A few questions about fasting rides (fasted training)

I like to incorporate 3-4 fasting rides a month into my schedule. I normally do them over the weekend before breakfast. Currently I do them outdoors but with the days getting shorter I will probably switch to indoor so that I can utilize the weekends for longer rides. I have a few questions:

1- are fasting rides worth the effort? I’m currently 180cm and 75.3kg. I’d like to get my weight down to 67-70kg (my race weight in high school was 59kg).

2- In terms of effort what should I be aiming for? I typically go for 60-120 minutes depending on how I’m feeling. Should I aim for HR at tempo with sprints into threshold or HR at threshold with sprints into anaerobic? Put another way should fasting rides be low effort or high effort? Does it matter physiologically for fat loss, or not so much?

3- Are there any TR podcasts on the subject? If so which ones?

Cheers :face_with_monocle:

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@mcneese.chad Thank you very much for the information. I spent the last hour or so absorbing it all.

For those coming across this topic in the future the fasting topics can be found at these points in the podcast (the older ones aren’t fully bookmarked):

Podcast 93 - second topic
Podcast 45 - 50m23s - ~56m02s
Podcast 29 - 22m02s - ~27m20s

To summarize:

The goal of fasted rides is to fatigue slow twitch muscles through aerobic adaptation, which increases mitochondria content. The best approach is low intensity workouts, somewhere around 65% of max wattage.


Nice, that’s actually really good info. I do fasted rides on the weekends a lot, but that’s mostly because I don’t want to wake up early enough to eat before I stumble out the front door to go ride. :wink:



if you listen to Fast Talks Trevor Conor he would go with HR. And I think both is right. If you are very well trained or do more shorter fasted rides, HR and Power will be "consistent“. If you go for longer rides and the drift is relative high, you should try look on your HR and not on power.

But I still don’t now if the drift is a real drift in the whole body and it’s systems or if it’s just a higher HR with a much less consequences for the energy systems.

Fasted rides or periodized carb intake is one of the hottest topics in endurance training at the moment. I’ve been using them for quite a while now. Especially when time-crunched, long base ride adaptions can be achieved with this. However, fasted rides may not be sufficient (though some of the adaptions can be seen here), it makes more sense to bring glycogen stores down the day before, not refuel with carbs, and do a fasted ride the next morning (“sleep low”). With only fasted rides and only 3-4 times/month, I don’t know …

However, while this is a great new tool to make up for long-duration rides I do not know if the OPs intention for weight-loss is met by this. In the end it’s the calories in-out balance that matters. However you achieve this.

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More good discussion here on this topic


Which TR workouts are generally good for recovery and fasted state? Are these labelled as such it would be easy to find? I want to do some rides this week while in a state of depletion so I’d rather not have them intense.

I’m currently doing low vol SS base and have added fasted rides every Sunday. I just searched the workout catalogue for 2-3hr Endurance zone rides (scientifically you should probably do >3hr endurance rides but it’s all I can take on the trainer!). My picks for this block:

Polar Bear -3

Good luck!


I’ve never really thought about this but all of my morning rides are fasted. Not because I’m trying to achieve anything training-wise, more because I’m simply not hungry. Summer sees me out on the road at 6am and autumn/winter is an hour later.

Only do an hour and intensity varies depending on the route I chose and the time of year.

Just read this, thought it appropriate to post:

The Sweet Spot for Intermittent Fasting

…leads to increased numbers and quality of mitochondria…
…a person who is in shape will see…[the breakdown of fat] commence faster than someone not in shape.


That’s interesting - thanks @Captain_Doughnutman

(Also…great username)

Thats not really a fasted ride in the true sense as you have reserves from the day before. You’d need to be very carb light the evening before to be properly fasted. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’m not sure this is true. Fasted simply means being in a post absorptive state, not the absence of carbohydrate in the body.

To be fasted, or in the post absorptive state, means that ingested food has been broken down and processed by the body and the digestive tract is empty. The absorptive state lasts around 4 hours regardless of whether the meals are carb heavy or light so any training after this would be fasted.


Thats not really a fasted ride in the true sense as you have reserves from the day before. You’d need to be very carb light the evening before to be properly fasted.

@Crownan I think this is a case where there are lots of ways to skin the cat, I’ve found the below articles helpful:


I was listening to a podcast where the head nutritionist for SIS, which supply Sky with products, said they now advice fasted rides but taking on 20g of protein beforehand. Coincidentally they market just such a product. However I was watching a Youtube video by a academic expert on protein which said basically Leucine is the key amino acid amongst all the others which is needed to promote muscle synthesis and for that you need 2.5g minimum per serving for it to trigger the synthesis. Any less and it doesn’t appear to reach the required threshold. Unfortunately 20g isn’t enough, 30g is his recommended amount.

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What podcast is that?

It was one of the episodes of “The Cycling Podcast” Unfortunately it was on one of the segments where the guy from SIS answers listeners questions in one of the bits reserved for the programmes sponsors and does not appear in the description of the episode so I don’t know which one.

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I do all my rides fasted. Even the 60 minutes V02 ones.

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This is my understanding of one of the few valid reasons for BCCA supplementation, leucine being the main component.

Rather than for muscle synthesis itself It’s role used in this way is to spare muscle damage while training in a fasted state, the theory being that taking the BCCA’s before a workout allows the body to remain in a fasted state but still offer that muscle sparing capability.

I haven’t used BCCA’s for a long time but when I did I used the 4:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine rather than the 2:1:1 variety for that reason but whether I was using an effective dose according to this I can’t remember.