LT and pedaling technique



Hi All,

I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
few questions.

LT varies by disipline. Rowing, skating, sking, cycling, etc. LT is
defined as the maximum level of exertion attainable such that blood
lactate levels are able (though elevated) to remain constant. Higher
levels of exertion result in ever increasing levels of lactate, and are
thus unsustainable. This occurs at some HR below max.

A person's VO2max is a measure of the total amount of oxygen a person
can process in a given period. This generally happens at max HR.

It is usual that elite athletes and other well trained people have an
LT (in terms of HR and VO2) that is as high as 90% of their max HR and
VO2max. Untrained people are much lower. I am an avid hobby cyclist
similar in condition to many others here on wreck.bikes, and my LT is
at about 80% of max. This indicates that my heart and lungs have
additional unused capacity when I am exercising at LT. So when cycling,
it is the muscles doing the work that are the weak link. They are
unable to process more oxygen and to do more work they must go
anaerobic. All that makes sense, but why are elite athletes at 90% of
max when that happens and hobbyists are at 80% and untrained folks are
at 60%?

For a different discipline like skiing, it would be at some other
percentage, and this is because more and different muscles are
involved.

So I started thinking about how perhaps LT while cycling is limited by
the effective use of muscles. I can produce about 300W at LT. My
pedaling technique is I suppose normal, and I guess about 90% of the
work is done by my quads. My quads are unable to do more work because
they cannot process more oxygen, though my heart is ready to supply
more if asked. So what if I were able to reduce the work done by my
quads and increase the work done by other muscles like calves,
buttocks, etc. I suppose that as a whole, they would be able to do much
more work than my quads alone, and would be able to process more oxygen
which my heart is ready to deliver. Now by means of magic I have raised
my LT. Or does it not work that way? Is the total bloodflow to the legs
the limiting factor or some other thing?

Is the 90% of VO2max LT of elite riders due to them pedaling circles
efficiently, while hacks like me pedal squares? How much is due to
spreading the load from efficient technique, and how much is from their
muscles being able to process more oxygen? And how is it that their
muscles can process more oxygen?

So, is it possible to raise LT by altering/improving pedaling
technique?

Joseph
 
G

Graham Steer

Guest
Two observations. One the max VO2 and Max HR need to be the cycling related
values. They are lower than those you would see in running due to the
different muscle masses involved. Max HR for example can be 7 - 10 beats
lower in cycling than running. You can approach similar HR values in running
and cycling when climbing out of the saddle as this increases the muscle
mass recruited to get you up the hill. Two, given you can measure your
cycling max HR (in the saddle) then with the right training regime there is
no reason why you cannot raise your LT as a % of max. In your case check
your cycling max HR (see the web for ways of doing this) then find a
training schedule to raise your LT - again many on the web. A good way to
determine your LT HR is to do a 25 TT. Your average HR over the middle 15
will not be far off your LT.

With regard to pedalling technique this is more a question of position on
the bike. If you want to recruit more muscles to the task then some people
believe this is achieved by using the steeper seat tube angles of the TT/Tri
bikes.


<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Hi All,
>
> I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> few questions.
>
> LT varies by disipline. Rowing, skating, sking, cycling, etc. LT is
> defined as the maximum level of exertion attainable such that blood
> lactate levels are able (though elevated) to remain constant. Higher
> levels of exertion result in ever increasing levels of lactate, and are
> thus unsustainable. This occurs at some HR below max.
>
> A person's VO2max is a measure of the total amount of oxygen a person
> can process in a given period. This generally happens at max HR.
>
> It is usual that elite athletes and other well trained people have an
> LT (in terms of HR and VO2) that is as high as 90% of their max HR and
> VO2max. Untrained people are much lower. I am an avid hobby cyclist
> similar in condition to many others here on wreck.bikes, and my LT is
> at about 80% of max. This indicates that my heart and lungs have
> additional unused capacity when I am exercising at LT. So when cycling,
> it is the muscles doing the work that are the weak link. They are
> unable to process more oxygen and to do more work they must go
> anaerobic. All that makes sense, but why are elite athletes at 90% of
> max when that happens and hobbyists are at 80% and untrained folks are
> at 60%?
>
> For a different discipline like skiing, it would be at some other
> percentage, and this is because more and different muscles are
> involved.
>
> So I started thinking about how perhaps LT while cycling is limited by
> the effective use of muscles. I can produce about 300W at LT. My
> pedaling technique is I suppose normal, and I guess about 90% of the
> work is done by my quads. My quads are unable to do more work because
> they cannot process more oxygen, though my heart is ready to supply
> more if asked. So what if I were able to reduce the work done by my
> quads and increase the work done by other muscles like calves,
> buttocks, etc. I suppose that as a whole, they would be able to do much
> more work than my quads alone, and would be able to process more oxygen
> which my heart is ready to deliver. Now by means of magic I have raised
> my LT. Or does it not work that way? Is the total bloodflow to the legs
> the limiting factor or some other thing?
>
> Is the 90% of VO2max LT of elite riders due to them pedaling circles
> efficiently, while hacks like me pedal squares? How much is due to
> spreading the load from efficient technique, and how much is from their
> muscles being able to process more oxygen? And how is it that their
> muscles can process more oxygen?
>
> So, is it possible to raise LT by altering/improving pedaling
> technique?
>
> Joseph
>
 
B

bicycle_disciple

Guest
joseph,
im not an expert on these topics, but i could tell you that there are
number of elite runners and cyclists who when tested in the labs showed
interestingly low Vo2 max levels but extrememly high values for Gross
Mechanical Efficiency (GE) and Cycling Economy (CE). GE is the ratio of
work accomplished to energy expended, and is an estimate of whole body
efficiency. for elite cyclists who train a lot, there is evidence of
extrememly high levels of GE. CE is similar to GE and is measured in
Litres/min. This variable refers to the power output generated at a
cost of 1 L of oxygen per minute of exercise. CE and GE values for
cycling are quite different from other sports because cycling relies
mainly on the work of knee extensors.

To make matters simple, both these variables are attributed to the
percentage distribution of Type 1 muscle fibres in the legs,
specifically the knee extensor muscles.
If you know your physiology, Type 1 fibres are the ones that process
oxygen and do work. The more you have of them, the more oxygen u can
use. (if you tell a body builder to run 3-4 miles or bike for 2 hours,
chances are, they'll change their mind soon enough as not to be
humiliated! ) More so, if you develop your pedaling style, so as to
emphasize smooth circular movements instead of intermittent bursts of
energy from the quads, and remove any eccentric type movements or
positions in the upper body, you'll save far more energy that u can
devote to long rides.

i;m a hobbyist too, and frankly im not worried too much about Vo2 max
or LT. but as to your questions, i'll say it all comes down to
efficient pedaling, body positioning, good training, proper nutrition.
the rest is taken care of : your body gives it to you back in the form
of suitable adaptation.

thx
ron


[email protected] wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> few questions.
>
> LT varies by disipline. Rowing, skating, sking, cycling, etc. LT is
> defined as the maximum level of exertion attainable such that blood
> lactate levels are able (though elevated) to remain constant. Higher
> levels of exertion result in ever increasing levels of lactate, and are
> thus unsustainable. This occurs at some HR below max.
>
> A person's VO2max is a measure of the total amount of oxygen a person
> can process in a given period. This generally happens at max HR.
>
> It is usual that elite athletes and other well trained people have an
> LT (in terms of HR and VO2) that is as high as 90% of their max HR and
> VO2max. Untrained people are much lower. I am an avid hobby cyclist
> similar in condition to many others here on wreck.bikes, and my LT is
> at about 80% of max. This indicates that my heart and lungs have
> additional unused capacity when I am exercising at LT. So when cycling,
> it is the muscles doing the work that are the weak link. They are
> unable to process more oxygen and to do more work they must go
> anaerobic. All that makes sense, but why are elite athletes at 90% of
> max when that happens and hobbyists are at 80% and untrained folks are
> at 60%?
>
> For a different discipline like skiing, it would be at some other
> percentage, and this is because more and different muscles are
> involved.
>
> So I started thinking about how perhaps LT while cycling is limited by
> the effective use of muscles. I can produce about 300W at LT. My
> pedaling technique is I suppose normal, and I guess about 90% of the
> work is done by my quads. My quads are unable to do more work because
> they cannot process more oxygen, though my heart is ready to supply
> more if asked. So what if I were able to reduce the work done by my
> quads and increase the work done by other muscles like calves,
> buttocks, etc. I suppose that as a whole, they would be able to do much
> more work than my quads alone, and would be able to process more oxygen
> which my heart is ready to deliver. Now by means of magic I have raised
> my LT. Or does it not work that way? Is the total bloodflow to the legs
> the limiting factor or some other thing?
>
> Is the 90% of VO2max LT of elite riders due to them pedaling circles
> efficiently, while hacks like me pedal squares? How much is due to
> spreading the load from efficient technique, and how much is from their
> muscles being able to process more oxygen? And how is it that their
> muscles can process more oxygen?
>
> So, is it possible to raise LT by altering/improving pedaling
> technique?
>
> Joseph
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
"bicycle_disciple" <[email protected]> wrote:

> joseph,
> im not an expert on these topics, but i could tell you that there are
> number of elite runners and cyclists who when tested in the labs showed
> interestingly low Vo2 max levels but extrememly high values for Gross
> Mechanical Efficiency (GE) and Cycling Economy (CE). GE is the ratio of
> work accomplished to energy expended, and is an estimate of whole body
> efficiency. for elite cyclists who train a lot, there is evidence of
> extrememly high levels of GE. CE is similar to GE and is measured in
> Litres/min. This variable refers to the power output generated at a
> cost of 1 L of oxygen per minute of exercise. CE and GE values for
> cycling are quite different from other sports because cycling relies
> mainly on the work of knee extensors.
>
> To make matters simple, both these variables are attributed to the
> percentage distribution of Type 1 muscle fibres in the legs,
> specifically the knee extensor muscles.
> If you know your physiology, Type 1 fibres are the ones that process
> oxygen and do work. The more you have of them, the more oxygen u can
> use. (if you tell a body builder to run 3-4 miles or bike for 2 hours,
> chances are, they'll change their mind soon enough as not to be
> humiliated! ) More so, if you develop your pedaling style, so as to
> emphasize smooth circular movements instead of intermittent bursts of
> energy from the quads, and remove any eccentric type movements or
> positions in the upper body, you'll save far more energy that u can
> devote to long rides.
>
> i;m a hobbyist too, and frankly im not worried too much about Vo2 max
> or LT. but as to your questions, i'll say it all comes down to
> efficient pedaling, body positioning, good training, proper nutrition.
> the rest is taken care of : your body gives it to you back in the form
> of suitable adaptation.
>
>
> [email protected] wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> > few questions.


[...]
This is very interesting, ron. Please do not top post.

--
Michael Press
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"Graham Steer" <[email protected]> wrote:

> Two observations. One the max VO2 and Max HR need to be the cycling related
> values. They are lower than those you would see in running due to the
> different muscle masses involved. Max HR for example can be 7 - 10 beats
> lower in cycling than running. You can approach similar HR values in running
> and cycling when climbing out of the saddle as this increases the muscle
> mass recruited to get you up the hill. Two, given you can measure your
> cycling max HR (in the saddle) then with the right training regime there is
> no reason why you cannot raise your LT as a % of max. In your case check
> your cycling max HR (see the web for ways of doing this) then find a
> training schedule to raise your LT - again many on the web. A good way to
> determine your LT HR is to do a 25 TT. Your average HR over the middle 15
> will not be far off your LT.
>
> With regard to pedalling technique this is more a question of position on
> the bike. If you want to recruit more muscles to the task then some people
> believe this is achieved by using the steeper seat tube angles of the TT/Tri
> bikes.
>
>
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> > few questions.


[...]

Thanks, Graham. Please do not top post.

--
Michael Press
 
G

G.T.

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> few questions.
>


How about keeping the performance posts to r.b.r. or a physiology newsgroup?

Greg

--
"All my time I spent in heaven
Revelries of dance and wine
Waking to the sound of laughter
Up I'd rise and kiss the sky" - The Mekons
 
bicycle_disciple wrote:
> joseph,
> im not an expert on these topics, but i could tell you that there are
> number of elite runners and cyclists who when tested in the labs showed
> interestingly low Vo2 max levels but extrememly high values for Gross
> Mechanical Efficiency (GE) and Cycling Economy (CE). GE is the ratio of
> work accomplished to energy expended, and is an estimate of whole body
> efficiency. for elite cyclists who train a lot, there is evidence of
> extrememly high levels of GE. CE is similar to GE and is measured in
> Litres/min. This variable refers to the power output generated at a
> cost of 1 L of oxygen per minute of exercise. CE and GE values for
> cycling are quite different from other sports because cycling relies
> mainly on the work of knee extensors.


That is very interesting. What do you suppose are the main contributors
to such high CE values?

> To make matters simple, both these variables are attributed to the
> percentage distribution of Type 1 muscle fibres in the legs,
> specifically the knee extensor muscles.
> If you know your physiology, Type 1 fibres are the ones that process
> oxygen and do work. The more you have of them, the more oxygen u can
> use. (if you tell a body builder to run 3-4 miles or bike for 2 hours,
> chances are, they'll change their mind soon enough as not to be
> humiliated! ) More so, if you develop your pedaling style, so as to
> emphasize smooth circular movements instead of intermittent bursts of
> energy from the quads, and remove any eccentric type movements or
> positions in the upper body, you'll save far more energy that u can
> devote to long rides.


How does one estimate fiber type distribution? Can the distribution be
changed by training?

> i;m a hobbyist too, and frankly im not worried too much about Vo2 max
> or LT. but as to your questions, i'll say it all comes down to
> efficient pedaling, body positioning, good training, proper nutrition.
> the rest is taken care of : your body gives it to you back in the form
> of suitable adaptation.


My interest in these topics is only another facet of my general
interest in cycling. It doen't really matter, of course. Does it make
sense to you that conscious efforts to make a more round, even pedaling
stroke could over time make a large difference? In other words, how
important do you think pedaling technique is to the total equation?

Joseph
 
Graham Steer wrote:
> Two observations. One the max VO2 and Max HR need to be the cycling related
> values. They are lower than those you would see in running due to the
> different muscle masses involved. Max HR for example can be 7 - 10 beats
> lower in cycling than running. You can approach similar HR values in running
> and cycling when climbing out of the saddle as this increases the muscle
> mass recruited to get you up the hill. Two, given you can measure your
> cycling max HR (in the saddle) then with the right training regime there is
> no reason why you cannot raise your LT as a % of max. In your case check
> your cycling max HR (see the web for ways of doing this) then find a
> training schedule to raise your LT - again many on the web. A good way to
> determine your LT HR is to do a 25 TT. Your average HR over the middle 15
> will not be far off your LT.


Just to satisfy my curiosity, I have done a max HR, VO2max, LT profile
test in a lab. The figures for LT and max were very close to my initial
estimates which I arrived at by the methods you suggest. Those methods
are quite accurate it seems.

> With regard to pedalling technique this is more a question of position on
> the bike. If you want to recruit more muscles to the task then some people
> believe this is achieved by using the steeper seat tube angles of the TT/Tri
> bikes.


I wonder if that has to do with the thigh-to-upperbody angle.

Joseph

>
> <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> > few questions.
> >
> > LT varies by disipline. Rowing, skating, sking, cycling, etc. LT is
> > defined as the maximum level of exertion attainable such that blood
> > lactate levels are able (though elevated) to remain constant. Higher
> > levels of exertion result in ever increasing levels of lactate, and are
> > thus unsustainable. This occurs at some HR below max.
> >
> > A person's VO2max is a measure of the total amount of oxygen a person
> > can process in a given period. This generally happens at max HR.
> >
> > It is usual that elite athletes and other well trained people have an
> > LT (in terms of HR and VO2) that is as high as 90% of their max HR and
> > VO2max. Untrained people are much lower. I am an avid hobby cyclist
> > similar in condition to many others here on wreck.bikes, and my LT is
> > at about 80% of max. This indicates that my heart and lungs have
> > additional unused capacity when I am exercising at LT. So when cycling,
> > it is the muscles doing the work that are the weak link. They are
> > unable to process more oxygen and to do more work they must go
> > anaerobic. All that makes sense, but why are elite athletes at 90% of
> > max when that happens and hobbyists are at 80% and untrained folks are
> > at 60%?
> >
> > For a different discipline like skiing, it would be at some other
> > percentage, and this is because more and different muscles are
> > involved.
> >
> > So I started thinking about how perhaps LT while cycling is limited by
> > the effective use of muscles. I can produce about 300W at LT. My
> > pedaling technique is I suppose normal, and I guess about 90% of the
> > work is done by my quads. My quads are unable to do more work because
> > they cannot process more oxygen, though my heart is ready to supply
> > more if asked. So what if I were able to reduce the work done by my
> > quads and increase the work done by other muscles like calves,
> > buttocks, etc. I suppose that as a whole, they would be able to do much
> > more work than my quads alone, and would be able to process more oxygen
> > which my heart is ready to deliver. Now by means of magic I have raised
> > my LT. Or does it not work that way? Is the total bloodflow to the legs
> > the limiting factor or some other thing?
> >
> > Is the 90% of VO2max LT of elite riders due to them pedaling circles
> > efficiently, while hacks like me pedal squares? How much is due to
> > spreading the load from efficient technique, and how much is from their
> > muscles being able to process more oxygen? And how is it that their
> > muscles can process more oxygen?
> >
> > So, is it possible to raise LT by altering/improving pedaling
> > technique?
> >
> > Joseph
> >
 
[email protected] wrote:
> So, is it possible to raise LT by altering/improving pedaling
> technique?


Maybe, but my attempts in that direction in the past seemed to
backfire. I felt that what happened was that I was adding untrained
muscles into the mix and the result was that LT was lowered. I seemed
to get tired more quickly. Is LT improved by changes at the cellular
level? If increased LT is the result of improvements in mitochondrial
function, then adding relatively untrained muscles to the mix by
chaning your pedaling style will lower LT. Could there be ultimate
improvements if these new mucles were trained up to the same level? It
seems likely but that may not be what you are looking for.

Anecdotally, cycling champions have had many different pedaling styles.

Have you tried comparing your power output at LT for different RPMs?
Some people including the great LA claim that higher RPMs are the
answer. This would allow the muscles to fire more frequently, use more
energy, and burn more oxygen. It still seems like the mitochondria have
to be able do the extra work, though.

Furthermore, the suggestion that more efficient pedaling will allow you
to use slack cardiovascular capacity does not seem to follow. Saving
energy through more efficient pedaling means using less oxygen, not
more (or doing more work for the same amount of oxygen.)

It seems likely to me that what has happened is that your LT has
decreased over the winter through losses of capacity at the cellular
level, and that your skiing maintained your overall cardio capacity but
did allow some deterioration in the specific muscles that are used for
cycling. Even though XC skiing is supposed to be close to cyclying for
muscles used, I think the differences could be enough to show this
effect. Additionally, the extra muscle mass that you added may be
particularly unadapted for cycling and may have had the effect of
overall decreasing your LT.

Greg Lemond's cycling career collapsed with some sort of mitochondrial
deterioration after he decided to go to XC skiing for offseason
training. I always thought that Lemond's decision to move to Minnesota
and use skiing instead of cycling contributed to his downfall.

I'm not an expert in exercise physiology. This is mostly just
supposition.
 
R

RonSonic

Guest
On 22 Apr 2006 04:05:14 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

>
>G.T. wrote:
>> [email protected] wrote:
>> > Hi All,
>> >
>> > I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
>> > few questions.
>> >

>>
>> How about keeping the performance posts to r.b.r. or a physiology newsgroup?
>>
>> Greg

>
>I'll post to rec.bicycles.misc next time. I have used r.b.t for lots of
>stuff because r.b.t seems to have the highest concentration of
>knowledgeable folks, and the lowest concentration of crazies. I hope
>lots of the regulars follow r.b.m too.


Great, now we'll get Bill Baka's stories about improving CE by riding 397 miles
in a day while carrying 28 gallons of water.

Ron
 
S

Sorni

Guest
RonSonic wrote:

> Great, now we'll get Bill Baka's stories about improving CE by riding
> 397 miles in a day while carrying 28 gallons of water.


Offroad, strapped to his front fork! LOL
 
Sorni wrote:
> RonSonic wrote:
>
> > Great, now we'll get Bill Baka's stories about improving CE by riding
> > 397 miles in a day while carrying 28 gallons of water.

>
> Offroad, strapped to his front fork! LOL


Please elaborate.

Joseph
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
"G.T." <[email protected]> wrote:

> [email protected] wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> > few questions.
> >

>
> How about keeping the performance posts to r.b.r. or a physiology newsgroup?


Because this is a technical newsgroup. The many responses
here have been excellent. The question could have been
cross-posted to rbr.

--
Michael Press
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
[email protected] wrote:

> G.T. wrote:
> > [email protected] wrote:
> > > Hi All,
> > >
> > > I have been thinking about ways to improve my LT, and this has raised a
> > > few questions.
> > >

> >
> > How about keeping the performance posts to r.b.r. or a physiology newsgroup?
> >
> > Greg

>
> I'll post to rec.bicycles.misc next time. I have used r.b.t for lots of
> stuff because r.b.t seems to have the highest concentration of
> knowledgeable folks, and the lowest concentration of crazies. I hope
> lots of the regulars follow r.b.m too.


Not at all. I think these questions belong here; and you
have many excellent responses. Cross-post in addition if
you wish.

--
Michael Press
 
[email protected] wrote:
> It seems likely to me that what has happened is that your LT has
> decreased over the winter through losses of capacity at the cellular
> level, and that your skiing maintained your overall cardio capacity but
> did allow some deterioration in the specific muscles that are used for
> cycling. Even though XC skiing is supposed to be close to cyclying for
> muscles used, I think the differences could be enough to show this
> effect. Additionally, the extra muscle mass that you added may be
> particularly unadapted for cycling and may have had the effect of
> overall decreasing your LT.
>
> Greg Lemond's cycling career collapsed with some sort of mitochondrial
> deterioration after he decided to go to XC skiing for offseason
> training. I always thought that Lemond's decision to move to Minnesota
> and use skiing instead of cycling contributed to his downfall.
>
> I'm not an expert in exercise physiology. This is mostly just
> supposition.


You're right, you're not an expert. Far from it. Lemond's career was
NOT affected adversely after taking up XC skiing. He was into skiing
for quite a awhile during the height of his career. He did not,
however, do so well after being shot and having a couple dozen lead
pellets lodged in his body.

Fred
 
E

EatMe

Guest
What's your major malfunction kemosabe?

>>[...]

This is very interesting, ron. Please do not top post.

-- <<
 
R

Ron Ruff

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> He did not,
> however, do so well after being shot and having a couple dozen lead
> pellets lodged in his body.


Uh... as I recall he won a couple of Tours after that...

He did not, however, do so well after showing up at the TdF *fat*.
 
[email protected]o.com wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
> > It seems likely to me that what has happened is that your LT has
> > decreased over the winter through losses of capacity at the cellular
> > level, and that your skiing maintained your overall cardio capacity but
> > did allow some deterioration in the specific muscles that are used for
> > cycling. Even though XC skiing is supposed to be close to cyclying for
> > muscles used, I think the differences could be enough to show this
> > effect. Additionally, the extra muscle mass that you added may be
> > particularly unadapted for cycling and may have had the effect of
> > overall decreasing your LT.
> >
> > Greg Lemond's cycling career collapsed with some sort of mitochondrial
> > deterioration after he decided to go to XC skiing for offseason
> > training. I always thought that Lemond's decision to move to Minnesota
> > and use skiing instead of cycling contributed to his downfall.
> >
> > I'm not an expert in exercise physiology. This is mostly just
> > supposition.

>
> You're right, you're not an expert. Far from it. Lemond's career was
> NOT affected adversely after taking up XC skiing. He was into skiing
> for quite a awhile during the height of his career. He did not,
> however, do so well after being shot and having a couple dozen lead
> pellets lodged in his body.


Wanna address the real substance of my post? I did not say his career
was adversely affected by taking up XC skiing, I said that his decision
to make it his offseason training exercise affected his career.
Furthermore, the high point of Lemond's career was after he was shot,
and, in fact, he *was* diagnosed as having some mysterious
mitochondrial deterioration after he dropped out of his last tdf. I
don't mean to imply that XC skiing caused his mitochondrial myopathy,
or that there is anything wrong with skiing as an exercise, but I do
believe that his decision to move to a place where his offseason
training would be dominated by XC skiing instead of cycling contributed
to his eventual retirement. XC skiing is an excellent way to stay fit
in the winter but the question is whether it as good as cycling for a
cycling champion trying to stay a champion.

If you have the date of Lemond's move to Minnesota, please contribute
it; my memory is that he did not win the tdf after his move.
 
[email protected] wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
> > So, is it possible to raise LT by altering/improving pedaling
> > technique?

>
> Maybe, but my attempts in that direction in the past seemed to
> backfire. I felt that what happened was that I was adding untrained
> muscles into the mix and the result was that LT was lowered. I seemed
> to get tired more quickly. Is LT improved by changes at the cellular
> level? If increased LT is the result of improvements in mitochondrial
> function, then adding relatively untrained muscles to the mix by
> chaning your pedaling style will lower LT. Could there be ultimate
> improvements if these new mucles were trained up to the same level? It
> seems likely but that may not be what you are looking for.


As you say, it probably would take a bit of training and time to adapt.
When I play with th eidea while pedaling, one of the hardest things to
do is to "turn off" my quads a bit. The theory only works if the quads
do less work so they are not saturating the blood stream with lactic
acid. Easier said than done!

> Anecdotally, cycling champions have had many different pedaling styles.


Yes, but were these styles interchangable? The styles no doubt were
developed to suit some physiological constraint. The trick is I guess
figuring out what works.

> Have you tried comparing your power output at LT for different RPMs?
> Some people including the great LA claim that higher RPMs are the
> answer. This would allow the muscles to fire more frequently, use more
> energy, and burn more oxygen. It still seems like the mitochondria have
> to be able do the extra work, though.


I have access (if I nag) to a VO2 machine and a cyclometer. I have been
thinking about trying to test myself to find an optimal cadence. Maybe
this gets into the muscle fiber type issue.

> Furthermore, the suggestion that more efficient pedaling will allow you
> to use slack cardiovascular capacity does not seem to follow. Saving
> energy through more efficient pedaling means using less oxygen, not
> more (or doing more work for the same amount of oxygen.)


I only meant that it was clear that the mucles were the weak link at
LT.

> It seems likely to me that what has happened is that your LT has
> decreased over the winter through losses of capacity at the cellular
> level, and that your skiing maintained your overall cardio capacity but
> did allow some deterioration in the specific muscles that are used for
> cycling. Even though XC skiing is supposed to be close to cyclying for
> muscles used, I think the differences could be enough to show this
> effect. Additionally, the extra muscle mass that you added may be
> particularly unadapted for cycling and may have had the effect of
> overall decreasing your LT.


There have been some deterioration, but I think it perhaps more that
the newly developed muscles "don't know how to ride". The issue is
complicated by the fact that I think I am in the best cardio-vascualr
shape I have ever been in, so there are situations I have never
experienced. I skied as much as 10 hours per week for months doing
essentially intervals the whole time up and down short steep hills. I
put on almost 20 lbs of muscle.

My very first ride this year (after 3 months with no cycling at all)
was a 10km rolling TT near my house. I managed almost 2 minutes(!)
faster than my best time from last year, so clearly things are
different, but I don't think my LT went down. The 175 where I got
dropped is way above my 163 LT. The funny thing is that I have always
been used to having my heart be the weak link.

> Greg Lemond's cycling career collapsed with some sort of mitochondrial
> deterioration after he decided to go to XC skiing for offseason
> training. I always thought that Lemond's decision to move to Minnesota
> and use skiing instead of cycling contributed to his downfall.


Perhaps skiing is not the best off-season activity for elite level, but
for regular folks like me, I think it's great.

> I'm not an expert in exercise physiology. This is mostly just
> supposition.


IANAEP (I am not an exercise physiologist) ;-)

Joseph
 
M

Michael Press

Guest
In article
<[email protected]>,
[email protected] wrote:

> As you say, it probably would take a bit of training and time to adapt.
> When I play with th eidea while pedaling, one of the hardest things to
> do is to "turn off" my quads a bit. The theory only works if the quads
> do less work so they are not saturating the blood stream with lactic
> acid. Easier said than done!


Here is a site with references that talks about lactate,
lactic acid, lactic acid concentration increase, and
endurance training.
<http://www.cytosport.com/science/lacticacid.html>

--
Michael Press