Episode 26 – Road to Kona 2020: Transition

The strong savvy cyclist & triathlete podcast


Recorded audio:

Human Vortex Training and Menachem Brodie present The Strong Savvy Cyclist & Triathlete podcast, where we talk strength training, physiology, psychology, tech, and much more to help you get fitter, faster and stronger in and out of your sport, giving you expert insights, talking with other leading experts. And now your host, world-leading strength coach for cyclists and triathletes, Menachem Brodie.

Menachem Brodie:

Hi everybody. And welcome to The Strong Savvy Cyclist & Triathlete podcast. I am your host Menachem Brodie. Today’s episode number 26 and the final in our series of Road to Kona 2020. Now, many of you have been emailing me, messaging me on Instagram or sending me messages, other ways, YouTube surprisingly, asking why haven’t we done a two to three part of the Road to Kona 2020 on strength training? Well, there’s a number of reasons. Number one is we really cover a lot of that throughout the rest of this podcast. And the whole point of me starting this podcast, as I’m sure or I hope you gather at this point, is that there is so much that we’ve come along for strength training. And there’s so much more to it than just picking things up and putting them down. And there’s been a turn in the mentality of triathletes to be able to use strength training in their training, and cyclists as well.

But the part of this podcast that really pushed me to start it is to break through and break down the barriers and increase the knowledge and awareness for the other areas that need to be addressed for triathletes and cyclists to succeed. Since I started my business, Human Vortex Training, back out of Big Bang Bicycles in 2007 in the studio, the room along the side of the main floor for the bike shop, which happened to be one of the U.S.’s top 100s, really things have progressed. We’ve gone from people thinking that strength training is going to destroy you as a cyclist or triathlete to now understanding that it’s important to some degree.

Now, one of the things that I want to pull out here is I’ve been getting a lot of coaches in particular and personal trainers who work with cyclists and triathletes have been taking my strength training for cycling success or strength training for triathlon success courses on Training Peaks. And I always get great feedback from these coaches. And most of them honestly have been coaching or practicing coaching others in some degree for at least five to 10 years. I mean that’s a running theme across, and they’re curious to hear more about it.

Now one of them I received this morning was actually really well-written. I’m going to quote here. His name is Chris. He’s a triathlon and personal trainer coach over in England. And one of the things that I really love about it is one of the feedbacks that’s most common when I ask, “What did you think of the course?” when they message me and they post the completion certification. The number one thing I get, “It was really great and it was far more detailed than I ever expected. And there’s a lot more stuff that I need to think about that I had no clue that I needed to.” Now, Chris just said “It was really great and it was far more detailed than I expected,” but this is one of the things that a lot of people think they know about strength training, just like I did when I was a young coach, starting 15, 18 years ago. I thought I understood, but when you really get into it, there’s so many other different variables that need to be taken into account. And it really gets detailed.

And even then, Training Peaks kind of said to me, “Hey dude, this is long enough.” Because I said, “Oh, there’s three more things I want to talk about.” They said, “Let’s stick with this.” And the course is fantastic. But all the feedback I’ve been getting from these coaches and also self-coached athletes out there, there are many of you who are taking those courses, has been really great.

Now, one of the things that I want to call out is this theme that I’ve noticed with these highly experienced triathlon and personal trainers, triathlon coaches and personal trainers who have taken the course, is this common theme of kind of what Chris said. And I’m going to paraphrase it. “I’ve been a personal trainer for 13 years. So it was nice to see a different approach to strength training than the normal. Me personally, I’ve always been more of a fan of lifting up heavy stuff and putting it down again. But it seems like the triathletes that I know, just jump around and pick up nothing heavier than the fives.”

And the thing is, is that, yeah, that’s true. Unfortunately, we have now graduated from 1920s, 1940s even. If you believe this, if you know what American football is… If you don’t, go ahead and check it out on YouTube, just NFL highlights, N-F-L highlights. It is a very physically demanding sport. And these are some of the strongest, most powerful beings on the earth, right up there with Aussie football players and rugby players. These are giant strong muscly human beings. Many people laugh when I say this because they don’t understand that it really was the thinking at the time.

Which is another sport before we go down this thought a little bit more. The NBA in the 1970s, it was believed that if you lifted weights, you would become muscle bound. It would screw up your shot and you would become less of a basketball player. That’s the NBA. So the NBA, think about it. You’re shooting overhead. Okay. Okay. I can kind of see that. Right? You have big shoulders, you can’t really move overhead. All right. Okay. I get that.

The NFL back in the 1960s, 1970s, strength coaches didn’t exist back then. And even in the sport of American football and the NFL and the top league, the premier league in the world, those athletes and coaches believed that if you strength trained, you will get muscle bound and you won’t be able to move on the field. Think about that. Every single football program since the 1970s has lifted. Some of the meanest lines, the biggest guys in American football that are responsible for offense and defense lifted. And the Pittsburgh Steelers with mean Joe Green back in the ’70s was one of them. They were known to hit the weight room quite a bit and use other approaches for heavy training. Now, every single football program lifts. If you don’t, you’re obsolete.

Well, guess what? That’s where cycling and triathlon is going. That is exactly smack-dab right the heck where we are going. Because what we don’t realize as a sport, and this is what’s driven me to build those very in-depth and detailed courses on Training Peaks and to work for the last two years on this strength training for cycling certification is there’s many variables that you need to take into account that many people don’t have a clue. And as you can hear, I get a little bit fired up by this. And I’m going to stay off of a soap box. However, staying off that soapbox, there is a lot that we need to do in strength training for triathlon and cycling. However, there is enough information out there, especially with these two courses and the certification being released to the email list here in the next 14 days, there is enough information out there that you can get what you need to help bring your athletes forward.

Now we’re not going to talk anymore about strength training for Kona 2020. That’s it. If you want to learn more about it, make sure you like and subscribe to this podcast because there’s a ton more information in the overall plan we have for the podcast over the winter going into spring, that you’re going to learn a lot more than I could put into one or two hours or three hours. So make sure you’re liking and subscribing and sharing. But the point of the Road to Kona 2020 series, again, was to get you to think about things that are not popular. We’re talking about adaptation. We’re talking about speed and agility work for triathletes, for runners. Speed and agility work. Oh yeah, I do some sprints. Think about this.

I have videos from back in 2007 from some of the triathletes I worked with who did fantastically well, and they were doing speed and agility work. And they were very curious. Some of them barely trusted me to do it. They did it, but they didn’t really understand why. But when they finished their long runs and they finished their half Ironman and Ironman course, they understood completely. They were like, “I’d throw in a couple of the cariocas or the super marios or I backpedaled up the small hills. And I felt amazing.” They use these drills and skills and tools in their runs themselves. Now you’re not going to see a professional triathlete break out in a ballerina when they’re going for the Ironman win. But you need to build up your movement capabilities over time and to really be able to think outside the box.

So if you subscribe to the HVT newsletter yesterday, November 11th, you got an email from me about staying curious and asking the hard questions and asking the good questions. And that’s one of the themes here for The Strong Savvy Cyclist & Triathlete podcast. I don’t go out of my way to ask quote unquote hard questions or good questions necessarily. But you listen to each of the podcasts interviews that we’ve had, and these are some fantastic professionals. And I’m kind of proud of the times that they said, “That’s a really good question,” or “That’s a tough question.” Because these are questions that people aren’t asking. But these are top professionals that are here. You go back and listen to each of these episodes, and you’re going to get a ton out of it.

Now today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the importance of transition. So today’s November 12th. It will be posted or has been posted on PezCyclingNews. My most recent piece for them in the toolbox series is about taking a transition, five to 14 days off the bike or away from your sports completely. So if you want to learn about how to do the transition, and this is important, go ahead and take a glance or read the post. It’s a little bit longer. It’s about a five minute read. But it really drives home the importance and also tells you why it’s hard for me also. I love, love, love riding in the fall. There is nothing like sleeping in, getting up around 8:30 for now to have a long ride and get back around 3:30 or 4:00 when the sun is just setting. The sun is perfect. The pictures are beautiful. The weather’s perfect. I head out the door with a wind vest, but I’m taking 10 days off now.

Why is that important? And I’m not the world’s best cyclist. In fact, if you follow me on Instagram, you realize that, hell, I’ve been off the bike for about three months now, broken ankle, going through that process. If you’ve been following me since March, I also have a torn meniscus on the same side. So it has been a hell of a year. And my riding volume and riding fitness has gone down to zip. But that’s part of the fun of being a coach is now I can practice and do practice what I preach with my athletes. I don’t do a standard strength training program throughout. And even during transition, I don’t do a full strength training. It’s a mental and physical break.

So to get into the transition talk, and again, you’re going to notice today’s a little bit shorter than most of our regular episodes. And that’s because transition is a short time of year and you need to be able to go out and do other stuff. So during the transition, some of the things that I like to try and encourage and do myself is to do a different sport or to do a different activity than what I would normally engage in. So for me, the last couple of years, obviously it’s an exception right now because of the ankle, but usually we’ll go hiking. My wife and I will go hiking. Even before I met her, I would go out for walks. I would take my dog. We would go to the dog park and I would play with it. I would run around with it. Other people thought I was crazy.

But the thing is the break of not needing to get on your bike and not needing to throw that leg over the top tube can be really refreshing. Can’t lie, I’ve had two cyclists in the entire career that I’ve worked, that have said, “Hey, I can’t stand being off the bike for… I’ve been off for two days. I can’t do this.” And we find a different approach to help them out. And that’s part of the transition is for these athletes, instead of riding their single-speed commuter or their road bike, they got onto their mountain bike, which rarely saw them ride at all. There’s still a lot that we can gain out of doing a different sport or doing something different. And in this piece for PezCyclingNews, I get a little bit more into the details. And it’s amazing some of the pictures you have. You have Chris Froome in the tropics underneath a palm tree, looking like he’s actually relaxed a little bit.

But the thing is, is that the transition time is also a time for a mental break. So there’s a number of athletes that I’ve coached over years that especially living in the Northeast or anywhere that has brutal winters… So North Dakota comes to mind. If you’re not taking that mental break in the fall, when the weather is still good and you can go out and do other stuff, the winters are that much harder. Now that being said, I do have, and have always had, a couple athletes who find that taking the time in the fall is not beneficial for them. The kids have just gone back to school or the kids have just left for college. So they have this extra time and they want to take advantage of it. Meanwhile, the middle of the winter, Christmas break, the kids come back. It’s twice as busy or the kids are out of school or family comes in. So taking time off in the middle of the winter, isn’t really doable for them. However, they don’t want to take it off during the fall because that’s when they can get all this nice riding in. So where do you take the transition then?

Well, it is best to give yourself a mental break after grinding and grinding. And, and sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve been grinding mentally as much as physically until after you’ve gotten to day two or three of this break. Because it’s just taking that foot off the gas pedal where you just wake up one morning. You’re like, “Whoa. I feel like I didn’t sleep at all. My mind just hurts. What’s going on?” If you can’t take this break this time of year, let’s say at the beginning of November, if you can’t take it during Christmas break, then what we’d want to do is just choose a time when the weather starts to get really cold.

So there’s almost always a cold snap at the beginning of December. And there’ve been a couple of years, it’s been Thanksgiving where it’s been freezing in Pittsburgh and it’s been snowing. We take at least five days off completely from the bike. Five. Don’t think about it. If you’re really, really hard pressed to get away from the bike, like the two athletes that I mentioned before, break out a fat bike, borrow someone’s fat bike. Make it something completely different and out of the usual for you. Allow yourself to tinker and have unstructured play, which we’re learning for kids is actually fantastic for their development of just going out and doing stuff. Now I can still remember going across the street and playing with the Nadoffs and the Schwimmers Davy Crockett and a number of other things where we would just run around and cause a ruckus for five, six, seven, eight hours a day during the summer. And then when it was too hot for us to play outside, we’d watch Davy Crockett in black and white in my friends’ parents TV.

And the thing is, is that this type of the stuff is what keeps us fresh and allows us to make new connections. And this is where the other part of it is really important. So rucking is something you can do that would be an activity that’s active and cyclists need and really love. Just make sure you’re not going crazy with that backpack. Start off with the minimum that you need. So four liters of water, which is quite heavy, some snacks. And make sure it’s a course that you can easily run into other people and that it’s safe. But start light.

And the thing is, as you go through this transition period and you get into other things, it’s not just the break off the bike and that physical… Or the monotony of getting on the bike physically. It’s also breaking that mental escape. So one of my favorite things to do is throughout the year, especially during the spring and summer when I’m really busy coaching and I’m writing training plans and I’m watching video and I’m reading power files, and I’m looking through the LEOMO stuff that athletes have. When I’m going through all this stuff, I’m just on. And I’m really focusing. I’m getting into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow. And that’s a fantastic book that if you’re interested in boosting your performance, I don’t know that you want the original entitled Flow. You might want the one that’s more business oriented or the one that’s a little bit more performance oriented. I think for sports, he has one.

But it’s called flow. And what that is, is where you lose track of time because you’re so focused and enveloped in that activity. And that’s what cycling is for most of us. However, if you want to maintain your ability to perform, you need to throw different things at the brain and the body every now and again. And this is where, again, I’m so busy from somewhere around February 1st until August 31st. And now because of some of the more professional riders getting into September 15th is like the last day that I’m completely on. And when you’re done your brain, your body just keeps running on overdrive for about five to 10 days, and then it starts to hit you.

So during this transition time, it’s also important to give yourself a mental break. For me while I’m so busy during the season, I save podcasts that I can’t listen to while I’m on the trainer, or I can’t listen to while I’m doing work on the bike. Or if I’m doing a strength training routine, or if I’m doing stuff around the house. So I have a list of podcasts. I have a list of books, either books that I need to read physically or on my Kindle or with a physical book or on audible that I haven’t had a chance to go through. And during my transition, instead of riding or training, that’s what I’ll do.

Now that isn’t to say that I stop training completely. So I like to dial back… The strength training I’ll dial back to about 65, 75% of what I’ve normally done. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s just a matter of continuing what I’ve been doing, but making sure the intensity stays around a five and a six. So the load doesn’t increase as much, and I’m still building strength, but it’s just not intense as far as the density goes. And this is where a lot of cyclists have this problem and triathletes as well, where they don’t want to get off the bike. They don’t want to stop swimming or biking or running rather because they feel that they need that pressure.

And this is where a lot of triathletes and a lot of cyclists are just totally enveloped with their CTL, chronic training load. Drives me nuts. The chronic training load is simply just a representation of the amount of training load that you’ve done over the last rolling 52 to 58 days, unless you’ve screwed with that number in Training Peaks. If you have, that’s okay. Maybe you’ve dialed it in to be more personal. But the chronic training load ebbs and flows. And if we were to look back at some of the annual training plan overviews for some of my riders like Andy. Andy went from being a true green horn all the way up to riding with Cap One, a professional team, Kelly Benefits in the states. He rode for Panther out of Ohio. He rode for the Pitt cycling team and a number of regional teams, Indiana Regional Medical Center, and GPOA out of Pittsburgh.

If we look at his CTL and we look at the ebb and flow throughout the year, he had a drop off of about 30 points to 40 points when we went through transition into base. A lot of this had to do with the fact that we were dropping not just volume and intensity, but we were also getting him off the bike overall. Less structure, getting him to possibly drive or to find another mode of transportation if he was commuting to work at the time. Which over the course of two to three weeks allowed him to refresh and rejuvenate.

Now the best part about this is when you get back on the bike, your bike, your trusted steed, it’s really simple and easy for us to understand what areas have been overstretched, overused, or just having pushed to their limits because you get those cracks, pops and sorenesses that you haven’t felt or had on the bike for a number of months. And this really cues us off the things that are going on in the body. It could be connective tissue strength. It could be connective adaptations. It could be a number of things that are going on that are causing these changes to happen.

For some people, it doesn’t seem like this is that big of a deal. Like, “Okay, I get back on the bike and I’m sore. What’s the big deal.” Wow. That was kind of the department of redundancy department. Right? The point is, is that this helps us really dial in the strength training program and allows you to get to know your body a little bit better. And we keep notes of this. And this is one of the things in transition that it’s also important to continue to keep a training log. It allows you to go through, write notes every day. It keeps you in the habit of tracking your stuff.

Now, if you’re the type of personality who really relies on routine, and let’s say… My wife thinks it’s crazy now because I roll out of bed in the mornings now without an alarm clock at somewhere around 6:30, maybe if I sleep in 6:45, but it’s just without an alarm clock. Whereas when we started dating… I don’t know, five, five and a half years ago, I needed three alarms to get me out for my rides. The thing that’s funny about it is, is that sometimes we recognize that if we get out of this habit of routine, we’re not going to have an easiest of time getting back into it. So what do you do then?

Well, the transition period can and should consist of getting up, putting your clothing on to go for a walk or go to the gym. Continue the routine of doing something active in the mornings. For me personally, it would be getting up, taking the dog for a walk, a longer walk. There are times where we would stop and sit at the Coffee Tree. We’d have a coffee. Read the New York Times or the Wall Street journal for 15, 20 minutes. She was really cute. She’d sit outside with her back paws up on the stoop and her front one’s down. It’s kind of like the Sphinx. It’s kind of cool. Anyhow, just those small memories that you build in transition. That’s what this does. That’s a mental break that I’m talking about. I didn’t even try and do that. And I really mean this. And for those of you who’ve been listening for a long time since we began this podcast, you know how genuine it is. But I didn’t even mean to do that.

But this is a positive memory that automatically releases dopamine in my brain and allows me to relax. It sends a refreshing and rejuvenating burst of endorphins and hormones through the body. And as we know, hormones are the strongest drugs known to men on the planet earth. Who knows what we’ll find on Mars. Who knows. But the point of this is, is that the transition period, these are the types of things that we need to get out of transition. It’s changing your routine but staying active. And I remember taking Adee, we walked literally 45 minutes to the Coffee Tree. So I’d usually have a two hour ride. We would leave somewhere around 6:45 or 7:00 in the morning. So instead of doing that, I walked the 45 minutes to the Coffee Tree, took a table in the front. We’d sit there, I’d read the paper, hang out with her. And then we would walk back home.

And the thing is, is that’s refreshing. I still got 90 minutes of walking, still broke a sweat, still pushed a little bit when I wanted to, but it was something different. And when you get back on the bike from that, you actually look forward to getting back on the bike after a transition period like this. You actually look forward to going out for your run. And you’re anxious. You’re kind of like a horse chomping at the bit. The one that’s perfectly peaked for the Kentucky Derby, or if you don’t like horse racing, you’ve been perfectly peaking for your peak race. And these are the tiny little adaptations that will allow you to have far more higher peaks throughout the year. Taking that stress off. Don’t worry about your CTL. Don’t worry about your training stress balance. Let it come up. Those are just numbers on a screen. Don’t worry about your HRV scores. Although we would like to see them become more green more regularly.

Some people do get more red when they go through transition because their body’s used to being stressed so much, and that’s a special situation. Then we have to sit down and we need to go through like, “Okay, what’s going on? Let’s look at your average training stress and your life stress.” And then we figure out how much stress is being applied in your life. Now, this is really important and I’m going to share something. I’m not going to share names or specifics. But one of the coaching groups that I belong to, one of the more senior coaches has a fantastic cyclist. And this cyclist is a vegan. So this is important because especially with game changers going around again and forks over knives 10 years ago. Know a lot of people say, “Well, veganism is much healthier for your heart, dah, dah, dah.” Well, it’s not necessarily true.

This is a lifelong cyclist from what I gather or cycling for at least 15, 20 years. Has a super healthy lifestyle as far as activity. This cyclist wound up having a massive coronary blockage and a heart attack. I think it was something like three of the primary coronary arteries. And for those of you who are in the medical field, holy crap. But I’m vegan, but I ride my bike, but I live a healthy lifestyle. Well, stress has extensive effects on the body. Now, thankfully, thankfully this cyclist is recovering. They’re going to be fine. The coaching staff is fantastic. The coach that this cyclist has who’s in the group and then shared it with us did so because they want to make sure that we’re all aware and reminded that you can do everything right, however things happen.

Now, this is something that I don’t like talking about because it means something bad happened to somebody in the family essential. Much less a cyclist, much less somebody who’s working with a coach in a group I’m part of. These are things that triathletes in particular are far worse than cyclists. There have been a number of heart attacks in the swim portion of triathlons. There’ve been a number of other cardio respiratory, we’ll call them injuries, that occur in events because they’re stressful. Because while we’re going out and we’re training our bodies, we are not training our minds.

And this is why we had Dr. Lewis on here, which was a fantastic, fantastic episode. If you haven’t listened to it, go back. We got tons of great feedback on that. Shot up in listens very quickly, just like Kelly. The one with Kelly, I was really excited for it. I was really hoping you guys would see the value, but also that shot up through the total listens very quickly as well. And great feedback on that as well. People saying, “Wow, I never thought about this.” Or, “Wow. She raised some really good points. Or, “Wow. Dr. Lewis really knows her stuff. These are things that I’ve been thinking about. And I didn’t even realize that I should be thinking about. It’s in the back of my head and, oh, that doesn’t really matter.”

These are… This is where you become healthier, fitter, faster and stronger. It’s not simply going out physically, but also mentally and spiritually. So as we get to the end of today’s podcast, listen to the main take homes. And these are, number one, transition period is absolutely key. At least five days off, away from your primary sport. So if your a triathlete, no swimming, no biking, no running. Go do something else. Go for walks, go rucking, go hiking, go learn how to play racquetball. Though, don’t go crazy with that. Please do not hurt your shoulder. Your coach will kill me. Or I will kill myself. Learn a different sport. Go surfing. Start a little bit of yoga. Do some meditation. Do some Pilates.

Now some of you may say, but I emailed you and you said yoga wasn’t good for me. That’s correct. Because you’re flexy bendy. We need to make you more resilient and springy. So don’t do yoga, do Pilates. Or maybe don’t do either of those and instead try a TRX class, but be smart about it. Go do something else active. Maybe take your dog for a longer walk like I did. It’s a 10 minute ride on the bike, a four minute drive on the car to Coffee Tree, but we walked 45 minutes. It was great. It was fun. And you can hear the positive mental effects that that had.

And that’s part number two, is that transition period is not just to give your body a break, it’s also to give your mind a break. If you’re a creature of habit and you wake up. My thing, since I’ve been broken, I’m still waking up early in the mornings. I’m getting up and I’m reading. That’s the first thing I do. Get up, I go to the bathroom, make coffee, and I sit in my chair with my foot up and I either read something that is interesting to me that isn’t necessarily training related. Or I watch something on YouTube that is not training related. Or if I really feel after the first two or three minutes I’m restless and I really have something in my mind that I really want to learn about, okay, I’ll start working on my CEUs. The mental break is absolutely paramount to your longterm success.

This is the next frontier. I’ve been fighting for years for women specific training. And I didn’t really know that much. Let’s be honest about that. I really didn’t know. I went out and I just rifled through tons and tons of research articles and tried to find people. And thankfully as the world would have it, Dr. Sims has come forward and is really helping drive women’s training forward. Her book Roar. Selene Yeager’s also been absolutely instrumental in writing that book and helping get that information out there. And now there are more individuals that are in the coaching world and research world that are looking at women’s specific issues. But this is something I was on years ago. And I don’t say this to brag. I’m saying this, that these are the things that nobody really thought about back then that were… As a whole community now realizing this is the next big thing.

Strength training was even before that. Strength training for cyclists and endurance athletes. You’ve heard me on my soapbox on previous episodes where I’m talking about the mean things that other coaches and athletes said to me that now it’s kind of fun to watch them on social media, doing strength training and remembering back. But it’s good because that means people are changing and realizing and staying curious that they are progressing.

And if you’re on the newsletter list, I wrote a newsletter yesterday morning about that and shared it, just a one-off thought, a Monday musing. Stay curious, ask the hard questions. Making sure that you’re refueling yourself mentally is just one of those things that we don’t think about but really helps us. And we’re seeing a lot in this sport of cycling and triathlon. There are common personality themes for different sports and those that do best. And with cyclists and triathletes, we tend to internalize stuff. We tend to be introverts.

There’s a book called Quiet. I can’t remember the author’s name at the time. Q-U-I-E-T, quiet. I think her first name is Sue or Susan, if I’m not mistaken. But pick it up. It’s about introverts. And being an introvert is okay. And introverts aren’t necessarily the one that sits in the corner all the time, but we interact with people. But for us as introverts or as those who tend to dive inside and internalize a lot of stuff, the alleviation of mental stress is two to four times more important, if we put a number on it, then the average extrovert or people who have a large social circle. And this is one of the things that I’d like to see us as a sport really address is not just the mental health side of things, but also understanding that we don’t talk about mental health. And that’s a big obstacle to us being able to progress, not only to tap into the abilities that we have as human beings, but also to become better and healthier individuals.

So those are the two big takeaways. Number one is take a transition five to 14 days off from your primary sport. Go do something else or just rest and make sure you’re eating clean. The first day or two, if you want to have a little bit of fun, I went through two tubs of Ben and Jerry’s most transition periods the last couple of years when my riding volume was high. That’s what I allowed myself is I’m just going to let it go. I got two containers of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food and New York Super Fudge Chunk. When those were gone, they were gone. I ate them in a day, ate them in a day. Ate them over the course of the whole transition, I felt a little bit better. But not all the time. Sometimes just downing it was the best thing. I’d go, “I’ve been waiting for this all season.” And that just signaled the release.

Now that doesn’t mean that I let the rest of my nutrition go. I was very dialed in. But as we’ve heard, just being a vegan, being an endurance athlete is not going to keep you heart-healthy necessarily. It has a lot to do with stress, a lot to do with genetics. And stress… The release of the hormones does affect and turn off and on different genes in the body. And that’s something I talked just a little bit in my core strength training for cycling certification, which is coming out here in the next couple of weeks for the email list for HVT. So keep an eye or an ear open for that.

But these are the things that we need to think about is you need to learn… If you don’t want to meditate, go do something else that’s fulfilling for you. I have a couple of clients right now who are going out and one of them’s learning about how to brew beer at home. Totally cool. So I bought some books to learn how to make whiskey at home. Probably not going to fly with the wife, but might be pretty cool to have the cyclist’s whiskey at some point. I have another athlete who’s learning how to better be a photographer, to take advantage of light. Now, the cool thing is she’s also already really good on Instagram. She doesn’t use filters. I’m like “How are you going to possibly make this better?” But it makes sense because it’s something she enjoys. And it’s something that takes her mind away from cycling. And it ties together, allows her to have that yin and yang.

And I have yet two other cyclists who say, “You know what? I worked out a deal with my wife for the first seven days of my transition. I can go to bed at whatever time I want and I can wake up late as long as I make it to my first meeting and it doesn’t affect my job.” That’s fantastic. Now on the other side, the wife gets other stuff out of that. One of them is it’s vice versa for the weeks after that. He’s up taking care of the dog and the baby. But these are the types of things that will really help you be able to succeed in the long-term.

Lastly, just for closing for today, there is a lot we have coming up here at Human Vortex Training. And I’d really like to hear your feedback about the podcast. Thank you to those of you who have rated us on Apple, iTunes rather, as well as on Stitcher and SoundCloud and Anchor. Thank you very much for that. That helps a ton. Thank you for the shares and for allowing more people to come in. I want this to be very interactive. So please do not hesitate to send me your questions, your feedback. Just be nice about it. You don’t have to agree, but let’s be adults about it. B as in boy, R-O-D as in dog, I-E at HumanVortexTraining.com.

In the coming weeks, maybe even coming days, we will have a revamped website up, which I’m very excited for. This has been also almost a year and a half in the making. We started looking more at the digital space. We had a number of clients come in and work with me and say, “Hey, your website needs some help.” But we are very excited for that as well as we’re going to start to have a full library of all of the episodes of The Strong Savvy Cyclist & Triathlete podcast up on that website so you’ll be able to rifle through and find them quickly, as well as the links instead of having to go through iTunes or through Stitcher or SoundCloud or Anchor, wherever you’re listening to this.

So we’ve covered a lot today. It may not seem like a lot. The show notes here were actually quite a number of bullet points. There was a lot of thought and careful consideration put into today. I know it may sound like me just sitting here in front of the microphone and ranting a little bit. There are so many lessons that I’ve learned the hard way myself, that I’ve learned through coaching cyclists and triathletes the last almost 15 years for you to take home and learn. There are a number there. And the reason I didn’t draw all of them out and make them bullet points is because everybody is going to be different.

So your needs are going to be different from your neighbors, from your husband or wife’s and anybody else’s. So I hope you found today’s episode to be very beneficial. Remember to check out the latest toolbox piece by yours truly, which was posted today, November 12th, PezCyclingNews.com. The toolbox, it’s about transition. Make sure you check that out. Or if you want some really cool non-sports stuff, make sure you’re going over to the Human Vortex Training Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HVT412 and you’ll see some really cool nature stuff and stuff about science that has to do with your overall wellbeing that’s going to tie in. So we don’t always just do bikes, bikes, bikes, bikes, bikes, much to the chagrin of a couple of those who follow our page. But we want to teach that balance.

So for now, I’m going to go have a scotch. I’m going to sit in front of the TV like a giant nerd, and I’m going to watch a documentary about the Colosseum in Rome. So I am off for the day. I hope you guys have enjoyed this podcast. Thank you again for listening. Looking forward to seeing you guys next week when we’re going to have our first of two episodes with Sebastian Weber from Inside, and it is a fantastic conversation. We’re going to talk about energy systems. We’re going to talk about testing through Inside and how that’s going to revolutionize and or allow you a much deeper insight into your capabilities. So make sure you are liking and subscribing.

Please make sure you give us a five star rating on your appropriate platform. And until next time, remember train smarter, not harder because it is all about you. Now get off your bike, get out of the water, hang up your running shoes, put your bike away, do something else for two weeks and we’ll see you soon.

Recorded audio:

That’s it for this episode of The Strong Savvy Cyclist & Triathlete podcast with world-leading strength coach for cyclists and triathletes, Menachem Brodie. Don’t miss an episode. Hit that subscribe button and give us a review. For more exclusive content, visit HumanVortexTraining.com or get the latest expert videos from Coach Brodie on the HVT YouTube channel at HV training. Until next time, remember to train smarter, not harder because it is all about you.


Picture of Menachem Brodie

Menachem Brodie

Coaching since 2000, Menachem Brodie has been working with athletes in a number of settings, and a broad variety of sports.


Related Podcasts

Vern Gambetta

Episode 127- Vern Gambetta

Vern Gabetta has been coaching for over 50 years, and has penned more than 10 books on the subject. Over that time he has seen many fads and popular approaches come

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

And get the 12-week Core Strength Training for Endurance Athletes Program- Coaches Edition, normally $149, FOR FREE!