Episode 023 The Evolution of Power-Based Cycling Coaching with Hunter Allen

Hunter Allen, the CEO of Peaks Coaching Group and the author of Training and Racing with Powermeter 3rd edition, joins me to discuss his coaching and the early days of using power as a cycling coach.

Hunter shares how he got started in cycling as a BMX racer, then mountain biker and finally as a road racer in Spain. We discuss his transition into coaching.

We talk about the 2002 power based seminar in Philadelphia, PA and how he and Kevin Williams came up with the first software that could truly analyze power files from different devices.

We discuss how using power changed his approach to coaching, but that he also made sure that he remembered that a person is on the other side of that file and how one has to take into account life and its demands when coaching and training.


Peaks Coaching Group

Training and Racing with a Powermeter (co-authored with Andy Coggan and Steve McGregor)

Episode 022 Training and Racing with a Powermeter with Andy Coggan, PhD

I connect with my old friend Andy Coggan, PhD to discuss using powermeters to train cyclists.

We start out with a discussion of the history of measuring intensity using heart rate, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), oxygen consumption and move into power.

We discuss Andy’s early days as a bike racer and how he discovered exercise science. That combination led him to using powermeters early on and being at the forefront of looking at how to measure training using a powermeter.

We discuss the early discussions on the Usenet (look it up) forum rec.bicycles.racing where I first learned about Andy when I was a graduate student. Reading his posts there and later on the Topica Wattage forum led me to invite him to speak at the first USA Cycling Power Based Training seminar in Philadelphia, PA in June 2002 (we could not remember if it was 2001 or 2002 during the interview).

Andy was later instrumental in designing the USA Cycling Power Based Training Clinic as well as developing the first sport physiology curriculum for the USA Cycling Level 2 clinics.

We discuss some of the limitations of using power and the benefits as well.

For information on ordering Training and Racing with a Powermeter, 3rd edition and for a little history of power-based training visit Training and Racing with a Powermeter.

Quick Note

I just started a new job as the Senior Manager for Coaching Education at USA Fencing.  Because of that I am taking a little hiatus from the podcast although I plan to record two more soon since they have been in the works.

Also, sorry about the error in the description of the podcast with Jean Cote that showed up in iTunes and the download.  Poor quality control on my part!

Episode 021 Transformational Coaching with Dr. Jean Cote

On today's podcast, I talk with Dr. Jean Cote from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  We discuss how smaller cities are producing more professionals than large cities.  He offers his thoughts on why that might be occurring.

We also discuss early specialization and sampling of sports.  Dr. Cote focuses on kids being able to make the decisions for themselves.  But then how does a kid decide to specialize if the kid has not experience alternatives?

Dr. Cote shares his model of sport participation and transformational coaching.

Dr. Cote website at Queens University includes access to a lot of his papers. 

Dr. Cote has also worked with the NBA and USA Basketball on youth sports guidelines.

Here is a link to more reading on Cote's Development Model for Sports Participation

Dr. Cote email is jc46@queensu.ca

His twitter handle is @jeancote46.


Episode 019 Delving into the Mind with Dr. Kirsten Peterson

First, I want to remind folks that you can support the podcast through a GoFundMe account.  Any donation helps!

Next I want to thank Lee Rosevere for creating the music I use in the podcast.  Lee offers the music for free as long as I give him attribution.  So thanks Lee!

Dr. Kirsten Peterson is a sport psychologist with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).  She and I worked in the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport Science division at one time.  (For the sake of both of us, I will not say how many years ago it was.)  The AIS is one of the leading organizations in the world at combining athlete training and sport science.  It does a bang up job of research in sport science and applying it to athletes.

During the interview, Kirsten and I discuss how she got into sport psychology (it is a very personal reason).  We also discuss the following:

What sport psychology is.

We talk about the differences in the sport development systems in the US and Australia.



Episode 018 Very Superstitious with Dr. Kristi Erdal

Hey, if you have not already done so, please subscribe at iTunes and leave a rating and review.  In addition if you like the podcast and want to support it, please make a donation at my GoFundMe page.

Apologies to Stevie Wonder for the title...

Also, at times I sound like I am in a well.  I apologize for that. I promise at no time was I held against my will, and at no time did I need to capture a dog in an attempt to get out of the well.

I came across Dr. Erdal on the You Are Not So Smart podcast where she discussed her research on sleep and a placebo effect with one of her then students (the podcast was recorded about two years ago).  At the end of the podcast she mentioned that she was in the process of writing a book on youth sports.  Naturally that piqued my interest so I went searching the internet only to find that she is a professor of psychology at Colorado College in Colorado Springs where I live.

Her bio says that she has also done research on sports superstitions and concussions.  We decided to discuss superstitions and youth sports on this podcast.  Perhaps on down the road we can get into concussions.

On the podcast, we discuss how superstitions form and how early work from Dr. B.F. Skinner with pigeons gave great insight into the illusory connections animals and (sadly) humans make between actions.  So, in essence, we and the athletes we coach might not be much smarter than a pigeon.  We discuss some research that she and another student did on superstitions and how it gave them insight into learned helplessness.  We finish up discussing aspects of youth sports that went into her book.



Link to You Are Not So Smart podcast on the Placebo Effect

Episode 017 Reading Scientific Papers with Kym Fasczewski, PhD

In this episode I bring back Dr. Kym Fasczewski from Appalachian State University to help explain what you will find in a scientific journal article.  What do terms like "double-blind" mean and whay makes it important?  What is a p-value?  Basically we want to give you a primer on reading peer-reviewed researched.  While we talk about statistics, we are not going to make you calculate any.  We also talk about how to spot fake scientific journals; these are journals where there is little to no review.  In fact we discuss how someone pulled the wool over the media's eyes using such a journal.

Here are some links that either we referenced or I thought might be helpful.

Research Gate is a website that allows scientists to post scientific papers.  Access is free.

PubMed is a site run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that allows you to search for journal articles based on search terms.  However, you are likely only going to get access to abstracts of papers on this site.

Scholar.google.com is similar to PubMed in that you can search for papers, but it does a poorer job of separating out legitimate sources from less legitimate sources.  However, if you find a paper in PubMed and entire the entire title of the paper in Scholar.Google.Com you might be able to find the entire paper for free.

Statistical Thinking has an in-depth article on issues with p values.  

MethodsMan has some good articles as well.  This specific one is about the issue of replication in the medical field.

How to read a scientific paper by Adam Ruben of ScienceMag.org

My take on how to read a scientific paper published in Performance Conditioning.

Last, here is a link to Dr. Fasczewski's bio at the Appalachian State University website (Go Mountaineers!, your host earned a master's degree from Appalachian State).

Episode 016 Building Character with Larry Lauer of US Tennis

Hey, thanks for finding the podcast.  I would appreciate any help you can throw my way.  You can contribute to the podcast through my GoFundMe account.  If you donate, I will give you a shout out on social media and in the next podcast that I record.  

Dr. Larry Lauer joins today's podcast to discuss the role he plays as a sport psychologist with the US Tennis Association (USTA).  Dr. Lauer worked with Michigan high school sports coaches on coaching development and best practices before moving to USTA.

USTA's goal is to develop American tennis players into the best in the world, but it is approaching it in new ways that focus on character development including seven core values.  Dr. Lauer also works with coaches on mental skills training.

Larry is on twitter although he admits he is not very active.  @LarryLauer

If you want to know more about Larry, his bio is on the US Tennis website.

He is also the author USTA Mental Skills and Drills.

Episode 014 The Theory of Everything with Dr. Stephen Seiler

(NOTE: Sorry about the the posts being out of order, but for some reason iTunes did not pick this up when it was originally posted. I have posted it here hoping that iTunes sees it this time.)

Hey, thanks for finding the podcast.  I would really appreciate you showing me the podcast some love by supporting the podcast in two ways.  First, go to iTunes and subscribe and rate the podcast.  Second, how about a donation to my GoFundMe page to help support the podcast?

This episode features Stephen Seiler, PhD a well-known sports scientist.  Dr. Seiler is an American who lives in Norway where he has worked with various Olympic teams and studied sports performance.

Dr. Seiler might be best known for his ideas about polarized training; an idea that bucks the conventional wisdom of endurance training.  He did not just pull this out of thin air; he was working with high level athletes and coaches and looking at their training.  He looked at the training of rowers, cross country skiers, and runners and found that they were training at the ends of the continuum of intensity.  A lot (80% or so) of the training was well below the lactate threshold (think the intensity one can sustain for an hour) while a smaller portion (~20%) was spent at a very high percentage of VO2max.  The athletes and coaches were avoiding the "black hole" that is that intensity around lactate threshold.  Dr. Seiler expounds on this area.

That reference to a "black hole" led me to suggest a General Relativity of training, but I went with "Theory of Everything" because I liked the movie of that title about Stephen Hawking.

We also discuss his Hierarchy of Endurance Training inspired by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  The pyramid starts with a foundation of training concepts that were well-researched and widely accepted and then moves up the pyramid to things that become more important once we have the lower layers taken care of.  I think that people are looking for shortcuts or to do exotic things whereas the biggest bang for the buck comes from more mundane well-established methods.  This is the Hype Curve Dr. Seiler mentions in the podcast.

Here are some links that relate to the podcast.

Who is Dr. Seiler? Bio

Publications and Research

Hierarchy of Endurance Training Needs

Twitter:  @StephenSeiler

Episode 015 Better Coaching with Dr. Wade Gilbert

Wade Gilbert, PhD of Fresno State University studies what makes good coaches good coaches.  He is the author of Better Coaching Every Season published by Human Kinetics.

In the podcast discuss his background as a hockey, soccer and baseball coach along with what he learned from the coaches he has studied including the great John Wooden.  Dr. Gilbert has looked at what the traits of good coaches are.  Those traits include authenticity and using a style depending on the situation or moment.

You can read more about Dr. Gilbert at his Cal State Fresno web page.  Included on the site are lectures that he has given to organizations such as the United States Olympic Committee.

You can follow Dr. Gilbert on Twitter when his handle is @WadeWgilbert.



Episode 013 Getting Better with Age with Joe Friel

I get to talk with one of the pioneers in cycling and triathlon coaching, Joe Friel.  Joe starting coaching when he was pretty young.  After a stint in the Air Force, he open a running store then expanded into cycling and eventually was able to become a full-time coach.

Joe is probably best known for The Cyclists' Training Bible and The Triathletes' Training Bible.  Both of which have, or are, undergone major revisions.  Joe also wrote Faster After Fifty that looks at why we slow as we age (hint: keep the intensity!).

Join us to discuss aging and periodization.

You can follow Joe on Twitter at @jfriel

You can read Joe's writings at his blog site.

Episode 012 Trusting the Process with Olympian and UM coach Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan is a three time Olympian representing Canada in 2000, 2004 and 2008.  He finished 5th in 1500m in 2000.  Kevin still holds the outdoor Canadian national records at 1500m, mile and 3000m.  He is currently the track coach at the University of Michigan.

On the podcast, we talk a little about training and the folks who influenced his coaching philosophy, but I spend a good deal of time talking about his transition to coaches and recommendations for people wanting to get into coaching at the collegiate level.  We also discuss recruiting and scholarships.  Kevin shares what he looks for and points out that time standards are published on the UM website so a kid knows what it is going to take to get to be a walk-on, partial scholarship or full ride.  With track limited to 12.6 grants-in-aid and having over 50 guys on the track team you can easily see that few full rides are going to be awarded.  Kevin discusses how other forms of aid can help.

Kevin is on twitter, snapchat, instagram at ksully330.

For more about Kevin, visit his bio.

If you are interested in the current time standards for UM, visit the recruiting page at the U of M athletics site.

Episode 011 The Wizardry of Tinman, Tom Schwartz

On this podcast, I get more into endurance training with Coach Tom Schwartz aka Tinman.  Coach Schwartz has coached Drew Hunter who, in 2016, set the high school mile record of 3:58.  

Tom blends physiology and applied coaching with his athletes.  During the podcast we discuss his own running and coaching background the latter starting when he was still in high school and continued when he was a collegiate runner at UW-Lacrosse.

We discuss his training philosophy and how it has evolved with an explanation of his concept of critical velocity (roughly 90% of VO2max or a pace sustainable for about 30-35 minutes).

Tom believes in year round participation.  If the kid is not playing another sport then the coach should be integrating aspect of multi-lateral conditioning and multi-dimensional training into the program.  

Tom shares his ideas freely which is greatly appreciated.

Tom's website is Runningprs.com and he can be reached via email at runfastcoach@gmail.com

Tom is also partnering with FinalSurge to offer workout and training information.  The Final Surge podcast is worth checking out.

Episode 010 Game Changer with John O'Sullivan

Today's podcast features John O'Sullivan, the founder of Changing the Game Project.  As with many other guests on the podcast, John believes that we in the US have strayed away from doing what is best for the kids when it comes to developing athletes and also developing active kids.

Changing the Game Project wants to return youth sports to the kids and restore a sense of play to make sports more like it was when we (well those of us who are older) were kids:  A healthy, positive experience.

The Changing the Game Project website offers lots of resources for parents and coaches who want to join the movement to restore youth sports to a healthier environment.

You can follow John on Twitter (@CTGProjectHQ) or reach him via email at john@changingthegameproject.com

Holiday Break

Just a quick announcement that the next podcast will drop on January 8, 2017.

In the mean time, please help me out.  First, you can go to iTunes and Stitcher and subscribe to the podcast and leave a rating and review.  Second you can visit my GoFundMe page to help me defer some of the costs associated with the podcast.


Episode 009 ABCs with Steven Boyle from 241Sports

Steve Boyle of 241 Sports is not only a believer in multi-sport development,  he has created a way for kids to sample many sports through 2-4-1 Sports. 

What led Steve to this decision?  Well, he and his wife had both played many sports growing up, but the push might have come from a conversation with the potential soccer coach for his nine year old daughter.  The coach was dismayed that she could not commit to playing only soccer AT AGE NINE!

Steve and I go into more details about what 2-4-1 Sports does and the philosophy behind it.  

We discuss a program I love, the 241 Mile Challenge.

If you want to reach Steve, the 241 Sports Website is a great place to start.  You can follow him on Twitter (@241Sports).


Episode 008 American Development Model with Ken Martel of USA Hockey

If you enjoy the podcast and want to help support it financially, you can do so through my GoFundMe account.  The money will be used for equipment and web hosting fees.  I will give you a shout out in a future episode.

This week's podcast features Ken Martel from USA Hockey.  On the podcast Ken describes how this new model has changed USA Hockey over the past decade.

USA Hockey's job at a national governing body (NGB) is to promote the sport of hockey, grow the sport and to develop top level players for world competition such as world championships, the Olympics and into the NHL.  There have been many successes with this new model, but there were also some hiccups that Ken addresses.

There are several points in the podcast that really resonates such as looking at the sport from the view points of the kids playing the game.  Ken points out that lots of rules or procedures were in place to make the game easier for the adults but that did not benefit the kids.  Another aspect I really liked was that hockey is a good sport for meeting the recommendations when it comes to moderate or vigorous activity.  Hockey can be one weapon to combat youth obesity.

Ken discusses where USA Hockey fell short in the implementation of the American Development Model.  He acknowledges that at first they did not do a great job explaining how the new model would help rink owners; however, eventually the rink owners came around.

Even if you are not a hockey fan, I think you can take away some lessons.

Finally, please subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or Stitcher and leave a rating and comment.

Ken can be reached via email at kenm@usahockey.org



Episode 007 Getting Strong with Scott Caulfield of the NSCA

For this episode I interview Scott Caulfield from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) headquarters here in Colorado Springs.  Scott came to the NSCA after an extensive background working in college, club and professional sports teams settings.

We discuss what the NSCA's mission is along with what to look for in if you are in the market for a strength and conditioning coach either for yourself or a team you coach.  While a personal trainer can help get you in shape or lose some unwanted weight, a strength and conditioning coach is mainly focused on improving athletic performance.

If you are in Colorado Springs, please visit the facility near the World Arena.  If you are in town and looking for some help in training athletes, the staff there can help you.

Scott can be reached via email at scott.caulfield@nsca.com; you can also follow him on twitter (@scottcaulfield) and instagram (Coachcaulfield).

On the podcast, Scott mentions a couple of blogs that are listed below:

Mike Robertson

Tim Ferriss