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Empirical Cycling Podcast Profile

Empirical Cycling Podcast

English, Sports, 1 season, 136 episodes, 5 hours, 19 minutes
Do you want to know how training makes you faster? Listen in. Kolie is a leading expert in endurance, sprint, and strength training for cyclists. Kyle is a NASA scientist and national champion sprinter on the track. Empirical Cycling is a coaching company specializing in individualized training plans for all cycling disciplines. If you like the podcast, please consider a donation at
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Ten Minute Tips #38: Balancing Training And Rest During Race Season

Kolie and Rory discuss their lists of the best things to do or avoid to maintain fitness in race season, and balance with appropriate rest. Also touched on are race prioritization, training and progression expectations, methods to estimate and manage fatigue, openers, volume vs intensity, and much more including your listener questions.
6/17/20241 hour, 26 minutes, 52 seconds
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Perspectives #34: Quantifying Training Volume, with Marinus Petersen

Coach and returning guest Marinus Petersen rejoins to discuss the pros and cons of different ways to quantify endurance and total training volume and adaptation. We consider TSS, total hours, and work measured in kilojoules, as well as coaching and programming aspects of endurance rides and balancing with interval sessions or races. We also answer your listener questions.
6/10/20241 hour, 36 minutes, 21 seconds
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Perspectives #33: The Psychology Of Excellence

Professor Patrick Smith joins to discuss performance psychology, its role in cycling performance and everyday life, and some of the underlying themes and tools he uses in practice. We also discuss race nerves, negative spirals, some of the stigma around psychology in sports and overcoming it, defining the metrics of success, and more.
5/26/20241 hour, 37 minutes, 17 seconds
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Perspectives #32: Coaching Mistakes, And What Makes A Good Coach

For this episode, Kolie and CTS coach Adam Pulford made lists of their most impactful coaching mistakes, how they recognized them, and their fixes. Lists include high intensity, training zones, communication, and more, plus things still ongoing. Also discussed is what makes a good coach, as well as your listener questions on the best coaching mistakes, fatigue management, trusting your coaching clients, and more.
4/24/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #37: Pacing And Programming Endurance Rides

In this episode we recap the big lessons from the last Watts Doc episode and revisit pacing endurance rides in terms of RPE, power, and heart rate, and finding that first threshold. Then we spend a long while considering how to program endurance rides into low, medium, and high volume weeks which we roughly block into 20h and the considerations we have for each scenario. Then we answer your listener questions on HR zones, the talk test, fueling endurance rides, cadence, whether you should do the occasional high volume week when the opportunity arises, and more.
4/12/20242 hours, 6 minutes, 19 seconds
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Watts Doc #49: Endurance Intensity and Volume

We dig deep into a meta analysis' findings on the difference in muscular adaptations between training intensity and volume, especially what we can differentiate between continuous moderate intensity, HIIT, and sprint interval training. We also discuss the paper's findings on one aspect of "mitochondrial function", bullet point some practical takeaways, and answer your listener questions.
3/24/20242 hours, 33 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #36: How To Leave Your Coach (or Yourself) Workout Feedback

Whether you have a coach or are self-coached, leaving workout feedback helps to ensure you're getting the most out of your training plan and coaching. In this episode we discuss what kind of feedback to leave on what topics (like RPE, nutrition, sickness, sleep, etc), appropriate level of detail, and how we as coaches find it useful plus what we do with the information. We also answer your listener questions.
3/15/20241 hour, 24 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #35: Higher FTP vs Longer TTE

This is an in depth discussion on the upsides and downsides of always training to raise FTP vs holding it longer. After defining terms, we discuss the training required, adaptation timelines, fatigue, long term development, plus coaching and event specific considerations. We also consider a few counterpoints for each kind of training, individual response and needs, whether or not this is an actual debate, and answer your listener questions.
2/20/20241 hour, 56 minutes, 51 seconds
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Watts Doc #48: How PGC-1ɑ Does and Doesn't Live Up To The Hype

This episode goes deep into the integral role that PGC-1ɑ plays in turning exercise signals into aerobic adaptation and improved endurance performance. We then dig into the very surprising results of studies that selectively knock out the PGC-1ɑ gene. Finally, we discuss potential uses of this knowledge for training applications and interpreting the literature, the actual best ways to know if your training (or training "hack") is working, and answering your listener questions.
2/12/20242 hours, 8 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #34: Intermediate and Advanced Strength Training Mistakes (and Solutions)

If you're a cyclist who's intermediate or advanced in strength training, listen in. In our last strength training mistakes episode, we considered more general topics like nutrition, recovery, and periodization. Today we get into issues (and their solutions) concerning how you know you're working the right muscles, using lifting equipment like belts and shoes, range of motion and partial depth, HIT classes and kettlebell swings, power development in the gym, and long term strength goals. We also answer your listener questions that were asked on Kolie's Instagram, like if your knees can go past your toes, if strength training can increase your FTP, where you can see diminishing returns on the bike, going for PRs, and lots more.
1/29/20241 hour, 56 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #33: Track Training Considerations

By popular demand, we bring you the track episode! We first consider race durations and when you would need aerobic training (it's shorter than you may think), gearing and cadence, technique practice, strategy, the role of sprinting and strength training for mass start racing. We finally tackle some things about training for track sprint and what we've seen work well and not so well, plus a lot of tangential discussion around our favorite moments and people on the track. And finally, we answer your listener questions on training for the track.
1/21/20242 hours, 8 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #32: Where Training Zones Fall Short

To kick off 2024, Kolie and Rory discuss how and why training zones fall short, and how they can actually impair progress if taken to logical extremes. We build the conversation back up by thinking about their inception as descriptive rather than prescriptive, how WKO5's iLevels do, the reality of muscular adaptation, and how we actually think about training effectiveness, progression and adaptation.
1/9/20241 hour, 49 minutes, 38 seconds
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Perspectives #31: Race Specific Intensity and Tapering, with Alex Carmona

After you've built up your aerobic engine, what does it mean to get ready to race? Empirical Cycling coach Alex Carmona brings his wealth of coaching and racing experience when discussing transitioning from your build to harder efforts, honing non-fitness skills, the balance of racing and workout intensity in season, and race specific preparation examples. We also discuss tapering into one day races, stage races, high and low volume tapering, guidelines about how often it should be done per year, and as always, your listener questions.
12/12/20232 hours, 4 minutes
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Watts Doc #47: The Redox Role In Adaptation, Recovery, and Nutrition

After some background information on what redox state means for exercise and your mitochondria, we look at some experiments linking various intensities of exercise to adaptations. Then we look at where these signals overlap with dieting and rest, and tie these into advice and realistic expectations for training, recovery, and nutrition. We also answer your listener questions on RED-S, measuring recovery, exercise intensity, and more.
12/4/20232 hours, 14 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #31: How To Take A Rest Day (And How To Avoid Screwing It Up)

This episode looks at all the ways people tend to mess up their rest and recovery days so they're not nearly as restorative as they could be, including such things as riding too hard, lifting weights, cross training, not eating enough. We then suggest guidelines for taking rest days or weeks, getting maximum recovery benefits, individualizing these days to work best for you, and answer your listener questions.
11/26/20232 hours, 44 seconds
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Perspectives #30: Being Faster Than Your Watts, with Giancarlo Bianchi

In this episode, 20+ year bike racing veteran Giancarlo Bianchi discusses the tactics of bike racing, and the process of honing racecraft and why people thought his FTP was significantly higher than it is. We cover the chess-game aspects of bike racing like positioning, aerodynamics, wind, reading the competition and body language, course and competitor recon, and a lot of stories from his own race career. We also answer your listener questions like how to practice with few racing opportunities, tactics that might annoy other racers, and much more.
11/7/20232 hours, 8 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #30: Strength Training Mistakes Every Cyclist Makes

Kyle makes it back from the desert in time to discuss common mistakes cyclists tend to make when they incorporate strength training. We discuss things like tracking load and fatigue, impact on the bike, recovery, session frequency and where it should occur in the week, max testing.. We also answer your listener questions on explosive lifting, hypertrophy vs strength phases, expected fitness impacts on the bike, alternatives to strength, water weight, and many other things.
10/22/20232 hours, 20 seconds
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Watts Doc #46: Why Low Glycogen Training Probably Doesn't Work

When it comes to glycogen, does "train low" actually work? Rory joints to co-host as we examine and dissect the existing literature, and explore the limits of knowledge on p38 MAPK signaling as it relates to aerobic performance. We go through Kolie's coaching experience with these protocols, compare to existing recommendations, discuss why you should always check someone's references, and answer your listener questions.
10/15/20231 hour, 46 minutes, 22 seconds
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Perspectives #29: Managing Fitness And Rest During Race Season, with Taylor Warren

Pro cyclist and coach Taylor Warren joins for a wide ranging discussion, including how he still finds fitness improvements after a decade of training and racing, balancing rest and workouts mid season, the value of the basics, RPE, and if American racing has gotten easier or harder. We also answer your listener questions on Legion's tactics, the most important power durations for domestic US racing, racing the course vs racing the people, training regrets, how much pros train, and more.
10/1/20231 hour, 55 minutes, 10 seconds
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Perspectives #28: Training Takes and Season Retrospective, with Maeghan Easler

This is a wide ranging conversation with professional cyclist and Empirical Cycling coach Maeghan Easler. We discuss her successful race season domestically and with the national team, American vs European racing, and how improving fitness changed her training needs, along with more training and coaching topics like volume, recovery, intensity, nutrition and bodyweight, individualizing, and why she prefers 7 hour rides to 8. Instead of listener questions to finish the episode, we react to your controversial training takes submitted for a now forever-lost episode.
9/22/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 6 seconds
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Watts Doc #45: How High Intensity Aerobic Adaptations With AMPK Do (And Don't) Work

This episode takes a long look at the mechanisms behind aerobic adaptations from high intensity exercise, starting with an early study showing how AMPK activation leads directly to mitochondrial biogenesis, followed by a recent meta-analysis showing when high intensity exercise does and doesn't lead to adaptation. We provide guidelines in terms of exercise intensity, duration, and how well trained you are. Then we give some practical takeaways, plus debunk all the ways "hacking" this adaptive signal chain don't work. Marinus Petersen of KiloWatt Coaching steps in as a guest co-host for Kyle and provides an additional perspective from his coaching experience, and his formal exercise physiology education.
9/4/20232 hours, 21 minutes, 52 seconds
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Perspectives #27: Common Reasons For Fitness Plateaus and Their Fixes, with Rory Porteous

Empirical Cycling coaches Kolie and Rory sit down for an in-depth discussion of the 5 most common reasons that they see for a fitness plateaus. Touched on are reasonable expectations for fitness progression, fatigue management, options for overcoming plateaus, and situations where it's out of your control.
8/15/20232 hours, 8 minutes, 16 seconds
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Perspectives #26: The Cost of Change, with Kathryn Bertine

Former pro cyclist and successful lobbyist for the Tour de France Femmes, Kathryn Bertine joins the podcast to discuss her new memoir about these efforts, STAND, which details what it took, and what it cost. We discuss the writing and publishing process, activism and slacktivism, what people can do to effect change at every level, the financial structure of the TdF and sponsorships in cycling, what the Homestretch Foundation is and its purpose, an unlikely friendship with a raunchy comedian, and much more.
7/28/20232 hours, 5 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #29: Training Myths, Part 3: Volume

This episode discusses (and debunks) five training myths regarding training volume, and your listener questions asked on Kolie's Instagram. Myths addressed: -You can overtrain on volume but not intensity -Women can’t do as much volume as men -You can replace high volume with high intensity -Easy spinning is junk miles -You don’t need to train many hours to be fast
7/10/20231 hour, 41 minutes, 20 seconds
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Watts Doc #44: Calcium Is An Underappreciated Aerobic Adaptive Signal

This episode looks at two classic studies illustrating the often overlooked connection between calcium and endurance performance by way of inducing mitochondrial biogenesis through more familiar pathways. We then discuss applicability of these learnings, plus potential pitfalls interpreting this information, and your listener questions.
6/12/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #28: FTP and VO2max Thoughts and Listener Questions

This episode contains expanded musings on VO2max and FTP training and progression, based on the years of feedback since the VO2max series debuted. We talk about whether or not you need to work in blocks, ways to determine the effects, interval durations, whether to start hard or not, recovery timelines, and more. We also answer your listener questions on time in zone, breathing, periodization, high cadence, testing, and more.
5/14/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 28 seconds
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Perspectives #25: The Coaching and Training Behind A Paris-Roubaix Victory, with Adam Pulford

Adam Pulford, coach of Alison Jackson, joins to discuss the methods and ideas behind training and coaching a professional cyclist, using his article analyzing Jackson's Paris-Roubiax winning power file as a jumping off point. We get into CTL and volume, when to build vs maintain fitness, athlete mental health and motivation, and the coach's role in professional vs amateur athletes. We also answer your listener questions on race specific training, coach-athlete communication, setting goals, stress management, and building fatigue resistance.
5/1/20231 hour, 32 minutes, 27 seconds
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500k: Roasting Kolie's Early Training Plans

To celebrate a half million podcast listens, we roast some of the earliest training plans Kolie wrote almost a decade ago. We get into lessons learned and how the coaching has changed, changing training fads, working with natural talents, and listener questions on "the science", impactful events, and advice for new coaches.
4/16/20232 hours, 3 minutes, 12 seconds
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Feedzone News Announces Research Program in Fitness, Health, and Wellness

Cycling meme Hall of Famer Feedzone News joins the podcast to announce a new research division. We discuss the first three research papers and all the shortcuts you can use to go faster. Thanks to all of our new podcast sponsors!
4/1/20231 hour, 49 seconds
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Perspectives #24: Continuous Glucose Monitors, Kristen Faulkner, and Athlete Health

This is a conversation between Kolie and epidemiologist Dr. Traci Carson, RDN and cycling coach Dr. Namrita Brooke, and MD and cycling coach Dr. Fabiano Araujo, in light of the Kristen Faulkner disqualification at Strade Bianche for wearing a continuous glucose monitor. We look at topics of whether CGMs actually confer a performance advantage, where their true utility lies, their shortcomings, thoughts on the UCI rules and Faulkner's DQ and the role of a team or dietitian, and health issues surrounding endurance athletes like RED-S and LEA.
3/30/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #27: Programming Over-Under Workouts

This episode goes into Kolie's philosophy on programming and structuring over/under workouts. Duration of overs and unders, intensity guidelines, additional manipulation like cadence, how to progress them, and suggestions for disciplines like CX, MTB, crits, and track. We also discuss some alternative workouts to achieve some of the same touted benefits of over/unders such as better buffering capacity, and your listener questions.
3/20/20231 hour, 1 minute, 30 seconds
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Watts Doc #43: Over-Unders Are Not Special

The host of benefits associated with over-under workouts includes improved lactate oxidation and clearance capacity, great expression of MCT enzymes, as well as improved tolerance of associated metabolic byproducts over threshold. We look at the established mechanisms behind these phenomena and find that over-unders, as well as lactate presence and oxidation itself, probably don't have a unique adaptation unavailable to other types of training. The follow-up episode, Ten Minute Tips #27, will discuss how Kolie views and programs over-under workouts, as well as alternative workouts to achieve the same ultimate effects.
3/12/20231 hour, 34 minutes, 52 seconds
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Perspectives #23: Weight Loss Diets for Endurance Performance, with Namrita Brooke

This is an in-depth discussion on weight loss diets for endurance athletes, with Dr. Namrita Brooke. The conversation includes guidelines on finding your starting point and how to adjust energy intake, avoiding crash diets, performance expectations and markers when dieting, the effect of off-bike activity, and reasonable loss rates. We also discuss energy balance vs hormones, demonizing food groups and the role of each macronutrient, the best times of year to lose weight, and your listener questions on diet aids, recomp diets, calorie estimates from wearables, finding a good performance dietitian, and more.
2/19/20231 hour, 58 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #26: The Case Against Erg Mode

This episode is a coaching perspective on the upsides and downsides of when you just want to "set it and forget it." We cover pacing adjustments, mental state, fatigue and threshold feedback, and putting the "max" in VO2max intervals. Plus a couple scenarios where erg mode is an excellent tool.
2/6/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 45 seconds
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Perspectives #22: The Cognitive Dissonance Of Silver Bullet Training, with Patrick Smith

Dr. Patrick Smith and Kolie sit down to discuss the athletic and coaching implications of Karl Friston's free energy principle of the brain, the right approach to bridge the gap between expectations and observable reality in training, and the right amount of sensitivity to this feedback. This dovetails with the appeal of quick fixes, miracle intervals, and silver bullet training principles. We also discuss what practical solutions are, setting yourself up for success, and your listener questions.
1/29/20232 hours, 3 minutes, 54 seconds
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Watts Doc #42:The Relationship Between Size And Power

This episode investigates the scientific relationship between size and power (allometry), both vo2max and maximal strength and power, and what it can teach us about sound training methods. How do w/kg and w/CdA scale? Why can't gaining muscle add aerobic power? Why can FTP seem to drop when dieting? Why do we rebound from crash diets? Why do most Tour de France winners seem to fit a certain size and weight? We answer all these questions and more, plus your listener questions.
1/17/20232 hours, 4 minutes, 30 seconds
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Watts Doc #41: Does Overtraining Actually Make Mitochondria Dysfunction?

Does overtraining cause mitochondria to dysfunction? We look at data in the Flockhart study on excessive training and compare them to the headlines, a similar overtraining study using proteomics, and a published response to Flockhart. We break down mitochondrial function, what various measurement methods actually tell us, why your mitochondria are probably just fine, and why these studies raise more questions about mitochondria's role in overtraining (if any) than they answer. Finally, we answer your listener questions on the Flockhart study, mitochondrial function, and overtraining.
1/9/20232 hours, 13 minutes, 2 seconds
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Perspectives #21: Behind The New American 40km ITT Record, with Cory Lockwood

Kolie sits down with Cory Lockwood to discuss breaking the U.S. 40km ITT record, going under 45 minutes. Cory also talks about what's different working with Kolie from previous training he's done, along with observations about rest, FTP and VO2max training, training during race season, and reflections on what it means to be both an athlete and coach.
12/21/20221 hour, 39 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #25: What's So Special About "Zone 2"?

This episode answers the question: is there something unique about endurance riding that is unavailable at other intensities? After discussing "zone 2" definitions, we look at adaptations and dose relative to other training intensities, fatigue, and volume. We look at the relative necessity of endurance riding in both very low and high volume training, and answer listener questions, including if there's a lower limit for endurance pace.
12/5/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 20 seconds
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Perspectives #20: The Reality of Data In Training and Coaching, with Tim Cusick

Master coach and WKO5 product leader Tim Cusick joins the podcast to get his brain thoroughly picked. Training topics include the biggest differences between average cyclists and the top pros, the usual periodization schemes vs Olympic cycles, the evolutionary process of a training plan, expertise vs mastery, and of course, resting. Data topics include whether we'll ever get the AI coach in our lifetimes and what it might do when it's here, what WKO5 is and isn't, the secrets of the PD model and mFTP, the PMC, TSS, training impact score, and the value of lab testing. Tim also answers listener questions about how he prescribes training targets, low cadence training, youth development, and advice to get the most out of a coaching relationship.
11/15/20222 hours, 20 minutes, 52 seconds
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400k: AMA

To celebrate 400,000 podcast listens, we answer your questions submitted in the Empirical Cycling Instagram stories. We discuss high and low volume training and progressive overload, 3 things every cyclist should do, low CHO training, FRC for mountain bikers, supplements for athletes, our best non-empirical cycling advice, and much more. The full questions list is available on the website.
11/3/20222 hours, 28 minutes, 38 seconds
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Watts Doc #40: Endurance Adaptation Is Not Substrate Oxidation

This episode breaks down the origins of endurance performance and how cells control substrate oxidation. We review a paper looking at the difference in adaptive aerobic signals when participants used significantly different amounts of fat and carbs at the same intensity. We then look at the role of mitochondria in cellular energetics, the pivotal role they play in aerobic endurance adaptations, and finally what the training implications are. Plus we answer your listener questions submitted to Kolie's Instagram.
10/26/20222 hours, 2 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #24: You Are Not Your CTL

Are you a CTL junkie? Terrified of letting it drop? Listen in. This episode takes a critical but realistic look at TSS and the metrics it's built on like CTL, ATL, and TSB. We discuss normalized power, what kind of fitness CTL can actually reflect, and answer listener questions.
10/15/202253 minutes, 3 seconds
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Perspectives #19: Adaptation, Signaling, and Performance, with Andy Coggan

Andy Coggan joins the podcast again to discuss everything we didn't get to in the previous episode. We get back stories behind the adaptations by training zones chart and the category and w/kg chart. We also go in depth with nitrate supplementation, vo2max training. if burning fat makes you burn more fat, if signaling studies translate to performance, and the nature of adaptation itself. There are plenty of pithy proverbs along the way.
9/29/20222 hours, 11 minutes, 54 seconds
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Perspectives #18: Overcoming Historical Inertia, with Andy Coggan

In this episode, Andy Coggan discusses FTP and its context among various threshold definitions, the infamous "hour of power", and the legacy of Training And Racing With A Power Meter. We also discuss Andy's lack of social media presence, the chapters he's written on the history of exercise physiology, and delve into some topics in exercise metabolism including VLamax, substrate use at FTP, methods and interpretations of the lactate shuttle, and more.
9/16/20221 hour, 48 minutes, 38 seconds
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Perspectives #17: Evolution vs Revolution, with Mikael Eriksson

The interviewer becomes the interviewed as the host of That Triathlon Show joins Kolie. Mikael talks about what he takes from all the interviews he does and how they change his approach, multisport training and periodization, podcasting, pacing, and what Mikael's favorite meme is. He also answers your listener questions.
9/5/20221 hour, 48 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #23: How Much FTP Training Is Too Much?

More FTP may be better, but not always. This episode explores ideas around how FTP can be overemphasized in training in both the short and long term, leading to suboptimal fitness and race outcomes.
8/29/20221 hour, 53 seconds
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Watts Doc #39: Why You Probably Can't Hold Your FTP For An Hour

Think your FTP is the power you can hold for 60 minutes? Think again! We dig into a classic Billat paper on time to exhaustion (TTE) and training threshold by adding time in zone. Then we discuss into the metabolic implications of these results, how they align with real world experience, and how this affects training and assessment of its effectiveness. Finally, we answer your questions as asked in Kolie's Instagram stories @empiricalcycling.
8/15/20221 hour, 53 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #22: Training Myths, Part 2

Should you always train like you race? In this episode we investigate three myths related to this idea, and find some grains of truth along the way. The myths are 1. Sprinters and non-sprinters really need to train aerobic systems differently. 2. Crit racers mostly need to focus on anaerobic efforts. 3. You won’t need to train FTP if you don't race time trials. We touch on some track sprinting as well, and of course answer listener questions from Kolie's instagram, so follow him there if you'd like to ask a question on the podcast.
8/2/20221 hour, 37 minutes, 57 seconds
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Perspectives #16: Experiment vs Experience, with Marinus Petersen

Marinus Petersen of Kilowatt Coaching and graduate of Loughborough University joins us in this episode to discuss a recent paper on bias in research, but it of course evolves into much more. We discuss the line between scientific research and real world experience and the usual suspects in a conversation between coaches including lactate, critical power, warmups, and more.
7/21/20221 hour, 47 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #21: Individualization Is Why It Always Depends

This episode explores how individualization of training is why the answer to almost every question is "It Depends." We discuss a few things like tapering, volume, intensity, recovery, the one instance we could think of where there is a definite answer, and also take listener questions submitted from Kolie's Instagram.
7/8/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 56 seconds
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Perspectives #15: A Discussion on Strength Training, with RJ Boergers and Angelo Gingerelli

RJ Boergers and Angelo Gingerelli join for a discussion of strength training for endurance cyclists, their book "Finish Strong" as well. The episode is full of practical takeaways and in depth discussion of strength training principles.
6/23/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #20: Training Myths, Part 1

We begin our foray into listener-submitted training myths, looking at the largest issues with the claims, and discussing why, as always, it depends. This episode's myths are: 1. Low cadence riding is strength training. 2. Burning more fat makes you better at burning fat. 3. You should do your base rides in the little ring. Please reach out if you'd like to submit a training myth!
6/14/202252 minutes, 26 seconds
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Watts Doc #38: Phosphocreatine Is A Critical Aerobic Energy System

While the phosphocreatine energy system is well known for sprinting, it also has another crucial role as part of the aerobic energy system. We delve into creatine's part in not only temporal energy buffering, but spatial too, and how cells are organized to support this and how badly organisms suffer without it. Then we look at more research showing that the aerobic recovery of phosphocreatine is highly correlated with repeated sprint power, and come to some practical conclusions we can make from the research.
6/3/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 21 seconds
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Perspectives #14: Kitchen Sink Conversation, with Matt DesRoches

Multidiscipline coach and former MMA fighter Matt DesRoches of Resilience Health & Performance Consulting joins Kolie for a wide ranging conversation on training, measurement and metrics, cutting weight, the physiology of cycling vs team sports, recovery and adaptation, pacing, interpreting scientific papers, noob gains, and much more.
5/25/20221 hour, 52 minutes, 29 seconds
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300k: Time Crunched Training

Can we really replace volume with intensity? We discuss the dos and don'ts of training on low volume, time crunched training, the principles that should guide you, and some tips to make sure the training time is being maximized. We touch on whether you should plan via TSS, how many hard days per week, polarized vs pyramidal and sweetspot, why and how RPE is incredibly useful, and more. Plus we answer your questions from Kolie's Instagram!
5/18/20221 hour, 44 minutes, 27 seconds
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Perspectives #13: Overtraining Sucks, with Katie Aman

Coach Katie goes in depth with her overtraining history in both cycling and swimming. We discuss the various causes like intensity, nutrition, and sleep, and the associated symptoms, along with her recovery each time, and how this experience helps in her coaching. The episode concludes with some tips to help recognize and avoid overtraining, along with listener questions.
5/11/20221 hour, 35 minutes, 53 seconds
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Perspectives #12: A Deep Dive Into Ride Food, with Namrita Brooke

This discussion with Namrita centers on ride food questions like how much, when, how to adjust for early rides, races, and if protein and fat is necessary. Additional side quests include the glucose-fructose ratio, how important ride food is in the context of the day, gastric emptying rate, the effects of caffeine, solid vs liquid food, and many others.
4/28/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #19: FTP Testing Shortcuts

Kolie and Kyle discuss the mental and physical aspects of going into an FTP test and add some perspective on nerves, rest, and softening blows to the ego. Then three alternative RPE or data based, submaximal methods are discussed. We also touch on tests that go too well and how to adjust to realistic numbers for training, and why it's better to be consistent than play whack-a-mole with occasional good days.
4/20/20221 hour, 50 seconds
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Perspectives #11: The Best Workout Is Not Working Out, with Adam Pulford

CTS coach Adam Pulford shares his thoughts on the ins and outs of recovery and how crucial it is. Topics including signs you need a rest week, how often you should take one, rest week structure, if sprints are okay during a recovery day, and the benefits of apple picking.
4/5/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 22 seconds
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NASA Physicist Reveals String Theory SECRET to UNLOCKING Your Cycling Performance

In this ground-breaking, tell-all episode, Kolie needles Kyle before he pulls at a thread, and Kyle's yarn untangles the skein of reality and explains how you can use the underlying fabric of the universe to bring your cycling performance to the next level.
4/1/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 38 seconds
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Perspectives #10: A Guide To Time Trialing, with Cory Lockwood

Former national time trial champion Cory Lockwood fields questions from Kolie and podcast listeners about the ins and outs of time trialing, including his #1 tip for time trialists of all levels. We cover pacing, gearing and equipment selection, and mental focus. Plus we talk about how Cory's training is going, fueling for big workout days, the team behind a big performance, and the unexpected usefulness of mirrors and plastic wrap. All while his cats try to steal mic time.
3/28/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 49 seconds
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Watts Doc #37: Your Fast Twitch Fibers Probably As Aerobic As Your Slow Twitch

Does your training zone determine the fiber type used? Does fiber type determine aerobic or anaerobic pathways, carbs or fats? We answer these questions by looking at evidence and concepts that show that fast twitch fibers can be just as aerobically capable as slow twitch fibers, nearly as good at burning fats, and why that might be. We dissect a paper on elite cross-country skiers, and another paper on whether or not fast twitch fibers had been recruited at relatively low intensity. In-depth discussion follows on fiber type distribution, muscle mass recruitment and force availability, why endurance athletes defy the expected metabolic properties of fast twitch fibers, and why these expectations may have started with cats.
3/17/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 44 seconds
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Watts Doc #36: How Power Meters Make Lactate Testing Nearly Obsolete

Kolie makes his case that power meters are rendering lactate testing obsolete for most cyclists. After some background about lactate and why lactate testing was (and still is) historically crucial for science, we compare lactate test values in ramp and MLSS tests between individuals from an excellent but under-appreciated study. We also dig deep into more recent data, from the lactate test of a former world champion and Kolie's own surprising MLSS test, and the physiology explaining these results. We conclude with practical considerations about what threshold means, and why power meters are our best way to measure it.
3/5/20221 hour, 41 minutes, 34 seconds
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Perspectives #9: Pragmatic Physiology and Nutrition, with Tim Podlogar

Tim Podlogar, nutritionist for Bora-Hansgrohe and research fellow at the University of Birmingham, joins Kolie for a conversation. Just a few of the topics covered are what makes Slovenian riders so good, what lab tests are useful and for whom, low-carb rides, and why substrate use is not adaptation. Nutrition topics include fructose, "fat loading," the role of supplements like creatine, bicarbonate, and beta-alanine. Also discussed are things like responsibility for our media's influence, and the pressures, dangers, and nuances of MDPI and scientific publication.
2/21/20221 hour, 30 minutes, 28 seconds
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Perspectives #8: Why It's Hard To Rest, with Patrick Smith

This fantastic and nuanced conversation starts with discussing why it can be so hard to rest, but went into much deeper territory with changing one's behavior to better move towards goals. We explore ideas like a coach's job to moderate athlete responses to cultural and social pressure, managing the firehose of data, and the definition of insanity. Also touched on are practical ideas for self-coached athletes, such as leaving workout comments for yourself or daily journaling.
2/15/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 40 seconds
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2021 Best of Instagram AMA Questions

Kolie spent yet another year on Instagram (@empiricalcycling) answering questions in the stories for 51 out of 52 weeks to add a bright interlude to doom scrolling. This podcast contains 32 questions under the topics training intensity, periodization, adaptation, and general. Questions, and timestamps for the headings, can be found in the show notes at
2/8/20221 hour, 56 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #18: Metrics Are Not Fitness

This episode takes a cue from Kolie's recent webinar on balancing aerobic and anaerobic training (linked in show notes) and delves deeper into the temptations of training to a metric or fitness test. We deconstruct some common FTP tests and metrics like FTP, FRC or W', and VLamax, and their interpretations and over-interpretations. Most of the discussion is about what drives these metrics, the pitfalls therein, and if you're actually getting less fit when they shift.
1/29/202254 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #17: Sweetspot vs Polarized Is Kayfabe

In another wide ranging discussion, we discuss where the sweetspot vs polarized dichotomy may have come from as a stepping off point to consider if you should use such rules decide your training intensity distribution ahead of time.
1/20/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 6 seconds
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Perspectives #7: How To Design A Workout For A Million People, with Shayne Gaffney

Zwift training content manager and Never Going Pro podcast host Shayne Gaffney joins the podcast to discuss his role at Zwift, and what it's like building workouts and training plans for large numbers of unique users. We also cover how he got his start, coaching mistakes and lessons, parenting-cycling balance, and the symbolism in the Zwift logo's one sharp corner.
1/10/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #16: Can Functional Training Get Too Functional?

This conversation explores functional exercises as a continuum from your standard fare squats to the functional variations you might see on Instagram. We discuss if they're viable alternatives to normal training, good resources for functional exercises, and the weirdest ones we've ever seen.
1/5/202255 minutes, 16 seconds
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Watts Doc #35: Fatmax Fallacies

In this episode we look at what fatmax is, where the promise lies, and what validity there is. Do you get better at burning fat by burning more fat? Do you lose more weight by burning more fat? How does e=mc^2 relate to the energy stored in food? This episode answers all these questions and more.
12/15/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 32 seconds
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Perspectives #6: 2021 Season Review and 2022 Planning, with Ingvar Ómarsson

This episode was recorded not to be a traditional podcast, it's a call between Kolie and his client Ingvar Ómarsson who is professionally racing mountain bikes. The 2021 season was our first working together, and we go over what went right and what can be done better, and apply those lessons to the plan for next season.
12/9/20211 hour, 39 minutes, 3 seconds
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Perspectives #5: Coaching the Process, with Cory Lockwood

Kolie and new Empirical Cycling coach Cory sit down for a discussion on previous coaching relationships, cultivating new ones, training and racing experience, and coaching red flags. They also get into Cory's motocross experience, technical aspects of criterium bike setup, and the difficulties of Zwift racing while living in a car.
11/30/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #15: Periodizing Strength Training for Cycling Performance

This episode takes a bird's eye view on periodizing strength training in your season including adaptation, hypertrophy, strength, maintenance if needed, and even more specific periodization suggestions for lifting into the season. How and when one might plan these phases, how long they would last, and other tangents such as single leg specific phases, deadlift choice, and a bonus rant on whether or not you should do plyometrics for cycling.
11/25/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 48 seconds
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200k: The Best And Worst Workouts

Podcast listeners voted on our topic to celebrate 200k listens! In this purely editorial episode, we list our top 5 best and worst workouts, discuss what makes them good or bad, and how one might fix them. On the lists are ramp tests, group rides, using FTP as an anchor intensity, all out efforts, and many more.
11/22/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 18 seconds
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Watts Doc #34: Why Keto Is Not The Diet You're Looking For

If you've ever thought about using the ketogenic diet for cycling, you may want to listen in. We look at a pair of modern classic studies that compare traditional high carbohydrate diets to periodized low carb and keto. This includes a study with, and a study without a carbohydrate re-adaptation period.​
11/15/202153 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #14: Sets and Reps for Strength Training

Wonder how many reps to do in the gym? How many sets? This episode will help. We discuss typical set and rep ranges, how good they are for strength, hypertrophy, or maintenance, as well as in the context of periodization.
11/10/202155 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #13: What Strength Exercises Should You Do?

This discussion focuses on cyclists choosing exercises for strength training, and the hosts mostly stay on track. Topics included are high and low bar back squats vs front squat, lifting shoes, injury concerns, weight belts, and the bilateral deficit.
11/3/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #12: Getting Into Strength Training

Kolie and Kyle let their quads out in this wide ranging discussion of pointers for cyclists going into the gym for strength training. Topics touched on are gym basics, the importance of technique, weight progression, range of motion, functional training, RPE, 1 rep max testing, and easy gym days (deloading).
10/26/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 34 seconds
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Perspectives #4: High Functioning Lunatics, with Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith joins Kolie for a conversation about how to not accidentally rickroll yourself. Included are the usefulness of rigid rules in training and racing, goals vs. values, dealing with disappointment, and why common psychological evaluations don't work with athletes.
10/19/20211 hour, 46 minutes, 42 seconds
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Perspectives #3: USA Crits 2021, with Alex Carmona and Taylor Warren

In this episode Kolie asks Empirical Cycling coach Alex Carmona and coach Taylor Warren about their first full season racing USA Crits. We discuss highs and lows, the importance of cornering and positioning, and working up the USA Crits team pecking order. Alex and Taylor also put on their coach hats and go in depth about managing fitness and fatigue in a season, having a "fitness reservoir," hot takes on warmups, and tire widths and pressures.
10/9/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 46 seconds
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Watts Doc #33: Fats vs Carbs Part II - Carnitine and VLamax

We look deeper into how the body chooses to use carbohydrates and fats, and specifically when and how carbohydrates inhibit fat oxidation. This serves as a jumping off point to take a critical look at VLamax and how it may, or may not, affect your FTP.
9/27/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 40 seconds
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Watts Doc #32: What Is Aerobic? Fats vs Carbs

What does it really mean to burn something aerobically? This episode concludes the first phase of this series by looking at both the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain, and putting them in perspective. In what way is burning fats or carbs aerobic, and how aerobically different are they from each other?
8/3/202148 minutes, 41 seconds
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Instagram and Reddit AMA!

In this episode we answer questions asked on Instagram and r/velo. The podcast isn't dead!
7/14/202155 minutes, 19 seconds
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Perspectives #2: How To Manage Sickness, with Dr. Fabiano Araujo

This is a wide ranging conversation with Empirical Cycling coach Dr. Fabiano Araujo. We discuss the immune system, inflammation, when you can and can't train when sick, nutrition strategies, and much more.
5/10/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 25 seconds
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Watts Doc #31: How and Why We Burn Carbs

This episode starts by looking at the chemical mechanisms of glycolysis, the stepwise dismantling of glucose for energy, and finishes with some big picture learnings about this deceptively simple pathway.
3/2/202157 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #11: Integrating Physiology Into Coaching

This episode is Kolie's practical view on integrating physiology into a pragmatic training philosophy. Focused on coaches and self-coached athletes who are applying scientific learning to their coaching.
2/24/202130 minutes, 27 seconds
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Perspectives #1: The Challenges of Self Coaching, with Alex Carmona

In the first episode of the Perspectives series, Empirical Cycling coaches Kolie and Alex discuss self coaching, the challenges of training and motivation during COVID, the value of knowing thyself, among many other topics.
2/14/202140 minutes, 23 seconds
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Watts Doc #30: What Limits Fat Use

This episode takes a wide angle view of the chain of events between starting exercise and successfully burning fat, and where the main bottlenecks are in that process. Nuances discussed are the differences between adipose tissue and intramuscular fats, energy demand rates, diet, and potential training strategies to improve fat utilization at most exercise intensities.
1/26/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 5 seconds
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Watts Doc #29: Why Fat Oxidation Is Anaerobic

This episode begins a series on metabolism with the process of oxidizing fatty acids for energy, and why the process is anaerobic. We also discuss fats vs lipids, different types of fatty acids, and take a deep dive into the periodic table to explain why oxygen loves electrons so much.
1/13/202158 minutes, 37 seconds
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2020 Best of Instagram AMA Questions

To wrap up 2020, we went through all the questions asked for Kolie's weekend story AMAs and picked our favorites to expand on. The list of questions are in the show notes at, in order of appearance.
12/23/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #10: How To Read A Scientific Paper

In this first extended Ten Minute Tips, Kyle uses the extra time well to review his strategies to effectively read, digest, and understand any scientific paper. If you read papers along with us for the Watts Doc episodes, this may be a good playbook to pull from. Cover art on this is an example of "data massage" as mentioned in the episode.
12/17/202018 minutes, 42 seconds
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Watts Doc #28: Why HIT May Not Make You Faster

This episode looks at some cellular mechanisms of how HIT training leads to adaptation, or maybe doesn't. Ryanodine receptors, free radicals, calcium, the size principle, fluorescent mouse muscles, and more!
12/5/20201 hour, 20 minutes, 15 seconds
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Watts Doc #27: Training Repeated Sprint Ability

This episode compares several types of steady state endurance training to the ability to perform repeated efforts above threshold and sprints. It outlines some of the science behind the different adaptations, training strategies to improve your ability, and suggested methods to track this specific type of fitness.
11/26/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 17 seconds
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100k AMA

To celebrate 100k podcast listens, we asked for questions on r/velo and we got some great ones! This is a wide ranging and fun episode that covers how Kolie and Kyle feel about steady z3 rides, whether anaerobic capacity or FTP is the limiter, a few controversial training opinions, lifting, sprinting, the indoor equivalent to outdoor, and many other things.
10/26/20201 hour, 53 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #9: Drills To Hone Your Sprint Technique

In this extra long episode of Ten Minute Tips, Kolie shares the why and how of his two favorite technique drills to perfect your sprint. Newton's third law and learning to relax means big gears, little gears, and big power!
10/20/202013 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #8: Back Squat Stance

In the next installment of what is definitely not Squatober, Kyle discusses bar placement in he back squat, and finding the right foot position and stance for your squat.
10/11/202010 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #7: Breathing For Heavy Lifting

In this Ten Minute Tips series that we will not call Squatober, Kyle shares his wisdom from many decades of lifting heavy weights. This episode focuses on proper breathing technique to move big weights, and why.
10/7/202010 minutes, 3 seconds
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Watts Doc #26: FTP Testing Revisited

This episode revisits FTP testing. We look at the progressions outlined in the 2018 FTP testing article, intensity domains, FTP, heart rate, and critical power, ramp tests, and defining terms in the sciences. We also look at "training ruts" and their effects on open-ended FTP tests, and methods to avoid those ruts. The podcast concludes with discussing definitions of various thresholds in the scientific literature.
9/14/202055 minutes, 2 seconds
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Watts Doc #25: Everesting Training and Preparation

In this episode we discuss preparations for successfully Everesting. With training we discuss periodization, cadence, and bike fit, and logistic preparations include picking the right road, nutrition, gearing, and dealing with mechanical and accident risks.
9/9/202059 minutes, 25 seconds
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Watts Doc #24: Listener Questions on VO2max Training and Rønnestad 30/15s

We answer your questions from the last episode on VO2max training, and, also at listener request, we look at some of last episode's Rønnestad material that got cut out. VO2max questions include: Aspects of position like standing and TT bikes. Transfer of heart adaptations to normal cadence riding. The right cadence, pacing, and terrain for intervals, rest intervals. How Kolie would structure VO2max training for thousands of cyclists at a time. What 30/15s (and other intermittent intervals) do better than raise VO2max. Periodizing VO2max through a season. What does it take to make your training adaptations your "new normal"?
8/2/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 9 seconds
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Watts Doc #23: Training Your VO2max, and Why Not Rønnestad 30/15 Intervals

This episode is the focal point of the previous VO2max episodes. We take the physiology from the previous episodes and use it to find easy ways to improve the effectiveness of any VO2max interval set. Ways to change your cadence, interval times, rest times, and interval intensities are discussed. Then we take apart a Ronnestad study on 30/15s and put it in context of VO2max and other fitness adaptations. We conclude with a training philosophy discussion on the physiology of true long term VO2max improvements.​​
7/21/20201 hour, 38 minutes, 7 seconds
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Watts Doc #22: The Fick Equation Part 2 - Heart Adaptations For VO2max

In the penultimate episode of the VO2max series, we dive deep into how the heart pumps and adapts, how this stress leads to increased VO2max, and why cyclists may not want to take training cues from cross-country skiing.
7/15/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 49 seconds
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Student Union #2: East Coast Roundtable

Three collegiate conference directors and a board president walk into a bar... hypothetically. This is what it would sound like if it were at all safe to go to a bar. We talk about our fall season cancellations, challenges faced by race promoters, predictions for spring 2021, and reactions to rumors of a Zwift nationals. In the discussion are conference directors Nick Luther of SECCC, Kyle Helson of ACCC, Kolie Moore of ECCC, and ACCC board president Laura Ann Leaton.
7/13/20201 hour, 31 minutes, 58 seconds
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Watts Doc #21: VO2max and The Most Interesting Protein In The World

This episode explores how and why hemoglobin's function emerges from its structure, which makes it a critical component in the oxygen distribution chain. We also discuss the lungs, why VO2max isn't related to hematocrit, and vascular capacity for blood storage before diving into a classic phlebotomy study that ends with a question mark that hints at the central importance of the heart.
7/3/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 12 seconds
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Watts Doc #20: The Fick Equation Part 1 - A VO2 Difference

Continuing the VO2max series, we take such a close look into the Fick equation we only cover one of its terms: the arterial-venous O2 difference. We break apart the factors that affect diffusion of oxygen into our muscles, limiters of oxygen utilization, and whether these factors are trainable to potentially improve VO2max.
6/2/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 14 seconds
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Watts Doc #19: The VO2max Slow Component Explained

The slow component of vo2max is often mentioned but seldom discussed. We take a deep dive into the nature of the slow component, including thermodynamics, fiber type, and the size principle.
5/6/202047 minutes, 20 seconds
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Watts Doc #18: Why Everything You Know About VO2max Power Is Probably Wrong

In the first episode in a VO2max series, we take a deep dive into why VO2max power, or maximal aerobic power (MAP), is not a simple number that can be found in a simple test. We discuss the history, physiological, and methodological underpinnings of ramp tests and what makes them flawed, and what some people have done to try and account for these. Additional methods of MAP testing and tracking and their drawbacks are discussed. We conclude with some practical advice for ways to monitor improvements your own VO2max.
4/26/20201 hour, 36 seconds
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Watts Doc #17: Why We Really Make Lacate

Lactate remains a misunderstood molecule, and most popular experts still don't have a full understanding of where it comes from or why. In this episode, Kolie explains the basic biochemical context of lactate, where it really comes from, and why we make it at rest and during exercise. You will come away from this episode with a good understanding of how enzymes catalyze reactions, the importance of always making lactate, and the kinds of things that cause demand on glycolysis.
4/7/202035 minutes, 22 seconds
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Training and Season Planning of Pandemic Proportions

Today we discuss the global COVID-19 pandemic. We start with basic virology and why it's through this understanding that we recommend even healthy people take extreme precautions. Then address group rides, and things to consider for your current training or re-planning your 2020 season for races that may or may not happen. We have links to additional studies in the show notes on the website.
3/24/202033 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Watts Doc #16: Listener Questions on FTP Training

We asked for questions, and we got them. Kolie and Kyle answer eleven excellent questions on FTP training.
3/2/202047 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #6: ATP and Disequilibrium

Delving into the biochemical depths of all life, Kolie discusses chemical equilibrium, or disequilibrium, and how ATP's high energy phosphate bonds aren't really what give it the energetic potential it's known for.
2/14/20209 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #5: How Much Does Rotating Weight Matter?

Today Dr. Helson runs the numbers on how much rotating weight matters when accelerating. The answer may (or may not) surprise you.
1/27/20209 minutes, 36 seconds
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Watts Doc #15: Heart Rate or Power To Pace Endurance Rides?

Whether we should pace endurance rides by heart rate or power is a training question where the usual answers lack sufficient depth. In this episode we provide enough context, and an alternative, that you might find the right style of riding for yourself.
12/23/201945 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Watts Doc #14: Effective FTP Training

In this highly anticipated episode, a scientific paper and some metabolic logic show us a simple, effective way to make your FTP training better.
12/11/201932 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #4: Stress & Strain - Do your intervals do what you think they do?

This episode takes a look at things like power output and when we might find differences in training response. Most energy systems are touched on along with quick insights that will be expanded on in upcoming podcast episodes.
11/26/201910 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #3: Bro Science

Are your friends using bro science? Do you know someone with a magic solution, who thinks they put together the whole puzzle with only half the pieces? Learn the warning signs! Kyle hosts this episode on how to recognize bro science, its rhetoric, and typical warning signs.
11/7/201910 minutes, 28 seconds
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Watts Doc #13: What's So Radical About Oxygen?

Oxygen is corrosive, but we need it for life and exercise. This episode looks at how free radicals are made in the body, their role in adaptation to endurance exercise, and the body's natural defense mechanisms.
10/27/201959 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Watts Doc #12: Can Fiber Type Predict Carb or Fat Use?

The episode starts off with a primer on parts of muscle needed for contraction and how these relate to different methods of fiber typing (there's more than one!). We finish our look at a classic paper on cycling physiology and its sections on fiber type and substrate use. Then a paper on cross country skiers throws a bag of monkey wrenches into decades of established fiber type paradigms.
10/2/201942 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #2: Homemade Hydration Mix

Do companies really make the best hydration mixes? They do, kind of, but they're expensive. It's difficult to adjust their mixes to flavor and your unique needs. This episode goes through a homemade drink mix that will probably hydrate you better, and definitely for cheaper, than anything on the market today. The recipe can be found on the website show notes at
9/5/20199 minutes, 6 seconds
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The Watts Doc #11: FTP vs VO2max

Kolie and Kyle look at the relationship between FTP and VO2max. We use data from a classic paper that calls into question the validity of a long-standing testing protocol in the scientific literature, which is still in use today.
8/27/201927 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ten Minute Tips #1: Training For Cyclocross Season

The last month before your cyclocross season is a crucial one. In the new Ten Minute Tips series, Kolie looks at the elements of training you may want to incorporate to get a strong start to your season. Included are key workout types, how to manage intensity, incorporating running, and mixing technique work into training rides. Includes three example workouts.
8/7/201910 minutes, 16 seconds
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Race Report: 2019 Cascade Classic

We talk to Empirical Cycling athlete Emma Edwards for an in-depth race report about the 2019 Cascade Classic, where she was racing with Amy D Foundation. We talk about her top 10 on the GC, the gods of mechanicals, what it's like racing against TWENTY20, and her bike's gremlin... just don't get it wet, somehow, in the Pacific northwest.
8/1/201934 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Watts Doc #10: Can Fat-Adaptive Diets Lead To Better Performance Through Glycogen Sparing?

One of the theorized benefits of low carb or ketogenic diets for cyclists is that it spares glycogen so it can be used when needed most. Kolie and Kyle walk through a paper investigating this question. They then discuss the upsides and downsides and potential utility of fat-adaptive diets in daily training.
7/22/201946 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Watts Doc #9: Strength, Endurance, and the Size Principle

The podcast's first deep dive into muscle physiology, we look at a study on weight lifting while endurance training vs just endurance training, with a surprising result. From here we talk about the size principle, which you're using a lot more often than you think.
6/28/201949 minutes, 4 seconds
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Student Union #1: Collegiate Nationals and The Art Of The TTT

MIT cycling team members Liam Fenlon, Berk Ozturk, and multiple time individual national champion Emma Edwards talk about collegiate nationals 2019, a 35 rider pileup, and how to put the "team" into the TTT.
6/13/201944 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Watts Doc #8: FTP vs Critical Power

FTP and Critical Power in theory measure the highest power output before significant fatigue occurs. We look at whether this is true, and the pros and cons of using FTP and CP.
6/4/201934 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Watts Doc #7: What Is Base Really?

Does going slow make you slow? Do you need to go slow to make you fast? We look into the reasoning behind two opposite training philosophies, then figure out what aerobic base really is, what's effective, and why.
5/24/201936 minutes, 14 seconds
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The Watts Doc #6: Lactate Myths and Truths

We check out some old research to find the origins of common lactate myths like its role in fatigue, its acidity, the "anaerobic threshold," and whether it's a metabolic dead end. Then we correct the record with modern science while figuring out how smart scientists came to the wrong conclusions.
5/7/201950 minutes, 35 seconds
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Talking To Ashton Lambie

Kolie and Kyle sit down with The Fastest Pursuiter in the World, Ashton Lambie, and talk about gravel racing and training for the track, his world record individual pursuit, his time with Huub-Wattbike, and the aerodynamics of the mustache.
4/27/201945 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Watts Doc #5: Can You Lift Heavy While Endurance Training?

This episode begins with the mind-muscle connection of neural drive before diving into research on doing strength and endurance training concurrently, and how they interfere with each other. We then look at how the latest scientific research provides training solutions.
4/21/201939 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Watts Doc #4: How High Intensity Interval Training Makes You Faster

What do high intensity intervals, the original Tabata protocol, and a calcium leak have in common? Kolie and Kyle take a look at three scientific papers, what they might mean for you, and how to apply the conclusions to your training.
4/12/201937 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Watts Doc #3: Is There Anything Special About 2x20?

Kolie and Kyle look at how duration and intensity play a role in FTP training and the significance of the canonical 2x20min FTP workout. The discussion touches on how to structure workouts beyond 2x20, workouts for the time crunched and those with abundant time, and how to adjust workouts to account for TTE.
4/6/201930 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Watts Doc #2: Why You're Training Too Hard For Criteriums

Bad news, everyone. You're training too hard for crits. Kolie and Kyle uncover the physiology of what makes someone successful at criteriums, cyclocross, and other types of repeated sprint performances. It's probably not what you think.
4/1/201945 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Watts Doc #1: FTP Testing

Kolie and Kyle take a deep dive into the pros and cons of the many FTP tests. "What is special about 60 minutes to the human body?" What tests should certain people avoid? How hard is it to ride at your FTP? 20 and 60 minutes, 8 minutes, ramp test, and variable-duration FTP tests as discussed here:
3/24/201953 minutes, 25 seconds