Fast Talk, ep. 63: Training gift ideas with Colby Pearce and Frank Overton

The holidays are here, which means it is time to find the perfect gift for yourself or a cyclist in your life. We discuss Whoop, Normatec, Leomo, and more.

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The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.

It’s the holidays and if you’re like us, right about now, you’re scrambling for gift ideas. So we’re trying something new on Fast Talk and doing a gift episode. Of course, there are a ton of great gifts you can give that cyclist in your life, so we can’t cover them all. Instead, we’re going to focus on a few cool training gadgets. Some of which you’re very familiar with and some you may never have even heard of. We’ll talk about what they are, how they’re used and whether we think they’re worth putting under the tree or not. Of course, a few of these ideas may be a little too expensive for stocking stuffers, so it may be better to see this episode as our review of several cool, interesting and potentially valuable training tools.

Today we’ll talk about:

  1. The Whoop recovery strap. What is it? Why would it be a valuable tool for tracking your recovery? We provide our personal experiences — good and bad — with the tool.
  2. The Normatec recovery system. Does it work? We have some thoughts on how to use it. If you listened to our recent episode on recovery, you already know our opinion, but we certainly couldn’t leave them out of an episode on cool training gear.
  3. Power meters. Alright, that’s nothing new or unique, but we’ll give our hot takes on which are good and what to be careful with.
  4. The Leomo Type-R. A truly unique device offering on-the-road biomechanical analysis that wasn’t previously available. It’s a fascinating tool, but as we’ll discuss, it may be so new, we haven’t figured out how to use it yet.
  5. And finally, we’ll finish up with foam rollers. They may not be as sexy as some of our other gift ideas, but they’re cheap and they work.

Our guests today are hour-record holder and coach extraordinaire Colby Pearce along with FasCat owner and likewise coach extraordinaire Frank Overton. At this point do either of them really need an introduction on Fast Talk? We always love having them on the show and hearing their insights.

In addition, we’ll talk with professional cyclist Rebecca Rusch and Apex Coaching owner Neal Henderson. Both have been at the top of the cycling world for years, so we’d definitely love to hear what gifts they’d like to get. Their answers were a little less tangible than you might expect.

As always, if you have a minute please take the time to rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts. And keep those questions coming! Please contact us at our dedicated Fast Talk email address.

So get out your wish list. Make sure you listen twice and let’s make you fast!


  1. Haun, C.T., et al., Does external pneumatic compression treatment between bouts of overreaching resistance training sessions exert differential effects on molecular signaling and performance-related variables compared to passive recovery? An exploratory study. Plos One, 2017. 12(6): p. 24.
  2. Kabore, C. and J.F. Kaux, Effects of Normatec peristaltic dynamic external compression on sports recovery. Science & Sports, 2017. 32(5): p. 266-277.
  3. Kephart, W.C., et al., A single bout of whole-leg, peristaltic pulse external pneumatic compression upregulates PGC-1alpha mRNA and endothelial nitric oxide sythase protein in human skeletal muscle tissue. Exp Physiol, 2015. 100(7): p. 852-64.
  4. Peterson, A.R., et al., Basic recovery aids: what’s the evidence? Curr Sports Med Rep, 2015. 14(3): p. 227-34.
  5. Pearcey, G.E., et al., Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. J Athl Train, 2015. 50(1): p. 5-13.
  6. Macdonald, G.Z., et al., Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2014. 46(1): p. 131-42.
  7. Cheatham, S.W., K.R. Stull, and M.J. Kolber, Comparison of a Vibration Roller and a Nonvibration Roller Intervention on Knee Range of Motion and Pressure Pain Threshold: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Sport Rehabil, 2018: p. 1-7.
  8. Bouillod, A., et al., Validity, Sensitivity, Reproducibility, and Robustness of the PowerTap, Stages, and Garmin Vector Power Meters in Comparison With the SRM Device. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 2017. 12(8): p. 1023-1030.

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