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Sir Dave Brailsford reveals his personal diet and training regime on Strava

Those following the Team Ineos head honcho on Strava couldn't quite believe their luck a few months back, when Brailsford gave an incredibly detailed and useful account of his own current diet and training plan...

Late last year, we noticed a certain Dave Brailsford pop up on Strava... and not only does the Team Ineos GM share his rides but also plenty of insightful tips and info in the comments section. 

6 reasons to use Strava
How to eat for sportives and long rides

dave brailsford strava screenshot

From sharing photos of himself on marshalling duties at local cycling events in his native Derbyshire to candid snaps of Ineos training rides, it's great to see how much Sir Dave gives back to the cycling community, and in early 2019 he even shared an incredibly detailed insight into his diet and training specifics.

Here's what Brailsford had to say about his fitness regime, which involves morning fasting, a mostly fat and protein-based diet and lots of low intensity riding:

“I’ve only eaten carbs from veg and had two bananas the rest of the time - so I've stuck to fat and protein only and only eaten between 11am and 8pm. I lost 3kgs but I’ve started back in the gym for the winter so will switch my diet around to higher protein and reintroduce a small amount of carbs pre and post training — and low intensity rides with torque.

"By torque I mean riding a big gear at around 50rpm, so pushing a big gear at low rpm. This is essentially strength training on the bike. I do blocks of 8-10 mins.

"Then I also back this up by doing strength work in the gym. I found that as you get over 50 one of the biggest things is to try and maintain muscle mass and strength — not a problem for all the youngsters but for us old lot it needs some work! So my winter is focussed on gaining strength and muscle mass and managing fat levels carefully.

"My low intensity is just riding at a relatively easy effort level, the reason being that the lower the intensity the higher the level of fat utilisation as a fuel — the higher the intensity or harder you go the more the body relies on glycogen for its fuel. By eating very little carbs and running low glycogen stores and doing rides which predominantly burn fat, I’m trying to reduce my body fat. Just riding round slowly will lead to a loss of the ability to go hard so I need to rebuild that in due course.

"In general outside of sport there has been an increasing trend to try to reduce the total amount and frequency of digesting carbohydrates, mainly due to the fact that carbs trigger the hormone insulin which, when the body’s ability to regulate insulin properly is reduced, leads to the onset of diabetes.

"This very simply means eating no grains, bread, pasta, rice, sugary products, starchy veg like potatoes and cutting out fruit. Of course, for a young healthy active individual the best solution seems to be to eat moderate carbs and protein, fuel higher carb prior to hard intensity training days or races, then use low carb fuelling for days when it’s a slower, more general type of riding day.

"Many riders will wake up, have a black coffee and ride totally fasted also — but realistically you can only ride slowly or moderately, and if you're doing a longer ride then you’d start fuelling with carbs after 1.5-2hrs.

"My view is that the best approach is to have clear phases or blocks where we focus on one or more goals and we adopt different training and nutritional strategies to best target that particular goal, then assess and move on to the next goal.

"It seems that many people try to have one approach and try to stick to that approach. I think that’s okay but to improve and be more in tune with how our minds work then it’s better to have a plan which changes and develops over different parts of the season or year." 

Dave Brailsford - from Strava (credit Sir Dave Brailsford, via Strava)

If you think that Brailsford's regime seems like it would take a lot of will power, it's worth noting that he's no average joe; he was a useful amateur racer back in the 80's, competing in France for around four years, before returning to the UK to study sports science, psychology and business. After a number of years working in export sales for British bike retailer Planet X, Brailsford became performance director of British Cycling in 2003, overseeing a complete revolution of the British team on the track and road with his marginal gains philosophy. His vision to create a successful British squad on the UCI World Tour became realised in 2009 and seven Tour de France victories later, the rest is history.     

Managing and working alongside the most well-resourced and arguably the most successful cycling team in the world has clearly paid off for the man himself, applying his own extensive knowledge and being able to call on the know-how of Team Ineos experts to devise his training plan, and keep incredibly fit into his 50's. It's also worth noting that since Brailsford gave this stellar advice, he's since been diagnosed with prostate cancer, had successful treatment and recovered to the point where he is starting to ramp up the training to similar mileage levels we were used to seeing before his diagnosis - according to his Strava account anyway, where he is once again knocking out 60 mile-plus rides around the hills of Derbyshire at the time of writing. 

We think it's fascinating to get an insight into the routine of a man with some of the most cutting-edge sports science at his disposal.... do you think Sir Dave's ideas could work for you?  

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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33 comments

Avatar
CyclingInBeastMode | 4 years ago
3 likes

Brailsford is right about retaining muscle mass as you get older, it seems to go in the blink of an eye. I had a couple of months off from doing a few bench presses at home as my old shoulder injuries were giving my gyp. it's not like I do anything big, 2x20 40kg reps once a day, but by god when you've not done them for a while all of a sudden you're struggling.

Same with the legs, if you've not done much on the bike for whatever reason (really long spells of nasty weather don't help much), the rides you seemed to be flying on early in the summer are an absolute grind in the winter even on a decent day weather wise.

The other aspect is still munching the same amount and putting on extra timber, xmas can be particularly bad with the indulging, so some refocus on eating well and getting some more miles in the legs post xmas has to be on the 'resolution' list!

Good luck to everyone trying to hit goals for 2020, let's hope the weather is kind and motorists kinder!

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perfect1964 | 4 years ago
0 likes

What no mention of triamcinolone for the hay fever or the Tramadol for a cold.

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Organon | 4 years ago
0 likes

Has theDoctor retired? I haven't heard a peeop out of him this tour. Perhaps he didn't notice the same team has a stranglehold on the yellow jersey as it wasn't Sky or a British rider to grumble about.

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Xena | 4 years ago
2 likes

He’s a,fucking donkey on a bike and has a crap  physique of a   tubby ,bald  “ baldest ohhhhh Sue me “ man who has team full of dopers and lies all the fucking time . “That’s a not our testosterone “  “ I don’t know what’s in the package” “ I was with Emma pooley “ “ I had no idea about DR Leinders “  “ the computer was stolen”  “ we have a total openness policy “ “ we will release some of Chris’s data ,but not all of it “  etc etc.  

Sky fan boys don’t bother defending him take your anger elsewhere .perhaps look at a photo of  a puppy to keep calm . I’m just stating the truth . Look at the puppy , stay calm . My post does not make any difference to your life in anyway , let it go . It’s ok . Have a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.  

 

Avatar
CXR94Di2 replied to Xena | 4 years ago
11 likes

 

 

Seek help, with such anger, you're bound to die from a burst arteryyes

 

Xena wrote:

He’s a,fucking donkey on a bike and has a crap  physique of a   tubby ,bald  “ baldest ohhhhh Sue me “ man who has team full of dopers and lies all the fucking time . “That’s a not our testosterone “  “ I don’t know what’s in the package” “ I was with Emma pooley “ “ I had no idea about DR Leinders “  “ the computer was stolen”  “ we have a total openness policy “ “ we will release some of Chris’s data ,but not all of it “  etc etc.  

Sky fan boys don’t bother defending him take your anger elsewhere .perhaps look at a photo of  a puppy to keep calm . I’m just stating the truth . Look at the puppy , stay calm . My post does not make any difference to your life in anyway , let it go . It’s ok . Have a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.  

 

Avatar
Xena replied to CXR94Di2 | 4 years ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

 

 

Seek help, with such anger, you're bound to die from a burst arteryyes

 

Xena wrote:

He’s a,fucking donkey on a bike and has a crap  physique of a   tubby ,bald  “ baldest ohhhhh Sue me “ man who has team full of dopers and lies all the fucking time . “That’s a not our testosterone “  “ I don’t know what’s in the package” “ I was with Emma pooley “ “ I had no idea about DR Leinders “  “ the computer was stolen”  “ we have a total openness policy “ “ we will release some of Chris’s data ,but not all of it “  etc etc.  

Sky fan boys don’t bother defending him take your anger elsewhere .perhaps look at a photo of  a puppy to keep calm . I’m just stating the truth . Look at the puppy , stay calm . My post does not make any difference to your life in anyway , let it go . It’s ok . Have a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.  

 

It’s clear I’m not angry I’m just telling you the truth . Speaking the truth does not mean I’m angry . How do you equate those 2 things?  Is it if you say something positive your not angry and if you say something negative “ even the truth “your angry . Look at what I posted it’s all true .

 Your  mind set may  think  I’m angry , but I’m not . Using four letter words is just a way to Express ones self  nothing else .  Lots of love Xena 

 

Avatar
maviczap replied to Xena | 4 years ago
4 likes
Xena wrote:

He’s a,fucking donkey on a bike and has a crap  physique of a   tubby ,bald  “ baldest ohhhhh Sue me “ man who has team full of dopers and lies all the fucking time . “That’s a not our testosterone “  “ I don’t know what’s in the package” “ I was with Emma pooley “ “ I had no idea about DR Leinders “  “ the computer was stolen”  “ we have a total openness policy “ “ we will release some of Chris’s data ,but not all of it “  etc etc.  

Sky fan boys don’t bother defending him take your anger elsewhere .perhaps look at a photo of  a puppy to keep calm . I’m just stating the truth . Look at the puppy , stay calm . My post does not make any difference to your life in anyway , let it go . It’s ok . Have a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.  

 

Oh dear, another angry person who speaks the truth about Sky/Ineos because they have a big file of evidence that they can take before WADA.

Before you slate Brailsford being a donkey on a bike check his times out on this year's Mallorca 312. Some donkey.

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srchar replied to Xena | 4 years ago
2 likes

YouTube comments are that way -->

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ConcordeCX | 4 years ago
2 likes

Low-carb dieting is not a good long-term strategy for most people.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30135-X/fulltext 

"Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased mortality, with minimal risk observed at 50–55% carbohydrate intake. Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality."

 

Avatar
quiff | 4 years ago
2 likes

Sorry to be a bore, but what's new in this article to justify re-dating it July 2019? I read it months ago. While I'm at it, why is an article about Cav's stage win on stage 1 of the 2016 tour in the what's hot section? At least the TdF result spoilers are over for another year. Grump over.   

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quiff replied to quiff | 4 years ago
1 like

And 5 months later I find myself asking again, what's new here as of December 2019? It's ok if there's no news guys, you don't have to re-date articles about that time someone posted on Strava.

quiff wrote:

Sorry to be a bore, but what's new in this article to justify re-dating it July 2019? I read it months ago. While I'm at it, why is an article about Cav's stage win on stage 1 of the 2016 tour in the what's hot section? At least the TdF result spoilers are over for another year. Grump over.   

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Pilot Pete replied to quiff | 3 years ago
0 likes

Watch the blood pressure quiff... 

by JACK SEXTY MON, FEB 24, 2020 16:54

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fennesz | 5 years ago
1 like

"This very simply means eating no grains, bread, pasta, rice, sugary products, starchy veg like potatoes and cutting out fruit."

For those that used to hangaround on SingletrackWorld, that's pretty much the iDave diet, right there.  Was called iDave as it came from a user called iDave = Dave Smith on this site. 

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Miller | 5 years ago
8 likes

"This very simply means eating no grains, bread, pasta, rice, sugary products, starchy veg like potatoes and cutting out fruit."

And... I'm out. That's my entire diet right there!

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davel replied to Miller | 5 years ago
7 likes
Miller wrote:

"This very simply means eating no grains, bread, pasta, rice, sugary products, starchy veg like potatoes and cutting out fruit."

And... I'm out. That's my entire diet right there!

But it's looking like my pie and beer diet is a winner #InnerChimp

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srchar replied to Miller | 5 years ago
1 like
DB wrote:

"This very simply means eating no grains, bread, pasta, rice, sugary products, starchy veg like potatoes and cutting out fruit."

Those are the only reasons that I ride a bike.

Avatar
SoliD | 5 years ago
8 likes

I had the pleasure of riding with Sir Dave a few years back (and team sky) out in Mallorca after winning the ride like a pro with Jaguar and the enjoyment he said he still got out of Cycling was refreshing to see when his whole life revolves around it and probably barely an hour goes by without seeing a bike. Said he had really cut back on his intake of wine as he was getting older as it led to him getting a bit porky  10 

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theDoctor | 5 years ago
1 like

What a borefest.

Do any of you lot actually care what this fella has for his breakfast or whatever?

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don simon fbpe replied to theDoctor | 5 years ago
14 likes
theDoctor wrote:

What a borefest.

Do any of you lot actually care what this fella has for his breakfast or whatever?

Are you a real doctor?

Avatar
theDoctor replied to don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
4 likes
don simon wrote:

Are you a real doctor?

There is a £15 fee for answering that question...

... in the meantime - what ails you, friend? 

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Sadly Biggins | 5 years ago
3 likes

Note to Suralan: your kit isn't very aero, won't wick very well and your tie will probably get stuck in the front wheel.  Poor planning - you're fired

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Organon | 5 years ago
1 like

I might go a bit faster myself if someone could spare a free 10K Pinarello.

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davel replied to Organon | 5 years ago
4 likes
Organon wrote:

I might go a bit faster myself if someone could spare a free 10K Pinarello.

On the other hand, you might not. 

 

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drjohn replied to davel | 5 years ago
3 likes
davel wrote:
Organon wrote:

I might go a bit faster myself if someone could spare a free 10K Pinarello.

On the other hand, you might not. 

 

 

^^

I hear that Sky supremo James Murdoch has a different nutrition philosophy, and likes to ride with Sugar.

I'll get my coat.... 

Avatar
ConcordeCX replied to Organon | 5 years ago
2 likes
Organon wrote:

I might go a bit faster myself if someone could spare a free 10K Pinarello.

he doesn't seem to have much confidence in the wheels, with a mobylette of spares following him around.

 

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IanMunro | 5 years ago
1 like

Difficult subject considering the protagonist, but "Fast over 50" by Joel Friel comes to similar conclusions.
Of course it's not beyond possibilty that Dave is simply regurgiating said book  1

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don simon fbpe | 5 years ago
1 like

So we're back to the fat burning zone then.

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CXR94Di2 | 5 years ago
5 likes

Lots of useful tips there

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Freddy56 | 5 years ago
3 likes

Everything he knows can fit into one small brown bag.

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alansmurphy replied to Freddy56 | 5 years ago
8 likes
Freddy56 wrote:

Everything he knows can fit into one small brown bag.

 

I assume you didn't bother reading the article...

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