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Updated January 22, 2016   | By Bob Fugett

Ultimate Fast Paced Training Program

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Here is the ultimate fast paced master class guide for performance training. It outlines the basis of all training guides.

In summary: ATP takes the sprint, Glycogen takes the hill, and Fat takes the day.

Use this page to skip generic one size fits all low level training programs and quickly put together your own high level precision program specifically designed to meet your own particular goals and potential.

This is going to go quick so clip in.

Below is a table that outlines your body's three (3) energy systems which provide your power and speed in all sports.

ATP = Adenosine Triphosphate; CP = Creatine Phosphate

Click for source

Substances your body makes use of are:

1) ATP
2) Glycogen
3) Fat

(Put aside CP for the moment.)

You will note the table is organized according to elapsed time.

ATP is where the rubber meets the road by providing immediate conversion to power, but it only lasts a few seconds.

Glycogen is less powerful  but lasts longer, up to a couple of minutes without oxygen then a couple minutes more with oxygen required.

Fat is even less powerful but lasts a lot longer, the typical human has enough fat stored to run across America (even before the obesity epidemic).

These three systems require different amounts of oxygen to function.

ATP requires zero (0) oxygen, that is to say it can function anaerobically (without oxygen).

Glycogen uses oxygen to transform into ATP but can go for awhile without it by establishing an oxygen debt that must be repaid.

Fat needs oxygen from the git-go.

ATP takes the sprint, Glycogen takes the hill, and Fat takes the day.

The main strategy in cycling sport (which is a team sport by the way) is to trick opponents into using their most powerful assets ATP and Glycogen early in a ride without noticing.

Actually Glycogen is the target depletion, because ATP can be restored somewhat during a ride, but when Glycogen is gone it takes 48 hours to recover, and if you are not careful it can be gone in the first 10 minutes.

Don't worry about losing your fat, you are plenty fat enough.

Tricking unwary opponents into overworking is quite easy to do, because until the moment ATP and Glycolytic systems are on the verge of failure the perceived effort is almost nil.

In fact just before failure there is a little whiff of euphoria that helps push people over the edge.

Using a power meter I have easily shown a 59 year old woman with significant hip dysfunction who was also just recovering from a broken leg how insanely effortless a 425 watt performance can seem.

I said, "They will get you to do it, and you won't even know the effort occurred, but let me tell you, your body will record it."

In any case (back to the point) each system is trained by performing activities that stress its use.

Your body will learn to use ATP more efficiently if you practice sprints and short ultra hard efforts.

Your glycolytic system improves through longer near maximum efforts.

Your fat burning system adapts to long steady efforts.

Here is the wiki:

5-12 seconds max sprints - ATP (strength)
45-60 seconds near max - Glycogen (pace)
2-4 minutes strong efforts - Fat (distance)

These areas are most efficiently trained by focusing on one at a time and performing multiple repeats of the appropriate effort with rest intervals in betweenwhich resets your ability to perform.

You need lots and lots of rest, and water too, but not much food (probably no supplements at all), and certainly no drugs.

Kind of as an aside, strength training will increase mitochondria density while distance training will increase capillary beds and all of it will increase biochemical efficiencies, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion so look it up later.

The duration values in the table reveal that there is no hard cut-off point but overlapping transitions from one system to another.

An overarching organization can be viewed as the requirements of oxygen intake.

Without oxygen (hold your breathe if you want) ATP is soon aided by CP which provides the transition to Glycogen which will then tide you over through an oxygen debt until your body positively demands oxygen, and lots of it if you are trying to catch me.

Progressively each of the systems enlists a new set of processes that steals time away from the overall results.

That is to say: you are going to slow down over time, no question about it.

Strength work is anaerobic, while pace quickly becomes aerobic, and distance work is aerobic without breathing so hard.

Glycogen is best preserved by a gradual buildup in effort over a 20 to 40 minute period called a warmup.

If you skip the warmup your glycogen stores can be gone in as little as 10 minutes and that means no hills in your pocket and no sprint on your record.

Ever wonder why the fastest riders always seem to show up at the ride having already put in a few miles then go easy on the back drafting for awhile?

Now you know why.

Moving on: in order to track your gains in each area you need an objective reliable repeatable measurement, and nothing comes closer to direct measurement in cycling than an on-bicycle power meter, and the most proximate measurement of applied force at the pedals comes from a Powertap's measurement of  Torque.

Write down the results of your workouts so you can review and compare results in order to get better over the years instead of staying just like you started—or rather not staying the same but getting worse and blaming it on age—as do most people you know.

You may have realized that track and field races are organized according to the durations given in the table above.

Look up world records for the 100 yard dash, quarter mile, the mile, and 10,000 meters

These distances are not accidental, and now you know why it is the fastest that a human could run a mile was so hard to get under 4:00 minutes, and why it will never be under 3:00 minutes.

In fact the parameters for human performance are so close and predictable that sport spectacles have resorted to pretending how beating another human being by as little as a 100th of a second is a world shattering achievement.

Now go back to any (and I mean absolutely any) training program you may have heard about or participated in and review it keeping in mind the basics outlined above.

Shocking isn't it?



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