Improve Endurance In Longer Rides

What make of hypodermic do you use? :smirk:

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Luckily I’ve got a port just below my nose :slightly_smiling_face:


25g is low for sure.

Really depends on how hard you are going, this is going to be unpopular but in a race you probably need 3x that but not in a group ride.

It depends on your goals, to be fair all the more sugar (beyond a point) suggestions posts need to step back and ask what is your actual long term goal. They might be correct or they might be a million miles away from giving decent advice.

Its clear you need more time on the bike and probably more fuel but more time is the primary requirement imo.


Hey @runski :slight_smile:

On what day does your group ride fall? If it was this last Monday, then doing a Threshold workout the day before probably had something to do with it along with the fact that you’ve just started consistently doing TR Workouts whereas there wasn’t much training happening during May and it may have shocked the body a little.

The info above is just what I see on TR; you may have recorded rides in Strava, which if you want you can sync over:

That said, I would have to agree with the general consensus:

  • Fueling- not just on the bike but before and after as it can have a great impact on how you perform.

Here is a great episode about fueling that you may find helpful:

  • Endurance- working on your zone 2 will definitely help on these longer rides, but I would also look into planning out your Interval Days with enough recovery in between so that you are fresh every time you ride.

  • Group rides- group rides, are group rides, and everyone has different fitness levels, experience, and techniques. Even if you are fit (personal experience) there are points where you get dropped (couldn’t keep up with the boys) and you have to chase, so it becomes crucial to know when to burn the matches when you need or want to as @ivegotabike. This just takes time and practice, so definitely enjoy it and know it’s great training as well!


Nice well balanced reply :+1: :ok_hand:

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While it’s usually a combo of multiple things, fueling is an easy one to get wrong. And eating only 25g an hour on the bike is almost certainly having a negative impact.

One of the most helpful changes I’ve made in the past few years is shifting my fueling mindset. I am always looking forward on fueling. You can’t fuel work that has already happened, you are always fueling work that is coming. That can mean aggressive fueling during a ride (particularly at the beginning) to best prepare for the final hours. It can also mean loading on a few more carbs today when I have a big ride tomorrow. If you get in front of fueling, you are less likely to be playing catch up after a big ride rather than eating normal portions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a recovery shake/meal after a big ride, but again the primary concern should be what’s coming (ie - not trying to eat 3000Kj’s because you just finished a 3000Kj ride, but looking at what tomorrow brings and figure out the best fueling for that).


I think I generally agree with this - it depends how hard the group ride is. I’m still strong towards the end of my current 3h group rides on 20-30ish (?) g/hr. On the harder version of that group ride (there’s a fast group and a faster one), I am not, but in part that’s because the whole ride is harder overall.

I bought a bike and two months later did a century in Napa Valley. Didn’t fuel enough. After that I was doing 60g/hour and fine, even when pushing 0.8 to 0.85 IF over 6 hours.

And agree with @Caro.Gomez-Villafane about winning in the kitchen.

@runski here is output of Nduranz (Tim Podlogar’s company) fueling calculator for 3 hours high-intensity group ride at 75+kg weight:

People forget about the first sentence!! Win in the kitchen in between workouts/rides!

1 Nrgy Unit = 45g carbs, so they are recommending

  • 68g carbs the first hour
  • 90g the second hour
  • 90g the third hour

Personally I win in the kitchen and front-load, so for a weekend 3+ hour group ride I’ll do 90+g carbs the first 2 hours (based on experimenting, that works better for me when it comes to hours 3 and beyond).




Why do you say that and what do you mean by “need”? I could finish a 3 hour ride with no carbs and even without water, but I’d say I need at least 24 oz of fluid and 60g of carbs per hour. More if it’s really hot or really hard pace, of course.

Well, he said “…but in a race you probably need…”, which is probably intended as a really hard pace. It’s pretty subjective, but compared to the OP’s 25g/hr it’s gonna be closer to what someone needs at race pace.

Yeah, I’d like to know why he doesn’t think you need that for a group ride. Unless you’re averaging less than 100w or something, I think you’d benefit for 75g of carbs per hour.

Not the person in question, but surely it comes down to the definition of group ride. It is an incredibly broad term that encompasses coffee rides, race simulation rides, and everything in between…which could explain a variety of fueling recommendations


Depends on the group ride and your FTP. At Z2 pace you can do that easily without any fuel. So if you have a higher FTP, that group ride will be a lot more chill than someone with less, and you don’t need as much fuel as you’re burning a higher percentage of fat.

Me personally, I can do 220-230 for a long time before I “need” any fuel.

As intensity goes up, more glycogen you’re burning, more fuel you need sooner in the ride.


Do you take drink mix in your bottles ? I have 40g carbs in each one plus a gel an hour is 68g which is base minimum for 2 - 2.5 hours and often not enough. 3rd hour I need something else as im then on water only so 2 gels.

I think most people would fade on a hard 3 hour ride with only 75 g carbs.

Plus - more volume required.

Energy source ratio (fat vs carbs) is quite individual – I do regularly 6-8h and occasionally 10-12h rides with 30g/h carbs at IF 0.60-0.65 with no power loss. Only time I push carbs consumption higher (80g/h), is during continuous Sweetspot intervals (1h+).

For OP: if your goal is to improve fitness for group rides i.e. you can’t choose your own intensity, push carb usage higher indeed. But if your goal is to last longer, then just go longer :slight_smile:

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This ^

And personally I see zero difference in performance between consuming 30g/hr and 100 g/hr under about 4.5hrs. I guess at some point in between I’m not absorbing it anyway. Recovery might be impacted although that also depends on eating well around the riding. Eat well and it becomes a non-issue.

If you are well trained you can push double that 100w you mention @John_Koch

Exactly this, if you group rides are essentially races fueling is going to become very important.

So really we are pretty much saying the same thing. We just have different ideas about what the group ride is and its intensity.

Totally agree.

Hence the intent of my original comment, in many cases the answer it isn’t necessary to just slam a shed load of carbs.

The other part of the conversation is if you dont have the aerobic capacity / fundimental endurance any amount of carbs no mater how high is not going to address the problem.


Even at the OP’s stated 25g / hour, most anyone can do a spirited group ride for 3 hours. Hell, we all did it for decades (well…some of us have been. :crazy_face:). The OP is lacking the volume and consistency to do the ride in question as competitively as he would like.


Sure, when EVERYONE was doing spirited group rides on little carb, EVERYONE was in the same boat. However, the OP is not in the same boat as everyone else in his spirted group rides. Clearly, he needs more volume. But IMO, it’s not helpful to him to suggest that he’s just fine with 25 grams on his group rides where he says he fades after hour 2. More volume will help. And at a current 25 grams, so will more carbs … or at least it would in most cases.