Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sprint finish on every training ride?

A new article from The New York Times suggests that cooling down has absolutely no benefit for moderate athletes. Now us higher trained cyclists could risk getting dizzy from blood pooling in our legs if we just come to a complete stop after a our last sprint of a workout. But otherwise, there's no physiological benefit of the 5-10 minutes cool down process.

In fact, the lactic acid produced from hard exercise, which used to be considered bad for muscles, is actually a fuel that converts to glycogen for muscle's use. So doing a sprint or short interval could possibly provide your muscles with some fuel naturally instead of the need to immediately find food after a workout. I think another study should follow this up. That would be very interesting to find out that all those recovery mixes could be replaced with a simple sprint finish on every ride.


sydney said...

I'll have to go read that article. Personally, I don't spend much time cooling down on the bike - just till my heart rate comes down. I find the sooner I'm out of the sweaty kit, the sooner I'm resting and recovering.

munsoned said...

Yeah, there's definitely no drawback to cooling down, no matter how much or little is done. In a response to where I found this article, one poster mentioned that the free radicals that hard exercise produces were not taken into account. I would think(hope) this article might encourage further study of the subject.