No eating on rides under 4 hours

Just started reading this series of articles which seem to be very informative

So after maxing out my fasted Sunday ride protocol, I switched to a fully fuelled solo century today.
I ate and drank 400kcal an hour of rice cakes, sugar water and sweets and it was a touch too much I think. Even balancing it out with one bottle of plain water would have helped I reckon.

5h50 non stop bar one traffic light that I couldn’t track stand for.

Legs felt AMAZING so doing lower intensity fasted work hasn’t harmed my ability to use carbs when required.

Super pleased with the decoupling of under 5%. One more week and then that’s enough base I reckon.

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I’m puzzled by the person who said Z2 (of a five zone HR model) isn’t all day pace.

If it is not an all day pace that means said person has to drop down to Z1 pace after so many hours. That means their all day pace will be extremely slow.

This would imply to me that their base is not sufficiently well developed.

I do agree that Z2 is essentially all day pace, but, yeah, it is indeed very slow relatively speaking.

When I think all day pace, I generally think 14+ hours fwiw

Depends on the definition of all day saddle time, afterall Dr. Coggan’s estimate of duration at level 2 is 2.5 hours to 14 days. For some, a handful is too much. Before Covid, just under 12 hours, 10.5 moving, was my limit but I’m at that handful today due to only indoor rides for the last year and a half. I would love to get back to bearly spin at hour 12 before the end of the year.

I do ultra endurance, so might have 18 hours a day saddle time every 24 hours. Repeat that 7 to 10 days in a row on my longest events. I don’t drop below Z2 other than if freewheeling down a long hill because I’m spun out. In fact due to duration of these events , Z2 is your go to zone vast majority of time.

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What events are you doing exactly? Something like RAAM? Fueling and pacing strategies for that are completely different than a road race or crit, for example.

No unsupported ultras like trans Continental race.

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That makes sense. Sounds brutal.

Oh they are and full recovery often takes 2-3 months. The body takes a battering. You have to reintroduce training gradually. Unless you are exceptional there’s usually only one of these length races in you each year.

25% longer than TDF and done in between 1/3 to 2/3 the time.

Thanks for that link. Most interesting.

Everybody is different. I have a high sweat rate in the summer time, especially with the higher humidity. My sweat chemistry suggests also that I loose a lot of sodium, so I have to mix a sodium supplement with my water bottles from the get go. If my sodium gets low at a high level of intensity, I’m likely to get cramps. As far as food, I only eat a $1.70 Grandma’s cookie from the convenient store at the rest stop, usually close to halfway point on a 60+ mile ride averaging 19-22 mph, but I feel I could almost do without it.

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Like so many aspects of endurance training, there’s a big difference on fatigue and Kcal expenditure between 1 hr in Z2 and 7 hrs in Z2. Duration plays a part.


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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