I've been doing a lot more base this year, somewhere in the middle of Trainerroad's Mid to High Volume sweet spot base. On the longer weekend rides 90min to 120min, as well as some of the harder 60 min rides I've been noticing the smell of ammonia on my breath. From what I gather, this means I have depleted my glycogen stores and my body is burning amino acids (or protein?) instead (I could be misunderstanding this).
A few things to note:
- I sweat a lot, even though the trainer is on a cold but enclosed deck right now, I will have puddles under the bars, lately its been anywhere from 20-40 degrees out there, I never wear more than a summer baselayer and always have the fan on. I know this goes against what pros like Myerson say, I'm wasting energy on sweating, but it seems unavoidable for me.
- I drink a decent amount of water and have got pretty good at controlling my hydration. Usually two bottles when on the trainer, but start out hydrated. (maybe I still need more when riding)
- I eat dinner a few hours before, and have lately started adding a mid ride snack, thinking that would help, something like nuts or fruits, maybe they aren't fast enough burning? switch to gels? I often dont get onto the bike until 11pm.
- These rides usually spend about an hour between 88-94% FTP, in 8-12 minute intervals.
- I'm not bonked at the end.
The simple solution seems to be to focus on eating more carbs before riding, but I'm pretty sure I already do that. Another option I've been reading about fasted training/nutrition plans focusing on teaching the body to burn fats instead (How to Program Your Body to Burn Fat Instead of Store It with Fasted Training - TrainerRoad Blog). I've also been wondering if this means my protein intake is too high, and maybe I should switch to a more carb based recovery mix, I currently use Hammer Recoverite, but used to used the Fluid stuff, which is more carbs, less protein. Also, This article was helpful: What Is That Ammonia Smell When I Sweat?
Has anyone dealt with this? It doesn't seem to effect me, so part of me just says to focus on eating and drinking a bit more, but otherwise don't make big changes.