Simon Ward, The High Performance Human Triathlon Podcast

Why big data studies could be more useful to you than traditional research * Dr. David Bailey

December 29, 2021

Today's guest is David Bailey, an exercise physiologist who I originally met when he was working for the English Institute of Sport at Loughborough. From there he moved to British Cycling in Manchester and eventually to Switzerland originally working for PowerBar and then back into cycling working directly with the BMC and the Bahrain Merida cycling teams.

We will get into all of this in our conversation as well as a few rabbit holes, per usual.

Notable topics include:

  • PowerBars and how they caused £500 of damage to my bike frame
  • Research - lab studies vs big data - which is more relevant to you?
  • The ideal cadence for cycling
  • Why RPE is such a valuable skill for you as an athlete
  • How to train a pro-cyclist
  • Polarised vs traditional training models
  • Constant glucose monitors
  • Metabolomics and does it really explain why Pogacar is so good
  • What really works if you want to achieve your goals
  • Strength training for cyclists

To follow David Bailey you can find him in the following places:

Twitter - @BaileyDM


David’s personal website is


Other topics mentioned in the show:

NY Times research on Strava data - race data from about 500,000 marathon and half marathon running times since 2014 supports the Nike claim that VaporFly’s are 4% faster 

Dave’s book recommendations:

Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari

The Curious Mind:The secret to a bigger life - Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion - Jonathan Haidt

The Fourth Turning: An American prophecy- William Strauss & Neil Howe

Some research papers you might like

  1. Hansen & Smith (2009) Factors Affecting Cadence Choice During Submaximal Cycling and Cadence Influence on Performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. Int J Sports Physiol Perform
  2. Stellingwerff et al. (2019) A framework for periodized nutrition for athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 1:29(2):141-151
  3. Mujika et al., (2019) Contempary periodization of altitude training for elite endurance athletes. A narrative review. Sports Med. 49(11): 1651-1669
  4. Fabra et al.  (2021) A comprehensive review of continuous glucose monitoring accuracy during exercise periods. Sensors. 12:21(2):497
  5. Bellenger et al. (2016) Monitoring Athletic Training Status Through Autonomic Heart Rate Regulation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 46(10):1461-1486
  6. Filipas et al. (2021) Effects of 16 weeks of pyramidal and polarized training intensity distributions in well-trained endurance runners. Scand J Med Sci Sports Nov 18
  7. Watson (2017) Sleep and athletic performance. Curr Sports Med Rep. 16(6):413-418.

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