Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Cycling is the best sport I've found, and I've tried quite a few; but there's a boatload of bullshit in cycling. Most of it comes from marketing folks who greatly over exaggerate the benefits of this or that upgrade. But I've also found that a lot of it comes from folks who study exercise physiology or the physics of cycling. It's a complicated subject, and a little knowledge can be dangerous. It's easy to sound smart but not know what the hell you're talking about.

As I said in my last post, I've been trying to figure out exactly when to put L2 workouts in my plan to do me the most good. After a lengthy literature search, I couldn't find an answer that satisfied me. So with some hesitation, I decided to place a simple post on the Google Wattage discussion group (not the best place to go with stupid questions).

The thread bounced around a little but finally got down to one simple question: "For base training when does it benefit me to do a 3-hour L2 effort (TSS=133) instead of a 2.2-hour L3 effort (TSS=133)?"

I expected some long-winded sermon about mitochondrial density increase. But instead, I got a straight, honest answer from Dr. Coggan: "I don't know, and I don't think anyone else really does, either."

I'll have to admit that I was surprised and impressed by his candor. He could have gotten away with a bullshit answer, but he didn't try it. The greater part of wisdom is knowing what you don't know. And if he doesn't know, I can guarantee you that no one else reading this does.

So ride lots, experiment, and try to find what L2/L3 combination works best for you. And ride Peach Peloton pace as much as you want during the base training months, just make sure to recover properly so you can hammer in the Attack Zones.