My first fat adapted cycling failure

(ianrobo) #41

OK this is not needed, once you are fat adapted then the ride you described ill be easy on just water and electrolytes if that … You need to get fat adapted first and it can be difficult, you will see a performance loss at first BUT the benefits mate … are FANTASTIC

You will not even be worried about eating, if you have not read my posts on here I did a 305km ride with 5000m of climbing - Dragon Devil with just some jelly babies and nuts thats it, thats true fat adaption you need to think about and do not worry about refuelling.


Ian -

Just listened to your visit with The Dudes on their podcast. That was fun.


(ianrobo) #43

Thanks Mark and hope it was useful to understand fat adaption and the boundary of what is possible (well no boundary !!). Thats why when people as Stu did above mentions food etc during a ride, I used to think that at the start but now I do century rides with no food at all … thats the magic of it


Can’t wait to get there myself. I am mystified as to whether it will work for me so I will try to test it on shorter rides and get progressively longer and then go for it on a century - probably next May. I have been in Ketosis for probably 3-4 months now.

Thanks again,


(ianrobo) #45

I just found I started doing fasted rides of 2 hours, then extended it gradually and this seemed to do the trick for me but we are all different and need to judge it for yourself …


I have standard 30, 40 and 60 rides that I have done a bunch so I will build up on those, I hope.

(ianrobo) #47

oh you will just need to stick by it and keep the HR down as much as you can, basically just ride only at MAF, remeber fat adaption is all about using fat as much as possible as you increase the power. Even those real carb burners at low levels will burn 90% fat it is how you burn it as you climb up that makes the difference.


Yea, it is just hot here in the summer and hilly too - so I have my heart rate go up to max. I will test it out with slower paces. Dropping pounds still so I hope that will help.

(ianrobo) #49

all helps and the temperature is a problem (not something here in UK we have a problem of !!) but I do believe the lower HR and longer you train fasted then fat adaption really should happen

(Gary) #50

My longest rides are less than 50 miles and most average in the 30’s. I was bonking at times in the 20’s and would feel very dizzy and exhausted. I tried various electrolytes (like Nunn tablets) and they didn’t help much. Finally a triathlete advised to try salt tablets. It made all the difference. On hot days I’ll take 3 on longer rides but I even use them in the winter. If I’m starting to feel bad I’ll take one with plenty of water and I begin to feel better almost immediately. Now I can ride fasted with no problems.

(ianrobo) #51

ah salt, I did mention in the podcast that Steve Phinney told me about salt for an issue I had with HR and worked brilliantly, thanks for reminding us about the impact of salt !!


Thanks for this. I think I have heard it now from Ian, Phinney, you and others. I am wondering if my Bonk was all salt related and not related to glycogen at all. You know, we used to take salt tabs for football and basketball all the time. Hmmmmm. Interesting that you have to go beyond the standard electrolyte mix - Thanks very much for posting.


What tablets should I use - blast it all, more decisions:

(CharleyD) #54

Don’t forget your liver is always making some glucose up to a certain physiological level and trying to replenish glycogen stores up to another level. It’s just a lower watermark when at nutritional ketosis levels. So keeping your HR down and muscle exertion down to below drawing down glycogen drastically is the key to not bonking, right?

@ianrobo so you downshift and not pump when going up a steep grade? Or at least that’s how you keep your HR down, yes?

(CharleyD) #55

I’d put money on salts. On TKD class nights if I haven’t made a deliberate effort to get 4-5g I’m sucking wind at the end of it. On the days I have managed to get enough salt, I’m sad the class is over. Regardless of if I’d had a BPC prior.

(Gary) #56

These are the tablets I’ve been using for the past year from REI & Amazon

I took one today on a 40 mile ride and had no problems. When I take multiple tablets I spread them out over the ride depending on my work load and temperature. I know people who take as many as 6 during really hard efforts.


Thanks for the recommendation. I will give them a try. You have to drink so much electrolyte mix to get that level of salt. Great reviews of the product too.

(ianrobo) #58

Just a thought though, I did not want to take another tablet in a ride (I do electrolytes) so I got Himalayan salt and eat a lot more with food.

(ianrobo) #59

Ah now that opens a whole new debate :slight_smile:

OK for hills I generally go up at a speed I would when doing longer rides in a sportive etc. I did at the start take it easy as you suggested but these are not mountains but maybe 100-200M at a time. Therefore if you ‘rest’ on the down hill and flat any glycogen you use on the climbs (can be longer ones of 1-5km) you will as you say replenish anyway.

We should remember of course the important factor of cadence when climbing and using higher cadence vs slower one because that’s aerobic vs muscles strength and one of these uses up more glycogen.

I was listening to a fascinating podcast with Mark Sissons and Jacques Devore which I would recommend anyone listening to. This was about cycling but can apply to any endurance sport (and in fact this whole topic is) and he used to train (Jacques) the US pro David Zabrinsiski.

Now he did dope but he also made a boig change under the guidance from vegan carb burner to primal fat burning (Primal is Keto but only now Mark is admitting it !!) and his performance both climbing and TT went up and what they said was his aerobic system was the key.

So for those of us doing this fat burning allows much more aerobic performance if you get the cadence up, lower cadence will use more glycogen and for me I think 80-90% of cyclists are now fat burners and certainly most marathon runners are. It is just for sponsorship and other reasons most will not admit it.


For sodium I have gotten into the habit of drinking a cup of chicken bouillon before riding. That is a quick 1100mg of sodium. Think I learned this from a Phinney podcast.