What kind of ride are we doing today?
A long easy paced ride?
A quick 30 minute course?
Maybe some intervals.
Your answer to this question will determine what kind of nutritional prep you need to do before you go on your ride.
Think about the intensity. If you plan on working hard, then you are going to be burning through some carbohydrates. If you are going on an easier paced ride, then you will be using more fat for fuel. We have plenty of fat in storage, so as long as we are eating an average amount of carbs throughout the day, we should be good for an easy paced ride.
Long distance rides, like high intensity rides, will also require some nutritional preparation. Carbs before and during the ride will be necessary to keep you fueled.
Lastly, intense long distance rides will require the most prep. If you are doing a century ride and pushing it for a new PR (personal record), or if you are going on a long ride with people who are faster than you, then you may want to carb load. Start loading up to a week ahead of time. Make sure to have a high carb breakfast, and take some snacks with you. Remember, the harder you are pushing it, the faster you are burning through your body’s carb storage. Take it from me, it doesn’t feel good to hit the wall.