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build up of acid in legs

hi can anyone tell me how to minimize acid build up in my legs during the ride so i can get off and do the run more easily



  • chischis Posts: 94
    Hi hb

    Not a lot you can do about it really especially if you hit the bike leg really hard. Some like to try to spin a bit faster during the last half mile or so as you approach T2 to try to loosen the legs up - selecting an easier gear is the tip here. Some might complete the bike leg in compression tights or calf guards as it is claimed these are effective against lactic acid build up - but this raises the question of having to wear extra gear under your wetsuit or having to waist time putting gear on in T1.

    Myself I think you need to practice the bike to run change over regularly - the more you do it the easier it gets and the quicker that "jelly legged" / 'my legs don't belong to me' feeling goes when you transfer from bike to run disappears! Try to incorporate brick sessions into your training - they don't have to be long sessions - 30mins on the bike and then a couple of miles running will be effective in training your legs into what to expect.

    Others will have different things that work for them but this has been effective for me.

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    You could slow down on the bike, but that probably isn't what you want[&:]. Spinning the last two minutes of the bike leg to get the same cadence in the legs also helps. And then, also like chis says, most important of all, train running of the bike. Two years ago I did a brick session every month. Last year I did every three weeks, the difference was huge. This year i'll try to do one almost every week, cause it really makes the difference!

    happy training
  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    This could easily be made very complicated, but basically it comes down to training. High intensity training helps remove lactic acid from the blood during exercise, so when the time is right start thinking about some interval training and listen to what the other guys have said about your race stratergy.

  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Just to echo what others have said: the only thing that ever helped me get over the jelly-leg effect was to practice and get used to it.

    I never EVER go for a bike ride without going for a run afterwards. This doesn't mean that every session is a fulll-on brick session, just that I always run until my legs feel like they are under control again every time I get off my bike. After a long ride, I might just run for 10 minutes; in a brick session it will be longer and harder.

    Doing this also means that you get to practice other aspects of T2 a lot: getting out of your bike shoes while moving etc. If the weather is OK for me to leave my kit outside, then I set up on my front step just like in the transition area.

    One other thing: I see most people suggest an easier gear and a higher cadence on the way in to T2. I have a very experienced friend at the swim club - he's placed very high in one or two IM races in years gone by - who suggested going to a BIGGER gear, and standing up for the last bit. The idea is to boost the blood supply and try to flush out some lactate before running. Personally speaking, standing up for a bit also stretches out my lower back ready for upright running position.

    I've tried both ways, and have settled on... um... both. I do a bit of high gear standing, then spin out for a minute on the way in. I guess it's one of those things that you have to try, then decide what feels best for you.

    The practice is worth it, though. You CAN get over the jelly-leg feeling with time. I remember my first ever tri: It didn't even occur to me to do any multi-sport training beforehand, so I had done no T2 practice whatsoever. The bike-run transition produced an alarming amount of pain. I have never forgotten that lesson.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Great tip there Bopomofo, I'll give that standing up-high gear thingie a try. I always spin at the end of the bike leg, but it seems like most others start flying by on that moment[&:]
  • ardkeenardkeen Posts: 152
    If it is lactic acid, the only way to avoid build up is train as close to your lactate threshold as possible. Adequate endurance training in your base period will improve your lactate threshold, which if you want to verify you can get your vo2 max tested in a sports lab.
  • scott298scott298 Posts: 122
    yeah ardkeen is spot on!

    its because of lactate acid build up!

    so as ardkeen said plenty of aerobic, ( endurance, long slow training)

    to raise your lactate threshold,

    or do interval work occasionally, like 1 min at max effort rest untill HR gores down to 15 beats below your lactate threshold or around 110 BPM, then work hard to get your HR near max and hold it there for a minute and so on for about 20mins!
  • hbhb Posts: 22
    many thanks to you all for your help

  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I've just been reading through this thread again and I think some of the info has got a bit confused. Ardkeen is right about training close to lactate threshold to improve lactate threshold and hence improve the bodys' ability to remove lactic acid. But this isn't acheived through long slow distance training. Part of the reason for LSD training is that blood lactate concentrations are kept low. Training around lactate threshold should be considered high intensity training, ie interval training. How long you can make these intervals last depends on your level of fitness.

  • scott298scott298 Posts: 122
    I used to think that lactate threshold was to be considered as high intensity training and interval training too, but it isn,t!

    I had a VO2 test done at the weekend and my lactate threshold is at 131 BPM on bike.

    so that means anything above 131BPM for me is an-aerobic,

    anything below is aerobic or endurance training pace!

    so therefore at my lactate threshold ( 131BPM) i can last for hours at this pace.

    so to bring my lactate threshold up higher, I must either train at lactate threshold pace around 131BPM or do interval work!
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Scott298 your LT is 73% of your max HR. I would suggest this is very low for a trained athlete but does indicate there is loads of room for improvement especially with your VO2max (Refer to your recent post). Therefore I respectfully suggest that you figures should not be taken as typical.

    For most of us endurance work is 65 to 80% of max HR. Intervals (high intensity work) are usually done above 85%. Either staying aerobic, pushing LT or passing over it.Endurance work would make up around 65 to 80% of our workload - the rest being interval work. 298Scott your LT work is our endurance.

    My running max is 180 but can race 10km at 170bpm which is around my LT. I.e. 95% of max HR. Cycling is ~93% of max HR. Most triathletes would be similar.

    Nothing said above is outside what is said week in week out by qualified club & national coaches and is based on what works.

    Going back to hb's original question. Lactate build up is probably not the problem. It is most likely to be muscle tiredness that many erroneously call "lactic acid". "Lactic acid" lasts only a very short time in the body once it goes aerobic. Certainly within the time spent in transition. Added to the muscle tireness is that your nervous and circulation systems have been working at cycling and need to change radically for running. This is not easy or quick but the change over can be improved by doing the stuff that Bopomofo does.

  • BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I hate to say I told you so, but I said this could get complicated!!!!!
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    Boycie wrote:

    I hate to say I told you so, but I said this could get complicated!!!!!

    [:D]You know Boycie, you were right: it's happening.

    Why does nobody ever listen when Boycie warns you??![:D][;)][;)]
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