Fueling for traditional base

Hi All,

Due to an injury (non cycling related) I am going to be starting mid volume traditional base. What is the recommendation for fueling during these rides? I’ve always consumed around 80 grams of carbs per hour for any session lasting longer than an hour. It seems that one of the goals of traditional base is to adapt to using fat as a fuel source.

Any help is appreciated

I personally find I don’t need anything but water if I’m riding 3 hours or less. I did 100 miles at endurance pace on Saturday, and I did fine with one SIS gel (90 calories, 20g carbs I believe) every 10 miles.

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That seems crazy to me as I can barely go three hours without eating off the bike

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With these 2h rides in the first phase of the plan I’d probably suggest to go in sort of “low”. Perfect would be in the morning with only an omlette or so as breakfast. And than a banana half way through.

For traditional base on the road with longer sessions I aim for 40-50g/h. Often I would start fasted or with a protein breakfast. However, I would start eating after 60-90min at the aforementioned rate. One has also to consider that base rides can come in different flavours. 5h around AeT is a different beast than at the lower end of the relevant intensity spectrum.

Did quite a lot of no fulling workouts for two winters. Ditched this again and saw overall progress again. I mean it was great coming back home with a huge calorie deficit but I find it more sustainable for progress when not too much underfuling occurs. And one does not really blunt the adaptions when feeding later in a ride.

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If your normal diet is fairly well balanced and you’re not significantly over or underweight , then I would just add liquid fuel. A 750ml bottle with a scoop and a half of whatever - I use high5 isoactive.

You can do fasted or increase meals, but I try to isolate workout fuel from the rest of my diet so it’s not so disrupted by training and not training.

Consider whether your injury is making you more sedentary and take that into account too.

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I’m also doing “Traditional Base” due to injury. My weekend rides are 4hrs @Z2 (60-65% FTP); 2 bottles of tea and no food. I take a banana with me just in case, if I do eat it it’s usually in the 4th hour.

I read the fueling strategy of some top HFLC tri guy for his long rides — first 2hrs with only water, then introduce small portions of low GI carbs if necessary.

[edit: I usually feel VERY hungry around the 2hr mark but that only lasts for maybe 5-10min before dissipating.]

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I did traditional base high volume, and for most of the rides I was able to get through them with just water / electrolytes. But I always kept a couple of bars (I prefer to eat my calories) next to me just in case. If you are properly eating generally, then these rides shouldn’t require a ton of calories during. But my recommendation would be to have calories available for the first couple of rides, and see what you need.

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Accidental tag above, sorry Joe :sweat_smile:

Second to water + electrolytes/hydration mixes. Focus on good foods and quality meals off the bike and you should be well fuelled and recover well enough for the sessions. Better to start with little and go from there. I’ve completed majority of HV base with water and Skratch labs hydration. Only started playing with gels and medjool dates going into Build HV for Vo2 work (not my forte, but getting alot better!)

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