BUILD ENDURING EFFICIENCY
An increasing body of evidence reveals that training in a fasted state will make you a more efficient fuelburner. Speaking at July’s World Conference of Cycling Science, leading exercise physiologist Louise Burke revealed that deliberately starving the body of glycogen forces the athlete to draw on fat reserves rather than burning precious and limited carbohydrate stores.
‘This is beneficial to endurance athletes because, ultimately, much of your training will be at a level (say around 70% of maximum heart rate) that utilises fat for energy production,’ Burke says, before stating that it’s easy to integrate. ‘One way is to do a long, slow session (over two hours) first thing in the morning on water only. The second is to do a high-quality workout after breakfast when well fuelled. Follow this with a protein-rich/low-carb meal and a moderate-intensity recovery session a couple of hours later.’
PLANNING YOUR SESSION
Only one workout a week should be in a fasted state. As well as its positive effects, training with depleted glycogen reserves can suppress the immune system and make you ill, so less is more.