Special Guest: Amber Pierce – Ask a Cycling Coach 193



Internet stranger? Who was that cheerleading your 1000km month? LOL. Thanks for the perspective :+1:t3::grinning:


Yeah or Skratch or something similar. It probably doesn’t make much of a difference for this purpose.


Fantastic episode, definitely one of my favorites. Calories before and during is my new mantra :smiley:. I vote for more Amber!!!

Anyhow, I had a question. At CES there was a guy who had a fertility wearable. https://www.temp-drop.com/, no affiliation. We got to talking and he saw my badge (I’m in the fitness industry) and he started telling me about it can be used to track the menstrual cycle in order to benefit training. He mainly discussed the upside. Also, yes, it was two dudes having this conversation.

So, fast forward to the listening to episode and the insight into how there will just be bad days to train and I had a thought/question…

What if the bad days overlap with an A race or ‘a race’ if you’re a pro and race every weekend?


There was a while when I was out on rides, and I couldn’t get these lines from Let It Go (from Frozen) out of my head…

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

I suppose partly because it’s insanely catchy, but it also seemed kind of inspirational when you’re gunning for those personal cycling goals.


On this subject, I wonder if you can use cognitive load as an indicator of effort.

For example, today I listened to this very podcast while doing my Sunday ride on a popular rival training platform. And I found that if I was losing the thread of what Amber and the guys were saying, I’d slow down a little, skip back 30 seconds, and found that this kept me within my training zones without having to stare at the numbers too much.


Vielen Dank @ambermalika. That was a fantastic podcast, I really enjoyed the Interview, especially the insight into cognitive loading.
Servus A.


I think we need a work out named after Amber, a tough one. That way, when we are really getting ready to bail out and need something positive to think about, we can remember the name of the work out and think back at the good advice in this podcast.

I really like @ambermalika 's plug for “Be a good wheel”. I really love that thought and have tried to be one every chance I get. (http://www.amberpierce.us/#beagoodwheel) That attitude is “where it is at.”

This is on my wish list …


Just want to echo @willow15 and - it seems everyone else…@ambermalika should be a regular on the show. As a TR user and listener for years now - this was definitely one of my favorites. Amber is so smart and communicative. Thanks for this one!


Hi @ambermalika - hope it’s not too late to ask a question on here (though I’d love to get other people’s thoughts too).

I really like your rule of thumb that breakfast + on-bike nutrition should at least equal calories expended on your morning ride. I did a bit of calculation and found that even for a sub 2-hour turbo session, I was having a big bowl of oats with honey and raisins and 2 bars to make up the calories.

My question is, how would you adapt that rule of thumb for a workout later in the day? For example, my Tuesday afternoon coming up currently looks like this…
1300: lunch at work (chicken, potato salad, mixed bean salad, apple)
1600: snack (usually a handful of almonds)
1800-1900: Trainer Road workout burning 750 calories
1900: recovery shake
1945: dinner

What would you have before the workout - and how should I match it with the calories burned?


I’ve listened to, and loved, every episode of this podcast but @ambermalika was, hands down, the best guest you’ve ever had. Bring her back whenever you can, please.


Great podcast with @ambermalika. Listened in the car on Friday, in the evening I got bike and kit ready (I’m usually last minute stressing). Saturday I had 1,500 cal breakfast, then did the club ride with the mantra “chin up, arms bent” in my head. 50 miles of my best ride in ages. Thanks.


Go East Dillon Lions!


How about modeling what Anber suggested and having a woman on every podcast?


FACEPALM Haha! Yeah, sorry about the mixup regarding the NEDA website. Thankfully they have the correct one listed here (and thanks to Chad for fact-checking me on that one in real time)! Whew! Moreover, thank you for the kind words. So pleased you enjoyed the show!


Gatorade works! Full disclosure: I’m sponsored by Clif, but I know they won’t mind me talking straight up science here. Most sports drinks (those designed to drink during exercise - not before or after) have figured out the need to include multiple sources of carbohydrate (CHO). This helps optimize absorption, and Gatorade (original basic formula you can get in cheap powder form) does get it right. (Clif does too.) So, you can likely add plain whey (Bob’s Red Mill or Tera’s Whey mix/dissolve well) to your current hydration mix to make a recovery shake. Just calculate how many grams CHO per scoop, so you can get a final ratio of 4:1 grams of CHO to grams of protein. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be big on total calories; just 200 or so with the 4:1 ratio is enough to signal the recovery cascade. Brands like Clif also have actual recovery shake mixes (Clif’s is a tasty chocolate shake), but if you’re on a budget you can mix up your own. I have found most recovery mixes on the market add a lot of filler (random baloney to give a smoother texture) or antioxidants including Vitamin C (Clif doesn’t, but read a few labels and you’ll see what I mean). I prefer not to have antioxidants right after my workout, because that acute inflammation is part of the healing/recovery process AND part of the training stress. I wait until before bed to take any antioxidants, to get the most out of that acute training stress response, which is the stimulus needed to elicit the desired training adaptations. That said, this is what works for me, and it’s most important to experiment and figure out what works for you!


Yes yes yes! I had to hold myself back from ranting on and on about them, to be sure we got to other questions. There are SO MANY reasons to love this company and their services. Thank you for highlighting this awesome feature here on the forum. If anyone here travels with a bike, do yourself a favor and check out http://bikeflights.com. I am an ambassador for them, but I would recommend them as highly regardless. Their reviews speak for themselves!


This was my fave podcast episode to date, thoroughly enjoyed it!


First of all, thank you for this question and your enthusiasm for getting more women involved! There is no single silver bullet. As with men, women get into cycling for a variety of reasons, and face a range of barriers to doing so. Cost is huge for many. I’ve seen road promoters have success with offering a first entry for free (e.g. for beginners who have never raced). It doesn’t eliminate financial barriers, but it helps.

The answer to this probably depends mostly on geographic location. There are some hotspots around the country where women pros live and train, and that representation helps demonstrate that the sport is as much for women as for men. However, if we’re going to make some blanket generalizations about cycling in the US, the issue is not that the cycling on TV is intense (trust me, women are JUST as intense as men when it comes to competition), it’s that the cycling on TV is men’s cycling. We’ve had a women’s Tour of Flanders forever. It runs on the same day as the men just before their race, on the same course, minus that boring extra 100kms or so that the men do to start. We just start right in on the cobbles and climbs, and it’s a brutal attack-fest from start to finish; whereas the men predictably let an early break go, then reel them in just before the exciting sections. TV covers the men’s early break, over the savage attacking happening in the women’s race. We get about a 30-second race-recap for TV coverage. If approached differently, fans could watch hours of attack fireworks and tactical prowess in the women’s race, followed by the same excitement and drama in the men’s race, once they get to the good part. So, women don’t get to see women racing nearly as much as the men, and that gives the impression that it’s not for them. And, unfortunately, that bears out in real life, when women’ show up to races or group rides and see mostly (or only) men. Since this is not something men regularly experience, its difficult to understand what a psychological barrier this can present. Until you can generate the momentum necessary to have more women at the series, you’ll really have to go out of your way to proactively foster a sense of welcome for women. Talk to the women racers about the timing of their events; sometimes shifting the category race time can make a big difference. If you’re looking at a demographic of women in their 30’s and up, consider setting up options for childcare on race days, so whole families can come out to the races. It can be extremely difficult for women to justify (to themselves) taking time away from family to ride or race. Set up skills clinics for women only ahead of the race series; offer clinic participants discounts on their series entries. The women-only aspect can be key; it changes the whole dynamic, and for women who have been or are on the fence about racing, it might make all the difference. As a club, having a dedicated ladies-only rides can be huge. Think of this issue from two perspectives: 1) getting non-riders to start riding/racing, and 2) retaining the women who already ride/race. A lot of “getting more women to the races” focuses on the beginners, and getting more butts on bikes is awesome; however, it’s also important not to fall into the trap of equating women’s cycling with beginnerism, because there are a lot of women who ride/race at a high level. You don’t want to lose those gals by focusing too narrowly on beginners. To this point, maybe find a sponsor to throw in big prizes for the women’s overall, or even better, offer equal prize money to the expert/pro men’s and women’s categories! Send out some club surveys to solicit ideas and feedback from the ladies. Find out what they want, try those things, get feedback, iterate, improve. It may take some time, but it will be so worth the effort!


Good one! I actually love this strategy for, e.g., long days in Z2. Going with training buddies (who are on board with keeping the pace aerobic) and talking and cracking jokes all day can keep you from overdoing the efforts. If you’re too out of breath to talk or laugh, you’re going too hard!


Servus! Und wie schön klingt das Stück Heimat! Danke dir!