I would say. Most people have heard about it. It works on the amino acid called carnosine, where it increases carnosine levels in your muscles. The thought is that that acts as a buffer to acidosis that develops once you go above FTP.
Chris: The development of lactic acid.
Shayne: Exactly. It basically buffers your lactate, but again, there’s now studies coming out that say lactate may not be all its cracked up to be. Acidosis may be from non-mitochondrial ATP turn over, which I can link to the show notes too. So that stuff could also be changing, as well.
Chris: I think everybody probably knows what that is.
Shayne: Yeah. For sure.
Chris: Said no one.
Shayne: Anyways, beta alanine works in the one minute to four minute/five minute-ish ranges. The study that I like to refer to is they took a meta-analysis of a bunch of studies, and they found a 2.85 increase in exercise bouts that lasted from 60 to 240 seconds. What that means is they were able to increase their time to exhaustion, in that time range, by 2.85%. They were able to produce more power, but as well as increase the time they could maintain that power for, as well.
Ken: That’s kind of a big deal.
Chris: I would agree.
Shayne: Yeah. It is kind of a big deal. I’m going to link all the studies I’m referring to, to the show notes, like I always do.
Ken: [crosstalk 00:13:47] recommended brands?
Shayne: But anything under a minute or over four minutes… Brands are tough, because it really depends on what is in it. I think Labdoor is probably the best to do it that way, is Labdoor takes a third party approach and they test and basically go through and make sure everything that is in the supplement is what it says it is. They give you safety ratings, and all the stuff in it. It’s actually really cool. We can link that to the show notes, too.
Chris: That’s fascinating.
Shayne: Yeah. Typically people will take 5 grams pre-workout, and you also may experience some tingling and some parasthesia, which is also normal with beta alanine.
Shayne: If you guys have ever taken it before.
Ken: Well, I take pre-workout; so that’s what I’m feeling is the tingling in the skin; almost like a flushness. Okay.
Shayne: Yeah, that’s beta alanine. Exactly. Yep.
Chris: I don’t do that.
Ken: I take something, called Six Shooter or something, I got from Amazon. I used to take [crosstalk 00:14:44]-
Chris: [crosstalk 00:14:44] all of the groceries, Shayne?
Ken: I used to take C4, but this is cheaper than C4. It comes in the same type of shiny can. Yeah.
Shayne: Okay. I’ve heard of C4 before. Yeah. I mean, it has a ton of caffeine in it too, right?
Ken: I mean, yeah. It does have a lot of caffeine in it. Which, I believe, is another thing that you were going to talk about. Was that one of the things on your list?
Chris: But you skipped two. Yeah, that was number three.
Shayne: Yeah, for sure.
Chris: But he skipped two.
Shayne: But that was number three. Yep. The second one I like to do is creatine. Creatine hasn’t really done much in terms of muscular endurance performance, but it has shown good improvement in anaerobic power, and especially repeated anaerobic power. The study I like to refer to is they took active men, they took through five sets of two minute bouts with a one minute rest in between, on a trainer. Then after multiple testing sessions, supplementing with creatine 5 grams pre-workout, they were shown an increase of 6.72% in power output compared to the placebo and control groups.
Ken: Is this like a max sprint?
Shayne: That’s a pretty decent jump. Yeah, exactly right. Five sets, two minutes, full gas with one minute rest in between.
Shayne: They found that their mean power increased by 6.72% through the five sets, compared to the placebo and the control groups.
Chris: So far both of these are really just top percentage, very specific moments. This isn’t going to help you hold an effort for four hours.
Shayne: No. Nope. I was going to loop it back to his other thing was, is diet the best thing? Diet is the best thing for endurance performance. These things are all going to work on short, anaerobic kind of power efforts, but not [crosstalk 00:16:26] in terms of endurance.
Chris: Hey Shayne, can you say that again, but address is directly to Ken, about diet? We all know what we’re talking about. I’m outing Ken right now. I’m outing him.
Shayne: We’re going to have to start that series eventually, so you might as well start it now.
Chris: The Badger diet. So everyone, we’re starting a new podcast, I’m announcing now, that we might actually do, called What Did The Badger Eat Today? You have to understand, that when we plan these podcasts, kind of throughout the week we’re talking about things, it’s text or it’s on Slack or something. Inevitably we start talking about our worlds, and what we’re eating. It always ends with Ken texting, as if there was an apocalypse, and then he was the last guy at the grocery store, and all the good food was gone, and Ken found what was ever left, he decided to eat that intentionally, and then act like it was a good idea. This is what he eats.
Shayne: We’ll have to link some photos to the show notes. It was a glass jar of gravy with Salisbury steak-
Chris: Powdered mashed potatoes.
Shayne: … powdered mashed potatoes, and there was something else too. Parkay.
Ken: It was liquid butter that you keep in your refrigerator, it sprays out like syrup.
Chris: Oh, what was the butter?
Ken: It’s margarine.
Chris: What was the butter you had?
Chris: Parkay. Who knew that was even around?
Ken: Hey, man. It’s great. It’s really easy to use.
Chris: [crosstalk 00:17:47].
Ken: It goes great on that organic bread that I had.
Chris: Yeah. The third podcast will be Stories From The Badger’s Toilet, which nobody will listen to.
Shayne: I’ll have a Big Mac and large fry, but just give me a Diet Coke. I’m trying to lose some weight.
Ken: Yeah. Diet [crosstalk 00:18:14] time crunch.
Shayne: Oh, Ken. I love you, buddy.
Chris: I don’t know, man. I feel like it takes more effort for you to do that than it would be just to eat more healthy.
Ken: Well, I tell you what. What we’ll do is maybe the next podcast we will talk about what I can do to turn my diet around, and do some tracking. Yeah. We’ll do a little check-in.
Chris: Interview [crosstalk 00:18:33].
Ken: We’ll do a little check-in every week, see how it’s going. I think that could be a lot of fun.
Chris: Do you feel exposed, Ken? Did we just out you to the world?
Ken: No. I think it’s pretty well-known, at least in my small circles, that I have a pretty terrible diet.
Chris: It’s amazing.
Ken: Thank God I ride a bike, or otherwise I’d be 300 pounds.
Shayne: Now all 10 listeners know, too. That’s good.
Chris: I feel like we insult people somehow; gravy manufacturers are pissed at us.
Shayne: Right. [crosstalk 00:18:59].
Chris: There’s somebody out there who works on powdered mashed potatoes, and they’re pissed at us. So Shayne, caffeine huh?
Shayne: Yeah. Caffeine. Good segue.
Chris: Yeah, it was a good one.
Shayne: Caffeine is probably the most abused, I don’t want to say abused, but the most used performance enhancer across all groups; whether it’s runners, or cyclists, triathletes, whatever. Or just people looking to get a little bit more work done at their daily job or whatever. The study I like to refer to, they used 3 mg per kilo dosage, and 6 mg per kilo dosages. Both dosages showed an improvement of 4.2% in power production over a 60 minute time trial. But the 6 mg didn’t show much more than a 3 mg dosage did. My recommendation is to do 3 mg per kilo before your workout.
Shayne: But again, what that means depends on how much you weigh, but also what your tolerance is for caffeine. Where if you’re a really heavy caffeine drinker, you may need to go closer to 6 mg per kilo. If you’re kind of a minimal caffeine drinker, maybe just 3 mg per kilo. But definitely experiment with what works best for you, because there has been some issues with GI upset if you take too much caffeine. Or you get jitters, or that kind of stuff, which I’m sure everybody has experienced listening, that has taken caffeine.
Chris: Every day.
Shayne: Again, pretty good improvement.
Ken: Just to put that in a little more layman’s terms, the delivery vehicle for most of us is going to be coffee, or maybe some sort of pre-workout supplement. But for a 150 pound male, that would be about 210 mg of caffeine. That’s a pretty stout cup of coffee.
Shayne: Yeah. That’s a cup to two. I think it’s 70 to 140 mg of caffeine in a brewed eight ounce cup of coffee.
Shayne: I think probably a Starbucks is probably closer to 140. Then maybe a home-brew, or a Mr. Coffee, whatever, may be closer to 70.
Shayne: Typically they’ll say about 95 to 100 mg per cup, on average.
Shayne: You’re talking about two cups of coffee.
Ken: A double shot of espresso. Yeah. Go ahead, Chris.
Chris: Can I share something with you guys that is maybe related, but maybe just more silly? I drink a lot of coffee. Because of that, I like to go to this website called Death by Caffeine, which will tell you how much of a… This is also getting in trouble.
Shayne: How close you are to death?
Chris: How much it’ll take of a caffeine beverage to kill you, based on your weight. Now, it also tells you your daily safe maximum. I think it’s interesting. First off, all energy drinks are terrible for you. You can pretty much just believe that.
Chris: It says for a 150 pound person, that 2.5 cups of coffee is your maximum for the day. My question for you, Shayne, is: Now if you’re exercising, I would imagine that would go up, right? That’s probably a fairly sedentary number. Is there an affect on energy output versus caffeine use? If I’m going to go ride, does that mean I get to drink four cups of coffee a day? How does that work? Just so you know-
Shayne: I don’t know.
Chris: … it would be 63 cups of coffee, is a lethal dose, at 150 pounds.
Shayne: 63 cups? Wow.
Chris: A cup is eight ounces. I mean, that’s a lot. I’m not worried about telling anyone that. They’re not going to go-
Shayne: You’d probably go hyponatremic before you actually died from caffeine overdose.
Ken: Geez, dude. That would be a bad way to die, man.
Shayne: Would you die from a heart attack?
Chris: I don’t know.
Shayne: Or would you die from, like we were saying, just hyponatremia?
Chris: 128 cans of Red Bull.
Chris: I know.
Shayne: That’s a lot of fluid.
Chris: Yeah, it might be more than coffee. That’s weird.
Shayne: That’s a good question. I don’t know that. I wouldn’t assume, because it’s not like calories, where if you work out more you can eat more calories. Because you’re talking strictly about an actually neurotransmitter. I’m pretty sure the brain is the brain. I don’t think it changes too much, in terms of exercise. But I think the main thing is, if you drink a lot of caffeine, then you need to drink more caffeine to get that same caffeine buzz, and then vice versa. The less caffeine you drink, the less you need to have to have that buzz feeling.
Chris: There’s also some hydration issues there too, right?
Shayne: Yeah. That’s been a little bit debunked. If you’re a new caffeine drinker, then you will become slightly dehydrated. But if you’re a frequent caffeine drinker, then there hasn’t been too much, in terms of dehydration. As long as you take your normal dosage of caffeine.
Chris: All right. So I’m okay to drink my coffee before I go ride? Just make sure I don’t poop myself. That’s basically what-
Ken: If you do, at least don’t wear your shammy underneath your clothes all day.
Chris: Look, man. I did that again last week, and I almost texted you guys.
Shayne: That’s so gross, dude.
Ken: You’re going to get some kind of weird taint rash, man. Ugh!
Chris: Yeah. It actually-
Shayne: That’s nasty, man.
Chris: I’d be lying. I’m being vulnerable here. I’d be lying if I wasn’t worried about a little saddle sores from that.
Ken: Yeah. Well, you probably, yeah.
Shayne: Yeah. That’s what happens. Folliculitis, for sure.
Ken: What did you call it?
Shayne: Folliculitis. It’s inflammation of a hair follicle, and then that hair follicle can get infected.
Shayne: That’s what causes the sore.
Chris: I don’t have that.
Shayne: Saddles sores are typically folliculitis.
Ken: Yeah. Well, that’s because you-
Chris: We could do a whole episode on shammy butter; pro or con.
Ken: Yep. Well-
Shayne: Pro, as long you use tea tree oil.
Chris: Fourth supplement. We’re drifting.
Shayne: Tea tree oil. Well, actually that was not a bad segue because-
Chris: You’re welcome.
Shayne: … caffeine has been show to mobilize more free fatty acids. If you can combine a low carbohydrate state, so not fasted, but a low carbohydrate-state ride with caffeine pre, it’s actually been shown to increase more fat metabolism. I can link that study to the show notes, as well. I hate the word biohacking-
Shayne: … but it’s kind of what you’re doing. If you eat a low carbohydrate dinner, get up in the morning for, it has to be low intensity, it can’t be high intensity-
Chris: Oh, okay.
Shayne: … as you found that out this week, too.
Shayne: When you almost blacked out-
Chris: Look, man. It only happens [crosstalk 00:25:21]-
Shayne: So low intensity for a long time. That’s been shown to actually increase more free fatty oxidation, which is kind of cool too. So weight loss, stuff like that, is good. Or just becoming more fat-adapted per se.
Chris: Hey, my [crosstalk 00:25:34]-
Shayne: Yeah. The last one-
Chris: [crosstalk 00:25:36] really fast. Have you guys ever tried Pre:Play? P-R-E play.
Chris: All right. So Re:Play/Pre:Play, it’s a type of hydration. Pre:Play has a ton of caffeine in it, and if you want something that hydrates you and has a ton of caffeine, it’s slow-slow release. Normally if I just have to get up, right on my bike, and get on, I’ll throw that in my bottle. It hits you by about the time you meet up with people. Anyway, moving on. Product placement. They’ll sponsor us soon.
Shayne: I’ll check it out. The last one is sodium phosphate. This is kind of a wacky one. The study I like to refer to with this one is elite cyclists, again, and they did a 16.1 km cycling time trial. Then they broke it down again into control group, placebo group, and sodium phosphate group. They took one gram, four times a day, for… I should know that. For 14 days. One milligram, four times a day, for 14 days. They did the test again. This is crazy the difference they found, but they found that the mean power output increased between eight to 9.8%-
Shayne: … and the time decreased by 2.9 to 3%.
Shayne: That’s crazy.
Chris: Does that come in tablet form? What form does it even come in?
Shayne: You can get tablets. People usually just get it in loose form. It looks like-
Shayne: … table salts, yeah. Sodium phosphate, it’s table salt. But, yeah. Again, kind of crazy. The study, it seems to be pretty legit. People have referenced it before. It comes from 2008. Like I said, it’s 16, they said elite cyclists, so you’re not getting a lot of newb gains there, with some other studies you may be getting, just as an FYI. Yeah, that’s kind of interesting. But I’ll link that one to the show notes, as well. That was from the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, and Jonathan Folland is the author of that one. It’s a kind of cool one. Yeah, that’s my three. It’s beta alanine, creatine, caffeine, and sodium phosphate.
Ken: Very cool. All right. Well, thanks for that.
Shayne: [crosstalk 00:27:50].
Chris: [crosstalk 00:27:50] great.
Ken: You said, just to sort of recap what you were saying, is these four have some pretty good data behind them to back them up. But a lot of the other stuff, there’s just not anything that shows that it works.
Ken: Yet, at least.
Shayne: Yet. The number one thing is a good diet, by far and away.
Chris: I was going to say, to summarize some of these things work specifically in some instances, for some people, sometimes. But eat well.
Ken: Okay. Got it.
Shayne: Correct. Eating well, being consistent, getting your sleep, checking off all the low-hanging fruits, that’s the most important part of any training. Then once you have that stuff all [macked 00:28:29] down, then you can move on to this supplementation.
Ken: Got it. Got it.
Chris: Did you hear that, Ken? Cans of gravy and mashed potatoes; that’s all you get to eat.
Ken: And instant grits; you’ve got to let me have my breakfast, man. Yeah.
Ken: With country ham.
Shayne: Oh, yes. I love instant grits.
Ken: Yeah. All right. Thanks for that. Today’s interview is really, really cool. Many of you know Shane Miller, as known as GPLama. He’s our guest interview this week, and many of you know him from his YouTube Channel where he does product reviews. He was an early adopter of Zwift. He loved doing time trials, that was his jam. He started off with a blog, and it got more and more popular. He just sort of got into this universe of cycling, and product reviews, and Zwift. Now that’s what he does full time. One of the reasons I wanted to reach out to him, not to go into a bunch of gearhead stuff because he could geek out on that all day, but just to find out what is it like for him balancing being a new dad, he’s got a son named Maxwell who is probably about 11/12 weeks old now, but he also has a thriving career and he’s very interested in his own fitness. We caught up with him. I hope you will enjoy the interview. We are going to bounce over to that right now.
Ken: Okay. We have a very special guest this morning for me, and this evening for him. We have Shane Miller, also known as GPLama. Many of you know Shane from his videos, and his YouTube Channel, where he does lots of equipment reviews. Everything from power meters to these new indoor bikes that are coming out. Let’s give an introduction. Shane, how are you doing?
Shane: I am very, very well. The sun is now shining here, the days are longer. I’m just back in from a very short little ride in the sun at 6:00 pm at night. I’m super happy.
Ken: That’s great. You have good roads to ride on where you are?
Shane: Oh, absolutely. They’re long and empty. They’re not too bad, quality-wise. But it’s all about correct tires and correct tire pressure and things like that; which again, it’s the bike nerd in me that makes it all good. But no, it’s brilliant. It’s a really good place to be.
Ken: That’s really great. Around here, once you get out to the countryside and outside of town, it’s pretty good. There can be some angry drivers, though. When I have to train, I have to do it in the morning, and this time of year it’s so dark and cold and wet. It’s just not worth it. I’m really grateful to have Zwift as a tool to ride on. I do some TrainerRoad, as well. This time of year is when things really open up for you. What about in the wintertime? Do you spend more time inside?
Shane: Absolutely. August is the worst month here, because everything has been so cold for so long, and then the rain comes in, everything is dark, and the shorter days. That’s where I think indoor cycling just takes over, because you can do all the riding. Now, your social rides, just going for a ride, or your training. I’ve been indoor cycling for years and years. It’s good that everyone else is filing on board, too.
Ken: Yeah, that’s awesome. Tell us a little bit about how you developed your passion for bikes and bike racing. What’s a little bit of your background?
Shane: I could go on for hours and hours and hours. I like too, as well. I like talking about this, but I’ll try and keep it short. I got into it really, really late. My background is IT and IT security, and just nerding out on all the old tech stuff, if anybody listening is into the old certification sort of thing. I’m a CCNP for Cisco, MCP in Windows 2000, when that first came out, but I haven’t renewed any of those certs. Back in the day I was into IT, but I started riding to and from work because I love riding bikes. I’ve ridden a bike since I was a kid. Coming from Country Victoria, that’s how we got to and from school. Then I got a little faster, and a little faster. I met somebody on a bike path, and he said, “Maybe you should come down and race the crits.” I’m like, “Really? Do you think I’m good enough to race crits?” About this time Lance Armstrong was winning the 2003 Tour de France.
Shane: I got hooked. I’m like, “Oh, this was super cool.” Jumped on, jumped on a bike, won my first crit, and then just went from there. Fell in love with bikes. Then my passion of both IT and technology, as we’ve seen in the last 10 or 15 years, technology is moving the bicycles like nothing else. It combined my two passions, and the rest is history. I was blogging for awhile. I raced a lot, and raced full time for awhile. Ticked all the boxes there. I was sort of looking, “What do I do next? I’ve won the two big races that I wanted to win. I’ve got those yellow jerseys, the national championship stuff for the age groupers. What now?”
Shane: Then Zwift came along; so without Zwift, I would have hung it up long ago. But Zwift has just renewed my passion for the tech, and I think the rest of the industry has come along as well, and just said, “Wow. There’s something here we can all be a part of.” We’ve seen trainer companies, yeah, accelerate through this time, which has been great.
Ken: When Zwift came along, if I remember correctly, you won a big time trial, or some kind of King of the Mountain. There was only one route, is that right? Is my history right here?
Shane: Yeah. I guess it was the beginning of the eSports on Zwift.
Shane: When Zwift went from, it was private beta, you had to submit your email address and say what kind of hardware you had. I had a KICKR at the time, and I got onto the private beta. Then the announcement of public beta was done in Northern Australia, my hometown. Well, my hometown at the time.
Shane: That was done at an event at a bike shop, and they had an event there that night with a time trial around Watopia; it was the hilly route. The hilly route we all know and love. 9.1 kilometer, I think, in one direction. I knew the course so well that I went there, and I was time trialing at the time outdoors quite a lot as well, and it’s just a big time trial. I went there and won that. I think I set the fastest lap time, at the time? I mean, there’s a lot faster guys now, and guys and girls coming along. I got in early; just like real estate, you get in early, you get out, before the big guys come along.
Ken: Right. Right. Exactly. Yeah.
Shane: Eric Wynn was there, as well. It was really good to be part of the seed of Zwift, when it was just so very young, and it was still beta at the time. My history goes back a long way with Zwift.
Ken: That is awesome. Once you did this Zwift event, is that when you started recording your own content and started doing your reviews? Or when did that come along?
Shane: Well, yeah. Funny you should mention. It came along a few months after that. I’ve got a blog, it’s still up there, gplama.blogspot.com. I’d been blogging for years and years about my race reports, because we would race in a place, like all around Country Victoria, Country Australia, and people wouldn’t know where to go. This was before Google Maps was around.
Shane: It was sort of word-of-mouth, or Yahoo Groups back in the day. People would say, “Okay. There’s a race at [Beliang 00:35:24] this weekend.” People are like, “Where Beliang?” No one could ever figure out where Beliang was, because [crosstalk 00:35:29].
Ken: Because there weren’t any maps. Wow.
Shane: Correct. We would be driving to Beliang, and we’d see cars going the opposite direction, and this was probably 2003/2004 when I first got into it. I’m like, “Hang on. Nobody knows where to go. No one knows what these events are about.” They’re sort of, a bit of, some guy in a boot, literally opens the car boot, or the trunk of the car, writes down your name, he takes your $2, and off you go and race.
Shane: So I started blogging about where the race was, putting maps up, I put race reports. I was doing pretty well, so there was a few photos there, some winning shots, and other success stories I guess, as well. And how things panned out. So the blogspot has been around for ages and ages. Then I started being more and more into technology; I was ordering things online, ordering things from The States, and from the UK, and then people were asking me about them. Being in tech, and being in tech support, and sort of the engineering side of things, you’re always answering questions, or making things easier for people. So that went into text. I was sort of blogging away, blogging away, blogging away. That did okay. Then Cycling Maven was a YouTuber in Melbourne.
Ken: Oh, sure. Yeah.
Shane: Now, I’ve raced Mark awhile. I know I raced Mark, because he kept beating me in sprints. I remember when we first raced at a sports track. Anyways, I’ve been good friends with Maven for a long time. He had his Channel going really, really well. We’d hung out at the Tour Down Under, here in Adelaide. He’s just like, “Mate, just get a camera. Just turn the camera on, because what you’re doing is interesting. You’ve got access to all this stuff, you’re blogging about it, but just turn a camera on.” I’m like, “Well, look. I’m pretty ugly. I speak too fast. People will hang on my accent. Is that really going to work?”
Shane: I started, and I stumbled a little bit at the start. I told my story about where I came from, because I guess depending on what phase of life you’re in, you become that person for the last six to 12 months. I’m known as a YouTuber, but for me, I’m still the IT guy. Then I was also known as the time trialer. I’ve also been known as the championship chaser. It sort of goes in phases. People know me as a YouTuber, I guess. I’ve told my story about where I come from, my background in cycling and what level I got to. Then someone said, “Shane. You’re done telling your story. You’re not interesting anymore. Turn the camera around more, and keep it about the products. They’re interesting.”
Shane: Ever since then I’m like, “Easy, done.” There’s non-stop content. If it’s about me, I’ve got to keep telling stories about me, and I get boring pretty quick. There’s non-stop new tech hitting the market. There’s just no end of new trainers coming out, new power meters, or innovations on Zwift, Zwift updates, firmware updates. I’m just excited by it all. Because any product is only ever one firmware update away from being awesome, or even better. If I can share that with people, and people get the same experiences I have, because I still love this stuff. I’ve ridden, I was going to say hundreds of thousands of k’s, probably hundreds of thousands of k’s. But I’m still out there like a kid; on a bike, the sun is up, flying along on the bike, looking down at my left/right balance, and thinking, “How cool is this?” I just want to share that. I think it’s working.
Ken: Sure. When you’re riding it sounds like you sort of get into this meditative state, where sort of your mind, and the numbers, and the experience of having the wind go over your body, just all sort of melds into one almost like an atmosphere.
Shane: Oh, yeah. You’ve just described time trialing like nothing else. In time trialing I was so focused on that, so focused. This is every single little detail we looked at, and you’re in full control. Time trialing, you never miss a breakaway, you never have an unlucky or a bad day, unless it’s equipment. But if you focus on your equipment, everything is perfect. That’s what I love about that. You can’t predict the result of your competitors. You can always predict your own result, though.
Shane: I love a good time trial.
Ken: Yeah, it seems like it. It seems like it really sort of fits that core personality trait that you have of just being a numbers guy, and a data geek.
Shane: It works really, really well. I started off with a PowerTap Hub. Funnily enough, thinking back to it, I should do a video on it. My first power meter didn’t work, it broke. Which is still happening to this day. The troubleshooting of that was, I couldn’t figure out what was making it drop out, and I was racing and all of a sudden after an hour it would drop out.
Shane: Or I was riding to work, and I’d pass a certain point of my ride to work, and it would drop out. I’m thinking, “Oh, what could this be?” It was actually temperature-related; anything over 16 degrees Celsius, it would drop out. It took me months to figure that out. That was a bit of fun. How many years later down the track, I’m still doing the exact kind of [inaudible 00:39:56]; just with a lot more tools, a lot more power meters.
Ken: Right. Well, speaking of PowerTap Hubs. When I was looking for my first power meter, I was like, “Man. I don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on this thing. I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. I want to spend hundreds of dollars.” I also was looking for a good set of wheels. A friend of mine sold me a pair of Reynolds Assault PowerTap wheels, and that’s still what I use now.
Shane: Oh, nice!
Ken: I mean, they’re probably eight years old?
Ken: Yeah. It still works.
Shane: Did you start off with a yellow server with two buttons?
Ken: No, I didn’t. The one that I have, it would just sync up to my Garmin. But I remember the original PowerTap Hubs; these big ugly aluminum-looking things. Yeah. I think the G3 is the one I’ve got.
Shane: Oh, that’s nice. It’s a smaller one. Yeah. The originals were like soup cans, I guess you’d call it. You’d ride along behind someone, these big silver things spinning around, it was like a soup can hub. But I guess we sort of both started in PowerTap. Yeah, excellent.
Ken: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. When I first started deciding to get into Zwift, I had been thinking about it for awhile, but I didn’t think I had a computer that I could run with it, and I didn’t know much about trainers. Your videos, and of course DC Rainmaker and his blog, those were the two spots where I really went to learn about the equipment that I was going to need. Finally, winter of 2017 started setting in, and I had been hit by a car a few months earlier. I didn’t get hurt, but it was just like, “You know what, man? This is sketchy out here, to try to ride alone in the morning before work. I’ve got a kid now. There’s just a lot on the line.”
Ken: So anything that I could do to make sure that I’m getting in more training, and averting some of the risks, that became really important to me. Also, the only fitness tracker that I was using at the time was Strava Summit had the fitness fatigue thing, and you could look at it over all time, and that winter it just went up and up and up and up. It was the first time that it didn’t take a big dip. I came into the 2018 season and signed up for a mountain bike race, and I won it. I was like, “What in the heck is going on?”
Ken: It was funny, because I’d get out in front of the pack and I was like, “You’re doing something wrong, man. This isn’t right. You’re overcooking it.” Sure enough, 90 minutes goes by and I’m still in the front; two hours, two and a half, three hours. I’m like, “Oh, man.” It happened, it worked.
Shane: Hang on one second.
Shane: Sorry, my audio has just dropped out to my headphones. [crosstalk 00:42:47].
Ken: Oh, okay. Yeah, you can take a minute to fix that.
Shane: Oh, come on Bluetooth. You can do better than this. Do I have a plug? I have a second… Sorry about this.
Ken: No, do your thing. We want to make sure that we’re having a good conversation, free of any technical issues. If you need to grab some other headphones, go for it.
Shane: Okay. Are you there? I’m on speaker, just one moment. What is this doing? This should be off right there. Okay. Where are we at? That is camera, page is accessing your microphone, that’s cool. Continue. Okay. You there?
Ken: I’m here. Can you hear me?
Shane: Yeah. Sorry about that. I don’t know what happened. My Bluetooth has just dropped. If it happens again, I’ll go get some wired headphones.
Ken: Okay. Yeah. That sounds good.
Shane: It just did, damn! Okay. Hang on one moment. I’ll grab those headphones.
Ken: Oh, sure.
Shane: Okay. I have wired headphones. Let’s go with wire. It’s like my trainer this morning dropping out.
Ken: I saw that you follow Zwiftalizer. That was really helpful for me, because I could not figure out why my amp plus kept dropping out. It didn’t seem to ever drop out on workouts. It would only drop out in races or events. It was weird. Once I sort of figured that out, and they released that where you can Bluetooth your phone through the companion app, that fixed the problem. That was a really nice feature, because Windows Bluetooth just never seemed to sync very well with my trainer.
Shane: Yeah, game over for Windows Bluetooth. It still is a bit of a problem. Okay. Now I have wired headphones in. Is my microphone still coming through okay?
Ken: Yeah, you sound fantastic.
Shane: Excellent. Excellent. Sorry about that. I’ve got a good story about, your mountain bike one, as well, where you were super fit after your winter training. I’ve got another one that works really well.
Ken: Yeah, let’s hear it.
Shane: Speaking of training through winter, and not quite realizing how strong you are. I had the same effect over in Perth. Now we were living in Perth for three months. My wife Veronica had a project over there. I just tailed along. I’d been riding Zwift indoors a lot, and I’d been doing green jersey sprints. But for me, I didn’t remember doing them. They were just part of Zwift. When I was out racing on the weekend, I was coming into a sprint. I’m like, “Oh, I’ve got no hope in hell here, but I’ll open up a little earlier than normal and see if I can get the jump on them.” Boom! Blew their doors off, and I won it. I had to think back, “Where have I been doing sprint practice?” It was all the green jersey sprints. It was one of those cases of-
Ken: That is awesome.
Shane: … the Zwift effect, where you’re doing this training indoors, but it takes you so far away from what you’re actually doing, I didn’t put two and two together. Yeah. The Zwift effect; it is real, indoors and out.
Ken: It certainly is. On Team DIRT, we call it the DIRT effect, that’s our hashtag.
Ken: Because we get to see all these dads that are like, “I can’t believe it. This is crazy.” They post their screenshots of their FTP increases. The thing that I like is when they show podiums in real-life races, of the thing that they’re doing outside. Or some guys, they’ve lost 30 or 40 or 50 pounds, those are the awesome stories. It’s great to win, but also just seeing these people, these guys, and some moms too, and some other people, that have joined our club, just making fitness breakthroughs that they never thought possible. I think that’s been one of the great things. It’s such an injury-free thing to ride a stationary bike. It’s about as safe as you can get, and still push really, really hard.
Shane: Yeah. There are some inspiring stories out there. A lot of people say thanks to me, for covering the technology they’re using. I’m saying thanks to them, for showing us what you can do, what the applications are, of what I’m covering. People are out there running KICKRs, or NEOs, or Hammers, and becoming stronger, or losing that weight, or getting 5th place rather than 15th place. That’s what inspires me to keep covering this, as well. I love seeing those posts.
Ken: Yeah, it’s awesome. You told me that about 10 weeks ago y’all had a kid. I’d like to hear a little bit about how training evolved for you, as your wife was pregnant, and then what it has been like over the last 10 weeks for you.
Shane: Yeah. Well, it has been a whirlwind. I guess everybody can relate. Up until Maxwell was born, everything was normal. Even Veronica, my wife, she’s a Zwifter, she’s a competitive cyclist, I think she was doing some groups rides or group races, I don’t think it was Zwift Academy at the time. But she was on there doing her rides and races. We had to put the steering up a lot higher, because she couldn’t reach over the bars, little Maxwell was too [inaudible 00:47:54] at the time. Even myself, I was training all the way through, we’d gone over to Amsterdam to catch up with DC Rainmaker, we had an open house over there. We went to the Tour de France, the Giro Rosa. We went down and saw Elite’s. This was when she was 32 weeks pregnant; just borderline of not being able to travel.
Ken: On the border. Okay.
Shane: The CEO of Elite, when we were there at the factory in Italy, he was pushing Veronica around on a chair. He says, “No, no, no. You don’t walk. You don’t walk. I will push you around the factory floor on a chair.”
Ken: Oh my God.
Shane: It was just brilliant. People were just giving up seats for Veronica, because she was pregnant. It has been a really good journey, because we were hoping for a family for awhile, and to see that society accepts pregnant women, having their own car parks. It’s been really good. But anyway, to the story about little Maxwell’s birth. I had just stepped off a Zwift ride. Now, it’s pretty common that I step off a Zwift ride, it’s nearly every day, but it was 8:30 at night, just on the Australian Ozzie hump day, on a Wednesday, with 400 of my friends. I’m just sort of recovering, shaking the legs out, and Veronica has walked in, and this was still three or four weeks early. Veronica’s going, “I think it’s time.” I’m like, “No, no. It’s not time. I’ve got to have a shower. I just stepped off Zwift. Yeah, it’s not time.” She goes, “Oh, no. It’s time.”
Ken: You didn’t even get a shower?
Ken: Did you show up in the hospital in the [crosstalk 00:49:18]?
Shane: No, no. I got changed. We were trying not to get on that, because we’d done all the classes, and we went through everything, just trying to do the best we can, and learn up as new parents first. This is our first. We’d done all the classes, everything. A lot of the classes say, if you go to the hospital and the contractions aren’t between a certain time period, they’ll send you home. You’re only five minutes down the road. I’m driving there going, “You know what happened today? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” [Von’s 00:49:42] like, “I’m having a baby here.” “Okay, but let’s just keep things normal. So this happened, and this happened, and then I got 26th place, because I think that…” Then Von’s like, “I’m having a baby here.”
Shane: I finally calm down, and realize I was about to become a dad. We got in there, and it was an emergency c-section. We were booked in for a c-section a few weeks later, anyway, because little Maxwell hadn’t spun around. He was still riding the reverse Watopia course, I think is how we referred to it.
Ken: Yeah, that’s good.
Shane: It was an emergency c-section. I mean, I’ve got a million and one stories, and I’ll keep reeling them out until you tell me to stop.
Shane: I get into the theater, and the doctor looks at me, looks at Veronica, but looks back at me and goes, “You and DC Rainmaker…” I’m like, “You’re a cyclist, aren’t you?” He goes, “That’s right.”
Shane: I’m like, “So what sort of bike do you ride?” He goes, “Oh, I ride a Bon.” I’m like, “Right. I’ll talk to you more about my bike, but my wife is having a baby.” “Okay, cool. I’ll take care of that.” 45 minutes later I was a dad. Super healthy.
Shane: I didn’t want to interrupt my cadence, so to speak, with the Channel on YouTube, and effectively my work, so I wanted to keep doing things. The next video that I did, I think was a day or so later, the very last bit… People knew, because if they follow me along, and follow my personal side of things, they knew Veronica was pregnant, but I hadn’t made a big thing of it. And in the very second of the video, it’s Maxwell’s very first scream that I recorded, just after he was born. He let out the scream, and I look sideways, and I look back at the camera, and I cut it so it was the end of the video. So it was a little Easter egg in there, of Maxwell’s very first noise that he ever made. Ah, just thinking back to that. Just that very first scream. If anybody is a parent, I’m sure they can relate. You’ve finally got a healthy baby, and my life changed at that moment. It’s been unbelievable ever since.
Ken: Well, I guess he was really little when you brought him home.
Shane: Well, he was one day off being prem.
Shane: But he was ready to go. It was his time. He was straight out, 3.386 kg, 7.7 pounds.
Shane: Super healthy. He was back to birth weight in about two or three days, because they lose a bit of weight and they put it back on.
Shane: He was straight on breastfeeding within 24 minutes, I think.
Shane: Textbook baby, which is good, because being a geek into all the tech specs, I’m like, “Okay. The baby should be this, this, this, and this, and this. And tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.” He matches the specs, that’s what was written on the side of the pamphlet. It was all good.
Ken: That’s great. You getting some good sleep?
Shane: Well, last night, and I don’t want to brag or anything, but it was 8.5 hours last night. He’s 10 weeks old, and he’s sleeping for 8 hours.
Ken: Oh my goodness.
Shane: Veronica is like, “Let’s just think about this for awhile. It’s not going to keep like this all the time.” He was up feeding, obviously, on and off for two or three hours and things, but he’s just slowly dragging that out. Funnily enough, part of my IT course, I did childhood developmental psych, as a non-contributing elective.
Shane: So knowing the cognitive development, and seeing that take place with my very own child is just amazing. You can just see them becoming more and more conscious every day, and aware of their surroundings. It makes them cry, because realizing how big the world is, and that they’re not connected to the mother. Again, I could talk about this all day. It’s just amazing. Just amazing.
Ken: Yeah. As a matter of fact, I got a psychology degree, and my senior research was in developmental psych, so I love that stuff.
Shane: Oh, wow. Man! Awesome!
Ken: Well, that’s really cool. I guess I’m curious, how do you train? Do you follow a program, or do you just ride Zwift? You just try to hit a certain number of hours a week?
Shane: It’s changed since I’ve stopped competing, because I competed to the level where… Well, we all know, the thing that people don’t talk about in bikes, at sort of the high level, things hurt. You’ve got to push yourself so far, so far, into these zones. If you’re comfortable with that, it’s about training the body, training the mind, but training that threshold of pain. If you can’t tolerate that, you just can’t cope.
Shane: A lot of people just can’t push themselves to that level. With the time trial stuff, that’s purely about pain, especially the shorter 20 km time trials, or the 10 or 13 mile time trails that we were doing for master’s level stuff. My training for that was fun. I enjoyed that, pushing myself. But then I think there was one hill I was riding in preparation for a tour that we were doing. Now, I had already won the tour. It was masters one, two, and three, categories; and then masters A, B, and C. I had won both versions of this race over the last few years. I was riding up a hill called Tawonga Gap, if anybody knows that in Australia, and it’s a 20 minute hill, you’re doing like 380 watts for 20 minutes up this hill. I got halfway up and went, “There’s a really nice coffee shop down in town. I’m training for something that I’ve already achieved.” So I spun around, and I don’t think I’ve competed much since then; only in the eSports side of things, but not much outside.
Shane: Since then, my training has changed. I do it because I want to do it, and because it’s fun; not because I want to push myself to levels that I’ve pushed before.
Shane: As for cramming it in, well, if it’s my work and I can go for a ride and test something at the same time, it’s a double win for me. This afternoon I was testing a new head unit, and a new power meter, but it was just an afternoon ride. So if I can cram it in for two things and create content around that, it’s a double win. This morning was a new trainer firmware, that was 45 minutes. Veronica went off to the physio, and had some her time, and little Max was next to me. But, yeah. It has changed a lot with Max around. It’s about making sure that the trainer noise is white noise for him. We have the Nest Cam set up at home, so I could keep an eye on him.
Shane: Yes, things do get interrupted now. It’s not all about me.
Ken: It’s true. It’s funny, because we do this podcast as sort of a side hustle, really just a hobby for us, the three guys that do it. We’re all dads, and we’re all trying to balance out complex schedules, and we just get together when we can, which is why they’re not here right now. One of them is on the West Coast, it’s probably 3:30 in the morning for him. The other one, Shayne Gaffney, I don’t know if you know Shayne, but he’s got a daughter that’s not a whole lot older than Maxwell.
Ken: He’s trying to sort it all out. I guess this is all you do. Now, this is your career.
Shane: It is. Yes, it is. Slowly moved over. I was at one company for 10 years, and then I took a year off, because the company merged and got bought out and then I took my share and went and rode bikes for awhile and ticked all the boxes there in 2014, had a heap of fun doing that. Then yeah, things just got busier and busier and busier. Then YouTube came along, and then we could monetize YouTube, which is really handy. That’s sort of going up and up and up, and to a point where it’s now sustainable. There’s a bit of consulting in the background; if a company is making either a new product or wants some feedback, sort of away from the YouTube, or away from the public facing stuff. Yeah, we can get some of that as well, in the Lama Lab.
Shane: Because the Lama Lab’s not a bad looking setup. There’s a few things that we’ve found in the Lama Lab. A few things creep out into the public space, if I don’t have an agreement with the company. Let me think back. INPEAK come to mind. They sent me a power meter, and just said, “Look, just do whatever you like with it. Just let us know how good it is. Publish whatever you like. It’s a great power meter.” And it wasn’t. Then I sent back a whole list of things to fix. They sent me another one, and then it still didn’t fix it. They sent me a third one, they nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.
Ken: No kidding.
Shane: I’m like, “That’s the influence I want to have.” People call me an influencer online, you see the Instagram influencers, the social media influencers. I really don’t care what people buy. Buy a Garmin Varia Radar, though. Those things are just game changers. In regards to trainer brands, or technology, just make an informed decision with our content, and then choose whatever you like.
Shane: I’d rather have influence over the companies making better products, and that’s a perfect example. If I can be more involved in that aspect, yeah. Happy days.
Ken: You’ve definitely seem pretty, sort of platform agnostic, and that’s the feeling that I get from watching your videos, is that you’re not really married, or too influenced, by any particular brand. You certainly seem to have the brands that you like, or respect, like Wahoo for instance. I see that you really like to use the Wahoo products.
Shane: Yeah. It depends on the relationship I have with the company. If a company is releasing products across the board, that I use every single day, it’s easy for me to do content on them. That usually sparks a good relationship with the product manager at the company. I was thinking the other day about Wahoo, and I knew this was going to come up at some point. Someone goes, “You do a lot of Wahoo content.” That’s because I think every time I ride a bike, either indoors or outdoors, I’m using something from Wahoo. That’s why. I’m always looking for firmware updates for this, or how does this work? Or now it’s got radar integration with their ROAM. Then we can customize this. So Wahoo take care of indoors and outdoors, which is a really good position to be in. Garmin are very similar because you’re using Garmin’s almost all the time as head units and power meters, the Vector 3’s. There’s old Vector 2’s floating around, as well.
Shane: But when it comes to software, though, it’s mainly Zwift. Because it’s just there, and it’s just what I ride, and I can interact with people at the same time.
Ken: That’s really cool. I guess there’s one more thing I wanted to talk about before we sign off, and ask you: What is the thing that you are the most excited about? I know you’re coming into your summertime there, but I would say the majority of human beings live in the Western Hemisphere where it’s coming into wintertime, and unfavorable weather conditions. What are the things that you’re the most excited about in indoor training as we approach the winter months?
Shane: Oh, that’s a tough one. That is a tough one.
Ken: Your top three, maybe?
Shane: Smartbikes are good, but they’re not going to replace direct drive trainers, because the competitive cyclist wants to ride their bike. For me, I want to ride my time trial bike.
Ken: Okay. Okay.
Shane: I don’t think it will replace the market there, but I tell you what. The smartbikes are a pretty good experience, especially if you saw my video on configuring the KICKR bike, and how you can reconfigure the gears. If you want to go do a climbing workout, or you want to climb out the Zwift, you can effectively just put on a climbing cassette with a few clicks of a button. If you want to do a time trial, and have a straight block cassette, or a virtual straight block cassette, again, a few clicks, done. That’s super cool. It’s almost too realistic, it’s almost too smooth, and the gear changes are almost too perfect.
Shane: I said in my video, it’s kind of like the gearing system you want on your outdoor bike, because you can slam down through the gears, you’re not going to throw a chain, it becomes a little bit artificial, I guess. Because you don’t want to jump on your indoor bike, or let’s say your indoor smartbike, and start smashing through gears, getting outside and forgetting you have to nurse the chain from the small [inaudible 01:00:52], and vice versa.
Ken: Right. Right.
Shane: The smartbike tick is really cool, but I guess the rabbit hole from that would be I’m hoping it’s going to open up this world to more people. Because the more people on indoor training platforms, or indoor cycling, the more monies these companies will have to make awesome products for everyone else. The more races there will be on Zwift, or other platforms. It’s just good for everyone. It’s like the rising tide with tall ships. I’m trying to think what else.
Shane: I mean, I’ve been blown away by the Garmin Varia Radar. The radar spec is an open [crosstalk 01:01:25]-
Shane: … so it’s not just the Garmin. It’s only Garmin who make them for riding. You were talking earlier on about going outdoors and training, and about the safety aspect, and feeling a bit spooked by cars, and just your surroundings, and it happens to all of us. The radar, which sits on the back of your bike, and just gives you a little beep. Is this a car coming, or an object coming behind you? Or you can see if there’s multiple ones coming behind you. That is the biggest game changer, hands down. I’ve ridden nearly every single new smarttrainer out there, every platform, every power meter. If you’ve seen the Channel, I’m [crosstalk 01:01:55]-
Ken: Yeah. Yeah, we have.
Shane: The radar is the one thing that I will tell people, if you do riding like I do, solo, empty roads, or even on a busy road it’s going to be pretty useless, it’s just going to beep like a Christmas tree. But it is an absolute game changer. If I could sell those things and make a commission, I would, and that’s all I would do. Trust me, they are just the best things ever.
Ken: That’s very good to hear. Well Shane, thank you so much for joining us today. It was really special for us to have somebody that has been so popular in the circles that we run in, and hearing about your experiences as a new dad, and how things are with Maxwell. It’s just been a real pleasure. I wish you, Maxwell, and Veronica the best. It’s been a lot of fun this morning.
Shane: Thanks so much for having me on, and where do I sign up for Team DIRT? Do I have to submit an application? Or do I just become part of it now that I’m a dad?
Ken: I tell you what, now that you’re a dad, what I’m going to do as soon as we’re done, is I’m going to send you the link to the DIRT resources on our indoor specialist website. That will let you know how to get logged on with Zwift Power, and get your DIRT kit, and if you want to join the banter on Discord and Facebook, we would love to have you.
Shane: There we go. The listeners can do part of that, as well? Or take part in all of that?
Ken: Yep, they sure can. What we’ll do is, we’ll post a link to DIRT resources in our podcast notes on this podcast.
Shane: Brilliant. I look forward to it.
Ken: All right. Thanks again, Shane.
Shane: Well, thanks so much for having me on. Ride on!
Ken: Ride on! I hope that you enjoyed the interview with Shane Miller, and thanks for taking the time to listen to Never Going Pro. Chris and Shayne, thanks again. Great catching up with you guys, as well.
Chris: Yeah, I’ll see you guys next time.
Ken: Okay. Okay. Let me [crosstalk 01:03:43]. You’ve got to keep up with me on the outline.
Chris: Hey, I’d just like to point out I was there.
Ken: All right, here we go.
Shayne: You go first, man.
Chris: I just said that. My name is first. I did it.
Ken: Well, I hope you enjoyed the interview. Thanks again to Shane Miller for taking the time to be on NGP. Chris and Shayne, great catching up with you guys as well.
Chris: Yeah, thanks.
Ken: Thank you for [crosstalk 01:04:06]-
Shayne: Bye guys, thank you!
Chris: Seriously. Just terrible.
Ken: All right. Three time’s the charm.
Chris: Awkward prob. We’re done, we’re just done. Now we’re done.
Ken: No, no, no, no, no. We’re going to get this right.
Shayne: What was, “Yeah, thanks,” with the attitude?
Ken: I hope you enjoyed the interview.
Chris: Yeah, thanks. Thanks everybody.
Ken: I hope you enjoyed the interview, and thanks again to Shane Miller for taking the time to be on Never Going Pro. Chris and Shayne, great catching up with you guys and I hope you have a great evening.
Chris: Yeah, thanks everybody.
Shayne: Bye guys, thank you.
Ken: Thank you again for listening to Never Going Pro. Ride on! I will see you in Watopia.
In this episode, Shayne, Ken, and Chris chat about heart rate variability: What is it? How does it work? Is this a helpful tool for cyclists? And exercise options for family vacations when you don’t have your bike.
Our special guest this week is Jone Gravdal from the Indoor Specialist team. He is a high level Zwift Racer and has recently started incorporating HRV training as an extra tool in his training toolkit. While not completely dependent on it, it was interesting to hear how he uses his HRV score along with his physical sensations to make training decisions. Our apologies as his audio quality is not the best!
Heart rate variability (HRV) is the physiological phenomenon of variation in the time interval between heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.
HRV is affected via the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and more specifically the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) – “Fight or flight” – and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) – “Rest and digest”. The SNS is responsible for shortening the beat-to-beat interval at rest, versus the PNS which will lengthen it at rest. Said another way, an athlete who is relaxed will have a higher HRV score, and an athlete who is stressed will have a lower HRV score.
High HRV = Good
Low HRV = Bad
Measurement of HRV
The gold standard to measure HRV is via an electrocardiogram (ECG) and measure the time between “R” waves (shown below), however current monitors in the market employ an optical sensor which utilizes photoplethysmography (PPG) and measures the steepest increase in the signal prior to the peak, which marks a heartbeat. The latter is still under scrutiny for its accuracy which is why I, personally, take this data with a grain of salt and do not base my, nor my athletes, readiness to train solely off of HRV data.
As you can see from above, the ECG data provides superior beat-to-beat variability, via RR-interval measurements, and more accurate data overall as opposed to PPG.
So, in a nutshell, HRV is a useful tool for cyclists to recognize patterns, and change behaviors. Example: going to bed late and/or drinking alcohol lowers my HRV, but meditation raises it. BUT, basing your training off of it entirely will result in a likely fitness plateau since you’re never providing enough stress to the system to create an overloading stimulus. Remember, not all stress is bad, and you need stress to become fitter and more resilient to the same stressor that once fatigued you (like building a callus). So, using HRV to create better behavior is great, but basing training off of a likely inaccurate number is not my recommendation at this time.
DIRTY October KOM Challenge
Sign up below, ride, and repeat on or around October 30th!
Ken: Fantastic. Have you heard of the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac?
Ken: He stayed up wondering … Here, let me start that … I’m going to do that over again.
Shayne: I don’t think we should ever [inaudible 00:00:19].
Ken: Hey, do you guys want to hear a dad joke?
Shayne: I do.
Ken: Have you heard of the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac?
Chris: Named Ken Nowell?
Ken: He stayed up all night wondering if there was a dog.
Chris: Silence. Dog. Get it?
Ken: Yeah, dog, instead of God?
Ken: Man, y’all are stupid. Everybody else got that joke.
Shayne: I don’t think my college education is high enough for that joke.
Chris: Well, all two people who are still listening to this after that joke both got it.
Ken: All right, well, welcome everybody to the Never Going Pro podcast by Dad’s Inside Riding Trainers, where the jokes suck. We’re featuring GC Coaching. This is a podcast about riding bikes and parenthood and trying really, really hard at both. I’m your host, Ken ‘the badger’ Nowell. And with me, is Shayne Gaffney, owner of GC Coaching.
Ken: And Chris Gorney, fellow DIRT teammate, passionate cyclist and outstanding dad.
Chris: How’s it going everybody?
Ken: So let’s take a few minutes to catch up. How’s everybody doing this week?
Chris: Well, my family moved to California in the last ten days, so, I’m sitting in a garage surrounded by a boxed up grill, my bike on a trainer, and thirty-two hundred diapers. It’s probably the best soundproofing room I’ve ever had for a podcast.
Ken: That’s pretty good.
Chris: Yeah, but other than that, we’re doing really well. Turns out I can bike commute to my job here pretty easily, and that has made the transition pretty fun, so we’re doing great.
Ken: Very cool. Now you’re near Zwift Headquarters now, right?
Shayne: Right, that’s what I was going to say.
Chris: Yeah. I’m just a spy. That is my goal. I’m four blocks from Zwift Headquarters, and I’m just going to slowly work my way in. We’re going to get all the inside scoop.
Ken: Fantastic. How about Shayne? He said he’s getting a new driveway put in in his house.
Shayne: I am, yeah. Driveway’s thirty years old, and it’s New Hampshire winter, so, it has many, many frost heaves and bumps and looks pretty jagged, so we’re getting a new one today, which is great. You may hear some machinery and equipment on my end, but I’ll do my best to edit it out in post.
Chris: Is your driveway an anthropomorphism for you? Who you are?
Chris: Many New Hampshire winters [crosstalk 00:02:49]
Shayne: It’s about thirty years old, a lot of jagged edges, a lot of cracks. Yep.
Ken: Not so much frost- Frost heaving been replaced with dry-heaving.
Shayne: Not so much frost heaving, yeah. That’s pretty soon though.
Chris: Frost heaving? Frost heaving is a great band name, by the way. Frost heaving?
Shayne: That is a great band name.
Chris: I would listen to that.
Ken: It would be. And you know what? A lot of southerners don’t even know what it is. It’s basically when the ground freezes underneath concrete and lifts it up, and drops it back down, but usually not evenly, and it cracks it.
Chris: Nope. All gross.
Shayne: [crosstalk 00:03:25] So yeah man, Yep. Getting ready for winter up here.
Chris: Moving out here to California. So, I grew up in the prairies. So, I feel like I was raised to be this tough, hearty man with weather and all these things. And I’m moving out here to California, and it’s 75 degrees and people are walking around in sweatshirts. And, I have this deep fear that I’m going to become one of them.
Ken: Yeah, you’ll get softer for sure.
Chris: That’s what I’m saying, man. I was on a ride the other day, and it was 68 degrees, and I saw people in full tights and like a face mask.
Chris: I know. I’m really afraid. I’m going to have to figure out how to step into the freezer or something, or punish myself. So, anyway, that’s full confession.
Shayne: You have to move to Belgium.
Chris: I know. Well, I just both full-confessed a fear and insulted all of southern California at the same time.
Shayne: It’s okay. It’s a pretty small cycling community down there, so, I’m sure nobody’s listening, you know, it’s [crosstalk 00:04:16]
Chris: Yeah, we should be fine.
Chris: Yesterday, we were on a walk, and I know no one to bike with here, and we’re half a block from our house, and it’s dark out, and I see this guy, who again, hopefully doesn’t listen to this, and he is working on a bike on a bike rack in his garage. I look at my wife, and I go, “Oh my God, there’s my people. He’s one of us,” and I said, “I’m going to go over there and talk to him.” My wife goes, “No, don’t do it, leave him alone.” I just charged into his garage and say, “Hey, can we talk about biking?”
Chris: Turns out, he’s an awesome guy. He’s a part of the cycling community. He had 30 kits on a rack in his garage and like six bikes. It was clear his garage was for bikes and not cars, and so I think I found my entrance into the community.
Chris: It just shows you, bike people are good people. You can walk right onto their property.
Ken: I’ll tell you, man. Got a California bromance already. That’s fantastic.
Chris: Yeah, I’d tell you his name, but it’s still pretty new and special to me, so I don’t want anyone else to know.
Ken: Well, so far my week has been pretty good. I had my big A event of the year about a week ago. The Beaver Dam New Light Challenge. 22 miles of single track, 11 miles of road, and it was awesome. It was really hard, it was really hot, and I hit all of my goals. Things are good there.
Chris: Good job.
Ken: So, tomorrow, if you are one of the DIRT team members or not, we are starting our epic KOM challenge, where we’re going to be racing up the epic KOM, recording your time, spending the month of October getting fitter, and then we’re going to come back and do it again on Tuesday, October 29th to get a retest time. So if you want to join us, please do. That should be a lot of fun.
Chris: But only if you’re in the Eastern Time Zone, correct?
Ken: Yeah, there are people that are pretty upset about us only having a 5:30 AM Eastern Time.
Chris: I meant to say that a lot meaner, but it came off too nice.
Ken: Well we created a spreadsheet, so you can do it on your own. Put your time into the spreadsheet and still participate. We’ve got a work-around there.
Shayne: What time are you going for, or aiming at?
Ken: I don’t know.
Shayne: Do you know yet?
Ken: I’m thinking around the 20-minute mark. It’s going to be different because drafting is going to be turned off, so, that’s going to have an effect. Every other time I’ve done it, it was like in a race, so, yeah. It’ll be a lot of fun.
Shayne: [crosstalk 00:06:45] be using the same bike too? The same frame?
Ken: [crosstalk 00:06:48] Since we’re not doing any sort of prize for the best, this is more like an individual effort, but we’re doing them together, so, I’m just going to keep my tron bike, I believe and retest on the tron bike.
Shayne: Yeah, I think as long as you use the same frame.
Chris: So cheating is what you’re saying. You’re cheating.
Ken: Cheating. Hey, I earned that bike.
Shayne: Well, the tron bike is actually not going to be the fastest. It’s going to be…
Chris: That’s true, you want a climbers bike.
Shayne: … really helium with the lightweight meilenstein. That’s probably going to be the quickest.
Ken: The what bike?
Shayne: Zero aerodynamics. I think it’s the helium. I can’t remember. I think it’s a Ridley. I think it’s a helium, yeah. But, it’s whatever bike is super, super light, because when climbing, you want a light bike, you don’t want an aerodynamic one. So, tron bike is the best of all worlds, but there’s faster bikes that are aerodynamically better, and there’s also faster bikes that are climbing.
Chris: I love when people say the phrase, “I earned the tron bike”, because in my mind I just see their wives shaking their heads, going, “I miss my husband.”
Ken: My favorite post ever on Zwift riders, the Facebook group, is when people complete the Everest challenge, but they’re only at 10 percent. “Oh, I got to the top of the mountain, where’s the tron bike?” And they have no idea that it’s not there. A million plus elevation more.
Shayne: Yeah, I had to have that conversation with a buddy. He was so excited. He was like, “Hey, I’ve climbed 36,000 feet, I’m going to get the tron bike.” Nope. Keep going. Keep going for another six months.
Chris: I gave up on that a long time ago, just because especially because again, not trying to say anything bad, but since I use trainer road a lot as well with Zwift, it’s not as conducive as going for the tron bike.
Ken: No, no, no I’m going to disagree with you there.
Chris: Am I just being wrong?
Ken: That’s how you get the tron bike, yes. So, in other words, make sure you’re signed up for the concept bike challenge, and then when you do all of your trainer road workouts, make sure you’re doing them up one of the big climbs, and you’ll just rack up tons and tons of points. Make sure you save your ride at the end of your Zwift session, and if you end up getting both your Zwift and your trainer road ride ship populating [inaudible 00:09:22], just delete one of them. That’s it. There you go.
Chris: So now I feel like I’ve not been cheating, and I’ve been wasting a ton of time. So, that’s better somehow.
Ken: Cool. Well, you’ve got all winter to get that bike.
Chris: I don’t. I don’t have all winter. That’s what I was talking about. I don’t have winter anymore.
Ken: Oh well, good for you.
Chris: It’s like 65 degrees all the time. I know, I’m complaining. This is a really weird complaint. But, I’m still going to be on Zwift, because I have a daughter. Anyway, let’s move on.
Ken: Let’s move on. We’ve got a couple of topics today. One is heart rate variability, what is it? How does it work? And is it a helpful tool for cyclists? And topic two is exercise, options for family vacations when you don’t have your bike. So, I’m going to turn this over to Shayne to start talking about exactly what heart rate variability is. For those of you that are just hearing about this for the first time, you may have heard of a device called Whoop, which is really popular. That’s probably the biggest heart rate variability monitoring app out there right now.
Chris: Shayne, would you say that’s where it is?
Shayne: For terms of Whoop being the biggest market share?
Chris: No, that was maybe a worse joke than the one we started out with. And I’m really sad I’m the only one who got it.
Shayne: Oh, like whoop there it is.
Chris: Although, to be fair, I think it’s wop there it is.
Shayne: You’re way ahead of me.
Chris: I know.
Shayne: No, its whoop, there it is.
Chris: That was the song my daughter was born to. That’s a different conversation, and podcast.
Shayne: Wait, you guys were in the hospital and Whoop, There It Is was on?
Chris: I made a playlist of things coming out of other things. Baby, Push It.
Ken: God, you’re weird, man.
Chris: I know it was strange but all the nurses were dancing. She was born to Whoop There It Is. Anyway, moving on.
Ken: She was probably conceived to it too.
Chris: It’s the only song we play. That and Chumba Wumba. That is the only two songs we play. Anyway. So, variable heart rates, Shayne.
Shayne: Anyway, yeah. So, heart rate variability is also called HRV. You might hear or see that in literature. But it’s essentially the variation of time between each heartbeat and the variation of each heartbeat is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. So, the autonomic nervous system, or the ANS is something you don’t really have control over. And you divide the ANS into sympathetic and also parasympathetic nervous systems. So, you might have heard fight or flight response. That is the sympathetic nervous system and you also may have heard of rest and digest, which is the parasympathetic nervous system. So far so good?
Ken: So far so good. But, I guess the question is, you are saying, it’s the time between heartbeats, so this differs from heart rate. So, can you explain the difference between heart rate variability and heart rate?
Shayne: So, heart rate is beats per minute. I’m going to put something in the show notes, which is a PQRST wave. So, a PQRST wave is what you get over an ECG or an electrocardiogram. The difference is in the R wave is what the heart rate variability is. So, they measure that in milliseconds. So R wave to R wave is what your HRV is. Versus a pulse rate is just when your vein throbs, that’s just 1 beat 2 beats 3 beats.
Ken: Now that makes sense.
Chris: And I’d like to throw in a qualifier that none of us are medical professionals and please do not use this for anything real in life that may or may not save your life.
Chris: Disclaimer. Not doctors.
Shayne: So high HRV is good, and that means your parasympathetic nervous system is turned up relative to the sympathetic, which means you have less heart beats per minute or per second. And that means you have wider space between R waves. And then vice versa, low HRV is sometimes called a bad thing, and that means your sympathetic nervous system is turned up or you’re just more stressed than usual. Which means the R wave is going to be more narrow between beats.
Chris: All that being true, I suppose the next question is: Is learning how to increase the essentially healthy R wave distance something that can help my training, and if that’s true, how do I do that? What’s the effect on my time in my garage here?
Shayne: So before we do that, let’s talk about the measurement. So we’ve talked about Whoops already. So Whoop uses an optical sensor to measure HRV. So the ECG or electrocardiogram is 6 or 12 leads, and that’s the gold standard to measure HRV. Obviously that’s very expensive, you have to have medical training to know how to use it. So if you’re trying to see the distances between R waves on a PQRST waveform and you’re using an optical sensor, I don’t believe it’s accurate enough to actually give you a true accurate HRV number. Which is where the scrutiny still is with these companies, they may give you data, but is that data actually accurate and reliable enough for you to make decisions based of?
Chris: So what you’re saying is there’s some lower market alternatives to this that people could try to do themselves, but it’s not necessarily helpful data to actually make life decisions on.
Shayne: Right, I think it’s helpful data to recognize patterns and to change behaviors, but I don’t think it’s at the point yet to base your entire training block or all your training stress off of. So as an example, if you go to bed late or you drink alcohol or whatever you’re going to usually see a lower HRV or you’ll see those R waves become closer together which is a bad sign. And then vice versa, meditation or taking a walk in a park, or something that makes you feel good and less stressed, that’s going to result in your HRV being higher, or again, those R waves being more spaced apart.
Shayne: The problem is, when you’re training you’re inducing stress onto your body, because that stress is what causes the overload stimulus to occur and then hopefully the adaptation to occur when you allow it to rest. So if you’re causing stress to the organism, you’re causing stress to your body, that’s going to lower your HRV. The problem is if you keep on measuring HRV inaccurately, at least in my opinion with an optical sensor, you’re never going to truly cause enough of an overload to create that actual stimulus to adapt your body to it. So you’re going to get into the point where you’re almost plateaued, because whenever you see you have a low HRV you won’t train, and then vice versa if you have a high HRV you’ll train. So I don’t think it’s a good way to kind of base all your training off of.
Ken: Later on in the podcast you’ll hear an interview that we did with indoor specialist pro Jone Gravdal, and he was saying that he uses heart rate variability, but even if he’s showing a high HRV score which is indicating he should get some rest, if he’s doing a training block, he pushes forward with his training anyway, even though it’s saying technically he shouldn’t be. So I found that that was interesting use of how he uses the device.
Chris: Yeah, and I think that’s going to be a helpful perspective, Ken. Because where I, after I was reading all this research that Shayne posted on slack, and we were going through it, my thought is: how does this actually help me make decisions? Because is seems kind of like a black hole. If I’m really hyper focused on potentially inaccurate HRV data, then I’m going to say, “well maybe I shouldn’t have this glass of wine when my friends are over because I’ve got to wake up and get on the trainer.” But if there’s a possibility of looking at what’s my heart rate, what’s my watt output-age, and then of course just the relative perceived effort, how do I feel… It seems like there’s maybe some more variability in there. So I don’t have to hyper focus, unless I’m really going at it with a professional coach and trainer like Shayne. Would you say that’s pretty accurate?
Shayne: Yeah and even then still, I think HRV is good if you have access to an ECG. But if you’re using it to base training off of, I just honestly wouldn’t use it to base your training off of. Use it to base off of patterns, if you notice your HRV is lower and you feel like you’re getting a sore throat maybe back off at that point. You might be getting sick. Or if you have an issue with going to bed late, or whatever, use that to go to bed earlier, or meditate more, just take care of yourself more, to change your behaviors.
Shayne: To put this in a nutshell, my point here was the accuracy of what’s out there right now is okay, but it’s not great, because again, it uses an optical sensor as opposed to a 6 or 12 lead ECG. And then I’ll link the two different examples in the show notes. And if you’re basing training off of HRV then you’re never going to create enough of a stress to overload your body and create [inaudible 00:19:04] you need to adapt to it. So you need to have some stress to become fit and more resilient, and I equate it to building a callus. The more you do something the harder that skin is going to get. And the same thing with your training, the more you train and the more you overload, the better resiliency you can have and the fitter you’re going to become.
Ken: I think that some good information especially is these companies that are coming out there may be promising a lot, but just go into it with a little bit of skepticism. And now we’re going to move on to topic 2 which is exercise options for family vacations when you don’t have your bike. As we get into this I want to share a little bit of an anecdote. One of our founders, Jason Stern, he was a college runner. And during his vacation, he had not been running, and he ran about 40 miles that week. From all his cycling fitness, he could easily carry that, but he also injured himself. His hip or his leg muscle, something got tweaked. So this is something that cyclists need to be really careful about as they can push really hard, but it might not necessarily be a good idea.
Chris: Well and I know Shayne’s going to immediately say, “Stop running”. Because he and I had this whole text conversation a few weeks ago when my wife and I were visiting my family, and I texted him and was like: “Look man, I went for a run!” And he was like: “Stop it! Don’t run. If you want to be purely a cyclist,” I think your exact phrase was like: “If you want to have sport-specific fitness, running is both physically and metabolically very very tough on a cyclists body”
Shayne: Yeah, I would never say, “Never run” to anybody, but if you’re training for a specific event, or you’re very close to the event is, then changing your training drastically, and especially doing a 40 mile week, when you haven’t ran in months and months probably isn’t the best idea, just because A, it’s going to make you crazy sore because of those eccentric load to your muscles that running exhibits on them. So I don’t think it’s just the best use of the time if you have an event very soon. But for the off season or the preparation season I think it’s great.
Chris: I felt so terrible the next day. I mean I ran, I felt fit. I was making jokes. My wife was not laughing at my jokes…
Shayne: We don’t laugh at your jokes either.
Chris: That’s fair. That’s fair, so we’re basically married. So, the next day I got up and I was just like, “Oh god, I can’t move”. And I used to compete in triathlons. I used to run all the time.
Shayne: If you run all the time you can run all the time, but if you cycle all the time you can’t run for beans. And then, like you said, you’re going to have one great day and then have 5 days of lost training because of soreness.
Chris: So here’s how I’d answer that question with less joking: Vacations for me are probably less of a topic as much as traveling for work. We haven’t been on a vacation in probably a year or so, just with moving and live stage and things like that. But I do travel for work quite a bit and so when I’m traveling, clearly I’m not bringing a bike. And kind of the two things I do, not saying this is the thing to do, but it’s three things I do. But this is what I do.
Chris: I walk as much as I can. A lot of times when I travel I’m going to bigger cities so I avoid taking Ubers or taxis. I walk as much as I can, I take the stairs as much as I can, so if my hotel room is on the tenth floor I try to take the stairs most the time up and down. And then I try to get like- It also helps with just life rhythms. I get up in the morning and I’ll go to the gym at the hotel or a park or something nearby and I’ll try to do some sort of conditioning work out that isn’t super taxing.
Chris: But something just to kind of get my heart rate up. And kind of get endorphins going and make me feel like I actually did something. So yeah I might not be on the bike but I kind of try to take those seasons, even if it’s just a three day trip or a five day trip, similar to vacation, as an opportunity to rest my legs, rest my back, and work on a little bit of core strength. So, that’s what I do. I don’t know that it’s been wildly successful, but it definitely hasn’t hurt me.
Ken: So what’s your advice, Shayne?
Shayne: I guess it depends on where the athlete is in terms of their season. So if the athlete is at the end of their season and they need a mental break, then I’ll give them- you know like we talked last week, kind of those no garmin, no rules kind of rides, or athlete-choice rides where I’ll say “You know what? Enjoy the week. Do what you want to do, and then talk to me when you get back.” And the vice versa, if they’re having vacation when they’re two months or so out from their target event, then I’ll probably have them bring their bike and their trainer, and then kind of business as usual. Depending again on how mentally fresh they are or burnt out they are. So it kind of depends on a few things what I require- not require but what I have them do. And the biggest thing for me is just mentally how they feel. And then physically what they need to do to get themselves ready for their event.
Ken: That makes sense.
Shayne: Politician response, but…
Ken: Well here’s one thing that-
Chris: That’s what I want to know, what you do when you travel.
Shayne: I don’t take vacation much, at least not the past five years. [crosstalk 00:24:31] So step one would be take vacation. But I think it’s the same thing. Before if I was training for something, then I would bring my bike and my trainer and just be business as usual. Or pick a location that has decent infrastructure for cycling. And then vice versa, if I just needed time, just to relax and chill out then I’ll leave my bike at home and just go for a walk or a hike or something like that. Typically not a lot of impacts, because the stuff we talked about before, just because if you do impact you’ll be sore for days afterwards. So kind of hiking or just enjoying it, swimming, kayaking, whatever I want to do. More of a mental refresher than anything else.
Ken: So one thing that you had talked about was the importance of planning out your year. And usually these vacation things are not off the cuff, they’re planned out months in advance, so what I do is I try to really load up my training stress the week before. Go a little bit deeper into fatigue, and then I still usually get to take my bike down to the beach, but I mean my focus is on my family.
Ken: And that’s one thing that I think is really, really important to point out is, let it go and be there with your kids, splashing around at the beach. Take your wife on a date, drink an extra glass of wine, eat some extra hotdogs, and go and have fun. You can load up a little bit before, maybe have a little harder week when you get back. And just make sure that you’re getting out of your vacation what you need to get out of it. Because one thing that I’ve seen on our DIRT social media pages is these guys almost not panicking but getting stressed out about going on vacation and losing gains, and from our previous podcast, what you pointed out is you really don’t lose very much fitness in one week.
Shayne: No. And like you said, if you need the mental break then that’s more important than keeping physically to the plan.
Ken: So I think that that is really good advice for you guys out there, and ladies that are looking to go on a vacation. Don’t panic. Your fitness isn’t going to tank. You might come back a little bit stronger. If you come back a few pounds heavier, just dial it in when you get home. And have fun.
Chris: Well, it’s fuel to burn on your next ride.
Ken: There you go. Like Joe Rogan would point out, it gives him a project to work on when he gets back.
Chris: Right. I agree with all that. Plus this is getting into family-ethos questions, but my family when we vacation we really enjoy active vacations. So my wife and I on our honeymoon we went hiking. We went to a bunch of places we could go hiking, and pretty much every one of our vacations is going somewhere remote, beautiful, where we can kind of be active. And you’ve never seen someone so tough and impressive as a 6-month pregnant woman hiking up to a fire watch tower. So we’ve done some very fun weeks here and there around the US where we actually came back feeling mentally refreshed. And my wife, I’ve mentioned on previous podcasts runs marathons, so she’s always kind of on a training plan too. [inaudible 00:27:58] just spent a week doing something different. It kind of made our bodies feel rested, and our minds feel rested, and we had fun, and we kind of came back and started even feeling better on the run and on the bike.
Ken: That’s awesome.
Chris: I think the mental aspect is huge. Plus, now knowing that I’ve got two weeks to just be lazy before I start losing fitness is huge.
Ken: Yeah there you go.
Chris: That’s how I heard that podcast by the way. Oh I’ve got two weeks to be lazy, perfect.
Ken: Yeah just train one week on, two weeks off, and you’ll keep building. And yeah, make sure you keep track of your Whoop score.
Chris: Hey Shayne, that’s going to be your book. That’s going to be your four hour work week thing. “One Out of Three” can be the book title. One week on, two weeks off. And that’s how you train.
Shayne: You have to do something crazy epic every day of that week, but you could probably do it at some point.
Chris: Talking about that, as we’re segueing, have either of you watched the 50 iron men in 50 days thing on Netflix?
Ken: I have not. That sounds stupid.
Chris: Okay great. I’m going to reserve my narcissistic and cynical commentary on it. But you should both watch it, and everyone listening should both watch it- both watch it? Both two people listening to this podcast- both of you guys, should watch it and we should talk about it next podcast.
Ken: Alright, that sounds good, so we’ve got a homework assignment, everybody.
Chris: And I get a cut of proceeds now if our huge audience goes and listens to this.
Ken: Alright, so I want to take a minute to introduce our guest. To tell you a little about this guy, I’m slaughtering his name, his name is Jone Gravdal. And he is one the racers on the indoor specialists race roster. If you don’t know who indoor specialist is, the current US national champion Holden Comeau, that is the team that he races on, and there’s a bunch of fantastic riders. Well I reached out to Jone, and he is a high level Zwift racer as mentioned, and he recently started incorporating HRV training as an extra tool into his training toolkit. While not completely dependent on it, it was interesting to hear how he uses HRV score along with his physical sensations training decisions. So enjoy the interview, and here we go:
Ken: Jone, thanks for joining us today on the Never Going Pro Podcast. So I understand that you are on the indoor specialist race team. Perhaps you can start with a better introduction of yourself, your first and last name, and how you got linked up with indoor specialist.
Jone: Yeah thanks. Glad to be here. My name is Jone Gravdal. [inaudible 00:31:02] It started a long time ago, it was a coincidence. I was racing for a team called PNC. We were racing CBR world cup league. And one morning we did a race in London and we were two teammates up front and the third one who was outnumbered was really persistent and strong, it turns out his names Matt Gardner. Think it’s maybe 3 years ago or something. So we won, me and my teammate [inaudible 00:31:57] and he was outnumbered. But after that race he was [inaudible 00:32:06] I sent him a message, and we start chatting, and we got to be friends. We were never on the same team, but we started cooperating in the CBR world cup league, and the first season it turned out we both had a shot at winning our time zone. But I could go to final, and it was really tight.
Jone: [inaudible 00:32:44] [inaudible 00:32:44] We decided anyway that we were going to be a team, even though we weren’t teammates. So, that’s kind of how our relationship started. [inaudible 00:32:59] [inaudible 00:32:59] So to know that I got to be at the [inaudible 00:33:15] [inaudible 00:33:15] CBR world cup live event in LA. And then it turned out like magic that I got to go to the event in Vancouver afterwards, and he was kind of helping me out. And then I got in contact with [inaudible 00:33:32] and [inaudible 00:33:34] guys so I joined the [inaudible 00:33:37] together with Matt. We were I think starting our own team but that’s not the [inaudible 00:33:47] we’re on the same team and we forget. So we’re happy riding [inaudible 00:33:53] A lot of things happened last year.[inaudible 00:34:02][inaudible 00:34:23] We went from a top team to specialists.
Ken: Fantastic. And so we love the indoor specialist guys, they’re sort of… we’re all linked up dads inside riding trainers, and indoor specialists more or less being the professional end of the pointy end of things with Zwift racing. I understand you are also a dad inside riding a trainer, so you’ve got a couple of kids yourself?
Jone: Yeah. I’ve got two daughters, 10 and 6 years old. The oldest one, her name’s [inaudible 00:35:05] and the young one just started school now. [inaudible 00:35:10] It’s a bit of change now because now both go to school and the youngest one I’m sure…. It’s always things changing everyday so you have to kind of adjust training and everything around that.
Ken: Sure, well that sort of brings me to why I invited you to join us on the podcast today. One of the topics of the week that we’re talking about is something that’s pretty new in the cycling training and endurance training world, and really the fitness world at large is heart rate variability training. So I imagine you know, you’ve been a high level cyclist for quite a few years, and you’re trying to balance family, work and riding your bike. How did you first hear about heart rate variability training and what platform do you use for tracking it?
Jone: I’m not quite sure. I’m kind of always prepared for, I listen to a lot of podcasts and I love training studies and papers and everything around training, all the theory. I really like to read and listen to everything about it. So, I think it was [inaudible 00:36:44] podcast, but some podcast they mentioned it and then I started searching around for more information, and I ended up at the elite HRB page, they have a lot of webinars and information they have a free app. And they’ve been kind of, I’m not sure, but I understand it like I have been at the forefront of pushing this out more like to the masses. Speaking about a lot of different ways to use HRB. [inaudible 00:37:27] In relation to pain. So I figured I’d try it. Then I stumbled across a couple of challenges, because it’s not all heart rate monitors that use the [inaudible 00:37:52]. I got a new heart rate monitor, and I thought I’d give it a shot. I tried to get all the information I could, [inaudible 00:38:07] [inaudible 00:38:13] I just went into it, to see if there’s something to it.
Ken: Sure now, so have you discovered when you are feeling run down that the heart rate variability score is predictive of when you’re going to be over tired or predictive of when you’ll be performing well?
Jone: Yeah. I use it more like its relation to how I feel or if something unexpected is going on or something. I don’t know how to say it, but my life’s been pretty hard the last year. I lost [inaudible 00:39:12]
Ken: I’m sorry to hear that.
Jone: She had a brain tumor, so I wasn’t… my body’s feedback wasn’t like it used to be, and I was really run down, there’s a lot of external stress. Basically what it boils down to is you have to establish something like a true baseline. Of course if you start HRB training when you’re at the end of a hard training, I think that if that is your baseline, then everything will be skewed.
Ken: Oh okay, that does make sense. Right, you’re starting at a place where maybe it recognizes… it may think that you’re in a recovered state when actually you’re highly fatigued.
Jone: Yeah or your parasympathetic nervous system [inaudible 00:40:35] [inaudible 00:40:35] I think that will kind of create a baseline and when you recover take some time for it to adjust. I think if you’re starting with it, it’s best to start when you’re feeling normal. I think that that’s kind of what happened to me in this period. Nothing was normal and I kind of used it but I didn’t kind of apply [inaudible 00:41:19] information. But some periods seem to correlate more with how I felt, but how I used the information. When you’re training usually you have like three weeks of loading racing, training load and then you have a rest week. So it’s kind of like your HRV will go down, so it’s kind of like it’s planned. Then I would typically ignore it because I know that okay, I only have two days left of hard training so I will have one rest week and then you kind of get…
Ken: So you’re not necessarily… you’re still following your training program, even if the app, the HRV app is telling you it’s time to rest, if you find you can still hit your numbers during your training, you’ll just go ahead and push through for the last few days?
Jone: Yeah, it’s expected that it will be harder for a week if you’re ramping up the training load, and preparing to take a rest week. Then things usually are harder to achieve, and you plan training around this… [inaudible 00:43:05] So then you recover, and you start a new block. So those are kind of like predicted, but I can see that if I did a really hard workout Tuesday then my HRV score is low Wednesday, and my resting heart rate also is higher. So it’s almost like using resting heart rate in the morning, but you get kind of additional information.
Ken: Right, around the clock information.
Jone: I just use it like a morning reading and it gets me a score. Typically what we’ll do is that if I know kind of the reason, if I had a bad night sleep, or the previous day was really exhausting, then I know okay, this score is low, but it’s because of yesterday. So maybe I would just push through the training anyway because I know that that’s the reason. But maybe if it gives me a really low score or something unexpected result in the reading, then I will think through… it kind of gives you a reminder that you need rest. And if I don’t have a good reason for why I get that reading that morning then I will typically jump on a bike, and I will sit a couple days [inaudible 00:45:14] So I kind of use the information to back up my decision in a way, but it doesn’t judge. It’s not like okay, today is 4 which is a low score, then I decide okay, I’ll go easy. Do you know what I mean?
Ken: Well I definitely appreciate you sharing your insight. And I hope that our audience can get something out of that, and so just to summarize what I’m hearing is that it is a great additional tool. It doesn’t necessarily dictate how you’re going to train on any particular day, but it also is just one more tool in your arsenal to maximize your training, especially as a time-crunched athlete.
Jone: Yeah, and I think maybe the most interesting thing about it is that it kind of binds your sympathetic or parasympathetic [crosstalk 00:46:22] is activated. And I think that has made an impact on how I plan my day, because I may try to do some training, but if for instance you get indication that your parasympathetic nervous system is really activated, then there’s also a lot of techniques you can use to activate to recover. Maybe if you take a walk, breathing methods, maybe napping, sleeping. So you can use kind of additional exercise [inaudible 00:47:12] enhance recovery when needed. So there’s really a lot of information.
Ken: Well thank you very much for sharing that, and we’re going to go ahead and get back to the podcast here. Jone thank you for joining us today, and we hope you have a great weekend. And if you haven’t joined any of the live-streams for indoor specialists, check them out. It’s great fun watching Zwift racing with these guys. Ride on, and have a great day, Jone.
Jone: Thank you so much for having me. Have a nice week.
Ken: I hope you enjoyed the interview, and thanks again to Jone Gravdal for taking the time be on NPR… shoot.
Chris: Now we’re NPR. This is good, this is the closing that should be on.
Ken: Right. 3…2….1… and…. I hope you enjoyed the interview, and thanks again to Jone Gravdal for taking the time to be on Never Going Pro. Chris and Shayne, thanks again, and great catching up with you as well.
Chris: Thanks everybody.
Shayne: Bye, guys. Thank you.
Ken: Thank you everyone for listening to Never Going Pro. Ride on and I will see you in Watopia.