You are going beyond the weekend warrior! You really love to workout regularly and have a focus to your weekly regime. Is today a hard day or an easy day? Somewhere along the way, someone has probably asked you what your “threshold” is. How many watts? What heart rate? What’s your speed-distance? These pacing numbers dictate whether it is an easy day or hard day. Better yet, what is the pace so I can achieve your best workout result? Well, these paces described above surround the term anaerobic threshold. This is the time frame than you can workout for 60-90 min and then run out of gas! Anaerobic refers to using your body’s limited carbohydrates stores as the primarily fuel source. Fat, the unlimited fuel source, is the other energy source but is used in very limited amounts at your threshold intensity.
A 10km run and a 40km bike time trial are classic examples of threshold intensities for endurance activities. So why do you need to get this training intensity determined? Is this information going to make your workouts better? The answer is Yes! When you know what your threshold is, you can then train with more precision and achieve better results. You take out the “guess-work” and dial into the “sweet spot” while training. Many people often tell us that they simply did not think they could “hold that pace” for the one-hour duration and consequently held back for fear of running out of energy. Knowing your threshold will tell you how far and how fast you can actually go.
But what if you do not “race?” Regardless of whether you enter events, determining your threshold will the help the quality of your workouts. You will be able to scientifically know how hard to go when the coach or trainer asks you to give it a strong effort. You’ll get a “better bang for your buck” working out with intensities specific to you. Conversely, knowing your threshold is also helpful in determining when to slow down and reduce the effort. For example, many cyclists will keep their heart rate and power output at their threshold level while riding hills. This is the sweet spot where they can climb the hill without “blowing up” prior to cresting the top.
On the other end spectrum, if your workout calls for an easy, fat burning, recovery day, you know where to be and what to avoid. At this level, threshold is the intensity you want to avoid. Too often, people have their exercise routines halted for extended periods due to burn-out. Too much threshold intensity without scheduled “sub threshold” workouts can be over-taxing on the body’s adrenal system causing burnout.
As you look ahead to your outdoor season, start planning to get your numbers and threshold determined. You’ll be able to use those new gadgets with more precision and dial into that sweet spot!
By Cory Fagan
We are pleased to announce our newest addition to the GFB – Granville Island Brewing to our team! Enjoy these refreshing beer choices in our beer garden after your ride:
Hey Day Hefeweizen- A wheat beer, perfect for a hot day, hints of citrus, lemon, and banana off the palate
Seasonal Raspberry Ale- Super popular right now, refreshing, not to sweet- Sold Out at Beer Fest Calgary!Pale Ale- Our classic Pale Ale, cool, refreshing, full of flavour!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
1 month ago
3 months ago
Heng Bak Sim
3 months ago
Any plans to segregate the medio fondo distances? If I'm competing against riders finishing 140km in 2:30, I'm giving up :D
Great job Jo, with the Fritz knees this is amazing! Joanne Fritz-Grant