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Higher lactic acid buildup early in ride(5 posts)

Higher lactic acid buildup early in rideJames1
Jul 24, 2001 11:00 AM
I'm doing about 120 miles a week currently, and have been consistently for about a month and a half now. My aerobic base is good, resting heart rate is about 48 bpm now, and I feel that my heart is pretty strong. But I'm still struggling with lactic acid buildup.

I've noticed that if I begin my ride at a fast pedal cadence right from the beginning, I'll get a little burn going within about 2 minutes in my quads. This is with a low gearing light pedal resistance and a high cadence (80-90)

Is this normal considering my mileage? Could it be just that I am not warmed up? I'm trying to increase my lactic acid tolerance/clean out by doing steady intervals at about 150-155 bpm for about 10 mins, and then I'll go as hard as I can for about 2 mins each time, then recover. Most of my rides are 1-2 hrs and I keep my heart rate above 130, with an average of 140-148.
Sounds like you're just warming up.jw25
Jul 24, 2001 11:58 AM
I've noticed the same thing during my own rides. Because of my location, I get to exit the apartment, and jump right onto a busy street, so I end up doing a 400 meter sprint from a standstill, before I turn onto a much quieter street and spin easily to get warmed up.
Does the burn continue for the entrire ride, or does it diminish after 10-20 minutes? If it continues, you might want to work on muscle endurance with some steady tempo efforts at or above lactacte threshhold. Visit, or check out Joe Friel's training books for more info. Your aerobic fitness is right on, as shown by your low resting HR, but your anaerobic fitness probably needs some fine-tuning, which tends to hurt.
Maybe try this during a ride, too :
Warm up for 15 minutes, spinning an easy gear at 90 rpm.
3 short intervals, around 45 seconds to a minute each, with 1 minute easy spinning between. Try to hit 90-95% of Max HR on each interval.
Easy spin for 3-5 minutes.
2 10 minute tempo sessions, around 85-90% max HR, cadence around 90 rpm, with 5 minutes easy spinning between.
and then a long interval at 85% of max, until you're about 15 minutes away from home, then start cooling down.
This is just an example, try not to stagnate in your workouts, or your body will stop adapting and getting stronger. Variety is nice.
Definitely check out some training websites and books, too. They can help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, and design training schedules to improve.
Have fun. Jon
Sounds like you're just warming up, etc.Jon Billheimer
Jul 24, 2001 12:22 PM
As the above post mentions, during the first 10 to 20 minutes your body is in warmup mode and consequently quite a lot of your energy production is anaerobic. Hence the leg burn. Try warming up a little more slowly in a small gear, gradually increasing your cadence. At about 20 min. your aerobic systems should be up and running.

Another thing, don't be continually hammering at or just below lactate threshold. You need R & R time as well, which means two or three rides a week well below 75% max. HR. Threshold work without recovery and down time will eventually lead to overtraining and reduced power output.

Finally, on one or two easy rides a week you might want to work on your economy, that is, spin. Practice 5 to 15 min. periods of spinning up about 10 rpm above your normal cadence in a VERY light gear. Then recover for a few minutes and go again. Don't worry about your heart rate on the spinups. It'll go up, but after a few weeks you'll notice an adaptation. This will develop your aerobic and nervous systems and ultimately allow you to ride faster with less energy output.

And as Jon says, have fun with the workouts!
Thanks for the advice!James1
Jul 24, 2001 4:19 PM
I really appreciate both of your replies. I will try to incorporate those suggestions into my training. Thanks!
<<<<<< STRETCH>>>>>>Canidraftyou
Jul 24, 2001 7:07 PM
Maybe I missed it, did not see anyone say anything about stretching. So important. Not just prior to a ride, but during your normal work day also, I always stretch after my rides after I have taken a shower and my mody has cooled down. If you stretch while your muscules are still inflamed it could cause more damage. Before, after and during your normal work day...

Peace out,