sam boardman

How to get faster on the bike – Part 1

Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • The multiple meanings of “getting faster” in cycling
  • The role of annual training volume in progression
  • Fueling for speed
  • The benefits of doing something new and doing nothing at all
  • Why patience is essential for long-term improvement


Host and CTS Coach Adam Pulford is joined by Sam Boardman, a professional cyclist on the powerhouse L39ion of Los Angeles pro cycling team. He got his start in racing as a college student at UCLA, then earned his first pro contract in 2019. Although L39ion is more known for criteriums, Boardman has also had success in long road races and stage races, including the Tour of Utah and Tour of California. While riding professionally, he has also gone back to school to complete his Masters in elementary education.


Website: L39ion of Los Angeles
Sam Boardman’s Instagram: @boardmanito
Pneumatic recovery boots: Hyperice Normatec 3.0

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.


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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford (00:00:00):

Fun is fast and fast is fun. Right? Most everyone’s end goal is to get faster on their bike, but how do you get fast? What does it mean to be fast? How long does it take to develop and what should you really focus on? If that is your goal? Today, we talk to pro cyclist, Sam Boardman, to learn how he got fast and how you can do it too. The answer though may be a little different than what you have in mind. This episode kicks off a multipart series, exploring everything that it takes to get fast on a bicycle. So let’s meet our guest now and learn how to get fast. Sam, how are you now?

Sam Boardman (00:00:40):

Good. And you?

Adam Pulford (00:00:42):

Not so bad. <Laugh> for those who know, they know, they know what’s up hashtag letter Kenny problems that has nothing to do with the podcast, but everyone, in my opinion should watch letter Kenny if they want improve their life. <Laugh> so joking aside Sam, thank you for joining us. This is awesome to have you here. Where are you podcasting from?

Sam Boardman (00:01:06):

I am podcasting from the beautiful town of Whitefish, Montana, not 60 miles south of the Canadian border. So we talk about Leonard, Kenny, I’m pretty close to the connects up north. So that’s where I’m at right now.

Adam Pulford (00:01:18):

And you’re just rolling off of a, a cool event in kind of the other part of the Northern country too, right?

Sam Boardman (00:01:25):

Yeah. So I just had the pleasure of returning from Richmond, Vermont, which is a little tiny suburb of Burlington, just south of town. And I was there for Laura and Ted King’s event, rooted Vermont, which is a wonderfully amazing gravel event that traverses the roads in and around rural Vermont. And honestly, I can’t really recommend that event enough. I mean, people have gotta get out there. They’ve done a really amazing job at creating a wonderful atmosphere of community inclusion and true soul to that event. It doesn’t feel like it’s store bought. It feels like it’s true, homegrown, good old fashioned country road. Goodness. So people who want a good time and wanted ride bikes with doing that, they gotta get out there. And honestly, I can’t think of a better place besides say Whitefish, Montana to be in the summer than in Vermont.

Adam Pulford (00:02:17):

Yeah. That’s, that’s true. Lauren Ted love those guys and ironically, I have not made it to that event every year. I say I’m going to, and I always have like some excuse, but for all my athletes that have done and all my friends who have done it, they just come back and they’re like, yeah, that’s, that’s a legit event for those who may not have heard of Sam Boardman, which if you follow the sport of bike racing in the us, I don’t think they exist, but high level could you tell our listeners a bit more of who you

Sam Boardman (00:02:47):

Are? Well, I race professionally for the Legion of Los Angeles cycling team. It is a team founded by two brothers Corey and Justin Williams. They are based out of Los Angeles. They’re kind of spread a little bit out throughout Los Angeles county now, but we have an eclectic mix of riders from all over the country, as well as couple others. And our goal is to focus on building up and revitalizing the American cycling scene through encouraging youth to get out on the bicycles, as well as creating more intrigue and accessibility to athletes racing the American criter scene. So my schedule this year has basically just been traveling in and around the country pretty much been back and forth between both coasts throughout the entirety of the year, just racing crits and meeting the people in the towns that we race

Adam Pulford (00:03:38):

In. And these guys, they they walk the talk to, I mean they legit bike racers and their community outreach is pretty cool too. Sam did a huge one day kinda like skills camp in DC for that community there. And that was wildly successful with Justin coming out and, and reaching out to some local riders professional riders to put that on. So I mean, what Sam and and Legion are doing are, are pretty legit

Sam Boardman (00:04:09):

And you should give yourself some credit too. You’re a wonderful ride leader for those who are listenings. Adam joined us as a ride leader and he was our resident coach. So he is the one teaching the youths how to, how to ride. Good. So you listening to someone who knows what they’re doing, someone who I trusted enough to get out and tell the kids how not to Bon and how not to crash <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:04:30):

Well, thanks. Yeah, they had, they had some pretty good questions though. Like we went tion and I mean, that was a, so we’ll do it again. But yeah, that was a super fun experience for, for those kids, for sure. All right, Sam, let’s, let’s get in the meat and potatoes of this episode. If someone says they want to be fast, what does that, what does that mean to you? What do, what do you think that they’re saying when they come up and say, Sam, I wanna be fast. How do I get fast?

Sam Boardman (00:04:57):

I would always hope that their goal is relative. Because I think that that is what makes a goal not only realistic, but also achievable. So when I think of someone asking me, I want to be fast, I imagine that they’re trying to speak relative to themselves in the current moment. You know, I wanna be fast. I E I want be faster than how I am now. And to me, I think that is in cycling. Usually it just translates into one of two things either results based faster, or a power based faster. And for some people you know, the average working person, probably they don’t have a lot of races on their calendar and maybe they just use those races as a way to just see how much fitter they’ve gotten. Those are the people who are probably thinking in terms of wattage or numbers in terms of being faster.

Sam Boardman (00:05:51):

Whereas you have the far more calendar based event based competitor, for example, such as myself, you’re thinking more in terms of results. You know, I wanna be faster because I want to show that in this event I placed higher than I did at this same event last year. So I think it’s, it’s interesting because in cycling, I think there is a far more objective quality to being faster than you would say, get in other sports, such as running, for example, where you can buy the numbers, tell yourself, okay, this year in the mile, I ran five minutes this past year or last year I ran five minutes and 30 seconds. I have gotten faster, but it’s kind of hard to parse through that in cycling, because sometimes by the numbers, like we were just talking about, you could be faster and stronger, but your results may not indicate that. So I think it’s important that when people ask themselves, I, you know, or, you know, declare I want to be fast or I wanna be faster, they gotta make sure that they’re figuring out, like, which category are they thinking of in terms of wattage and numbers or in terms of results. And that’s when you can work with your coach accordingly to try to achieve your goal.

Adam Pulford (00:06:58):

That’s a brilliant answer. And a really good way of, of looking at that. Originally when I started creating this podcast series, I mean, this, this came out of question from one of our CTS athletes is submitting you know, inquiries in on, how do I get faster? How long does it take? And I was like, oh man, that’s so broad. There’s no way we can do that in, in a podcast. But I think Sam, I mean, you’re, you’re definitely onto it in terms of two ways of looking that with a, you know, results driven or kind of a power base drone. So we’ll, we’ll talk about, I think, you know, more high level of in kind of double click on those two aspects, but yeah, to me, it’s like, whether you’re racing criterium, like you do time trials or 200 kilometer, gravel races is like, how do you get faster in all of that? Right. And you could have a yeah. On a, you know, the Unbound gravel, you could have a strong headwind and all of a sudden that changes everything relative to say some past results. Right. So you slow down cuz of the happened. Yeah. Right. And that’s where you look to power to say, well, was I slower? Was I better all this kinda stuff? Right.

Sam Boardman (00:08:06):

And that’s the interesting thing about cycling and part of what I think is intriguing about it as a, you know, not only a very competitive racer myself, but also to the lay person who’s approaching the sport from just you know, a completion standpoint in terms of, or they want to just enjoy the sport, unlike say running or other like hard numbers based sports. There’s such a variability in the events in which you can participate in cycling that your definition of fast can be so broad where depending on how you approach it, you can probably achieve a goal or see success or see improvement because there’s just such a vast array of ways in which you can see improvement. You know, it’s not, it’s unlike other sports because in other sports, usually you have set distances times you play or, you know, fields in which you play.

Sam Boardman (00:08:56):

Whereas, you know, for example, a stage race or even a single one day race may change their course from year to year. So really, it’s almost impossible in cycling to say whether you’ve gotten faster by the numbers, because the course may be different. Like you just said, the win may be different. So I actually think personally I love that because I think it adds for more opportunity for people to see success in less like hard definitive ways that can also make them feel discouraged because in running, if you’re not reaching those times, you haven’t gotten faster, but maybe it’s just all about feeling better on the bike and whether that is, you know, quantitative or qualitative, I don’t think it matters. I think it’s about like sensations, which is, again, it plays your point. It’s so vague. Like, can you even really get faster? And I mean, yes, you can. But I think the, the vagueness actually is a benefit to

Adam Pulford (00:09:50):

Athletes. Yeah, I would agree. And so for our listeners out there now that you know that we’re going into some vague territory hang with us because we’re going to try to clear up some of that grayness or some of that vagueness as we go here. But before we do, and, and is we kind of get into it, Sam, like you’re raising at the come of the highest level in the United States, you’re pretty fast guy yourself. Is there any secret to, in a vague sense, getting fast or faster, any secrets out there that you guys are doing?

Sam Boardman (00:10:27):

Yeah. You know, I, I was thinking about this and I feel like it’s all just like poorly kept secrets. If that makes sense. Like in the age of the internet and in the age of the social media, I think that information is so democratized that anyone can have access to the same information as the highest level professional athletes can. I think there’s a rift that is hard to bridge based on the amount of money that you have, because that could dictate whether you can pay for a nutritionist and all this kind of stuff, but really all the information that you need is pretty readily available. I mean, we have, for example, this podcast is a resource. You have articles written by coaches like you, that are published in a variety of different magazines, online sources that are all available. And they’re all like really amazing.

Sam Boardman (00:11:21):

And it’s not like the dark ages back in the day when you had, you know, people training based off of just like heart rate. And it’s like that scene in American flyers when Kevin Costner is just using the bulldog that chases them in the yard as his like sprint workout. Like that’s not how he really get fit anymore. I mean, that’s how I do it. Maybe they do. I’ve seen, I’ve seen videos of Rigoberto Iran, just like getting chased by dogs on his Fri in Columbia, but it’s not really how we do it anymore. It’s more of a very calculated way of doing it. And accordingly, you know, the, there are a lot of resources information available to people. So I would say, you know, there isn’t the secret to getting faster. If I were to say that, is that there isn’t really any like, well kept secrets.

Sam Boardman (00:12:05):

It’s all it’s, as in it’s all a matter of you looking out for the information, if you don’t know something, chances are it’s on the internet or there are resources that you can tap in order to find that information. Yeah. If I were to give one piece of advice, like a hard hard secret or not, so kept secret, it’s just nutrition. And I’m sure you understand this is like, there’s just so much untapped potential in an athlete when they don’t have their nutrition dialed in and using the right kinds of fuel during training recovery and in races. I mean this year alone, for example, my own nutrition, I tried to tweak it and play with it. And I was just feeling immensely better during races because I was, I, you just, you don’t really understand how much energy you are expending and need to replace during a race until you actually are doing that. And you realize how much better you can feel

Adam Pulford (00:13:02):

For sure. And we’ll, we’ll actually swing back to fueling. But I think to your point, if anybody’s been watching mm-hmm, <affirmative> the tour de friends or the tour de France, it’s like the, the theme that we’re seeing in a, in a lot of literature right now is pushing more carbohydrates per hour. Totally. You know, more calories per hour. And also probably more electrolytes up to a point for a lot of people and in kind of dialing that up and down, depending on the, the environment like heat humidity, high and dry, this kind of thing. And so I think, yeah, you know, that’s gonna be a really good talking point here too, as we get into a bit more of the podcast, but we’re learning more about how the body is kind of consuming. We’re learning that the body actually, the guts trainable, right. And so even though today you put stuff in and you’re like, Ooh, I’m a little barfy, that’s, that’s too much, you know, maybe next week that 250 calories per hour is actually okay.

Sam Boardman (00:14:02):

And well, and to exactly that point, part of what I’ve been doing this entire year has been training my gut. And it’s been kind of weird because it’s required me to change a little bit how I usually eat on training rides, cuz normally during the base season, I’m just packing like regular food. And I still think regular food is a really wonderful way to just keep your pallet on its toes. And so you don’t, you know, get bored with flavors. So it actually encourages you to eat. So I’ll be packing leftover pancakes from breakfast or something or savory sandwiches like ham and cheese or something like that just to keep you on their toes. But in a workout, I used to be totally opposed to the idea of using like gels or shoes and training because I, I don’t even know why I, I just didn’t like the idea.

Sam Boardman (00:14:48):

I thought it was like, okay, that’s just race day stuff. It’s like, you know, you only break out your super fast, deep dish wheels for race day and you know, but there’s something to be said about using your equipment, which I in turn think of as I think fueling as part of that in your training. So you can understand it and you can train your body in accordance with what you are actually using. So this year, for example, we had a quick online seminar with one of the representatives from our nutrition sponsor science and sport. And she just dropped on us. She’s like, yeah, during hard efforts you should be aiming for between, you know, anywhere 80 to 120 grams of carbohydrates an hour, which just blew my mind. Not only because that’s a huge number of carbohydrates, but it’s also just because it was nowhere near what I was getting in previous efforts or workouts or races.

Sam Boardman (00:15:40):

And then when I actually started training my gut accordingly and then utilizing it in races, I just found myself feeling not necessarily fresher. You still feel just as tired at the end of, but your ability to respond more consistently and deeper into the race, I notice a difference. And it was little things like that. Obviously you have to tweak it depending on heat. And that again takes time during training to figure out. But I mean, the it’s like, if you want to cheat in cycling and modern area, you just, you gotta eat. Like that’s how you do it.

Adam Pulford (00:16:12):

Yeah. And I think that, you know, at first I was thinking, oh, there’s no secret to, to getting fast. But what we’re kind of alluding to here is like the resources, like you said, having awareness and getting education, right. And that’s a huge part of this of this, of this podcast really is to provide that platform so people can get that education and get after it, you know, in their training

Sam Boardman (00:16:37):

Arriving to a race well prepared is as much about being informed as it is about being informed. Like you gotta, you gotta make sure that you’ve read up about the course, you know, where the difficult climbs are, you know, you can estimate how long the race is gonna be. So then you can adjust your fueling accordingly. So you know how much you need to be eating every hour. And you can also, I mean, it’s just about reading up and being a student of the sport, as much as the

Adam Pulford (00:17:01):

Athlete. Yeah. 100%. And you know, I think we’ll pull on some of those threads with fueling because it pertains to, to training. And in that training, I was kind break breaking this one down myself into kind of three sections. There’s a process behind getting fast. You have to be patient to get fast, right. And you have to be consistent over time in order to get fast. And in the process of chasing that goal of getting fast or faster, there’s, there’s training, there’s fueling and there’s recovery. So I’d say let’s first go like deeper on that and keep on talking about fueling as it relates to training, and then we’ll get into some recovery modalities. So first mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, with the training process, you, you know, you can’t go fast without fitness, right. So when we’re just, when we’re making fitness, we’re doing a lot of things. And in, in my view, I mean that could be anything from you know, riding your bike to cross training, to, you know, strength training, and also keep in mind, whatever the athlete’s past, his historical kind of training status has been. You, you kinda lump that into the equation, right. And so when you first started riding racing your bike, I mean, you weren’t starting from ground zero, right? Like, can you tell our listeners about your background before bikes?

Sam Boardman (00:18:28):

So you’re right in that I wasn’t starting from ground zero. It wasn’t a high level per se because my, my endurance athletics background did not extend beyond, you know, my freshman year of high school to my senior year of high school. Really. I used to think sports were dumb <laugh>, which I think is the funniest thing in the world right now. I don’t know why I thought that. I just thought organized sports were stupid. <Laugh> and now it’s my

Adam Pulford (00:18:52):

Life. Yeah. That

Sam Boardman (00:18:54):

Is kind of funny. But you know, I joined my high school cross country team the autumn of my freshman year of high school, because I was like, man, I need to make some fricking friends. Like I can’t go to this news high school and just have nothing going on. So I joined that. And then I just, I became obsessed with running and got super into it as my time in high school progressed. But then eventually I just decided I wanted to try something different because I ended up being like, again, you think about nutrition and what you could have done. I didn’t really focus as much on running and like finer details of good training techniques. So I don’t think I actually like got as much out of it as I could have, but what it did was kind of left me frustrated and I wanted to do something different, trying to change the pace. And that’s how I got into bikes because I had already been in I’d already done BMX riding not racing, but just freestyle BMX. So I already loved bikes, but I had come to love endurance events and cycling kind of combined the two in this perfect synergistic fashion where I had the ability to tinker with something mechanical, but also satisfy the competitive and athletic zeal I’d accrued during high school. So I arrived to cycling, not as like a clean slate, but with some kind of foundation already in place.

Adam Pulford (00:20:09):

Gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah. And I think it’s important to, to know that because where we’re going with this is kind of the years of development, and this is my point with the process is, you know, for our listeners, I’m not gonna give you the training program say that, you know, that Sam did and say, here’s what it takes to you fast, right? We’re not gonna give you a workout that will make you faster. My point is there are years and years of accumulated, I would say, you know, aerobic stress, or even like, just call it stress in general, that makes you who you are now. And it, you know, when you’re first kind of starting out when Sam was making that transition, I mean more, more is better if, if you wanted to take it to the next level more in the way of, I’d say just volume in aerobic capacity. Right. and what year Sam then did you start to get organized about your training and actually start racing?

Sam Boardman (00:21:06):

So I discovered, I would say I discovered cycling as a sport in 2014. So the fall of 2014, when I moved out to California from Washington DC to go to college and I joined the club team and I would say 2015 was the first year that I began training and racing with any kind of concerted plan or calendar. So it was mostly a collegiate racing calendar mixed in with some club racing here and there some weekend racing. And then I came back to DC and raced some of the local races in town. So, you know, tour of Washington county, a couple, you know, tour of Hampton roads back then there was also the Nittany stage race, which I remember was my last race up in Penn state. So just like local organized races, nothing like big or national stage, mostly regional, but yeah, 2015 was the first year that I ended up

Adam Pulford (00:21:59):

Doing that. And could you, would, would you wanna share any, any stats from like 2015 and, and maybe a couple other years? Okay.

Sam Boardman (00:22:07):

I would love to, I would love to share some stats because this is the first, like, you, you, you told me about this prior to this and you’re like, can you just like, make sure you have some, some data. And I was like, you know what, I actually haven’t ever looked at this

Adam Pulford (00:22:20):

Data, which I love the fact

Sam Boardman (00:22:21):

That you like check so

Adam Pulford (00:22:23):

Sure. I can find that out. <Laugh> cause I’m yeah,

Sam Boardman (00:22:29):

No, it was actually, it was pretty fun for me cuz it was something that I didn’t really like look at and because it’s just, it, it all became one big blob of time and say it’s hard to kind of parse the years into discrete units, but it was actually pretty cool. So the first year that I ever started racing, so let’s say 2015, according to my Strava profile, which is, it’s all available to everybody, I don’t hide my numbers or anything like that. You can, you know, parse through data, set all you want. I wrote a total of 667 hours in 42 minutes throughout the entire year, which doing the quick math on that, let’s say if there’s 52 weeks in a year that equated to roughly 13 hours a week of riding and we’re still talking about taking, you know, an off season, which that year it had ended after the Nittany stage race, which was, I believe within the first couple of weeks of August, which by cycling standards is usually pretty early actually, cuz the seasons are extending very far and this year, or rather let’s say last year last year I rode a total of 935 hours.

Sam Boardman (00:23:45):

So we’re looking at almost almost 300 more hours which equates to let’s do the math divided by 52. So that’s almost 18 hours a week, but that’s over the course of a much longer season just because the seasons these days. I mean, if you’re in California which a lot of our team is, and they start racing in January and we didn’t stop racing until October last year. So it’s a much longer

Adam Pulford (00:24:14):

Season. Yeah. And I, and I think that for our listeners, cuz so there’s a lot of numbers and there’s kind of two different year periods, you know, 2015. And then what 2021 was it? Was that the almost a thousand? Yeah

Sam Boardman (00:24:27):

Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yeah. 20, 21.

Adam Pulford (00:24:28):

Yeah. And maybe as we go, we can, we can take a look at some of the annual hours for the, the years in between. But I think the point here is that the development happens over time. You start with kind of where you’re at and you progressively build just generally in hours. And if you haven’t even thought about how many hours per year that you actually spend time training, I would suggest doing that, get on your training peaks, get on Strava, wherever you’re kind of housing your data and start to take a look at that because these are, this is the process that we’re talking about on a high level, how to start to organize your training. Because if you do want to get faster, take it to the next level you want to, you wanna start in an area that will actually do it over a long sort of time period. The analogy I always use is if you know, you got a big ship that’s leaving from, I dunno, the east coast of the United States and you’re gonna go across the ocean, right? A, a one degree shift in direction. That’s gonna change your Trion quite a bit, right? So a 1%, 5% increase in volume over a year or over two years, that’s actually gonna rack and stack to a lot more aerobic capacity over time.

Sam Boardman (00:25:49):

And you can see that in my year to year training load, it’s very clear looking at my data that every year was more than the year prior, you know, incrementally at first. And then when I joined my first amateur team in the states and started racing a national calendar, there was a clear, like big jump in the amount of hours that I was doing because I was racing more intense stage races, longer races. So it’s very clear like that. It did matter. The stepping stones it’s like that meme that you always see with the dude who’s like got one step on the bottom step. And then he is like seven steps, like doing the splits between him. It’s like, you know, first it’s, that’s something like that. It’s like, sure, you can try to do that, but you’re probably gonna break yourself like making those big jumps. So it’s that incremental increase in volume that definitely like you can see it in my, my training

Adam Pulford (00:26:43):

For example. And, and I think that, you know, again, it’s, it’s super important to realize that start with where you’re at, you know, because you know, with Sam, I mean, clearly he’s, you know, he has his parents to think for some good genetics that allows him to be able to do about a thousand hours of, of training right now, hold up and still perform quite well. For much of us, we probably couldn’t handle that. Right. And so whether you’re doing, you know, 300 hours or 400 hours right now and keeping my 400 hours of training per year for most people, I mean, that’s still six to eight hours per week. And if you got a full-time job, that’s pretty legit right there, you know, take a couple weeks off her on Christmas. Right? Yeah. And if, but again, like I, I use that example because a lot of us are there, but, and if you add 50 hours to that per year, right, you can, you start to see, or that’s 50 hours more of training, 50 times, probably 40 TSS per hour. That’s gonna be, what 200 am I doing that math? Right. <laugh> 2000 TSS points,

Sam Boardman (00:27:49):

50 times. Oh man. I majored in English. So I’m not the person to be asking this

Adam Pulford (00:27:54):

Kohls. And why can’t we do simple math right here. That’s 2000. Yeah,

Sam Boardman (00:27:59):

I think this

Adam Pulford (00:28:00):

Is what happens when you do podcasts is your, your mathematical brain turns off. So that’s 2000 TSS points, which isn’t drastic. But what I’m saying is progressive overload in aerobic capacity is really what we’re talking about over time. There’s a quote from Anique Velu which who just won. Sorry. If anybody has not watched yet, if, if you haven’t go watch it spoil alert, spoiler alert, tour, France, fems Anamique band Bluen won the overall, she’s won tons of other bike. I mean, she’s legend in her sport and there’s a quote from her I wanted to, to use right now because it, it portrays it at the highest level quite well. And this is the direct quote, I’m 39 years old. So for me, it’s possible to train for so many hours, but that’s not because I suddenly could do that. It’s just a process of many years. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> every year you can do five to 10% more hours that makes my engine really big. And that makes my fitness level really high. Then if you have a stage like this, which I think it was stage six or something like that, she was talking about

Sam Boardman (00:29:13):

It was one, it was one of those monster stages where they basically had three cap, one climbs, one of which I think was like 13 K at 9%. And

Adam Pulford (00:29:22):

She finishes this group by saying, then if you have a stage that is this super, super crazy hard, then I know I can do it from the first climb. So this, so Anique, she’s regarded as in the women’s beone is riding the most hours. I think Richie port, he’s another guy mm-hmm, <affirmative> like on, on the, on the men’s side that rides a bunch of hours. Right. and Anna, Meek’s been riding with the movie star men’s team quite a bit and she just logs the hours. And so it’s, it’s not the only way, but it is one way to get faster is to put in more hours. Right. And I think that, and the reason why I’m pushing this here, even though me as a coach, I’m all about quality and CTS is probably regarded as like quality over quantity. We’re not overlooking volume.

Adam Pulford (00:30:10):

And what we want to do is we wanna build up to a point where we’re, I’d say in a healthy way, maxing out the amount of hours that we have available to train. So we’re not leaving anything on the table, then we can really press into maybe mm-hmm <affirmative> intensity, but that’s, that’s a whole other podcast itself. So you just said that it was, it was kind of clear in your own Strava that it’s like that progress. You saw that. And, and we didn’t talk, we didn’t look at data ahead of time. I had no idea that that is actually what you did from a training standpoint. So mm-hmm <affirmative> but that’s what we saw <laugh> yeah,

Sam Boardman (00:30:45):

It’s great. <Laugh> sweet doctored, all my Strava to make it fit.

Adam Pulford (00:30:49):

Did you do that intentionally or was that just like happenstance?

Sam Boardman (00:30:54):

Y you know, I, I would have to credit my coach with that. I think it was partly mm-hmm <affirmative>, it was partly intentional, but the funny thing is, is I never actually really registered it. And I think that’s a Testament to the point that we’re trying to make here is that you, you can do that extra five to 10% more and you will be able to do it each and every year. And it, I never felt like within a single year’s jump that I went from one amount of volume to the next thinking like, whoa, I just like really up to the volume. It’s not like I went from riding 10 to 12 hours a week to riding like 30 hour weeks on end every week, the next year it was something very progressive. But I would say that it’s intentional as far as the training load goes, but it’s also, you know, a bit of a chicken or the egg situation, because as I progressed through the sport, the racing that I not only wanted to do, but was also able to do became far more intense and volume based.

Sam Boardman (00:31:56):

So the stage racing I was doing in a lot of the years between 2017 and 2019 for example, were longer format, stage races with hard stages that were between anywhere from like four to six hours long. And they could be anywhere between like five and eight stages. So we’re talking five to eight days worth of racing on end. So accordingly my training got more intense because I think the opportunities got more intense. But as I came to like do the sport more and more, I loved my bike more and more. So I think part of me wants to believe that I would’ve been riding my bike more <laugh> even if I didn’t have the racing, but the truth of the matter is a lot of people like trained to race and that’s clearly, you know, reflected in my training where the racing got more intense, therefore

Adam Pulford (00:32:42):

The, he, your coach Sam.

Sam Boardman (00:32:44):

So my coach is actually his name is Eric Samuel. He actually lives in twin cities area. So Minnesota shoutout. Yeah. he was the coach for UCLA when I was a freshman there. And so he was my coach throughout my first year of cycling. And then he moved to twin cities when his wife got a job at McAllister. So she’s a professor there in political science. And you know, I just, just didn’t, you know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So it just, it worked, it was obviously his training method was the only one that I had known in cycling, but I actually felt like it jived well, he was a student at UCLA. He understood the scheduling. He understood the riding in the area, what was good, like how to incorporate it into training. And it just, you know, it worked and I liked his, his style of training, which is largely volume based. And I was able to kind of, you know, meld my schedule <laugh> in college, around, you know, the cycling. So I kind of majored in bikes, minored in school, but you know, it was just, I liked his style because I, I was in love with riding my bike and I wanted to try. And like, I like that his coaching style is basically like, let’s just go ride your

Adam Pulford (00:34:03):

Bike bike for a mean in kudos to the coach. I mean, coaches don’t always get the shout. Right.

Sam Boardman (00:34:06):

Seriously. I mean, it’s, it’s the unsung hero in a lot of cases because yeah, there are athletes who are gifted, but there’re also some athletes who are gift are also like kind of meathead ish, myself included, like I’ll just like ride myself into a brick wall and then crash. And then I won’t know what to do with any of the fitness. But it takes like a good coach and a good coach athlete relationship to really see the kind of performances that we see on the world, you know, stage like those athletes. They’re also coached by people and they need direction. So I truly, to your point, coaches always think you’re coach.

Adam Pulford (00:34:41):

I mean, that’s got one and that’s just it. And I think it’s easy to say, even with this podcast, I kind of had a hard time shaping it up a little bit because my messaging of more is better. So many people will just focus on one thing, take that and run. And when you’re already dealing with type a athletes that are ambitious in all levels of their life telling ’em to do more, they’re gonna be like Sam and Adam said more, therefore let’s do this, but <laugh> talk, talk to your coach, like intellectually kind of yeah. Do that. And I think too, like when I’m, when I’m working with an athlete, I’m always keeping an eye on annual hours, but it’s, I, I would, there’s so many things that could like crater that, that it’s not the end goal necessarily. I mean, we’re looking at energy system development, we’re looking at specificity for the race itself. We’re looking at like TSS builds per week. So it’s not exactly just volume we’re looking at, but when you do it right, and you’re using all these metrics accordingly and with that long term vision with the rider, yeah. You probably see an uptick of, you know, five to 10% in volume.

Sam Boardman (00:35:48):

Well, and to, and to that point, a lot of people I get asked actually a lot me and my other teammate, Tyler, who also just, you know, loves putting in the hours, you know, we always are asked, like, why do you guys train so many hours when all you’re doing is racing crits. And for one, two, for example, for example, to anime van Blue’s point, she trains so much, like so much. And I, I don’t, I can’t really stress that enough. Like, it’s actually, it’s pretty wild, the amount that she trains and people ask the same question, like, why does she train so many hours when her races only last for maximum of like three and a half, maybe four hours. And I mean, the writing’s kind of on the wall, like clearly something’s working there where when you have that endurance fitness, the shorter races are just easier.

Sam Boardman (00:36:38):

Yeah. Like when you have that endurance fitness and sure, like if your race in a crit is only an hour, you can train that kind of fitness to last only an hour. But I also just like riding my bike. And I think that’s the key thing for a lot of people is when you’re trying to figure out your training, I can’t stress this enough to people like, figure out what you just like to do and express that to your coach. And if your coach is a good coach, a receptive coach, then they’ll figure out how to make it work. I mean, if you’re time crunched, for example, you work a job and your hours are kind of funny. Like there are so many great ways to get fit via, you know, modern resources like swift or training peaks workouts, or, you know, even not even going on the bike, but maybe like doing a cross country skiing workout.

Sam Boardman (00:37:25):

If you live in the place with winter or a little skinning session or something like there are so many ways that you can get fit and not have to put in the massive hours. And I think people see professional cyclists put in these massive hours for these races. And they’re like, I gotta do that if I want to be good. And it’s like, these guys are doing that because one they’re paid to literally only do that. Like, this is what they do. And in my mind, I think some of them might be justifying, like getting paid to ride their bike by doing a 40 hour work week. I E riding their bike 40 hours in a week. But you also gotta remember, like they’re training for three week stage races, which is just not a race format that’s accessible to the average person. So it’s like, it’s all about relativity

Adam Pulford (00:38:12):

Well said, and don’t worry folks, you will get the yang to this yin on episode number two with Emma Langley, where we talk about thinking about your training differently and more is not always better. So spoil alert that is coming. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> until then, though I do want to carry on the theme of more is better, and I want to change the lens to recovery a little bit, cuz I’m a huge fan of recovery. You’ve heard on this podcast before stress plus rest equals adaptation. You can’t take the rest out of it and, and get the benefit. So Sam, I know you’re a big fan of off season and taking some time away. Can you, can you tell us, just start with off season a little bit, like right now, I guess over the past couple years what has your off season looked like and what do you do to recharge after a huge season? You’re logging so many hours?

Sam Boardman (00:39:07):

Well, I think the I’m, I’m not a person of like traditions or rituals as far as like routines in my cycling go. I mean, even my warmups for TTS, I know some people have like this perfectly dialed in warmup. I don’t do that. It’s like sometimes I’ll roll in a parking lot for a couple minutes. Other times I’ll like do a super concerted trainer workout. I don’t have any of that. So it’s kind of hard for me to say one thing or the other that I do in the off season. But the one consistent thing that I have done is just like take a solid week off of like training, like riding the bike, to like push any kind of pedal with any kind of workout or TSS or any kind of training metric in mind. Like I’ll turn off the screen in my computer and if I wanna ride the bike, then I’ll ride the bike.

Sam Boardman (00:39:55):

But if I want to go out for a hike, if I wanna go running, if I want to do nothing, then you know, I’ve always set aside a week, a solid week after the last race of my season to just like, do whatever I kind of want to do. Maybe it includes like house projects or something. And this applies not even just to, you know, the actual end of the, the year, for example, which comes in the autumn, but this also applies to, you know, the middle of the season or something. After a big couple months long block, same thing I set aside a week to just like, not do any kind of training. And then maybe in that second week, I’ll kind of ease into riding the bike. But again, not with any kind of training metric in mind, just getting, getting my body acclimated to riding the bike again, because it’s funny how quickly if you take time off the bike and you return to riding it, how foreign it can feel sometimes.

Sam Boardman (00:40:48):

But for me, I, I truly subscribe to the mantra as a do. I think a lot of athletes that recovery is almost more about mental recovery than it is about physical recovery, obviously the rest and the physical part of it means something. But I think that I know I’ve done my recovery right when I’m like excited to ride my bike again, because that shows that I’ve taken the amount of time off that it takes to kind of recharge my mental battery to get motivated, to train because there’s nothing worse than taking time off. And then having to jump back into training to then, you know, start ramping up for your next goal, realizing as you enter it, you’re like, man, I wish I could have just had like a little more time off the bike. Like I don’t really want to ride my bike. I think that is the worst that you can do to yourself is put yourself in the situation where you don’t want to actually train.

Sam Boardman (00:41:41):

So I try to make sure that I’m doing activities that I don’t necessarily like have time to do during the season or that I don’t want to do because you know, I’m afraid I’m getting hurt. Like I do a lot of mountain biking in the off season more than I do in season. And I tend to get a little sender <laugh> in the off season because you know, if I wrap myself around a tree, then I can at least have some time to, to recover before the season gets underway again. And then this year, for example, I actually learned how to ski. I learned how to ski for the first time in life. I’d never set foot by the way before. And once I, oh my God, like it’s so hard. I was trying to explain it to somebody. And I think the craziest part about it is that when you come from a sport like cycling where your feet are literally clipped into the pedals and they have no lateral motion side to side, they only have like a 360 degree range of motion going forward. It’s a very strange sensation to then have to have your feet be accountable at all times. Like there are points during, when I was learning that my foot would just like start slowly drifting away from my body to the side and I’d have to like wrench it back into my body. And by the end of that first day, my groin was so sore

Adam Pulford (00:43:00):


Sam Boardman (00:43:00):

Squeezing my legs together. So they wouldn’t drift apart and yeah, and tear me in half. But I mean, once I got past the petrifying fear of like blowing my knees out, which I think is like the biggest fear that I have with skiing, cuz every person who talks about knee injuries it’s happened during skiing. It was just great because it was just a different sport. And it’s just such a rarity in my mind as an adult, not least of which an adult whose like life is a singular sport to actually learn how to do something new, like an athletic endeavor, that’s completely an utterly new and mentally that was just so refreshing. It was so fun to actually like learn about a new scene, like become, and I, I don’t like this term that much because it’s a little DERO derogatory, but it’s like to become a Fred again, like to like figure out what is the right clothing?

Sam Boardman (00:43:51):

How do I fuel? What do I wear? It just, it truly was a good way to put myself in a mentality where it’s like, not only am I excited about what I’m learning, but I’m like, okay, I’m excited to then get back to what I, I know. I know. And I’m excited about that, but that’s like, I can’t stress enough for people that recovery is as much about making sure that your mind is just switched off for a little bit. Like let it turn to putty, do something else to occupy yourself and occupy your mind other than just

Adam Pulford (00:44:20):

Focusing on number training. And I think having a blank slate as well, like, like the longer I coach, if we got a week like that or a month like that, I just I’ll put in like do what you want on training peaks. But like I don’t prescribe anything. Yeah. Because I think that having the clean slate and, and it’s like a mechanistic and stupid thing, but like, I think for a lot of the control mentality, like type A’s, like you’re always, you’re checking, you’re checking training peaks like 340 days a year. And then like for a section of it, you’re, you’re not like I want the athlete. Even if they check it, I want them to get affirmation that they can do what they want. Right.

Sam Boardman (00:45:00):

Well, and this is the funniest thing, right. Because I am that type a person where it’s like, I relied very heavily on my coach because yeah. I think I have a basic understanding of like the training metrics that for example, a training piece used to, you know, prescribe myself something. But if, for example, he’s just been busy and he hasn’t filled out the week. I’m like just staring at my computer, like refreshing training peaks, waiting for him to put in something. And maybe he’ll finally just put in like rest day, that day I’m like, okay, cool. I can take a rest. Like, but I do think that like that <laugh> that coach prescribed do whatever you want, I think is so valuable. You know, because I truly think that athletes can’t get out of their own way sometimes. And they just want to train themselves into oblivion. And it’s just so valuable to have the person who’s training you to just say like, dude, just take, they’re easy. Like take about, take about 20% off the top day.

Adam Pulford (00:45:55):

Pretty messaging. I like where your head’s at. But, but it’s true. And, and I think like, and I’ve been that busy coach that, you know, come Monday, I didn’t have someone’s training program built and you get the text message and you’re like, oh shoot. And it’s like the person that should, that should have had the training program in there. So that does happen. But I think too, like <laugh>, if I always say like the coach athlete relationships, it’s two, it’s two a street. It’s not dictatorship, but if we’re working together to do that, it’s it’s yeah. You know, my job to, to kind of give that, but it’s also, it’s, it’s on the athlete to know it’s like, you know, what your body needs in like that mind in the body kind of correlations like recovery miles. And I just had a conversation with this with one of my athletes that recovery miles equals. This is for your mind, not necessarily for your body. So if you wanna ride the couch or your bike today, like that’s your choice, right?

Sam Boardman (00:46:48):

Oh yeah. So

Adam Pulford (00:46:49):

It’s so it works like that, you know? And but I’m glad you say that, cuz I think hitting the hard reset is, is super crucial. And I think the more we do this thing, like off season, there’s no off season there’s periods of off. And I think it’s really crucial. I’m I’m kind of glad to hear too. You say it’s about two weeks for you. It seems like after big blocks are big races.

Sam Boardman (00:47:12):

Yeah. It seems, I think two weeks is like the golden amount of time because that’s like the exact amount of time it takes for someone’s body to recover as well as someone to

Adam Pulford (00:47:20):

Like in my, I I’d say excited about riding golden recipe is one week of I’ll put in, do what you want every day and then I’ll have a week of endurance, no intervals, nothing hard. And then by then everyone’s like, okay, let go. And do that two or three, eh, two, three times a year. Exactly. After big things. And that’s, that’s probably gonna be what everybody needs as opposed to taking three months off or two months off of nothing. So that’s good from that recovery standpoint. The one question I did have is like after say a hard workout, is there anything say either from the back to nutrition a little bit here from a recovery nutrition standpoint or a thing you do that works to get Sam up and running for a hard session the next day?

Sam Boardman (00:48:05):

I mean, obviously it’s always good to eat within, I think the window is like 30 to 45 minutes of when you finish your session, get in like a good three to one ratio of carbs to hydrates. You know, the, the amount of which is dependent on how much you raced. I have such a hard time doing that. Like I don’t know why I just like get in from the house and just get distracted. I like flip on my phone and I just like, I do the, the classic millennial thing where I just get envelope in my scream and lo and behold, like 40 minutes of blown by. And then I just like cram a bunch of food, but I try and make sure if I, if I’m being a good athlete, I always try. And like I get in, I, I, first thing I do is I just like chug a glass of chocolate milk or something because I know I’m gonna get distracted.

Sam Boardman (00:48:54):

And I want just like quick calories that I can have in my body for when I’m just sitting and just getting distracted. I make sure I try and get outta my Shammy as quick as humanly possible because like Shammy time is training time, man. And I can’t stress to athletes enough. Like just the less time you can spend in a sweaty, dirty compressed Shammy, the better for not only just like your general health, but the health of the people with whom you live, if you live with people. And then I truly think like my favorite recovery tool, if we’re talking about recovery tools, it are like Norma tech boots or compression boots because it’s, I think the one form of recovery that genuinely per, you know, personally feels amazing in that I think works. But also the one that you literally can just sit there and you don’t do anything, just shy of like someone massaging you, which I mean, if your partner does that good partner, you buy them dinner every night.

Sam Boardman (00:49:56):

You do whatever it takes to keep you hold onto them. But just shy of that. I think that is probably one of the best recovery investments one can make just because it just, the compression of it works really well. And it’s just one of those things that, you know, you can just be lying in bed, reading a book, have the boots on, do like a quick session, literally take the boots off and then just pass out. So it’s like, it is super easy. But beyond that, I just try to make sure that I, I get out of like the number one things

Adam Pulford (00:50:25):

Get, it’s not super complicated. I think it’s, it’s a matter of actually doing it and, and that’s recovery. I, I think, yeah, we can to complicate things to the nth degree. I mean, you look at all the recovery devices out there and it’s pretty crazy in my opinion. It’s a, it’s a, I mean kudos to Norma tech. Oh my God, it’s funny you say that too. Cuz Emma and I talk about Norma techs and how effective they are, but I think it’s twofold. One, it’s the pneumatic air compression. If anybody doesn’t know what Norma tech boots are, they squeeze your legs, throw inflammation back through ven return to your heart so that your legs feel a little lighter and all the things, but you can’t, they’re so huge in ginormous. You can’t use your legs while you’re doing these things. So you’re just laying down for 20, 30 minutes. Right. And if there’s anything in recovery research, yeah, it is simply, you know, laying down doing nothing that is very effective from sleep to post training session, all this kind of stuff. So just know that about Nortex. And, but yet you can, you can buy all the devices out there and spend a lot of time, money and stress about what, how you’re gonna recover faster. But I mean, it’s like chill out chugs and milk, get it done. Recovery’s not that challenging. Yeah.

Sam Boardman (00:51:42):

It it’s. As long as you, like you said, you need to do it and what you need to do is nothing. And that’s actually like in this day and age, it’s so hard to just do nothing. Like cuz you have your work obligations, you have all these distractions and it’s actually like

Adam Pulford (00:51:54):


Sam Boardman (00:51:54):

I mean I find it really hard

Adam Pulford (00:51:55):

To do that. Told my wife, Kristen, I, I wish I wish we were lazier. Straight up. I just wish like I crave sitting on the couch all day and watching a movie, I just, there’s something in my brain that does that disallows for that or something. But it’s, it’s, to my point where mm-hmm, <affirmative> more is better. And I think for most of the athletes that are on this podcast talking right now, in addition to listening to this podcast right now, I think we could all do more recovery starting first, probably more sleep than chugging, some milk or a Joji bar. Oh my God. For example pose to workout or chilling out after a really hard session. And that’s, I think for a lot of my athletes, I I’ll even type in, in training peaks if it’s, you know, like three by 20 hill climbs and it’s two and a half, three hours total, like a very concentrated dose of threshold work.

Adam Pulford (00:52:47):

It’s like be sure to have 30 minutes where you don’t have to jump on a zoom call or you don’t have to go to the next client or like have some space in there cuz your body super needs it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> okay. Yeah. So we’re kind of, we, we spent a lot of time on the process and I think that that’s super important when it comes to being an athlete that’s first and foremost, like the thing. Right. however, I did talk about the, kind of the three elements and we’re just gonna like dust on the, the other two, but I think they’re super important. And those other two as, or elements are patience and consistency. I’m one of those weirdos that love to look up definitions of words before I start talking about ’em. And so the definition of patients, according to Mary Muer is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. So the quick question to you, Sam, how does this apply to your life and or an athlete’s life?

Sam Boardman (00:53:46):

I think that it’s, it’s critical for first endurance training. Like the, I mean just the word endurance implies time and PA like you need patience in order to end endure the amount of time, whether it’s literally the physical amount of time, you will be riding, you need to like recognize that you need to ride, you know, X amount of hours or, you know, for example from year to year or within the season, or even within a race, like there are times when you’re not gonna feel great. There are times when you will feel great and that can vary like within all of those intervals, like year to year, obviously you’ll have one year, maybe you have an injury that’s setting you back or within a season an injury, that’s gonna take patients to try and overcome. And you just have to recognize that time will time will work in your favor so long as you let it within a race I’ve I have had heaps of races where at the beginning of the race, I’m like, oh my God, I feel like death.

Sam Boardman (00:54:45):

Like I am just absolute garbage today. And then as the race goes on, instead of like leaning into that feeling of, oh my God, I suck. Like why can’t I be a better bike racer? It’s more just like, well maybe this will pan out later and low and behold, it’s like, I get peddling, get the legs moving. And I’m like, wow. I actually feel like pretty good today. That’s a matter of being patient, but I don’t know. Generally I am not a patient person. I’m the kind of dude that like, if I order something online, I want it like on, at my doorstep, the moment I click by, like, I am, I’m really bad about that. And I’m usually the same way with training. And for example, if I get sick, you know, in years past, I’m just like, I want to be done with it.

Sam Boardman (00:55:30):

Like I have no patience for that because it’s so hard to extrapolate the amount of time it, that there actually is in a season to recognize that when you are sick or you know, maybe you have a long-term injury and it’s not that, but maybe like if you are sick, it’ll pass quickly relative to the amount of time this season. And it’s yeah, it’s harder when you do have a long term injury, let’s say you break a bone or you’re dealing with a long term virus. But the reality of it is, is like, if you believe that you have a lot left given the sport, then the amount of time is actually way greater than you think it is. It’s just, we’re also focused on trying to do everything in these discreet units that it feels like when one of those units of time is ripped away from you because of those setbacks, it just feels like an entire like portion of your life is taken away. Like you had to sit down a couple days because you either got a cold or maybe you had COVID for a couple of days and you’re thinking, oh my God, my season’s over. I didn’t train those couple of days. That was pivotal to my like build up. And it’s like, yeah, it plays a part, but there will be opportunities. And you know, it you’ll have your chance. So generally I’m not a patient person, but athletes

Adam Pulford (00:56:44):

Need, yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

Sam Boardman (00:56:45):

You need to find it

Adam Pulford (00:56:46):

And to the other point of like on a long term basis, like patients with your training patients needs to like your training straight up, the way that training works is the training we do today is gonna benefit you in about three weeks, maybe two, three weeks kind of, depending on how you respond to training. Right? And so even in a very short term time period of a three weeks, it’s like if you order something and comes in three weeks, you’re pulling your hair out Sam, right? <Laugh> so it’s like, you want the gains now. And everyone’s like that, I think in this, in this world, but yet when you can have that patience and kind of see long term with the hours per year, you know, aiming for, I’m gonna be better in three years. Most people don’t think like that, but when they do there’s you can get a lot of success.

Adam Pulford (00:57:37):

So patient needs to occur Sam with mm-hmm <affirmative> with patience, you know, there, there comes this you gotta be consistent over time, say with training with your performance, with all these things to really get those gains because just like I said, you know, what we’re doing and training now is gonna be benefit us in three weeks. You actually need to keep going and keep doing that in order to, you know, get the benefit of that training impulse, if you will. So consistency over time is super important. And again, the nerd in me wants to look up the definition of consistency and it says marked by harmony regularity or steady continuity free from variation or contradiction. So as I read that, and as you think about it, how would you say consistency has brought success in your career or your life and as well as like just in general in an athlete’s life?

Sam Boardman (00:58:38):

Well, I like the, the use of the word harmony in the de in the definition of consistency, because I feel like that embodies a lot of what cycling is in general. In terms of just when things mesh together in this perfect mess of like luck, fitness and happiness. I think that’s when athletes see the most amount of success, like for example, you know, my best results have always come. You know, when I haven’t necessarily felt like I am in like race winning shape, but it’s just been like this single moment where I’m like, okay, for example, in a, in a move, like I need to go now. And that was the lucky part. And then the fitness part of it was, you know, I’m able to use the fitness to capitalize on that lucky moment where I went and the pack sat up and it was now my time to go.

Sam Boardman (00:59:34):

And then when I crossed the line, it wasn’t like I was completely obliterated. It was like, I was so happy to have like gotten the result that I wanted. So I, I like, I like the use of harmony in the definition of consistency, because I think that reflects a lot of what needs to happen for athletes to be successful because they need to be in tune with their bodies, their bikes and their coaches. They need to be communicating with everybody. And it also just, it reflects that kind of qualitative intangible attraction that I have to cycling, which is the luck aspect of it. Like sometimes you just, you’re just lucky. And sometimes races are about being a little luckier than other people and yeah, you can kind of use fitness in some cases to make your own luck, but in some cases like maybe the Peloton is just the asleep of the wheel and it was your chance that, and you had the astute observation to go and you look back and they’re not doing anything. And that was it that like, that was the lucky moment. So I, I, I think that, that is, I, I like that part of

Adam Pulford (01:00:39):

That. I like a think car was the word that shout out to me because I think like in, in a race scenario, but you can even feel it like when you’re, when you’re riding, it’s just the, the harmony, I think, between your mind and your body and in a race scenario. I, I tell my, my athletes to my juniors all the time to mm-hmm, <affirmative> like, like, feel the race, like, feel the competitors around you because when you tune into that, you’ll know the time when to go when not to go, that kind of thing. And it’s the timing of it that I think is mm-hmm, <affirmative> so critical. And also with the word harmony, you know, there’s, there’s some that’s adjacent tune in my head, like what music, right? And so I think a lot of endurance athletes, they, they, they love music.

Adam Pulford (01:01:25):

And in fact, the the one day event that we did in DC, Justin Williams talked a lot. I mean, he lives his life to like a music <laugh> soundtrack, you know, and, and for him, music is just so huge to kind of build up his day or build into the race. And for a lot of people, you see ’em, you know, with headphones while they’re warming up some people train with music, but yet, and we talked about it on, on that event is like, if you get the music in, it’s kind of in you during the training session, whether you’re listening to it or not. And it helps to bring that, I think to the minded body, some harmony, some connect that’s going on there to trigger flow, cuz in the end that consistency, that flow between head and body is, is super huge.

Adam Pulford (01:02:09):

Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so in the moment, consistency is huge from that regard, I’d say again, zoom out high level consistency in training, in recovery, performing and getting it done day after day. That’s that chop wood carry water that we need for hours of training. Well, good. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> we, we’re going long here, Sam, as, as we do as endurance athletes, but to bring this thing home and, and kind of in summary we talked about going fast is, is probably one of the most common goals that athletes have, you know, in a sport in a time sport. I haven’t met anybody who doesn’t want to go faster from the start to the finish of their races because when they do that means they’ve, they’ve increased their performance and their they’re likely having more fun today. We talked at high level about how being devoted to the process of training recovery, along with practicing patients and being consistent are kind of three key elements to kind of pull away from our conversation to getting faster. This can be a little harder to swallow <laugh> than like here’s the cool workout or here’s the pill or here’s the recovery tool that you need to get faster. But I think that it’s what most people need to hear. And have it sink in. So Sam, what else would you encourage or add to, for our listeners to, to take away from this conversation?

Sam Boardman (01:03:30):

I, I want people listening and writers in general, young and old, just to remember that they started doing this sport because for some reason or other, it made them smile. I, I, I truly wanna believe that that was the reason they started it and I encourage people to find some way to participate or do this sport every day in a way that makes them smile. Because I think that that’s what makes training fun. That’s true. That’s what allows an endurance athlete to endure. <Laugh>, that’s what, that’s what allows people to practice patience, consistency, and you know, everything else we’ve talked about, which is just like the happiness that the sport brings them. And I think that I consistently tried find ways every single day to like, make me smile, whether that’s going out and finding a new, cool looking road in, you know, my neighborhood or something like that, or exploring, or maybe trying like a new trail or trying a different activity other than biking, like that could make me smile or try something new. Like I think as an endurance athlete, I think it’s important to make sure that you are, you prioritize happiness because it is impossible to see success without making sure that you are in the right head space.

Adam Pulford (01:04:49):

Yeah. Yeah. I couldn agree more. And in happiness, you know, on your bike probably leads to doing a few more hours per year. Right. <laugh>

Sam Boardman (01:04:58):

I, it is so rare to me that I’ve ever, like you ever hear in the interview of someone who like just got the best result of their life like that they are sad. Like, I don’t know, like you just like sadness does not Bagge success. Yeah. I think happiness does. So, yeah, that’s

Adam Pulford (01:05:12):

It. Well, thank you so much, Sam, for taking time outta your crazy and busy life of riding bikes, racing, traveling all over the country. This was super fun to connect with you on the podcast. If, if people wanna follow you where can they find you?

Sam Boardman (01:05:30):

So my Instagram is at board Minto. That’s my last name with I T O at the end of it. They can also, I guess they can follow me on our website Legion’s website, which I believe is And the E and G and Legion are three and nine. And that’s pretty much the extent of my social media presence is Instagram. I try, try to stay off off the internet as much as possible <laugh> but seems super goofy to me. Yeah. <laugh> but yeah that, that’s how you can, can keep in touch with me and follow me

Adam Pulford (01:06:13):

Very cool. Well, we’ll link to the Legion website as well as your Instagram handle in our show notes. So if anybody wants to connect with you, they can do that. But for now, Sam, I’ll let you go and thank you again for being on the train right podcast.

Sam Boardman (01:06:29):

All right. Thanks so much, Adam was great being here. Thanks.



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