Biohacking Lactic Acid

LacticAcid 1024x587 300x171 Biohacking Lactic AcidBiohacking Lactic Acid or “Hacking The Burn”

Lactic acid.  The burn.  The chemical that Phil and Paul always talk about “filling up the legs” and “making the legs scream in agony.”  It gets a bad rap, one that it perhaps doesn’t deserve.  Little do most athletes know, it can not only be a key way to enhance your performance, but it may very well be required by the body to fuel your brain and contribute to various chemical reactions within the body.

How can this improve your cycling performance?

Easy.  For simplicity’s sake (as an overview) here’s the gist of it: The more time you spend creating lactic acid, the more of it your body will be forced to deal with.  That causes a cascade of metabolic changes in the body.  But how does dealing with lactic acid get you further?  How does your body do it?  How can we use those lactic acid idiosyncrasies to be faster cyclists?

We’ll look at a couple of ways to hack lactic acid after the jump, and after we understand how it’s produced and cleared.

How it works (warning, sciencey, geeky stuff ahead):

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Podcast #39 Addendum: High Fat Diets and Performance

photo 169x300 Podcast #39 Addendum: High Fat Diets and PerformanceI‘ve got to say, there are some really smart listeners out there.  Boy did you guys respond to my last podcast (Q&A number 2), especially regarding the last segment on fueling for a century.  Specifically, I referenced a study that found a 2% improvement in cycling performance/power output following glycogen depleted training.  A couple of you rightly questioned my analysis of that study.  Rather than write a lengthy post on the topic, I’ve decided to create an addendum podcast (originally designed to be the first segment of my next podcast, but after realizing the length, I decided to make it a stand along podcast) in order to address the issue.

Below I’ve included the study I reference in the podcast:

Fat adaptation followed by carbohydrate restoration increases AMPK activity in skeletal muscle from trained humans

Our results demonstrate that AMPK-α1 and AMPK-α2 activity and fuel selection in skeletal muscle in response to exercise can be manipulated by diet and/or the interactive effects of diet and exercise training.

This essentially relates that we can sort of “eat ourself into fitness.”  Cool, huh?

SHORT-TERM (<1 WK) MANIPULATION of dietary macronutrient intake is associated with marked changes in skeletal muscle gene expression (1524), substrate stores (36), metabolic flux, and fuel oxidation (102223). Exercise training also results in striking modifications in muscle gene expression (14), energy reserves, and the relative contribution of fuels to the energetic demands of muscle (9). Accordingly, the extent to which acutely altering substrate availability might modify the training impulse has been a key research area among exercise physiologists and sport nutritionists for several decades (for review, see Ref. 19). Indeed, evidence is accumulating that nutrient manipulation can serve as a potent modulator of many of the acute responses to both endurance (15) and resistance exercise (711).

So basically, if you eat well and train intelligently, you can turn yourself into a monster.  However, it also shows that if you eat poorly (I.E. a carbohydrate laden diet that promotes free radical production and inflammation) you can probably do more to hinder your performance than help it.

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

With the summer here, it’s time to get serious about your summer fitness!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer criterium fitness today.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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Being A Better Criterium Racer (Podcast #38)

photo 17 300x300 Being A Better Criterium Racer (Podcast #38)Racing season is well and truly upon us, and here in the US we have a glut of the fast, closed circuit racing known as criterium racing.  Run on race courses that are generally less than 3K in length (that’s about 1.8 miles or so), most crits are full of fast corners, accelerations, twitchy riders and (unfortunately) crashes.

Many people cut their teeth on criterium racing in Category 5, which can be prone to certain “issues.”  Because anyone with a bike and helmet can sign up to race cat 5, simple things like learning where to put your hands, braking safely, how to corner or how to hold a line are always suspect.  Taking the next step of knowing when to attack and simply how to train your energy systems to handle the rigors of crit racing are a few of the more advanced things you can do to be a stronger and safer crit racer.  Trust me, all those around you will thank you for it.

In today’s podcast, I’ll cover the following:

  • What is crit racing?
  • Building your base fitness – The “savings account concept”
  • What zones you need to work in to be successful in short, fast crit races
  • Why your core is so important in a crit
  • The importance of learning to corner
  • Tactics to keep you safe, build your confidence and give you the upper hand in your next race
  • How to conduct a proper postmortem on your performance

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

If you’re inspired to get out there and rub elbows with others, don’t get caught with your pants down!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer criterium fitness today.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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Biohacking Your Energy Systems

metabolism1 300x181 Biohacking Your Energy Systems
Biohacking Your Energy

Who doesn’t want to have more energy and perform better, whether it’s in the office (via improved brain power and a clear mind) or out on the bike (by slaying daemons at the Tuesday Night Worlds.)  We can accomplish this with a little bit of simple biohacking.  Biohacking is a simple process of taking the “how does this make me feel” concept to the next level.  With some careful thought, we can make a biochemistry experiment out of our nutrition: instead of simply looking at some marketing copy and taking our chances with some powder or gel, we can do much better than a blind trial and error approach.

We simply think of this trial as a scientific experiment.  With a little knowledge about the biochemical pathways involved in producing energy in the cell, we can make good choices about our nutrition by looking at the compounds involved in energy production pathways in order to augment them through some creative supplementation.

That’s how we “hack” the mitochondria, which is the cell’s powerhouse, for improved performance.

I’ll cover the basics of cellular energy after the jump (fair warning, this is a lot of science.  I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.):

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5 Tips To Accelerate Your Fitness (Podcast #37)

photo 19 300x300 5 Tips To Accelerate Your Fitness (Podcast #37)Here in the northeast spring has officially sprung (despite the recent short stint of cold, rainy weather) and that means everyone is starting to take their training outside.  The big question is how do you get that boost to your spring training that makes you nigh on invincible on the Sunday group ride?  You may have been putting in countless hours on the trainer and rollers over the winter, but you may still have trouble when the speed ramps up or you find yourself unable to cover those massive group surges.  A little adjustment to your training, a little specific work to boost your higher end energy systems, and you’ll find yourself pushing the pace at the front of the group instead of dangling off the back.

On this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I’ll talk about:

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

With the racing season quickly approaching, don’t get stuck at the back of the pack or shelled on the first climb.  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer fitness today.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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