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What physiologically is happening in sub-threshold workouts?

In sub-threshold intervals you are essentially working on your time trialing ability because you are working at race pace. Time trialing is an art in and of itself. You are out there battling yourself and the clock- but as you know, you are racing everyone else in your age group as well. So how do you get faster and assure that win? Mental focus is a key component of time trialing as you are not working to hold a wheel- rather you are battling the burn in your quads and the ache in your mind telling you its okay to back off. Sub threshold intensity helps time trialing efforts because working at this intensity effectively increases your lactate threshold as you work right at the edge of your threshold. Your body becomes better at buffering lactate, learns to be more efficient at producing power both systemically and technically. You will become a more efficient pedaller keeping your cadence at our around 90 rams. And you will become more reliant on fat metabolism as opposed to burning up your limited muscle and liver glycogen stores- effectively producing less lactate at a given power output. These physiological adaptations increase your power at lactate threshold, enabling you to go harder and faster at your next time trial. Mentally you know you can push through and physically you are better able to buffer lactate and produce more power aerobically- all this means that you will cross the finish line faster. A caveat to interval workouts: If your power drops below 10% of your target range on your final interval, call it a day- even if you are less than 12 minutes in. You have reached overload and with proper rest you will reap the rewards of this challenging workout.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.