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Endurance mountain biker/road cyclist


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This might be too long, I have a tendency to write novels...anywho


This is my first Whole30. I started last Wednesday, had a random 2 day bout of stomach flu, which led me to eat a piece of toast in desperation when nothing else would stay down. "restarted" Saturday, and am now on my "7th" full day. 


I am a female endurance athlete, race mountain bikes, occasionally road bikes...in the off season average 8-10 hrs a week...once I ramp up the training, usually aim for 12-18 hours per week. Some of this is shorter, interval workouts, and always one or two 4-6 hour rides on weekends...with the rest of the riding 1.5-2 hour "moderate" pace...


I've always eaten mostly gluten free/dairy free, etc...mostly Paleo compliant, with oatmeal or rice really being my only grains, and I hate beans...that said, I've always heavily relied on GU products to fuel me through training/racing. GU agrees with my system wonderfully, I've never had GI issues with it, but I hate relying on such a sugary product on a regular basis...hence one of the reasons I'm doing Whole30, because I think it would be awesome to be able to use Fat as fuel, and not rely on quick sugar...


So far, it's been ok...first few days, felt kinda crappy, rides were rough...didn't really have an appetite, so didn't eat a lot, I've lost about 7lbs since my first start last Wednesday...kind of expected this

This week I've started to ramp up the riding hours a bit, probably get in 12 hours...my schedule is weird, so I'm just wondering how I'm doing with meals, timing, and quantity to get enough energy...definitely don't feel as "dead" as the first few days...but still feeling "slow"


Today, for example. Woke up and ate


pre-w/o- 2 small homemade chicken sausages (~2oz), 1/3 avocado. Coffee+splash of almond milk


w/o- 2 hour mtb ride, "endurance" pace with some hard climbs, etc...


post w/o- shoved a cube of sweet potato in my mouth


w/o- another 30 min ride to work


post ride- some sweet potato "fries", roasted brussel sprouts, and 2 more chicken sausages


planning to have lunch- beef/onion/mushroom curry thing, braised cabbage, and more brussels sprouts


so my pre/post w/o food is becoming my breakfast...and around 2pm I immediately go to lunch. 


Is it ok that I eat a snack/mini meal around 4:30, before I ride another 30 min home? I've been having an apple, and usually some cashew/walnut butter...I know fruit is not ideal, but I feel that I'm burning so much, that an apple a day, and extra sweet potatoes are not a bad thing...


For dinner I'll have something meat/vegetables/fat...maybe more sweet potato if I feel like it/if that's ok?


Today is the first day on my ride that I felt little flashes of endless energy...on some climbs, etc...I can feel that the good energy is coming soon, but there is still that "dead leg" feeling a lot...I'm not convinced of having 0 carbs before riding, but willing to stick with it for now...it hasn't been as horrible as I expected


Anyway, I guess my questioning is 1. Is this enough fuel for my activity (it feels like enough, but I also think the protein/fat just makes me so full) and 2. Should I aim for all of my rides to have no fuel during, and just rely on pre/post w/o meals to give me energy?


Thanks for any tips!



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Have you looked at the recommendations for pre- and post-workout food? Before your workout, you should be eating fat and protein, no carbs, so the apple isn't the best idea. The chicken sausage+avocado is better. Post-WO you want lean protein and carbs, no fat, so the sweet potato cube is fine, but more sweet potatoes+some lean protein like chicken breast or tuna would be ideal. I might not go for sweet potato fries as a post-WO because these probably are cooked in some fat, right?


The idea of pre- and post-WO food is that this is a bonus. If you are combining these or using them to replace regular meals I worry you aren't getting enough nourishment. Definitely don't worry about having more than one sweet potato per day if that's what feels good.


How hard is your commute? If you don't consider that a workout, you could do the following:


pre-WO meal (protein and fat)

2hr MTB ride

post-WO meal (protein and carbs)

commute to work

meal #1 (full palm-size of protein, thumb of fat, 2-3 cups vegetables)

meal #2 (full palm-size of protein, thumb of fat, 2-3 cups vegetables)

mini-meal (same proportions of protein, fat and veg but smaller)

commute home

meal #3 (full palm-size of protein, thumb of fat, 2-3 cups vegetables)


Note this is one full meal more than you are currently eating  :) . On eating during your workout, I would go by how you feel. Lots of people do endurance training during the whole30 and go ahead with coconut water, dates, sweet potato baby food, etc. during the activity as they need them. The longer you eat this way the less you may need them, but it is good to be prepared in case you do.

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Thank you for the response! I guess I should have been more clear on a few things. I don't really consider the commute a workout/any ride that is 1hr or less, really doesn't need a post w/o meal for me. The sweet potato I ate in between the two was more just, "I don't have time to eat a meal so I'm eating this to not pass out before I get to work" quick fix :) before I could eat my real "post w/o" meal


I will try that third mini meal idea. I guess it feels like a lot to eat in a short amount of time, and I find I don't get hungry as often as I thought. The apple is really only thrown in there because they are a favorite food, and I'm struggling to find a time of day that is best to eat one! Pre- Whole 30 I ate an apple first thing in the morning, with my coffee...I'm not doing that right now obviously, but when could I incorporate one that would best suit the meal guidelines?

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