Ever have one of those days when you just don’t feel like getting on the bike?
At some point throughout your training block, you may feel this way. It may be that this particular part of the training block is too intense, so the legs are feeling heavy; it may be that other commitments are taking up a lot of time throughout the day, and by the time it comes to your session the motivation has disappeared; or it may be that you’re just simply not wanting to ride! Either way, a missed session usually leads to some regret afterwards.
Imagine if you could replace a tough session with a calm and peaceful 60 minute ‘rest’?
You’ve probably seen the POD (pre-acclimatisation on demand) in our Trump Street chamber, and noticed users breathing on-and-off through a mask. Briefly, this system allows you to breath a higher altitude (up to 6000 m) than our chamber, which is set at 2700 m. This is what we advise for those to use when the training block is too tough, or the motivation just isn’t there to physically plough through. Not only does using the POD give the legs a rest, but it also allows your body to physiologically and metabolically function via breathing of a higher altitude. Therefore, your heart rate goes up a slight tad and you burn a lot more calories than you would breathing normal air.
Is there any research to support this?
Interestingly, a group of researchers from New Zealand studied this. They provided two groups of trained racing cyclists 60 min POD sessions, on 5 consecutive days, over 3 weeks. One group completed 3 minute cycles, and the other completed 5 minute cycles, of breathing an oxygen concentration ranging from 12% to 10.9%. They then compared the effects of this training on performance markers such as peak power, lactate and heart rate during a ramp test to exhaustion, against a group of ability-matched controls who completed no POD sessions.
The results showed that those in the POD groups had a combined improvement in peak power (+4.7%), and a reduction in heart rate (-6.5%) and lactate levels (-4.4%) at the point of peak power compared to those who did no POD sessions. In a nutshell, POD sessions (regardless of duration) make you more powerful (more watts) – but also more efficient in using this additional power (lower physiological stress)!
Why not give this a go with us in Trump Street? Whether you’re on a rest day, or need a rest a day – the POD will give you more power ready to use when you jump back on the bike! Take a look at the POD schedule here for availability.
Bonetti et al. (2009). Int J S Phys and Perf, 4, 68-83.