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Anaerobic Training

Anaerobic metabolism occurs when the level of muscular activity causes the demand for oxygen to exceed the body’s ability provide it. In the absents of oxygen, the body will produce energy but at a cost. The waste product of anaerobic metabolism is lactic acid. The more intense the exercise, the faster that lactic acid is accumulated in the muscles and blood. Anaerobic metabolism is responsible for the majority of energy production in all-out efforts lasting approximately 1 to 10 minutes. The point at which lactic acid begins to quickly accumulate in the blood is known as the Lactate Threshold.

A critical point needs to be made regarding the lactate threshold. The closer you can get your anaerobic threshold to your Max VO2, the faster you will become. Simply having a high Max VO2 does not necessarily make you fast. Being able to sustain an efforts close to your Max VO2 is what will determine whether you are fast or not.

Lactic acid interferes with the muscles ability to contract. The burning sensation experienced with the accumulation of lactic acid is the result of a change in muscular acidity. The ability to tolerate and buffer the effects of this changing acidic environment is what anaerobic training is all about.

The anaerobic energy system is trained by two methods in this program. The first is to produce large quantities of lactic acid by performing high intensity efforts for relatively short periods of time. The second method involves slightly less intense efforts that last longer. This improves the ability to tolerate lactic acid for longer periods of time. Both methods are important in developing maximum mountain bike performance.

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