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Had an interesting ride last night. Dropped the lad at soccer training, then headed off along the Linear Park towards the beach (I'm going to miss daylight saving). The Linear Park follows the Torrens River and the lad's soccer is in the city, so it's essentially a down hill run to the sea. Because the track follows the river, it's all twists and turns and ups and downs. A beautiful ride
I got to the mouth of the river, turned north and started riding along the beach. Up past Henley jetty, then turned around to go back ... and realised why the run along the beach had been so easy - I'd had a massive tail wind which was now a decent head wind
Okay, down through the gears, plug along, then back up the Torrens, essentially a slight uphill run all the way.
Now's where it gets interesting from a training point of view. I've recently reworked my training zones based on my observed max HR of 185. According to the percentages (and the Polar website), my aerobic range finishes at 150 (yes, I know, guess work and generalisations).
For this ride, I'd been aiming to run my HR in the 140's and, of course, had pushed it into the 150's and kept it there At about the 26km mark, my legs started to feel tired. Not painful, just that tired feeling. Interesting enough to have me thinking about it, then I realised that that tired feeling was lactic acid in the muscles. So I dropped a few gears, backed off the pace and let my HR drop below 130. After a few km, that tired feeling was gone, but I kept my HR below 140 for the rest of the ride (30km total so it wasn't that far).
Based on that I'd say the HR zones are about right for me - isn't the lactic threshold (or whatever they call it) about the point where you go anaerobic? Whatever, there's no doubt that when working in the 150's, I feel like I'm working (though not stressed by any means, I have to get into the 170s to feel stressed) and when in the 140's I'm ticking along nicely. For the time being at least, I'll be using 150 as a 'dividing line' between endurance type workouts and more strength orientated workouts.
And it's nice to know I can recover on the bike
Today? No tiredness, no muscle weariness. I feel great ... yes, yes, you should always finish a ride with a warm down run on the last ten minutes or so, but who's that responsible?
Yep, the lactic acid is a product of anaerobic respiration taking place in your muscles (that's respiration in the sense of the energy producing chemical reaction, I'm not trying to convince you your legs were breathing ) so the anaerobic threshold is indeed when you start producing lactic acid.
So you had a beautiful ride . . . .
Oh wait, there must be more than one paragraph judging by Hotdog's response. I better go back and check. Yep, there is more, bugger me.
Interesting, I've also noticed the tired feeling you mention and I was told to drop a gear or two and spin for awhile (the magic higher cadence coming into action).
I have a time trial coming up this Sunday unless Richard's predicted earthquake occurs and I was going to use this technique during the ride.
I'll have to do some research on lactic acid and anaerobic stuff.
Wonderful thing, the internet. When I was a kid we had to get mum to drive us three towns away to the library - and no Four Yorkshiremen quotes either, they're all in another thread.
It's actually quite interesting how our muscles work and how LT is increased and also how easy it is to increase it with the proper training technique.
Based on that I'd say the HR zones are about right for me - isn't the lactic threshold (or whatever they call it) about the point where you go anaerobic? - Richard
Anaerobic is just that the muscles are not using oxygen to produce power. It creates more lactic acid than aerobic exercise so it will get you to the LT quickly. You can be anaerobic before reaching LT. It can be confusing because lactate threshold seems to be the same as anaerobic threshold.
When exerting yourself (anaerobic) you produce more lactic acid than usual. The body uses some of the lactic acid but there is a point where more is produced than used then it starts accumulating in the blood which is a sign the lactate threshold has been reached.
Increasing your lactate threshold is training your body to use more lactic acid so you can exert yourself more before the excess lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood.
So far my reading points to a new training technique.
Instead of jumping on the bike and riding 40km and going at a solid steady pace, the new method would be to do 10km slower, 10kms harder than normal, 10km slower and then the last 10kms harder than normal.
The only drawback I've found is that this type of training isn't as good at fat burning than endurance training. I suppose it depends what you want to achieve.
Looks like cycling technique can come into it as well.
I'll quote straight from a web site as they describe it well -
"A large muscle mass working at a moderate intensity will develop less lactate than a small muscle mass working at a high intensity. For example, the rower must learn to effectively distribute force development among the muscles of the legs back and arms, rather than focusing all of the load on the legs, or the upper body." -
Seems like a good reason to go clipless and use a few more muscles while pedaling.
This is how I've started training, as I found I was no longer getting any benefit from 'touring style' training. How this holds up to being able to ride all day I have yet to fully test, but I'm getting some benefit from the new training.
How do I turn this signature off????
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