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303Endurance Podcast

Jan 15, 2022

Joining us today is coach Chris Carmichael. He's a retired pro cyclist competing on the 84 Olympic team, 7-11 team 85-87 and Schwinn-Wheaties 88-89.  He's coached the US Men's cycling teams in 92 and 96, He's the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems and on the Board of We Ride 4.


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In Today's Show

  • Feature Interview with Chris Carmichael
  • Endurance News
    • 1,100 bikes stolen every day: Why isn’t cutting down on bike theft more prominent in cycling policy?
  • What's new in the 303
    • Riding, Being Safe and Having Fun in the Cold–Things to Think About
    • Inside Tracker Update


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Feature Interview with Chris Carmichael

Chris Carmichael was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Cycling Team, the 7-Eleven Professional Cycling Team (1985-1987), and the Schwinn-Wheaties professional cycling team (1988-1989). He started coaching with the United States Cycling Federation (now USA Cycling) in 1990, was the U.S. Men’s Road Cycling team coach for the 1992 Olympic Games and the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team Head Coach for the 1996 Olympic Games.


In the winter of 1986, Chris suffered a broken femur in a cross-country skiing accident. He raced a shortened season in 1987, but a series of knee surgeries kept him from returning to full strength. In 1988-89, Chris raced domestically in the U.S. for the Schwinn-Wheaties Professional Cycling Team before retiring at the end of the 1989 season.


Chris was the U.S. Men’s Road Cycling team coach for the 1992 Olympic Games. He was named the U.S. National Coaching Director and led “Project ‘96”, a multi-disciplinary effort to put the most technologically and physiologically prepared team on the start line at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Project ’96 led to major advances in aerodynamics – including the GT Superbike – as well as altitude training, heat acclimatization, and hyperoxic training. Many of the sports science advances made during Project ’96 are still in use at the elite and amateur levels of endurance sports. Chris was the Head Coach of the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team in 1996. In 1997, he joined the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the international governing body for cycling headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, as Olympic Solidarity Coaching Instructor. He is well known for being the personal coach to cyclist Lance Armstrong - as well as George Hincapie, ice-hockey player Saku Koivu and swimmer Ed Moses. Athletes under his tutelage have reportedly won a combined total of 33 medals at the Olympics, World Championships, and Pan American Games.


Chris Carmichael is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS).



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Endurance News:


1,100 bikes stolen every day: Why isn’t cutting down on bike theft more prominent in cycling policy?

A study into bike theft in the UK has revealed that a staggering 1,100 bikes are stolen every day, and yet, theft is rarely a barrier discussed by policymakers looking to increase cycling participation.


Each year, 80,000 stolen bikes go unclaimed for, presumably with owners either shelling out for a new model, or giving up on their cycling altogether, an unfortunate fate given that a fifth of owners listed their bicycle and kit as their ‘most important possession’.


Whilst the survey, commissioned by Direct Line, showed that 16% of its participants spent a “whopping £500 on their bike and accessories”, a 2021 study across Cycling Weekly’s publisher’s readers put the average spend figure at £2,685 (Future Publishing BikeTrack Survey, 2021).


For enthusiasts - the people for whom cycling is already a regular pastime, and who are therefore less likely to be put off by road traffic - the loss of a bike is likely an even more substantial financial outlay, arguably making bike theft a key detractor.


Statistics from the UK and US show that whilst 19% and 20% of victims report the loss of a bicycle to the police, only 5% of those stolen are returned each year. Instead, victims, and indeed cycling security brands are putting in the effort to seek solutions.


One owner lucky (or, resourceful) enough to have his stolen bikes returned in November last year was David Wilkins, who used an AirTag GPS tracker to help police retrieve three stolen bikes, the highest in value a £10,000 Specialized.


Relaying the story to Cycling Weekly, Wilkins told us: “[The police] were very helpful, but I got the impression they couldn’t do too much as they said the location wasn’t specific enough,” he “took the matter into [his] own hands” and even having located the bikes was told by police that the “AirTag could still be inaccurate," only gaining traction when he and an officer “pressed our ears up against the window of the property” and “heard beep, beep, beep.” Whilst the police no doubt have a lot on their hands, it shouldn't be down to victims to play Cluedo on tens of thousands of pounds worth of stolen belongings.


Bike locks have also become more sophisticated, with the likes of Hiplok seeking to produce an angle grinder-resistant solution last year.



What's New in the 303:


Riding, Being Safe and Having Fun in the Cold–Things to Think About

This article will hopefully point out some not so obvious challenges, ideas and solutions to help you enjoy winter riding outdoors more.


Riding outside in the Colorado winter comes with increased risks, but often with un-anticipated rewards. I, like so many, have come to enjoy indoor riding much more thanks to my smart trainer (Saris H3) and my motivating software, Zwift. But it doesn’t replace the crisp Colorado air and snowy vistas and a sense of not only being outside and refreshed, but sort of conquering the elements too.


Yes, as we know, there can be single layer, short sleeved days in the middle of Winter here along the front range, but rarely is it good to leave the house without at least a vest, gloves, arm warmers and “legs”. For me, come mid-November the toe covers are on and stay on until  March.


Shadows: The sun angle is lower and causes much deeper and darker shadows. So much so if you look at these two pictures you will barely see a rock (about the size of the palm of my hand) in the shadow about 8 feet ahead compared to when I moved the rock into the sun a few inches to the left. These pictures were taken at 1:30pm. Hazards like rocks, potholes and especially ice are well hid by shadows, even narrow ones from a fence post. Also the colder surface temperature in a shadow can house clear “black” ice—super dangerous to cyclists.


Moved the rock into the sun

Visibility: With the sun angle lower, sun glare happens much earlier in the day and is more intense and lasts longer. Bright colors or lights won’t be as effective. Wearing a lightweight vest or jacket and leaving it unzipped makes it flap and draws attention (as long as it’s not too annoying to yourself).


Roads vs. Bike paths. While bike paths might offer a safer feeling with no cars, they can often be much sloppier longer after a snow storm. That’s because most paths follow the grade of the land so they slope in one direction. Thus snow or water on the sides tend to drain into the path rather than away from it like on a road. Roads are generally “crowned” in the middle and slope towards drainage and dry out quicker and sit higher than the surrounding land.


Route Planning: Avoid riding past 4pm for reasons noted above with sun glare and quick temperature changes. If riding late, avoid riding into the sun so plan your routes accordingly. Also, riding in canyons can be very unpredictable with even deeper shadows. They hold snow and ice longer and coatings of mag chloride used to melt snow can leave roads looking almost wet and further disguise ice. Cold air pockets in canyons can drop temperatures very quickly. Rides with steep climbs that make us sweat might make us extra chilly going down, so bringing a large, thin, easy-to-put-on jacket for descents is often worthwhile. Routes with short climbs, rolling hills and some more technical turns offer variety which can be good for “moving around” on the bike with standing and shifting hands that will help keep you warmer.


Body fatigue: On a road or triathlon bike in particular, you will feel the road more in the cold. The bike feels stiffer in the cold, your body is typically stiffer so eventually you will feel more fatigue from the jarring and vibration than when it’s warm. Lowering your tire pressure 5lbs or so can make a big difference in comfort.


Clothing: In general we all know about the importance of layers and the wonderful fabrics that allow moisture wicking and wind blocking. Probably the biggest bangs for the buck are a good base layer for your torso, toe covers, arm and leg warmers, neck gators, and a skull cap. All of these can be fairly affordable and when added to jackets, vests, jerseys etc, can make a huge difference in comfort. They carry easily, and can be easy to take off and on in changing temperatures. Water and windproof fabrics are great, but can sometimes cause sweating which will eventually make you cold. If it’s sunny out, maybe just opt for basic gloves and outerwear.


Fit is king, just like a bike. The better the fit, the more comfortable, the better blood circulation and the the better the experience.  Thicker socks or gloves may cause worse circulation and make you colder. Keep extremities dextrous and warm; numb feet and hands are not good! Also note Gloves too big can get caught on gear and brake levers or catch your hoods when shifting your hands and can cause a crash.


Latex gloves can be a life saver. Combined with another glove, they can add a lot of warmth and are great for unexpected moisture and are super easy to stash in your bike bag–and very cheap.


Toe covers provide really good protection. Neoprene ones are the least expensive but can cause sweating more quickly so for a few extra dollars consider a breathable but water/wind proof fabric.


Full foot covers are great when it’s really cold and going to stay cold. They may make your feet too warm though if the temperatures climb. It might be best to start with toe covers that you can use in a much bigger variety of temperatures and if they aren’t enough you can always get full foot protectors.


All in all, it takes a while to figure out what’s going to work best to keep you warm, but try, it will be worth it. Just be a bit more cautious and aware and enjoy the snowy vistas!



Inside Tracker Update

We heard Morgan Pearson talk about how Inside Tracker is helping him dial in his optimal health and diet/supplement choices.

What IT is? 

Inside Tracker analyzes your biomarkers, using cutting-edge science and technology, to provide ultra-customized recommendations aimed at transforming your body. A biomarker is a biological indicator of your body's internal condition, which can be measured in the blood. Tracking these biomarkers at regular intervals over time, and following a personalized plan to improve them, is a great way to transform your overall health, longevity, performance, and well-bein


What value?

I've done the DNA Report and did the blood draw on Tuesday of this week. As soon as I get the results from the lab work, I'll be sure to share it. A couple weeks ago you had asked about the insights I got from Inside Tracker


DNA Reports.

  • According to your genetic data, you're likely to have average potential to excel at power-type sports that use bursts of power such as weight-lifting and sprinting. You may have to work harder to excel at endurance sports such as distance running and cycling.
  • Based on the genes we looked at, you have an average genetic risk for lower testosterone. If your blood testosterone levels are low, you may find it harder to reach your athletic performance goals.
  • Much of the testosterone in your body is bound to a protein called SHBG, and only about 1 to 2 percent circulates freely in your blood.  This report looks at a single genetic variant that can affect the amount of free testosterone in your blood. You have an increased genetic potential for higher blood levels of free testosterone. If you're struggling to reach your athletic performance goals, it might be good for you to consider getting your blood tested for free testosterone.

Your red blood cells are packed with hemoglobin, the oxygen transporter in red blood cells.

  • The iron in the hemoglobin protein binds oxygen and carries it from the lungs to the rest of

the body, so it’s a key factor in athletic performance.  This report looks at a single genetic variant that can affect your hemoglobin level.  Based on one genetic marker, you have an average genetic risk for lower blood levels of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in your red blood cells. Your muscles need oxygen for optimal performance.

  • Many standard blood tests include hemoglobin so check your latest report from your doctor to see what your blood hemoglobin level really is. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in red blood cell production. Since red blood cells carry oxygen to your muscles, your B12 level can be a factor in performance.

This report looks at a single genetic variant that can affect your B12 level. Your body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen, so this vitamin is crucial for performance. Based on one genetic marker, you have an elevated genetic potential for slightly higher blood levels of vitamin B12.

  • Tendons connect muscles to bone. When your tendons are flexible, you can have better overall flexibility and range of motion. You’re also less likely to injure your tendons — when they’re under strain, flexible tendons are more likely to stretch than tear. This flexibility is partly genetic, which is why some people naturally have tighter or looser joints and range of motion analysis examines a single genetic variant to determine your potential of tendon and ligament injury (like tendonitis and ACL tears). You have an average genetic risk for tendon stiffness and injury, but you'll still need to exercise smart. To avoid an injury, remember to warm up before your workout.
  • Good news! Based on a single genetic variant, you're not at increased risk of gluten sensitivity. There are no guarantees, of course, so if you develop any food sensitivities make sure to rule out gluten.
  • Good news — based on a single gene variant, you're not likely to develop lactose intolerance. There are no guarantees, of course, so if you develop any food sensitivities make sure to rule out dairy.
  • You have a gene variant that makes you more likely to have a peanut allergy, but your chances of actually having a peanut allergy are still very low. The average risk of a peanut allergy is 1.5%; your potential risk is only 3%. If you have any food sensitivities, you'll want to get tested to find out whether you should avoid peanuts.
  • While your DNA is your master code, things don’t always get built exactly according to plan. There are many factors that affect how you grow and change and react to your surroundings. Your DNA is only one factor.
  • Upgrade your InsideTracker experience to include blood analysis, and we'll combine your DNA and blood results in an exclusive report. You'll discover how you are currently expressing your genetic potential, and receive the best, mostpersonalized recommendations, all scientifically proven to help you achieve your

health goals.

  • The combined analysis includes: Blood test (most plans), results review and analysis DNA and blood test results comparison, with recommendations to achieve your health goal Actionable recommendations customized for your preferences, habits and bloodwork Recipes and focus foods tailored to your goal, bloodwork results and preferences



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Video of the Week:


Breaking Barriers: Sub7 Sub8 IRONMAN Distance.




Mark Allen: it can be done with a 45 minute swim, 3:45 bike, 2:30 run. 3 helpers on the swim, 4 on the bike and another 3 on the run.  Gives examples of Jan Frodeno and Allistair Brownlee splits and makes it sound very doable

10 athletes wherever they want.


Notes on Craig Howie

96 Kona

Tim DeBoom fan

UNC women's swimming coach

UNC first triathlon

Qualified 4 times kona; 4th time dnf 2008; 10 days before the race got hit by a car. I remember Sean Kelly

1st Leadville 50 he wins; focused on the 100 2012-2014

Dana Willet was on his crew

He and his dad connected through guitar; not wrestling

The golden ratio; Fibonacci


Upcoming Guests


USAT CEO Rocky Harris is joining us later this month to talk about the state of triathlon and give us a sneak preview of this yea's Endurance Exchange.  give sent out his year end message and here's what he said.



Thanks again for listening in this week.  Please be sure to follow us @303endurance and of course go to iTunes and give us a rating and a comment.  We'd really appreciate it!

Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!