Fair enough, but I also consider water and electrolytes to be fuel, since they are consumables your body requires. Although if someone’s properly hydrated ahead of time, they could also get away with not drinking water for a 60-90 min workout, in practice they are unlikely to properly rehydrate after if they don’t drink during. And it creates bad habits that will hurt performance in longer rides.
I feel similarly about carbs from a practical point of view: eat some during if only to create good habits for long rides. If someone is only going to be doing TTs and short events? Fine, reduce the total weight on the bike and go for it.
Good coaching is about a lot more than just the biology, it’s also about the psychology.
Right. But even at lower volume, if they keep doing workouts that take 4-5 days to recover from (OP statement), then there’s not going to be good cardio improvement. So lower volume people have to scale down to 2 per week, plus some endurance or tempo. But even some people at 10 hours a week can do 3 days threshold.
The point is don’t dig so deep regularly out it won’t work out well
I would say eating during these workouts is necessary. What is the point of depriving yourself in a 90 minute-2 hour workout when you are burning 700 kcals an hour approximately. Even if you ate 3 hours beforehand and you COULD do it without any nutrition on board - what would be the point of added stress to that. And if you want to ride the other 3 workouts per week - it’s way easier to not be in a caloric deficit if you ingest carbs during the ride. I feel like we as a sport are moving far away from not ingesting carbs while riding - why chance it here.
And eat off the bike, probably more than you would just doing tempo intervals or V02 - these efforts burn so many calories - especially when you are reaching 60 minutes at time in zone total in a ride. I bet if you can sleep enough and eat a bit more than you think you need during these rides and ALSO on the endurance rides you won’t feel as thrashed. Under fueling is my number 1 cause of shit legs.
Agreed, 100-120g per hour during hard sessions and 80g right after the session before a large meal makes a huge difference. Also I find eating just by hunger is no where near enough during hard build blocks, you really have to intentionally put a lot of high calorie (healthy) foods in.
If your FTP is over 300w it’s pretty easy to hit over 1000kcals an hour.
Also some people have jobs where they can’t eat constantly at a desk and are standing without breaks so it’s hard to fuel outside of the workout. Obviously an N=1 for me.
But I’m sure an actual nutritionist and/or cycling coach could chime in on the real world performance benefits of ingesting carbs during 90 minute-2 hour threshold sessions. And I would trust their word over yours or mine.
I would argue that they’re taking data from multiple sources and clinical experience and doling out advice. I’m not a nutritionist so I would hope one would comment here if they recommend their athletes fuel during these workouts.
And to someone else’s point - it’s not just TR where people advocate fueling while riding. I know people should not emulate professionals but they are increasing their carbohydrate consumption during racing, not reducing it (knowing that racing is different than training and they’re riding > 4 hours).
Not because any single workout but to improve recovery day in, day out? Probably could cover avg 10,000kcal weekly load with some additional daily eatiing, but I’d be uncomfortably full. And definitely don’t want to lose any additional weight.
It should be noted that such fine-grained recommendations are not really research-based.
What the literature actually shows is that:
there may or may not be any benefit to consuming carbohydrate in events up to 90-120 min in duration;
beyond that (i.e., out to 4-5 h), it is clearly beneficial to ingest sufficient carbohydrate to avoid overt hypoglycemia, but the exact amount required is A) unclear (although likely somewhere in the 45-90 g/h range), and B) probably varies between individuals; and
there is evidence that higher rates may be beneficial in even longer duration events (e.g., Ironman distance triathlons). However, GI distress is more frequent at higher rates of carbohydrate supplementation, and the evidence that you can “train your gut” to better tolerate such high rates is somewhat equivocal.
Of course, another factor to consider is the fact that gastric emptying is reduced at higher carbohydrate concentrations, which creates challenges when attempting to provide adequate water and large amounts of carbohydrate at the same time. Thus, depending upon the individual, the nature of the event, and the environmental conditions, it may be necessary to prioritize one over the other.
TL,DR: Guidelines are just that, i.e., guidelines, and should be treated as such, not something written in stone.
I’m talking about ingesting carbohydrates during shorter, more intense workouts. Even if you can consume 100 g/h without throwing it back up, that’s still only an extra 400-600 kcal a couple of days per week.