Ask a coach: ‘Is it worth doing fasted bike rides?’

Are fasted rides the key to a quick performance boost? Or is omitting breakfast merely a marginal gain, only of value if you’re already training 20+ hour weeks?

Male cyclist going on a fasted bike ride
(Image credit: Future)

There are a whole host of reasons why you may consider cycling fasted. You may be looking to increase weight loss through an increase in fat utilization during your ride, or you may be searching for some performance benefits. A quick search in Google and you will be flooded with options, various suggestions and advice, and you may rightly be wondering whether fasted riding has the same effect on the female physiology as on the male. Cycling coach Alex Welburn is on hand here to clear a few things up…

Alex Welburn
Alex Welburn

Performance cycling coach Alex Welburn is one of the experts who will be answering your questions in Cycling Weekly's Ask a Cycling Coach series, online every Wednesday. He's currently completing a PhD on Critical power and W' at Loughborough University whilst also managing the Performance Project, in which he coaches athletes and provides consultation.

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Alex Welburn

Alex is a Physiologist, Performance Coach, who also lectures occasionally at Loughborough

University where he is completing his PhD in Critical power and W'.


After competing for over 10 years on the bike, where he has competed for GB in both

cyclocross and mountain bike events, he now spends his spare time in the mountains as an

aspiring guide. Alex has worked with cyclists of all levels over the last 9 years, from ultra-

endurance world champions to the Women’s TDF. Supporting his PhD he manages The

Performance Project, consulting with and coaching athletes. Finally, he is also a proud

sponsor of southern based LAKA X Pedal Mafia Race Team.