If you have done research on building aerobic fitness you typically end up in two ways. With the preface being that you understand that just riding or running won’t build your aerobic capacity like training in a prescribed intensity range only would.
- long slow aerobic sessions often only available to professionals. I called this the bottom-up approach has your building aerobic base from the bottom of low intensity.
- The top-down approach is what I call the approach to where you build your anaerobic capacity thereby lifting your aerobic capacity as well. This method is often used by those with less time available.
For the most part that sums it up. typically aerobic training is done in the offseason to build the capacity for more work and more intensity during the season.
What are the benefits of having a good aerobic capacity?
- Faster recovery.
- Ability to handle a larger workload.
- Ride or run faster while still burning fat allowing you to stay out longer to do the things you enjoy. This is a big reason for me to increase my capacity.
- Less soreness due to the reduced production of waste products typically associated with the glycolytic cycle.
- Fueling longer endurance events becomes less critical as you rely more on fat storage then carbohydrates.
- New fueling strategies and reduce the likelihood of upset stomach due to the intake of carbohydrates.
- A shift in the functional threshold heart rate allowing you to to stay at a higher heart rate for longer, again due to the reduced waste product of the glycolytic cycle.
- preserving carbohydrates for the high-intensity part of the event. for example, doing a mountain bike Enduro race you don’t tap into the glycolytic cycle on the ride to the stages. Does preserving carbohydrates stores for the high-intensity part of the event.
So what exactly am I proposing?
Imagine a period in the offseason where you increase your fat metabolism through an integrative approach of diet and exercise combined to reach your goal of an optimized fat metabolism. Lower intensity endurance exercise with a low carb lifestyle will maximize your results in the quest to become a more efficient fat burner.