129 episodes

The Fast Talk podcast is your source for the science of cycling performance, offering the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Co-hosted by science journalist Chris Case and Fast Labs' resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, each episode takes a deep dive on a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more. The show's list of guests includes some of the most prominent names in cycling and sport science, including Dr. Stephen Seiler, Joe Friel, Katie Compton, Brent Bookwalter, Sebastian Weber, Asker Jeukendrup, and many more.

Fast Talk Fast Labs

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8, 92 Ratings

The Fast Talk podcast is your source for the science of cycling performance, offering the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Co-hosted by science journalist Chris Case and Fast Labs' resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, each episode takes a deep dive on a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more. The show's list of guests includes some of the most prominent names in cycling and sport science, including Dr. Stephen Seiler, Joe Friel, Katie Compton, Brent Bookwalter, Sebastian Weber, Asker Jeukendrup, and many more.

    How to map out your season, with Toms Skujins, Kiel Reijnen, Joey Rosskopf, and Larry Warbasse

    How to map out your season, with Toms Skujins, Kiel Reijnen, Joey Rosskopf, and Larry Warbasse

    Hello and welcome to Fast Talk, your source for the science of cycling performance! I'm your host Chris Case. Today, we’re digging into the archive for some season-planning knowledge. Why now when our seasons have been demolished? Because it’s never too early to start soaking in the wisdom of seasoned veterans on how to best map out any season, particularly next year’s. 
    Trevor did several great interviews with four top pros—Toms Skujins, Kiel Reijnen, Joey Rosskopf, and Larry Warbasse—for an article he was writing several years ago, and now we want to share their full wisdom. There’s no other agenda, they just had a lot of good things to say, from starting your season right to picking your moments in that season to peak; from fending off fatigue and overtraining to ending your season right. All that and much more on today’s episode. 
    Let's make you fast! 
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    • 58 min
    Performance gains and adaptations from fasted training, with Dr. Brian Carson  

    Performance gains and adaptations from fasted training, with Dr. Brian Carson  

    Have you ever woken up early in the morning to go for a ride, skipped breakfast, and thought, “I wonder if that was bad for my training? Or maybe it was good?!” In today’s episode, we try to decipher if there are any advantages or disadvantages to occasionally riding, or exercising in general, in a fasted state. What does “fasted” actually mean, in this context? How’s that help, or hurt, my training? How conclusive is the evidence? And how often should I do it? Those are just some of the questions we’ll try to answer today.  
    Fasting is one of those subjects that many of you have likely heard mentioned in passing, but whether or not it can lead to true performance gains is another matter. To fast or not to fast, that is the question. Today, we go particularly deep into the details of fasting, from the different types of fasting you can use for both health and performance benefits, to the genetic and cellular mechanisms which could play a role in adaptations.  
    In essence, there are two overriding questions: Does fasting have health benefits? And does it help in training and performance? The science is pointing towards clear health benefits, but performance and training are less clear. We’ll explore all of that and much more today on Fast Talk. 
    Our primary guest is someone who has spent his research career looking into these very questions. Dr. Brian Carson, of the University of Limerick, in Ireland, is a leading expert on the effects of exercising in a fasted state, as will become patently clear when we dive into the science.  
    We’ll also hear today from longtime USA Cycling coach Jim Miller, pro roadie Petr Vakoc and pro mountain biker Payson McElveen, leading physiologist Dr. Iñigo San Millan, and neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen. 
    Put down that cookie. Let’s make you fast. 
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    • 1 hr 58 min
    Mission impossible: determining your true threshold

    Mission impossible: determining your true threshold

    Today, Coach Connor and I discuss something that comes up nearly every time we receive an email from one of our devoted listeners, from you. (By the way, please keep sending us questions and voice memos—we love them.) 
     
    So, what is it that is nearly universally included in every piece of correspondence we receive? Well, it’s some indication of a listener’s “threshold.” Often that figure is stated as if it is an absolute or as if it’s 100-percent accurate. And that’s what we want to address today: How accurate are these numbers, really? It turns out, not very. And as an extension of that, we also discuss just how difficult it is to get an accurate figure, for myriad reasons. We’ll discuss several of the most common ways to determine your threshold, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.  
     
    Coincidentally, we were already planning to record this episode when Trevor received an unpublished review by a team out of Auckland, New Zealand, led by researcher Ed Maunder at the Sports Performance Research Institute of the Auckland University of Technology. The review is a fantastic summary of this very concept, but since it isn’t yet published, we can’t discuss the findings just yet. That said, the group had a lot of great points that helped shape this episode, thus we do need to give them full credit for those ideas in this show. 
    Once the review is published, we’ll do a second episode in which we’ll interview the researchers and discuss their review. One of the fascinating concepts we look forward to discussing with them is how “durability” factors into threshold measurements. Stay tuned. 
      
    Now, let's make you fast! 
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    • 1 hr 15 min
    Should you build the best engine or focus on specificity, with Jim Miller

    Should you build the best engine or focus on specificity, with Jim Miller

    Hello and welcome to Fast Talk, your source for the science of cycling performance! I'm your host Chris Case.   
    I’ll set the stage for today’s episode with an analogy. And apologies to those of you who don’t enjoy our car engine analogies; alas, we’re sticking with it on this episode. We ask the simple question: Which has the greatest chance of consistently producing the best performances: a powerful, finely-tuned, race-inspired engine—take your pick from Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, and especially if you’re an F1 fan, Mercedes—or a heavily modified Honda Civic that you hope can compete at that goal race you’ve been preparing for?  
    Bringing it back to cycling terms, is it more beneficial to build a robust, complete physiological engine and then apply it to, or activate it for, different race situations, or is it better to work on specific attributes of your engine given the specific demands of a particular race? The answer, it turns out, has as much to do with training philosophy as it does to physiological principles. In today’s episode, we analyze which is more appropriate for you, and which leads to the best performances, and the best athletes. It’ll likely become pretty clear where Coach Connor and our main guest, Jim Miller, stand on the matter.   
    Jim, as Chief of Sports Performance, leads USA Cycling’s Athlete Development programs. In his previous role with USA Cycling, after a two-year hiatus took him to TrainingPeaks, Miller helped the United States earn 14 Olympic medals and numerous world championship titles since 2001. The list of athletes Jim has coached over the years is too long to read here, but notably includes Tejay van Garderen, Kate Courtney, Kristin Armstrong, and Lawson Craddock, to name a few. 
    His coaching experience isn’t solely focused on the elite of the elite, however. Jim also works with athletes whose backgrounds or goals are unique, and they’re often from the amateur or master’s ranks. Not surprisingly, Jim has found the most success with the amateurs he coaches by applying the same principles he does to world champions. We’ll hear about those successes today. We’ll also take a compelling tangent into the importance of psychology and mental capacity to success. 
    On today’s episode, we’ll also hear from American pro Kiel Reijnen, data analyst and coach Tim Cusick, and WorldTour physiologist Inigo San Millan. All that and much more, today on Fast Talk. 
    Let's make you fast! 
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    • 1 hr 43 min
    Q&A on FTP testing, structuring recovery weeks, and the sustainability of base training, with guest coach Steve Neal

    Q&A on FTP testing, structuring recovery weeks, and the sustainability of base training, with guest coach Steve Neal

    Hello and welcome to Fast Talk, your source for the science of cycling performance! I'm your host Chris Case, and today Coach Connor and I are joined by Coach Steve Neal of The Cycling Gym, which now resides exclusively in the virtual world: https://online.thecyclinggym.com/. 
    Let’s get into the questions. 
    Our first question comes from Dan S., as a follow-up to episode 113 on recovery period lengths: “What do you make of the FTP test protocols that call for a 5-minute maximal effort followed by a 5-minute recovery followed by a 20-minute FTP measurement effort? Is the 20 minutes representative of what an athlete could do for a 60-minute FTP test and, thus, what their FTP training power zones should be?”  
    A second question from Dan S. on body fat and hypothermia: “First, are athletes with lower body fat composition more susceptible to hypothermia? Second, is there a notable difference in chilling effect when either wetness or wind are added?” 
    James K. wants to know how to structure a rest week: “How should I structure the rest week to get the most from it? Should I have multiple days completely off? Any opener intervals?” 
    Our next question comes from Ellis P. of Rugby, England. He, like many this year, has had to pivot after his target event was cancelled. He wants to know how to adjust his training: “Can you ‘build’ forever?” he asks. “I need both a very good aerobic and anaerobic system to be at the sharp end of the field. Initially my events were far enough apart that I could peak for U23 Nationals, take a break and then base/build/peak for the National Hill Climb Championships. With my original goal not taking place, can I base/build/base/build until September when I will start racing Hill Climb TTs in prep, or should I still take a break and reset? I don’t and won’t need a mental break, it’s only a physical break I’m concerned with. Given I haven’t ‘peaked’ yet this year do I need to take time off? Essentially, what I’m asking is do you need to change your training regularly/can your body get tired of one type of training even if you’re progressing that type of training (e.g. longer intervals)?” 
    Israeli coach Dror H. asks about rest between VO2max efforts: “During your recent episode on rest periods between intervals with Sebastian Weber (FT113), you raised a point about the impact of recovery time between intervals on lactate removal and performance in the next intervals. Specifically, you mentioned Dr. Seiler’s article which showed no difference between 2 minutes and 4 minutes rest period. According to Dr. Weber, the reason why there was no difference is that in both cases the ATP-Phosphocreatine system recovered to the same level and the lactate levels were pretty much the same. So, from a physiological perspective 2 minutes and 4 minutes rest are almost the same. Now comes the question: In the case of 8-minute VO2max efforts, should we recover much longer to be able to generate similar power each time?” 
    Finally, Devin K. wants to know: “What is happening when you ‘blow up’ on a ride?”  
    Let's make you fast! 
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    BONUS: Anatomy of a Good Cycling Shoe, Cycling in Alignment 08

    BONUS: Anatomy of a Good Cycling Shoe, Cycling in Alignment 08

    Which cycling shoes should I buy? This may seem like a straightforward question. But the better thing to ask is: Which shoes are right for my feet? If you’ve been a professional cyclist with extensive experience as a bike fitter, like show host Colby Pearce, the answer to that more complex question becomes an hour-long podcast, filled with the nuances of human anatomy. There are several questions about your physiology and biomechanics that need to be answered before you can select the ideal shoe for you, and for the purpose of your rides.
    Dial that Boa in—but not too tight.
    There’s much to be learned in today’s episode of Cycling in Alignment.

    REFERENCES
    Lake 403s – https://lakecycling.com/products/cx-403?variant=30307106029662
    Device that expands toe-box – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4SKS82?tag=duckduckgo-osx-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1
    Cycling Tips Podcast about Bont shoes: https://cyclingtips.com/2015/05/bont-vaypor-s-shoe-review/
    Bont Helix – https://www.bontcycling.com/products/road/helix/index.html
    Bontrager XXX – https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike-clothing/cycling-shoes/road-bike-shoes/bontrager-xxx-road-cycling-shoe/p/25000/
    Lintamen – https://www.lintaman.com/
    Hanseeno – https://hanseeno.com/collections/performance/products/u100g-shoes
    www.feetfreex.com/
    Treadlabs orthotics – https://treadlabs.com/
    Superfeet orthotics – https://www.superfeet.com/en-us
    Icebug orthotics – https://icebug.com/insoles
    G8 orthotics – https://www.g8performance.com/
    Colby’s Site – http://www.colbypearce.com/
    Email – cyclinginalignment@fastlabs.com
    Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cyclinginalignment/
    Twitter – https://twitter.com/CyclinginAlign_
    Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cyclinginalignment-110271017351743
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    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
92 Ratings

92 Ratings

Andrew Vontz ,

Mega and Marginal Gains Explained

All of the best and latest training information. Congrats on the relaunch. Excellent listen.

thosbailey ,

Language

I am already tired of Colby Pierce’s foul mouth. If I want to listen to somebody trying to be cool bu uttering profanity, I can go listen to Lance Armstrong.

Offensive language is not needed in a show like this. I find it ironic that a person promoting a lifestyle of alignment has such vulgarity in his head and mouth. It is obvious he has some issue to resolve. I had to stop episode 2 because I was trying to listen with my wife and kids.

I don’t think there was vulgarity in any of the other fast track shows before this.

So disappointing.

sbetourn ,

I also agree this is the best cycling podcast

From the riding and athletic podcasts to which I have listened, Fast Talk comes across as being the most substantiated and well-researched. I feel that I can take good confidence in the findings that are presented by the hosts and guests.

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