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What Should I Eat Before A Hard Ride? | Ask GCN Anything


(low, intense tones) – Hello, and welcome to Ask GCN Anything. – Yes, and this week we’ve
got a packed show for you. We’ve got questions on tubeless tires, winter motivation, pre-race meals, and can you increase your FTP without even riding your bike? – Good questions then. – I’m skeptical. – Don’t forget, if you want to be in with the chance of winning a three months, free subscription to Zwift use the hashtag #askgcntraining and for any non-training related questions use hashtag #torqueback. And you can drop them in
the comment boxes below. – Yes, so if you’ve got
that burning question that you want to get answered on here then don’t forget to put
it in that comment section. So, without further ado let’s crack on with the first question
coming from Oleg Revulet: “Sport supplements, do you use any? “What is good for recovery “or for better performance,
pick power et cetera?” I think he means peak power there. What do you reckon, Chris? – Yeah, well, Oleg, that’s
a really good question, and the simple answer is
that, aside from hydro drinks or energy gels on those really tough days, then, no, I didn’t use
supplements as a pro rider, and I certainly don’t
use them now, either. Maybe on occasion I would
use a protein drink, after a really tough ride. – Yes, so I think the
reason being here is that a well thought-out,
balanced diet, is actually will do all your needs,
your energy levels, your health, and yeah. I think that’s all you need, really. Your vegetables, your
carbohydrates, your protein. – Yeah, it’s always best to stear clear of any products that have
been processed too much, and supplements have definitely been processed quite a bit.
– Mmm. – They’re not a natural
thing that you’re gonna walk out into the fields and find. So, with that in mind, unless
you are actually deficient in something, I think it’s
best just to try and get your nutrients from natural products. – Yes. I think you really
are what you eat, here. So, maybe a McDonald’s every
day probably won’t turn you into the rider you really want to be. – On the subject of food, MTB Rider writes in with
the following question: “Hi GCN, I am 17. “Yesterday I did my first
race, which I also won. “After sprinting to the
finish line, though, “I felt like I was going to
throw up, although I didn’t. “Before the race, I had two
slices of bread and some cheese. “Why does this happen, but
more importantly, how can “I prevent it happening again?” – Well, first off, congratulations on winning that bike race. Any bike race is hard to win, so congratulations on that one. And, on the subject of
feeling sick, you’re probably feeling sick because you
ate too close to the event. What I tend to do is plan it a bit more, and eat two to three
hours before the event, that way you won’t get that sick feeling and it lets your food digest, and also there’s a good prevention of stitches. – Yup. Don’t forget, though, when
sprinting to a finish line, you could feel a little queasy. Maximum efforts and all that.
– Yeah, true. – If you did the nutrition plan before and you stopped
eating two or three hours before the event, and
you still felt like that, then you might want to
consider eating something that’s easier to digest,
maybe some bread and honey, or bread and jam, instead of the cheese. – We’ve actually got the
perfect pre-race meal, – Right here.
– That Emma did, which is a carrot cake porridge. Interesting one, this. – I’ll have to try that tomorrow. – Mmm. – Now I’d just like to say here, that I am a strong believer in
using this kind of grater to grate citrus peel,
not this one, because it all gets stuck in the grating holes and then you can’t use it. So I go for this one. Other people believe differently, I know. – So, we’re now on to the AskGCNtraining winner question. So congratulations to Vincent Lavallee, who won this one, for this question: “#AskGCNtraining, I always
seem to get really motivated “at the end of the season
and to hit peak fitness “in November, after the season has ended, “but can never carry it
through the Canada winter,” which is particularly horrendous, I hear, “to the season start in April. “How do I maintain my intensity “through the winter off season?” – That’s a good question, I think. – It is a really good question, yeah. – Yup, well, if you’re hitting your peak fitness and motivation in November, then that kinda suggests that something’s a little bit off with your
training year, on the whole. – Yeah, and I think if we
firstly address the mental period, or the mental
fatigue, you’re basically, if you’re doing structured
training, day in, day out, it’s actually gonna be
quite mental fatiguing. So, you want a bit of relax
time, and you don’t want to be stressed all the time. – Yeah, no, exactly. Most pros will do this
throughout the season, and you should also include, a period of unstructured training at some point. So, most pro riders, they’ll
build towards an event, the Giro d’Italia, for
example, and then they’ll have a week or two where they ride
their bikes when they want to, and if they don’t want
to, then they won’t. – Yeah, so the best way to
include unstructured training is to have a goal in that week,
but then don’t structure the training to that goal. Go out and enjoy riding your bike, but have that goal, but don’t put all the 20 minute
efforts, five minute efforts, and then, hopefully, that will
relax you a little bit more. – No, exactly. You could have the overall
volume there as a goal, but you don’t have to
stress if you miss a day or if you don’t manage to
tick every single one of those boxes on the way to achieving it. – Yeah, so what we’re saying here is, if you do skip a session,
don’t feel guilty about it. Relax over it, and just move on. – Yep.
– Go to the next day, I guess. – And then when it comes to the winter, – Mmmm.
– The following winter, you’ll want to include one unstructured ride a week, really, where you do some intervals
as you feel like it, so without being too hard on yourself that you’re trying to do
these five minute efforts, five minutes on, five minutes off. You wanna kind of ride
on feel a little bit, and you can even consider
doing a Zwift race. – Yes! Or basically what you’re saying is, we can include intensity
but without the structure. – Yeah. – So go out on a group ride, or, which I tried the
other day, do a Zwift race. – [GCN Host] Well they
are working hard as well. You can see it dripping off the end of his nose there, for James. It’s been a tough race and
I think it’s the end of it for James, in terms of a Top 10 now, because he hasn’t quite been able to hang on with the
group that came past him. – Ouch! As you can tell, well
that one hurt quite a lot. – It’s not on the screen. I
don’t know where we’re looking. – I dunno. – So anyway, to summarize,
if you want to hit April in peak condition, you wanna
consider having November and December as quiet months, and then 12 weeks out
you want to start really including that structured intensity. – Yes, so to be clear, the
intensity during the off season, one day of structured work,
will probably be sufficient. And then if you plan your
week, and have one unstructured training session, that
should put you in good stead going into the beginning of the season, fully motivated and in good fitness, ready for race wins. So now we’re onto the quickfire round. Last week we had a slow fire
round because Dan was here, but now we’ve got Chris in, so it’s gonna be a quick fire round. Let’s hope so, anyway. – Right then. First up, Joseph Kozachek. “I was watching the worlds and Adam Yates “started the race with leg warmers on. “This raised the question: “how to riders take them
off during the race?” – Ahh. Interesting one. Now, I’ve done this a couple of times, especially with knee warmers,
as it’s a little bit easier, ’cause the gap’s a bit bigger. But what I would do is
start riding, slow down, put your leg to the, well, your pedal rev to the bottom of the pedal rev; slide your knee warmer down, put it over the bottom of your shoe, then unclip, and then whip
it over the end of your shoe. – Yep, and then you post them
in through the car window. – Yep, just like that. The second question is from David King. “Why is it when you touch wheel, “it inevitably ends in crashing?” Whatcha thinking, Chris?
– Well, that’s because if you touch
the wheel in front of you, it’s kinda been, or the
wheel in front of you touches your front
wheel, it’s being pushed out from underneath you, moving your center of balance out from over the top of the bike. Which is why if you do it yourself you’re in complete control of it, because you’re prepared for it. Generally, when you touch a
wheel, you weren’t ready for it and you will crash. – Has this happened to us before? – Huh. Maybe. (both laughing) – [Event Announcer] 14 Wiggins and they’re down on the corner. – Ondra Stehlik, the second, writes in: “I found on the World TT Champs that “Tom Dumoulin has decent breast muscles. “Is there any reason for that, “and should I get them as well? – Yes. Riders at this level,
well they need core strength. They would’ve done a
lot of work in the gym to be able to sit in
those low, hard positions. And when you’re as lean as Tom Dumoulin, they might be a bit accentuated, so that’s probably what you’re seeing. – Yeah, exactly. They wouldn’t look as great
on you or I, would they? – Probably not. – Next question is from Ryan Downey. Now this is the skeptical one. “Is it possible to increase
my FTP without riding a bike?” Now, I know you’ve done
some research on this. – (chuckles) Hardly. Well, in rare circumstances, it could be. But, it’s most unlikely.
– Yeah. – So, basically, if you’re
really, really tired, and you’ve been riding and
riding and all of a sudden had a rest and were
starting to freshen up, then your FTP could go up
by not riding your bike. That’s obviously quite
a rare circumstance. The other one would be if
you’re not normally a cyclist, and you did some specific
strength training, your muscles could increase
in strength and therefore, again, you will see an
increase to your FTP. And the final chance is if
you did some speed skating or cross country skiing, – Ooh, I love that.
– As they use muscles quite closely related to cycling muscles. So, yeah, basically, it’s
probably not gonna happen, but there is a chance. – I have interest. I know you did an FTP test yesterday, and you haven’t been
on the bike for awhile. Or you haven’t been training
to the level you were. Did you increase your FTP? – No, I lost 60 watts. – Oh. Ouch. Next question is from … – Gem Lacson. And they write in with,
“Would it help to incorporate “a two- to three-hour endurance
ride in my weekly session? “Currently, in my tight schedule, “I do two interval trainings and then “an endurance ride each week.” – Yeah, I think this depends
on what goals you have. Try and keep your training specific. If you are looking at
stretching your endurance, then trying to add some two-
to three-hour training rides in that week will help you stretch that. But it kinda all depends on
what you want to train towards. – Yup. That’s pretty much it. So, then we have, oh
this is a brilliant name. NeffiKristensenfilm. – Yeah, and he says, I think it’s a he. “Hi GCN, after riding my
tubeless set up for a while, “the valve cores are getting pretty sticky “and filled up with tubeless
sealant, to the point “where getting air in the
tire are just as hard as a job “as getting the tires to
seal in the first place. “Are there a way to clean the valve cores “so they become new again?” Oh, the dream.
– Well, I’ve got a couple of ideas for you. The first one would be to
take them off and soak them in some really hot soapy water for awhile, and see if you have any luck with that. Failing that, though, get
yourself some new ones and then pop the sealant
into the tire first, instead of injecting it via the valve. It’s definitely possible,
’cause we’ve done it ourselves. – You’ve done it a lot. You
love tubeless, don’t you? – Yeah, I do. And then, when you go to blow them up, blow them up with the valve
at the top of the wheel, to prevent any sealant
seeping into the valve. And that way, while not
only should you never end up with sealant in the valve, it should also function for longer. – Yeah, and that brings us to the end of the Quick Fire Round. – Next up, we have quite a long question from Matteo Dellapiana
– Very long question. Wow.
– So I’m gonna paraphrase it a little bit for us all. So, he’s a runner. He does middle distance
running but has a few hours available each week to do some cycling. He’s coached for his
running, which includes five to six days a week of running, but wants to know is
there anything he can do to help compliment that, from cycling? – Yeah, and I’m sure he’s aware that a key component to training
is to keep it specific. So if you do want to
increase your cardiovascular and aerobic capacity, a good
thing to do is to go out on a three-hour, gentle
ride — I say gentle, do it at about 80% of your
sustainable intensity. – Yeah, that should help
you become more efficient, which will definitely
benefit your running. The other way you can approach it, is to do some really intense efforts. Because, of course, when you’re running, it’s hard to recover while still moving, whereas on the bike, you
can really dig extra deep. So, four to eight
minutes, and then recover. That should really help push you to the edge of your physical capacity. – Yeah, but be sure to chat to your coach about it all, because
you don’t want to be, him putting it in your
training that you’re sitting on the sofa, when actually, you’re putting in a cycle. So you don’t want to do that. Make sure you tell him, talk to him, and then you won’t be
fatigued, or super tired. – Yeah, don’t skimp on your recovery – Yeah.
– ’cause that’s the fast track to illness. – Exactly. We’ve actually got a video from our mates over at
GTN, on exactly this. – Cycling five hours of cycling per week, again, breaking across three
rides, perhaps two shorter rides during the week and
one longer ride on a weekend, or when you have more time. – So, the next question’s from ACS45 Cal, “Hello GCN. “I’m a big fan of the channel and the ask, “and ask GCN training show.” Well thank you. We love
bringing it to you. “I’ve an aluminum training
bike, which I use to train “on the weekdays, and carbon race bike, “which I only ride during the weekends. “Both bikes have been set
up to have the same saddle height and reach, but problem is, “they both have different geometries. “As an example, the BB
distance to the saddle nose “on both bikes are
different, despite having “the same saddle height and reach. “How will something like this affect “my performance on my race bike? – Well, don’t worry too much. It won’t massivelY
affect your performance, other than feeling a little bit different when you get onto it. But there are some tips. It’s almost always a
challenge to set two bikes up exactly the same, but I would
start with the saddle height and layback of your saddle
from the bottom bracket. So you wanna have a nice
plumb line that drops down from center point of the saddle, through the bottom bracket,
or from the tip of the saddle, past the bottom of the bottom bracket, and measure that on your
race bike, and then try and replicate that on your training bike. If you then need to change the stem on your training bike,
to account for the reach, that’s the best way to go about it, because it’s your legs that are training in that specific position, mostly. It is cycling. We’re peddling. – Right, next question. From Slam031, “AskGCNTraining,
I notice that my back “hurts after two-plus hours on the bike. “Can you recommend any
off-the-bike exercises “that would help prevent this?” I know exactly what you’re
gonna say, Chris. Stretching. It’s key.
– Yep. – It is key.
– C’mon Slam, you need to get on top of your stretching. Backs are particularly
problematic at times for cyclists, so if you have any niggles,
you need to get on top of them. And we’ve dug deep into
our archives for you, and we’ve come up with this
brilliant stretching video with Matt Rabin and Dan Martin. – Yeah. – So it’s well worth checking out. – I’ve actually been seeing
Matt Rabin, and he’s amazing. – First exercise we’re
gonna go through with you, is a dynamic stretch to get your glutes and hamstrings activated. So what we’re gonna do, is you
need about five meters or so to do this exercise, and
as you go through it, you’re just gonna take a step up, grab your leg, and just elongate your body as you tip toe, and make your
body as tall as possible. – Well, it’s a sad time isn’t it, Chris? – It is.
– Because it’s the end of this week’s Ask GCN Anything. But if you want to get the
chance to get your question answered on next week’s
show, then use the hashtag #askGCNtraining to be in
with a chance of winning three months free subscription from Zwift. And if you’ve got any more questions or any more burning desires to ask, then use the hashtag #torqueback. – Yep. And it’s that time of year, when we start to throw to
the cyclo-cross videos. So, if you want to
brush up on your skills, why not check out this
week’s video of Emma, doing some cyclo-cross?
– Yeah. That’s amazing, that video, actually. – Give us a thumbs up if
you found this video useful.

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