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How do I fuel better with more carbohydrates and improve my performance this season?
Training Tips

Gut Check: Spring Training Tips for Improved Cycling Performance

  • Spring is a great time to try new food and fueling methods
  • It's essential to train your gut to handle more calories first
  • You can follow a 10g/carb/week increase protocol for 6-8 weeks
  • Regularly consuming 60-90g/hr during training has shown to improve performance

Spring is a great time to train your gut and improve your endurance cycling performance. As the weather warms up, cyclists can take advantage of the milder temperatures to push their limits and prepare for upcoming events. However, to maximize your performance, it's essential to fuel your body properly and train your gut to handle more calories.

During spring, the longer days and milder weather provide an ideal opportunity to increase your training volume and intensity. However, this increased workload requires a higher calorie intake to maintain energy levels and avoid hitting the wall during longer rides.

How do I train my gut?

Give yourself six to eight weeks to work up to your desired carbohydrate intake. If your typical routine is to consume 30g/carbohydrate/hr (1 gel or a bottle of hydration mix), increase carbohydrate intake once or twice each week. We recommend increasing by roughly 10g/carbohydrate/week to avoid any stomach issues.

Week 1 - a bottle of Skratch Labs Sport Hydration

Week 2 - a bottle of Skratch Labs Sport Hydration + 1/2 bag of Skratch Lab Energy Chews (38g/carbohydrates)

Week 3 - a bottle of Skratch Labs Sport Hydration + bag of Skratch Lab Energy Chews (56g/carbohydrates)

Week 4 - a bottle of Skratch Labs Super Fuel (4 scoops) + 1/2 bag of Skratch Lab Energy Chews (74g/carbohydrates)

Week 5 - a bottle of Skratch Labs Super Fuel (5 scoops) + 1/2 bag of Skratch Lab Energy Chews (74g/carbohydrates)

Week 6 - a bottle of Skratch Labs Super Fuel (4 scoops) + bag of Skratch Lab Energy Chews (92g/carbohydrates)

Hydration is also essential during spring cycling. Cyclists lose a lot of fluids through sweat during endurance events, which can lead to dehydration and decreased performance. Therefore, it's crucial to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after the event.

Spring is also an excellent time to try new foods and drinks that can provide the energy you need during cycling events. Experiment with different types of gels, bars, and drinks to see what works best for you. Some cyclists prefer solid food, while others prefer liquid carbohydrates. It's essential to find what works best for you and stick to it.

Feed Coach Brandon Dyksterhouse likes the following pairing for rides over two and a half hours:

Regularly eating 60-90 g/hr of carbohydrates during training can increase tolerance to additional carbohydrates. The adaptations happen quickly, within a few days or a week, so endurance athletes don't have to train their gut 52 weeks a year. Gradually increasing carbohydrate intake once or twice a week and focusing on gut training more as you get closer to specific competitions can help improve your tolerance to additional carbohydrates.

As expressed here, spring cycling provides an ideal opportunity to train your gut and improve your endurance cycling performance. With longer days and milder weather, cyclists can increase their training volume and intensity. However, to maximize your performance, fueling your body correctly and training your gut to handle more calories is crucial.

What can you do? Gradually increasing carbohydrate intake, experimenting with new foods and drinks, and focusing on gut training can help you cross the finish line strong and achieve your goals.


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The Feed. / Thursday, April 27, 2023