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endurance requirements VS Losing weight? Nutritional and training differences. Any?

Old 03-17-15, 08:01 AM
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endurance requirements VS Losing weight? Nutritional and training differences. Any?

Guys,
In reading about longer duration cycling I have found that if you are riding longer than 2 hours, they say you should be ingesting 150-300 calories slowly over each hour and should drink water for the first 2 and should think about electrolytes if the ride is 3 hours or longer and many have various carbs too.

So my question is this. If I want to do a 3 - 4 hour ride but my focus is to lose weight, should I still be eating during a ride and/or taking carbs with my electrolytes?

Yeah, I could use the Nuun stuff which doesn't have sugar. Not sure if it has the Stevia or artificial sweetener which I cannot stand. This does not answer the question on whether I should eat during a long ride. I want to burn what I have but if it wil cause cramping or issues resulting in a shortened ride then I will not.

Also, I do believe you burn more than 150-300/hr and that quantity is the max you can quickly absorb so if this is true, you are still having a net loss.


Finally, If you are training to ride to lose weight but would like to also train to improve your duration, what zone do you aim for for each (weight loss vs longest ride duration). Will the longest ride you can possibly do burn more calories than being in zone 2/3?


Sorry for so many questions in one thread.

Thanks for the insight.

Frank
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Old 03-17-15, 11:47 AM
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Just ride your bike and eat when you get hungry. Probably the max you'll eat is about 1/2 your burn. Main thing is not to pig out when you get back if you're trying to lose weight. Try having some protein after, then just relaxing and seeing if that will do it for you for a while.

Then the question becomes what to take with you. My preference is to separate my food/water/electrolytes on long rides. So I'll take plain water, a food source, and Endurolytes and ingest as seems appropriate. For food, Fig Newtons are an old standby, Hammer Gel in the small flask is popular, as are Shot Bloks and similar. I don't like packaged gels because of the packaging. After 50-60 miles you'll need a brief rest anyway, so stop at a store and get something more interesting to eat: sandwich, fruit pie, Snickers, chocolate milk, anything, just not too much. Grab some more bike snacks, take a leak, refill your bottles and you're ready to go again.

It used to be said, "Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty." Now we say, "Eat when you're hungry, drink when you're thirsty." That works out a lot better. If I don't feel thirsty when I think I should, I take an Endurolyte or two to simulate thirst, then drink to that thirst.

The nice thing about the above advice is that it works for any pace. If you're going hard, you'll get hungrier, that's all.
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Old 03-17-15, 02:11 PM
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Its not that you should eat 150-300 cal/hr, its that your body can maximally absorb something in that range, I usually use the figure 250 calhr.

How much you should eat depends on a number of factors, which include:

1. What stored fuel you are burning. The more intensely you work, the greater proportion of carbs you will burn over fat. There are exceptions to that and you can train your body to burn more fat at higher intensities by eating less on more intense rides. You have an essentially infinite amount of stored fat and about 2000ish calories of stored carbs. So if you are working at low intensity and burning maybe 300-350 cal per hour, you can go a long time without eating on a ride because you will be burning fat plus carbs. Maybe 4 hours-ish, its somewhat individual and will change with your degree of conditioning. If you're working intensely and burning 500-550 cal/hr, you'll be predominantly burning carbs and probably need to start eating at the 2-3 hour mark for sure. I do intense fasted 2 hour workouts frequently and I am fine. I am an endurance person though and although a newby have ridden a lot of miles. So YMMV.

2. What your goals are. If you're trying to lose weight, its totally fine to eat less on the bike to create a calorie deficit. Don't go too far, eat enough to work at whatever intensity you need to for your workout/ride. As I understand it, cramping is partially a conditioning thing, partially a hydration thing and partially an electrolyte thing,

Should you take electrolytes: longer, more intense rides, yes. For me this is anything over 2 hours.
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Old 03-17-15, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly2High
Guys,
In reading about longer duration cycling I have found that if you are riding longer than 2 hours, they say you should be ingesting 150-300 calories slowly over each hour and should drink water for the first 2 and should think about electrolytes if the ride is 3 hours or longer and many have various carbs too.

So my question is this. If I want to do a 3 - 4 hour ride but my focus is to lose weight, should I still be eating during a ride and/or taking carbs with my electrolytes?
You shouldn't need to eat on a 3 hour ride unless you skipped breakfast. 4 may be getting close.

Without focusing on power output, your sustainable one-hour effort (FTP) is probably under 200W. For 3-4 hours you're looking at a low zone 2 effort around 120W where 1W = 1 joule/second making for 430 kj per hour. Cycling metabolic efficiency varies between about 20 to 25%, so at 4.2 joules per calorie that's 411 - 514 Calories per hour. Multiply by 3 to 4 hours and you have 1233 - 1644 Calories burned.

At that pace at least 25% of your energy is still coming from fat so you'd only be depleting 924 - 1233 Calories from your glycogen stores.

You have about 2000 to work with.

Much longer and you may want to eat to stay ahead of your energy needs, although at that distance I'd only eat if I was hungry.

Note however the fat/carb split can be altered with training and diet. One of the wattage list guys got a metabolic test
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!se...8/ziCjOWPARnUJ (google group membership required to read) showing 81% fat at the bottom of zone 2 and 63% at the top.

Also, I do believe you burn more than 150-300/hr and that quantity is the max you can quickly absorb so if this is true, you are still having a net loss.
Yes.

Finally, If you are training to ride to lose weight but would like to also train to improve your duration, what zone do you aim for for each (weight loss vs longest ride duration). Will the longest ride you can possibly do burn more calories than being in zone 2/3?
Ultimately training stress is proportional to the square of effort, with twice as hard 4X the load. You could get to the same place with 1 hour at 90% of threshold power, or 4 hours at 45%; although the later will burn twice the Calories.

The daily average produces fitness which can be spent on longer or shorter rides in the same ratio. I rode my first century when my 100-125 mile weekly total was nearly all 20-25 mile rides some of them hard with only a few 40 mile rides, and followed that up with a week long supported 418 mile tour with 28,000 vertical feet.

For example, consider a hypothetical 180 pound rider atop a 20 pound bike who can just manage 250W for an hour with with .4 m^2 Sd and .760 Cd per Gibertini and Grassi's paper and .004 coefficient of rolling resistance.

A 95% effort for him is 237W and 23 MPH on dead flat ground.

At a 15 MPH all-day endurance pace he's barely turning the pedals over at 80W which is a 32% effort.

To rack up the same training stress and endurance capacity he'd net from a 3x20 minute threshold workout totaling an hour and a half including a warm-up, rest between intervals, and cool down he'd need to spend 9 hours 15 minutes covering 138 miles.

Most people find two hard days at 3 hours total easier to fit into their schedule than 18.5 hours for a pair of endurance rides.

Thanks for the insight.
Ride more easy miles because it won't make you hungry after which you eat more. People comparing Calorie expenditures at different efforts generally seem to ignore this.

At the end of 2013 I weighed 205 pounds and measured 36" around my waist. I started 2015 at 148 and 28.5" but have since shrunk to 140 and 27" which at 5'10" isn't out of line with larger climbers in the pro peloton.

I stopped eating when I wasn't hungry, only ate enough I was sated 30 minutes after eating (it takes a while for your appetite to notice you've dined) going back for seconds and thirds as necessary, and always ate when I got hungry so I wouldn't get so ravenous I couldn't control myself.

I rode 5266 miles in 2014, mostly zone 1-2 with enough intensity to avoid getting bored.

I did that because I noticed the hunger difference between easy and hard workouts exceeded the difference I measured in energy output. Historically my weight loss stopped as I got more fit, added a second hard day each week, and easy rides shifted to a tempo pace; although without getting beyond base that did not happen.

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Old 03-17-15, 03:36 PM
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There might be 2000 Kcals of glycogen stored but most of it is unavailable to the legs.

The slower you ride, the higher the fat oxidation.

I'd be surprised if a modestly trained rider could go 4 hours at any pace without eating.

Maybe try doing a 4 hour ride but bring food as backup. A reasonable pace would be Max HR minus your age. So, if you are 55 years old with 175 BPM max, keep your long ride to no more than 120 beats if you are decently fit. At this level, you should be be burning a high percentage of fat. This is about VT1 give or take.

Just do lots of rides at that pace and eat as little as you comfortable with and the pounds will melt off.
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Old 03-17-15, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
<snipped most of the good stuff>

I did that because I noticed the hunger difference between easy and hard workouts exceeded the difference I measured in energy output. Historically my weight loss stopped as I got more fit, added a second hard day each week, and easy rides shifted to a tempo pace; although without getting beyond base that did not happen.
Thank you for the excellent post. I'd just like to say that interested parties might bookmark your post and come back and read it about once a month until training that way becomes habit.

I'd add that as training intensity goes up, fat usage goes down even though total calorie expenditure per hour is going up. For some reason, as intensity goes up, your body just stops moving the fat out of your cells and into your energy system. However when you stop, all this fat comes flooding out like a dam broke. If you do the usual high carb recovery drink, the fat flow stops. But if you don't, it keeps happening and you won't get as hungry as you thought you would. OTOH, you're not replacing the glycogen, so what you do for recovery will depend on how intensely you plan to work out the next day. I just figured this out and am still experimenting with it. So far, so good.
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Old 03-17-15, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I did that because I noticed the hunger difference between easy and hard workouts exceeded the difference I measured in energy output. Historically my weight loss stopped as I got more fit, added a second hard day each week, and easy rides shifted to a tempo pace; although without getting beyond base that did not happen.
Thank you for the excellent post. I'd just like to say that interested parties might bookmark your post and come back and read it about once a month until training that way becomes habit.
Thanks.

In retrospect, a polarized approach might have worked as well for weight loss and not compromised power. Unfortunately I was remiss in keeping up with web chatter.

With polarized training everything is either below VT1 which is Friel's zone 1 active recovery / zone 2 endurance or above VT2 which is FTP; and hard sessions constitute 20% of the total. It seems to produce power superior to traditional threshold training.

Riding 5 days a week, that would be 4 days of fat-loss slow miles plus a power day.

I'm good for about 25% more power when I've been riding intervals for 3 months and not doing that; so my 4 slow days would consume 25% more calories and do the work of 5 on the steady base-mile diet; with the fifth being a net-zero power gaining and maintaining day outside rest periods.

That'd be having your cake and eating it too.

(Sorry, I could not resist the metaphor)

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-18-15 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 03-18-15, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
Thanks.

In retrospect, a polarized approach might have worked as well for weight loss and not compromised power. Unfortunately I was remiss in keeping up with web chatter.

With polarized training everything is either below VT1 which is Friel's zone 1 active recovery / zone 2 endurance or above VT2 which is FTP; and hard sessions constitute 20% of the total. It seems to produce power superior to traditional threshold training.

Riding 5 days a week, that would be 4 days of fat-loss slow miles plus a power day.

I'm good for about 25% more power when I've been riding intervals for 3 months and not doing that; so my 4 slow days would consume 25% more calories and do the work of 5 on the steady base-mile diet; with the fifth being a net-zero power gaining and maintaining day outside rest periods.

That'd be having your cake and eating it too.

(Sorry, I could not resist the metaphor)
Maybe. Hard to see how you could have achieved better results no matter what you did. Textbook case. I had a piece of my wife's ultra chocolate cake before bed last night. Yumm. A small piece. The rest was devoured by the folks at her AI meeting. That's like baking your cake and only having a little of it.
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Old 03-18-15, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Thank you for the excellent post. I'd just like to say that interested parties might bookmark your post and come back and read it about once a month until training that way becomes habit.
Actually, I've just learned to "copy" VERY useful posts like this and save them as bookmarking seems to create a ton of marks that never get re-read enough!
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