Increasing endurance range- fasted training tips...?

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raspaa
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by raspaa

I am currently training for a century ride in Sept, and I have found that one of my biggest weaknesses is that I don't have enough "juice" to maintain desired intensity for the entire duration. Seem to just hit the wall around mile 70-80, rest of the ride is always a drag. So I am looking into doing fasted rides in the AM to train body to burn fat more vs relying heavily on surgar/gel/foods during ride, as body cannot process food fast enough for energy consumption.

Generally, I ride for 60 min in zone 2 in the AM, 2-3 times a week.
Durring weekend group/non-fasted rides, I eat every 30-45 min. Banana is usually in the mix.

My questions for those with fasted training experience:
- should I stay in zone 2 for these hour long efforts? Or should more intensity be incorporated?
- Should I change fueling habits during non-fasted rides? Eat more, eat less?
- Other points I should be aware of to make this more effective?

Thanks in advance!
grind it out

by Weenie


mvnsnd
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by mvnsnd

Seems to me you want to be riding 50-60 miles regularly (weekend rides) with increasing distance towards the couple months before the century. A 60 min zone 2 ride probably won't prepare you for a 5 hr + harder effort. You should definitely work up to 20 min tempo/threshold efforts. You should be able to do 40-50 miles without food at all.

For me, I need about 250 calories per hour for a century starting after the first hour-1.5 hr. Getting food from bars (Clif/Lara) and hydration from electrolyte mix like scratch.

raspaa
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by raspaa

I think I didn't state my question clearly. The 60 min zone 2 fasted is geared towards training body to burn fat over glycogen. Do ride 60+ miles plenty, so the question is specifically towards effective fasted training to train body to burn more fat. This area is new to me.

Are you referring to 20 min tempo fasted?

how do you get to riding 40-50 miles without food? That's what I would love to find out.

mvnsnd wrote:Seems to me you want to be riding 50-60 miles regularly (weekend rides) with increasing distance towards the couple months before the century. A 60 min zone 2 ride probably won't prepare you for a 5 hr + harder effort. You should definitely work up to 20 min tempo/threshold efforts. You should be able to do 40-50 miles without food at all.

For me, I need about 250 calories per hour for a century starting after the first hour-1.5 hr. Getting food from bars (Clif/Lara) and hydration from electrolyte mix like scratch.
grind it out

AJS914
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by AJS914

It doesn't sound like you are doing enough training to throw into the mix slow fasted rides. You aren't getting much of a training effect from those rides. When pros do morning fasted weight loss rides, they come back home eat breakfast, and then go out and do a proper training rides. I'm not even sure if the science says fasted rides work. If you do harder/longer rides in the morning you'll burn more calories and that will help with weight loss if you try and eat less.

To get past that 70-80 mile hump try stringing together three good rides with some mileage on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You'll be pretty tired by Sunday but it will build more endurance.

AJS914
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by AJS914

how do you get to riding 40-50 miles without food? That's what I would love to find out.


I think he means that you don't need on-bike nutrition for 40-50 miles, just a normal breakfast in your stomach.

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53x12
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by 53x12

raspaa wrote:how do you get to riding 40-50 miles without food? That's what I would love to find out.


Takes practice and patience. You can't go from fasting endurance training naive to doing 40-50 miles like nothing. I do about 1-2 rides a week in a fasting state and are around 25-30 miles for those rides. You need to build up slowly and let your body get accustomed to it. Team Sky (and I'm sure many other teams) do a fasting state ride where their riders only have an espresso before the ride.

I would recommend starting by doing a 20-25 minute ride before breakfast 1-2 times per week. Let your body get accustomed to that and adapt to your training while in a fasted state. Then slowly increase the duration.

If you bonk you bonk. No shame in bonking on a training ride.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

raspaa
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by raspaa

Thx! How long did you do these rides before noticeable results? And do you fuel any differently for longer/higher intensity rides?


53x12 wrote:
raspaa wrote:how do you get to riding 40-50 miles without food? That's what I would love to find out.


Takes practice and patience. You can't go from fasting endurance training naive to doing 40-50 miles like nothing. I do about 1-2 rides a week in a fasting state and are around 25-30 miles for those rides. You need to build up slowly and let your body get accustomed to it. Team Sky (and I'm sure many other teams) do a fasting state ride where their riders only have an espresso before the ride.

I would recommend starting by doing a 20-25 minute ride before breakfast 1-2 times per week. Let your body get accustomed to that and adapt to your training while in a fasted state. Then slowly increase the duration.

If you bonk you bonk. No shame in bonking on a training ride.
grind it out

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53x12
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by 53x12

Probably took around 4-5 weeks before I started noticing a difference. I definitely wouldn't make this kind of training the mainstay of your training program, but there are definite physiological and biological benefits from incorporating in sporadically into your program as you see fit.

For longer/higher intensity rides, I still need the quick glucose for energy. But have noticed the reliance on it isn't as much as my body seems able to use fat more efficiently than before.

The point isn't to get your body to the point where you can do 40-50 miles without glucose for energy. The point, for me at least, was to shift the metabolic crossover point, improve the 24 hour fat oxidation rate of my body and get the increased VO2 max benefit that has been shown by training in a fasted state.

If someone is trying to get back into shape and needs to shed a large amount of excess weight, riding in a fasted state before breakfast will help drop the weight in a hurry. I know many guys that have done this with great success.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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boysa
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by boysa

This is a field of great interest to me, and I've experimented A LOT regarding this type of training, so let me just throw out my N=1:

Over the fall/winter I gradually increased my fasted rides, and ultimately ended up at the point where I would have no issue waking up after an overnight fast, hopping on the bike, and riding 5+ hours without a single calorie. If... IF... I kept it in the low to mid Z2 range. The issue of course is once you add a bit of intensity. This is where the concept generally falls on its face. Cycling (usually) is both an aerobic and an anaerboic activity. Sure, if you are training for an event where your sole purpose is to go long and slow, this could be beneficial. There is evidence you can increase the fat-burning potential of the body. The issue with most cycling events, however, is there are times where speed and intensity come into the fold. That is when your body requires CHO, and there really is no way around it.

What I found, as well, was once the race season started, my body stubbornly refused to process CHO in the manner I was accustomed. In other words, I was fueling properly during races, but basically my body didn't know what to do with it. The result was I would experience dizziness and lightheadedness immediately after a hard push. It took several months, in fact, to get back on normal terms.

I believe the potential does exist for some benefit, however, if your goal is to ride farther, you need to ride farther. There is no substitute for the miles. Rather than focus on attempting to become better at burning fat, make your body better at burning CHO! Train your gut to accept as much fuel as you can, find what your limits are, and don't exceed them.

One of my favorite quotes is, "If you want to use more fat for fuel @ 300W on the bike then you need to have 300W be less than about 87% of Threshold." (Bill Black)
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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boysa
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by boysa

I should add, my experimentation wasn't based off of an attempt to change the level at which my body processes fat and CHO, but rather a stab at something I had read regarding PGC-1α stimulation.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

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53x12
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by 53x12

^ Agreed. Then to muddy the picture, there is the whole genetics part. I know some guys that I have ridden with need to suck down new glucose every 20-30 minutes or else they are done for. Other guys have bigger tanks and can go longer before needing to fill it up again.

You hit a key part in regards to intensity. I am also able to go quite awhile in Z2/Z3 with 20-30 minute section of Z4 thrown in. But another key is how much glycogen the body has stored prior to doing a ride of this sort. That is something I have noticed myself. If the day before I have had adequate (plus maybe a little extra) glucose and my glycogen stores are full, I'm able to do a better ride with no new calories versus if the day before lacked in that department.

I agree that this subject is one that is interesting and one that I have been playing around with. There really is no substitute for time in the saddle and playing around with things to see what works for as the rider. While as much as it sucks to "bonk" while out on a ride, those are the rides that I really learn the most about my body and what the limits are and how to play within those limits.

Also love your quote about 300w. So true.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

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boysa
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by boysa

Yes! You are 100% correct about learning the limits of your own body, and unfortunately to do so usually requires making some big mistakes.

Also spot on about storage. I really suffered last year at a big stage race, after having a tremendous Day 1, and only after much consideration did I realize I completely neglected my nutrition in between the stages. Stupid, because I know better! My goodness, I know better. Unfortunately, so often I think we get hung up on the concept of "thin as possible" and "w/kg" that it is easy, especially if we are racing for podiums, to err on the side of starvation.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

mvnsnd
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by mvnsnd

AJS914 wrote:
how do you get to riding 40-50 miles without food? That's what I would love to find out.


I think he means that you don't need on-bike nutrition for 40-50 miles, just a normal breakfast in your stomach.


Yes, exactly. I did 4 days a week of indoor training over the winter, in the morning, with no breakfast. Usually 1.5 hr ride of varying intensity. Endurance on some days, hard intervals on others. I can ride outdoors for 40-50 miles on a very small breakfast in the morning, or a small snack after work and not eat while on the bike. I do eat for recovery when done though.

What I was really getting at, is that if you want to increase your ability to be able to do a very long ride, you'll have to work up to that distance, but also cut back on the feeling that you need to eat so often. Only during really hard rides over 50 miles would I add in food. I use Skratch Labs hydration if it is warm or Hammer Heed if it is cooler for long rides. For a 60+ miler I will bring one or more clif / Lara bars to add in some calories.

raspaa
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by raspaa

Thanks guys, lots of wisdom here, thanks for sharing!! I knew this was the place to inquire this type of questions.

What I am getting is that ridng fasted will help, but ultimately it is not the answer.

mvnsnd- I get your suggestion now.

boysa and 53 brought up a great point that I think would be of tremendous help in extending enduranc range - is to train body to process carbs (I assume that is what is referred to as CHO).

That begs the question, what did you do to make your body accept more CHO and better at processing it? By eating more or less CHO?
grind it out

AJS914
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by AJS914

How many miles / hours per week are you training now?

by Weenie


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