Any cyclists out there?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  sh250 9 years, 11 months ago.

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  • Hi all,

    I’m interested in trying out the Fast (5:2) approach to get rid of about 8-10lbs but I am a little concerned about it’s impact. I do 5 high intensity rides a week of about an hour each (intervals within each ride – loosely based on Time Crunched Cyclist program), do another more endurance based ride or hill climb on a Sat and then 2-3hrs of mountain biking for fun on a Sunday. Does anyone else follow a similar regime and have any feedback on their experiences?

    I’m concerned about if affecting my ability to ride as I have bonked on a ride once and it was one of the worst experiences I’ve had.


    Hi sh250. Like you, I get out on my bike, although I certainly don’t do as much as you do. I’m generally a “fun” cyclist and try to get out three times a week to do about 30-40 miles each trip. And, like you, I worry about the “bonk” and it’s really not funny when you suddenly lose all your energy, your legs go wobbly, and you just cannot keep on cycling. I have found that stopping and having a nice hot coffee seems to help, but generally a small mouthful of raisins is also very useful.

    I would definitely not try fasting when you will be out on your bike that day. And always have the good old standby – water – with you as sometimes even a sip of that may help. I also fill a water bottle with one of the many “energy” drinks that you can find in a bike shop. Many of them have zero calories. I have a friend – granted she is 72 – who has been diagnosed with cancer and she used to starve herself. Even when out on the bike, she wouldn’t eat much. I am convinced (whether correctly or not, I don’t know) that she just pushed herself too far in an effort to keep nice and slim, and is now paying the price. But I see no harm in perhaps having a fasting day when you won’t be on the bike – and that’s how I intend to use the method.

    I am a cyclist and have recently upped my training getting ready for a race. I ride every day but have intense rides on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday where I average 33-37 kph. I also teach spin on Tuesday evenings for an hour.

    I started the 5:2 last year and lost 7kgs and I am still down at the lower weight. Since increasing the training I find that on the longer 100-150 km ride on a Sunday I was loosing power and I hit the wall quite quickly even though my last fast day had been on the Thursday beforehand.

    I have now stopped the fasting altogether, but what I think I do now which I didn’t do before starting to fast is that I am more mindful of what I am eating. I am more able to have longer periods without food and I am no longer scared of being a bit hungry. I am maintaining my weight and feeling great. Once my training becomes less intense I will review the situation, especially if I start putting weight back on.

    Thanks for the feedback, that’s awesome info – that’s particularly interesting about the duration between your fast day and losing power a few days later; I will watch that as I up my ride distances and intensity again.

    Thanks CrazyGirl – you make an excellent point about hydration; I pay particular attention to that, especially on longer summer rides when I seem to lose pints of sweat. I tend to use a diluted Gatorade mix and on longer rides even some liquid food to keep me going (Hammer Perpetuem worked for me – energy bars and gels just don’t work for me).

    Wow, Caroline. I very much doubt that you will have a weight problem as long as you carry on the way you are. And, as you have also noticed that, even without dieting, you are watching what you eat, it is unlikely that you will have to worry. I do know that as we get older, our ability to cycle as much, or as long, as we did when we were younger, diminishes somewhat. Now that I’m 66, Where I would happily ride 50, 60 or even 70 miles on a Sunday (I once rode 114 on a Centenary ride), I now stick to no more than 40 – although I can do more if I really, really need to.

    You are right when you say that, after a fast day, you don’t have as much energy as you should have. I suspect that the 5:2 diet is brilliant for anybody who has a mostly sedentary lifestyle. I think this website is great if only because it helps a person to be mindful of what they eat.

    Sh250 – you are so right about energy bars and gels not being much good. I often just use Whey, but the calorie count can be quite high. I haven’t heard of Hammer Perpetuem before, and I will look this up as I am always open to anything that might help. I often find that if I go out on the bike during winter, and it’s cold, my legs just don’t want to “lighten-up” – in fact, I just cannot make them work properly! For me, riding in temperatures of 36 or 40 degrees is brilliant – you get the breeze, and the sweat just pours off you. Great fun! I rode 500 miles last year in Spain along with my husband. We started with the Pyrenees. It was an amazing ride and I lost 6 lbs in the first week, even though we were eating and drinking fit to burst. I suspect that the 5:2 diet may be something I will go back to once the winter months bite again. As soon as I find I cannot get out on the bike, I use the indoor bike exerciser, but it’s really not the same, is it.

    Kudos to cyclists! I’m a fun cyclist. Bought a new FUJI bike this year and love it. Husband is the more intense cyclist. I try to ride 6 miles around a neighborhood lake 3 times a week with husband. I give him a warm up, then he takes off! Weather permitting. I work out at a gym the other 4 days and try to include the stationery bike in my workout. I’m an absolute novice compared to you. I am going on a ladies trip to Door County, Wisconsin peninsula (USA) this summer and we’re taking our cycles. Cycling in nature is the best medicine! Kind regards and happy trails. Jean

    Lovely to meet a fellow cyclist. I well remember my very first “long” bike ride when my husband took myself and our two youngest children for a 6 mile ride. Almost there, we stopped for a breather and I said “how much further?”. He sasid “not far now. Just think, in a few year’s time you will be riding 50 miles and not feel it. I didn’t believe him…. Our youngest was 8 at the time, and he is now almost 40 so there’s been quite a few miles over the years, and yes, 50 miles in one day is certainly doable 🙂

    Did a bit of an experiment this week. Due to the way things happened this week I found my 600 cal day fell on a Saturday so I did a very short but high intensity morning cycle ride – about 30 minutes with high intensity intervals. It had no effect on how I felt during or immediately afterwards and generally felt like a normal low-cal day when I spin to work more gently; no way would I do a long ride on a 600 cal day – it definitely would not end well. For me, I will continue to do the high intensity short rides even on the low-cal days.

    Hello and so good to have found this thread as being able to perform normally with endurance cycling is one of my main concerns.

    My goal for being on this 5:2 plan is so that I can cycle up hills more efficiently – I must improve my power to weight ratio and would like to lose a stone in weight to do this. I cycle at least 100 miles a week and the two weeks I have been doing this plan has been ok so far. I do my 30-40 mile cycle rides the day after a fast, however three hours before my ride I have a HUGE bowl of porridge with honey and blueberries so that I have the energy I need to get going. I also refuel every 30 minutes whilst on the bike, alternating a SIS go gel, with food like fig rolls, flapjack or homemade rice cakes. On the days that I do my fast, I either do a weights workout in the gym in the morning, OR I will go out on my bike for a gentle hour. I make sure I drink electrolyte zero and that seems to work for me. If I am hungry when I get back from my ride on a fast day, I will make a green juice consisting of cucumber, spinach, lime, sugar snap peas, apple and ginger. This will curb my appetite for most of the day. Drinking loads of herbal tea and water helps.

    BUT as I am training for a big event in a month’s time, I need to up my training and am concerned with my energy levels. If anyone has any helpful hints, please let us all know!!!

    hello all , Ive not read the whole of your thread as yet (I have only just found it) yes I use a bike , but only for exercise , I dont travel to far on it , maybe just a couple of miles not sure if this qualifies me to join your thread , Ive been doing 5:2 for a few weeks now and i can see progress


    Hi, your timing is perfect as I wondered whether IF was having an effect. I’ve been doing a 1 day week 600 calorie day for a few months now and decided to try a long distance ride the day after my fast day – an experiment to see the effect of the high intensity training as well as the IF. It worked out great, I managed a shade over 170k’s; my energy levels dipped at one point but some peanut butter gels sorted that out (managed to find one that worked for me – they haven’t in the past, as my previous posts said). For me at least, the fasting the day before had no negative effects. My approach (through painful experiment over the years) is to have a good breakfast of Oatmeal, two boiled eggs and banana and then to eat every hour on the bike with a stop at lunch for something a bit more substantial (maybe some more eggs – whatever I fancy really). Throughout the ride on the hour I ate some mix of chocolate chip banana bread, peanut energy rars, dried cranberries, drank water with some Nuun tablets in it and lots of plain water and then toward the end I used the energy gels. I must admit that the last time I did a ride like this I was doing a totally different training regime, more long rides and getting the miles in. This time it’s been much more high intensity based and I had to manage my pace carefully on the day of the ride (I don’t have a cadence monitor anymore – just went by feel).

    Hope that helps.


    Any input is valuable – please share your experiences.

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