Intermittent Fasting, Lab Testing, Why Sweetspot is Hard & More – Ask a Cycling a Coach 194

Great episode once again, nice diversity of topics!

@ambermalika I hope you have time to answer a question I have after one thing got stuck in my head; the quote “Don’t diet on the bike”.

I do 2/3 of my TR training in the morning before I go to work and only have an espresso before I get on the bike (I do eat something with carbs before I go to bed the night before).

During the TR exercise I’ll consume 1,25L of water with added Iso-star (sportmix powder) and have a recovery shake during the cooling down period.

I’ll have my breakfast usually 1,5 - 2 hours later when I am in the office and eat normal during the rest of the day. No really aiming for a calorie deficit per day.

My question is if you could help me put the quote in to perspective for these type of workouts and whether I should up my calories during the TR workout (morning workouts aren’t longer than 75 minutes).

TR workout = -940 kcal
Water+Iso = +187 kcal (44 gram carb)
Recovery = +190 kcal (21 gram carb)

kcal balance = - 563 kcal

Should I be eating more during the workout to getter better results (i.e. better performance), should I set my alarm clock earlier and eat something before getting on the bike or would i get the same performance increase if I make sure that I cover the calorie deficit with food throughout the day?

Thanks again for joining the podcasts and helping us get faster and better by sharing your knowledge

I would be interested where @Nate_Pearson is taking that number of 100g of Carbs per hour, based on his weight or previous VO2Max? and what he is eating to accomplish that during the workouts, hopefully not Gels, since those can get really expensive, I would rather keep my gels for outside rides.

Another Killer Podcast! @ambermalika is a great addition! Thanks as always!

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I love the handlebar tip @ambermalika, such a helpful and actionable goal. I’ll definitely use that.


I do intermittent fasting and lost app. 8 kg and am now sub 7% fat.

I do most workouts fasted. Today I did Galena +3 and it was hard but doable. I notice a big difference when doing these workouts in the evening.
But I made progression.

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Then are you actually fasted?

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In the evening not, then they are easier. But offcourse there is glycogen in my body. But not enough for a 2 hour sweetspot workout

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When you guys talk about parallel feet when mountain biking through corners, i bet the big deciding factor is if you take that corner sitting or standing. im always parallel to the ground if im standing, unless i know the inside foot will be close to hitting something. if im seated through a corner, i generally have the inside foot up, and will even spin backwards in quick transitions to switch the high foot.

i also find that im standing through a corner if its technical, or there is traffic and i have to coast or balance. While i stay seated if im free to bomb through the corner while pedaling.

Like others I’ve very much enjoyed the last two podcasts, but I couldnt quite put my finger on what made having @ambermalika such an amazing guest. I finally figured it out a few moments ago: Amber is the only pro guest I can remember that actually sounds human. I feel like so many of the guests on the podcast(as awesome as they are) just sound so superhuman that its sometimes unrelatable.

Thanks for bringing her back one more time!


@ambermalika is so awesome! :heartpulse:


Did any of you catch the name / location of the races and clinics they were talking about this weekend?

It kinda sounded like the Reno area?

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Cal Aggie Crit

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I think this podcast did a nice job of clarifying some of the misconceptions and hype around intermittent fasting. Although there are lots of ideas around potential metabolic benefits, the evidence suggests it’s really just an effective way to control calorie intake. I have actually played with this approach for more than 5 years and still do it on rest days. It works well for me providing I don’t have any excessive exercise demands.

I have been able to complete two hour SS/Threshold rides while fasted; however, this requires me to almost overeat the day before. So I really didn’t get any weight loss benefit (I also wasn’t tracking what I was eating very well). But I recently went back to properly fuelling my rides in the morning and the quality of my workouts greatly improved (as I started to get my food intake back under control, I found myself too under-fuelled to complete these workouts - I would fade around 75 to 90 minutes in). I can still do a two hour endurance ride fasted, but I may stop doing that as well. The workouts just feel so much better for me mentally and physically when I am properly fuelled.

Ultimately my experience agrees with notion of being properly fuelled and not attempting to lose weight on the bike.


Got an early flight tomorrow. I’m saving this podcast to get me through it :bike::dash:


Thanks for talking about CX again. I noticed this year that I was fair to better than average when it came to V02 work up steep hills, mud pits, or attacks, but I kept getting reeled back in on the flats and gentle climbs. Yes, I am weak in sweet spot. Should I try to fit-in sweet-spot work in prime CX season when I’m racing on weekends and doing at least one weeknight race (2-3 races)? At that point in the year I don’t think I need any VO2 interval work because I’m getting it 1-3 days/nights per week.

I ended up doing sweet spot during the week during CX season, usually tallac I think, any of the 60min sessions. I found it worked out well for me, and i kept a higher intensity workout in there to keep my legs activated (i was racing every weekend, many times both days, so I really just wanted to be pretty fresh each weekend) and doing sweet spot during the week helped me get some effort without burning out

Hey Guys
First, thanks for all that you do. Second, I think Amber is a great addition to the show. Quick question. How often should we do SST?


Great episode!

I am particularly happy that you’ve covered the topic of fasting. I really hope that this is going to reduce a confusion amongst athletes.

I’ve read that 90-100 grams of carbs is the max you can absorb per hour, and that has to be in a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose.

I’m getting it through gels, chews and sport drinks. Carbo pro could work well too, and that’s a lot less expensive than gels.

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Cal Aggie crit. I think the clinic is called “practice race” or something like that. It’s in Folsom I think.