Weight loss window

I have a 200km, 4000m climbing event in 5 weeks time. Ideally I would like to be 2-3kg lighter for the event. I’m happy with my current strength and FTP, but am also cognisant of the fact that carrying 2kg less over 10 hours is a big deal.

My dilemma is whether to cut calories and lose the weight and potentially lose some FTP over the next 5 weeks, or maintain my current weight and FTP heading into the event. I fear I may have it too late to shed weight.

Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers

You could probably lose 1-1.5kg pretty easily just by doing high volume training. 2-3kg would be a lot harder. Now’s not the time to diet.

Figuring out your pacing should be your priority (assuming you’ve already nailed nutrition). Losing a kilo or two could save you minutes, but screwing up pacing or nutrition on race day could lose you hours.


My feeling is don’t! IMHO the weight loss window has closed and it is way too late for significant weight loss without serious risk to your fitness. Especially on such a long race, you want to be resilient, which means 1–2 extra kilos might actually help you rather than hurt you.

Maybe you could aim for 1–1.5 kg, but 3 kg is out of the question. Honestly, I’d still focus on nailing your workouts, sleep and your recovery.


How much do you weigh now is the question that is relevant to losing that much weight in 5 weeks.


I disagree with a few of the comments in here. Personally there is definitely still time to lose weight 5 weeks out, right up to about 10days but that’s not a hard rule. Depending on how your training is 3kg is possibly a bit of a stretch, but 1.5-2kg should be fine without any decrease in power (should still be projecting upwards even with a bit of weight loss).
That ofcourse depends on how lean you already are.

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Thanks for the replies. @IL.Grillo I’m currently 22% BF, 172cm and weigh 67kg.

According to Matt Fitzgerald’s ‘Race weight’ book my ideal weight is about 63kg. I lost 5kg about 6 months ago while maintaining FTP, however I was training hard with a daily 500 calorie deficit. The downside was that I was tired and my legs constantly hurt. Don’t know if I want to be in that state going into a 10 hour event.

So at 5 weeks out, you should be in your Specialty / Peak phase of training, which should be pretty demanding. Looking to lose significant weight during this phase will require reducing calories need to refuel, recover and prepare for the next session(s).

Focusing on weight loss now is not optimal. You may lose a kilo or so depending on the volume you put in over the next few weeks, but your focus should be on the event prep, not weight loss.


That’s it right there. Typically, I try to start losing weight in January during the base and build phase. But you should be in the specialty phase, which is hard. So not fueling correctly (on purpose) could mean you start building up fatigue and could start failing more workouts or having a shallower progression.

That’s why IMHO you should focus on nailing your workouts and your recovery. You could achieve some modest weight loss, but you should set your priorities for yourself and stick to them.


Yep, fuel the training and recovery.

Being depleted in these weeks will hurt FAR more than 2-3 kilos will


What you could do is to talk to a cycling nutritional coach regarding the intake for the last days.

I know that you can strip unnecessary fibers and such from the diet the last few days before the event, where you can focus on white rice, greek yoghurt, etc as fuel, so you “flush” out the fibres that aren’t needed during that time :slight_smile:

I have heard a few that will pretty much only eat white rice, greek yoghurt and chocolate milk the last 48h before the race.

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Maybe, but that could backfire. Is that a risk worth taking right now? Even if it is possible for you to get used to that, I think that requires more experimentation.

For 200 km even, personally I’d want to have eaten solid foods the day before. I want to have eaten stuff I know I like and I know I can digest well without any GI distress.

For the record, I like your idea overall. But perhaps it is better to try this after the race so the OP knows how they react to such a sudden change in diet.

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Yeah, very true! Might not be the best idea to change up too much.

But one could try to focus a bit more on white bread instead of bread with fibre, you know, those small things :slight_smile:

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I have read this multiple times in various books and blogs… normally Chicken, Fish (oily) and Rice (not sure on the yoghurt even if greek)… Nigel Mitchell has suggested such. There should be very little risk as it is very low stress on the digestive system. It is a similar diet as when trying to get to the bottom of an intolerances or other disgestive issues.

The main issue is it is a seriously boring way to eat even if only for a few days.

I am not saying the OP should do it but there is pretty much no risk (for a few days) and also it is solid food, although very bland.

Personally I be avoiding the bread, can be a bit bloaty.

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That sounds like a recipe for disaster……

I wouldn’t try that strategy without a LOT of pre-event testing, but I’m trying to imagine the sheer volume of food that you would need to consume from those three items in the 48 hours leading up to a 10 hour event. :nauseated_face:

What is it that you imagine that you would have to eat so much of?

Try having 200g of white rice and 200g of greek yoghurt and tell me you aren’t full, haha. Like @Bbt67 mentioned above, its pretty much risk free to eat rice and greek yoghurt 1-2 days before an event.

considering that you might want to eat a few hundred grams of carbs the day before, you could just have some regular pasta instead, or just white rice. Carb density of pasta is high, so two portions of pasta is gonna get you very far :slight_smile:

All of it.

200g of cooked white rice is ~3/4 of a cup. If I was making a stir-fry meal with chicken, veggies and sauce, that would be about the same amount of rice as I would use as a bed for the stir-fry, but I wouldn’t have the meat and veggies. It is 260 calories.

200g of greek yogurt is also about 3/4 of a cup, or about the same as a regular serving. It is also only about 190 calories.

No way 3/4 of a cup of rice and a package of yogurt equaling 450 calories is going to satiate me, let alone allow me to properly pre-fuel for a 10 hour ride.

I personally wouldn’t take any significant risks. Maybe work on being as clean eating as possible, but not run a calorie deficient. Maybe adding some volume to burn some calories (zone 2). But I would, personally, focus on my strength at this point.

I don’t feel like 2-3kg is significant. I am 2-3 more than I like right now and don’t feel that bad about it (same size as you).

Look back at where you came from just a few months ago. You are already below your target weight you had in July. You should consider that a goal met, not a goal missed because NOW you want to be less.


But you would have the meat, and the veggies are mainly fibre rather than calories which is kind of the point. Salmon is a better choice for the protein imo as you get the good fat.

No, he is saying you won’t have the meat…you are just eating white rice, Greek yogurt and chocolate milk for 48 hours before an event.

So 3/4 cup of rice and a container of yogurt is hardly filling as a meal replacement…which led to my “I can’t even imagine the amount of food you would have to eat”.