The Never Going Pro Podcast – Episode 1

In this episode Shayne, Ken, and Chris speak about advantages of planning out yearly training plans vs going week to week, and how to deal with mental fatigue when the body is still strong.

Show Transcript

Ken: Welcome to The Never Going Pro Podcast. Podcast about riding bikes and being parents and trying super hard at both. My name is Ken “the badger” Nowell. I’m on team DIRT, stands for Dad’s Inside Riding Trainers and it’s a group of dads that met on the Zwift Platform, riding early in the morning trying to get our training in and our hustle on before we got our kids ready and got to work. And along the way, we’ve met some really cool people such as Shayne and Chris, which I’ll introduce now. Shayne, would you like to introduce yourself?

Shayne: Sure, so my name is Shayne Gaffney. I’m the owner and head coach at GC Coaching. I’m a level one USA cycling coach, a certified power based training coach and I’ve done a bunch of work for Zwift with their structured training plans and the build me up training plan. Chris, do you want to go?

Chris: Yeah, I’m Chris Gorney and I’m pretty much none of those things that Shayne just called himself. I am just a regular dad. I got involved with DIRT and Zwift because a year and a half ago, my wife and I had a little girl and our time was pretty limited and our little girl got sick early on so I wanted to stay home and stay somewhat fit, so I got into Zwift and just kind of fell in love with it.

Chris: I kind of came on as a marketing consultant and kind of a strategic specialist which is what I do kind of in my regular job. And just fell in love with it. So that’s it, my role is to kind of be the non-Shayne, the guy who’s just trying really hard every day and probably taking myself a little too seriously while cycling outside with my friends.

Ken: Sounds good, well thank you both for joining up tonight and so one thing that we aim to do with this podcast … Obviously we all met on Zwift so that’s important to us and I think the biggest thing that we’ve seen that all of us on team DIRT have had in common is time constraints and really trying to balance, balance family, balance between our own ambitions and training goals. Getting healthy again, which I’ve seen lots of guys come in and lose weight and hit all kinds of fitness record. And also just having a good time and not taking ourselves too seriously.

Ken: And so what we’ve done is we reached out to some of our members and if you are familiar with team DIRT, Dads Inside Riding Trainers, we have over 2,000 Facebook members, about 1,500 Strava members and a pretty large roster, we’re one of the biggest teams in the world. So we crowdsourced some questions and we went to our members and we wanted to find out what they wanted to hear, especially from Shayne because he does have a lot of experience coaching and all of us, we have a lot of questions about how we can reach our goals. So, Shayne if you want to take a look at our questions and introduce some of them and we can start to dig in.

Shayne: Sure, so the first one that got the most kind of up votes on Facebook was the advantages of planning out a yearly training plan versus going week to week or racing and riding all the time.

Chris: You’re saying like racing versus only doing workouts, right?

Shayne: I think that’s what the question was about yeah, so it was kind of “Can I race every day of the week or is it better to do more structure and then how far out should I plan that structure?”

Ken: I mean I have a slew of questions just around this topic right here. So, for instance, what happens to somebody when they race every day? And because what I discovered, for me, was when I started racing three or four days a week on Zwift, for a long time I kept getting faster. I kept hitting power records but that didn’t last forever. I did that for about a year and kept getting better and better and then I started to hit a plateau. So I guess the question is why? What happens to the body or the mind or your system that keeps you from making gain by doing that?

Shayne: Sure. Once you expose your body to the same stimulus over and over and over again you’re going to get diminishing returns on that same stimulus. Once you’re doing a lot of intensity you can get a really good uptick in your fitness relatively early and you can keep that fitness uptick pretty consistent, as long as the races are challenging you. The problem is once you reach your peak of return on training investment doing races, eventually you’re going to plateau like you experienced and then you have to change the training stimulus by either increasing the duration, increasing the intensity again. Increasing the frequency, things like that. But if you just keep doing the same thing week in and week out, you will definitely make improvements, but those improvements will diminish over time.

Chris: Well as you say that it blows my mind because I might be the crazy person, but when I get on Zwift it doesn’t occur to me to even race. I was just blasted by a bunch of friends because they always wanted to do races and the times never worked out and so eventually I just started doing workout plans. So my goal became just get on and basically punish the hell out of myself for an hour. I might have blacked out, almost blacked out on my bike only once, which is what happens when your air conditioning doesn’t work well and your fan stops working, while you’re riding.

Shayne: Ouch.

Chris: That’s a true story. But I started getting really, really bored and then I even found out because if we’re talking about Zwift it’s not as simple as races versus workouts because the racing on Zwift actually takes game skill. If you just get on and hammer, so it’s like the difference between racing and training is actually bigger than just effort, perceived effort and gains. You have to practice both and then you only have what is it Shayne? You said the average rider, the average dedicated amateur which is what I’d consider myself and Ken, we’ve got six to seven hours a week?

Shayne: Yeah in my experience it’s usually around five to seven hours a week and that consists of three to four rides per week give or take.

Chris: I heard Ken does exactly seven hours and one minute per week.

Shayne: That’s good.

Ken: That’s pretty much yeah. If you look at the last year that’s pretty accurate. It’s right around seven to eight hours, very consistent. That’s the only slot that life allows and on these weeks where I go on vacation it’s either way less or way more. So if I’m at home or on vacation I can get 10 hours in and that might happen once a year.

Chris: So how do I pick? Where’s the balance? Outdoors is easy right? I’ve got a race on August 15th, so I’m going to throw a training plan on and I’m going to do it. But with Zwift it’s different because I can race Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I can race anytime now.

Shayne: Right, I don’t think the intensity is a bad thing. The problem is if you overdo the intensity you can get burnt out and like Ken was saying you also will eventually reach that diminishing return point where if you do the same thing every single week, eventually you’re not going to get any return on training investment and the other issue too is if you are recovered before a race you can dig a lot deeper during that race and that’s going to create, I think, a much better stimulus train and your training response is going to be better as opposed to doing a race fatigued. You’re not going to be able to dig as deep and that’s going to result in maybe a decreased response. So your hard riding and your easy riding all turns into a moderate pace riding. So you’re losing that polarized training approach which has proven to be pretty successful for most people.

Shayne: The less trained you are, the less important it is to do really structured training because you can get a return on fitness just by riding your bike more. So once you get to a point where you’re becoming fitter and you’re getting not to your biological potential but once you’re maximizing whatever time you have available to train, that’s when it’s important to become more structured because that’s when you actually can change what you’re doing. But if you’re out of shape or you haven’t been training for years and years and years, the structure I don’t think is crucial unless you feel like you’re already at that plateau point.

Chris: So less is more, so that more is more.

Shayne: Kind of and it’s also important in the beginning to have fun because if you start off and just drill yourself with structure, because structure is very mentally demanding, especially if you’re time crunched and you have other life stress going on. You have to enter a really stressful structure workout pretty fresh mentally and also physically to get the most out of it. So if you had a busy day at work or you have a sick kid at home or whatever, then you’re not going to be able to dig as deep in that workout and if anything, you’re going to feel the workout which is going to demotivate you for the next time you do it.

Chris: So tell me this Ken, because you race way more right? What’s your best and worst race experience?

Ken: So obviously the best race experience is winning is a lot of fun and I have won a handful of races. So well I started as a-

Chris: Clean though right? Did you do an appropriate drug test before this race?

Ken: Yep, I did. Racing clean. Got a clean tattoo on my arm. But what I did is I started as a Cat C and you touched briefly on the gamification and I had a really, really hard time at first staying in the pack. I was shooting forward through the pack and then falling behind. Then shooting forward to fall. Basically a yo-yo through the pack. It was really exhausting. You just can’t do that so many times before I just popped. Even as a C racer, I never had a very strong sprint. So I could find ways to win by packing at strategic points and dabbing the whole group. But I was never really able to win very many sprints.

Ken: Then in Category B, it’s so competitive and I’ve only won a handful of really small races. For me the reward comes in being able to be helpful to my teammates because it’s such a fun field and it’s very rewarding where we’re on a discord chat channel and we can come up with strategies. My role has been a long range climber. The climbs that are over five minutes long, that’s where I really have … that’s my biggest strength and being able to make the race hard for other GC contenders I can do that in those areas.

Ken: But, one thing that I see a lot of is whether it’s comments on whip gliders or even Reddit you see people comment on the platform and they’re like, “I’m way out of shape I haven’t exercised in a long time, I’m just getting into this. What training program should I do?” I think Shayne touched on this a minute ago, basically it seems to me and I’ve had experience training athletes before as well, is you can almost do anything when you’re really out of shape, you can get in better shape. It doesn’t really matter. You can be very non-specific in what you’re trying to do.

Ken: So I think a lot of people that are new to Zwift are putting pressure on themselves to do certain events and training programs. But it’s like just ride, go have fun. Hit the like button on some people. Give people some ride-ons and make some friends and the friends will keep you coming back.

Chris: Ken you and I met on Zwift.

Shayne: We’re basically best friends now.

Chris: Everyone should know Ken we did have a miscommunication and he sent me a used kit to try on and I thought he was sending me a new kit to try on and so I started wearing it without washing it, not knowing the amount of sweat that I was just absorbing through my skin of just Ken’s funk. So I now know we wear the same size kit and I’m closer to you.

Ken: Shayne what advice do you have for somebody who maybe isn’t very fit, doesn’t ride very much and is just getting into Zwift for the first time?

Chris: That’s a good question.

Shayne: Sure. So I think my favorite national board is the Canadian High Performance Sports Institute right now. They have a really good long term athlete development framework that they use that I like to implement with my athletes too. A few different stages, but the first really four are an active start, the fundamentals and then learn how to train and then train to train. So active start and fundamentals are really when you’re just having fun, getting some interest in the sport. Maybe competing in local organizations or local sports. Once you do that for a few years, get some experience under your belt, enjoy the sport, then you want to get more serious about it then it’s actually learning how to train which is where a coach may come in at the very ground level and teach you about progressive overload, recovery weeks, how to judge your training stress, how to involve nutrition and hydration. Just the real basic, basic stuff. Then once you feel you have a good grasp on that, then it’s time to train to actually train for a specific event.

Shayne: So I feel like people that are coming in new to Zwift they jump right to level four which is train to train or even train to compete and they miss the fundamentals. They miss learn how to train and they miss just an active start, just having fun. So I think the first thing is give yourself a little bit of a break and go in, enjoy the training, enjoy Zwift for what it is. Make some friends, maybe join a team. Get some community and then once you figure out how to use Zwift if you enjoy it, then you get more serious about the fundamentals and maybe learn how to train first.

Chris: What would you say if I got onto Zwift and I’m just going in too hard. What are some warning signs if you’re saying, “hey, I’m listening to this podcast because I saw the name on Zwift, this is my third time riding ever.” People are riding right now are probably listening to this podcast. But they’re not sure they’re into it. What are some signs that maybe you need to chill out, take your time and not just dive in all the way to racing immediately?

Shayne: Well I think the biggest thing is are you actually enjoying what you’re doing right now? If you’re just going in and burying yourself from the get-go that’s really not good for longevity in this sport I don’t think. That’s number one. Then number two is if you are enjoying it, are you giving yourself time to absorb the training stress, time to relax or are you just going in day in and day out just beating yourself up every single day? One thing I’ve noticed people do is they get really motivated but they get almost too motivated and they ride their bikes for three weeks straight and then they burn themselves out in just a month.

Ken: Yeah.

Shayne: That’s true with everybody, especially January, February. New Year’s resolution this is going to be my year. I’m going to go to the gym every single day of this week. I’m going to get up at five in the morning and that’s awesome, but it also has to be sustainable, so. If you’re making changes to your life, they have to ideally be semi-flexible. They can’t be so rigid, but they also have to be sustainable too.

Ken: Shayne one thing that I’ve noticed is that when I’ve gone too deep and I’ve just had a run that seems like when you’re on top and everything is clicking, it seems like it’s never ever going to end. It’s like I’m going to be able to maintain this build up of fitness forever and smash all the segments in my local tracks and then all of a sudden I get to a point where I don’t even want to look at the bike and I feel depression. I feel, yeah. It’s not a favorable feeling. So that’s something I think this leads to a question too, which is how do you deal with the mental fatigue when the body is still strong? That’s one of the questions that was crowdsourced in our poll. So how do you get somebody to reset after hitting that? I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Guys are on cloud nine, they’re so excited maybe they’re screaming and making videos and they’re all in with Zwift and then all of a sudden they’re just gone.

Shayne: So I think in that case having some variety to the training I think is important. Then even riding your bike outside, that’s important too. But if you can do Concept2 row machine or an elliptical or go for a run or just do something that’s not riding your bike that is still active, I think that’s crucial. Then getting outside, I think that’s a big one too because Zwift is so good and they made it so well that it’s very addictive. But sometimes your body just needs to be and your brain just needs to be outdoors, just enjoying the sunlight and it doesn’t have to be riding your bike. It can be just going for a walk or going for a hike. So I think variety and then getting outdoors, I think that’s the two biggest things that seems to work.

Ken: Do you have times of the year with your athletes where you just them off the program altogether?

Shayne: I do, yeah. So we do at least a two week transition period after their last day race of the season. Then we’ll do at least a one week transition period after they have two races in the season. Then some of my athletes will need around this time of year when you’ve already been racing for a couple months and you’ve had a pretty long build up from February to March and April, they may need a week just for doing some kind of athlete choice rises is what I call them. So I’ll basically say go out, ride your bike but don’t worry about cadence, speed, heart rate, just literally put your computer in your cycling pocket and just go ride your bike because they need that down time and they need just to feel the wind in their hair and the sun in their face.

Chris: Wait, so hold on you’re saying that it’s supposed to be fun?

Shayne: Yeah. If I can get one thing across this podcast, cycling should be fun, first and foremost. The title is very tongue and cheek, but it’s also never going pro and it’s true. Very few people go pro at this sport. So having fun is very, very important. Granted, I’m not saying don’t take it seriously, but don’t take it too seriously either which is a hard balance to have.

Ken: Right.

Chris: Yeah. I feel you. I personally like the mental fatigue thing you talked about Ken, I mean that’s huge for me. I would get into these training plans and I used to compete in triathlons and I got up into some of the longer iron man distances and I just got into these rhythms and it was focus, focus, focus. I was the buzzkill who Friday night it was sorry guys got to go to bed at nine o’clock because I got to be in the pool at five and it seems like even just naturally like I only had that level of dedication in me for so long. Then I got to the race and I just didn’t want to do anything anymore. Even that with Zwift I’ll find that I’ll go through seasons and it’s hot or cold. So really trying to find that balance of motivation with training with trying to be productive with still racing. It’s a really hard balance. Then you throw in kids and my daughter is going from two naps to one nap and it’s like just when I get in a rhythm everything changes. It’s like a bowl full of chaos and if somebody can discover a way to continually get stronger on a bike while being a good parent and not lose your job I’d pay those people a million dollars to share their wisdom with. Maybe that’s you Shayne, maybe you’re the dude.

Shayne: Well I know a little bit, but unfortunately there’s no way to make a linear increase in your fitness month over month. There’s always going to be ups and downs to everybody and like I said in the very beginning, most athletes have five to seven hours a week to train. So, once you really get to that seven hours a week training and you’re having quality training every single hour of that week, then you have to either increase the volume and just make more time to train or increase the intensity further and a lot of times the intensity is already pretty high on the seven hour a week training plan or the seven hour a week athletes. So really they have to increase their volume and that’s really hard to do. That’s why pros don’t train seven hours a week, they train 30 hours a week, 20 hours a week whatever it may be.

Chris: Sure.

Shayne: But that’s actually a good segue to go back. Sorry we kept going back and forth. But the first question, the main question was what’s the advantages of planning a yearly training plan versus going week to week? I think you just hit it on the head where if you can plan out your training on a yearly basis you’ll know when the recovery periods are coming. You’ll know when the transitions are going to be. You’ll know when the hard weeks are going to be, when the easy weeks are going to be. I think that’s a great way to keep yourself motivated through the hard times because you know there is a vacation coming or you know there’s an easy week coming. So instead of going week to week which is a little bit helter skelter where some weeks may be hard, some weeks may be easy and you might have a month of hard workouts which can lead to burnout on the fifth week.

Chris: Sure.

Shayne: So that’s why I like training on a yearly basis. Not just yearly basis, but at least having some prioritized approach to your training and I think that’s important for a lot of reasons and I think the motivation and not having to deal with the mental fatigue is one of those big things.

Ken: So where do you get an athlete started with an annual training program. What’s square one?

Shayne: Well square one is counting backwards. So ideally they’ll have a goal then that they want to do well in and then I’ll count backwards from there to whatever day that we start with working together. So some athletes they wait until the last minute. They say hey, I have six weeks before I’m competing in X race. I say well, I hope you did your training because I’m not going to help you much in six weeks.

Chris: Unless they’re willing to write you a really big check.

Shayne: Boy, even then I don’t know. By six weeks the hay is in the barn. But it’s pretty much there. You really can’t cram too much more for that test. So ideally it would be a four to six week build. So it would be the very traditional base builds peak transition, base build, peak transition approach where we’ll do progressively overloading the body during the base phase and then we may continue that progressive overload in the build phase. But usually we’ll do a block approach where we’ll hit X TSS three weeks in a row, have a fourth week of lower TSS and then do the same thing for build number two.

Chris: All right so define TSS. You just said lots of words that make sense to me but I’m also a super geeky bike guy. So explain TSS, talk about peak, talk about overload, even base phase. We’ve got a lot of guys and I ride with some of them who are just brand new to all of this. They bought a bike two months ago.

Shayne: Sure. So base phase I like to define as the period where you increase your aerobic capacity. So basically improving your aerobic ability to generate energy and power the bike. TSS is training stress score. So that’s a way to objectify the training load on your body and it’s also a great way to plot it out on a chart over the course of a week, over the course of a month to see where your trends are and how to keep everything balanced.

Ken: Really quickly just about the training stress score. How is that calculated? Do you use … and again I know some of these things but what software do you use and what metric are you looking at to calculate the TSS?

Shayne: I use training peaks when I plan all my athletes training out. But TSS can be found in a lot of different things and if it’s not called TSS it might be called something else on Strava. I think Strava calls it training load. Then today’s plan may call it something else. But everybody has a way to measure the load on your body.

Chris: See, I’ve always had a bit of a problem with that. You get on, and I’m not saying the whole world needs to get on one boat. But, I think a lot of people out there are going to be on Zwift, they’re going to be on Strava, I also and I’m not trying to say a dirty word amongst Zwift people. But I also love trainer road and I know Mr. Frosty Badger likes trainer road as well. So each of those things has a different score and I know they’re each accurate to themselves, but I’ve always been trying to figure out. So do you have any super specific experience with some of those programs to help us navigate looking at across to translate the different language. I know for instance Strava and Zwift’s are super different. If you’ve got the Strava pro they show you your weekly progression and those scores are ludicrously different than Zwift.

Shayne: Right. So I would think the best way to do it would just be to see what your power is producing, where if you use two power meters you never know exactly how much power you’re producing because the two meters are always going to be different just like a man with two watches never knows what time it is. It’s kind of the same thing.

Chris: Hm, Proverbs.

Shayne: I would pick one program and use that program. You can use the ones like I use Strava for the social component for the pretty pictures things like that. But trainings peaks is what I use for the actual data, the actual analysis the communication things like that. Same thing Zwift is my training platform, but training peaks is my actual analysis platform. After the base phase is called the build phase and that’s where you start getting into more specific training and specific intervals for the goals and the demands of the event. So this is really where the training starts to become more individualized to the athlete where the base phase, it’s a little more general, a little bit more again just about improving aerobic capacity. The build phase is where you start to get into skills work and race specific skills or cross specific skills. Even Zwift specific skills if the athlete is doing a Zwift race.

Shayne: So after that you go into you call it your taper or your peak or whatever you want to call it. Usually it’s a week or two weeks, depending on how long the build up to it was where you decrease the volume, but maintain intensity that way you keep your legs feeling good, but you allow the fatigue to drop off which allows your form to rise up. You might have heard it on the Twitter France or whatever, he’s on good form this year or he has good form today or whatever. Form is essentially when you have high fitness and low fatigue which is what you want to have on race day.

Chris: That’s it. You just changed my life. Good form is high fitness and low fatigue.

Shayne: You got it. That’s what form is.

Chris: Man that’s it. That’s my new tattoo.

Shayne: Then after that most importantly you go into your transition phase which is when you have a one or two week athlete choice ride, whatever you want to call it where you don’t do any structure, you just go out and ride your bike or not. You can go and eat donuts and burritos all day long. Just decompress a little bit and enjoy life for awhile. Then you start back up again either with a build phase if your event is coming close, or if you go into the winter you can do your strength phase or power development phase or whatever it might be.

Chris: Ken I don’t know about you, but the more he talks the more I realize I know absolutely nothing about training that I’ve been doing my whole life.

Ken: Well one thing that I’ve decided to do is I was very confused about training and especially diet. It’s like I feel like I can get on my trainer and do this constructive stuff and follow a trainer load program or I can follow a Zwift training program and do the work. But those workouts usually stop at no more than two hours. It’s easy to eat a granola bar and a couple of Gatorades and I’m fine. But for doing a three a hour bike race in the middle of the summer heat, I was really struggling. I was falling apart. So I reached out to Shayne and he went over my diet, he went over my training. He gave me a little bit of direction that got me going in the right direction like we talked about proper fuel. There’s still a lot of room to grow there. But just having somebody who does this for a living give me some direction was really helpful, it’s worth the time.

Shayne: I appreciate that. Also let me put a giant asterisk right now where this is my opinion and what’s worked for me. It’s based on science as well, but this is my opinion so other coaches may have complete opposite opinions than I will. So take that with a grain of salt.

Chris: I actually think that’s like a huge point too. You know we’re talking about the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m surprised that when I talk to people how few people actually eat while they’re on Zwift. It’s like they’re not outside, they think I don’t need to eat. But if you’re on a trainer doing something for an hour and a half, there’s no way at least for me, there’s no way I can do that with any quality if I’m not eating something halfway through.

Shayne: Sure and it really depends on how long the ride is and how intense the ride is going to be. So as long as you have enough glycogen in storage in your liver and your muscles, you can get through a pretty strenuous 90 minute workout without too much need for extra calories or food. Once you get over that 90 minute mark or if you enter the ride in a nutrition deficit that’s when you have to start to supplement earlier. So that’s where nutrition isn’t a breakfast, lunch, dinner kind of thing. Nutrition is like a 24/7 kind of thing.

Chris: Okay. So let’s get specific. So we were talking about doing stories. Ken I asked you earlier about your funny race stories or your biggest race stories. My worst one was I had a friend from a city, I won’t name, and another guy who they became archrivals on Zwift and they became just to beat the other guy. They never even met. But I guess everybody needs a dragon to slay. This guy was like, I guess it would be funnier if I just named names. So we won’t do that. So he for the very last race for their series on Zwift was like, “hey man, you’ve got to get up. You’ve got to help pull me up this mountain et cetera, et cetera.” He’d asked me for weeks and finally I relented and it ended up with me getting up at 3:45 in the morning central time to be warmed up and ready to do a 5:30 race for eastern time. So I was on my bike at 4:30. I understand I hear the laughter. But I was dead man. I got up to try to eat and it didn’t matter. We started the climb and I was just done. I might as well have logged onto Zwift and then laid back down in my bed.

Ken: Yeah I think I was in that race and I think I know the guys that you’re talking about.

Chris: You know who I’m talking about. So you know.

Ken: Without us getting into too many inside jokes. So we had a 12 week long series and it was the closest battel between the two B guys I had ever seen. The way it played out was beautiful and yeah.

Chris: Let’s call the first guy just Dustin. Let’s just call him Dustin. Might not be his name.

Ken: Yeah. I don’t remember the other guy’s name but it was a really close race. But yeah, I have definitely seen people take Zwift too seriously, to the point their rage is like angry teenagers. Throwing the mic down, throwing the controller down and walking out the room and I’m just like guys if you ever get there it might be time to unplug for a little while.

Chris: So Shayne tell me, okay let’s say I’m going to race like an idiot at five in the morning which I’m never doing again by the way. That was my first and last ever again. I want to race at like 2pm with only retired people. They still beat me, but at least I’ve got lunch in me. So is there ever nutritionally is there even a way to get your body primed and prepped to do something that early that doesn’t require getting up at two in the morning or something? How does that work?

Shayne: Yeah you have to kind of fold your clothes the night before where you want to have a really carbohydrated dense dinner that way your body will replenish the glycogen storage in your muscles because you may wake up in a fasted state which means your glycogen in your liver, but your liver is low on glycogen but your muscles should still have glycogen in them. The fuel, like I said a 60 to 90 minute workout depending on nutrition status entering the ride. Then you can easily top off the blood sugar just by drinking some orange juice or eating a quick bagel or something like that. Typically the earlier or the sooner you have to race the less you want to eat and the more simple the sugar should be and then vice versa. The more time you have you can eat more actual food where you have two or three hours before an event.

Chris: So if I’m going to get up at five and race at 5:30 I should just eat six spoonfuls of sugar.

Shayne: Or honey on a English muffin, that’s a really good one.

Chris: Yeah that’s probably better.

Shayne: A glass of orange juice, things like that. Something that’s really, really simple to digest and something that you would ideally practice before. So the old saying, “nothing new on race day.” Even though it’s a virtual race, it is still a race. So you want to have practiced what your body can tolerate and what you can stomach before. But it’s really important to enter it recovered. So what you eat for dinner or for dessert or whatever is more important than before, because that’s when you have the time to actually make an impact in how you enter the race.

Chris: You guys did not think my spoonfuls of sugar joke was very funny.

Shayne: Sorry.

Ken: We’ll edit in some laughter after. But yeah-

Shayne: Your mic is so loud over there. Yeah I’m going to have to mute your mic. I keep hearing the gate opening.

Ken: Sounds like you’re sucking out of the top of a Redi-Whip can.

Shayne: What are you doing over there?

Chris: I’m sitting down. I’m literally doing nothing.

Shayne: Maybe it’s Ken.

Chris: Maybe I’m a mouth breather.

Ken: All right so Shayne I guess one question that I do have, if you are one of these people you are waking up and you’re on the bike within 30 minutes of your feet hitting the ground, are you just going to have to accept that you’re making some performance sacrifices that you’re never going to be 100% at that time or is possible that obviously you find that some of your athletes do perform best first thing in the morning?

Shayne: I think athletes tend to perform better in the morning, but not first thing in the morning. So they tend to perform better after they’ve had 90 minutes to drink a cup of coffee, have an actual breakfast, kind of wake up a little bit, then ride. I don’t think anybody feels great after waking up and then getting on the bike and then hammering 30 minutes after they wake up. Then the other issue too is we’re not going to bed, well typically I can’t speak for everybody, but we’re not going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 5am. We might be going to bed at 11, 11:30 waking up at 4:30, 5 o’clock. So you’re not getting 10 hours of sleep, you might only be getting six or seven hours of sleep. Also the sleep we’re getting isn’t usually, it maybe quality, but there’s always one eye open or one ear open listening for the baby monitor making sure that there’s no coughing and they’re both still breathing and all those things that go through a parent’s mind the whole time.

Chris: Breathing children are crucial to a strong Zwift race.

Shayne: Absolutely.

Ken: Yeah and I will say this looking back when I first started, when I first had our daughter and I didn’t have a shed yet it was still too cold and dark and my wife she’s a personal trainer so she leaves really early. I would have the baby monitor and watching DCN videos on my iPad and I would set my trainer up in the carport in the freezing cold. So she would wake up and I would hear her on the baby monitor. She was like one years old, two years old. It was miserable and I could maybe do that two days a week just to keep my fitness in the winter time to keep me from going to zero.

Shayne: Sure.

Ken: Is the best I could do. Then I got my shed and got Zwift and even with the most basic laptop setup and space heater next to me, it was a world better than I had ever experienced before. So one thing I think that’s important to keep the knowledge in this podcast is that we’re really in the golden age of indoor training. I mean there’s options and trying to get this across to my cycling buddies, been at it for decades. When I try to speak to them about, “hey man, try Zwift it’s fun.” They just cannot conceive of it because they’ve always done traditional rides on their training and heart rate monitor and they just don’t know better. But that start up investment of spending a $1,000 on a trainer or a power meter and downloading the software and making sure you have the equipment to run it, it’s daunting and it’s hard to see.

Chris: Yeah and it’s a hurdle.

Ken: Yeah it’s a hurdle. It’s hard to say like, “hey listen training on an indoor trainer just always sucks. You’re not going to get me to pay $1,000 to start doing it more.”

Shayne: Right and I can also say that same thing for cycling coaches and triathlon coaches that thought this was just going to be a fad and it was never going to last and why a I involved in Zwift so heavily and why am I involved? It’s the day to days well look at it now. What other cycling team or what other cycling program got 120 million dollar round B evaluation or investment?

Ken: Right.

Chris: Well from my perspective I mean I used to just watch Netflix and be on a stupid fluid trainer and I hated life. But I really felt like I was just trying to hang onto fitness.

Ken: Sure.

Chris: I wasn’t growing at all. But then I started using Zwift through this last winter and I came out of the winter strong and I’m out riding with my buddies and it was let’s be real, it’s more fun when you’re the guy causing people to suffer versus the one who’s at the back of the train suffering. That was just Zwift doing races and doing some soft training plans. I came out of the winter not tired, but I felt strong. So it’s worth it. I think it’s worth the investment.

Shayne: 100%. 100%.

Chris: Free infomercial.

Ken: Yeah hopefully my friends will listen to this podcast and get with the times. Oh, yeah absolutely. Thank you everybody for taking the time to join the never going pro podcast about riding bikes, being parents and trying super hard at both. Thank you both Chris and Shayne for going today and for all of the folks that put forth questions. We really do appreciate it and we hope that you’ll come back and listen to more. So that’s it for tonight and thank you for joining and we will see you next time.

Keto (fat) vs. Carb Loading

Carb-loading before events such as marathons and triathlons have been a popularized and heavily utilized strategy for probably as long as these events have existed. And this is for good reason too. Many studies, beginning as early as the late ‘30s, were examining the phenomenon of how higher glycogen (usable form of glucose) stores in the muscle played a key component in exercise bouts lasting longer than 90 minutes [1]. Researchers then began to discover that higher carbohydrate intake, specifically timed around endurance competitions, improved common endurance parameters such as time to exhaustion (TTE) and VO2 max in cyclists [2]. It’s a tried-and-true method to improving your performance in these long-distance, long-duration endeavors.

Or is it?

As time has gone on and our understanding of sports performance has improved, has a more superior method of fueling before competition emerged?

Well, with the ongoing trend of the ketogenic (keto) diet over the past few years, it looks like carb-loading may have met its match. Let’s dive into both carbohydrate and fat fueling before endurance competitions and see which one reigns supreme.

Holding On To Our Commonly-Held Beliefs

Sports nutritionists have advocated high-carbohydrate diets for endurance athletes for quite some time now. These recommendations are made mostly because of studies that were released between the ‘70s and the early 2000s, indicating that low-carbohydrate diets impair endurance performance by increasing perceptions of fatigue in the athlete [3,4,5].

However, just like anything in science, there are very few things that have such black-and-white answers to them. One study measured the level of intensity of elite cyclists after following 6 days of a low-carbohydrate diet [6]. They found that levels of fat oxidation (the utilization of fat for energy) were increased significantly in the cyclists even after this short-term, low-carbohydrate diet. What this entails is that the athletes were able to more efficiently utilize fat for energy production, even in the absence of carbohydrates.

Another interesting finding by researchers is that long-term adherence to a low-carbohydrate diet (9-36 months) may be just as effective as a high-carbohydrate diet, while also providing various metabolic advantages to the athlete, such as reduced appetite, and a decrease of blood sugar [7]. It was found that when elite cyclists followed a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (keto), time to exhaustion was not affected as compared to a standard high-carb diet [8]. Surprisingly, even though the cyclists had lower levels of muscle glycogen after following the low-carb diet, their levels of muscle glycogen were similar to the high-carbohydrate group post-exercise. This indicates that a high-fat diet may be just as effective in providing fuel for the body during endurance activities are carbohydrates are.

Could Keto Possibly Be Even Better Than High-Carbs?

It turns out that those who are “fat-adapted” (those who have been following the keto diet for at least 6 months) may perform better than those on a standard high-carb diet. Because those who follow the keto diet have a higher fat oxidation rate, this causes something called a glycogen sparing effect [9]. What this basically means is that the keto-adapted athlete would be able to maintain a high standard of intensity, while having the ability to preserve their muscle glycogen for when they really need it, such as when they need to sprint to the finish line at the end of a race. However, this is only speculation, as the research on keto and athletes in general is quite limited.

The Problem With a High-Fat Diet

The keto diet has been around for decades, being utilized for primarily for children who suffer from seizures, caused by something called GLUT1 deficiency, which is when the body lacks the ability to metabolize glucose as it crosses the blood-brain-barrier.

However, the keto diet is still in its infancy in the athletic world. Most of the studies have not started to develop until the 90s and 2000s. While on the other hand, the traditional high-carbohydrate model has been studied ever since the ‘30s.

Because of this, there are still many aspects of the keto diet in conjunction with endurance performance that remain unexplored. This includes how being “fat-adapted” affects one’s central fatigue and their perception of fatigue during exercise, the optimal composition of the types of fatty acids to eat on the diet, such as saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats, among many other variables.

Lastly, most of the studies that actually are out there are focused on utilizing the diet as a means to control body composition over the long term. There aren’t many out there that utilize it in a shorter time frame, such as replacing carbs with fats in order to see how “fat-loading” would differ from a traditional “carb-load” before an endurance competition.

The Bottom Line

Fortunately, with keto being a popular trend for quite some time now, this creates a higher demand for research regarding its application in endurance activities.

But for now, you have to do what all true scientists do, and that is to use yourself as your own guinea pig and test it out on yourself. Before one event, use a carb-load, and before the next event, use a fat-load, and see how each one affects you.

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  1. Christensen EH, Hansen O. Arbeitsfahigkeit und Errichtung. Skandinavische Archlv fUr Physiologie 1939; 8: 160-71
  2. Bergstrom J, Hermansen L, Hultman E, et al. Diet, muscle glycogen and physical performance. Acta Physiol Scand 1967; 71: 140-50
  3. Karlsson J, Saltin B.. Diet, muscle glycogen, and endurance performance. J Appl Physiol. 1971;31:203–206.
  4. Walker JL, Heigenhauser GJ, Hultman E, Spriet LL.. Dietary carbohydrate, muscle glycogen content, and endurance performance in well-trained women. J Appl Physiol. 2000;88:2151–2158.
  5. White AM, Johnston CS, Swan PD, Tjonn SL, Sears B.. Blood ketones are directly related to fatigue and perceived effort during exercise in overweight adults adhering to low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss: a pilot study. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:1792–1796.
  6. Burke LM, Hawley JA.. Effects of short-term fat adaptation on metabolism and performance of prolonged exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;34:1492–1498
  7. Volek JS, Noakes T, Phinney SD.. Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci. 2015;15:13–20.
  8. Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Evans WJ, Gervino E, Blackburn GL Metabolism. 1983 Aug; 32(8):769-76.
  9. Langfort J, Pilis W, Zarzeczny R, Nazar K, Kaciuba-Uscilko H.. Effect of low-carbohydrate-ketogenic diet on metabolic and hormonal responses to graded exercise in men. J Physiol Pharmacol. 1996;47:361–371.

Supplementation for Endurance Athletes

When we’re training, we want to bring our best. We want to make sure we’re giving it our 110% each and every time we’re going into our training sessions. You make sure that your diet is on point as well, always hitting your calorie and macronutrient targets for the day. With all those set in proper working order, is there anyway else that we can increase our endurance and power during our training sessions? The answer to that is yes. 

Enter supplementation… And no, I’m not going to try to sell you on some magical formula that has even been shown to give the slightest benefits in the scientific literature. I’m going to present you with only what’s worth your investment. These supplements that I’m about to present to you have actually demonstrated their worth in the literature. And to top it off, they’re quite affordable as well. Let’s get right into it. 


An amino acid that is the building block of another amino acid called carnosine, this supplement has proven its merit time and time again for being a fantastic endurance builder. 

A meta-analysis on beta-alanine showed a median increase of 2.85% in exercise bouts that lasted between 60-240 seconds [1]. This was primarily measured by a variable called “time to exhaustion.” The subjects who took beta-alanine were able to last 2.85% longer than those who didn’t during exercise bouts that lasted 60-240 seconds. Although it may not sound like much, this figure is quite impressive for a supplement working on its own accord. 

An important thing to note here is that the benefits of beta-alanine greatly diminish when utilized either below or above the preceding time frame. So bouts under 1 minute or over 4 minutes won’t see too much of an improvement. 

Dose: 5 grams pre-workout


Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support that creatine is all that effective for muscular endurance performance. But, what we definitely do see is a dramatic increase in anaerobic power.

One study took recreationally active men and took them through 5 sets of 2-minute bouts with 1-minute rest in between on a cycle ergometer. After multiple testing sessions, it was shown that the creatine group increased by 6.72% compared to the placebo and control groups, which, again, is quite dramatic for a supplement protocol [2]. 

This next study fits in perfectly with our previously discussed supplement beta-alanine. They tested for strength via bench press and squat, power output via Wingate anaerobic test and 20-minute jump test, as well as body composition measures [3]. They observed a mild but significant increase in testosterone, which was attributed solely by creatine. The researchers also saw positive adaptations in fat mass and lean body mass as a result of the synergism between the two supplements. And as for the power testing, the increase was mostly attributed to the effects of creatine. Remember, beta-alanine is only effective for bouts in the 60-240 second range, so that can be hypothesized as the reason why we didn’t see a contribution from it here. However, as future research is released, we will most likely see the benefits of supplementing with both of these ingredients together. 

Dose: 5 grams pre-workout


A staple in many people’s lives already, whether it be through diet such as coffee or supplementally through pre-workout products. This timeless stimulant has proven time and time again that it is a major player in increasing both endurance and power.

As it pertains to power, subjects witnessed increases in their power output on the squat and bench press when given a dose of 3mg/kg of body weight [4]. However, improvement was not seen when subjects only consumed 1mg/kg of body weight. So it’s important to experiment with the dosage, as tolerance to this stimulant is widely variable among individuals. 

As far as endurance performance goes, it shows us its magic as well. This is illustrated in a study with 16 elite cyclists; where both 3mg/kg and 6mg/kg doses were given. Both doses showed improvements over the placebo group [5]. What’s interesting about these dosages are that the higher dose didn’t create any greater of an increase in performance than the 3mg/kg dose did. In fact, the 3 mg/kg dose showed a 4.2% improvement while the 6mg/kg dose showed only a 2.9% improvement. Again, as mentioned earlier, this is most likely due to differences in tolerances between individuals. Plus, this proves to us that more is not always better. 

Dose: Experiment with what works best for your body, but 3mg/kg seems to be the sweet spot for most athletes.

Sodium Phosphate

You don’t really hear much about this one, at least in the sports supplement world anyway. But it works quite well for increasing endurance performance, so take notes.

Talking about elite cyclists once again, one particular study used this supplement to test their performance on a 16.1 km cycling time-trial performance [6]. They took 1 gram 4 times a day before the time-trial. What they saw was a slight elevation of VO2 max and mean power output. The researchers believe this supplement works by enhancing the red blood cell’s ability to get oxygen to the working muscles, in this case, primarily the quadriceps. 

Other studies have noted in maximal oxygen uptake; between 6-12%! [7]. Again, what we must remember here is that although these figures may appear small, these are not drugs! Supplements on their own that show improvements even above 1% above normal are something I’d keep in my arsenal for sure! 

Dose: 4 grams per day split into separate doses throughout the day about 1 week before your endurance event.


There you have it. Four supplements that are definitely worth a try if you haven’t given them a shot already. Remember, proper training and diet comes first! Then, and only then, you should add in these supplements. When all that is in order, then you’ll see that these supplements will give you that marginal gain you need over your competition.

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  1. Hobson, R. M., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R. C., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: A meta-analysis. Amino Acids, 43(1), 25-37. doi:10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z
  2. Kendall, K. L., Graef, J. L., Fukuda, D. H., Smith, A. E., Moon, J. R., Beck, T. W., . . . Stout, J. R. (2010). The Effects Of Four Weeks Of High-Intensity Interval Training And Creatine Supplementation On Critical Power And Anaerobic Working Capacity In College-Aged Men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24, 1. doi:10.1097/01.jsc.0000367145.78325.43
  3. Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Kang, J., Mangine, G., Faigenbaum, A. D., & Stout, J. R. (2006). Effect of Creatine and β-Alanine Supplementation on Performance and Endocrine Responses in Strength/Power Athletes. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 38(Supplement). doi:10.1249/00005768-200605001-01454
  4. Coso, J. D., Salinero, J. J., González-Millán, C., Abián-Vicén, J., & Pérez-González, B. (2012). Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: A repeated measures design. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1). doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-21
  5. Desbrow, B., Biddulph, C., Devlin, B., Grant, G. D., Anoopkumar-Dukie, S., & Leveritt, M. D. (2012). The effects of different doses of caffeine on endurance cycling time trial performance. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30(2), 115-120. doi:10.1080/02640414.2011.632431
  6. Folland, J. P., Stern, R., & Brickley, G. (2008). Sodium phosphate loading improves laboratory cycling time-trial performance in trained cyclists. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 11(5), 464-468. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2007.04.004
  7. Czuba, M., Zając, A., Poprzecki, S., & Cholewa, J. (2008). The Influence of Sodium Phosphate Supplementation on VO2max, Serum 2,3-diphosphoglycerate Level and Heart Rate in Off-road Cyclists. Journal of Human Kinetics, 19(1), 149-164. doi:10.2478/v10078-008-0012-z

CoachCast: Time-Crunched Athletes with Shayne Gaffney

Thank you to TrainingPeaks for giving me the opportunity to speak about working with time-crunched athletes on their CoachCast podcast! I think things went pretty well considering I have been sleep deprived with a 2 month old – did someone mention being time-crunched!?

The episode is available on the web, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, and Apple Podcasts. If you would like to give it a listen, please click the picture below and let me know what you think!


Pocket-Sized Cycling Snacks

As a cyclist, or endurance athlete, you are probably already snacking mid training in addition to fueling up both before and after your training session. But, what are you fueling your body with? If you find it difficult to find healthy food options that also fit into your cycling jersey pocket, then it may be time to make some recipes yourself.

I am often asked how much and what to eat both before during and after exercise, but there is also a lot of confusion surrounding store-bought “healthy” sports training snacks. Things like carb-rich gel packs, jerky, or sports bars may be packing in more added sugar and artificial ingredients than you would actually want in your diet.

I have come up with a list of five homemade foods that you can make with minimal effort, and with just a handful of ingredients, that will fit right into your cycling jersey pocket. You can ditch the store-bought sports snacks, and refuel with these options instead.

Five Homemade Foods to Refuel During Training That Fit Into a Cycling Jersey Pocket

#1 Homemade Exercise Bar: Sports or other granola bars are notoriously known for having tons of added sugar not to mention artificial ingredients. Some may even contain gluten, dairy, and soy which are three of the most common food allergens. So, if you are on the lookout for a dairy, soy, gluten, and refined-sugar free sports bar, try making this recipe yourself.

Makes: 8 bars


  • 1 cup of raw cashews (you can swap these out for almonds as well)
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond butter (use Sunbutter for a nut-free version)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Add the raw cashews, rolled oats, and almond butter to a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until combined.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture comes together.
  3. Scoop into an 8X8 baking pan (greased with coconut oil) and refrigerate for about an hour or until hard.
  4. Cut into small bars that will fit into your cycling jersey pocket.
  5. Wrap in unbleached parchment paper and store in the fridge until you are ready to head out for your ride.

Nutritional Breakdown (Nutritional information is for 1 energy bar and this recipe makes a total of 8)

Calories: 237

Fiber: 4g

Carbs: 26g

Net Carbs: 22g

Protein: 8g


#2 Bite-Sized Energy Bites: Energy bites are a super popular way to refuel the body after an intense workout or just to enjoy as a filling snack. You can make smaller energy bites than what you would typically make in order to fit a handful into your cycling jersey pocket. Here’s an easy recipe to help you get started.

Makes: 10


  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 20 pitted Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Add the cashews, dates, and pure maple syrup to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until the mixture comes together.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients blending until combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large glass mixing bowl and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until the dough is easier to work with.
  4. Form into small bite-sized bites that you can wrap in unbleached parchment paper and toss into your cycling jersey pocket when you head out the door for a ride.

Nutritional Breakdown (Nutritional information is for 1 energy bite and this recipe makes a total of 10)

Calories: 166

Fiber: 4g

Carbs: 25g

Net Carbs: 21g

Protein: 4g


#3 On-the-go Trail Mix: Trail mix makes for a great fuel source during training as you can pack in a healthy dose of carbs, protein, and fat. Trail mix can also easily be packed in a resealable bag and stored in your cycling jersey pocket when it’s time to refuel. Here’s a healthy trail mix recipe you can mix up before your next ride.

Makes: Approximately 3 ¾ cups one serving is ¼ cup


  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup of dried unsweetened cranberries
  • ¼ cup raw cocoa nibs


  1. Add everything to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Store in a glass jar, and pack a handful in a resealable bag to bring on your ride for a healthy and energizing mid-ride snack.

Nutritional Breakdown (Nutritional information is for ¼ cup serving, and this recipe makes a total of 15 servings)

Calories: 143

Fiber: 2g

Carbs: 6g

Net Carbs: 4g

Protein: 5g


#4 Mini Raw Pecan Cookies: You can make these delicious raw pecan cookies without the use of refined sugar, gluten, or dairy making them a guilt-free, and healthy way to fuel the body during an intense ride.

Makes: 12 mini cookies


  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 20 pitted Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut butter
  • 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Add the pecans, pitted Medjool dates, and pure maple syrup to a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until the mixture comes together.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
  3. Place in a glass jar in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  4. Roll into mini bite-sized rounds and then flatten to shape like a cookie.
  5. Store in the fridge until ready to head out on your ride. Wrap in unbleached parchment paper and place in your cycling jersey pocket for a quick nutritious and energy replenishing snack.

Nutritional Breakdown (Nutritional information is for 1 mini cookie and this recipe makes a total of 12)

Calories: 228

Fiber: 4g

Carbs: 19g

Net Carbs: 15g

Protein: 3g


#5 Roasted Chickpeas: Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and a great complex carbohydrate choice for endurance athletes. This crunchy snack will serve as a convenient option you can store right in your cycling jersey pocket to snack on mid-ride.

Serves: 3 (approximately ½ cup per serving)


  • 1 (12 ounce) can of chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Pour the chickpeas out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with the coconut oil and season with the salt.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, checking at the 20-minute mark to make sure that they don’t burn.
  5. Store in a glass jar until ready to pack in a resealable bag to take on your ride.

Nutritional Breakdown (Nutritional information is for a ½ cup serving)

Calories: 221

Fiber: 5g

Carbs: 27g

Net Carbs: 22g

Protein: 6g


The Takeaway

Snacking during a long training session or during a race is essential for keeping your energy levels up to fuel your workout. Try one, or all of these, homemade snack options instead of the processed and sugar-filled options you would find at the store. These snacks will conveniently fit into your cycling jersey pocket so you can easily prep these snacks, grab, and go and refuel as needed throughout your ride.

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Post-Workout Nutrition

One of the most frequently asked questions I get when it comes to nutrition and endurance training is what to eat after a training session. Between all the mixed information out there it can be confusing to figure out whether you should be eating a snack immediately after a workout, or if you should hold out until your next meal where you can fuel up on something a little more substantial.

Read on to learn about exactly how to nourish your body best after a training session as well as when exactly you should be eating to promote post-workout recovery.

What Should You Eat After a Workout?

This is the question that so many endurance athletes ask, and something I want to break down. What you eat after a workout matters, and it matters in a big way. What you eat after working out is going to play a role in your body’s ability to replenish glycogen stores as well as support energy levels and muscle recovery. For this reason, you are going to want to focus on getting enough complex carbohydrates, and protein in your post-workout meal. Adding some healthy fat into the mix is also helpful to support energy levels and boost the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Let’s take a look at each macronutrient and break down which foods are best post-training.

Carbs: Carbs are essential both pre and post training to help support energy levels. Carbs are going to be what fuels your body during training and what gives you that immediate source of energy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all carbs are created equal, so you don’t want to go fueling up on super sugary foods. Instead, you will want to refuel on complex carbs post-workout, read on for specific food recommendations.

Studies have found that combining carbohydrates with protein within 1-3 hours post-workout supports better muscle protein synthesis. So, it is best to pair a complex carb with a high-quality protein source after your training session for optimal recovery.

Protein: As we just talked about, pairing protein with complex carbs after training can improve muscle recovery, so you will definitely want to add some high-quality protein into your post-workout meal. Getting enough protein after a workout is also important to help with muscle growth. Studies have shown that getting just 20 grams of protein after training is enough to promote muscle protein synthesis. You can easily get this in a post-workout meal, or a protein shake made with a high-quality collagen or grass-fed whey protein powder.  

Fat: Last but not least is fat. Fat often receives a bad reputation for inhibiting the absorption of nutrients in your post-workout meal, but this really isn’t the case. Adding fat to your meal may slow down the absorption of the meal, but it will not take away from all of the benefits of those nutrient dense foods you are consuming. So, adding some healthy fat to your meal after your workout can be beneficial, and may help give you an energy boost while also helping the body absorb any fat-soluble vitamins present in your post-workout meal.

When Should You Eat After a Workout?

In addition to what you should be eating after working out, another big question is when. Should you eat immediately, or is it ok to wait a little bit?

Timing is important because you need to replenish those glycogen stores you burned through during training. These glycogen stores are often depleted pretty quickly with endurance training, so you will want to enjoy a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack within two hours of your workout. Eating within an appropriate amount of time plays a super important role in restoring those energy reserves as well as rebuilding muscle tissue.

A meal rich in carbohydrates that is easily absorbed and digested right after intense exercise can also help support what’s called glycogen resynthesis which involves glycogen replenishment post endurance training. Studies have found that endurance athletes can achieve total muscle glycogen resynthesis within 24 hours when consuming an average of 500-700 grams of carbohydrates over that time frame. 

Since glycogen resynthesis tends to be at its peak within the first two hours after training, you can boost glycogen resynthesis by consuming 0.70g glucose/kg body weight every two hours. 

However, chances are, you are going to be hungry and want to grab something to eat much sooner than that two-hour mark, so listen to your body.

Post-Workout Food Options

To help break this all down, here is a guide for some great post-workout recovery food options. You will notice there are options for a full post-workout meal, and some will serve best as an easy to prepare post-workout snack. If you only have time to make a shake, or enjoy a grab and go snack, that’s okay, just be sure to fuel up on a balanced meal within that two-hour time frame after training.

  • Post-Workout Shake: Make a post-workout shake with almond milk (or any other nut milk of choice), a frozen banana, one cup of frozen blueberries, one scoop of collagen protein, one cup of unsweetened full-fat Greek yogurt, two teaspoons of raw honey, one tablespoon of almond butter, and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.
  • Eggs & Fruit: Three hard-boiled eggs with a side of fresh fruit and a handful of almonds.
  • Oats & Berries: One cup of rolled oats, One Tbsp. almond butter, One cup of blueberries.
  • Avocado Toast: One slice of toast with ½ avocado, a sprinkle of hemp seeds, and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt.
  • Chicken Breast & Veggies: Grilled chicken breast with bell pepper and cubed sweet potato.
  • Hummus with Veggies & Pita Bread: ½ cup hummus with mixed veggies (bell pepper, cucumber, carrot sticks, celery stalks) and a gluten-free pita.
  • Quinoa Bowl: One cup of cooked quinoa with ½ sliced avocado, ½ tomato, and a drizzle of tahini with a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt.

The Bottom Line

Refueling your body with the right foods within the right time frame after training can make a huge difference in your body’s ability to recover. It can also significantly help with new muscle growth as it’s important to replenish the muscle tissues with enough protein to repair themselves. Nutrition after an intense training session can also be the key to support an increase in energy levels, so if you find yourself completely fatigued after a workout, you may need to amp up your post-workout meal with added carbs, protein, and healthy fat.

Try out a few or all of these post-workout food combos to see which ones work best for you, and which ones make your body feel the best. Once you find which ones work, alternate them to diversify your diet and provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal muscle and energy recovery after each training session.

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Ramp Testing: Yea or Nay?

The ramp test has been regaining popularity for the past couple of years, and for good reason: it takes less time, is slightly less painful, and yields similar results. However, is it a better way predict FTP compared to the 20 minute version? Why do some people have a drastically different ramp test results compared to their 20 minute results? Which one should you use? This blog post will attempt to answer all of those questions, and provide some of the science behind ‘why’ there is a difference.

What is a Ramp Test?

A ramp test is exactly what it sounds like – an athlete starts at a given wattage (typically 100w) and ‘ramps’ up their power every 1 to 3 minutes (typically in 20w increments) until failure is reached. Here is what I do with my athletes:

  • Warm up for 10-15 minutes.
  • Having a smart trainer makes life much easier here.
    • I start my athletes off at 60% of their FTP, and increase by 8% every minute or 2 (based on athlete fitness), until failure is reached.
    • Once you settle into a cadence of your choice you must maintain that cadence, or pedal faster, throughout the rest of the test. For instance, if you ride at 90 RPM for the test you can’t then have your cadence fall off to 85, 80 and eventually 75 RPM in the final stages. Once you can’t maintain your cadence the test is over, but you must push to the point of failure and not give up!

You are looking for a heart rate inflection point for this test.  The inflection point signals the anaerobic threshold (FTP) and can be very hard to see in my experience.  Another way is to take the last COMPLETED step of the test, and multiply this by .75.  This test is also called a Conconi Test.

This seems simple enough to get right, but the research around the ramp test is inconclusive. Furthermore, the majority of the “results” are inaccurate with Carey (2002) finding “a rather low correlation coefficient (r = 0.458), high standard error of estimate (SEE = 10.7 b·min-1), and high total error (TE = 16.7 b·min1)” compared to a computer-assessed decoupling point.

So, the ramp test has issues in terms of validation, and overall accuracy for some athletes, but why is that?

A Crash Course in Energy Systems

The 2 main energy systems at work during an FTP test are the aerobic and anaerobic – also called oxidative and glycolytic. Well-trained endurance athletes have a very high VO2 max (aerobic system), which enables them to ‘oxidize’ fat at a very high percentage of their FTP. There is always a flip side to the coin though – having a well developed aerobic system results in a down regulation of the anaerobic system. This anaerobic system, or the maximum rate of energy production by the ‘glycolytic’ system is sometimes designated by the term VLamax, or maximum production of lactate. In reality this is the maximum rate of production of pyruvate and lactate but since lactate is what is measured “La” has been used for this term. Clear as mud, right?

You’ll remember from a recent article about the Sweet Spot vs. Zone 2 debate in which I detail the change in lactate production from aerobic to anaerobic energy production:

This down-regulation of the anaerobic system means an aerobically dominant athlete will not be able to sustain supra-threshold work for long, but can sustain around FTP for upwards of 60 minutes. In comparison, an anaerobically dominant athlete will be able to push much further over FTP, and not crumble due to their ability to produce a ton more ATP (energy) via glycolysis. Think of a Tour de France climber compared to a track sprinter – they both ride bikes, yes, BUT are completely different ‘under the hood’.

Fortunately, we now have an ability to closely model the amount of work an athlete can perform above their FTP via WKO4. This is called FRC, or functional reserve capacity.

What is FRC?

FRC can be defined as:

The total amount of work that can be done during continuous exercise above FTP before fatigue occurs.

Dr. Andrew Coggan

We measure this ‘work’ in kilojoules (kJ), or J/kg. Below, are the approximate standards for FRC.

Credit: Dr. Andrew Coggan

As you can see from above, the range of ability to perform work above FTP is massive from one athlete to another. With the range in males being 9.0 kJ-35.1 kJ, and females being 6.2 kJ-24.2 kJ. Also, this range can change over the course of a season, which is why it is important to track it, as well as manipulate your training to up-regulate or down-regulate it based on the demands of your target event. You want a relatively low FRC for more aerobically demanding events, and vice versa for more and anaerobically demanding events.

Putting it Together

Hopefully you can see why some athletes ramp tests are extremely low compared to their 20 minute FTP tests, and also why some athletes 20 minute FTP tests are much lower compared to their ramp test. Let’s create an example athlete to drive this point home, but first let’s talk energy conversions:

The energy E in kilojoules (kJ) is equal to the power P in watts (W), times the time period tin seconds (s):

E(kJ) = P(W)× t(s) / 1000

So, kilojoules = watts × seconds / 1000

or, kJ = W × s / 1000

Our athlete, Manny Watts (get it?!), has an FRC of 20 kJ with an FTP of 260w. This means once he breaks the 260w barrier, he has 20 kJ of work he can do before fatigue sets in, OR once he surpasses 260w on a ramp test, he will feel fatigued after performing 20 kJ of work. To make things simple, let’s have the ramp test increase by 20w increments every 1 minute, and let’s come into the test at 270w right after he bumps up from 250w:

270w x 1 minute = 270 x 60s /1000 = 16.2 kJ

So, Manny will feel fatigued around 18 seconds into the 290w step. This doesn’t necessarily mean total failure, just fatigue. At what point total failure will occur is hard to predict as there are a lot of factors at play, especially psychological, but this shows the size of the glycoloytic engine makes a huge difference for the ramp test results.

Utilize the Correct Test

If you have absolutely no clue what your FTP is, or are returning from injury or a long hiatus off the bike, you can use the ramp test results to predict a sustainable pace for the 20 minute FTP test. If you are testing what your Maximum Aerobic Power (MAP) is – which is beneficial to predict how well you would perform during a lead out, long sprint, or short ‘power’ climb – then the ramp test is also beneficial. Knowing what your MAP is, you will be able to better predict how hard you can push at the end of a race (when to start your sprint, and what power to target based on time til the line), how much power you can lay down and for approximately how long to create a breakaway, and if you can utilize the short and steep climbs during a race to your advantage.

However, if you are looking to see what your anaerobic threshold is (FTP) then the ramp test isn’t the way to go as it doesn’t take into account the individuality of what an athletes power is at their VO2 Max, and as discussed above, can overestimate FTP for the anaerobically strong cyclist, and underestimate FTP for the aerobically strong cyclist. Said another way, why would you use a test to predict your short duration power and try to extrapolate that out to what you can sustain for a longer duration?

The best testing protocol would be to incorporate all of the energy systems, test them individually, and create training zones based off the results – which is possible with a skilled Coach and using software like WKO4. The ‘perfect’ test has been attempted by many physiologists and coaches, but has not been perfected yet. However, I must give credit to Apex Coaching for their Sufferfest ‘4DP Test’ as that test is, in my opinion, the closest protocol yet to being able to get a look under an athletes ‘hood’ in less than an hour. Just like anything though, individualization of training, and testing protocols, makes the difference. So, I will test my sprinter-phenotype athlete’s short power more frequently, and my TT-phenotype athlete’s long duration power more frequently to ensure the training zones are correct based upon their individual metabolic system strengths. And, if I am brand new to an athlete with minimal data (which is rare these days) I will use a multi-day testing protocol to ensure they can perform each test at their maximal effort – but even this has conditional caveats like sleep, nutrition, stress, etc. from one day to the next.


The ramp test has its place, but in my opinion, it is not the best way to predict what your FTP is due to the myriad of factors discussed above, but mainly because of the individual variation for shorter duration power outputs. Besides that, the ramp test was designed to see what an athlete’s Maximum Aerobic Power (MAP) is. However, as discussed above there is no ‘perfect’ test, even in a laboratory, as everyone is different and can change by the day, week, month, and year. The best testing protocol is the one that provides the most accurate representation of the metabolic system you’re looking at, and the ramp test isn’t the best option for predicting anaerobic threshold – in my humble opinion of course.

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A Go-to Guide on How to Nourish Your Body as a Cyclist

As a cyclist, and endurance athlete, your nutritional demands are going to be fairly significant. It’s essential to fuel your body before, during, and after training to ensure you are giving your body what it needs for sustained energy and recovery.

Whether you are a seasoned cyclist, or are just dipping your toes into the world of endurance training, nutrition is key and plays just as an important role in your training program as the actual training itself.

With that being said, let’s talk about why nutrition plays such an important role in endurance training, and then look at a go-to guide on how to nourish your body as a cyclist.

Why is Optimal Nutrition so Important?

We all know that a healthy diet is an essential part of supporting overall health, but nutrition can play such a vital role in the health of an endurance athlete for so many additional reasons. When you are exercising for long periods of time, not only are you expending a tremendous amount of energy, but you are also putting some wear and tear on your muscles and joints. It’s essential to replenish your body with calories and nutrients to restore depleted glycogen stores and to refuel those tired muscles with adequate amounts of high-quality protein.

More specifically, here are some of the main reasons nutrition plays a key role in supporting the health of a cyclist.

Your body will require additional calories when cycling:

Any form of exercise is going to burn some of the calories you take in, but when you are training for an extended period of time, you may burn through quite a bit which increases your daily calorie requirement.

For cyclists, you can determine roughly how many additional calories you may need to add to your diet by taking the miles you traveled and multiplying this by 40-50 calories. You can also use an online calorie burning calculator like this one to more precisely determine how many calories you burn (on average) each ride which can give you a better idea in terms of how many extra calories you need to be adding back into your diet. Remember though, Calories are a good guide, but not terribly accurate to determine an energy surplus or deficit.

Your Body Needs Fuel For Exercise Performance:

Your body is going to require additional energy in order to power through a long ride, and you have to fuel your body with the right foods. Carbohydrates serve as an endurance athletes primary fuel source. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal, and a huge portion of carbs right before training may give you a burst of energy, but leave you feeling lethargic shortly after. You will want to focus on getting low-glycemic carbs into your diet that won’t cause a sudden spike in blood sugar. Stick to things like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating a balanced diet with a complex carbohydrate-rich snack before a ride is a great way to maintain balanced energy levels, and prevent sudden energy plummets. It is also recommended that you consume complex carbohydrates throughout training as well to help provide the body with additional fuel to get through your ride. Snacking on a piece of fruit during training or a whole-grain, low-sugar, and whole foods based sports bar can be a great way to support energy levels.

In addition to carbohydrates, adequate protein and fats are also needed to support exercise performance. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes get about 1.2-2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day, spaced out throughout meals and snacks. Getting enough protein in your diet is key for muscle repair as well as muscle growth.

While the majority of the focus is often on carbs and protein, cyclists also require a certain amount of healthy fat in their diet. Fats can help support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and they can also provide a stable source of energy. Fat has also been found to provide a protective benefit for endurance athletes by supporting adequate calorie intake. This was studied by The University of Buffalo that found that female runners who consumed 30% of their calories from fat, were far less likely to get injured than fellow athletes that did not eat as much fat. The thought behind this has to do with the athletes meeting their caloric goals. Since fats are nutrient-dense and provide an excellent source of energy, they also provide a good amount of calories.

So what does this tell us? This tells us that cyclists and other endurance athletes should be adding a decent amount of healthy fat to their diet. Things like avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut, and wild-caught fish are all excellent sources of healthy dietary fat.

Your Body will Require Important Vitamins & Minerals:

For endurance athletes, it’s important to stay on top of your vitamin and mineral reserves. Not only can they help fuel your body for better fitness performance, but they can help keep your immune system strong. Endurance athletes may be more likely to develop deficiencies if they don’t eat a well-balanced diet full of whole and nutrient-dense foods. Be sure to get a complex carbohydrate, a healthy fat, and a clean protein source in at each meal, and try to make snacks in between training sessions as balanced as possible too. A high-quality multivitamin or greens powder to add to your daily smoothie or shake can also give your body an added boost.

Make Hydration a Priority:

While optimal nutrition is extremely important, we can’t forget about hydration. Hydration often gets overlooked, but without it, dehydration can set it. Dehydration is not only detrimental for overall health, but it can also sabotage a training session. Studies have found that a 2% drop in body weight from sweating can negatively affect your ride. Not only is it important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but it is recommended that you take 2-3 decent sized gulps of water every 10-15 minutes while on the bike. And, if you are cycling for 60-minutes or less, plain water is just fine, but anything over that, you will need to replenish your electrolytes. Coconut water is an excellent all natural source of electrolytes, or you can find natural electrolyte tablets or an electrolyte powder like Catalyte by the company Thorne that dissolve in water that doesn’t contain the added artificial coloring and ingredients many commercial sports drinks do.

The Best Foods For Cyclists

As a way to help you improve your nutrition starting today, here are some of the best foods for cyclists that you can add to your diet. Keep in mind that these foods should be enjoyed as part of a well-balanced diet. Enjoying these foods regularly is a great way to ensure that you are fueling your body with what it needs to perform, recover, and sustain the energy requirements for cycling and endurance training.

Complex Carbs: Rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice, high fiber fruits like raspberries, pears, and apples, starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, dates, figs.

Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, wild-caught fatty fish, whole eggs.

Clean Protein: Grass-fed animal products, whole eggs, wild-caught fish, full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils.

The Takeaway

Now that you know everything you need to know about nourishing your body as a cyclist, let’s break this down. Here are the key points you need to know to help you kick your nutrition into high gear to help support your body for optimal training and recovery as a cyclist.

  • Stay on top of your increased calorie demands,
  • Enjoy complex low-glycemic carbohydrates as part of your regular diet and prior to exercise to help support energy levels.
  • Make sure you are getting enough protein to support muscle recovery by getting 1.2-2 grams of protein/kg of body weight per day.
  • Eat a wide variety of foods to support vitamin and mineral reserves. Take a high-quality multivitamin if necessary.
  • Stay on top of hydration by staying hydrated throughout the day, and sipping on water with electrolytes (like Skratch) every 10-15 minutes during your ride.

Make nutrition a priority during endurance cycling training. With the right fuel and adequate hydration, you would be surprised at how much better you feel both during your ride and after. Don’t cheat yourself. Do yourself and your health the favor of making healthy food choices to fuel your body for optimal health and fitness performance.

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Intermittent Fasting: Useful for Endurance Athletes?

Intermittent fasting

I’m sure you’ve heard this diet being thrown around in the health and fitness world as being a “fat-loss miracle” and other similar buzzwords and phrases. It’s quite trendy right now and has been for the past few years.  

Intermittent fasting (IF) has several variations, but it what it comes down to is fasting a for a predetermined amount of time, followed by a “feeding window” in which you are “allowed” to eat your allotted calories and macronutrients for the day. Probably the most common type of this diet is called the 16/8; most often implemented by those in physique sports such as bodybuilding. This is where your fasting window is 16 hours long, and your feeding window is 8 hours long. 

However, have you ever thought of how this diet could possibly help your performance both in competition and in practice? As more and more research has been released on the diet, scientists are examining the ways in which it not only affects performance directly but also how its metabolic effects play a role on your performance indirectly as well.  

Effects on General Health and Well-Being 

Before we can begin to understand how it affects our performance, let’s dive into how this diet works on our bodies.  

Both human and animal model research has shown that following IF has the ability to reduce the risks of obesity and other metabolic disorders due to its effects on metabolism and biomarkers such as insulin and glucose control [1]. Plus, the great thing about IF is that it poses no additional risk when compared to traditional calorie restriction.  

Probably why this diet works well for so many people has to do with total calorie consumption. When compared to traditional dieting, those who follow IF have been shown to eat fewer calories throughout the day, sometimes eating only one meal a day! [2].  

So for weight loss, it can definitely help those who have trouble with overeating to regulate their calories throughout the day and avoid excessive snacking. But what about for endurance athletes, does any of this play a role and provide us with any tools in improving our performance? Well, it’s a little less clear.  

Effects on Aerobic Performance 

Unfortunately, most of the studies out there on intermittent fasting focus on resistance training and strength sports. Either that or they focus on its general health effects, often in overweight or obese individuals.  

But not to fear! There is hope! We still have data to work with.  

One study that worked with elite judo athletes during Ramadan (a Muslim holiday in which they fast from sunrise to sunset) analyzed maximal aerobic capacity utilizing something called the Multistage Fitness Test [3]. This test, more commonly known as the Beep Test, is utilized by various athletic organizations internationally. It predicts an athletes VO2 max (a staple variable in aerobic/endurance-based activities) by having them run back and forth between two lines before a beep sound is heard. The test becomes more difficult as the beeps get faster. The test ends when the athlete doesn’t reach the line in time before the beep is heard [4].  

Interestingly, the researchers discovered that partaking in intermittent fasting during Ramadan did not cause a detriment to their performance. However, what did occur was a reduction in body weight (an average of 1.8%) and increased levels of perceived fatigue.  

Now, as previously stated body weight reduction most likely has to do with eating fewer meals. The lower the frequency of meals, the more likely the athlete won’t eat as many calories. But the most compelling thing here is the result relating to perceived fatigue. This basically means that the subjects more often than not felt more tired when following this type of eating pattern compared to when they ate a normal diet. However, this happened despite a lack of drop in performance. So we’re honestly quite unsure what aspect of IF causes this phenomenon. 

Here’s where it gets complicated, as other studies have illustrated varying results. In another study examining Ramadan fasting (which is one of the most practical ways to research IF in the scientific literature), professional soccer players had a 16% decrease in the total distance that they could cover during a 12-minute run [5]. Also, another study used a test called the Leger shuttle-run to assess aerobic performance, which is similar to the Beep Test. While performance decreased during the second week of fasting, it returned to normal back during the fourth week [6]. So the early onset of detrimental effects was not that significant when viewed over the grand scheme of things.  

So What Does This All Tell Us? 

From a weight loss perspective, IF appears to have great effects due to the energy deficit created from eating less meals per day. However, there’s still much work to be done with IF and its applications to aerobic and endurance performance. From the data that we have at our disposal right now, it looks like it doesn’t seem to make all that much of a difference which type of diet you follow, as long as it’s sustainable for you and is aligned with the whatever performance goal you have in mind. So experiment on yourself, see if it works, and remember the best diet (and workout plan) is the one an athlete will be most consistent with.

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1. Patterson, R. E., & Sears, D. D. (2017). Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition, 37(1), 371-393. doi:10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634 

2. Carlson O, Martin B, Stote KS, Golden E, Maudsley S, et al. 2007. Impact of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction on glucose regulation in healthy, normal-weight middle-aged men and women. Metabolism 56:1729–34

3. Chaouachi, A., Coutts, A. J., Chamari, K., Wong, D. P., Chaouachi, M., Chtara, M., . . . Amri, M. (2009). Effect of Ramadan Intermittent Fasting on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance and Perception of Fatigue in Male Elite Judo Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,23(9), 2702-2709. doi:10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181bc17fc 

4. Léger, L.; Lambert, J.; Goulet, A.; Rowan, C.; Dinelle, Y. (June 1984). “[Aerobic capacity of 6 to 17-year-old Quebecois–20 meter shuttle run test with 1 minute stages]”. Journal Canadien des Sciences Appliquées Au Sport. 9 (2): 64–69 

5. Zerguini, Y., Kirkendall, D., Junge, A., & Dvorak, J. (2007). Impact of Ramadan on physical performance in professional soccer players. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(6), 398-400. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2006.032037 

6. Kirkendall, D. T., Leiper, J. B., Bartagi, Z., Dvorak, J., & Zerguini, Y. (2008). The influence of Ramadan on physical performance measures in young Muslim footballers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(Sup3). doi:10.1080/02640410802422199