Base training podcast episode

A Practical Guide To Base Training With Kolie Moore

Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • What is base training and why is it important?
  • What intensity should your base training be performed at?
  • Adaptations that occur in the body during base training
  • How to know when to move on from base training
  • Nutrition changes during base training
  • Training on flat vs. hilly terrain
  • Indoor vs. outdoor workouts

Guest Bio:

Kolie Moore coaches professional, elite, and amateur athletes of all disciplines at all levels. He’s consulted for World Tour teams, world champions, national team coaches, is part of the WKO development group that creates and tests new and advanced cycling analytics, independently developed many unique analysis tools for road racers and sprinters, and educates and develops other coaches.

Kolie is a lifelong cyclist, national championship medalist, and former Taekwondo instructor and competitor (3rd Dan; selected for international WTF and ITF competitions, and Junior Olympics competitor). He holds a BS in Biology from Boston University, where he learned biochemistry, metabolism, and physiology. This background gives him a scientific and fundamental understanding the unique optimization required for each individual that is reflected in his training methods.

Connect With Kolie Moore:






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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 (00:00:07):

The best foundation for a high performing endurance athlete starts with a well developed base. Many would probably agree with that statement, but there’s still questions and confusions around this topic. Like what is base training? How do I build it? And when do I know when to move on from base training to the next phase today, to sit down with coach Coley Moore of empirical cycling who has coached and consulted for world champions, world tour teams, multiple national champions, masters athletes, and still loves to mix it up himself on the bike a little bit. He’s also part of the WK five future works group that helps develop and test new advanced cycling analytics. In this episode. I think you’ll learn the answers to the questions above as well as some other fun physiological aspects that you never even thought about. Most importantly, you’ll learn to train, right. And to do it with confidence. So with that, let’s meet our guest and get learning Coley. Welcome to the show.

Kolie Moore (00:01:04):

Hey Adam, thanks for having

Adam Pulford (00:01:04):

Me. Yeah. I gave a brief overview of your coaching and professional life in our intro, but can you tell our listeners a little bit more of who Coley is?

Kolie Moore (00:01:15):

Um, well, I’m, uh, you know, obviously you’ve head coach of empirical cycling and, uh, you know, you and I are part of the DKA five, uh, future works group. Um, but you know, I have a, I have a degree in biology. I studied biochemistry and systems fizz and, uh, you know, way back in the day I was actually, um, uh, I got a degree in audio engineering. I graduated 2004 from the high school of music and, uh, you know, uh, striving for audio coaching excellence as always

Adam Pulford (00:01:44):

<laugh> well, you’ve already, you’ve already coached me into audio excellence with my new microphone setup this morning. So I, uh, uh, do appreciate that. <laugh> yeah, we’re already learning. Um, where you, where are you coming from today? Where, where are

Kolie Moore (00:01:57):

You at? I am in Vermont right now. Beautiful. So, uh, move moved outta Boston and, uh, moved up here to the, the sticks and, uh, wanted to something a little more quiet, no traffic. My blood pressure is as low as it’s ever been. Man.

Adam Pulford (00:02:10):

I love hearing that. I love hearing that what’s uh, you guys got clobbered by the latest snow as we are recording this here in January. Yeah,

Kolie Moore (00:02:17):

Man. Brutal quarter inch out there today. Whew. Let me tell you <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:02:22):

Ironically down in DC, we had like eight inches on the ground. It was ridiculous.

Kolie Moore (00:02:26):

Yeah. I saw the traffic jam. I hope you weren’t caught

Adam Pulford (00:02:29):

In that. No, we were, we were hunker hunker down hunker down, so yeah. Well this is great. Um, you know, as, as our listeners can probably hear we’ve, we’ve got another nerdy coach, uh, with us to talk about all the, all the geese stuff of endurance training in particular base training. So, um, I can’t wait to learn and I can’t wait for our listeners to learn more. So I’d say let’s just go right into the meat and potato Scully. Let’s do this. All right. So first, just to start, um, with a, kind of a, a, a basis of where we’re going with this, uh, I wanna know what is base training what’s CO’s definition of base training.

Kolie Moore (00:03:11):

Uh, so my definition of base training is really all training that leaves a positive, long term impact. Um, and I know typical thing, most people think about base training as, you know, the long, slow endurance smiles that you do in the fall and winter or whatever. Um, you know, but to me, it’s anything that will improve you in the long term. Like for instance, uh, if we do FTP and view to max training for an athlete, uh, during the course of a year when, um, you know, when we get to training the next year, hopefully instead of starting from, let’s say 200 wat FTP, they’re up at like two 30 or two 40, and that’s a better place to start because you know, anything that PO impacts you positively in the long term, you know, there it is, your base is higher now it’s not 200 Watts, it’s two 30. So that’s, that’s great. But you know, for the purpose of what we’re doing today, obviously, um, we’re gonna be talking about the, uh, you know, the, the general prep phase of, uh, cycling training and endurance training, uh, cuz that’s most, people’s typical, um, understanding of base training.

Adam Pulford (00:04:12):

Totally. Yeah. And when, when we’re talking about this base training aspect, I mean, can we get some grounding of the, what an intensity would be without, uh, either we can talk specifics of like say training peaks terminology, or as general as, uh, rate, perceived effort, what type of intensity are we talking about in base? Yeah.

Kolie Moore (00:04:35):

Um, you know, it’s funny cuz um, I think a lot of people, um, you know, this is me projecting into the listeners, so sorry, listeners, but I, I think a lot of people, mostly cuz I, you know, spent some time on the internet, like everybody does seem to think that, um, you know, for better or for worse, um right. Seem to think that it’s, you know, X percentage of FTP or it’s, you know, something like that or it’s like a heart rate or something like that. And to me, it’s, I always assign endurance writing. Um, and uh, you know, like zone two type stuff as an intensity, uh, by RPE, not as a percentage of FTP because you know, if you think about FTP as being, or uh, sorry, FTP as like endurance range, being something like, um, you know, 60 to 75% of FTP or something like that, um, I’ve actually seen people’s LT one be lower than that, 50 to 55% of FTP.

Kolie Moore (00:05:30):

And so, um, if you tell somebody to ride at 70% of FTP, when they’re LT, one is actually 60%, um, now they’re going to accumulate a lot more fatigue and that’s not going to be as effective trait and actually you can overtrain by doing something like that. So I always think about it in terms of like RPE. So I’ll typically assign, uh, an endurance training ride as a, uh, as like a four to five outta 10 RPE, like in my RPE range of five is LT one. But, um, you know, you can, um, you can assign that as a four as well. I think a lot of people do that too. Um, but I’ll usually go as low as a three RPE for an endurance ride. But, um, occasionally I know somebody’s really tired. I’ll say two to four, <laugh> just, yeah. Keep it super chill. Um, and you still get plenty of adaptation like that.

Adam Pulford (00:06:17):

Yeah. Uh, completely agree. And for any, any listeners that are like, whoa, those are a lot of numbers. What are we talking about here? Uh, the RPE scale that he, that Colie and I are talking about is scale of one to 10, really, really simple one is super hanging out 10 is you’re going max effort. I’m gonna bar. Yeah. So when, when CO’s talking any where between three and five or two and four, um, it’s pretty light, right?

Kolie Moore (00:06:43):

Uh, yeah, it is fairly light. Um, so I, I usually think that light to medium let’s put that yeah. Light to medium. So I think, uh, good descriptor of this. Um, you know, cuz I know a lot of, uh, exercise physiologists think about, um, you know, uh, you know, the typical like, you know, see, I don’t even use that much. I, I always forget the terminology. It’s like the heavy, the, the moderate, the heavy into the severe exercise domains. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> I don’t think about it like that quite so much. Cuz I think about it as what is it that I like to feel while I’m doing an endurance ride mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so you can actually feel like your LT one, your top of your real endurance range pretty easily, as long as you feel like you’re you feel like you’re working, but it’s easy.

Kolie Moore (00:07:27):

And so, you know, that kind of oxymoron like you’re working, but it’s easy is, um, a really good descriptor I find for most people. Um, and I’ve tried other descriptors too, like you write at what you feel like you could do for eight hours, but if you’re training a world tour pro, they can go over LT one for, you know, 10 hours or 12 hours forever. So that that’s not a good descriptor either, but um, you can also think about it, like the amount of fatigue you have when you get home. So if you get back from a, if you’re used to doing a three or a four hour endurance ride, you wanna get to the end of that feeling like you could probably with five minute max effort and maybe only lose 10 Watts or you just, you just feel really good. You feel like you’re barely a little tired, a little more tired than when you left.

Adam Pulford (00:08:08):

Yeah. And, and I think it’s really important to talk about the, feel like that with your athletes as we’re talking about right now, because connecting say a, a, a number say with like power or it right to the, the goal of the workout is in super important long term for the, say the health of the athlete or the quality of the training. And that feel when it comes to something abstract and has like say a wide zone, like a zone two, um, endurance, um, training zone, like on training peaks, um, that feel is so important, super important. So the athlete is out there in their training and they have the confidence of like, okay, am I feeling like a four or five today? Yeah. Okay. This feeling like four or five and you’re, you’re self checking as you go.

Kolie Moore (00:08:51):

And I always tell people to let the Watts come to you, don’t go looking for the Watts mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, cuz a lot of people will start too hard and if you start too hard, um, you can actually be a little over LT one before you really warm up. And totally, that’s gonna put you a little bit on the back foot for the rest of your ride. So, you know, even if you start out at 30 or 40% FTP, as long as it feels good, just keep and you’ll warm up as you go. And as long as you negative split it kind of like that. Or even if it just stays low like that you’ve you finished the ride feeling good. I consider a, a success.

Adam Pulford (00:09:25):

Yeah. Agreed. And kind of last, last little bit here when I, when I prescribe it too, I I’ll oftentimes just say, go ride your bike

Kolie Moore (00:09:33):

<laugh> I love that. That’s great. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:09:35):

And then if there’s, if you did anything wrong, we’ll just correct it afterwards and you get another chance tomorrow <laugh>

Kolie Moore (00:09:40):

Yes. That’s good.

Adam Pulford (00:09:42):

So, um, alright. So we talked about the numbers, we talked about like some, um, general, general terminology. Uh, what are you co what are you looking at say after the fact, um, when one of your athletes does a, a base training zone, two ride, what kind of numbers, what kind of sensations, what type of comments are you looking for after this

Kolie Moore (00:10:04):

Ride? Most importantly, I’m looking for, well, I’m looking for power evidence that somebody didn’t go too hard or they didn’t start too hard and then trail off. Um, and I’m looking at their comments, you know, they say it felt good. And I look at the, the power and the heart rate and the terrain and the whatever and the temperature and I think, okay, this looks good, great. Let’s um, you know, <laugh> check mark a plus move on to tomorrow. Um, but uh, when I’m looking at it, in terms of long-term tracking, like what adaptations are we getting? Are we getting the right ones that we want? I’m looking for over time, not just in a ride, I’m looking for less heart rate decoupling, um, efficiency factor, trending up, maybe a percentage of FTP trending up, um, stuff like that.

Adam Pulford (00:10:50):

What do you mean by heart rate DEC coupling. So

Kolie Moore (00:10:52):

As you ride, um, at a steady RPE for most people, you know, it means power’s going up a little bit or power’s pretty flat. Um, you watched your heart rate relative to the power. So let’s say in the first hour you have a, um, you’re doing a hundred Watts and your heart, rate’s a hundred BPM. Uh, but in the last hour, hour, five, let’s say your power’s still a hundred Watts, but your heart rate is 110 BPM. You have achieved some heart rate decoupling.

Adam Pulford (00:11:24):

Gotcha. Gotcha. So yeah, the heart rate’s kicking up over time. Um, even though the power is not that different. Yep. Yep. Gotcha. Um, and would you say that for a base ride, like this, is, is it from a pacing stay endpoint? Is it better to just be even the entire time? Is it better to start hard and then kind of like come down or is it better to start a little easier and maybe you come up a little hard toward the end?

Kolie Moore (00:11:50):

Um, always start low, always start low. Um, you know, I’ve got very experienced athletes on my roster who can, who are fully warmed up in about 10 or 15 minutes. They start easy and then they’re just dead flat for the rest of the ride. Um, others, you know, if you’re really tired, then you know, sometimes it can take people an hour or two to really warm up. And sometimes that’s, you know, the pedaling and, you know, the whole hormonal, the systemic changes that we get. But also sometimes it’s just, you’re riding and you’re eating and that can help your body kind of feel a little more awake too, especially if you’re kind of at a deficit from a hard race or a hard workout the day before.

Adam Pulford (00:12:24):

Yeah. Yeah, no, exactly. And then when you’re, when you’re actually analyzing the, the, the power file itself, are you looking at, um, are you looking at average power time and zone, kilo jewels? What, what do you, what are some of the metrics or numbers that you’re looking at? Um,

Kolie Moore (00:12:42):

Yeah, I usually track average power over time. Um, I have, uh, a method to filter out the kind of types of endurance rides that I, uh, typically give people. And I’ll just, I’ll track those over time. Um, uh, I’ll also track, um, you know, time and zone for some people who are like, you know, a little more time crunched or we’re really looking for that extra, like one or 2%. Um, in which case, you know, time and zone or at least time peddling, I would say would be, uh, something that you want achieve, uh, maximally. So if you’ve only got four or five hours for an endurance ride on a Sunday, but you and your coach actually think that you need to increase it to six or seven hours to find further improvements. Um, and you don’t have those extra couple hours, then you’re gonna want to make sure that every pedal screw Oak on that ride counts,

Adam Pulford (00:13:36):

How would you, how would you do that? Would you go to the Hills? Would you stay on the flats? Would you go? I advise people

Kolie Moore (00:13:42):

To stay on the flats, especially my clients in Colorado who love to like go into the foothills and climb for sure. Um, you know, like that’s a lot of descending time and my clients in Europe too, is the same thing. I I’ll say, you know, instead of going to the mountains, why don’t you just ride around like Geneva or something or something like that. Cuz it’s pretty flat. It’s a little rolly it’s uh, and you get some great scenery too. Oh my God. Um, but yeah, in the Colorado plateau it’s like go out to the plateau, go east, you know, go south, go, go north don’t don’t go west.

Adam Pulford (00:14:11):

So if our listeners are like, well, col I like, I prefer hill Hills and I don’t, you get a good workout on the Hills. Like why would I not go to the Hills if I want to get the most out of it?

Kolie Moore (00:14:22):

Um, if you can pace it evenly on the Hills, that’s great. Go for it. Uh it’s when you start to push too hard on the Hills and then you relax on the descent, then it becomes more of like a tempo ride. And while that can achieve similar or even a little better at a tape in a shorter amount of time, you know, the typical time intensity, uh, trade off for time crunch people, um, you can acquire a lot of fatigue doing something like that. And so you have to measure that kind of dose a little more carefully.

Adam Pulford (00:14:51):

Gotcha. Gotcha. And, and you mentioned RPMs as well. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, if you’re going uphill, you then go downhill mm-hmm <affirmative> do most people pedal downhill or not?

Kolie Moore (00:15:02):

Uh, you know, it depends on the speed and their gearing and yeah. You know, if there’s traffic or if there’s corners, uh, you know, there’s all kinds of factors. Um, so usually I, I just look at coasting time. Yep. Um, especially if somebody’s kind of tired and we’re gonna get some stuff, you know, in the zone, one of the, uh, cogn zones, um, in which case, you know, I don’t look at that so much cause I know somebody’s tired, there’s, you know, that contextual aspect of everything. Um, but you know, I’ve got athletes who can nail seven hours own two when, you know, the 20, 30 minutes and so won and barely anything else. So yeah. Um, you know, that kind of thing’s possible, but it’s not, you know, that’s like the textbook kind of ride, not typical.

Adam Pulford (00:15:43):

Yeah. Yeah. And so, you know, I don’t have this necessarily on an outline, but what does happen when you, when you’re looking at somebody who may, you know, maybe as a hilly rolly ride versus the flat ride versus inside, like what goes on with the RPM distribution and is it bad? Good. Neutral. Tell us a little bit about that.

Kolie Moore (00:16:04):

Yeah, that’s a good question. Um, you know, and I don’t think there’s a great answer on this. I know a lot of people debate cadence, high cadence, low cadence, um, you know, high forest inertia, blah, blah, blah. Um, you know, I think, uh, for most people just doing the ride is gonna be the most important thing mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and when it comes to, you know, your high performance athletes, people who are getting paid to ride a bike, then we look at it and say, okay, does, do we think this is better for you? Do we think this is better for you? And a lot of it comes down to athlete feedback. Um, you know, cuz you know, in, in a, in I think a lot of people these days are thinking about, uh, motor unit recruitment when it comes to low cadence. Um, and so are your listener familiar with that? By the

Adam Pulford (00:16:49):

Way, I’d say some are and some would be like, what did he just say?

Kolie Moore (00:16:55):

<laugh> so, um, so, uh, this is something that relates to how he produce gradations in force. Um, so how the same muscle, when a contracts can produce less force and more force because a mu a muscle fiber is all or nothing. It either just a contracting or it’s not right. Uh, it’s, it’s very binary. Um, and so we have motor units that are very small that have, uh, a nerve comes in and it intervates just the, or it turns on a small number of muscle fibers. And then as we think, okay, I need to produce more force the signal to the muscle gets higher and higher. And so we contract higher and higher motor units that require a little more mental effort to contract and they all together produce more force. And so you go from the base level to all the way up to max, if you’re trying to sprint or do a, you know, one rep max deadlift or something like that.

Kolie Moore (00:17:46):

And so, you know, when it comes to pedaling and cadence and motor unit recruitment, you know, a lot of people are thinking, okay, if you contract, um, if you contract lower, if you have a lower RPM, you’re going to get into larger motor units. And so you can aerobically train them. Right. I mean, yeah, but you can also do threshold work to train them as well. Um, and so, you know, there’s not a great answer with this kind of stuff, because most of the adaptations, um, that we’re looking for when we do base rides are going to happen, whether we recruit large motor units or smaller motor units. And so it depends on how you want to distribute. Uh, if you want to really get into the weeds with this kind of stuff, depends on how you wanna distribute the adaptation load through the muscle fiber, um, which is, um, a nascent science at best. Um, in my opinion at this moment. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:18:37):

Yeah. I I’d agree with you and, and therefore kind of sticking with, uh, uh, intensity zone or a perceived effort is a great way to keep it simple for sure.

Kolie Moore (00:18:46):

Yeah. And especially if, um, you know, somebody’s prone to, or they’ve got knee problems, you know, artificially lowering or raising the cadence can cause problems. And some people, you know, can’t really hold 120 RPM. Some people can hold 170 RPM. So mm-hmm, <affirmative>, mm-hmm, <affirmative> no, not that, not that long, but they can <laugh>.

Adam Pulford (00:19:05):

So last kind of topic on, say the RPMs and in distribution, um, of zones, because it’s kind of a hot topic a little bit out there is say you got an athlete, um, uh, intermediate level athlete and they got a three hour, three to three and a half hour, uh, zone two base ride and they do it inside and then they do one outside. Does count for more than the other. Since generally speaking, you get more pedal strokes inside and less coasting versus that outside. Or do you manipulate time on that? Or how would you handle that question?

Kolie Moore (00:19:43):

Um, you know, honestly for me, the priority comes down to, what’s easier for the athlete, cuz if you’re gonna introduce a bunch of stress, if you’re like, oh man, I gotta get outside. I can’t be on the trainer cuz outside’s better. Um, or vice versa whatever’s causing, but you hate writing the trainer for instance. So, uh, whatever causes the least amount of stress for the athlete I think is probably going to be the best option, especially for, uh, an intermediate type writer or somebody like a, like a very average, uh, Joe Jane or whoever, um, not causing stress is actually by number one goal, making it enjoyable. And um, you know, then if they get really, really serious about it at some point, and they’re willing to, you know, look for these trade offs, uh, we’ll talk about it. But for the most part, I’d say it’s probably one of the last things on my mind.

Adam Pulford (00:20:32):

Yeah. That’s a great answer. Um, cuz yeah, it comes down to actually doing the work and not counting, you know, I don’t know, ten five, five, 10% extra pedal strokes or something like

Kolie Moore (00:20:44):

That. And when somebody’s inside for a three, four hour trainer ride, I tell them to get off and you know, go to the toilet, go get some water, you know, go pet the dog, um, go get the door, go get that Amazon package, like, you know, there’s get off your bike the same way that cuz otherwise, you know, it’s very static and it it’s, you know, most people don’t have a good time riding for hours straight on the, on the trainer. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:21:10):

So do the work, keep it fun, change it up just like you normally would. Totally. Yeah. All right. So let’s get into, uh, let’s get into energy systems. It’s something that I’ve talked about on the episode before and if I’m organized with Corey will throw up the, um, the classic physiology, three energy zone, uh, slide for our YouTube, uh, Watchers slash listeners, but Coley, can you go through the three common energy systems? And we’ll talk about the one that we will be training most here in, in base. And, and I want you to kind of give a, a couple flares on that, uh, that third system as well.

Kolie Moore (00:21:52):

Oh yeah. So, um, so what we’re looking at here, um, is we’ve got free ATP. Uh, we’ve got the phosphine system. Well, everything’s really, phosphine so creating phosphate system, um, glycolysis and oxidative for phosphorolation. So, um, you know, none of this, it it’s funny cuz um, I, I I’m guilty of this as anybody, but you know, technically speaking, if we want to get technical and I, I do consider myself, uh, more of an expert in metabolism than most, uh, people trained in exercise physiology. Sorry to do my own horn a little bit, but I, I did study under, uh, Hans Kornberg in biochemistry. So, um, you know, there were like a hundred of us, but still I got to interact with him in, you know, office hours and email with him and he was incredibly informative. Um,

Adam Pulford (00:22:43):

Great. Just a quick side note here. We’re gonna go into the deep weeds a little bit on this since Coley is an expert and he’s, I mean, and if you love this, go listen to his podcast. Um, empirical cycling podcast, he goes crazy with this stuff. I actually super love it. I think that some listeners would be like, what, what are you talking about with carbon oxygen ponds and why this relates to <laugh> lipid utilization and all this kinda stuff. So like, and I’m not that much of an expert. I am a, I I’ve got a background in chemistry, but nothing like, um, nothing like Mr. Biology and, and um, and uh, co Moore over here. So, okay. Let’s get back to the three energy systems and talking about how this will eventually apply to our base training.

Kolie Moore (00:23:29):

Yeah. So, um, so we’ve got, uh, ATP, which is, you know, the energy currency of the cell. I think everybody’s pretty familiar with that. Um, then we have the creatine phosphate system and we have the electrolytic energy system and then we have here what’s labeled as oxidative phosphorylation. So when it comes to substrate use, um, you know, creatine, phosphate, uh, carbohydrates or fats, technically speaking, all of it is actually anaerobic. Um, there is, uh, you know, oxidation and reduction of substrates while we are going through these pathways, but oxygen doesn’t get involved until we actually have a, um, a, uh, an electron and proton, uh, currency exchange system, if you will, in the form of N a D H and F a D H two. And so those transport electrons and protons into the electron transport chain, which is separate from, um, the Kreb cycle and from glyco and from the foster creatine system.

Kolie Moore (00:24:29):

And so when we think about what is actually oxidative, it’s all of those reducing equivalents as we call N a DH and F a D H two. Um, those are what bring everything to the oxidative system of, um, uh, the electronic transport chain and which is how we aerobically make ATP, which is, you know, this ha is this separated, uh, from, you know, breaking down fats and breaking down carbohydrates and breaking down phosphor creatine. So, um, so technically all of it is really anaerobic, you know? And so when we look at what is, you know, what is our aerobic energy system that we’re trying to develop, we’re actually trying to develop, um, being able to provide substrate for the electron transport chain sustainably, um, in terms of having more mitochondrial density and being able to deliver more oxygen and have, um, you know, more capillary density and all, all this kind of stuff helps in the long term, but you know, our three energy systems, um, as, um, you know, as you put here in our notes file is mm-hmm <affirmative> ATP glycolytic and aerobic and <laugh>, and I, I wrote down like, none of these are actually aerobic.

Kolie Moore (00:25:44):


Adam Pulford (00:25:45):

So, so why do we call it the aerobic system? Why, why is that embedded into human physiology?

Kolie Moore (00:25:53):

Uh, you know, that’s a good question. It’s I think it’s sort of like, um, because, well, first of all, it’s simpler to communicate to people. Yeah. So if, you know, if I were going to call myself an educator, which I don’t think I am, I think my podcast is more of an, a for my coaching services than, uh, educational, but I hope it’s educational at some points. Um, I think if you’re going to educate somebody about these things, you want to say mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Great. Okay. And so the Kreb cycle is responsible for generating the vast majority of reducing equivalence for aerobic phosphor generation of ATP. Um, and so you can simplify it, but is that the technically most correct thing, like everybody out there is listening, think about what you’re an expert in and how you would explain the most technical things that, you know, to somebody like me, who knows basically nothing about anything except this <laugh>.

Adam Pulford (00:26:49):

So that’s fair. That’s fair. Yeah. And so I’d say, you know, for, for the deeper dive, um, I would encourage listeners to check out his podcast. It’s episode number 29, why fat oxidation is anaerobic. So go there if you want the very nitty gritty details. But I do think it’s important to bring up and talk about here because, um, you know, things that we in general have learned in, in that is in some of the, um, that is in the literature of tr our training literature. Um, it’s not a hundred percent all the way there, but it is formulated to make it a little bit more digestible. So to kind of bring this thing back, uh, co when we are doing our, what we call or what I framed up this conversation, be base training, how are we manipulating these three energy systems in, why is it important? Like what’s going on here?

Kolie Moore (00:27:44):

Yeah, well, um, you know, we actually, haven’t gotten to this in the, uh, in the podcast yet, but we will very soon. Um, cuz right now we’re doing, uh, a series on energy metabolism, um, or just energy meta, just, just metabolism.

Adam Pulford (00:27:57):

Um, just metabolism. Yeah, it’s good. Yeah. It’s good.

Kolie Moore (00:27:59):

Yeah. Energy pathways, energy providing pathways. Uh, so, uh, uh, we’ve got a couple series on the podcast. So the Watts doc series episodes, number 29 through currently 35, um, are all looking at various aspects of these metabolic systems and, you know, kind of, um, kind of trying to touch on and clarify a lot of the misunderstandings that I tend to see, which is not to say that anybody looks has these misunderstandings, but I did at some point have every one of them. And, uh, we all did. I, I hope that, um, you know, through listening to the podcast, everybody gets it all cleared up a little bit. Even people who have to listen a couple times, which, um, when I listened to a technical podcast, I have to do the same thing. So, um, what was the question again? <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:28:43):

So basically give us this sneak peak perhaps of what is to come on the, these, these future metabolism, um, episodes, but in particular, just like why, why is this important when we’re doing base training? And it’s kind of like, um, you know, what’s going on in the body and, and why do we need to even kind of know this? Cause some people are gonna be like, I’m gonna fast forward and get through, but like just give ’em the quick selling points. Sure.

Kolie Moore (00:29:08):

So, um, when we are doing this kind of thing, we are actually developing what we need for long term, excuse me, uh, improvements of even higher power output levels.

Adam Pulford (00:29:20):

So setting the stage for what is to come.

Kolie Moore (00:29:22):

Yeah. Um, like Tim Cusick has said, uh, this is the time when you’re training to train. Yeah. Um, just to steal a phrase from the master <laugh> so, um, steal away. So one of the things that we’re doing is we are developing mitochondrial density as we ride and train more. Um, and this is a big deal because when we do this low intensity training, we get a lot of aerobic stimulus and we can actually improve our mitochondrial density, uh, from riding a lot more than we currently do. And we can also improve things that limit, um, fat use, which another podcast episode on that, which I think is episode wa 30 or 31, um, basically the transport of fat to go from adipose tissue through the adipose cell lining, uh, cell wall into the bloodstream and then get transport at all the way over to the muscles and then brought in through the, you know, you’ve got another wall to go through another wall another, then you go into the micro, you’ve got a couple more cell walls to go through.

Kolie Moore (00:30:23):

Um, and this all takes time and having more transport mechanisms and mitochondria to actually use fat is pretty much, what’s going to improve our ability to burn fat over the long term, which, you know, traditionally is good as you might expect, um, to spare iGen when we get to the higher intensities, yada yada yada, the whole thing. But we’re also when we do low intensity based training, we are also improving, um, uh, cavity of muscles, the more muscle, uh, the more capillaries we have around each individual muscle fiber, the more oxygen can freely diffuse into the muscle fiber and be used with is a big limiter, uh, when it comes to things like VO two max or even FTP. Um, and so this kind of angiogenesis takes place over, you know, weeks and months of, uh, low intensity training and we’ll see this kind of thing.

Kolie Moore (00:31:16):

Um, uh, oh, there’s also one more thing, which is, um, we typically will improve, uh, blood volumes, uh, plasma volume mm-hmm <affirmative> and, um, hematocrit, uh, or red cell, uh, you know, however you wanna measure it as hematocrit takes a hit at first and then it comes back up. Great. Um, and so, uh, actually it’s that, that provides the fastest and most potent early training phase stimulus is increasing our blood volume, which increases heart stroke volume, which increases via two max. And so we actually get some really good adaptations just by riding nice and easy, especially after we’ve had a couple weeks on the couch. So I hope, I hope that’s not too nevermind. That’s that’s way too much, but <laugh> maybe you could summarize it

Adam Pulford (00:32:02):

<laugh> yeah, I was gonna say so, you know, don’t, don’t worry. Oxygen is still important, uh, to bring into the system and by this low to let’s say medium intensity training that we’re referring to as base training sets the stage to bring more of that in and sets the stage for higher performance to eventually occur. That’s

Kolie Moore (00:32:22):

Really what we’re. Yeah. And so it’ll, it’ll it’ll work on our limiters, um, in a way that we can’t by doing all high intensity training. Cause if we did high intensity training all the time, while there’s obviously a plateau that happens at some point, um, with that, uh, stimulus pathway, um, and also, you know, it’s just tiring, you know, it’s why you don’t, it’s why you don’t see anybody at the world tour doing high intensity intervals three times a week for the entire year.

Adam Pulford (00:32:50):

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So to kind of talk about, um, let’s just say elites all the way down to novices, um, would you say, so everybody still does base training? Correct?

Kolie Moore (00:33:05):

I would say so, but I don’t, I don’t know. I don’t, well, maybe not everybody <laugh> let’s say pretty reasonably most people. Yes. Yeah. Okay. So,

Adam Pulford (00:33:13):

Well, let’s, let’s put this way. Should everybody do base training? Should there be a base in everybody’s part of training in your opinion? Oh, for sure. Yeah. Okay. So <laugh>, that’s kind of where I’m going. All right. And, and just to kinda like fast forward, a little bit on, on the Novis a, on the novice athlete, someone just kind of starting, um, a lot of these changes are happening in the blood. Like, like you talked about, um, with more experienced athlete that’s when you get into stroke volume, some of the cardiovascular outputs, but also some peripheral, some, some muscular, some, some of that ity that you’re talking about. And then in the elite athlete, um, just talk about that, cause that is an area of your expertise. And, and when I say elite athlete, we’re talking about someone who’s trained a ton, their let’s just say they have reached or near reached their genetic max. Um, what is going on during a base phase for an elite athlete? Why are they coming back to it? Even though that I’ve got, you know, hours and hours in kilometers built up in, in the system? Yeah. You know,

Kolie Moore (00:34:18):

Cuz usually when you’re looking at a pro who’s at their genetic max, what we’re looking at really is their peak VO two max is it’s just topped out mm-hmm <affirmative> like, that’s, that’s all you get. Um, and you can increase it a little bit if you focus on that training, but you’re gonna lose some of the endurance in some of the FTP. So you can make some of the pursuit, do a pursuit better, but they’re gonna suffer in the time trial. So, you know, that’s, that’s, uh, those, you know, very minor details to think about with super elites. Um, but you know, what happens when elite athletes train who are pretty much at their, you know, genetic max most of the year, um, their, you know, after they get these early season, um, uh, hematologic, uh, improvements in, you know, blood volume and stroke volume and all that pretty much what we’re looking at is an improvement of endurance.

Kolie Moore (00:35:09):

And so most of this is going to be, uh, muscular, um, metabolic kind of adaptations. So we’re gonna see, uh, more mitochondrial density. We’re gonna see more, uh, fat transporters and lactate transport is, and we’re gonna see better buffering capacity and we’re gonna see all that kind of stuff. Cuz typically, um, you know, when you look at, uh, very elite pros, VO, two max through the season, it’ll come back up after base training and then it’ll like tap out, but they’re still getting more fit as we see as people race into the season, especially looking at like the tour and stuff mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so as they get there, the, the endurance improves greatly. Um, but the VOT Maxs, not so much. And when we’re looking at developing athletes who are, you know, novices or intermediate who are, you know, looking to be as good as they can get in, you know, in the to max region anyway, um, it’s, you know, we’re doing everything, but when you are looking at the super elites, you know, maybe they don’t have to do so much V2 max training for instance. So, um, you know, there’s a, does that kind of answer the question? I’m not yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:36:12):

That, yeah, yeah. That summarizes it, um, quite well, because I think that, um, the not only are there, uh, say races longer, but the time it takes to, uh, keep a genetic, um, max right. Um, takes a lot more of this training and they already have kind of the plumbing genetically speaking, um, that requires that. So yeah, I think that answers it, um, very well. Um, as we’re still kind of in this, like why base training, I’m gonna switch to nutrition just for a, a couple minutes here. We don’t have to get too deep in the weeds on it, but, um, I I’m curious, do you change or manipulate diet nutrition for your athletes during this time period at all? Um,

Kolie Moore (00:36:58):

I, you know, typically no, um, in a couple rare occasions we might, so, um, you know, we’ll obviously manipulate, uh, things like this. If somebody wants to lose weight, uh, that’s a big one. Um, and that would probably be the most common reason that we manipulate nutrition. Um, and that it’s really just inducing an energy deficit and trying not to lose so much muscle mass. Um, but you know, when it comes to things like, uh, like I, for instance, I never assign fast rides ever, ever, ever, ever. If somebody gets up agreed at 5:00 AM and they have like an hour super easy recovery ride at 80 Watts. Cool. All right, you can do that fast. That’s gonna be fine. Um, pretty much anything over that. You’re really gonna want to eat something. Yeah. Um, rarely we will look at doing, um, low carb high fat rides.

Kolie Moore (00:37:48):

Um, and this is most important thing. And one of the hardest things to do with this kind of thing, which is why I do it so rarely is because, uh, it increases the RPE a lot and it’s actually really hard to maintain an ISO caloric Def or, uh, not deficit, sorry, ISO caloric, uh, diet mm-hmm <affirmative> when you are eating a very large amount of proteins and fats and not so much in the carbohydrates. Um, and this kind of diet manipulation will look at for people who are typically a little more time crunched, um, and want do it. Um, cuz you know, if we, um, local glycogen stores basically have, um, impacts in the AMPK and MAPK uh, adaptive pathways pointing at PGC one alpha, however, the literature here is kind of equivocal. Some people find that there are good adaptations and some people don’t, um, experientially, I find in the athletes who like to do this kind of thing, we can knock out another five or 10% adaptation, but you know, it’s not gonna be a silver bullets, nothing like it’s nothing like going from, um, you know, doing 10 hours a week to 20, which is much, much more bang for your buck in terms of adaptation.

Adam Pulford (00:38:58):

Yeah. So what you’re saying is by, by doing some low carb, uh, time periods, there’s gonna be this extra stress on the athlete that will elicit some of these adaptations that could be fought out through training done, but it’s a different way. It kind of like dial up one thing to add in more stress to get

Kolie Moore (00:39:18):

A result. Yeah, yeah. And any of these kinds of manipulations, um, are going to be, uh, I would say they have a 70% failure rate <laugh> most athletes in terms of actually being able to follow the protocol. So, um, so they’re D and you know, also I think a lot of people, uh, or a lot of maybe, maybe not a lot of people, um, I don’t think a lot of people have thought about this so much, but I think a lot of, uh, scientists and coaches have looked at, can you get better at burning fat by burning more fat? Um, and that’s what, you know, some of these kinds of things will do because if you are doing low carb rides, you don’t really have a choice, but to burn more fat cuz first of all, you’re eating a lot more mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and also your body just sort of, um, the hormonal regulation just tilts you that way. Um, and uh, if anybody’s curious about that kind of thing, listen to my last Wazo podcast, number 35 on fat max fallacies, which looks set, um, why you don’t actually get more adaptations by just burning more fat in and of itself.

Adam Pulford (00:40:23):

So you’re saying that I can’t just sit on the couch and drink olive oil and get all the results,

Kolie Moore (00:40:29):

Man. I wi man <laugh> I wouldn’t even wanna drink straight off. Okay. Maybe just put a little par in it, some bread pepper. It’s a, okay. Oh no, that’s a piece of point. Yeah. I’m just, <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:40:41):

Just an animal over here. Drinking raw pure olive oil.

Kolie Moore (00:40:44):

Yeah. No, but it’s, it’s kind of like parallel to when somebody’s got, you know, like, you know, if you’re watching F1 or you’re watching a movie and your heart rate hits like, you know, 150 it’s like, do I get TSS for this? It’s like, no, your cadence was zero. So, so you don’t oh

Adam Pulford (00:40:57):

Yeah. You still gotta do the work in other words. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Um, so, but yeah, if anybody wants to go a little deeper on the it’s a manipulation of diet, as it refers to, um, low carb, high fat, uh, co does have actually a few episodes like that go deep in the it’s pretty good, but in short, say for an endurance athlete, my opinion and co can correct me if I’m wrong, but like living a keto to a lifestyle and doing low carb long term, probably not the best way to go.

Kolie Moore (00:41:31):

Yeah. Not really. Um, for anything really. Yeah. I mean, I’ve, I’ve tried it myself. I was like, man, I’m I gotta lose this last 10 pounds. And I, so I started eating a lot of omelets with cheese and getting on the bike and just feeling horrible. Um, and I, I gave it a good month, month and a half before I had to stop. Um, cuz it, it was completely unsustainable, especially with high intensity stuff. And um, uh, one of our podcast episodes, I forget which one, uh, something keto was in the title. The only episode, episode of keto in the title that, that looks at, uh, two really excellent studies from Louis Burke, uh, who did, um, great, uh, stuff on elite race walkers, because not only did it, mm-hmm, <affirmative> look at, uh, a good molecular pathways, but it looked at, um, you know, actual performance mm-hmm <affirmative> and a lot of the times, um, you know, if you really wanna see if something works or not, you gotta put it through the meat grinder of the athlete. You’ve gotta stuff adaptation or stimulus in one side. Uh, well then you get the adaptation hopefully, and then you see what kind of performance comes out in the other.

Adam Pulford (00:42:32):

Yeah. And, and just, I was, um, I attended a we or uh, virtual conference in Keith Barr. Who’s actually a pretty big fan of keto diet, um, was speaking to us, endurance folk, coaches, athletes, team directors, all this kinda stuff. And in his takeaway was like, it, it is for some people, but it’s probably for like the, the team directors and coaches that in a car for seven hours. <laugh> not the athlete <laugh> yeah. Right. Like basically if you want to go fast, if you want to like, you know, train hard and do something beyond zone two, like, um, keto, probably not best, but like if, if you there’s and he goes into some benefits and all this kind of stuff, I won’t, uh, won’t beat this anymore. But like, um, in general, if, if you’ve got out performance goals, um, you need, you need a carbohydrate. So, um, alright, let’s move into some of the best practices or like how to actually do this. Cause some, some people are really enjoying us or the nerd alert hour. Some people are like, all right, tell me what to do. Um, <laugh> all right. So co um, how do we do base training? Like give us a, say an example week, um, of, of a training scenario for maybe a master’s level athlete and kind of give us the goal of that week and you could steal anything from Tim QIC again, if you <laugh>.

Kolie Moore (00:43:50):

Yeah, sure. Um, well Tim QIC, uh, his, um, one or two webinars go, um, on training load. Uh, so look for something from like November, December 20, 21. That was last year, right? Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, <laugh> God, it’s already new year. Um, yeah. So look, look for one of those. And in that he actually says pretty much what I’ve experienced and Tim being a, uh, a pretty well trained master athlete himself, you know, for masters, especially you really wanna look at the training history mm-hmm <affirmative> cause you might think as people get older, they can do less, but people like Tim and some of the clients that we have at empirical cycling they’re in their sixties and they’re still doing 20, 25 hour weeks. And so when it comes to looking at stuff like that, it’s like, um, you know, you can actually still find improvements in older athletes and you can actually, um, uh, or as, as Tim stole from Andy Cogan in that very webinar, he said, uh, um, the best predictive of performance is performance itself.

Kolie Moore (00:44:50):

Yep. And if we’re even thinking about, uh, you know, and, and if we wanna go one, uh, you know, pity, uh, Axiom from Andy further, um, you know, training is testing and testing is training and blah, blah, blah. So we can, we can wrap all this up to say that, um, training is performance. And so if you’re gonna look at what can somebody handle in training, you’ll look at what they, what they have done and try to still build on that a little bit. So, um, that’s what I would say for, uh, for a masters, but if we’re looking at something like a novice athlete, um, my biggest priority is to keep it fun. Um, and look at the basic skills. Like, can you hold a wheel? Uh, can you eat on the bike? Can you ride with no hands, can you take a jacket off without getting it tangled in your rear wheel? Um, and having fun, you know, just learning to, you know, or continuing to love to ride the bike and, you know, uh, I think that’s <laugh>, and, and then on the way we can, um, we can learn to train or that that ethic can learn to train. Um, instead of having it, you know, super focused from day one, which I think even a lot of novice athletes want, um, you know, you don’t necessarily have to go that route.

Adam Pulford (00:45:57):

Yeah. And I think the reason, you know, why keeping it fun and also like learning how to train for novice athletes, novice athlete, we’re talking like, you know, you’re curious about getting into writing. Maybe you, you know, the pelotons no longer serve you and you wanna get out there and do some of these group rides or ride with your friends that you, and, and so you’re getting in, you know, year one, two, maybe even three and keeping it fun because, and then learning how to do this while not getting too crazy is because for this sport, um, you know, uh, long term prevails, like some of these chronic adaptations that we’re talking about, uh, you will get good at year four at year eight, you know, that kind of stuff. And that’s where, to your point for the master’s level athlete, you know, we’re still, you know, some athletes are still doing, you know, 20 hour weeks if they have the time and all this kind of stuff.

Adam Pulford (00:46:45):

And, and the, the, the bike is very forgiving in that regard versus say something like running, um, <laugh> yeah. Beats you up more where you can do that volume. Right. And, and so that’s why I kind of give some of those examples. The elite athlete obviously is, as we talked about, it’s doing quite a bit of volume, um, for their job, mind you. Um, and they, they’ve kind of gone through that experience. And so, um, for specifics, uh, cuz Tim’s been on this or this podcast several times, but episode number 46 goes into great detail about, um, about some of those aspects that we’re talking, but for coli, say just take one example or even yourself, um, if you want to, but say a master’s level athlete right now in January, maybe they’re cranking up for a national championship or something. Are, are

Kolie Moore (00:47:34):

You calling me old? <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:47:36):

Amen. I masters masters.

Kolie Moore (00:47:38):

I’m a, I’m actually a baby masters. Yeah. Baby masters.

Adam Pulford (00:47:41):

<laugh> thought I saw some gray in that, in that little Scruff there, but yeah, you

Kolie Moore (00:47:45):

Got it. <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:47:47):

Um, so yeah, you, you pick an athlete of a master’s genre, if you will. Uh, what, what do you have ’em doing right

Kolie Moore (00:47:53):

Now? Um, you know, it’s pretty much the same as I would have any kind of, um, athlete of their training age doing, you know, if they’ve been training for 20 years, um, you know, we’ll be training them. Like they are an experienced athlete. If they’re they been training for two years or five years, then we’ve got some very different goals. Uh, and uh, especially a lot of people at that level are somewhere between, um, you know, full-time parents, full-time job and they’ve only got 10 hours a week train or they’re retired and they’ve got some extra income and they can just really go for it. And so in which case, you know, these people are gonna be doing very different things. So obviously, um, I’m sure as you do in your coaching, uh, it’s all very individual based.

Adam Pulford (00:48:37):

Yeah. And I kind of, I mean, not, not to pull Supreme trickery, but that’s a great answer because it really, it really depends. And I think when people, especially when you’re talking to people at Coley and I like, we always go into training history first, before we give a great answer. So cuing up in without giving like a, a five minute detail example of who this athlete could be. I like Coley’s answer because he’s, it’s like, oh, that’s a general gonna have a general answer because broad base is not the greatest and that’s kind of how we operate. Um, and I would say again, go episode number 46 from train podcasts, listen to some, some colleagues in the end, we’re looking at individualizing training approaches because that is what prevails, especially if you’re beyond novice type of athlete.

Kolie Moore (00:49:26):

Yeah. Well, and that even goes for elite athletes too. Cause um, I coach professional athletes right now. Uh, I have one particular client who he can easily ride 25 to 30 hours a week, uh, for most of the year. And he’s, he’s great. Um, and I have other professional athletes who are in the, you know, 15 to 20 hours a week. And if they go a little beyond that, then it starts to be a little too much for them. And so even then there’s still a very large individual range on what somebody can, uh, maintain. And we’re always looking at, you know, getting them a little bit more, a little bit more, but you know, once you’re doing 25, 30 hours a week, it’s like, all right, we’re gonna get some diminishing returns real fast after the, for sure.

Adam Pulford (00:50:05):

For sure. I, I like to say, and I’ve said, I think on this podcast before rarely is it the training that is the problem say when there is a problem, um, and generally speaking more volume the better, and then you have to have some type of intellectual weave of intensities, but like in general, it comes down to the time constraints of an athlete and the other stressors that are going on. And that that’s what goes into how to get the most performance out of an athlete. Yeah. Um, which we’re talking about here. So I’d say, you know, again, in terms, if someone’s listening to this and they want an exact volume for a week or a month or whatever, probably not gonna get it. So out of these two coaches, <laugh> all right. Um, however, <laugh> yeah. Sorry, not sorry. Um, but one of the things that I think we can talk about in terms of like how you do base training is looking at maybe some of the strengths and weaknesses in how to shore up and make sure that there’s no weak, uh, weak link in a chain. So co question to you, I, if you’ve got an athlete with a weakness, is this a time to address that weakness? And, and how would you do that in a base training?

Kolie Moore (00:51:15):

You know, it depends on what the weakness is and what the li the physiological limiters are. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, so if somebody’s weakness is like one minute power or sprint, and they really wanna improve it, excuse me. Um, doing a lot, lot of one minute intervals in, in this period during base training is probably not the way to go. Um, cuz you know, I there’s more than one paper and more than one coach was seen that, uh, as you do these kinds of intervals, you know, just doing more is not necessarily going to yield the adaptation that they will get better. Um, like I’ve seen a lot of people will pop up one minute best after doing nothing but FTP training mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so it’s a lot more complicated, but you know, if we wanna look at like a physiologic limit for PMAX or one minute power, like FRC oror capacity type stuff, uh, we’re gonna look at muscle mass, like how much force can you produce cuz muscle mass, um, is going to be very good for glycogen storage. You get more per unit muscle, um, and you are going to have better force production. So this is going to improve your big limiters here. And so if we’re looking at, uh, improvements of the aerobic nature, then you know, you’re doing aerobic training in general. And so, um so you don’t, you’re already working on your weakness.

Adam Pulford (00:52:30):

Yeah, no completely agree there. And I, I have made, um, I’ve done some of that anaerobic training in a base period, I’d say with very mixed results and in, and made the mistake in that regard. And I think that when you’re looking at other say, if there is a weakness, like a neuromuscular power type, it is generally better. I think to go off the bike, create more muscle mass for forced generation in order to do that now, like this time period, January, February, and all this kinda stuff, generally, it’s not the best to do that on the bike. I’d, I’d say based in my experience thus far, um, you so completely agree with, with co on that. Um, I would say if it is, if the weakness also has like a technical nature to it, meaning like a, like a sprint form, like they just can’t sprint they’re very uncoordinated. And so I’ll still throw in some 22nd sprints to keep some of that high end and, and get some of that, um, that form down so that this, um, kind of, I hate the term muscle memory, but people <laugh> relate to it, but like, you start to get that so that you, um, learn how to move and how to coordinate on your bike over time. And it’s not gonna hurt your training to do few sprints here and there, and some aerobic stuff in, well, you can

Kolie Moore (00:53:46):

Call it, you can call it, um, uh, motor, uh, patterning, I guess. Yes, exactly.

Adam Pulford (00:53:52):

Neuromuscular patterning, motor patterning,

Kolie Moore (00:53:53):

The same thing as like, when you get into the gym and you haven’t squatted for a couple months and you do your first couple squats and it’s really rusty, you’re a little off balance. Like you round your back a little bit, or you get some butt wink or something like that. But if you start, even if you’re just doing light loads, if you’re just squatting for, you know, once or twice a week for a couple weeks, you know, that technique is better. And the same thing happens with sprinting. And, you know, I would say that, you know, in mountain biking and you know, more, uh, you know, cyclecros even, or downhill or Enduro, you’re gonna want to, um, you know, take your time doing, uh, skills work in the off season, especially too, just to, you know, first of all, to not, not be rusty when, when it comes time to me doing a race and second, because, you know, it’s low intensity, you’re gonna be kind of fresh, uh, for the most part. And so you can actually spend a lot more mental energy on things like balance or like, you know, line choices and, you know, maybe learning to jump goal while you’re standing on a boat, super ball. Hey, why not?

Adam Pulford (00:54:48):

<laugh> exactly. No, I mean, that’s, that’s a great example. I mean, I’ve been working with, um, uh, a rider from, uh, EF Tipco and she’s, she’s looking to launch over new Europe and, and what we’re doing right now is all skill base, getting comfortable in group riding has some like high end punchy stuff to it, but it’s like, you know, bumping elbows in some high stress stuff, but it’s low intensity right now and that’s setting her up for, for the long term. So yeah, the base and that goes into like a weakness. Right. And that’s why I bring it up this base time period is a great time because training intensity is low to add in some of these other stressors that will shore up weakness. That’s kind of my main point. Yeah.

Kolie Moore (00:55:26):

I completely agree.

Adam Pulford (00:55:28):

Okay. So moving on here, uh, just to transition and that’s a good transition is when do you know, to move on from base training to whatever level of training comes next, co what are you looking for, uh, in an athlete, you know,

Kolie Moore (00:55:44):

Most of the time, the periodization kind of design itself. Um, you know, if we look at the end of an athlete’s race season and the start of the next race season, we’ve only got a couple months. So I wanna see some time off the bike. I wanna see some, you know, recuperation and the whole, everything that every everybody likes to do is like, you know, sitting on the couch and eating apples and cheese and watching movies and, you know, in the office, whatever you’re gonna do, I eat,

Adam Pulford (00:56:09):

Eat chips and salsa and sit on the couch. Oh,

Kolie Moore (00:56:12):

It’s the same, love that. Yeah. I order tacos from across the street. <laugh> perfect. Um, so after you do that and you start getting back into it, um, you know, you can kind of take your goal race and move backwards from it, or like the start of your race season. If you’ve got a two peak season and you wanna be in shape in June, you’re gonna wanna really start hitting the stuff kind of hard in like March. And so if you’re done in November, you’ve only got, you know, uh, a month off and then you’ve got, you know, two months to like hit the gym and get in some more long rides. And then, you know, it’s time to go. Um, and if that’s not where you’re at, if you’ve got like one race a year and the rest of your year is just kind of open, um, you know, you can, um, look at things like, uh, well, motivation is a big one.

Kolie Moore (00:56:59):

You’re just bored of long endurance rides. That’s fine too. Uh, you can move on a little bit, as long as you’re not going overboard with stuff. Um, you know, you can kind of period as how you want. So if you’re looking for like a physiologic metric, um, you know, I think Tim and one of his webinars had said things like, if you, if you’re watching, you know, your M FTP go up or you teach ego out or whatever metric you’re looking at, or maybe you’re tracking your, uh, efficiency factor, your EF, when everything kind of starts to plateau, that’s a good time to move on. And if you start to plateau pretty quick, cuz you don’t have a lot of time, let’s say you start with four hours a week and you get up to 10 hours a week. Um, you know, once you’re riding 10 hours a week all the time, there’s not gonna be much more adaptation that you’re gonna get from riding 10 hours a week, cuz your body needs little bit more.

Kolie Moore (00:57:44):

It’s already used to this. So, um, then it might be time to move on too. So there’s not a great answer. Um, and I, we actually have at empiric cycling, uh, one or two things, uh, little trade secrets that we use, um, you know, I would, I would share them, but you know, people are paying us and we don’t wanna <laugh> why else would they pay us if we don’t have one or two things that we’ve got? Uh, and this is one of those things that we have that kind of tells us, um, when to move on or not that, um, I unfortunately cannot share.

Adam Pulford (00:58:10):

Yeah, no, it that’s fair. And I think it’s also a great answer, um, to that, because I think, I think as a coach, I mean, when you do this for years and years, there’s, there’s like some, some art to it of knowing when this athlete needs to move in college trade secret, if you wish or not. I think as I, you know, working with some of the w K oh five future stuff and also listening to, um, that aspect from Tim, I, I have gone back and looked at when I changed, why did I change at what period? And I would say that, yeah, some of these metrics that we’re looking at do start to plateau and then you make a, and then you change intensity and then you keep on building up. I think some of that is a little, um, kind of either innate and kind of known in a good coach’s brain.

Adam Pulford (00:58:58):

Um, or as you said, it has worked out fi you know, fine with the puritization because you need to kind of, uh, keep on moving toward that race time period or, or a progressive overload if you will, uh, to get ready for that race. Um, and I do think for like self coached athletes, if, if you are a little confused about this, start working out an annual plan, do the periodization yourself and you’ll, and you’ll realize what co just talked about. It’s like, yeah, it kind of takes care of itself. If you get organized ahead of time and say, okay, this is when I take a break, this is when I build base. And then you start to look at when you, when you need to move on and it’s, it’s very distinct from a pattern from a planning standpoint. Yeah.

Kolie Moore (00:59:41):

Yeah. And, you know, I’m sure you’ve had the same difficulties I’ve had working with pro professional athletes where their race season in November and they’ve gotta be in shape in February. <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:59:49):

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah.

Kolie Moore (00:59:51):

There’s no option. Right. I see the look on your face it’s uh, yeah. <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:59:55):

Exactly. And then they get sick, um, anyway, dealing with that right now. Um, so yeah, I, I do think again, maybe no hard and fast answer in terms of when it’s time to move on, but I think it’s, you know, it’s a combination of data. It’s a combination, say of science in a combination of art. Uh, you need to put work in, you need to do your base training. And at some point, if, depending on the data you’re looking at, um, things will start to plateau. I think you can feel it. I think you see it in your data, but if you do get organized, there’s also this time period where it’s just like, well, no matter how good or poor this base went, uh, shifting up from zone two to three or three to four that needs to occur to keep you on your plan.

Kolie Moore (01:00:40):

Yeah. And some people actually just, you know, respond better to, to slightly higher intensities, um, you know, spread a little more throughout the year. So, um, you know, typically I, I’m sure you’ve seen in, uh, professional athletes, you need to really cluster that, um, that stimulus into a very short time period to get to really overload and, you know, get to the next level that they are capable of. But, you know, for an average athlete, uh, if they respond to higher intensity just a little bit, um, you know, then you wanna make sure you spread it out and give ’em plenty of recovery. That whole kind of typical stuff.

Adam Pulford (01:01:13):

Yes. Yes. That’s it. Um, yeah, that’s it. I, and I’m hesitating right now, cause I’m like, gosh, that’s just like so more. And we talked about this even off before, it’s like, oh, should I say this? And should I really <laugh> but you know, go, um, we’re gonna do another episode together talking about cuz this is say the base, right? The space, um, training and where a lot of your expertise lies. Well, not only in coaching, but some of this neuromuscular power in, in, in high end stuff, um, we’re gonna get you back for developing neuromuscular and PAX, uh, power and you’ll learn what that actually means as we go. And it’s gonna, it’s gonna be kind of that ying and yang to, uh, a series that I, that I had of the, how to series for, um, developing threshold VO two max and anaerobic capacity.

Adam Pulford (01:02:02):

So, um, bringing in Coley, somebody who’s smarter than I to talk about this base, but also the, the higher end of the near muscular power come back for that. Um, but I’d say, uh, we’ll, we’ll wait to talk about some of the stuff that I want to for that episode. And, and we’ll just, uh, we’ll take this thing home with a little bit of summary right now, because I know, you know, our athletes who, who listen, they’re, they’re addicted to increasing their performance. And I, and I do think that they learn a lot today in terms like how to build their base, why they should build their base and, and, you know, got some nuggets of how to look at stuff they’re reading a little bit differently and maybe go a little bit deeper, say into your podcast or, or into human physiology and learn like, oh wow. That’s why that doesn’t work the way I thought it did. So, um, you know, we learned a lot today, but if you could summarize kind of just in like one phrase or kind of one thought, uh, what would you tell our listeners that they should take away it from this episode?

Kolie Moore (01:03:01):

Um, you know, do what’s enjoyable to you?

Adam Pulford (01:03:05):

Hmm. Chips and salsa chips and salsa. <laugh> sorry I talk about that too much, but yeah. Do’s enjoyable on the bike you’re talking.

Kolie Moore (01:03:12):

Yeah. Um, yeah. Do what’s enjoyable and um, you know, it’s, it’s less about like’s specific workout and it’s more about the sum total of what you do. Um, cuz uh, you know, this is kind of my definition of base training. Like for instance is it’s not like what you do before you start to train harder. It’s everything you do at least adaptations down the road. And you know, what I’ve found in coaching is that, you know, if we’re really looking at eeking out that extra, like one to couple percent, um, then yeah, we’ll look at, okay, this workout needs to be here. This workout needs to be here. We need to do it like this. We need to do it like this. But for the most part, just make sure that you’re not digging too far into the weeds and you’re not driving yourself crazy with data.

Kolie Moore (01:03:57):

Um, and that you’re, you know, kind of being a little critical and a little self doubting of your own methodology, which I am extremely of my own. Um, and that’ll get you moving forward and kind of, um, you know, uh, actually I think you had touched on this earlier. I meant to sense something about it, but just make sure that you’re recovering really well. Yeah. Um, and cuz a lot of, uh, a lot of what happens, you know, from novices to, you know, intermediate to more advanced, uh, local elites to world tour elites, um, a lot of what happens when you start to hit your head against the wall, the answer is usually not more training. It’s usually more recovery. Yep.

Adam Pulford (01:04:40):

Yeah, exactly. It’s never, and it, the reason why I hesitate right now is, is because as a coach, I, I think it’s an easy out to say it’s never the training, but I think it’s, it’s not the easy out. It’s actually the hard aspect of it for a coach because sure. I can prescribe 30 hours and say, if you don’t do it well, you’re not tough enough. I go, go get it. Right. It’s not the trainings fault. It’s your fault. Right? Yeah. That’s what that could mean. But it’s not because a good coach will say, well, okay, well, okay, why are you tired? Why’d you get sick. Okay. What’s going on relational life, career, life, your kids, you know, why didn’t you sleep all this kinda stuff or you didn’t sleep. And you’re, you’re looking at all these say data points and comments and communication in order to, to make sure this athlete is being healthy and doing the things that they need to do to achieve their goals. Right. And so I think it makes it more challenging that it’s not the training. If it was the training, I dunno, we wouldn’t be having conversations like this <laugh>

Kolie Moore (01:05:41):

Yeah. Like, yeah. And especially with cyclists and endurance athletes who are typically extremely self-motivated right. And you know, Kyle might podcast cohost and I, we usually rag on this, uh, probably one out of every four or five episodes mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, which is, you know, that, you know, if you just work harder, you’ll get faster. And that’s, you know, so if, if one workout a week is good, one hard workout, two week hard workouts a week is better. Three is even better. Six is awesome. And if you can get in 12, oh my God, you’re gonna be so fast. It, it doesn’t work like that. And a lot of our jobs as coaches is not to crack whip. Uh, but it’s to pull the leash just to say, Hey, slow down. Like you’re really stressed out right now. I think taking the next two or three weeks easy until you get through this rough patch is going to be better for you than if we just try to push cuz whoops. Um, cuz then you are going to get overtrained you’re gonna get sick. You’re gonna, you’re gonna quit. Um, and you know, and it’s not, it’s not only just that we don’t wanna lose a client it’s that, you know, we don’t wanna do that to a person.

Adam Pulford (01:06:44):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And, and as it pertains to base training, it just kinda like circle this thing, you know, back is, is when it comes to base because it is, you know, it’s lower intensity and generally less glamorous it’s still needs to get done. And the best way to do it is just to get it done without overthinking about the data, the metrics about man, who’s doing more than me right now. It’s like, nah, just, just deer base training. If you have a coach communicate with him during the base training, because that’s still important, even though you don’t have all the fancy intervals and all this kind of stuff. Um, and if you’re self coached, you know, whether you get outside or stay inside, you know, take Cole’s advice of like, eh, it doesn’t really matter. Stay in zone two, get it

Kolie Moore (01:07:28):

Done well. And I, I think a lot of our, you know, recovery admonitions here are mostly focused at people who are really time crunched and don’t have much choice, but to do higher intensity stuff for a base, like you hit your six, eight hours and you start doing sweet spot work already. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, you know, you can overdo sweet spot work for sure. And so that’s, I think that’s kind of what we’re thinking of when we say stuff like this.

Adam Pulford (01:07:49):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So with that said, I I’ll leave it by saying keep learning. Especially if, if, if some of this stuff in the episode it’s like, I didn’t get my full answer. It’s like, great. We just set you up for more learning. So go listen to Kohl’s podcast. Um, empirical cycling, um, you can find it on apple iTunes, uh, Stitcher, Spotify, all the places, right

Kolie Moore (01:08:12):

Coley. And on the website, we got some show notes for episodes where we have stuff to refer to. Um, lot, lot of papers linked and stuff like that. Most of them are actually open text. I try to get those when I can.

Adam Pulford (01:08:23):

Yeah, it’s real good too. Especially if you’re super nerdy or if you’re like, you want to know where the omega three or omega six bonds happen in, in you’re like, wait, I can’t visualize that while I’m on the trainer, like go to his website cuz he does do a very good job better than I do about some of the show notes and stuff. But uh, also you’re on Instagram. Facebook, are you on Twitter as well?

Kolie Moore (01:08:44):

Um, I’m on Facebook. I don’t really touch Facebook these days anymore. Just just happened that way. But I think a lot of well WK five group, uh, user group is, uh, pretty much the only reason I’ve been still on Facebook. Um, Instagram at empirical cycling, uh, Twitter, uh, type underscore I, I X uh, I barely use Twitter except the stock people. Um, so, um, you know, that’s where to find me and uh, reach out, say hi

Adam Pulford (01:09:08):

Type. I, uh, I IX, I like it. I like it. And for those who don’t understand, just, just, I

Kolie Moore (01:09:14):

Dunno, we’ll talk about out that next episode.

Adam Pulford (01:09:16):

Yeah. Send, send, Ko a message. Send, send ’em a DM ask. ’em what it means. Um, and you’ll learn more about it. So Ko Moore. Uh, thank you so much for taking time today out of your, your coaching day and probably had to flick a few messages from athletes to, to talk to us on the train right podcast, but we super appreciate

Kolie Moore (01:09:32):

It. Oh yeah. Thanks for having me. This is a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to that one.

Adam Pulford (01:09:36):

All right. We’ll stay warm up in, uh, up in Vermont. All

Kolie Moore (01:09:39):

Right. Well you stay warm down in mid Atlantic.

Adam Pulford (01:09:41):


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