No eating on rides under 4 hours

I think there is a lot of misinformation from manufacturers that mislead consumers with the aim at selling more product. I see ppl, particularly newbys, eating and drinking "energy products’ way too much, like every 30-45 min. Training at the right intensity for the right duration eventually makes your system more efficient at utilizing stored energy, thus decreases the need for sugary products which one might likely need for real at higher intensity levels and longer durations.


Typical recommendation from the manufacturers and the folks at TR is at least 60g carbs/hr which translates roughly to a gel every 20 minutes… so not really a surprise people are doing this. The TR guys have talked a lot about training up to 90g/hr+. I think it’s relevant if you’re doing back to back long days or in races, but for most regular people it doesn’t really matter if you finish a 2 or 3 hour ride in a glycogen depleted state.

Personally - I don’t eat on rides 2hr or less usually, unless there’s something else going on (like it’s over when I’d normally be eating another meal or I’ve not eaten a lot during the day/beforehand for some reason). But I would normally eat before and after. On very long rides (say 8-10hr plus) - the only time I have really done a proper nutrition plan - I’ve struggled to manage 60g an hour consistently so perhaps I should practice it in shorter rides. But it’s never really been an issue - I have had much more problems with hydration on long rides.


Agree, I don’t eat on rides less than 2 hrs or 40 miles or less. I still disagree with a gel every 30 minutes, especially for rides at low intensity levels. Putting in a lot of sugar that you don’t really need.


I regularly go for 2 hours of average Z2 power rides, am I doing it wrong? FTP of 290 or 300, depending on the shape I am in. I get averages of 200, 210, things like that. So, that’s Z2, about 15 watts short of low Z3.
Going back to the discussion, at that intensity I feel better if I eat, and I think I sustain about 10 watts more now that I eat more carbs on the bike

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depends on where i am in the season and the goals of the ride. Water I drink as much as I want with no regards. Food, sport drinks, etc - I tend to go with this philosophy 50% of the time. The other 50% my objective is to complete the work out, be ready for the next day, and weight be damned.

So - said another way. Recovery weeks, when I want to loose a few, and I am away from the peak time of a season i’ll skimp on a ride.

yes - you do get used to it.

I should add that I’ve started a bit of intermittent fasting outside of riding. I find i get hungry right around now (lunch time) and if i can get past that I’ll be good till 5pm and eat one meal a day.

I think not eating under 1.5-2hr is reasonable if your just put for mileage. Fasting for 4 hrs is just odd. I am not a big supporter of a big number of grams carbs / hr, but I do think taking some nutrition is important if you’re going 2hr plus. Maybe that’s some white bread w jam or some sugar water (add brand name here).
I used to not fuel or barely fuel on non-race rides up to 4 hr. For example, I’d take 150-250 cal of some sugar mix after a tempo set within a long ride. I never had too much trouble w it honestly, but now that I’ve done some sugar I wouldn’t go back.

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Something I thought was… umm… interesting and possibly relevant in this thread. This is the guy that got 3rd at Gravel Locos against some heavy hitters while not making friends with any of them…

Disclaimer; I would never try this nor would I want to.

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Same, that one had me confused. I’ve never seen anyone “load up” with fueling supplies for a 10k, they must be fueling an engine way more powerful than the folks I run with, lol.

I can fast on 6 hour rides but it would only hurt my effort and recovery time.

Put me in a group with riders who aren’t taking in carbs and when I drop the hammer they are getting dropped off the back.

I had a ride on Sunday… where I live is in lockdown and you can’t venture more than 10km radius. I am lucky to have some hill in those 10km radius so set off for an hour of hills with one bottle of water…ended up in the zone and did 4 hours…. But suffered massively post ride with cramps and difficulty sleeping etc… reminded me that recovery is significantly impacted by what is done on the bike.

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