Burn More Calories, Threshold Workouts, Crosswinds, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 402

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  • How to use TrainerRoad to burn more calories
  • Do tall riders suffer more at altitude?
  • What causes Adaptive Training to change my workouts?
  • Nutrition for short races
  • What are the goals of different types of threshold workouts?
  • Why are crosswinds such a big deal in racing?


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So lots of talk about how proper fueling of the workouts is important. But not buch guidance on how many carbs should be eaten for a workout. Sure, the workouts give calories burned but that’s a sum of fat and carbs burned so no need to eat all those calories as carbs for a ride to replace them all. The percent carbs we burn depends on the intensity we are putting out. Yes there is:

but it doesn’t know the actual wattage targets we are hitting of how the workout is planned so its more an estimate.
For example sweet spot workouts for me go from 520 to 800 calories for an hour for my current FTP and Gibbs+1 went from 878 calories with what my FTP was in December to 1106 calories now. So clearly different workouts of the same type and different ftp values can have a great impact on how many calories I need but don’t really know what I need to properly fuel a workout

On the discussion on gels in short races (e.g. CX), I’ve seen speculation that in part it may be with a view to upcoming road racing. The riders I’ve seen do it (mainly Pidcock and van Anrooij) are possibly using the CX races as intensity mid way through longer rides, with an eye on the upcoming classics.

So they may be both fueling for the riding after the race, but also maybe training their ability to take on energy at high intensity, which may become important late on in a hard road race. I’d be interested to know if there is any research on the trainability of carb absorption whilst at very high intensities.

I love Chad’s phrasing on the tall riders discussion :grin:

there’s not a lot of meat on that bone

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Re: CX carbohydrate ingestion
I believe that there is much more to be learned on this topic from the research side. The impact of CHO ingestion during endurance exercise has been almost entirely focused on preventing glycogen depletion during prolonged exercise, usually of steady-state efforts. In somewhat recent years, we have seen a rapid rise in CHO ingestion during endurance exercise, which has been accompanied with excellent gut training for these athletes. The impact of this gut training is not well-established for athletes in <90min durations. Well-trained athletes may be able to digest and absorb glucose more readily. I am curious how Jonathan measured glucose where he mentioned it taking 20 minutes to see increased glucose values since he mentions being pretty gut-trained. I am assuming this was subcutaneous measurement, which may not perfectly reflect blood glucose concentrations temporally. Ingested CHO can be oxidized quite early in a bout of exercise (PMID: 28230742) and this is likely even faster with greater levels of gut training. In addition, there are athletes that increase blood glucose concentrations during exercise despite being fasted while others maintain (PMID: 28767524). This phenomenon can be seen relatively early and may be an important consideration for the effectiveness of CHO ingestion for shorter duration exercise.
Altogether, it seems that testing in training is worth it for those looking for another edge.

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Who’s the ice cream company?

During a cross race, it’s very common to get dry/cotton mouth from the intense effort. An isotonic gel is a workable substitute for actually drinking.

Adding a bottle to the bike is allowed but isn’t a good option due to shouldering/running. Beer hand-up work but have ‘side-effects’ - including being DQ’d (UCI rulebook explicitly bans any hand-ups)

(cross posted from youtube comments)

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