Bet that llama caught your attention, eh? The llama is our official mascot of Best Bike Camp, in honor of the VLaMax metric that we covered in our first post in this series. Remember, Llama Knows Best!
In this next installment of our Best Bike Camp education series, we are covering the concept that we call Peak Recovery.
When most athletes think about recovery, they are focused on actions and activities that happen after the work out.
For example, what is your recovery nutrition? How do you cool down from a workout? What do you do for a day off? Do you have recovery boots like our friends from Hyperice / Normatec?
The INSCYD Power Performance Decoder lets us take the concept of recovery a step further. We can actually embed recovery into your workout…and use it as a tool to make you stronger in training and on race day.
Your Hard Work is Costly
Most of you know the burning feeling of pushing a hard interval or climb. The dreaded lactic acid!
During hard exercise, your body produces lactate during glycolysis. As a reminder, glycolysis is a process by which glucose is broken down to produce energy. When your effort / power output exceeds your body’s ability to combust that lactate, you exceed your lactate threshold.
Back in the day we thought this was a bad thing…but science has shown otherwise.
Now we know that this lactate is shuttled around your body to fuel other tissues. It’s a source of rapid — but physically costly — energy that allows you to power on through despite feeling as though your physical reserves are running low.
So we need it at critical times for performance, but we don’t want to keep it in our system any longer than required.
Recovery = Recycling the Lactate
INSCYD defines the term lactate combustion as happening in the working muscle by using it as a fuel in the aerobic metabolism (mainly through the step of transforming it into pyruvate).
For this reason, it becomes clear the amount of lactate which can be combusted – or the rate – depends on the aerobic metabolism.*
This is why knowing the effort at which your body combusts the greatest amount of lactate for energy is critical. Using the INSCYD Power Performance Decoder we are able to determine your recovery “window” as well as the Peak Recovery.
Mastering Your Peak Recovery
As a participant in Best Bike Camp, you will not only learn what your peak recovery wattage is, we practice it throughout the camp. We use it in Zwift Races to absorb the work required at surges and sprint points. We use it in our VO2 workouts to ensure your next interval is the best it can be. We use it in our lactate settling workouts to develop your capacity to process Lactate.
Learn what your peak recovery number is, we will practice it throughout the Camp.
- We use it in Zwift races to absorb the work required at searches in sprint points.
- We use it in our VO2 workouts to ensure your next interval is the best it can be.
- We use it in our Lactate Shuttling workouts to develop your capacity to process lactate.
The real secret of knowing your recovery numbers takes place away from Zwift…out on the open road.
Since watts are watts, you can use this newfound recovery knowledge to improve your perforamnce in training, group rides and even races.
For example, you can confidently now venture above threshold in your next race (within reason) as you have the zip code to reduce the effects of that effort within the race itself. That goes for triathletes, gravel and MTB folks and of course the cyclocross maniacs out there.
You can increase the time you spend at threshold in a given session once you improve your ability to process (combust) that lactate between intervals.
It turns out that your FTP is really just the tip of the iceberg. There are additional metrics that we can use to make you a smarter and more effective athlete, and Peak Recovery is just one of them.
This is particularly powerful for athletes who have been plateaued at a particular number or performance level for some time. Using this additional data, we can create a targeted training path for you relative to your goals this season.
If you are interested in Best Bike Camp, visit us online at www.bestbikecamp.com to view upcoming dates and reserve your spot!
* Of course, it’s worth noting that the effective rate of lactate combustion is also dependent on the actual lactate concentration (low vs high concentration).