Pezcyclingnews: Toolbox: Cycling And Fatigue


Jan 3, 2005
Cycling, while generally pleasurable, is ultimately all about pain and suffering at the sharp end of competition. Fatigue and exhaustion is something we have all felt at some time or other. However, why do we actually get tired on the bike and what constitutes fatigue?Why Do We Get Tired?The body, while an incredibly efficient and magnificently tuned machine in many aspects, is ultimately not a robot or an infinite system. At some point during every ride, no matter how easy the intensity, you will end up getting tired and not able to sustain that same workload. This is true whether its a time trial up lAlpe dHuez, a sprint down the Champs Elysee, or even a Sunday afternoon coffee shop ride pace. It may come as a surprise, but even after over a hundred years of exercise physiology research, the actual physiological reasons why humans fatigue during exercise remains a complete mystery to scientists. We certainly have a number of clues and strong theories, but no single model of fatigue seems to be able to accommodate all physiological mechanisms or real-life situations.Not Just a Word GameWhy do we care about fatigue or what causes it? Cyclists are all a bunch of masochists, and nothing is really more important than understanding, and ultimately prolonging the onset of, fatigue. At its core, every race at some point comes down to how much pain and suffering you can put up with, and whether thats more than your rivals. So if we understand the...

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