By Nenad Rodic,
posted 04/05

As we explained earlier through glycolysis pyruvate will combine with H ions unless they are reduced through aerobic metabolism. Naturally, the most beneficial aspect of training is the increased oxygen consumption. Oxygen consumption is the main theme of every page we presented at this site but let us summarize.

Exercise will act on two fronts

1) By increasing the oxygen delivery capabilities of the body
-Training increases pulmonary diffusion rate of oxygen into the bloodstream.
-Training can increase the blood volume so blood can be less viscose and flow easier through the blood vessels*.
-Training can increase the number of Red Blood Cells and therefore increase the oxygen carrying capability of blood*.
-Training will definitely increase the cardiac output that will allow more oxygenated blood to reach muscles. This aspect of training accounts for over 50% of VO2max increase.
-Training can increase the number of capillaries around individual muscle fiber making the delivery of oxygen and energy easier*.
*If done improperly, training can cause the opposite effects of those mentioned (over-training).

2) By increasing the ability of a muscle cell to metabolize energy aerobically.
-Training will increase the amount of myoglobin in muscle fibers allowing a better transport of oxygen within a muscle cell.
-Training will increase the size and number of mitochondria, cell organelles responsible for all aerobic metabolism.
-Training will increase the activity of the enzymes that regulate aerobic metabolism.

     Another benefit of training that is directly related to performance in endurance events is the increased lactate removal ability. High intensity aerobic (AT and VO2max) repeats seem to have the best effect on increasing the lactate removal ability of muscle cells. We mentioned earlier the importance of warm up in regards to the start of lactate removal process. It seems that training responsible for increasing of VO2max for specific muscle fiber type is also responsible for increased lactate removal of those fibers. Training can also increase the buffering ability of muscles. However, triathlon is not a sport where prolonged lactate tolerance is needed. Training that improves this quality of muscles is very detrimental to aerobic abilities and no recommended (except in certain periods during the season).

By Nenad Rodic, founder of