Home
And does it beat cake as the cyclist's favourite snack? All these burning questions answered

It’s National Pizza Day, apparently. And it’s quickly found a spot in my top five days of the year. But with a tummy now rumbling for pizza, the sensible voice in my mind is asking how many miles would I have to ride to burn it off?

Well, I don’t want to scare anyone, but the figures don’t make for fantastic reading. A basic Margarita from Pizza Express contains 729kcal while the delicious sounding Calabrese contains 1,346kcal.

But what does that mean in terms of riding? A little look at my last cyclocross race saw me burn off 364kcal for 1 hour of intense riding. At 22, with a high metabolism, it's a surprisingly low number. I had the pizza anyway...

The Fact Burning Zone - fat burning myths busted

Strava Data2.jpg

Strava Data2.jpg

A much longer Sunday ride of 4 hours burned 2,301kcal. It looks like I can have a starter and dessert as well, or a second pizza. Result.

Strava Data1.jpg

Strava Data1.jpg

The pros also love a slice of pizza occasionally, and if Nairo Quintana wants to beat Chris Froome this year, we might just have found the three-time Tour winner's weakness.

Now we think that if you've used 6,300kcal, you probably deserve a rather large pizza.

Being a climber is helped massively by being lighter

cake coffee (Jacinta Lodge).jpg

cake coffee (Jacinta Lodge).jpg

 

Now, I must point out, a few roadies in the office were quick to argue that cake is the undeniable staple of the British cyclist's riding diet. But which do you prefer as a reward for all those miles?

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

20 comments

Avatar
pdw [64 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I think that CX figure might be just a little off.  90W might get you an average of 14mph on the road, but not round a CX course.  Three times that might be a bit closer to the mark.

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
pdw wrote:

I think that CX figure might be just a little off.  90W might get you an average of 14mph on the road, but not round a CX course.  Three times that might be a bit closer to the mark.

yes, also 364 kcal an hour sounds more like a brisk stroll

Avatar
ktache [826 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

But according ot the BMR calculator at myfitnesspal, doing absolutely nothing, I burn 1685 a day.  That's over 2 whole Margaritas.  If I put in a few hours watching TV I'm guessing I should start losing weight.

Avatar
fustuarium [246 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
ktache wrote:

But according ot the BMR calculator at myfitnesspal, doing absolutely nothing, I burn 1685 a day.  That's over 2 whole Margaritas.  If I put in a few hours watching TV I'm guessing I should start losing weight.

 

Typing the message must have burnt off enough for a garlic bread at least.

Avatar
ktache [826 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

If I get a bit angry about a story, say maybe whatever grayling has done-  a couple of hot wings?

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [847 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Had pizza for tea last night & pizza for lunch today.  Go pizza!  No riding though.  Pizza. 

Avatar
stenmeister [351 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Pizza is post ride whereas cake is mid ride so I can have both!

Avatar
Liam Cahill [116 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

beezus fufoon wrote:

pdw wrote:

I think that CX figure might be just a little off.  90W might get you an average of 14mph on the road, but not round a CX course.  Three times that might be a bit closer to the mark.

yes, also 364 kcal an hour sounds more like a brisk stroll

It may be a little off. But that's a Strava estimate for you! I've no power metre on the CX bike so it'd be closer to a 290ish average.

Avatar
oceandweller [80 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Power meters? Average heart rates? What is this, work? I ride a bike for pleasure, I eat pizza for pleasure. If I'm happy, what do calories used or consumed have to do with it?

Avatar
davel [2390 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
oceandweller wrote:

Power meters? Average heart rates? What is this, work? I ride a bike for pleasure, I eat pizza for pleasure. If I'm happy, what do calories used or consumed have to do with it?

Don't knock it til you've tried it: think how much happier you'd be if you could nudge 138mph on  a Sunday spin.

Avatar
dottigirl [819 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Awww, pizza.

Has reminded me that my local cheap delivery place stopped doing gluten-free last week.frown No more 'carb loading' the night before a ride. 

(The other two close-by places charge a fortune for similar bases.)

Avatar
brooksby [3302 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
dottigirl wrote:

Awww, pizza.

I think it's actually pronounced "Mmmm, pizza", and is traditionally followed by a Homer Simpson drooling noise...

Avatar
DaveE128 [996 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Those figures look weird to me. Now I'm no skinny racer, but according to my Garmin I burn 500cal in about 45 minutes on my commute, mostly in Z3.

If you put in your weight wrong on Strava you tend to get daft figures out IIRC.

Avatar
peted76 [1105 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I hate this article....  it's just made me fantasise about pizza and how I should probably never eat it again, damn you roac.cc and damn those nutrition labels on food too always glaring at me with their red eyes and fat% numbers.. and damn crisps too.. no not crisps, I'm so sorry crisps you'll always be my special friends. 

 

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2122 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Riding easy hour 500 Cal,  hard ride 1000 Cal.  1500 Cal for mental 45 mins

Avatar
andyp [1573 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Riding easy hour 500 Cal,  hard ride 1000 Cal.  1500 Cal for mental 45 mins

 

Those numbers in 'Cal' are  probably far more accurate than a lot of the *kcal*numbers posted above.

 

The day I believe Strava's kcal *estimates* is the day I believe Strava's wattage estimates  1

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
andyp wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Riding easy hour 500 Cal,  hard ride 1000 Cal.  1500 Cal for mental 45 mins

 

Those numbers in 'Cal' are  probably far more accurate than a lot of the *kcal*numbers posted above.

 

The day I believe Strava's kcal *estimates* is the day I believe Strava's wattage estimates  1

that's because the watts, kcal, and kjoule guesstimate is the same measurement

Avatar
DaSy [824 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Those power figures seem way off to me too!

An hour at or around FTP (320W) for me nets about 1000 calories according to my Power Tap. I'm just under 11st so nothing outrageous about my figures.

An estimated average power of 90W in  a race seems incredibly low, even if you weigh 8st I'd guess an FTP near 200W which should give 720W at FTP for an hour.

Avatar
andyp [1573 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:
andyp wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Riding easy hour 500 Cal,  hard ride 1000 Cal.  1500 Cal for mental 45 mins

 

Those numbers in 'Cal' are  probably far more accurate than a lot of the *kcal*numbers posted above.

 

The day I believe Strava's kcal *estimates* is the day I believe Strava's wattage estimates  1

that's because the watts, kcal, and kjoule guesstimate is the same measurement

 

Wow. That really is poor.

Avatar
psling [289 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Things have moved on. It's National Pie Week this week for the carbo loaders out there...