Intermittent Fasting, Lab Testing, Why Sweetspot is Hard & More – Ask a Cycling a Coach 194


It depends on how far out you are from your goal event and what type of racing you’re doing.

The good news is Chad has all of this laid out in our training plans. Even if you don’t use them you could get some insight on how we think sweet spot should be used.


Can someone recommend a good gel - one that is kind to the GI system? Thx!


If you don’t do well with regular gels, maple syrup is a great alternative! That said, if you have GI issues with gels, try drinking more water with them. Sometimes people have carbohydrate in their drink, then take in CHO concentrated in the gel. You need plenty of water to process the CHO, so “gu gut” is often a result of to too much CHO and not enough hydration. Stacy Sims explains this really well - you can do a quick web search on her name to find interviews with her about hydration.



Wear ear plugs or noise canceling headphones :smirk:


Sleep is important, so I’d suggest finding a way to get more carbs either right before or during the workout. Maybe a light slice of toast with a little jam right before - or if that doesn’t sound good, add a couple of gels or some Bloks during the workout. Ideally what you eat before + what you eat during your ride = total calories burned on the ride. But you don’t have to be a perfectionist with this. Just work up to as much CHO (during the ride) as you can handle (within reason) - a good aim would be the equivalent of a gel every 30 minutes, just be sure to hydrate enough and don’t cause yourself GI distress with this. It may take you a while to work up to 100kcal/30min CHO (= ~one gel/30min), so take a little time and experiment with it and see how you feel. You might find that less gels, but more mix in your bottle works better, or vice versa. Or maybe you’d do better with something more solid. The main thing is to try to take in more CHO during the ride. The recovery shake and everything else sound good! The phrase “don’t diet on the bike” is just a good reminder that you need to eat on the bike to feel good and train well on the bike (and to feel good off the bike after your workout). Good luck!


I am now in the phase that I shouldn’t lose any weight. How do you control youre food intake on the days you do workouts? Do you dat upfront (because this is not doable for me? Do you dat during the morning workout?


I only got as far as the IF discussion yesterday during my workout. Just really posting that I thought my head was fine after my crash last year, but all the talk of crashing, broken pelvis’s etc has shown me it’s not! It freaked me out to be honest.

It’s not the crashing, or even the physical injuries, it’s the consequences as a working person with a family to help support (both financially and being able). Yes, it could happen any ride, but racing does feel more like puttting myself in harms way…

Anyway, just felt the need to share, as no one in the real world is really interested! :grinning:


Thanks, @ambermalika. Much appreciated.


great podcast.
@chad: if you like watching the Punisher, then I can highly recommend Spartacus. The best tv series for on-the-bike watching that I know of.


I’m in a very similar position - my ride time is early am and doesn’t allow more than 15 min between alarm and on the bike. Sure I’d like to lose a couple kilos, but that’s not my priority - so this episode definitely made me think about my fueling. My current strategy has been to keep to real food during training (not gels) with the exception of a Roctane scoop in one water bottle for anything with intensity+length (so 90min SS or above), but maybe I should switch to gels to get that quick hit of sugar - how much a difference does it make what form the carbs are in? When I actually look at the carb numbers (first time actually looking at them now), they seem reasonable.

Current typical fueling (all carb data from my fitnesspal):
Coffee beforehand
English muffin with 1 tbsp honey on each side during warmup (23g bread+34g honey). Sometimes only half during warmup, half ~30min in.
Banana at some point during workout (not strict on timing): 29g
Sometimes (but not always) a Roctane scoop in bottle: 59g? (seems high, but maybe right - that stuff is nuts)
No recovery shake, but typical breakfast soon after of yoghurt+muesli+blueberries.


Science in Sport Isotonic gels are really easy on your GI system. They’re more watery so you don’t need any additional hydration with them.


Oh man, that one’s faaaaaar more gratuitous and packed with ‘action’ of one sort or another - fully agreed. Might have to revisit it.


I like it! Will give it a try. Thanks


Soooo…the secret to successful sweet spot sessions is eating more??

Physically, perhaps, but what about the mental game?
How can we game the brain to get us through 5 weeks of essentially the exact same workout? :thinking:


growacet-bp :grin:


I ended up throwing a few seated sprints into my morning Z2 ride to spice it up. I was inspired by @Nate 's recent trials (though I did 10s vs. 5s). Needless to say my seated power is woefully behind his and @Pete 's, but it did add some fun to the ride. Back to the 15 and 20min SS intervals on the weekend!


Yeah, I hear you. I can’t watch any crash footage in any sports now. I have too strong a visceral reaction, plus I just don’t want those images/thoughts in my head! Sorry to bring the topic up today - it’s a hard balance to discuss practicalities of staying safe, but please take heart. When racing, you’re on a closed course with others who have higher levels of skill than most. Not that I’m saying you have to or should race, but just that keeping a balanced perspective on all of this is important. If racing helps motivate you to train regularly and stay active and fit, then perhaps the minor risks of racing outweigh the costs of losing motivation to ride consistently. To that I want to add that working on your skills on the bike can make you better able to stay safe. You do actually have a lot of control over the risk, in the same you can manage risk when you drive your car in a safe manner. If you avoid doing stupid things (like running red lights or tailgating), and you drive with awareness of your surroundings, you manage to drive daily and for years without accidents. It’s the same principles at work!


I’ve read mixed reviews on maple syrup. The negatives if I recall correctly were related to the spike being too immediate with a quick crash requiring constant re-upping. I don’t think that opinion is universal by any means, but just remember seeing that discussion.

I have gut issues - especially if I am running - and I have had great luck with Crank Sports e-Fuel powders. For a gravel grinder last year I even made a 900 calorie bottle with it and just chased each drink with swigs of plain water - gut felt great. They make an e-Gel as well which I have heard is just as good, but I have not used them yet. They are always having sales or offering bulk pricing which usually means it’s cheaper than other products I have used (i.e. Hammer, First Endurance, Gu, etc.) and I think they taste much better.


I love Hammer Nutrition, personally. Try vanilla first and go from there.