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Are these tips any good for training and diet?

Bill-87Bill-87 Posts: 155
Go Long!

· Aim to do a long ride weekly or fortnightly as the long ride will build your endurance. ‘Long’ needn’t mean London to Brighton but it does mean anything longer than your typical daily ride (anything from one hour upwards is recommended)
· Always include a good warm-up and cool-down before and after your session.
· To balance out your long ride, experiment with some interval style riding. Throughout the longer ride you are aiming to ride faster for a short period (around 10 minutes) followed by a recovery period. This should be repeated throughout the session and as your training develops try to increase the time and intensity of the interval periods.
· Muscle tightness in the chest and back is a common problem encountered after a longer ride in the saddle and it is caused by the rounded shoulder position that you use on the bike. Overstretched upper back muscles and a tight chest can be avoided with a few minutes stretching after each ride and ideally you should stretch your legs as well.

Time on the bike is important for race preparation and improving your abilities on a bike but ultimately you need your body to stand up to the challenge and that means putting the miles in and eating right.

A simple cycle ride burns more than 300 calories per hour, training or racing can burn up to 1000 calories per hour… so you need to eat smart to fuel your muscle repair and replace lost electrolytes and other nutrients.
If your training for a long ride it’s essential to train with food, bars, gels and energy drinks to consume during exercise.


A high carbohydrate diet is recommended for anyone involved in an endurance sport such as cycling. 60-70% of your food should be carbs – they come in 2 different, and equally important forms, fast (simple) and slow (complex).
Simple carbs like sugar are available as glycogen quicker than complex carbs like rice but are used up more quickly.
For muscular endurance, aim for a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates with more emphasis on the complex.


Fats aid glycogen production and storage. Around 15-20% of your food should be fats.

Avoid too much saturated and hydrogenated fats. Nuts, such as Almonds, Brazil nuts and Walnuts as well as avocado are high in beneficial oils.


Proteins are essential for tissue repair and glycogen production. 20-25% of your diet should consist of protein.
Beans, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts and vegetables are all easily-digested sources of protein. Meat, though high in Protein, isn’t as easily digested.

When to Eat it?

If you start to ‘bonk’ (hit the wall) then you’ve not paid attention to your food soon enough. Getting the bonk is when your body is running out of glycogen and on a long ride you’ll definitely need to eat. Make sure you eat every 45 minutes to an hour.

Try eating bananas or bars early into rides and gels towards the end of the ride. Basically eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re thirsty!”

Pre Exercise

Load up with slow-burn carbs and fluids – High carbohydrate breakfast plus a little protein. You can start your carbo-loading several days before a very long ride or a race.

Examples – Porridge, cereal, muesli with milk, toast and peanut butter, honey, jam, bananas, fruit juice etc.


No matter who you are your stores of glycogen are limited, that means on longer rides (2+ hours) you will have to top them up.

With this in mind you are going to top up glycogen every hour or two as well as carbs at regular intervals.
There are plenty of energy bars and gels available that are easy to use and that will give you all the on the road necessities.

Post Exercise

Low glycogen stores = poor recovery and poor recovery = underperforming in subsequent rides. It is important to replenish glycogen as soon as you rest, this is very important when cycling long distance or on a multi-day ride.
A high calorie drink is one easy way, a fruit juice, a can of pop, milk or a sports recovery drink plus a large carbo-loaded meal.


  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I don't think that there's anything too contentious in there though I'm sure there will be someone on here that will disagree with each single item if not the whole.

    I think the food bit is a little inconsistent. It talks at one point of eating every 45m-hour and then, later, every hour or two. I'd also like to see more mention of protein in post-ride nutrition: replenishing carbs is one thing but normally the advice is to mix carbs and protein: recovery shake, Choc milk or a bowl of cereal are common suggestions.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    As meanredspider says, nothing too contentious there although it's difficult to generalise about this sort of thing without knowing the specifics of the type of riding one may be doing. Also, different energy strategies suit different people so using energy drinks suit some people whilst others prefer solid food on a ride. You really need to try out different things on a ride and see what suits you best. Unfortunately you may well find there are times on a ride when you do get it wrong. You need to learn from this and modify your strategy maybe to try and prevent it happening again. Even though I generally don't use them, I carry a couple of "emergency" energy gels on a ride just in case I am out longer than I plan for any unforeseen reason.

    When it comes to the length and number of training sessions you do per week it really depends on a number of factors. Obviously the amount of time you have available during the week over and above work/family commitments. For the type of training you need to do specificity is the buzz word at the moment which means basically train for the predominant type of rides you intend doing during the year. If you are just riding for a bit of fitness and fun then just go out and enjoy yourself. No point in going out and forcing yourself to ride big mileages just because you think you have to.

    On the other hand if your intention is to ride century sportives then a longer weekend ride say increasing your distance by around 10% per week until you get to maybe 80 miles just before the event will be beneficial. This ride needs to be done at a comfortable pace as well rather than flat out.

    I would also recommend at least one shorter midweek ride which could consist of a higher intensity ride such as hill repeats, intervals or maybe a tempo ride. Mixing things up will keep your training from getting stale and make things more interesting.
  • Bill-87Bill-87 Posts: 155
    Thanks for the replies.

    I am looking to do some sportives but the majority of riding Monday-Friday is going to be a commute of 7 miles which will take <30 minutes. I'll be looking to get in a longer ride at the weekend along with 4-6 miles of walking per day.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Can u turn the commute into interval sessions or make them longer - even just one way?
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Your ideas on which are the slow and which are the fast carbs is a little off, have a look at the GLycemic index to get a better idea :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Agree - given that orange juice is a common "self-treatment" for hypoglycaemia, I very much doubt it's slow burn carb :wink:
    Same goes for honey, jam etc
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
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