your heart rate when racing will tell you where your
beats per minute need to be when practicing. If your
average heart rate when racing is 170 and peaks at 190, you
need to replicate those numbers in training.
Testing. To learn your anaerobic threshold
without going to a human performance lab,
you can ballpark it by completing a hard
30-minute bike ride or running at a fast pace for
30-minutes. Whatever your average heart rate is will be
your ballpark number. Don’t worry if it’s not spot-on; this
number will work just fine.
Training. Riding is the best training for
racing. It is a full-body workout that replicates
the required movements and heart rates. Ride
as much as possible and have a plan when
doing so in order to get the most bang for your buck come
race day. Doing motos is great at increasing your aerobic
base, but it will not increase your anaerobic threshold. To
do this, you need to do short intense intervals with a heart
rate that comes close to, or above, your peak. You can
weave these intense intervals into your regular training
regimen. Do two-lap sprint intervals and check your peak
heart rate. Was it lower than on race day? Guess what?
You’re not trying hard enough. This is common when
starting out. When you get there, you’ll know it. You will
be toast after the two laps. Now, repeat these intervals
five times with a break between each session. The better
shape you are in, the shorter the break. Start out with the
time it took you to complete one lap, then work from there.
Arm pump. The major contributor to
arm pump is lactic acid. When the
burning sensation kicks in, the anchor
starts to come out. The solution? Training
to raise your anaerobic threshold will lessen the effects of
arm pump. ❏
Mumbo-jumbo. What is an
anaerobic threshold? Go ahead,
Google it. You will find a hun-
dred different answers all based
on scientific mumbo-jumbo. Why? Science
still hasn’t explained exactly what happens
when you hit your anaerobic threshold. To
define it simply, it is the level of exercise
intensity where lactic acid builds up in the
body faster than it can be cleared away.
Aerobic. Aerobic exercise is
categorized as activity that can
be sustained for long periods of
time as oxygen is pumped into
the muscles. The higher the heart rate, the
greater the oxygen shortage in the muscles.
The result? Fatigue.
Anaerobic. When your body
goes from an aerobic to an
anaerobic state, it breaks through
the anaerobic threshold, and
oxygen is no longer pumped into the
muscles. The heart is pumping at close to
your max heart rate, and activity can only be
sustained for brief periods of time.
Burn, baby. You have probably
felt that burning sensation in
your muscles when exercising,
especially as duration and intensity increase.
That burn is caused by lactate. Your body uses lactate as
a buffering agent to neutralize the acid buildup in your
body under heavy exertion. If you ride hard or exercise
vigorously, eventually the effort from the combination of
a high heart rate and heavily worked muscles will result
in generating more acid than the lactate can neutralize.
When this happens, you have crossed the lactate
threshold, and the body starts to tell you to let up.
Fatigue kicks in at a rapid rate.
Racing. There is a difference between
riding a motorcycle and racing. This is due
to the outside variables that recreational
riding does not replicate, including the
elevated heart rate of a full-out effort, the intensity of the
start and the pressure of close racing. When your body is
not used to riding at race pace, it can quickly be pushed
over its anaerobic threshold. Once that happens, you
will be slowing down soon.
Practicing. Do you practice every week
and do long hard motos but still get tired
when racing? When practicing, you are
typically in your comfort zone just below
your anaerobic threshold. To be more prepared for races,
you need to raise your threshold, which will increase
your endurance. This is accomplished by pushing your
body past the threshold, which is best determined by
tracking your heart rate. It will tell you everything
you need to know.
Heart rate. Your heart rate can tell you
many things about your fitness. Every serious
racer should invest in a heart rate monitor
that records information. It is a valuable tool
that allows you to work smarter, not harder. Tracking
TO KNOW ABOUT ANAEROBIC THRESHOLDS