One of the things I enjoy is biking. This fall I'm racing in the Kisscross series in Grand Rapids. I've introduced the sport of cyclocross in a previous post. These races, though fun, fight my physiology. I'm a fast twitch guy. Football player. Sprinter. Lift heavy stuff. During bobsled, 60 meters got to seem pretty far!
I struggle on anything that lasts longer then a minute. That's why my goal for cyclocross is improvement and enjoyment. Last year, the first race I think I was last by about 3 minutes! This year, I think I'm beating a few people. I started to structure my workouts this summer to prepare for a better chance at doing well in these races. The competitor started to come out.
The first race lasted 38 minutes for me and my heart rate average was 184 bpm. The second race lasted 29 minutes with a 179 hr average. So what happens when you train or race at this pace physiologically.
Teaching the heart to pump more blood. It does this by teaching the heart to pump for forcefully. There is an increase in mitochondria in the heart muscles. This will also increase the endurance capabilities of the heart.
A stronger heart, will fatigue slower at higher heart rates. This will keep the oxygen flowing to your muscles.