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  • No Power

    Some background

    Primal for about a yr+,28m, and typically am VLC. Calories on heavy workout days average 3000.

    The issue is not having power to sprint during long rides. It's as if I can't get my muscles to push hard repeatedly or heart to hit high BPM. my body seems to just want to stay in a steady pace level.

    For example last week on a 35mi ride with probably 10-12 sprints randomly, I could only hold on for the first 4-5 break outs. The lead pack was 15 people prob average speed of high 20s and sprints into the 30s.

    I don't think its a lack of glycogen since I never bonk and feel as if I could ride for an unlimited amount of miles at a steady pace.

    It's almost as if my muscles just don't have the fuel to do that many break outs one after another.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2

    i function best w/primal carbs pre-workout. butternut squash or sweet potato are my faves--reasonable portion size, i don't need a lot to feel the boost. if you are as active as you sound, i would recommend a primal carb trial.


    • #3

      Pre-workout, when I'm not working out fasted, I like to take a square of really dark chocolate (I have a 95% cacao + chile pepper one I love) and top it with a spoonful of coconut oil. Between the circulating sugars and MCT-derived ketones as well as the fat-mobilizing effects of the caffeine and theobromine, I seem to lift better. I know the polyphenols in the chocolate are probably messing with my muscular redox signalling a bit, but it's not every workout, so I don't worry about it.

      I should also mention that agressive music like heavy metal has actually been shown to decrease perceived exertion and improve performance.

      Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

      Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread


      • #4

        I'm wondering if I just need some type of fuel closer to the actual activity. The example I gave above my last meal was 5hrs prior to the actual ride, so that may have had an effect on the available energy.

        Has anyone tried fat loading prior to working out?

        Doing another ride today with the same group, so I'm going to test out fat loading prior to the ride.

        30 minutes prior to the ride,

        I'm going to drink a shake:

        1 large organic Haas avocado

        1 can of coconut milk

        Break down of shake:

        Cal: 1137

        Fat: 108g

        Carb: 40 g

        Protein: 20g


        • #5

          I will be very interested to hear how that works for you. and yes, whether you choose something carby or fats, it should be closer in than 5 hours. for me 45minutes-1 hour back is the optimal time.


          • #6
            The fat loading didn't seem to work in terms of allowing me to keep with the break outs. Granted the breakout they lost me on hit 40s. I think it has more to do with that the guys I'm riding with are just above my level of riding. Hopefully with a couple months of conditioning my muscles, I should have a better chance at staying in the lead pack. I'm also going to try the primal carb loading just prior to the ride or maybe even a shot of honey during the ride.
            Similar to the last ride after the 25+ mi, I didn't have any fatigue and felt like doing another round.


            • #7
              Your body prefers to liberate fat stores at lower levels of exercise intensity, and prefers carbs at higher percentage of V02max/heart rate. Since you're going on long, strenuous bike rides, you might want to consider some carbohydrates beforehand. You can probably ride at a steady, slower pace because you are burning fat in that stage.

              I have been doing VLC for the past week with no fruit and no nuts, just green vegetables and meat for the most part, and have noticed my running performance decreasing. My muscles don't feel energized, even though I have been able to go 40 hours without food quite easily.

              Try and adding some carbs back and see how you feel. They're not going to kill you.


              • #8

                Did a charity ride this past weekend, Tour De Cure, with two 80+ mile days in a row.

                Day 1: 86 miles, avg speed 17.8 mph, half the miles solo, half the miles drafting with team
                I've done a number of these rides and this is the first time ever I got cramps, but nothing a little spinning couldn't remedy. I really think it was my lack of H20 intake, since after the ride I noticed I never used the restroom the entire ride maybe only went through 3-4 water bottles.
                Also, ran a little experiment during day one. We stopped at every rest stop to hang out and I chomped down anything and everything they were offering, pbj, fig newtons, fruit wedges, etc. I'm not sure if this junk had anything to do with the cramping, but it definitely did a number on my allergies. I could barely breath the first night and my head had a terrible headache.

                Day 2: 80 miles, avg speed 18.4 mph, 3/4 miles solo, 1/4 miles drafting
                This day kept the food primal and stuck to a more constant pace. First 20 miles were some bad hills, crappy road pavement(chainsaw hands), and hard headwind. No issues with cramping and by the end of the day my allergies had cleared up. I did make a nice discovery this second day at some of the stops, in the form of Lara bars with just cashews and dates. I'll probably make some of these for future rides.


                • #9
                  Sounds like you did great on your rides. I'm always careful to watch my water intake specially when it's warm outside. I think that forgetting to drink enough is a very common thing.