The core of endurance sport is energy production and management. You have three major energy systems in your body that allow you to pedal: anaerobic (oxygen), PC-ATP, and aerobic. This introduction will cover the three main energy systems and how they work.
ATP, or adenosine Triphosphateis a molecule your cells utilize for energy. ATP is produced by the mitochondria within the cell and releases energy stored in them to fuel the body. Your cycling performance will improve the more ATP you can produce.
Each system will produce ATP differently depending on the speed at which your cells require energy. You can train every energy system. The body can become more effective and efficient at producing ATP with the correct structured training.
Aerobic Energy System
The aerobic energy systemis a cycling superstar and is responsible for most of your body’s ATP. It is slowest to create ATP, and it fuels longer efforts. The Krebs Cycle (also known as the Citric Acid cycle) is how your body creates ATP by using glucose and fatty acids.
The aerobic system produces the most power when cycling. This is from the moment you start to pedal until your heart can no longer use any oxygen. ( VO2 max). The cycling zones include active recovery, endurance and tempo. sweet spotalso falls under this category.
The aerobic system does not stop working just because you ride above the threshold. It continues to work by processing the waste products of both energy systems.
Anaerobic Energy System
This system does not require oxygen and produces ATP quickly. The anaerobic energy system produces the most power for short-term efforts, lasting 30 seconds or less. The body uses anaerobic metabolism to convert glucose into ATP, pyruvateand lactate.
You will use your anaerobic system whenever you exceed your FTP. can feel the burn in your muscles when the anaerobic energy system is at work. Anaerobic zones are also related to threshold, VO2 max, and anaerobic capability.
ATP-PC Energy System
This system’s technical name is the phosphocreatine system. Most cyclists refer to this system as the “neuromuscular power zones” because it is its main application. The energy system produces ATP rapidly and anaerobically using creatine phosphate. The alatic system also produces energy without lactate. The ATP PC energy system is designed to power maximal efforts that last less than 15 seconds.
The ATP PC energy system fuels the sprinting power you can achieve and your short bursts. This system is able to produce energy rapidly, but it also requires extended recovery periods. You need to take a rest between sprints.
Neuromuscular vs. Aerobic
The three systems provide the body with the energy it needs to cycle. Although each system produces ATP in a different way, their end result is the same: power for the pedals. The energy systems are divided into three main categories: time, fuel, and oxygen.
It produces energy very slowly, but it can last a long while. Both anaerobic and aerobic energy systems exist for a shorter period of time. Remember that cycling is a primarily aerobic sport. It doesn’t stop your aerobic system when you create energy in anaerobic mode. Anaerobic effort becomes more aerobic with repeated repetitions. Building your aerobic baseis essential for endurance.
What is the best way to increase blood plasma volume?
The circumstances determine whether plasma volume changes are up or down. Heat exposure is the fastest way to increase plasma volume. Riding at high temperatures, turning off a fan while working out indoors, or hopping into a sauna afterwards can all give you an extra 4-15% in just five days. You can also complete the heat acclimation over a period of 7-10 days. It has been proven to be effective in elite athletes.
You can continue your usual endurance training, despite the heat acclimatization. Endurance training can increase your plasma volume on its own. Your core temperature increases when you exercise your aerobic system. The body then responds to this by increasing your blood volume. You can increase the blood volume even more if you turn off your fan. You can increase intensity. The VO2 max, threshold and speed all work together to adapt more plasma volume.
There is some good news if you’ve missed out on training. You can increase blood plasma in a very short period of time. You may find the first few exercises difficult, but they will soon become easier.
In conclusion, understanding and optimizing your body’s energy systems are crucial for enhancing cycling performance. Whether it’s the aerobic, anaerobic, or ATP-PC system, each plays a vital role in powering your pedals. Consistent training and strategic recovery contribute to efficient energy production. Additionally, increasing blood plasma volume through heat exposure and endurance training enhances overall endurance. Remember, cycling is predominantly an aerobic sport, emphasizing the importance of building a strong aerobic foundation. Embrace diverse training approaches to maximize your potential on the bike.