Endurance and Nutrition

Did Whorl outdoors today. After following nutrition advice from the last few podcasts, I found that when nutrition is right in an almost 2 hour endurance ride one feels sad when the interval timer reads 49mins to go. Everything just feels good and wishes for 1:49 to go. :-).

Yep, I am 100% invested in TR.

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I agree! For the first time, I experimented and had a couple scratch chews during a 90 minute workout (Mary Austin -1) and I think it did actually reduce my RPE! I always fuel a lot before hitting a workout, but even so, just a little sugar an hour in was really nice!

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Which podcast was it in? I must have missed it. Thanks

I buy walmart fruit gummies in bulk for this. :upside_down_face:(not kidding)

@DustyD I feel like they encourage us to take in nutrition during the ride in a lot of the podcasts. I was motivated by the one two weeks ago (I think it was 278) where they were talking about the importance of training your gut to tolerate nutrition while you are on the trainer so you can eat when you are racing and so that you have energy to work harder at the end of your ride. But they talked a lot about in ride fueling last week, too. When i run, I almost never take in fuel, but I never trained myself to do it, so I wonder if I would have been a better runner if I could have tolerated food. Kinda fun to experiment with it.

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That is genius @JustinDoesTriathlon! I am going to try that, too!! I actually like the texture of gummy bears better.

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Way back when I first used to race, I would train and race with just water. I had zero idea of ‘in ride’ fuelling and probably could have been a waaaaay better rider if I ate carbs on the bike. I tolerate carbs like a mofo now.

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Thanks for getting back to me. I also will have to give it a try. Should help out with the 1 1/2 hour rides.

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Yeah it’s genuinely really funny how similar they are.
Comparing the nutrition facts:


Basically one packet of fruit smiles is equivalent to half a package of Bloks. The carbs, sugar, and calories are essentially the same, the fruit smiles have .5g fat (meh), and have significantly less potassium and salt. While I wouldn’t advocate for using fruit smiles in your A race, I’m not convinced it’s meaningfully different during day-to-day training rides, especially for the cost (can always throw a little salt in your drink mix too). 18 packets of blocks is equal to about 36 packets of fruit gummies… $1.61/blok package vs 24c for two fruit packages…

EDIT to add: Since you mentioned them, I will say: I freaking love Skratch chews during races. I think they’re way better than Clif Bloks just because they’re softer and much easier to eat when my mouth is dry. The green tea and raspberry ones are delicious.

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I like the Scratch chews more than the Cliff bloks too. Especially the raspberry. I just always used to wait until I was full on hangry before eating them. Lol. I have to say the price of fruit gummies or gummy bears is much more appealing to me though!

That is awesome. I actually kind of like the idea of a smaller bite of something too when I am between intervals. Kind of like a little reward! Thank you for the pro tip, @JustinDoesTriathlon!

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I think it’s fun to give it try! I’m going to try regular gummy bears next! What are you gonna try to eat, @DustyD?

I really like the TR focus on performance over weight loss. When I ran a lot, I always felt like being lighter meant I wouldn’t get injured, but the older I got, I found I would get injured anyways. It feels good to be encouraged to eat!

I eat a lot of complex carbs in every meal so in theory I should always be well fuelled. Yet some rides I just dont feel right until ive had a few mouthfuls of haribo :grin:

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Jelly Belly, but I also like the idea of burning fat instead of sugar.

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I love TrainerRoad. I really do. It makes up 90%+ of my cycling and I’m getting older and faster so something might be right. But… nutrition is one area where I think they at least should at least look beyond their current beliefs in high carb fueling. I am a decided convert to being fat adapted. I am an N of 1, of course, but I hear many others professing similar results. Once fully fat adapted, the energy levels are stable, the recovery is quick, and the fueling strategy is simple – you don’t need any fuel, before or during. Most recently, I did a 6.5hr ride on nothing but water. Felt as steady throughout as I do on a 1hr ride. I am bonk proof.

The adjustment takes a few weeks, and probably a couple of months before you get back to normal feeling during exercise, but the exercise and non-exercise benefits are tremendous. YMMV.

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Oh yeah!

This year I’m taking that “fuel your ride” advice to heart. I am working Trad Base Mid Volume and for the last few weeks I have been fully fueling my rides. I start each hour off with a gel worth about 20 gms of carbs (GU or Hammer) and then drink 80 gms of carbs (Skratch so far) worth over the duration of an hour. I started off with 60 gms/hour and upped by 20 gms/hour-ride until I started noticing GI distress which kicked in at 100 gms/hour during the second hour. I’ve about 3 rides in @ 100 gms/hour and am thinking I’m ready to see if my GIs can handle 120 gms/hour.

Yes, I too have noticed reduced RPE over the rides (plus listening to music instead of watching video). I’m also hoping this will help my body cope better with the rigors of training.

The only other physical drawback is taking in all of that liquid has consequences :wink: especially as longer sessions drag on. Also a drawback are the preparation efforts and monetary costs of the stuff. I was making my own mixes last year (water, honey, lemon juice, lime juice, baking soda, and salt) so maybe I’ll revert to that.

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That is so awesome!! It must feel great.

I think I was/am accidentally fat adapted as a runner. I never took in any nutrition even for long runs or long races. I feel fine running on an empty stomach — in fact, preferred an empty stomach for races. But honestly I never had any punch. As you say, n=1 and maybe I just am not a punchy runner.

Cycling is just so different for me. I love it but the trails around me are super punchy and there are so many elements that kinda scare me. I get worn down and it spirals into frustration. This weekend, I noticed that having some nutrition during my ride made me less frustrated! I think having some nutrition not only improved my punch, but also my brain performance. Lol.

Me, too! I haven’t tried the Skratch mix, but I love their chews and the pistachio cherry bars. I probably don’t hydrate enough on the bike because of the expected “consequences”. Lol. When I finish my box of chews, I am going to experiment with gummy bears. I will experiment with hydration too!

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After about 4 months on the diet, I found a local university sports lab that offered a metabolic efficiency test. You could do it either cycling or running. I was only cycling at the time so my choice was easy. Funny story, though, the guy giving the test was so surprised by the result (very high 50/50 crossover point), he said to me he thought the machine was broken. My max fat metabolism was 1.4g/min and my 50/50 crossover point was very close to my ftp. He later called me to say it worked for the rest of the tests that day so it must have been right for mine too.

If you can find one nearby, and you are trying to see if you are fat adapted, I recommend it. It isn’t pleasant, but the data is priceless if you’re doing a long distance event. You can get a good sense for your bonk point, assuming you are trained well for the distance.

If your thing is punchy climbs, I understand the data on anaerobic performance being more mixed on a high fat diet. There are some N of 1 people who seem to defy that (Dr. Shawn Baker, e.g.), but I admit to not have dived deep into that end of performance as I live in Flatland USA and my thing is triathlon, TTs, and flat training rides.

Good luck.

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I can see why being fat adapted works for you. The TR folks don’t really focus much on any of those disciplines currently which explains a lot of their fueling discussions. I used to be more like you event-wise but racing XCO, Crits, road races and hilly XCM the carb fueling focus has been working very well. Maybe we will see them shift when their Ironman training really kicks in.

You mean Dr Shawn Baker that his medical license revoked?