Friday, February 24, 2006

Lactic Acid and other cycling myths

Righto, we've probably all read this before - I can recall reading a bit last year - but here's a bit more on the subject of Lactic Acid and other cycling myths.

The authors present a wide-ranging review of research, including the conclusion that "the positive facets of lactate metabolism dispel the ‘lactic acid myth’. Lactate is shown to lower hydrogen ion concentrations rather than raise them, thereby retarding acidosis. Every aspect of lactate production is shown to be advantageous to cycling performance." Whilst that's a surprise in the sense that everyone historically blames lactic acid for that fall off in performance at or near maximum aerobic effort, it's not a surprise that we are blaming the wrong process or substance. That's almost inevitable. As we dig below the surface of past research we often find a new, better and more precise understanding is uncovered.

As well they state that "to minimise the effects of muscle fatigue, the efficacy of employing a combination of different high cycling cadences is evident". No surprises there, is there Lance?

From: The Science of Cycling: Physiology and Training – Part 1.
Authors: Faria, Parker and Faria
Source: Sports Medicine; 2005, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p285-312

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