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Kinda long training post(7 posts)

Kinda long training postJustTested
Jun 17, 2001 7:47 PM
I just got tested for VO2 Max, Watts, etc. Did the test just for the hell of it. I've got a few questions for you training gurus out there. Here's some information. I've been riding for about two years but I started training in a somewhat more structured manner in the last six months. I'm a month shy of 36, 5'10" about 160 lbs and I ride between 120-220 miles/week (depending on whether I ride on the dirt or not and whether I have time). As far as racing goes, I've only done long MTB races (La Ruta in Costa Rica (a three-day deathride) and a 24 hour deal) and I sometimes sit in on a fast group ride around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I'd like to do more racing, both MTR and road. Although I'd like to do well, I'm actually more interested in the experience. Here's what I learned from the test. My VO2 Max was 55.7. I think I could have got it a little higher because I got a little excited near the end and spun out and then had to recover a little. Not that it matters. My AT was 166 bpm. Here are my questions: (1) The test guy told me that I've basically been training anaerobically. (My VCO2 and my VO2 at lower levels of effort were very close together). It's weird because I can ride at 170-180 for about two hours pretty comfortably. Anyway, the guy told me that I was burning almost exclusively sugars and needed to teach my body to burn fat. What does exactly does this mean? (2) How long does it take to do this? If it means focusing on basework (what the guy suggested) how much anaerobic fitness do I lose? (3) I'm doing the TransAlp (another MTB deathride) in about five weeks. Can it be done? Does it matter? (4) Someone else told me that if you are doing a LSD ride and then you go hard during the ride, your body doesn't go back to burning fat when you slow down. True?
Thanks getting through this post. Any info would be appreciated.
re: How do you...........WCC
Jun 17, 2001 9:03 PM
...go about getting this done? How much does it cost? Im curious.
re: How do you...........JustTested
Jun 17, 2001 10:13 PM
A friend of mine is a physical therapist. He hooked it up. The test guy's name is Rich Garcia at Diaz Human Performance. He can be reached at It's pretty interesting.
I just read about this in Arnie Baker's "Smart Cycling"bill
Jun 17, 2001 9:11 PM
But, rather than have me butcher it for you, I think that you may be better off reading it yourself, because I'm not entirely sure that I understood it.
It's organic chemistry. Which I flunked.
re: Kinda long training postKyle
Jun 18, 2001 11:55 AM
1: It's pretty unusual that you would be able to sustain a significantly higher than LT effort for 2 hours. There is such a thing as a lactate steady state, but it isn't comfortable. Did you perhaps do the test on a treadmill or some other non-cycling piece of equipment? In any event your AT number seems suspect.

Basically what this guy is telling you is that you need to train to adapt your muscles to use a higher % of fat in energy production. The burning of fat does not create lactate and your AT will therefore increase.

2: LSD rides are probably the ticket, but this adaptation is kind of slow an improves over a number of years with a high volume of training. Not sure what you mean by 'anaerobic fitness' but I wouldn't worry about losing it. Obviously maintain a couple of hard days per week (ie intervals or races) during the season.

3: Not sure what you're asking here.

4. I've never heard this. It seems to suggest that once you flip the switch on anerobic energy production pathways, you can never go back to normal aerobic energy production and that it somehow changes the enzyme makeup of your mitochondria. Doesn't seem to make sense.
re: Kinda long training postJon Billheimer
Jun 18, 2001 9:20 PM
I agree substantially with Kyle. I would challenge the lab's interpretation of your LT. Were they drawing blood? Was their definition of your LT heart rate consistent with 4 mmol of lactate per ml of blood ( the usual definition of LT) or were they looking for a break point and correlating that with ventilatory threshold? Anaerobic fitness is an interesting concept and usually refers to how long one can sustain an effort over and above LT. On a ramp test five minutes is about maximum, and two to three minutes is average. The more intensely one exercises the greater the contribution glucose makes as the fuel for ATP synthesis, until absolute anaerobic production of ATP occurs. At that point glucose is the sole source of energy production. As intensity decreases fat becomes a proportionately greater fuel contributor. Fat mobilizing and metabolizing enzyme production is optimally stimulated at exercise intensities corresponding to 50 - 70% of VO2 max.

From the sounds of it you are very fit with a high lactate threshold. Doing extensive intervals once per week just under your LT will maintain your aerobic power. A long ride at low intensity will improve your endurance and fat burning capabilities, but will not affect your lactate threshold unless or until you stop doing threshold work. In that case your lactate threshold as a % of your VO2 max would decline somewhat. A mountain bike type ride with short, high intensity climbs will develop anaerobic power. For a more complete explanation of training intensities check out Joe Friel, The Cyclist's Training Bible. Hope this helps.
re: Kinda long training postJustTested
Jun 19, 2001 8:07 PM
Thanks to both you and Kyle! I'm trying to get as much info as I can and I appreciate inpute from folks like you.