Dr Keith's ArticlesTraining Articles
If you’ve been around the distance running scene for a while, you’ll probably have noted this phenomenon. It is often seen in longer races, or long slow runs, where a reasonably talented athlete is ‘there’ one moment, and ‘gone’ the next. This phenomenon particularly...
In exercise physiology, there is nothing more ‘obvious’ than the existence of lactic acid, 'known' for its debilitating effects on exercise performance. That’s been 'known' since 1922, when the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was divided equally between...
Training at or near the anaerobic threshold tends to burn up limited glycogen stores, or blood glucose. Training at higher aerobic steady states well below anaerobic threshold tends to burn stored fats, which even the thinnest of us have ample stores of. Enough to ensure we never run out of endurance fuel at aerobic paces, once we become fat-adapted.
There’s a world of difference between talent and skill. Talent implies natural ability. There are plenty of talented athletes who never make it to the level of performance their inherent talent seems to indicate they are capable of. Skill implies a trained ability.
Our body is actually designed to run very efficiently on a TOTAL blood glucose of about a teaspoon of glucose, or 5 mg: downing a small bottle of Gatorade can nearly treble the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream, requiring a big squirt of insulin from the pancreas to normalize blood sugar.
By far the most important energy system to train for endurance is the vast aerobic fat-burning system. The muscle fibre type most associated with fat-burning ability is the Type I slow-twitch muscle fibre. The Type I muscle fibre is made for continuous lower-power contractions in the presence of fuel and oxygen
As we start to jog, and break into a steady state of running, our heart rate rises from its resting pulse rate (zero intensity) to a higher constant pulse rate (or steady state) as the nervous system recruits more and more slow twitch muscle fibres and initially burns fats for energy production.
It sounds ridiculously simple, but many great athletes or their coaches have failed on the major stage because they forgot one simple thing.
Endurance Potential If you want to reach your endurance potential, you will have to train your aerobic system optimally. This means you will be using your slow twitch muscle fibres and burning mostly fats as fuel. Beyond a certain work rate, an athlete will start to...