INSCYD Sebastian Weber product lead

Sebastian Weber: Gaining Detailed Insights Into Athletes’ Physiology

Share This Article


About this episode:
In this week’s episode, coach Adam talks with sports scientist Sebastian Weber, who has worked in professional cycling for more than 10 years, about the software many WorldTour cycling teams are using with their athletes to get a more holistic view of their physiology and drive the focus of their training.

Guest Bio – Sebastian Weber:

Sebastian Weber has been the head coach of professional cycling teams of the highest ranks for more than 10 years. After his studies in sports science and molecular human biology, Sebastian ran several research projects focused on modeling muscular energy metabolism and its dose-response relationship as an adaptation to cycling training before he became the head sports scientist of the T-Mobile professional cycling team at the age of only 28. Sebastian continued his way in the world of professional cycling as head coach/head of human performance in some of the most successful teams such as Highroad, Columbia, HTC, Katusha, Lotto, and Cannondale.

Subsequently, in 2007 Sebastian founded the STAPS human performance lab in Germany. The methods he applied in his coaching experiences helped his athletes to win numerous victories at the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta, multiple World Championships, and the Olympic medals.

His methods to the applied analysis of energy metabolism ultimately resulted in the creation of INSCYD, a software for the analysis of metabolic performance which aroused the interest of other professional sports, resulting in consulting services in swimming, track cycling, speed skating and football.

Episode Highlights:

  • Truly tailoring your training sessions to your goals and needs
  • Gaining a holistic view of an athlete’s physiology
  • A deep dive into the software many top WorldTour cycling teams are using with their athletes

Learn More About Sebastian Weber’s Work At INSCYD:

https://www.instagram.com/inscyd_/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvqHz1jurt5jYRjQ9IGtbsw

 

 

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

 


Thanks To This Week’s Sponsors:

Stages Cycling

This episode of the TrainRight Podcast is brought to you by Stages Cycling, the industry leader in accurate, reliable and proven power meters and training devices.

Stages Cycling offers the widest range of power meter makes and models to fit any bike, any drivetrain and any rider, all manufactured in their Boulder, Colorado facility. They’ve expanded their offerings to include the Stages Dash line of innovative and intuitive GPS cycling computers covering a full range of training and workout-specific features to make your workouts go as smooth as possible.

And for 2020 Stages is applying its decade of indoor cycling studio expertise to the new StagesBike smart trainer. Check out their latest at www.stagescycling.com and use the coupon code CTS20OFF all caps at checkout for 20% off.

PureClean Performance

This episode of the TrainRight Podcast is brought to you by PureClean Performance, the industry leader in premium, great-tasting, beet-infused performance and recovery formulas.

Get all the stamina and endurance benefits of beet juice powder anyway you like it. Their physician formulated products include BEET’UMS chocolate sports chews, CHOCOBERRY BLAST superfood blend, PURECLEAN POWDER organic beet juice power and UNBEETABREW performance coffee 

And learn more about the PureClean Performance Club. A one-of-kind membership program where you can save 33% off their formulas, 40% off other professional supplements, 20% off brand name endurance gels, powders, bars such as Gu and Heed, 35% off organic natural foods, 50% off lab assessments, discounts off performance and health coaching, gear, recovery devices and more!  Check out all the details of this slam dunk offer at www.purecleanperformance.com and use the code CTS120 to save 33% off your first years members dues.


Episode Transcript:

Adam Pulford:

Are you making gains in your training and racing but you can’t exactly tell why or how? Perhaps your FTP isn’t going up but you’re outperforming your peers. Or maybe it’s the exact opposite. Have you ever wondered what’s going on under the hood of your athletic engine? Well, if you have, today’s episode will touch on all of that and hopefully explain more of what’s going on. Our guest today is Sebastian Weber. Sebastian, where are you joining us from?

Sebastian Weber:

Yeah, good afternoon, good evening. I’m joining you here from Switzerland today, actually. That’s what I call home.

Adam Pulford:

Beautiful. Yeah, I love Switzerland. Spent sometime doing this Swiss Epic last year and man, like I said, want to try to find a way to get there again either to ride bikes or explore. Can you tell our audience a bit more about yourself, Sebastian?

Sebastian Weber:

Well, yes. So I’m what we call in Europe as sport scientist so you might call it a physiologist. I studies sports science and actually also, molecular human biology. I’ve worked for more than 10 years in professional cycling and more than 20 years in coaching amateurs and recreational athletes. Since 2017, I’m the project leader of a company called INSCYD, and that’s what keeps me busy currently, I would say.

Adam Pulford:

And that’s what we’re here to talk about today, too. But before we get into software, I want to ask, how did you get into coaching and physiology and working with the athletes that you’ve worked with like Tony Martin, Peter Sagan, Jumbo-Visma, Highroad. How did this all start?

Sebastian Weber:

Well, as I said, I studied sports science back in the day, started at 1999. Yeah, actually during the studies already, I got asked if I could work in the human performance lab in the University of Cologne, which is actually a university only specialized on sports. It’s the biggest one, like I said, in Europe. This is how I started and then we had professional athletes, professional cyclists coming in to do health checks and their regular checkups. This is how I first got in touch with some professional athletes.

Sebastian Weber:

So then I’ve finished my studies and got my diploma or what nowadays you would call a master degree, with some special reward. Actually for how I’ve done it. Then I did some research project. Basically research project on developing a method to measure the glycolytic power or if you want it more broad, anaerobic power of an athlete. And to use this information in conjunction with this power data. You have to think about it this way is that in 2002 to 2003, of course, there have been power meters, but they have not been as widely spread as nowadays. My work was to develop a method to calculate something what today people call FTP, so anaerobic threshold. It came out that we could calculate it more precisely, much more precisely with any other method and also understand how it is created.

Sebastian Weber:

So to come a little bit more back to your question, this method, basically aroused a lot of interest within all the professional cyclists in the area and also amateur cyclists. Then fast forward four years-ish, in 2006 basically when this Fuentes Doping Scandal happened. At that time, T-Mobile team fired Jan Ullrich and all the management of the team. Mid to end of 2006, Bob Stapleton from the US took over. They wanted a coach or a head coach or head sports scientist or performance manager, whatever you want to call that, I don’t really care, who did have a serious scientific background in physiology and being able to work with power data.

Sebastian Weber:

Again at this time, it was not as common as it is today. Instead of having a medical background in helping athletes to increase performing, having a scientific background on it, yeah, sou could say, a little bit, a similar method, what you would now find an insight and obviously is much more developed. It’s like the 3.0 version of what we started using in 2006 in the professional teams is actually, so you could say, simplified saying, the Inside software is actually what created so much interest in professional cycling in 2006 that I became the CH of 28 head coach, scientists, whatsoever at team T-Mobile, which then eventually became Team Highroad HTC, Columbia and eventually became, I think, one of the most professional cycling teams in the history of cycling.

Sebastian Weber:

This is how it started and then if you work with professionals, it’s the most successful teams yet guys like Tony Martin, professional 2008 with us and then moved on to other teams and worked with guys like [inaudible 00:06:21] Sagan or this Highroad, [inaudible 00:06:24] and Greipel, started working with Greipel from the very beginning. Now the work with Jumbo as a team, CCC, and as an athlete, and especially also as a sport, so you’re not limited to cycling. People see us from cycling, but actually the first organization that signed up for a license of INSCYD actually was the French Institute for High Performance Sports with the French National Swimming Federation. They’re not limited to that anymore but this basically is how it started. And this is how I ended up working with all those athletes and professional teams.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. That’s a great history of sport physiology there. And as our audience can hear, I mean, let’s call it a physiological sage is who we’re interviewing today. So Sebastian, again, welcome to the show and taking time to sit down and talk with us here.

Sebastian Weber:

Thanks for having me.

Adam Pulford:

Let’s just jump right into the software. What is the INSCYD Power Performance Software?

Sebastian Weber:

Well, I think the name, I hope at least the name is trying to tell a little bit. INSCYD is a software which is, as one professor from Spain called, it’s a software, which is looking into the body of the athlete, it’s looking into the muscle of the athlete to find out what’s going on inside the athlete when they are exercising, when they are performing. So you said it in the intro a little bit, looking under the hood. It’s just not satisfying to just say, “Your power output it is -ish. Your power does X, Y, Z.” Or your speed in another sport like swimming or something is whatever, X, Y, Z. That’s just not satisfying.

Sebastian Weber:

In order to increase performance, and this is really what it is about, in order to increase performance, you need to understand what are the limiting factors. What is limiting the athlete and then this is what you want to focus on in training in the preparation. That’s nothing uncommon. If you look at any other industry, except for cycling, that is normally what people do. If you look at business and even try to increase the revenue or the profit of the business, they’re looking, “Okay, where can we gain efficiency? Where can we save costs?” That’s what you do.

Sebastian Weber:

When you go to a doctor because you don’t feel good, let’s imagine you are a cyclist and you have a pain in your knee and you go to a doctor and the doctor says, ” what? You get pain in your knee when you ride your bike. what? Just ride less and take some ibuprofen and some painkillers.” That’s not a satisfying answer, right? The satisfying answer would be to find out why this is and then fix it. So the question here when it comes to training should be, and you can bring up the example of an FTP, you can bring up any other example. How is it created? Why is it what it is?

Sebastian Weber:

In order to answer the question how can we fix it, so which knob so to speak, which, can we turn here in order to increase our performance? And that’s basically the idea of looking inside the athlete and that’s where the name for software comes from, INSCYD. Finding out what are the performance limiting factors? And then target those in training instead on just guessing in all value how you want to improve your performance.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. It’s a true diagnostic look under the hood of the athlete engine. And not only see what is improving in terms of the power duration or a response to the heart rate, but you’re starting to see the utilization aspect. I guess we’ll get into that here in just a minute but it’s a truly looking under the hood at the engine and seeing how performance is being generated rather than just, “The athlete performed well.”

Sebastian Weber:

Right. And to make this clear, it is not something, at first sight, people sometimes think, “This is a substitute for my TrainingPeaks or Today’s Plan account or whatever.” No, it’s not. We don’t do any training plans. And it’s not your substitute for whatever Golden Cheetah or WKO or whatever you use to look at your actual riding data, that’s also not what we do. From a coaching perspective, you could say something like TrainingPeaks or Today’s Plan or so on is your everyday software. This is where you put into workouts and you maybe communicate a little bit with your athlete because he or she will leave comments to the workout. And then something like Golden Cheetah or WKO is where you look at the data maybe and look at how the athlete has performed the workouts and so on and so forth.

Sebastian Weber:

Then INSCYD is a complimentary tool, which you basically use to understand, “Okay, which direction do I want to go in training?” I could quote here Marco Pinotti, who’s the head of performance at CCC Professional Cycling Team. He said INSCYD for him is like a compass that that guides him in the dark. So we are not making training programs, if you’re not looking at every workout, but INSCYD as a software so to speak, let’s say you plan a training or you want to plan a training. You want to sit down and plan the next block of training for the next two or three months.

Sebastian Weber:

So at this moment, you’re making the decision on which direction the athlete should go in terms of training. And this is when you use INSCYD and you decide, “Okay, should I go either long and easy? Short and hard? How do I fuse the athlete? How do I design interval programs? How do I design load, on versus off phases intervals? What should I target? More like VO2 max or should I start to target other stuff?” These are the questions that is answered by INSCYD. It’s not the everyday little tiny stuff. It’s giving you the direction we have to go.

Adam Pulford:

The best way, I think, I can describe it in, full disclosure here, I have not been using this with my athletes, I will be. But the best way I can describe it is, and correct me if I’m wrong, Sebastian, but a software that you can use the protocol of testing in order to gain more insights to develop training strategies for your athlete.

Sebastian Weber:

Right. For me, if I may use this metaphor here is a training plan is trying to be the shortest connections between where you are at the moment and where you want to go in terms of what is your sporting goal. Is it a race or just increase your fitness or, like you say, you want to ride around Switzerland and do some passes, some climbs in the Alps. So what I’m trying to say here is you might have some idea what is your goal. And when you ask an athlete or a coach, they have a lot … There’s a lot of great feedback in terms of, “I know I need to be able to spare carbohydrates. I know I need to be able to increase my fat combustion.”

Sebastian Weber:

Or when it comes to road racing, “I know I need to be able to recover better in a circuit race.” So the athletes and the coaches can tell you where they want to go, or so to speak, what they need to improve. But when it comes to, “Okay, where are you now?” Like put a number behind how good you are in terms of recovery, then it becomes very silent as a conversation because nobody normally has this number. This is the void that INSCYD, so to speak, fills here. It is helping you to create this training program, much, much more targeted and much, much more focused on what you really want to work on. Nothing more, nothing less.

Adam Pulford:

All right, Sebastian. So the three pillars of the power performance decoder, that’s probably the better way to describe it. Could you explain to me and our audience what those are?

Sebastian Weber:

Right. So that’s a little bit of technical question here. Without seeing the software …

Adam Pulford:

For sure, that’s a limitation.

Sebastian Weber:

… it’s maybe not so easy to understand. But let me explain, let me try to explain it in a way that hopefully resonates very good with your audience. So there are three pillars of the PPD, of the power performance decoders, which is VO2 max, so it’s the aerobic performance of aerobic power of an athlete. And then that’s a VLAmax, which is a maximum glycolytic which is an anaerobic pathway. Glycolytic power performance of the athlete. And third, the anaerobic threshold. So these are the three pillars. And what we mean by three pillars is that in order to use INSCYD in this way, so there are different gatekeepers, so to speak, how you can use them, so depending on the sport and how you want to obtain the data, but let’s stick to the power performance decoder.

Sebastian Weber:

So when you want to use the power performance decoder of INSCYD, you need to have one measurement that allows the software to calculate the VO2 max, you need one set of data that allows the software to calculate VLAmax and one data set that allows the software to calculate anaerobic threshold. The way this works or why it’s three pillars or why it’s interconnected and what also makes it unique and more accurate is think about … This is I think, what will resonate, hopefully, pretty good here with the audience is think about the anaerobic threshold. So in terms of the real scientific way to talk about anaerobic threshold, it’s a maximal lactate steady state. So the maximum power output an athlete can hold without accumulating lactate.

Sebastian Weber:

What this is, is when you talk about the maximal lactate steady state it implies that there’s some kind of lactate production going in there. Because we talk about the maximum steady state. So there’s a lactate production happening. And then there’s also when you exercise, there’s a lactate combustion happening. And the latter is something everybody knows about. When you do hot interval training, in between the intervals, instead of sitting in the grass for 10 minutes, you keep pedaling easy, because you want to combust the lactate.

Sebastian Weber:

Just imagine for a second, just put yourself in this situation, you wouldn’t do that, you just would lay on the road for 10 minutes, you get up to the next interval, your legs would feel pretty bad because you didn’t combust lactate. So long story short, your FTP anaerobic threshold, max lactate steady state, I’m not going into the details splitting hairs, what might be the difference, blah, blah, blah, forget about it, doesn’t matter anyway. So let’s say your anaerobic threshold whatsoever, the maximum lactate steady state is created by an equilibrium of lactate production and lactate combustion.

Sebastian Weber:

And this refers to what I just say, the other two pillars. So, the VO2 max, the performance, the power, the capacity of your aerobic system determines how much lactate you can combust at a certain power output. And your VLAmax, your maximum glycolytic or lactate production ability, so to speak, or capacity, determines how much lactate you’re producing. So these two systems determine at which power is your anaerobic threshold. Bringing it back to what we said a few minutes ago, this knowledge and this technology is exactly what brought me into the world of professional cycling and aroused so much interest that many, many athletes, many teams by now are working with that method, because it’s explaining you not only, and this is I think a very important thing. It is one thing to ask the question, “What is my anaerobic threshold? What is my FTP?” And it’s another thing to …

Sebastian Weber:

And everybody will have an answer. Everyone will tell, “Yeah, I know it’s 275 watts and last week it was 273. So it improved,” blah, blah, blah, whatsoever. It’s one thing to ask this question, it’s another thing to ask the question, “Why is it 276 watts and why is it not 376 watts? What would need to change physiologically in order to improve it?” Then again, it becomes very silent. This is basically what’s the view to maximum VLAmax are doing for you. They explain you how this threshold is created. And this is what is included in the power performance decoder.

Adam Pulford:

So with all that said, would you say that in order to use this software, can any athlete use this app or can any coach use this software? How does it work if someone listening to this podcast will say, “Well, that sounds really good, Sebastian, I want to pick the software up and go use it on myself and then do my training.” What does the process of that look like?

Sebastian Weber:

At the moment, INSCYD is only available for coaches, I have to say. We are only running on a B2B, on a business to business relationship. So INSCYD currently is no public facing part of INSCYD for an athlete. When you are an athlete, then you want to find a coach who is using INSCYD. They have a map on our website so you can look in your area, it says somebody and visit PPD, it can be all done remotely. So if you visit power performance decoder, the testing also very smoothly. So you can pick somebody from, I don’t know, South Africa or Uruguay or Russia if you want to analyze your data and data give your data feedback. We do have an increasing community of coaches, especially in cycling using it.

Sebastian Weber:

I’m not excluding, I’m not ruling out the possibility that there might be an athlete version for INSCYD sometime in the future. But currently, it’s only for coaches. And as a coach, you get your own INSCYD account, you get your own software and you always get the training visit. That’s for every coach. That can be for a part time cycling coach, who’s a teacher in school or has a second job, so to speak, and only coach the part time, that also applies when you are, for example, the German Swimming Federation, which is using INSCYD as one example.

Sebastian Weber:

And you have a PhD in physiology. You will always receive the software in combination or conjunction with the training. This is because, what I’m trying to go as explanation of why it’s only INSCYD to coaches and not directly INSCYD to athletes, because the software is offering so much flexibility in terms of what you can do. We didn’t even touch on about performance projections or virtual performance, these kind of what the software offers you.

Sebastian Weber:

There’s so many knobs, so to speak, you can turn. Giving you just one example, when you are swimming, let’s say you’re a running coach, and you want to find out how much time dropping 1% body fat, how much time it saves you on a half marathon, INSCYD can calculate the answer for you. So there are many, many things to … It’s very versatile, basically, and this is why currently it’s not in the hands of an athlete. No offense against the athlete. It just said it involves a decent amount of training and education.

Sebastian Weber:

So we actually do have something what we call the INSCYD College where INSCYD users get trained on the software on general aspects on physiology just to make sure that we create a level of field of knowledge for everybody to maximize what they get out of the software. That’s really what it is about, to train people to get the maximum out of their using INSCYD. Sorry for the long answer. When you are-

Adam Pulford:

No, it’s a wonderful answer.

Sebastian Weber:

When you are a coach, contact us. We are happy to show you and you can judge for yourself if you feel like that’s something for you or isn’t, that’s fine. When you’re an athlete, currently on our website it says find INSCYD under the contact form and you can have a map and see where you can find a coach and that’s currently is a way how to do it. The good thing about it is is that most coaches who use INSCYD don’t offer only the INSCYD testings, it also offers the INSCYD testing only in conjunction with some kind of consultancy.

Sebastian Weber:

And maybe let me add this, from my experience, because I had my own human performance lab in Germany for many, many years, it’s a very common thing that you have athletes who call you up and say, “Look, I just want to know, I just want to do the testing, I just want to see on my metabolic profile.” Then I’m fine when it comes to training. Actually, when you sit down with the athlete and you explain all these metrics, and there are some new metrics to it, glycolytic power, recovery rate from lactate, these kind of things, there are so many new metrics and without any offense, actually, don’t get me wrong here but even the most knowledgeable athletes come to the point where they say, “Okay, maybe it would be good to have a sparring partner here to exchange some ideas on how I use this in training,” to say the least or not even, or getting a training program.

Adam Pulford:

This is exactly why I asked the question because I know we’re going a little off script here. But even as I’m getting up to speed on this stuff and then when you describe the three pillars, for example, I could see somebody listening to this podcast and be like, “Combustion of lactate. I want to do that better.” But there’s so many other things going on within the realm of those three aspects that you just discussed in conjunction with the rest of your software that the weekend warrior will not be able to fully maximize the use of the software and they need somebody to come alongside them in order to get the job done and point them in the right direction.

Adam Pulford:

So I think it’s actually a really good way or a really good thing that you guys do provide the knowledge and resources to educate people on how to use this because otherwise we’d end up going down the route of FTP and have this whole philosophical discussion on why no one really knows what it is even though everybody’s [crosstalk 00:26:15]

Sebastian Weber:

That’s very well-said. I think we should put aside any ego here. It’s no offense. Everybody has a blank spot when it comes to physiology and training and so on and so forth. It’s really what you said, we just want to maximize how people can utilize this tool. For me personally, I’d rather have somebody, using it this, a lower number of athletes or so to speak, adopting it slower, than missing out on pieces. Just a few example, two days ago, I talked to a head of performance of a virtual cycling teams, they want to start using INSCYD. We just agreed on it. That’s what’s normally do, is that we start only with a fraction of the team and only a fraction of the coaching stuff.

Sebastian Weber:

Because when you start to go from zero to hero, then there’s a fair chance that you lose somebody on the way, so to speak. And that’s not the idea. That’s not our interest. So what we are trying to do is to provide you the most accurate tool possible, the most precise tool possible and the most comprehensive training. So going back to the power performance decoder, power performance decoder was in development for two years. The official launch date was April 2019 and it wasn’t yet … It was good and if we would have launched it at that time, nobody would maybe have noticed the little glitches or inaccuracies on it or whatsoever.

Sebastian Weber:

But instead of launching it, we preferred giving the prototypes, giving the beta versions to some professional teams and to some coaches, professionals, non-professional, so virtual coaches versus commercial coaches and human performance lab and say that they play around with that. Then with their help, improve it and take almost another year until we launched it, until it had the accuracy and validity and repeatability and all the functionalities that we want it to be. And this is kind of the philosophy of the whole company. Make things a little bit slower, if needed, but make it correct and make it right.

Adam Pulford:

I love the approach. I really do. So any athlete can benefit from the software but let’s hone in or zoom in on the cyclist.

Sebastian Weber:

Right. Sorry.

Adam Pulford:

No, it’s all good. Because I love ping ponging around. I think it’s very healthy and I think it’s good for the listener as well to understand that there’s more than just triathlon or cycling going on here. Can we talk about like a field testing scenario of where we would get the data from, how to plug it in and what that looks like?

Sebastian Weber:

Right. Sure. You need to narrow it down a little bit so I’m just assuming that you want to talk maybe about power only data capture?

Adam Pulford:

Let’s go power only data capture and let’s assume that someone is, again, field testing with an accurate power meter, cycling computer, and they’re pretty savvy and organized with their data using Today’s Plan or TrainingPeaks or something like …

Sebastian Weber:

Right. As I indicated before, INSCYD, when it comes to the power performance decoder, our lactate testing is very versatile. So just giving you one example protocol how you could do it. So this is cycling and just using only your power meter so without lactate and without VO2 analyzers. The most simple approach, so to speak, that you could do, the standard protocols, so to speak, what consist of four efforts, which is a 20-second sprint. It doesn’t really matter if it’s 18 or 23, or whatever, the software takes everything between 14 and 25 seconds. A good sprint is 20 seconds. I can come back to the details but let’s first … That’s one of the efforts. Then it’s three all out efforts and one should be in the ballpark of two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minutes.

Sebastian Weber:

Then the other one should be about six minutes-ish. Can be five, can be seven, doesn’t really matter. That’s a protocol that we give out. And then the last one is about 10 to 12 minutes. So now when you hear that, you might say, “Well, that’s boring. What was he talking about? That’s the same thing I’m doing anyway. That’s the same thing everybody else does.” I get it that on the first glance, it might look like that. However, how you need to carry out those tests and what we do to the data especially is something vastly different. Let me go a little bit into the details here. So the 20-second sprint, whatever it is, let’s call it just 20 seconds for the sake of simplicity. The 20 seconds sprint has to come from rest. So you’re not allowed to pedal for the last, at least, 90 seconds before the effort.

Adam Pulford:

Are you talking like standing start or …

Sebastian Weber:

Standing start, I don’t care, I don’t really care. It’s not important if it’s a standing start or maybe it comes from coasting. So speed is higher than zero. The point is, it’s not the speed, the point … It is the speed but not the speed of your bike, it is the speed of your aerobic metabolism. So what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to minimize the influence of your aerobic metabolism before your sprint. You’re trying to create as anaerobic as possible effort.

Sebastian Weber:

Think about it this way, if you ride along, let’s say it was 200 watts for five minutes, steady power and 200 watts is maybe whatever, 60%, 70% of your FTP. So it’s almost entirely covered aerobically. So you ride around, it’s moderate intensity, it’s covered aerobically energetically speaking. And now you start to sprint, all out maximum sprint. Just because you start to sprint, it’s not meaning that your aerobic metabolism is adapted to 200 watts. It is producing 200 watts aerobically. Just because you start to sprint, those 200 watts are not going away.

Sebastian Weber:

So let’s say you start to sprint and after one second, after two seconds, you reach 1,000 watts. Then 200 watts, at least, of this 1,000 watts, I actually produce aerobically because they have been there before. So it’s not fair. It’s just not right. It’s just not correct to say yeah, it’s 1,000 watt anaerobic power. Just because you think it might be common sense or it applies, it was a sprint effort so it has to be anaerobic, no. 200 watts of these 1,000 watts is aerobic. If you would do this as a software, the software’s actually checking. When you run a sprint test on the software, the errors are set up in the way that it checks if you have been rested the last 90 seconds before the effort, and if it’s not, it’s not accepting the sprint. So this is how picky we are when it comes to the data hygiene, so to speak here.

Sebastian Weber:

So that’s a sprint. So the 20-second effort, the aim is to create a very, very pure anaerobic effort. And then we have this two-and-a-half, three minute effort all out. This is what we use to determine the maximum aerobic performance or power output of the athlete. Of course, before the naysayers come in, of course, in a three minute effort there is a significant amount of the power of your three minute maximum power effort or significant amount of the energy is coming from anaerobic sources, of course. You’re riding well below above your VO2 max and it’s three minute all out effort.

Sebastian Weber:

But the story is that, because from the anaerobic effort, we know we are able to very accurately calculate your glycolytic, your anaerobic, your VLAmax performance or power. And therefore, we are able to distinguish how much of the energy or power in your three minute effort is coming from anaerobic slash glycolytic, more precise, the energy sources. And therefore, we can very precisely calculate the VO2 max from your three minute effort. Then the six and the 10 minute effort, I just needed in combination with the [inaudible 00:35:13] effort to create a very simple power duration curve, then it’s nothing different from WKO or Golden Cheetah or whatsoever.

Sebastian Weber:

I mean, that’s what everybody does. It’s even boring to talk about it. Power duration curve, I mean, everyone knows how this works. So this is then just we use so to speak for the third pillar. Coming back to the pillar, so the 20 seconds is for the pillar of VLA max, glycolytic power, the three minute is for the pillar of VO2 max and then the combination of three, six, and 10 minutes is used for the anaerobic threshold estimation or calculation. Then we have the third pillar here.

Sebastian Weber:

This said, if I’m allowed to access, you can even substitute it. So the way how’s the software is set up, you can substitute the six and the 10 minute effort and just go in and say, “Okay, you know what, I have my model FTP from WKO,” which has a decent accuracy to it. So instead of doing the six and 10 minute, you can just manually type in your model FTP from Golden Cheetah or WKO, I don’t care. Then run the power performance decoder. That’s totally fine. So that comes down that your net testing time is down to three minutes and 20 seconds, actually.

Adam Pulford:

That’s exciting. Because I was sitting here looking at it and I was like, “All right, 20 seconds sprint, three minute effort. Got it.” But then a six minute all out, a 12 minute, I was like, “That’s going to be a big day for me.” So you can use some data from other sources or could you also say, I don’t know, could you split this up into two days for the testing?

Sebastian Weber:

So the first answer is yeah, you could use any data source as I said. INSCYD is just the engine which creates your 360 degree metabolic physiological performance profile. When you have been to a lab and you’ve done a run test with VO2 analyzer, just plug it in. Just put it in. If you have a lactate machine with you, measure the lactate, put it in, it digest, so to speak, everything no matter what you throw at it so to speak.

Adam Pulford:

The more data the better or the more data points or is that a [crosstalk 00:37:24]?

Sebastian Weber:

Well, assuming that the data is legit and robust, yes. This may be brings us back to the other questions that you have, like, “Do I have to do it all in one day?” No, you don’t. Even forget about all this fancy power stuff and just go back to the lactate version of INSCYD, which the virtual teams are using, they usually or very often don’t do it on one day. They also like to spread it out over two or three days. That’s the same you can do as a power performance decoder. You could do your 20 second sprint, you could do one every day and enter it three or four times. This will then, providing or given that all those sprints are good quality and rested and you feel fresh and so on, this will then have the accuracy of the data.

Sebastian Weber:

Honestly, my personal opinion is, and this is what most of our coaches also from the professional levels are doing, it is actually a very good solution to distribute the efforts over more than one day, on more than one session. To do it at least over a course of two days, maybe even three. The reason why I prefer that is because in 95% of the cases, I would say, you want to use results to make a better and informed decision on how you need to train. You mainly use the data to make informed decision on your training. So, this said, I think that you should create the results and create the analyzers based on the best possible overview how your metabolism, how your performance is during a training scenario.

Sebastian Weber:

So I’m giving you the the opposite of what, especially people in Europe are doing sometimes, they are like, “Okay, I want to have a performance checkup, I go to the lab.” Before I go to the lab, I need one week of unloading and then I need two days of no training, and then I can’t have coffee on the day and I need to have a special meal in order to not mess up the metabolic cart reading. So what you’re creating here, you’re creating a very artificial testing scenario. So you should ask yourself, “How much is that representative to what happens in training?”

Sebastian Weber:

So therefore, I really appreciate when you do whatever it is, power performance decoder, lactate testing, it doesn’t matter. When you do it out of training, less your coffee with, less your normal nutrition, with maybe a slight little bit of fatigue from the previous day and you spread it out over two or three days, maybe you have more noise in your data because you have day-to-day variation in there. But in average, you have some much better representative data set, which really represents how your physiology looks in training. And therefore, most coaches are doing it like this.

Adam Pulford:

It makes a ton of sense. Do you think, Sebastian, do you think INSCYD will replace the metabolic cart in the laboratory testing?

Sebastian Weber:

Yes and no. In cycling, it partly did already. In cycling, it partly did already. Professional teams are not using metabolic carts in cycling any more than they use INSCYD. Because the INSCYD data is almost one-on-one the same as your metabolic cart data. And the big benefit from it is that the VO2 max for example, you get an insight is like everything else that your carburetor combustion or heat combustion is only related to the working muscle.

Sebastian Weber:

And it might sounds a little like picky here, but when you go to the lab, and for example, you do a run test to determine your VO2 max. And at the end of the run test, you start to be all over the place with your body. Your upper body move left and right and up and down in all different directions. It will need additional oxygen, but it’s not contributing to power output. So, you’re creating a higher VO2 max without your performance going up.

Sebastian Weber:

This is something impossible in INSCYD. Therefore, most of the coaches appreciate the number from INSCYD more than they do from the lab setting because they know when the VO2 max is higher or lower, then they know that the aerobic power output changes in the same magnitude. So in cycling, because of the accuracy you have in something like VO2 max and because of the accuracy you have in [inaudible 00:42:11] combustion, which is another … As a metrics, you may want to use a metabolic cart, yes, we definitely see that people dumping their metabolic carts because it’s expensive and it’s highly sensitive to the actual nutrition.

Sebastian Weber:

If you want to try out, you can have access to a metabolic cart. Do a Fatmax test with having a Coke before and having a sausage before, you will see totally different numbers. So it’s very, very sensitive, it’s very expensive. It’s almost only possible in the lab. This [inaudible 00:42:47] set definitely when it comes to cycling. There’s an aspect on business to it. I know somebody without saying a name here, who does INSCYD testing putting a VO2 analyzer on the athlete when he does a service because he says he can charge 60 bucks extra having a VO2 analyzer on the athlete. Because the perceived value is higher.

Sebastian Weber:

The funniest thing is the thing is not even recording the data, it’s just on there to justify the higher price. But that’s specific to cycling. When you ask me the question when it comes to swimming or running, we use the data to very accurately determine running economy. That’s why simply why we partnered with Stanford University because they choose INSCYD for the research project on running economy. That’s a different story. But when it comes to cycling, additional use of VO2 data, close to zero.

Adam Pulford:

That’s exactly what I thought. Let’s talk about data hygiene, Sebastian. Because with all this data over the input that were coming from the field, coming from the athlete and putting it in, could you define data hygiene, what that means and why it’s so important?

Sebastian Weber:

Yeah, I think this is an issue. Especially with cycling, that’s an issue. We don’t have so much in swimming or running or rowing or kayaking or speed skating or I don’t know what, it’s something specific in cycling. What we mean with data hygiene is that in cycling, you have a phenomenon that the way how you capture your power data, so I’m talking about your power data with your power meter, the way how you capture is the scenario in which you captured your power data are so vastly different. So you have indoors and outdoors riding and some of the people out there will have noticed that indoors their power output is significant lower than outdoors.

Sebastian Weber:

And it depends on the trainers you’re using because it depends on the kinetic energy of your trainer. So very, very oversimplified saying [inaudible 00:44:56] mass. So you go [inaudible 00:44:59] mass is relatively low because if your [inaudible 00:45:03] mass of your smart trainer would be 50 kilograms, then the company producing it would have a problem distributing and shipping it. Indoors, outdoors is an issue. Because indoors, you have much lower power output, usually. Then you might have different power meters on different bikes, that’s an issue.

Sebastian Weber:

Plus on top of that, some power meters are not really validated for high power outputs. Then you have uphill riding versus riding at a flat, which creates differences in 90% of the athletes. 90% of the athletes are able to produce significant higher power numbers riding on the climb. Then on top of that, you have riding in the saddle and out of the saddle, which is absolutely blind spot when it comes to power meter data because unfortunately, most of the power meters can record or don’t record if you’re riding in the saddle, out of the saddle.

Sebastian Weber:

And if you think about riding off the saddle, your biomechanics change using a greater muscle mass because you use your upper body. So for us, physiologically speaking, a lot of things are changing. And this is basically where we go with data hygiene. What you should not do, you should not make an assessment like with INSCYD or any other assessment, it doesn’t really matter at that point, mixing up those data. So you should not have your 20-second effort riding on the flat out of the saddle and your three-minute effort riding on a climb partly out of the saddle, so to speak, and then your six and 10-minute efforts riding indoors on the rollers. That’s why we have this data hygiene because you’re mixing it …

Adam Pulford:

It’s bad hygiene, got it.

Sebastian Weber:

You’re mixing it up. No offense, this is actually, for me personally, something that is greatly overlooked or ignored or not thought about or forgotten when you just create a power duration curve in Golden Cheetah, WKO, whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing the products here. The product is great, the problem is what data you’re putting in. So when the data that you put in comes from all different data sources and all different scenarios, then the outcome represents us.

Sebastian Weber:

And it might sound stupid, but think about it. Think about you would do a test in cross country skiing, and you say, “You know what? In the testing, you can use your arm and your legs, but in training, you can only use your legs or vice versa.” It doesn’t make any sense. So, what I’m saying is, when you want to use a data, for example, mostly for riding in the flat, outdoors and riding seated, then this is how you should test or this is how you need to test. Because again, your power output uphill or power put out of the saddle is higher.

Sebastian Weber:

I get this question all the time from professional teams, from professional athletes, virtual riders, they ask us, “Why am I not allowed to go out of the saddle when I do the lactate testing while inside or the power test inside?” And the answer is, “Well, you know what? In the case, more than 50% of your training is done out of the saddle, you should test out of the saddle. But if 50% of your training is in the saddle, then you’re not allowed to go out of the saddle.” Very straightforward.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. Makes a lot of sense. So back to our field testing analogy for the cyclist. 20 second, three minute, six minute, 12 minute, all of that seated outside.

Sebastian Weber:

Yes. All of that seated. If you have been whatever in the past weeks on a lockdown and you train mostly indoors, then it’s fine to do it all indoors. I mean, even if you want to test indoors and use it outdoors, and you know it’s whatever, 3%, 5% different, that’s not great, but that’s something you can account for. The most unknown and the most difficult thing is, especially is the scene riding out of the saddle, because even in a life … Even when you are on site with your athlete, you’d have your athlete doing three minutes all out, how much you know about after the three minutes? How much time of the three minutes have been out of the saddle? You have no clue, right? So you cannot even account for that. It’s actually a blind spot.

Sebastian Weber:

Don’t get me wrong. I mean, it’s fine. If you want to use your training data based on that, because that’s what it is, that’s cool. Then on top of that, if you talk about some FTP stuff in whatever software package, then it’s always looking at the last 30 days or something. However, it is known that training adaptations can occur, obviously, within 30 days. So that’s another issue there when you talk about FTP from just power duration of your past 30 days. So that’s one thing. You can do with that data hygiene, whatever you want, rather than trying to say, “You can use whatever software and do it.” But when you want to have a real assessment and people are holding INSCYD accountable for the accuracy, then this is why we are so precise or picky, so to speak, on the data hygiene and how you capture the data.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. You’re trying to minimize as many variables as possible [crosstalk 00:50:39] to get the best result possible. Makes complete sense.

Sebastian Weber:

As you would do in the lab setting. Because, look, for most people, INSCYD is a substitute for going into the lab. And the only reason why it is … I mean, look at it, I don’t know, I actually really don’t know, I think Golden Cheetah also calculates the VO2 max. I know WKO does. But no professional coach is a substitute for going into the lab. I know dozens of professional coaches who use WKO and provide with VO2 max. Pull up watch provides your VO2 max. But they don’t trust it enough, they still go into the lab and have it tested. Now the difference with INSCYD is it’s a full substitute for going into the lab for those coaches. And it only can be because it is as accurate as a lab. So if you would accept any kind of data source to go into that, we would just falsify this thing so it would not work anymore.

Adam Pulford:

Sure. So say Jane Doe is listening to this podcast and her coach works with or is brought up to speed on INSCYD and she wants to do the coaching or she wants to go and find somebody, how often should an athlete be testing using the INSCYD software?

Sebastian Weber:

Well, I could give you the marketing answer because our business model is based on the number of assessments you run. So the marketing [crosstalk 00:52:08] every day, twice a day, three times a day. Look, I would say an average people test three to four times a year. I think that’s still too simple of an answer. The question is really what are you targeting? Normally, how it should work is or how it should be done is you do an initial testing, because you really want to understand what’s under the hood. You want to just check the performance of your athlete, understand, “Which knob can I turn? Which area offers the biggest room for improvement?” This is why you do initially an INSCYD test.

Sebastian Weber:

Then the question when you retest and therefore, the question how often you want to retest depends on what are you targeting in training. For example, you’re targeting VLAmax, you’re targeting your glycolytic power, lowering VLAmax means less lactate production, means higher FTP power, higher fat combustion, lower [inaudible 00:53:14] combustion. If you want to target that, for example, by changing your diet, changing to more like a fat adapted ketogenic diet, you will see the first adaptations after approximately two to three weeks.

Sebastian Weber:

So in this scenario, you might want to retest already after two to three weeks to see if you are on the right track, to see if the energy and time and maybe also money you invest in changing your diet pays off or is effective. As an example, let’s say you want to target on improving your VO2 max. You will see the first adaptation of VO2 max after approximately six to eight weeks, really more solid adaptation after 10 weeks. So then you may only want to test after two and a half to three months.

Sebastian Weber:

If you want to bring down your, let’s say you want to bring up your VLAmax because you want to improve your ability to attack and to sprint, not from a diet point of view, but really a structural adaptation, it can take several months. It can take up to three, four, five, six months or even longer. It’s an ongoing process. So it doesn’t make any sense to test earlier than minimum three months. It depends, so to speak.

Adam Pulford:

Well, it goes …

Sebastian Weber:

[crosstalk 00:54:35] three to five times a year, but it depends on what you’re targeting.

Adam Pulford:

Right. And it goes back I think, to your answer to who uses and has the licensing to this thing. It’s informed, educated coaches and physiologists that know not only how to do the test, but also why to do the test. Even though the athlete might want to test every single day probably. [crosstalk 00:55:03] athletes would love to do.

Sebastian Weber:

Maybe. Maybe. Then look, there’s these other aspect to it, which I just want to bring back when it comes to the protocol, as I said. So how people are using it also or how you could use it. Let’s say you make a full assessment. So three, six, 10-minute, 12-minute, whatsoever, you makes a full assessment and then you start training and you want to recheck, what you can do now, what the technology allows you to do, you just do the 20 minutes, you just do the three minutes, and then you manually enter your FTP from Golden Cheetah or WKO or whatsoever or just guess it or whatsoever, and trigger the FTP. Sorry, trigger the PPD, trigger the analyzers and then you can have a trend, you can have an idea.

Sebastian Weber:

It’s maybe not the most accurate analyzers because you used … An FTP was not great data hygiene or you just guessed it or whatsoever, but you have a trend, you have an idea. Then you can say, “Okay, you know what? I think we are up to something here. I think we see some adaptation. Let’s go back tomorrow or the day after and complete the full test.” You know what I’m saying? And then have a really accurate picture. So what I’m saying here is, you don’t even need to go as far as saying, “I need a higher resolution in terms of my monitoring. I need a more frequently testing.”

Sebastian Weber:

How coaches are using it, that’s the same as lactate testing and swimming or whatsoever. As a follow up, not even do the full protocol, just do a part of it, see if the data compares of something changes. And if you have an indication for, “Okay, something happened.” Or, “Nothing happened but I expect it to happen,” then you can still do a full and highly precise testing protocol. I think that’s a very efficient and smart way how people are using it, actually.

Adam Pulford:

I like that a lot. I guess, I want to maybe even zoom back out and say the application to train racing for the INSCYD software, I mean, there’s so much available through this software to all different kinds of athletes. I’ll ask you to just touch on high level with this because without slides and without a kind of webinar type of presentation, it’ll be really hard to understand some of the stuff. But could you talk about the athlete fingerprint? Why that help the athlete learn more about themself? The coach learn about the athlete, the metabolic capacities as well as the load characteristics?

Sebastian Weber:

Okay. So, we do have load characteristics, which is basically looking at different metabolic metrics in steady state conditions as a function of power output. Let me explain what this means. That means that you can see in the software, for example, your carbohydrate combustion curve, as a function of power output saying at different power outputs. So you can see in my base train-

Adam Pulford:

So how much carbohydrate I am using while I’m doing a certain output?

Sebastian Weber:

Right. In terms of like say grams power. So I can now understand how much should I fuel for a specific ride or how much can I avoid fueling? Thinking about, I maybe want to reduce body fat so I want to have a nutritive energy balance here between how much energy are taken via food and how much I burn. So this is, for example, how you use it. So that’s just one example. Carbohydrate combustion, let’s say, whatever, give you an example. Your long slow distance, your base, whatever you want to call that, intensity, is at a carbohydrate combustion of 70 grams power. That’s relatively high.

Adam Pulford:

That’s considered … It’s kind of high but [crosstalk 00:59:06]

Sebastian Weber:

It’s kind of high. So the question is, do you want to ride here? Is that the right training zone? This maybe bring us back to the problem, if you just base your training on something as simple as an FTP value only and you just take whatever, I don’t care, 60%, 70%, 80% of your FTP, doesn’t matter, whatsoever, as your base training intensity, you don’t know how much carbohydrate you burn at that intensity. So this is something you find in INSCYD. So let’s go back to that example. Let’s say you burn 70 grams of carbohydrate and let’s say you don’t really … are accustomed to eat a lot in training.

Sebastian Weber:

And you go out on a Sunday ride three hours, four hours, so you’re adding up 210, 280 grams of carbohydrate that you utilize. You maybe eat one bar and one gel or one banana or, I don’t know what, right. So you’re may be substituting 60 or 80 grams of that. So you run on a deficit on 200 grams. Now, maybe Monday is off, Tuesday is easy because you have to go back to work so it doesn’t really matter. It’s actually good to have such deficit because if your goal is to lose some body fat, or partly being energy nutritive balance here, that’s great. Keep going. Maybe even go a little bit higher, go to 80 grams or 90 grams of carbohydrate utilization. Because Monday or Tuesday, easy. But now, it’s coming back to the saying you come back to Switzerland and maybe you want to ride every day. You want to ride everyday.

Adam Pulford:

I probably would.

Sebastian Weber:

You probably would, right? So now it doesn’t work anymore. Now, it doesn’t work anymore because Monday and Tuesday is not off, Monday and Tuesday is another three, four-hour ride so you burn a lot of carbohydrates. Then you maybe want to bring down the power output. And you maybe want to look, when you do this, you maybe want to look at your fat combustion and you want to look at, “Okay, how much lower do I want to get this out sacrificing how much fat I combust?” This is all the information you’ll find in INSCYD in terms of how to set up your training intensity. So how to fine tune and be more precise with your training intensity because what works in one scenario is not necessarily working in another scenario.

Sebastian Weber:

Another example would be, which we briefly touched base on, lactate recovery or recovery rate or lactate accumulation rates. And this is something which is it resonates with most athletes down there. You often have, or as a coach, you often have an idea on, “What do I want to do for interval?” whatever. Five times, four minutes VO2 max interval entirely. Half the idea on the power output. Whatever, I want to do 400 watts for four minutes or 300 or whatsoever, it doesn’t really matter. Now, when it comes to the recovery period, how long should my heart rate recover and at what intensity should my heart rate recover? It’s kind of a blind spot again.

Sebastian Weber:

To be honest, when you prescribe something like five times four minutes, then it’s like, “Okay, maybe we want to do eight minutes in order for me … Let’s do six, it’s easier to calculate, because we start every 10 minutes.” This is not happening with INSCYD. So what is, for example, included, when you do whatever kind of analyzing in INSCYD, whatever kind of test you’re doing, PPD, lactate, it doesn’t matter, is you get a chart, which is showing you the ability of the athlete to recover from an accumulation of lactate. At what power output can the athlete recover from lactate how quickly? So it actually lactate combustion per minute. So it’s the rate of recovery, if you want to simplify it saying lactate is a marker not saying that it causes fatigue, but it’s a marker for fatigue and the marker for recovery. It shows you how quickly you can recover which power output.

Sebastian Weber:

That’s not only something for training. Initially, when we started this, you asked me about the background. That’s something that we use in Highroad HTC, for example, to determine the fitness level or the race readiness of our athletes. How quick and what power output can you recover? Because that’s not only important in training, that’s especially important in racing. When you have a circuit race and you need to accelerate, or there’s a climb in there and you need to push hard over the climb riding above your threshold, or you need to follow an attack. It’s not like that after that hard effort, you can raise your hand and say, “Hey, guys, please go a little bit slow. I need to recover here.” No, that’s not happening.

Sebastian Weber:

So the ability to recover fast and at a high power output is actually maybe more important to your race performance than your FTP. And if you out there are listening to that and you do circuit races, you do criterium, whatsoever, you will know from your power output that there is nothing like an FTP in terms of there’s nothing like a maximal lactate steady state. There’s no steady state in the circuit race. It’s only accumulating fatigue and recovering. And this is exactly what you see in INSCYD.

Adam Pulford:

Very powerful. And I think with that being said, I’d say, let’s summarize by saying as software in analytics become more robust and portable. We can glean ton of insights from the athlete’s engine. And what you’ve created in INSCYD, I believe, might just be scratching the surface of where this all goes of how to improve, where to improve, and why it matters, right?

Sebastian Weber:

That’s definitely true. What you currently see is there’s much more to it. There are actually some tools and some analyzers and some technologies in there which are currently limited. They’re only available for the French Olympic Committee and Jumbo-Visma and some teams. Yes, there is much more that you can do with that when it comes to understanding race performance. We use that, for example, in time trial pacing very successfully. If you think about the track record of HTC-Higher Colombia in time trial, we used metabolic simulations, so to speak, or calculations for time trial pacing strategies. So there’s much, much more to it. I think there’s more to come and how you can use it to better understand your training. Think about carbohydrate combustions in training. So after each training session, you can understand better how much you should eat and so on. I think there’s much more that you can expect from that.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, a ton more. So for audience I mean, explore more, go to INSCYD.com. We’ll have this in the show notes, but it is I-N-S-C-Y-D.com, you can find more there. But Sebastian, before we wrap up, I’ve got three questions and I call them the takeaways. They’re designed for athletes to hear from you and just kind of like quick answers from you based on your experiential knowledge. So we’ll do those questions and then we’ll wrap.

Sebastian Weber:

Sure. Sure.

Adam Pulford:

Okay. All right. Question number one, what is the most common thing athletes or coaches change after they use your software? If you could distill it down into like one thing.

Sebastian Weber:

I guess that’s a site specific question.

Adam Pulford:

Still don’t make it … Probably, more easier than the …

Sebastian Weber:

I think the most common thing is to start thinking about the background, how FTP is created, and in some cases and vastly change the approach and training how to change it. So it’s a first step, it’s a first adoption when using INSCYD is most coaches are still FTP-centered. Maybe it makes sense, maybe it doesn’t, depends on what kind of racing the athlete is looking at. We just briefly indicated that. The first step is really change the training so you will really be able to see, “Does this athlete I’m looking at here benefit more from simplifying long slow distance, more endurance kind of work? Or will this athlete benefit more from doing some intervals or some high torque locate and stuff?” These kind of questions.

Sebastian Weber:

So really giving users first question brought direction on where you need to go. This is already changing a lot. It’s already changing tons and tons of the efficiency. Because to be honest, it doesn’t really matter if your training zone is 200 watts or 210 watts based on whatever model for training, so it doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t change anything. But knowing if you should do more intervals or more hours changes a lot. So this is the first thing that happens when you start using INSCYD, I say.

Adam Pulford:

Got it. Cool. And question number two, and this would be a fun one. If you could change anything right now about your software, what would it be?

Sebastian Weber:

Making it more user-friendly and more simply to understand.

Adam Pulford:

Got it. Perfect. Question three and the final one, even if listeners never test with INSCYD, what would you recommend for them to do with their data or their training in order to improve?

Sebastian Weber:

Maybe start looking a little bit less on data and start to think about for yourself, “Which training do I appreciate the most?” The reason why I’m saying that is twofold. One reason is I really believe that it’s better to have no data than bad data or looking less on the data is better to looking at the data the wrong way or overthinking the data. That’s one reason. The other reason is because when you are more like a sprinter type of rider, then you will appreciate more sprint exercises. And when you’re more like a climb or endurance athlete, then you would most likely appreciate those, you enjoy, that’s maybe a better word here. You enjoy those exercise a little bit more.

Sebastian Weber:

So this tells you a lot already. Forget about INSCYD and all this nitty gritty, fancy nerdy stuff here. It will tell you a little bit on what kind of rider you are, and therefore maybe will tell you a little bit on how to train a little bit better. Therefore, I would strongly encourage you to listen and try to listen a little bit on what you enjoy and what kind of rider you are. Don’t be too focused on FTP, power duration, and all these kinds of stuff really. Because it doesn’t really matter. Even professional cycling, there’s almost never ever one like if you look at the Tour de France, there’s almost never ever one single scenario where you write a FTP so it’s vastly over [inaudible 01:10:50], I guess.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah. That’s powerful. That’s huge. And really, really good experiential advice coming from a physiological sage, like we stated at the very beginning of this. Sebastian, that’s it. If listeners want to follow you on the socials or get in touch with you, how does that work?

Sebastian Weber:

I’m not really good on social media, actually. We do have a website, as you indicated. I would like to say, it’s maybe not the greatest website. We are redoing it. So depending on when you listen to this podcast, maybe you come back. We’re going to have an athlete-centered website in a couple of weeks, so that’s maybe good. One of the reason why you may want to find our website is not only because you want to find an INSCYD coach and not giving you as a marketing pitch here, but there’s actually a lot of free content and free knowledge up there.

Sebastian Weber:

We regularly do webinars, which are very, very popular. Believe it or not, we have everybody on the webinar, from athletes to head of performance to PhD and physiologists. So there’s a lot of free stuff on our website, white papers, webinars, blog posts, all different kinds of stuff. So, forget about the marketing pitch here. If you really want to learn more about it and learn more about how to apply physiological knowledge and physiological signs to your training and racing, then this might be a reason why you want to come to the website.

Adam Pulford:

Yeah, that’s it. I will attest to the information there. After doing a few webinars and poking around articles and whatnot, it’s a great informational website to go to even if you don’t utilize the testing and software. Great. Well, thank you, Sebastian. I know it’s late there so let’s you get to bed and thanks for joining us on the Train Right Podcast.

Sebastian Weber:

Thank you. Thanks for having me.


Share This Article

Comments 1

  1. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it
    has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!

    Other then that, great blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *