No eating on rides under 4 hours


Agreed but it’s the what and when you fuel for it. If I went for a 2000 kJ ride with MVDP at his recovery power I’m fairly sure I’d have to neck 500g of pure sugar to try and keep up with him . He on the other would barely touch his glycogen stores and could refuel when he wanted whenever he wanted if he didn’t want to lose weight.

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No, I disagree entirely :slight_smile: Your emphasis on “recovery power” makes no sense. And the idea that you have to use a completely different biological mechanism to burn the same amount of kJ is overstating and essentially irrelevant.

If you burn 1000kJ - I don’t care how you do it - and someone else burns 1000kJ you essentially have the same fuelling need. It’s that simple.

I rarely advocate reducing biological processes to thermodynamics, in fact I usually rail against it, but this is taking things too far.


I absolutely agree. I’ve only been fuelling on the bike during workouts for maybe a couple of months and its made a huge difference to my off bike food choices. After a really depleting ride I would just cram in pretty much everything I could lay my hands on, and 9 times out of 10 probably vastly over eat too. Fuelling on the bike means I stick to proper meals and have far less cravings for “any old shíte” :blush:


Hey? That doesn’t make sense.

1000kj/ hour is around 280w/hour.

If your ftp is 280 you are going to be using a much higher percentage of glycogen at that pace than someone who has an ftp of 380 or 480.

In fact if you are at 480- then 280 is going to be what? Lower Z2!! So easily in the fasted for 5hrs territory.


Well I didn’t say per hour. Converting an absolute burn to a burn rate is a different conversation. And extreme comparisons confuse the subject, in my opinion, they don’t inform it.

My point is countering this:
“Or that maybe he should just think of adding an extra spoonful of dressing to his Poké bowl when he steps, fresh as a daisy, off the bike at the end? While I hook up to the oxygen.”
Whether I or he are exhausted is irrelevant, how hard we rode is essentially irrelevant, when we have both burned 1000kJ we need to have that burn covered. It is absolutely not the case that he needs less fuel.

This sub-thread has become really OT! Don’t fast rides :slight_smile:

I cannot even fathom not eating on the bike. I can handle about a hour before I start feeling the impact of not fuelling. Of course for a 45min recovery ride @ 130w, I dont stuff my face, but for any endurance ride or ride in general, above 1hr, I gotta eat…

I think that creating a system for eating is fundamental to finding out what works for you.

What works for me in general is:

Weekend ride - 3-4 pancakes with maple syrup, coffee, glass of milk. Then shower before getting dressed and heading out. I like to eat 1hr to 45min before the ride, and then ill start eating and drinking after about 1hr on the bike.

Weekday ride - sync lunch or breakfast to be 2-3 hours before the ride, then 1-2 pieces of toast before heading out, with honey on. Same fuelling as weekend with 1hr before starting to fuel.

Example fuel for 4hr z2 ride:

  • 2 500ml bottles with 90-120g carbs/bottle
  • 1 SIS GO Energy Strawberry Bake Bar per hour
  • 1 packet of SIS chews per hour

I usually come home with 1 bar or 1 packet not eaten, but that usually because I was feeling pretty full on the bike.

I have previously made the mistake of thinking “I am just gonna do a chill 2hr ride, z1/z2, no need to fuel, just water”… always a big mistake, always come home starving, always feel dreadful the last 30-40min, regardless of intensity…

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If it was a race then, sure. But the point of a group ride isn’t to do 70% of the work as everyone else. So assuming that they start the ride on relatively equal footing then the reason they can’t pull at the end of the ride is they’re lazy, they are less fit, they did more work early, they came in with more fatigue, or they didn’t eat/drink enough.

And if they come into the ride with 1 small bottle of water and then barely eat anything then I’m inclined to think that poor fueling is the reason.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour or total.
The window for replenishing glycogen stores doesn’t close the second you finish exercising. As above- I burned 3200kcals on Sunday fasted and was able to replenish fully through regular meals to train hard again on Tuesday.

This study seems to suggest that the main difference between well trained and recreational trained athletes (runners) is the percentage of fat they burn during HIIT work.

so clearly kj’s aren’t all burned equally!


Then sorry but surely you’re just not aerobically fit enough to move on from base training :thinking:

2hrs of low Z2 Np (not Z2 average which could be a very brutal ride indeed!) should be ridiculously easy because that’s all day pace??

By all means fuel it but if you’re relying on carbs just to get through it intact- then I’d say your ftp is too high??

Don’t use TR, got a coach and have about 220 hours of base training since beginning of the year.

Like most things, some days you have good days and some days you have bad days. My example was a day where I was tired and just needed to spin the legs, and made the mistake of not eating enough before or on the bike, hence it was made much more difficult than it should have been. I am on a rest week at the moment with lots of fatigue from last week, so lots of factors playing in :slight_smile: My takeaway was mostly that fuelling is essential.

And trust me, if you do 4-5 hours or proper z2, it will be hard… (for me that usually means average of 180w with 285w CP, or around 200w NP. The whole “z2 is all day pace” is being thrown around way too much… Depends very very much on what you’re targeting, z2 is a very wide range, especially when you start factoring in things like LT1 and VT1 and what constitutes a “z2 ride” etc.

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I don’t understand. Are you saying it’s irrelevant in terms of eating whether you have used primarily CHO or primarily Fat oxidation on a ride?

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Where have I said this?

We seem to be having different conversations :slight_smile:

I think this may convey my message best:

My point is countering this:
“Or that maybe he should just think of adding an extra spoonful of dressing to his Poké bowl when he steps, fresh as a daisy, off the bike at the end? While I hook up to the oxygen.”
Whether I or he are exhausted is irrelevant, how hard we rode is essentially irrelevant, when we have both burned 1000kJ we need to have that burn covered. It is absolutely not the case that he needs less fuel.

Now if you want to argue whether we consume x % carbs and y % fat for endurance rides or crit races then go ahead, but I’m not arguing that.

You said two riders doing 1000kj have the same fuelling need.
The don’t. The one burning a higher percentage of fat is in much less urgent need of ramming in carbs before during and after exercise.


Ive quoted myself and made my points repeatedly I dont think I can clarify any further so I’ll drop out. :+1:

What do you mean by ‘proper Z2’?

Z2 is widely accepted as being 55% - 75% of ftp.

The lower end of that range is all day pace for me. 2hrs is barely enough to warm up :rofl:

Have you ever measured your HR decoupling on those rides?

It should be less than 5%.

Yes, that is the general definition of z2, but that doesn’t mean that its easy or that one can be expected to ride 5 hours a day in z2 and then not feel that its taking a toll. Riding in the upper z2 level definitely is hard for hours on end, especially if doing back to back days for en extended amount of time.

With proper z2 I meant that its a big window, that is affected by a lot of things, some people are much more able to ride high z2 without feeling fatigue, while others might have lower z2 capabilities but are more anaerobically strong.

You’re making physiology assumptions based on what TR says is “endurance” pace. Yes, it’s z2, but it sure doesn’t say that its gonna be easy, or that it can be done for 30 hours a week without taking a toll on the body. There is so so so much more to training than just saying “z2 is super easy and its an all day pace, you shouldn’t have to fuel much for that”. Its as silly as saying that all adults should be eating 2200kcal a day.

Hence my stance on nutrition, fuel your rides, unless its 50min spin around the block for active recovery, where I understand that someone rather eats a bit more rice for dinner than down a gel.

Decoupling for my 4+ hour z2 rides are usually from -1,8% to 5,8%, depending on heat, nutrition, water intake etc.


Thanks that all makes more sense :ok_hand:t2:
You’re right- rides towards the top of Z2 definitely need the attention to detail you refer to.