The Paceline Podcast #16

The Paceline Podcast #16

The Paceline is going with the flow, Flow State that is. Padraig has penned a feature article for Bicycling magazine and we take the opportunity to discuss that magic moment when it all comes together. Flow may sound like surf-talk or skateboarder jargon, but it’s more than just a word, it’s become a body of research. It is the ultimate performance enhancer and it’s perfectly legal.

We go over Fatty’s Function Threshold Power Test results and find a man who was once worried about his fitness has plenty of it. Fatty explains his keys to improving power numbers while leading a stressful life.

Four years ago, British Cycling was headed into the Olympic games ready to grab gold, and they did. With Rio right around the corner, the Brit’s national team is in shambles. Accusations of sexism and harassment have been leveled against a top coach for the squad.

And the Paceline joins the Friday Group Ride and answers Robot’s question of the week, “Who taught you to ride and have you paid it forward”?



Show Links:

Flow Primer by Padraig

Flow Genome Project

Yuri Hauswald talks to Fatty about Flow at Dirty Kanzaa

British Cycling scandal

Friday Group Ride on learning to ride


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  1. Hans

    RE the discussion endurance athletes’ “flow” and group rides, Mr. Brady suggests the group ride taking place typically at Lvl 3 is very counter productive RE endurance / training development. I am puzzled by this as this is exactly opposite to what Dr. Coggan et al. define as the the most effective in increasing Threshold Power. While not all training hours should be vested in the level 3/4 area, those hours that are dedicated to that effort (punchy compepttive group rides, fartleks, etc.) contribute most to building FTP. To be clear, the level 3 and level 3/4 domains are in the 80%-100% of baseline (known) FTP. I know this comment is of base w.r.t to “flow”, but I couln’t help but linger on this statement as I was listening to the podcast while hunched over my own annotated traning zone/intensity charts and graphs.

    1. Padraig

      To be fair I’m aware that, for some coaches, thinking has begun to evolve as concerns the value of training in zone 3. For the purpose of my article, I couldn’t go into the debate over the value of training in zone 3 or how the thinking has evolved. As it stands now, most coaches still advise their athletes to avoid zone 3. That said, even if we grant that there is some value to training in zone 3, the fact is that most riders still spend more time in that range of heart rate than any coach would advise. I never really wondered why until I ran across Dr. Raichlen’s work, and then the why made perfect sense to me. The point being, why do we seek out a zone where, obviously, we are unlikely to realize our greatest training gains? Flow is why.

  2. Chris

    Huge fan of the podcast and I loved this episode!
    For me the concept of Flow is really a wide span of mindspaces. In some ways, it’s like Fatty’s “zoning out” on the road ride. However sometimes I get the sense of Flow when, for example, I come into a technical corner a bit hotter than I thought my skills could handle and make it out learning something new about my handling skills and trust in tire traction. That rush is definitely different than the Flow of 30 passing miles at a steady cadence. It’s a, “HECK YES I MADE IT! WAHOO!!” vs, “Wow, this is totally amazing”.
    For the group ride, I remember finally ditching the training wheels while on vacation in Mexico. I remember feeling uncertain, almost falling over, not falling over and therefore gaining confidence, before suddenly falling over for real.
    Years later I got into cycling seriously and bought clipless pedals. I remember feeling uncertain, almost falling over, not falling over and therefore gaining confidence, before suddenly falling over for real.

    Cycling is an amazingly full-circle sport!

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