Yesterday, as part of getting time in the saddle in prep for the Transbaviaans in 4 weeks time, I went out to try out a new nutrition strategy, as on my recent training rides my quads have started aching at around 1h 45m of exercise. The pain has been excruciating and has had me close to tears and is limiting my ability to go far.

I have been on a Low Carb, High Fat diet now for 18 months and this has been working well both from a weight and overall health perspective. My goal of getting to a state of Ketosis (where the body effectively utilises fat instead of carbs for energy) however has not yet been achieved.

I decided that I need to supplement with carbs on my ride, and used some gels and nougat bars for energy during the ride. I found it quite amazing experimenting like this on my body. This time I ate two nougat bars just before the ride, and had a gel at around 1h 30 into the ride. At 3 hours may quads started aching again just before we had to do a major climb up Breedts Nek, so had a gel and a nougat bar while we took off some of our warm clothing (was -1c at the start of the ride).

The climb up Breedts went ok, but the good news was that within a couple of minutes the aching had gone. At the summit of the climb had another gel which was at the turnaround point at 50km. By the time we hit 75km and had a break, my quads were aching again. I had another gel and my last nougat. I noted then that I needed a gel about every 40 minutes or so to prevent the pain and did so for the remainder of the ride which was pain free. It did take about 2o minutes for the aching to dissipate after taking the “fuel” but the ride was really enjoyable thereafter. I am definitely feeling more confident for Transbaviaans.

Besides doing 100km (966m of climbing) and 6 hours in the saddle, I have worked out what I feel is a good nutrition strategy until I can get into Ketosis.

You can check out the stats on my ride on Strava


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