anaerobic capacity podcast episode

How To Build Anaerobic Capacity

Topics covered in this episode:

  • What is anaerobic capacity?
  • Understanding functional reserve capacity
  • How to structure intervals to improve anaerobic capacity
  • What is Pmax?
  • Intensive and extensive functional reserve capacity intervals
  • How to plan your intervals
  • Factors to consider before including these high-intensity intervals in your training

Previous episodes in this series:

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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford (00:07):

Anaerobic capacity is at the pointy tip of the spear for many athletes. When it comes to developing performance. In this episode, I’ll clearly define more of what that means. Walk you through how to build this capacity for yourself and set up a future episode down the road that will take it even a step further for now. Let’s get right into the concepts in terms. So you can start planning when and how to develop your anaerobic capacity. First, a few disclaimers like I have had in the past. This is the part three of, um, a three parts, how to series, where we first started with how to build FTP. Then we talked about how to build VO to power. And now finally, we’re here, uh, with how to build anaerobic capacity. If you missed any of the previous episodes, I go back in and listen to those because I built them to, uh, build upon themselves.

Adam Pulford (01:05):

So you’ll, you’ll miss some key concepts as I’m gonna go through more quickly. Um, some of the energy systems and things that we talked about in previous episodes. So hit, pause, go back, look up how to build FTP. If you’ve, if you’ve missed that or VO two power. Now, just like the previous anaerobic capacity should not be trained unless you’ve built it upon a very good engine, meaning, um, aerobic development to threshold development, to VO, to power now, anaerobic capacity. And then throughout this series, as well as this episode in particular, I’m pulling facts, resources, and borrowing things from, uh, various coaches, um, coaches like Andy Coggin, Tim Cusak, Dean college. And in this episode, coli Moore. Um, and we’ll get into that, but you know, really it’s, it’s kind of this melting pot of, um, of terms and concepts that I want to convey to you all our listeners, uh, to get the most out of this thing.

Adam Pulford (02:04):

Meanwhile, I also use a software called WK oh five, uh, for a data analytics in modeling. You can learn more about that if you go to WKO Okay. So let’s swing back to our three energy systems in, in this is important because you want to understand the why of the training that you’re doing. Okay. And those three energy systems first start with the ATP PCR system. That is the very fast movement system. If you will. Um, we’re looking at one to five second type movements and that’s using phosphagen as a primary fuel source to, uh, re phosphorolate ATP. The second system is called the glycolytic system. This uses, this uses glycogen for a primary fuel source. And this is also for heart efforts, but this is ranging anywhere between six seconds and 60 minutes at max. Finally, the aerobic system, which is what everything is built upon.

Adam Pulford (03:09):

This uses oxygen for primary fuel source. These year long rides. These are zone two, maybe lower zone three. And, um, and we will, we will, I promise you a podcast about how to build a aerobic capacity to, but that’s, that’s coming here. Um, and the reason why I like to refer to those three energy systems is to apply what we’re talking about today. And that is anaerobic capacity. If you go back and you look at for the YouTube Watchers, if you, um, can see the slide with the three energy systems, you’ll notice that we are still in the glycolytic energy system. Okay. So we haven’t really left that. We’re going to, we’re going to scratch the surface of that ATP system here today, but this is still anaerobic glycolysis. Okay. And, um, the efforts that we’re going to be talking about, um, will range anywhere between 12 and 60 seconds in nature, but again, for the YouTube users, uh, for those visually, um, wanting to see something, those three energy systems are clearly laid out.

Adam Pulford (04:15):

And we’re talking about glycolytic system here. Once again, let’s define some key terms before we, we start nerding out about all the, all the rest. What is anaerobic capacity? It is the maximum amount of adenosine. Triphosphate recent, the sized via anaerobic metabolism during a specific mode of short term duration, maximal exercise. That’s one of the best terms that I found going through a previous research papers. I’ve cited that in our show notes on train,, you can go back and check that out, but it’s, it’s pretty wordy and it’s a little heavy. And so it’s also very, uh, vague and broad and can apply to many things in many organisms. So the term that I like to use as it applies specifically to cycling is a concept from WKO five called a functional reserve capacity or FRC. And the definition of FRC is the total amount of work that can be done during a continuous exercise above FTP before fatigue occurs.

Adam Pulford (05:26):

Okay. So a couple key term or a couple of key words there it’s work done. It’s measured in kilojoules and it’s continuous. Okay. So it’s a one-time effort. It’s also above FTP. So again, we’re anaerobic glycolysis and what we’re really measuring here is a big, you know, launching an attack, charging hard through a rock garden for those mountain bikers, um, bridging a gap for those road cyclists, um, a real punchy hill climb for the gravel riders. Okay. So this is your soup. This is my analogy. It’s your super secret power. If you’ve ever played video games and you have this thing that can maybe like, I don’t know, um, shake the screen, blow up the screen, or you go super fast, um, to, to surge during a race or something. You hit that button and you go super fast or you blow everything up. Well, it takes a while for that to recharge back up.

Adam Pulford (06:20):

Okay, you can’t, you can’t just press that button all the time. Similar to bike racing, you have to pace yourself. You have to plan those attacks accordingly because again, it takes time to regenerate before you can deploy that super secret power. Once again, this is FRC, generally we’re talking efforts between 10 and 60 seconds for interval prescription, and also for what athletes can produce in terms of an FRC effort. However, based on phenotype that could go over. If you’re very anaerobic, you have a high FRC that that can extend out in, in there’s ways of measuring that don’t hold hard and fast to that 62nd top out, it can go maybe up to 90 seconds, maybe a little bit more, but in general, that, that for interval prescription, we’re going to kind of stick between 10 and 60 seconds overall more on that later. There’s another term or phrase that I use quite a bit.

Adam Pulford (07:22):

I it’s, it’s used in the, in CTS circle of coaches as well as many other coaches it’s broad and it’s called power for repeatability. My definition of power for repeatability is the athlete’s ability to produce high quality power for a specific duration multiple times in a row with consistency. Generally, when I’m talking about power for repeatability, it is anaerobic power. So heart, I, if you go back to that two episode that I talked about and VO two power in particular, I will also refer to doing, you know, just high quality effort, uh, over and over and over and getting really good at it. When I’m talking to my athletes, I call this power for repeatability. The same thing can apply here when we’re talking about FRC. And again, generally when we’re seeing this power for repeatability, it’s the, it’s this relative power for performance that we’re talking about.

Adam Pulford (08:23):

So, um, my point here is, is anybody can launch a good heart effort, right? Um, but where do you go from there? Was it, was it done, uh, at a proper time? That’s beside the point, but can you do it over and over from mountain bike athletes, power for repeatability is everything, you know, relative power. How many times can you go over and over and over again, even though the absolute power might not be super high, those who can repeat they’re, they’re gonna, they’re going to grind it out over time. So that’s, that’s an element of performance that I wanted to bring up in all in all. We’ll talk more about that in this episode.

Adam Pulford (08:59):

Finally, there’s a term called P max, and I just want to introduce it today because, and I won’t go super deep into it because this is touching on, um, an episode that I will do here and maybe a month or two with coli Moore, who’s more of a, more of a scientist and the end, uh, uh, this is in his wheelhouse, uh, th this is, this is his jam, but I want to mention it here because we will be touching on it with the FRC intervals that we’ll be doing. So what is P max P max is the maximum power over at least a full pedal revolution with both legs it’s measured in Watts or in Watts per kilogram. And so unique metric in WKO five to measure near muscular power development and that neuromuscular power that I’m referring to. That’s the ATP PCR system.

Adam Pulford (09:54):

So to put this in some context, PMX is high power output in high cadence for a very short time period. So if you think about unusually, this is high power with high cadence. So if someone’s doing 120 RPMs, for example, you’d have one full pedal revolution. So half crank, half crank with each leg in one second to produce that power. So you would, you could spin slower. You could spin faster to get this measurement, but what you can see is it’s a very standardized way of measuring neuromuscular power and we call it P max. So it’s not just a, a spike in your power. Okay? So some people may see that on their power files, you’ll see, um, uh, you know, peak power at this. And then it, that typically will be higher than a P max reading. When I tell athletes what their P max is, I say, well, you know, I hit a 1600 today. Yeah. But your P max is still 1500. We’ll talk about why that is more with coli, but for now, I just want to ma, or I want to mention it to set things up for where we’re going.

Adam Pulford (11:00):

A couple of things to clarify P max is not FRC, but FRC doesn’t exclude P max elements. I’ll have a visual here for YouTube that will show this a little bit better. And what I mean here is like these FRC intervals. They’re so hard. Okay. So we’re going to you when you sprint out of the gate and you’ll see what these efforts are doing, you’ll touch on the neuromuscular power and just like any other energy system or intervals that we’ve been doing. You’re never only doing one energy system. You’re always kind of a mix and a slurry of, of all three. Uh, these FRC intervals are specifically kind of bridging that ATP to a glycolytic system quite well. Okay. And so, again, my vision is to have more of a specialist on the show, uh, talk about how to develop that. And this would apply for all use sprinters out there and also, uh, track cyclists.

Adam Pulford (11:56):

And, um, even into some, maybe even some Opsys and typically, you know, that sprint, we want that to come out during their peak time period, but there’s also, um, real ways in real applicable ways to do that in the off season to, um, um, increase muscle mass so that we can apply that later on. Okay. So now that I’ve covered these key terms, let’s recap key concepts from previous episodes. You’re going to be so sick of me talking about intensive versus extensive, but at that point you’ll, you’ll, you’ll hit exactly where I want you to be for your learnings because intensive training is increasing the power you can produce for a certain duration. Okay. We’re just increasing power, extensive training, lengthening the duration that you can hold a certain power. So we’re just going longer. Now, there are two ways shocking. You, there are two ways to build your FRC.

Adam Pulford (12:49):

You can build it intensively, meaning you make it go up, or you can build it extensively, meaning you can, um, have that high power, uh, go way out. Now, here is where I am, uh, Bowering a slide from, uh, Coley Moore and that, uh, he has given approval of this folks. So don’t, don’t worry about this, but for our YouTube Watchers, this, it painted everything the way I wanted to show it. And rather than reinventing the wheel here, uh, I reached out to Coleen and just said, Hey, can I use this in Coley’s a coach at Imperial cycling. You can see that logo down in the right hand corner, but here, what we’re looking at is an athlete’s power duration curve in red. And you can see where P max is defined and that’s five seconds or, or lower. And then you can see the FRC intensive coming about right around 20, 30 seconds and FRC extensive somewhere around that, uh, 50 to 62nd power duration.

Adam Pulford (13:51):

And what we’re pointing out here is that max power that is right there at Pemex in this FRC training, this is that downward slope. This is that bridging of the gap, long sprint type stuff. I’ll talk about what he is referring to over here with the red X and whatnot here in just a second, but this visual display should, should illustrate the duration in the intensities that we’re really, really talking about. So again, intensive SU max effort, max is max, no power recommendations. And that’s what a coli is, is a Exene out there. He doesn’t use, um, prescriptive power for these and nor do I in less, um, unless I’m probably cycling through this maybe for the first time with an athlete, and they’re overly concerned about what I’m, then I’ll give them like a number just to stay above or, or something like this.

Adam Pulford (14:46):

But in general, these are all out and don’t overthink it. You just go super hard. The extensive, these are, these are the long sprints here is where I will, um, individualize some power for that coli made not. Um, but in general, for your FRC intensive, not prescribing power, you’re just going all out. FRC extensive. We’ll get a little bit more descriptive. So for the intensive Max’s max FRC intervals, again, we’re talking about that 10, 22nd type power. Um, you’re just all in, okay. That you’re pushing the chips in, and here we’re not even thinking about the next interval and that’s actually super important. Don’t think about that extra interval because you’ll pace, meaning you will hold back in this. You just have to be all in every time. Don’t worry about the recovery either because you’ll have plenty of it. Usually. I mean, five minutes is at the low end of recovery on this.

Adam Pulford (15:49):

Usually five to eight minutes is what I’m prescribing. And depending on the phenotype of the rider and how, how, how high this power is and what the goals of the workout are. I’ll prescribe recovery intervals up to 12 minutes in nature. So it just think five to 12 minutes for recovery, you got plenty of time to recover. Um, and before the next one, so just don’t think about the next one. You’re all in from the get go. Max is max good analogy for these types of workouts, similar to like having a heavy leg day in the gym, where you get super psyched up, you do, uh, you know, your, your, your reps, you do yours. That’s and, uh, it’s, it’s very explosive. It’s very intense, but then you’re just hanging out a lot. Okay. That’s the mentality you need to have with these. Now our recovery intervals on the bike are you’re spinning easy.

Adam Pulford (16:44):

So you’re not just like sitting there drinking your recovery, shakers, something silly like that. You’re you’re still moving. Okay. Now. No is, well, I should just, I should mention this. This is not replacing gym workouts either. Okay. We are building anaerobic capacity. We’re building functional reserve capacity time and place for going heavy in the gym, but we’re still talking, cycling. Okay. So all out that’s intensive FRC, extensive FRC. Like I said, these are long sprints. Uh, when I’m prescribing them, they are typically 30 to 60 seconds. And I do like to individualize power prescriptions. So they’re broad range, maybe, um, a hundred Watts at the low end high end, again, depending on phenotype of the rider where we’re at in the training cycle and things like that. And also, um, the recovery periods. But before we talk about the recovery periods, the mentality on extensive FRC needs to be very similar to intensive.

Adam Pulford (17:46):

We’re not thinking about the next interval really important to, because these are, these are really hard. I talked about cognitive fatigue in the, in the previous episode with VO two max and how hard that was. Uh, these are even more so, and really got to set yourself apart. And these are really hard. Like your, your, your body just doesn’t want to do this type stuff. Normally people do not. Self-select these types of intervals for themselves to train. So don’t think about the next one. Um, and you’re just, you’re kind of you’re all in, but we also are just checking in on that range with your individualized, uh, power prescriptions from, from WKO five. And you can see, I still have Coley’s, um, slide up here. You can see what they call optimize it intervals. And I, I do like to use these, these are specific to the athletes phenotype or how they produce their power.

Adam Pulford (18:42):

And I will use the extensive FRC range to prescribe this now for the recovery periods. You can also see on that slide where it’s, it’s prescribing one to two work to rest ratios. So if we’re doing, if we’re doing a interval set with 60 seconds, two minutes may be applicable to what we need for recovery. However, uh, you’ll, you’ll see some power detriment over time, and that would be part of the plan. Um, at least when I’m prescribing an interval set like that and what we’ll look at some examples of workouts coming up here, so just hold tight. But my point here is they can be a one to two work to rest period, meaning one minute on two minutes off, or you can also go, if you’re really focused on producing high quality power, meaning, or remember power for repeatability, we can go up to 10 times the recovery period versus the work period.

Adam Pulford (19:38):

Meaning if we did, if we were doing one minute intervals, we could take up to 10 minute recovery periods in order to produce that same high quality power. For me, typically I’m somewhere between, um, one to two to one to five, depending on what the goal of the workout is. Um, and, and some of that goal of the workout, if I’m getting power for repeatability and really trying to condense the amount of work done in a short amount of time, uh, similar to racing, I might I’ll shorten that recovery period down, but if it’s working on pure power production, high quality and powerful repeatability, I’ll extend the, the recovery period out. So again, key point, these are still hard. Okay. We’re not, we’re not really going all that, all that, uh, less intense, but perhaps there is some pacing that needs to go on here. Uh, I like to bridging from that, um, concept that I mentioned in the VO two power phase, sometimes failing forward is exactly what you need to do, meaning, um, that might take one or two workouts where you don’t finish before you learn you’re pacing, you learn your body and you can produce that power over and over to get a complete interval set in, in, in succeed. So you’re, you’re failing intentionally in order to move forward. That’s my point.

Adam Pulford (21:01):

And I’ll bring up, um, I’ll bring up this next slide. And this is showing, um, is actually my power duration curve here. And the reason why I’m showing this is this again, is showing kind of the high end and low end of the optimized interval ranges. And in specifically the FRC, uh, range as well. And I think that that may, um, illustrate everything a little bit better. I stay in those ranges high end, low end for intensive and extensive. And again, that is, um, for our YouTube Watchers. Now, a couple of key talking points. I know the technical geeks want more detail about the high-end, um, power recommendations, but I’ll be really honest with you. Uh, if you’re focused on a number for intensive FRC development, you’re missing the boat, you gotta be all in. You just have to go hard. You have to learn, you know, if you’re, and I’ll do it from standing start now also do it from a rolling start Coley.

Adam Pulford (22:03):

We’ll talk more about when and why to do that. I’d say change, you know, change it up, see which one you like more. I don’t think that there’s necessarily a wrong way to do it. You can get specific to this now for my mountain bikers, cyclocross racers will do a lot of standing start FRC type stuff to get that, um, higher toe, higher torque and higher force production right away out of the pedals, as well as, um, stomping in and in clipping in, um, which is a specific performance aspect that off-road athletes need to do not so much in road. So if you’re more of a road athlete, um, you can do these rolling on the fly. That’s how you’re producing a lot more of your FRC. If you’re an off-road athlete, you could do from a standing start, doesn’t matter. However, rolling back to my point is the power doesn’t matter as much, you can always look at your power afterwords and you should look at your power afterwards during the interval. Don’t worry about it all in full send. Now for extensive intervals, you can still do standing starts or flying starts, but there you can be a little bit more, uh, dialed without power prescription.

Adam Pulford (23:17):

Okay. So we’re to the part where we talk about planning your plan. I’ve covered this in various episodes before my whole point here is get organized before you do this, because if you lay it out on training peaks, which I’m going to pull up right now. So for those on YouTube, you can see some visuals of what these intervals are looking like. And I’ll just start first with intensive, um, FRC intervals. And my point here plan your plan is to get organized with how you’re going to do it, which days you’re going to do your hard days on, and which days will then be your easy or off days. And then when they’re going to slot in for your say, annual plan or your, your block of training, your cycle of training for more info on that, um, just search for a Tim Cusick episode.

Adam Pulford (24:10):

We cover that quite a bit. Um, and I won’t bore anymore with that here, but just know we go super in-depth about finding a pattern and planning this out. So for this particular, uh, training block with intensive FRC development, I am choosing a polarized training modality, which means you are hard on the hard days, easier on the easy days and your rhythm or your pattern is on, off, on, off in terms of intensity. And that off can, can simply be, you know, recovery miles or a zone to endurance, but the hard days are really hard. So first for those listening only, and can’t see my slides Monday is that typical rest day. And then Tuesday is the first FRC intensive interval. And I’ve got 10 by 20 seconds with a three to four minute in that, is it typo? So I’m glad I’m reading this out.

Adam Pulford (25:08):

So again, remember I said, you know, five minutes at the very low end and up to eight minutes of recovery period for these 22nd intervals. Um, so this should be five to eight, sorry, that’s my typo. Uh, for those watching, uh, just know that, so I’ll, I’ll keep on walking through this here. So I start with 10 by 20 seconds, and that’s also kind of on the short end of some FRC, but I would do this when you’re first starting out or for beginner, if you’ve never done these types of intervals, because they’re, they’re short enough to where you can get through and you can really, like I said, full sinned and, and, and feel that effort because the next week I extend or I go to, uh, 30 seconds. So 10 by 20 seconds with five to eight minutes recovery in between, on Tuesday, Wednesdays, his own to ride, just ride your bike, keep it easy.

Adam Pulford (25:55):

Uh, Thursday is I just, I take two intervals off. So this is eight by 20 seconds with five to eight minute recovery in between. And then Friday can be offer recovery day. And then Saturday, this is a group ride. And I like doing at least one group ride per week when we’re working on intensive or extensive FRC. And you’ll see that in the next, in the next slide. So Saturday is a good day for the group ride Sunday. This can be zone two or three, and we’re just working on endurance there. If I have, if I’m working with athletes, we might even double up on the weekend going a group ride both days that’s week one on week two, you can see, I go to 10 by 30 seconds on Tuesday, Wednesdays, his own two ride Thursdays eight by 30 seconds. Friday is recovery. Saturday group ride Sunday is zone two, right?

Adam Pulford (26:49):

And again, that is just two weeks of an example of, uh, intensive FRC training. Now let’s move to the FRC extensive block that I have here for YouTube users. Uh, you can see that I’ve, I’ve upped it to 60 seconds for the interval time. And the recovery periods are going to be three to four minutes. And so this pattern here is again, very typical from what you’ve seen out of me over the past. Um, several episodes where Monday is off Tuesdays hard Wednesdays mediums zone two Thursdays hard Friday is recovery Saturday group ride Sunday hard. And these Tuesdays and Thursdays, I start by seven by 60 seconds or seven by one minute with three to four minute recovery in between Thursdays six by one minute, with three to four minute recovery in between in the second week I X I build this out to eight by one minute with three to four minute recovery in between, and then Thursday.

Adam Pulford (27:53):

So I’m just adding one more seven by one minute with three to four minute recovery in between. No, again, don’t hold, don’t hold hard and fast to this, depending, depending on the athlete, I’m coaching, I’m going to change these up a little bit, but I chose, um, the, I would say the low to middle portion of total work being done for people who haven’t done these intervals before to get in and do a realistic workout that will move the needle on your FRC or build your anaerobic capacity, but they won’t hopefully leave you two wrecked. Now, if they do, if you get through, you know, if you’re aiming for, uh, you know, seven by one minute with three to four minute in between, and you only get five, that’s fine, come back, fight and try to do six next time. That’s how you do it.

Adam Pulford (28:40):

Uh, overall, if you, if you looked at this, we could pull up in U2. We go back to the, um, my power duration curve, looking at the optimized intervals. Really what I’m looking to do is to get the athlete accumulating as much time in, well, not time and zone as many intervals and as much work done as I can here. Okay. And typically when we’re looking at that intensive anaerobic, um, four 10, I I’ll extend that even more. You know, I wrote 10 by 20 seconds. I’ve given 15 that, that athlete wasn’t too happy, but that would be like 15 by 30 seconds. Um, something like that. And that’s going to be really moving the needle, but again, you can see here, my ex or the, um, kind of the prescription is four to 10 intervals for intensive anaerobic. That’s where you have a lot of recovery time in between.

Adam Pulford (29:36):

You gotta be careful because once you start, you know, doing that 10 by 22nd with that much recovering between that’s a couple hour workout, okay, these, these are long workouts because of the long recovery periods. You go to the extensive FRC work in, and we’re looking at anywhere between three and 12 total intervals. And here’s where you get a little bit more time in zone. It’s a little bit more quantifiable and applicable because of the work done and the prescriptive, uh, individualized power that I’m doing. And this were, this is upwards of 12 minutes. I might go up to 15 with somebody who’s well seasoned, but we’re starting, you know, right around four to 12 minutes. If you’re a low FRC rider, you know, if I can get good quality, four minutes total out of you. And that could be four by one, or that could be, um, doing math in my head on the fly eight by 30 seconds.

Adam Pulford (30:27):

That’s how we’re getting that time in zone. So again, we’re looking first at intensity, you’re just going all in on these, then we’re looking at, okay, what’s the lowest number of intervals possible that is going to move the needle on this. And you can see that for, uh, for example, and then build that out. These examples I’ve given you are good, starting points, start there and build yourself all right now for a few caveats, uh, when doing these they’re super hard, like I said, um, just, just know that, which means you want to make sure that your recovery habits, your food habits, your athlete habits, your good athlete habits is what I mean. They’re very well controlled. Well dialed during this time, I wouldn’t do this type of training. When you have a bunch of work trips going on or the, you know, the kids are sick or you just have a lot of life going on.

Adam Pulford (31:21):

These are intervals that you do when life’s going real good for some of you, maybe that’s never okay, but you just, you want to make sure that, uh, you clear your life enough that you have the capacity to build your anaerobic capacity, because it’s very stressful. It’s very challenging and you won’t have a ton of energy later on in the day, fueling on the bike is also really important. You’re not going to be flipping through kilojoules like you would on, you know, a huge threshold day or the group ride or something like this. But because it shakes you so much, you want to make sure that you have carbohydrate onboard, you’re hydrating properly, and you have some fuel so that you’re not so depleted afterwards. So good habits, please, when you’re doing these, make sure to get really good sleep, you know, eight hours minimum. And so a lot of people listening here, they’re like, I never get eight. I only get five. Well, uh, please get more than five, but, uh, uh, optimize, optimize your sleep during this time period, because all the train, all the hard training in the world won’t seep in, unless you are recovering and sleeping properly.

Adam Pulford (32:28):

Final few caveats are when, again, just kind of speaking to the timelines of how long to do these, uh, typically with the intensive, I’m going to do two to three weeks cycles, um, to bring out that anaerobic capacity and for the extensive, maybe two to four weeks, similar to the VO two max you’ll get response right away. Very quickly. Go back to the analogy I had for the intro to this is this is a pointy end of the spear. Okay. We want this at certain time periods. We don’t necessarily need this all the time. So we bring it out really quickly. We race or do a thing, and then we don’t do it for a while. And then it goes away. This is, this is what a peak is. This is how it occurs. Um, so to bring this out, it doesn’t take too long, uh, there, but also there’s a point of diminishing in terms there’s cost benefit going on.

Adam Pulford (33:25):

So once you get trained up and you do, you know, a round of intensive than a round of extensive, you’re ready to race. I typically don’t cycle back through like I would in threshold phases or even VO two phases. I will typically intensive, extensive or flop them and then go race and then recover block or endurance, or like an endurance block, and then come back. And it’s both because, you know, physically it’s very into, you know, uh, intensive adds a lot of fatigue, um, and mentally as well. So just know that when you’re setting up or laying up your training is you don’t want to do more of these. I don’t think at least I have not gone through multiple rounds and cycles of this and gotten more out of it. The cost is too much relative to the benefit gain.

Adam Pulford (34:15):

Okay. So, you know, I’m going to try to make this shorter and sweeter. So pulling up a summary slide on, on YouTube to just bring this one home in, this is, again, we’re talking about FRC and that is functional reserve capacity. It’s a more specific way of measuring anaerobic capacity in the sport of cycling. We can use we, or we can train it intensively or extensively using similar concepts that I’ve talked about in previous episodes. You want to keep your hard days hard and easy days, easy here using a polarized model or polarized modality to ensure that your F you’re arriving fresh to the heart training sessions. Max is max all out full cent chips in every time. That’s how you do these properly. And especially if you don’t have a coach, I would still do the extensive FRC intervals that same way. Even if you have no clue, like what that power should be, doesn’t matter, full send plan out your training ahead of time so that you can plan your life ahead of time as well.

Adam Pulford (35:20):

Again, these, these cause a lot of fatigue. And when you’re deep into these things, you’ll, you’ll be asking yourself why you’re doing this. Okay. If you plan it out or rationalize it, you’ll be able to motivate yourself during those hard training sessions of why you’re doing this for race, for your goals, for whatever it is. And finally, you know, this is, this is the plugin. If, if a lot of this is exciting, but it’s say confusing, we have tools at CTS that can help, uh, figure that out. We have our membership available that can help personalize your training program a little bit more and give you more resources and education, not just on a monthly subscription, or you can hire a coach for topics that are this complicated. Um, and, uh, like the episode that I’ll be doing with Coley more in the future. I mean, you know, they are very technical in nature.

Adam Pulford (36:15):

And I think a lot of people listening may not even need the specificity of knowledge for that, but it’s really good to partner with people to bring out that specificity, if you have the performance goals in mind for these events or even for your lifestyle. So just know that why you hire coach, um, is a very quick way of, of getting up to speed on that. If you want some, uh, example workouts, like you saw here on the, on the YouTube channel, or like I talked about on this episode, you can go to training to search my name and you can find it. So that’s it. That is it for today. And that is it for this series of how to use. We started with how to build FTP. We progressed to how to build VO two max and we finished with how to build anaerobic capacity.

Adam Pulford (37:03):

There’s still a lot more, uh, that I, that I have in my head. And really when I built this series, I was like, oh yeah, that’d be a good three-part series, but it’s spinning off in, in, in all these directions. And I want to do more and without complicating or going super long, I hope that I’ve distilled this information down into very usable information for you, our listeners, so that you can put that into place for your training. Lots more to come. But again, I hope you enjoyed this three-part series and, uh, come back and check out more. I’ve got, um, I’ve got a nice batch coming up, um, with, uh, more diverse topics. So, uh, subscribe to the train right podcast, wherever you listen to your podcasts and, uh, until then train hard train, smart train, right?

Comments 6

  1. Love the podcast. Think I was one of the top listeners last year!

    Essentially have come from a background of no real cycling or running, to trying an ironman and ultra last year – in short loved the cycling and running and trying to balance now moving forwards with these two!

    I’m a little confused around anaerobic training. I haven’t fully decided my events for the year, I want to try cyclocross at some point or gravel, but will focus more towards marathons, ultras and just having fun on the bike (unsure what this will look like but will probably spend a decent amount of time training on the bike).

    One thing that I am wondering, there seems to be fairly consistent VO2 or Threshold + Endurance / base aerobic focus year round, do you keep anaerobic workouts year round (even if just occasional) or do you focus into specific blocks prior to events that have a necessity for this?

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