My specific details are below, but the general question I’m looking for advice on is this: How do you know if you need to increase calories (slow weight loss progress ) or struggle to finish workouts but maintain weight loss?
My specific situation:
6’0" (183cm), 233lbs (105kg), FTP 246. (Biggest dude in the group and it’s not all muscle)
I’m coming back from a wreck 2 years ago. I’ve let life get in the way after the physical injury recovery, and I’m now focused on doing well in local crits. That said, I’d also like a higher W/kg for long joy-ride fondo’s through the mountains with friends ( I don’t want to win local crits but be hours behind my friends on the “fun” climbing days ).
My plan for this season is SweetSpot Base High Volume 1 and 2, Short Power Build High Volume, and Criterium High Volume, which puts me at my first A race for the year. All of that seems sound based on the podcast and articles that you have written.
For the past 9 week’s I’ve averaged a daily caloric deficit of ~1300 kC, and am seeing around 3 pound per week weight loss. I use a smart trainer or power meter for my rides, and a Garmin fitness tracker, so my daily caloric expenditure can be pretty well estimated, and I’m weighing and measuring all my foods, so I know my caloric intake pretty well. The math seems to work out on caloric deficit vs weight loss.
If I was losing 3lb/wk and able to hit all of my workout targets everything would be dandy, but that’s not the case. On longer workouts like Hunter or Antelope +2, I struggle to maintain power in the later intervals. (ex, On the 5th set of Antelope +2 I had to take a 2 minute break in the middle of the 10 minute set before finishing the last few minutes).
One final piece of information, I typically workout at 5am. It’s the only time that allows me to be consistent with my training before the kids get up or work gets in the way. Part of this could be that I’m training fasted, although I try and eat on the bike during rest intervals.
Here are the options that I see:
I’m just getting back into structured training, so maybe I shouldn’t change anything. Most of the workouts I finish, but the longer sweet spot efforts suck and I sometimes have to take a small break. Plus, I’m seeing the weight loss that I want. I should keep on with what’s working and just work on my mental toughness.
Focus on getting some quick carbs in prior to getting on the bike in the morning. It may reduce my fat metablization, but could also help finish the workouts. Change nothing else.
Up my daily calories to help with recovery. Yes, my weight loss will slow, but 3 pounds per week may have negative long term effects anyway. More calories equals better recovery equals completing more workouts (all else being equal).
Lot’s of information here, so I apologize for the long read in advance. I love what you all do.