Make the most of your morning commute and shed that spare tyre with a few simple fat burning techniques
The majority of us are always looking to burn fat through cycling and one of the easiest ways to achieve it is through heading out for a few fasted rides each week.
It’s not a case of going on a hunger strike every time you hit the road, but introducing a few of these sessions to your weekly training plan can improve your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel rather than burning off carbohydrates as your main energy source
This can be easily applied during your commute to work and can really improve your body composition and cycling performance when heading out for longer fully fuelled rides at the weekend.
Fasted rides can only be achieved through skipping breakfast, this forces your body to utilise fat stores as food. So skip the porridge and just brew a mug of black coffee or drink a glass of water before you hit the road.
A word of warning, breakfast should only be skipped if you are planning on heading out for a short spin. Long multiple hour rides without fuelling will not only make you feel fatigued but will have a major negative influence on your performance.
Keep intensity low
One of the main things you must do with fasted rides is keep the intensity low.
If you don’t, you will deplete the limited glycogen stores that are present in your body and won’t be able to process fat as an energy source fast enough for the effort required.
If you want to up the rate of calories that you are burning, increase the intensity with some hard but steady intervals of five to 10 minutes towards the end of the ride.
This trains your body to go hard when you are low on energy stores. A situation you may well find yourself in during the crunch point of a race or a sportive.
Refuel after your ride
As soon as you are back from your ride it is important to eat and refuel straight away. Whether this is with a recovery drink or a carbohydrate or protein snack, getting some sustenance back into your body is crucial for recovery.
Failing to eat after a fasted ride can leave you with a suppressed immune system, which will leave you vulnerable to illnesses as well as have an effect on your ability to recover quickly.
You only need to complete a fasted ride two or three times a week to see a real difference in your performance and on your waistline.