Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ten rounds, each for time of:
100 meter Sprint
Rest 90 seconds

Big Doug leading the pack.

If you’re an endurance athlete and you have checked out www.crossfitendurance.com, you may wonder:

“Why is there so much anaerobic/sprint/speed work if I am going to run/ride/swim in a long endurance event?”

Anaerobic/sprint/speed work, often thrown in at the end of many traditional training programs as a supplement, incorrectly assumes that this type of training is of limited value.

“Anaerobic Training” has the following benefits and drawbacks:

BENEFITS                                                  DRAWBACKS
• Increased cardiovascular function      • Intensity can speed up overtraining
• Decreased body fat
• Increased muscle mass
• Increased strength
• Increased power
• Increased speed
• Increased anaerobic capacity

Anaerobic training encapsulates training the Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), ATP / Phospho-creatine system, the lactic acid system, and the aerobic system through various methods that stress one system, two systems, or multiple systems. The time length of the individual efforts combined with the rest periods between efforts determines the system/s stressed. As demonstrated by the graph, the systems overlap and “feed” into each other. Notice that as you are training all three anaerobic systems you are SIMULTANEOUSLY training your aerobic engine!

Studies demonstrate that the adaptations caused by anaerobic training are similar to high volume endurance training, however, this adaptation comes at much lower training volumes! (Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. J Physiol. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):151-60. Epub 2007 Nov 8.)