Flashes of Lightning

4“One of the biggest myths about anaerobic power is that lactate is responsible for the fatigue… lactate actually protects the muscles from fatigue.”             Jesper Therkildsen, Danish Coach


5Anaerobic capacity is a mass start fitness emphasis. It IS painful. It IS necessary for road racing. It is where those who are racing this month are living – suffering through the first lightning strikes deep into recesses of the central nervous system. Here’s a quirky description of living in anaerobic country: 6Traits of the Anaerobian include persistence and the insatiably quixotic desire to explore the boundaries of the Republic…an appetite for the journey is necessary…For Anaerobians, the pain is the reward. If pain is the reward then repetitive misery is the preme prize. Dipping again and again into an anaerobic zone characterizes track events, criteriums, cyclo-cross, aggressive road racing, and climbing surges. What accounts for all that misery is popularly attributed to 7lactic acid; but more technically, it’s better to say legs will burn when you have an energy deficit from any number of causes, which reflect an imbalance between aerobic energy and energy to support muscle contraction. Glycogen depletion, for example, is also a cause of “the burn,” and so is inflammation. The accurate news is that you can train to increase anaerobic capacity. Very short, very intense strikes can increase lactate tolerance – improving speed/power; and the period for which you can produce it – speed endurance. When highly trained, we sick ones love this pain: it hurts so good to have that fitness to dig deep again and again. The enjoyment of chasing those flashes of lightning in surge after surge, effort after effort, attack after attack, hard lap after hard lap is like a ride in the thundering heavens. All your senses are heightened in the spark of this spring storm. Sounds like early season racing.


Prayer for Anaerobic Power

“… sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.” 7Ezekiel 1:14


We recognize our timidity approaching the threshold of pain. We ask for desire to dig deep and for increasing power in short work bouts. We pray for open pathways and beautiful buffering. 

Ponder Do I train super hard for up to 3 minute efforts? Affirm I can get more fast twitch flash in my physiological repertoire. Watch you don’t get zapped chasing the storm!

4How to train for anaerobic endurance,” by Jesper Therkildsen February 23, 2008 at Power Meter Training Tips www.training4cyclists.com

5Anaerobic Power is our fitness focus today. We cover it so that your awareness, emphasis, fitness and enjoyment improve in this area- whenever the timing is suitable based on specific periodization and goals.

6The “Republic of Anaerobia” jersey looks like suitable attire for the outer regions of a Soviet gulag, symbolizing the upper limits of suffering. http://www.elevengear.us

7Technically the term, “lactic acid” is incorrect since lactate is really a base. Causes of heavy legs may include an intolerance of or inadequate rate of lactate buffering, glycogen depletion, or inflammation. Lactate is replaced quickly with rest, so blaming your heavy legs of the next day on “lactic acid” is a disservice in selecting a training or recovery solution. “Heavy legs” from a prior day’s stage is more likely caused by inflammation from muscle soreness or glycogen depletion. Both can be part of recovery procedures: eat carbs, take an ice bath and check for anti-inflammatory medicines against the list of banned substances. Thanks to Andy Coggan and Sam Callan for assistance in understanding the role of lactate.

8The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


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