Friday, April 23, 2010
Metabolic Efficiency Testing......
Okay so I am going to quote directly from my Coach, Janda Ricci-Munns previous email to me regarding why it was important for me to do metabolic efficiency testing for IMLP:
Janda said, and I quote, " one of the most tried and true approaches to long course training is to train the body to rely upon little to no ingested glucose/carbohydrate in order to increase its ability to conserve muscle glycogen and to metabolize free fatty acids ( FFAs) more efficiently for aerobic energy production. Keep in mind that your body only stores somewhere between 2000-2500 calories worth of muscle glycogen. This high octane fuel source is utilized by the body, along with FFAs and O2 to produce the energy that your body requires to keep moving forward during training and competition. At very low intensities a well trained endurance athlete will not require as much glycogen due to the relatively low rate at which energy must be produced in order for movement to occur. Ideally, the body will metabolize more of its FFAx to produce aerobic energy when training/competing atlow intensity efforts ( i.e., IM race pace and below).
As the intensity of aerobic exercise increases, so does the rate at which your body must produce energy. As intensity of exercise approaches FTP/LT, your body begins to metabolize more of its glycogen stores in order to keep up with the energy demand.
Typically, once an athlete reaches/crosses over FTP/LT, 100% of the energy being produced comes from your muscle glycogen stores. This is problematic in that, once again, ou only store about 2000-2500 calories worth of glycogen in your body-enough energy to get you through about 18-23 miles of hard running or 2.5-4hrs of hard cycling.
We often hear of athlete's " bonking" or " hitting the wall" during endurance events. The bottom line: Once our body's glycogen stores are depleted you have to rely upon FFA metabolism to produce energy aerobically. Due to the slow rate at which energy is produced by this metabolic system, your pace drops ( as do your blood glucose levels) and you end up walking, or jogging very slowly all the way to the finish line."
So, I wish I could say that i wrote that but my amazing coach Janda Ricci-Munn provided me with this information which made a ton of sense when it came to my endurance training and learning how to fuel efficiently and making sure that I was providing my body with everything it needed to perform at its best. So, today, myself and my friend and fellow IMLP triathlete Bob went to Grafton, Mass to see Dr. Jeff Godin from Blackstone Valley Human Performance who took an indepth look at the rate at which our bodies metabolized FFAs and glycogen/carbohydrates when training on the bike, with regards to power output, heart rate, ventilatory rate, 02 consumption, C02 expresssion, etc.... Preliminary results for me look like so far I was able to adequately burn fat at high level at around 175-180 watts without too much glycogen depletion. Dr. Godin said he will send me a more indepth chart and analysis after her reviews my power file and his computer output and then we will conduct a treadmill test the same way and then put all the information together to adjust how I'm fueling and how I should continue to train these last critical 3 months to ironman.
Okay, so after all this scientific hubbub your saying to me, this is crazy, why are you doing all this, your a mom of 4, your not going to win anything, I say, " Well, I am putting in the training, I want to succeed both physically and mentally and I want to do the best that I can do, so not only do you have to put in the time in all 3 disciplines, diet plays a huge portion of the equation to be successful. I don't want to do 2 1/2 miles of swimming and 112 miles of biking just to bonk on the run and walk 26 miles, I did a bit of that last year and I hated it and I don't want to do that again. Its a game and i get that but every bit of information helps to put the final pieces of the puzzle together. Wish me luck and enjoy the pics.
p.s. Also, I took my first official ice bath the other day and it truly sucked, OMG it hurt.