Can overreaching super-saturate legs with Lactic Acid?



Strumpetto

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Jul 13, 2007
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I make sure I put in one very hard effort in each week before my rest day. On my last effort however, I pushed through the pain for many miles until my legs were more or less numbed. However, I still felt strong. After the ride, my legs ached quite badly, but not as badly as the week before when I did the same ride. Improvement. I then took a rest day. When I got back on my bike today, however, I felt horrible. When I got up to speed my legs began to fill more quickly than usual with LA. My question is this: Can your legs become super-saturated with lactic acid? Can it take a day or two for your legs to rid themselve of LA completely? Thanks
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Strumpetto said:
... My question is this: Can your legs become super-saturated with lactic acid? Can it take a day or two for your legs to rid themselve of LA completely? Thanks
No, blood lactate(lactic acid is a misnomer and only a transient product of metabolism) does not pool, accumulate or remain in your legs or working muscles for hours much less days. There are a lot of myths regarding blood lactate and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness(DOMS) but blood lactate is not the culprit when it comes to soreness. What you're feeling is inflammation resulting from the cellular microdamage that you do during training. It typically peaks two days after a hard workout session. Back off your efforts a bit and make sure you get a good cooldown after hard workouts to reduce DOMS.

Check out some of these links regarding blood lactate and why it isn't the bad guy many folks believe:
http://www.time-to-run.com/theabc/postrun.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/health/nutrition/16run.html?ex=1305432000&en=2778e99d7eab85a6&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss%5B/url%5D
http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness.php?id=fitness/2004/lactic_frederick
http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/lactic-acid.html

or google "muscle soreness lactic" for hundreds of similar links.

Good luck,
Dave
 

Strumpetto

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Jul 13, 2007
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daveryanwyoming said:
No, blood lactate(lactic acid is a misnomer and only a transient product of metabolism) does not pool, accumulate or remain in your legs or working muscles for hours much less days. There are a lot of myths regarding blood lactate and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness(DOMS) but blood lactate is not the culprit when it comes to soreness. What you're feeling is inflammation resulting from the cellular microdamage that you do during training. It typically peaks two days after a hard workout session. Back off your efforts a bit and make sure you get a good cooldown after hard workouts to reduce DOMS.

Check out some of these links regarding blood lactate and why it isn't the bad guy many folks believe:
http://www.time-to-run.com/theabc/postrun.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/health/nutrition/16run.html?ex=1305432000&en=2778e99d7eab85a6&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss%5B/url%5D
http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness.php?id=fitness/2004/lactic_frederick
http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/lactic-acid.html

or google "muscle soreness lactic" for hundreds of similar links.

Good luck,
Dave
Thanks a lot. So DMOS is causing my legs to fatigue more quickly than usual following my hard workouts despite the fact that my legs are no longer sore?


Read two of the articles. So lactic acid is hardly a cyclists foe. Still, everyone wants a higher lactic threshhold. Simply put, then, a person with a superior LT has the ability to fuel their body more efficiently than a person with a lower LT? Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for your help!
 

daveryanwyoming

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Strumpetto said:
... Simply put, then, a person with a superior LT has the ability to fuel their body more efficiently than a person with a lower LT? ...
Bingo! Higher power using slower burning fuels and more efficient, more sustainable metabolic pathways.

Another way to think of the soreness issue is that high levels of blood lactate are correlated with high levels of effort and resultant soreness, but they are not the cause of muscle soreness. Or from statistics 101 "correlation does not imply causation"

-Dave
 

Strumpetto

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daveryanwyoming said:
Bingo! Higher power using slower burning fuels and more efficient, more sustainable metabolic pathways.

Another way to think of the soreness issue is that high levels of blood lactate are correlated with high levels of effort and resultant soreness, but they are not the cause of muscle soreness. Or from statistics 101 "correlation does not imply causation"

-Dave
Since I felt very fatigued today, and it seemed as if my legs accrued blood lactate much more quickly, I can blame it on two things: my body has not yet recovered from my serious efforts,improper fueling, or both. Does this sound reasonable? Thanks again.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Strumpetto said:
... I can blame it on two things: my body has not yet recovered from my serious efforts,improper fueling, or both. Does this sound reasonable? ...
Yep, those are the two most likely culprits. Rest between workouts including rest days in your weekly schedule are real important, but are you also making sure you replenish the glycogen you burn during your harder efforts? Failing to replace your spent muscle glycogen is probably the leading cause of cumulative fatigue for athletes with a reasonable weekly schedule.

Make sure you take advantage of the critical half hour when you first return from a workout. It's the best time to get carbs on board and a short window during which those carbs will quickly be converted to glycogen and stored for future workouts. Failure to eat enough carbs during that initial window really delays the process of synthesizing and storing glycogen. Here's some links to critical half hour refueling and some guidelines on carb to protein amounts based on bodyweight.
http://www.carbboom.com/education/recovery.php
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/aa081403.htm

It's also possible you just bit off a bit too much with your harder than usual session and need an extra day or two of easier work for your body to recover. When I feel like that I just back off my scheduled workouts a bit and typically get back on track and feel a lot stronger in a couple of days. The worst thing to do if you're just not recovering is to try to push through it with additional high end workouts. That can easily lead to an overtraining hole that's hard to climb out of. I don't like to rest too much if I'm a bit tired, but it's easy to drop my scheduled workouts down an intensity level or two until I'm feeling strong. Usually that means a couple of days of high tempo or SST riding instead of threshold or VO2 max sessions.

Good luck,
Dave
 

Strumpetto

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Jul 13, 2007
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daveryanwyoming said:
Yep, those are the two most likely culprits. Rest between workouts including rest days in your weekly schedule are real important, but are you also making sure you replenish the glycogen you burn during your harder efforts? Failing to replace your spent muscle glycogen is probably the leading cause of cumulative fatigue for athletes with a reasonable weekly schedule.

Make sure you take advantage of the critical half hour when you first return from a workout. It's the best time to get carbs on board and a short window during which those carbs will quickly be converted to glycogen and stored for future workouts. Failure to eat enough carbs during that initial window really delays the process of synthesizing and storing glycogen. Here's some links to critical half hour refueling and some guidelines on carb to protein amounts based on bodyweight.
http://www.carbboom.com/education/recovery.php
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/aa081403.htm

It's also possible you just bit off a bit too much with your harder than usual session and need an extra day or two of easier work for your body to recover. When I feel like that I just back off my scheduled workouts a bit and typically get back on track and feel a lot stronger in a couple of days. The worst thing to do if you're just not recovering is to try to push through it with additional high end workouts. That can easily lead to an overtraining hole that's hard to climb out of. I don't like to rest too much if I'm a bit tired, but it's easy to drop my scheduled workouts down an intensity level or two until I'm feeling strong. Usually that means a couple of days of high tempo or SST riding instead of threshold or VO2 max sessions.

Good luck,
Dave
Oh yeah, I've overdone it. I feel like high hell. Enervated, the entire bit. I'm taking today off. Hopefully it will help. Too much exercise, your demise! Too much studying, straight A's! Man, what bs!
 

mnizz

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Sep 30, 2006
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How are you starting out your rides? Do you just jump into them and hammer or warm up before you pick up the pace? I know even when i have fresh legs if i just hammer it from the beginning ill feel lactic acid building up early on in my rides, if my legs are sore then it just takes a longer warmup. Like today it took me 35 minutes into the ride for my legs to feel good and warmed up after riding and running yesterday.
 

Strumpetto

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Jul 13, 2007
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mnizz said:
How are you starting out your rides? Do you just jump into them and hammer or warm up before you pick up the pace? I know even when i have fresh legs if i just hammer it from the beginning ill feel lactic acid building up early on in my rides, if my legs are sore then it just takes a longer warmup. Like today it took me 35 minutes into the ride for my legs to feel good and warmed up after riding and running yesterday.
Hi, I wouldn't say I hammer it. However, I keep a high cadence and a good speed on the first portion of my ride, which is a slight gradient. But you're right, I don't really warm up. I need to start doing that regularly. I've been doing 40 mile rides on my mtn bike. That's the problem. At one point, I came up the wheel of a roadie and asked if I could draft. I stayed on his tail for a good ten miles before he turned off. I'm simply going too hard and too fast for two weeks into training. I simply have to learn that more isn't better. My problem is that I hate going slow. Thanks for your response!
 

blkhotrod

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Oct 20, 2005
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Strumpetto said:
Hi, I wouldn't say I hammer it. However, I keep a high cadence and a good speed on the first portion of my ride, which is a slight gradient. But you're right, I don't really warm up. I need to start doing that regularly. I've been doing 40 mile rides on my mtn bike. That's the problem. At one point, I came up the wheel of a roadie and asked if I could draft. I stayed on his tail for a good ten miles before he turned off. I'm simply going too hard and too fast for two weeks into training. I simply have to learn that more isn't better. My problem is that I hate going slow. Thanks for your response!
sounds to me like your good speed is 16 mph, and drafting off some senior citzen looks like a good plan of attack for you.
 

Strumpetto

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blkhotrod said:
sounds to me like your good speed is 16 mph, and drafting off some senior citzen looks like a good plan of attack for you.
I pulled for the last two miles ;) And he was 28.
 

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