Anaerobic Training

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been very busy. School is winding up for the semester so I'm finishing up everything in my classes while also trying to start my outline and research proposal for my thesis. And, of course I've been running.

So, my first race of the season was pretty slow. Not exactly what I wanted but there were some positives out of the experience. First off, I really didn't feel that bad until about 500-400m to go. Then the legs were just kind of non-responsive. The good news, kind of, is that my teammate Mo felt the same way. Why is this good news? Well, I'd rather of had him run well obviously, but it means that it wasn't some mysterious thing or something that isn't fixable. We both just simply died, and died hard. That being said, I just think for both of us, it was a much more hectic trip then we planned. It took longer than we thought to drive there because we hit some heavy traffic from the get go, and then went through some bad weather. So obviously driving 10hrs or whatever took it's toll. But it was more than that. It was if we were always rushing to the next place and never had much time to relax. So, I think that definately affected both of our races a little bit.

All of that being said, It's a place to start and you take out of it what you can. Obviously it's not a reflection of our fitness or racing shape. I mean we could go easily run that in practice dead tired if we wanted to. So, stuff happens sometimes. You learn from it, and move on. So that's what I'm doing.

My next race will most likely be an 800m at George Mason, followed by a 1,500 at Georgia Tech.

Anaerobic Training-
Whether you call it anaerobic training or high intensity training or any other phrase, I'm talking about high lactic interval work. Stuff that makes you feel the burn in the legs and makes you tie up like no other. Recently, there have been some studies, on not endurance trained participants, that have shown that these short intense workouts help both aerobically and anaerobically! Personal trainers basically think it's the best workout because you get the best of both worlds (my apologies to Hannah Montana...). Many track coaches latch onto hardcore interval training as being the key to success, especially with HS athletes.

However, over 40 years ago, Lydiard knew there was something wrong with this idea. He speculated that the increase in acidity (a decrease in pH) could cause harm to aerobic components in the athlete's muscle. He wasn't some scientists so the physiology guru's would spit back research that said otherwise to counter his ideas. Well, as always it seems, Lydiard, and the guys going off experience, may just well have been right.

A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that acidosis may interfere with mitochondrial biogenesis.

You can find the abstract HERE

I'll give you a layman's terms summary. Basically, they compared a cycling workout's effect on PGC-1 under induced acidosis conditions and normal conditions. So essentially, they compared the same workouts training effect under normal and high acidity conditions. PGC-1 basically regulates mitochondria creation. So, it's basically the signal that tells the body to start producing more mitochondria.

What happened is significant. They found that the SAME workout had much less of an effect if it was done under induced acidosis. PGC-1 was 2-3 times higher after the non-acidosis workout than with the acidosis workout.

What does this all mean? Basically, high acidosis may interfear with mitochondria production.....Just like Lydiard thought all those years ago.


  1. Anonymous10:31 PM

    Too long sitting in a car before a race the next day- but I wish you luck on the next one and keep up the good posts. Really enjoy them.

  2. Okay, so I'm a cyclist.
    From what I've gathered on your website I've decided to include some high intensity earlier in the training year.
    Would you recommend that any power work, for example a few 30 second jumps with long recovery, be done on the same day as a longer endurance ride? My question is whether the acidosis from the sprints would interfere with the aerobic building nature of the base miles.

    Or is it not really a problem because the large recovery means acidosis won't be very high for long?

    Great website by the way, you've exposed the holes in simple cookie-cutter training plans (cough cyclist's training bible) and given me a lot of headaches by making this self-coaching thing more difficult, but better to be burdened by the truth I suppose.

  3. Although you haven't responded to my question I thought I would show you this as it might trigger some good nostalgia for you.


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