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Has anyone seen this book -- "Maximum Performance for Cyclists?" Anyone think it's the latest great thing, or a bunch of bullcrap?

http://store.velogear.com/mapeforcy.html

It has some strange, nontraditional concepts about training and nutrition that made me curious. I'm not sure if he's trying to be nontraditional just to sell books, or what, though he citess plenty of --sources--, I dunno. He advocates stuff like:

* Training on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, for shortish periods (to promote the use of fat as fuel)
* Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet on rest days (to promote faster carb absorption during training days)
* Almost entirely eliminating long, "base" / endurance rides (they could actually hurt, he argues)
* Basically, do a lot of intervals, but train fewer days each week

Where do you stand on all of this? I'm leaning towards the "latest fad" thing...
 

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Sounds like crap to me.

I KNOW this is crap:

* Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet on rest days (to promote faster carb absorption during training days)
Yeah, uhuh....
 

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* Almost entirely eliminating long, "base" / endurance rides (they could actually hurt, he argues)
* Basically, do a lot of intervals, but train fewer days each week
I don't know about the nutritional advice -- I tend to thing that your body will use what's available, period, so that you can't train your body to pick one source over another if both are available, but what do I know? But I have come to be a bigger believer in these two points. Part of it is the difference in how we race versus how pros race. Pros do a lot of 200 km multi-day deals, or at least multi-day races many of which are at least 100 km, and we weekend warrior types might race once or twice a weekend, maybe 40 - 80 km max for the weekend. So, what are we doing in the saddle for umpteen hours day after day. For us, it's about loading up in some relation to our race loads, and recovery.
 

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I do this every morning for my commute - and have no problems with any serious sort of bonking... (10 miles hardtail mtn bike)

Argentius said:
* Training on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, for shortish periods (to promote the use of fat as fuel)

Where do you stand on all of this? I'm leaning towards the "latest fad" thing...
 

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bas said:
I do this every morning for my commute - and have no problems with any serious sort of bonking... (10 miles hardtail mtn bike)
I routinely do am workouts, short ones, without too much intensity, without eating anything, and it's fine, but the question remains, is it better? I kind of don't think so. My workouts usually are better if I eat even a banana or something, if I'm going to be going hard and/or more than about 45 mins.
 

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Mixed bag

Argentius said:
* Training on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, for shortish periods (to promote the use of fat as fuel)
* Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet on rest days (to promote faster carb absorption during training days)
* Almost entirely eliminating long, "base" / endurance rides (they could actually hurt, he argues)
* Basically, do a lot of intervals, but train fewer days each week

Where do you stand on all of this? I'm leaning towards the "latest fad" thing...
Nothing wrong with short training sessions on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. However, you obviously can't do long sessions this way. I first saw this technique suggested in the '80s, but it probably has been around a lot longer. A variation is to have a small high protein breakfast (e.g. grilled chicke breast) before a longer base ride.

The "rest day Atkins" approach is mostly bunk.

If you're only riding 20 mile crit race, you don't need huge base miles but you do need a lot of interval work. It all depends on your goals. Plus, some of these guys try to be "different" and describe routines as "not your normal training program" but when you break it down, they're not much different from the general recommendations.
 

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Empty stomach works up to about 2 hours of hard riding, but make sure half of that ride is on your way back or it's going to get very crappy :)
 

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No, he definitely suggests training only 1-1.5 hours on an empty stomach -- to "train body to use as much stored fat as a fuel source as possible," and to "stop riding and eat immediately if you taste ammonia." Part of his whole "plan" is that, for the most part, you're only training short periods anyway.

The thing that got me the most was that he suggested that long base rides could actually HURT racing performance --- something about shrinking muscles, or that since your max calorie absorption was about 300 cal / hr, and you expended 500 / hr or so at an endurance-type pace, that a 4-6 hour ride would deplete more than you could put in, and so could ... um, prevent muscle buildup, or something. Wha?

I'll grant that riding 100 base miles every day but doing no intensity work and then expect to win sprints you're crazy, but still... as Kerry said, maybe this approach would work if your longest race is 2 hours, but if (as I do) you'd like to do some stage races with 100-200km stages, and your longest ride is 3 hours...
 

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Argentius said:
Has anyone seen this book -- "Maximum Performance for Cyclists?" Anyone think it's the latest great thing, or a bunch of bullcrap?

http://store.velogear.com/mapeforcy.html

It has some strange, nontraditional concepts about training and nutrition that made me curious. I'm not sure if he's trying to be nontraditional just to sell books, or what, though he citess plenty of --sources--, I dunno. He advocates stuff like:

* Training on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, for shortish periods (to promote the use of fat as fuel)
* Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet on rest days (to promote faster carb absorption during training days)
* Almost entirely eliminating long, "base" / endurance rides (they could actually hurt, he argues)
* Basically, do a lot of intervals, but train fewer days each week

Where do you stand on all of this? I'm leaning towards the "latest fad" thing...
I've skimmed it, and go with "latest fad."
 

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"No, he definitely suggests training only 1-1.5 hours on an empty stomach -- to "train body to use as much stored fat as a fuel source as possible," and to "stop riding and eat immediately if you taste ammonia." Part of his whole "plan" is that, for the most part, you're only training short periods anyway."

I think the nail has been put in the coffin on the idea that you can "train" the body to selectively use fat (beyond the normal increase as one becomes aerobically fit). Yes, the longer it's been since you've eaten and the longer you've ridden at a given intensity the greather the % of energy derived from fat in adipose tissue becomes. However, your body is not adapting to burning more fat independent of those variables.


"The thing that got me the most was that he suggested that long base rides could actually HURT racing performance --- something about shrinking muscles, or that since your max calorie absorption was about 300 cal / hr, and you expended 500 / hr or so at an endurance-type pace, that a 4-6 hour ride would deplete more than you could put in, and so could ... um, prevent muscle buildup, or something. Wha?"

Is hypertrophy necessary to become faster? Maybe smaller muscles are better for endurance efforts? Whatever is the case, the most efficient form of training is probably one the emphasizes whatever the particular demands of the racing in which you participate.
 

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I am watching someone work on this system right now. Great for people up north who can't ride 15 hours per week outdoors. Reverse Periodization, we call it (intervals all winter, work on the miles in April).

If it works for the athlete and motivates training, it is good. Looking at the training system, it sure builds strong crit riders. Trying to work in a stage race training plan would require many changes.
 
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