Pro-Tips for Early Morning Fuel for Threshold/VO2max work

I plan to complete the GB-HV early in the morning (wake-up at 4am and on the saddle at 5am). With that, what are some of your go to nutrition strategies for threshold and/or VO2Max work?

Thanks for any input!

I do a clif bar during warm up. Then go through a sleeve or two of bloks and sports drink during the ride.


Fuel completely the day/night before. I recently made this change and it helps a lot.


I eat something before bed. I don’t always keep it small either. Then bagel and coffee first thing out of bed. I’m on the trainer no later than 5:15am everyday. I recently started eating during my rides to help get through the high volume plans. What I eat changes but it can be anything from a Larabar to a gel if I have any.


Banana 15 mins before, and another nanner right after the warm up. Then it’s Untapped and Skratch labs to see me through.


Yeah I just got an pro tip from a vegan cyclist today - he makes banana milk:

  • 3 frozen bananas cut up
  • 3 Pitted Dates

Blend in 2cups of Water with a dash of MCT
Downed with a french pressed coffee


Honey Stinger waffle before starting.

Cold brew coffee starting before workout and continue to drink during the first 30 minutes, then transition to Skratch if > 60 minute workout.

Gels/Chews as needed during workout.

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I’m going to try to wake up early and do an hour on the trainer before work. What would be a good light meal to have just before I jump on the trainer?


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Really depends. I don’t usually eat anything, but if my stomach is grumbling I’ll eat a banana or something light.

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Same, normally nothing or half a banana. Just make sure you get enough in the night / evening before.

EDIT: If it is a 90 min plus interval session I then sometimes eat the other half of the banana between intervals and or a gel (but thats rare unless threshold intervals. 90 - 95% of my sessions are before work around 5:45am


I have a really hard time eating in the morning. If it’s just an hour I can get by skipping food. If it’s 90-2 hours I’ll have a gel before the workout, and a protein bar and a banana halfway through. Regardless of length, I always have a big healthy meal and protein afterwards.

I’ve tried gels before but always found it a bit messy. Somehow or other I always managed to get gel somewhere on my hands and then the bars. I like shotblocks but they could end up being expensive using them everytime, but liked the fact they were bite sized so easy to eat. I’ve settled on just eating peanut butter filled pretzel bites. Pop two before warming up and then just pop a couple more every interval break to keep the energy up. Works for me.

I’ve kind of settled on 1/2 cup (measured dry) oatmeal with some cinnamon about 30 minutes prior to start time. 1-2 cups black coffee starting about 60 minutes prior as well.

I then usually take in about 200 calories per hour of Tailwind endurance fuel per hour of riding.

I am up at 4 and on the bike by 5, or that day most likely will get skipped due to family/work obligations.

It works for me and my schedule, and I’m so used to it now I pretty much keep doing it even when work doesn’t get in the way.

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For high intensity training in the morning the first 60-90mins can be done on stored glycogen. So, high carbs for dinner will top you up. Depending on your fat utilization and intensity, you will last somewhere from an hour to nearly two hours.

If the workouts have V02 or above efforts I’ve found that eating carbs beforehand will allow your body the fastest fuel and give you the best results. Especially neuromuscular efforts.

What to eat. Basically you just need some glucose, fructose or combination of both. Pick whatever you enjoy eating, as it’s 100% guilt free, it’s literally fuel.

I personally stopped using ‘sports nutrition’ as it’s mostly complete marketing BS. I switched to soft candy years ago. I simply buy many packets of soft candy once ever few months. These get me through hundreds of hours of riding. They’re just glucose and many many times cheaper. They’re also much yummier than gels etc.

I then add electrolyte tabs to my water.

So far this has had ZERO negative effects on my training or racing.

Some napkin math, it’s about $1500 less per year for me to fuel on soft candy than sports gels… that’s on 3-400hrs a year. That’s a few great weekend trips away, a set of wheels, whatever you like…


I have a good meal the evening before the session. Carbs, vegetables and protein.

Pint of water as soon as I rise, then a small black coffee. Mix up one bottle with SIS Energy and take another with just water, if it’s a 90+ minute session or it’s exceptionally warm.

For 3+ minute VO2 max sessions, I have one Clif Blok during the warm up and keep another to-hand should the wheels start to come off.

Rarely do I need or want more. If I tried to eat anything more substantial, I fear I’d be seeing it again shortly afterwards.

Really depends on how I feel in the morning. For short and hard I may have some oats and milk first. Or just a banana. Often a selfmade gel or so during the first minutes on the bike. And something way through. Sometimes I pop a sweet potato in the microwave (cut). Great for pre/on the bike.

I find a breakfast only to be relevant for long harder rides. However, there it is crucial for me.

I have been training in the morning 4:30am on the bike. To fuel I eat a cup of quick oats (2min in the microwave) I mix in a chopped up banana and if needed I add honey or sugar. I also do a short/espresso black coffee and then water this has worked for me through sweet spot build and now VO2 intervals.

I don’t follow HV plans, but I used to struggle on morning high intensity workouts. Now I make sure I’m fueled the night before - trying to strike a balance between how late in the evening and not effecting sleep! It’s made a big difference for me (N=1)

are we talkign about the gravity high volume here??

If so Ive done this and normally in similar times up at 5 on bike by 530.

Coffee and half a banana with Fuel Peanut butter before and High5 zero for anything up to an hour SIS rego for anything over.

One thing to bear in mind though that I did discover you are effectively training your body to be ready and efficient at that time in the morning!! I had trouble with a couple of evening track sessions where I just didnt have any energy as a result of a) the time id been training and b) just being exhausted for getting up so early to train.

lean your diet towards carbs the night before, then I’d just hit a gel or two, or some SiS Beta Fuel. Avoid solid foods.

Good luck!