Training fasted, do I test fasted?

Love the podcast and after going through 15-20 episodes I signed up and started using TrainerRoad this week. I train at 5:30am and do so fasted. It’s worked pretty well for me and I’m able to get through the workouts without feeling like I’m going to bonk or fade. But I do know that when I have the opportunity to ride later in the day I feel a lot stronger, with about 15-20 watts more on tap for the same perceived effort. So here’s the question, should I be testing my FTP in the morning or in the afternoon when I feel stronger? I want to make sure that I’m getting the most out of the workouts but I’m concerned that if I test in the afternoons it may cause my fasted workouts to be too hard. Thoughts?

My recommendation

#1. Test fed
#2. Do sweetspot, threshold, and VO2 workouts fed
#3. You can do endurance workouts fasted if you want
#4. Tempo can be either fasted or fed depending on what you want to accomplish


I agree with this recommendation.

You want to set your FTP based on your optimal performance. Getting fat adapted and training that way is fine. We did it in the military and went pretty hard at times while fasted.

That said, a workout such as V02 max is done to increase your ability to go above your FTP, or go hard. Going hard requires more fuel and you can do short workouts that way but it’s counterproductive to do long workouts that way. Eventually you run out of gas and won’t be able to hit the very levels you are there suffering to hit.

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I’ve trained at 5:30 in the morning, without breakfast, forever. I did years of running, training for 10k and half marathon, with most runs anywhere between and hour and 1:40. I’m now (like most winters) spinning in the basement; still doing the same. I test that way, I train that way. Never felt the need to feed before or during.

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I train fasted and test fasted. This morning I had a fasted Ramp test. + 9 Watts!

That depends on what you want to measure: if you do the FTP test fastest, you will not measure your true FTP, but your FTP when not adequately fueled. If you fuel during races, then you should know your “true” FTP not your “fasted” FTP. When training fasted, then using your “true” FTP as a base line might result in efforts that are too hard.

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I don‘t think the issue is whether you can or cannot train fasted. Most of us will train (semi)fasted if we train in the morning. The issue is whether the “fasted” FTP is the relevant measure of your performance.

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This has been discussed on the podcast numerous times and my experience backs what they say. Workouts around an hour can be done fasted whether ramp test, VO2, SS, etc. i can generally go 1.5 hours. I usualy do better first thing in the morning fasted than i do later in the day after eating. But like everything its personal preference and individual results may very.


I agree. I observe significant differences in max HR as well, between early in the morning and later in the day; but since my objective is simply to get better as a recreational rider, my relevant true performance is what I can do when I train - which is early in the morning. I can see how these differences would be an issue for someone who races.

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I am the same, I train at approx 0530 in the morning, I do not eat before hand, I sometimes have an espresso if it looks like a hard one. I’m good for all workouts up to 90 mins (have never done a longer one) I’m on LV plans. Why would you test strong if you’re going to train at maybe a slightly less optimum time? I do not see the logic behind this idea.

Sure, if you’re racing by power numbers then you’ll need to know your stronger FTP in order to produce the best race but if you’re calculating FTP for training then do it when you’re aiming to train.


My question isn’t really about training fasted, it’s about when I should be measuring my FTP for optimal gains from the workouts because I predominantly train fasted.

I’m curious for you guys that do everything fasted @rocourteau @sergio @Crownan

Do you race, and if so, do you ever do long enough events that fuel becomes an issue (i.e. 2+ hours)?

If so - do you ever train your gut for nutrition intake during hard intervals?

I ask, because as part of my training I work in the same foods I will eat on race day. For my longer events (3-4 hours for me) nutrition on the bike is necessary and I need to have confidence that what I’m drinking and eating won’t cause problems if an attack goes up the road right after I’ve taken in a gel or a bar. As such - as race season approaches I’m fueling my trainer rides exactly as I’d fuel a race.

Personally I’m a mountain biker. I don’t roadie, haven’t been outside on the roadie since 2017. I ride most Sundays, 3-4 hours and have one race which is the Ardrock Enduro which is approx 6.5 hours but only the downs are timed so I dont go all out except for the 3 minute stages of which there are 7.

Sundays I eat about 400 cals of weetabix/porridge and I’m good for morning with a Cliff bar maybe 2/3rds of the way in.

For the Ardrock I had about 500 cals overnight oats and greek yogurt and a multitude of random cliff bars, cliff blocks, haribo, a couple of bananas.

Not much help as I don’t do Roadie :blush:

Thanks for your perspective. Interesting to see how the other half lives :slight_smile: Such a different situation on the bike

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No, I don’t race (I did running, but that’s a different story). When I ride outside, it’s for pleasure (mostly solo), so fueling vs performance is not so much an issue.

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Make sure you all tune into the podcast tomorrow! Based on this thread, I have a feeling you will be very pleased with the topics! :wink:


I’m with the train and test early in the morning before breakfast camp. I do them like that to stay consistent. I race CX and don’t use a power meter outside so my FTP is only useful for calibrating TR workouts.

I hadn’t thought practicing fueling, but my long rides are for fun so are just an excuse to eat cake! :wink:


@mcneese.chad Have to get the link ready after the podcast for future questions :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Sure, we can link to the Episode 194 content when it is available. :smiley:

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If it is discussed in the podcast I’d be interested the hear from @chad on whether this is true or not. If you have a reasonable evening meal and ride a short test ride after a coffee in the morning there would surely be no issue with carb availability or performance for that length of ride?

There may be other good reasons to fuel during a ride, for example for optimal recovery afterwards or if you are extending the ride for significantly longer. But would it really affect the results of a ride as short as a ramp test, or even a longer 8 or 20 test over the period of an hour.

Even for those test rides those the majority of the hour ride is at recovery effort and you are only going to be using significant amounts of carbs during the work periods of those which at most is 28 minutes.

How significant is the difference between carbs from fully digested food as opposed to recently ingested fuel?