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An interesting read from Cycling News:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness.php?id=fitness/2009/glycogen_training


"A readily-mobilised storage form of glucose, Glycogen is a very large, branched polymer of glucose residues that can be broken down to yield glucose molecules when energy is needed. It's analogous to the starch in plants and therefore plays an important part in regulating metabolic signalling, interacting with particular proteins in cells to alter their activity.

One affected protein is an enzyme called 'AMP activated protein kinase' or AMPK, which plays a huge role in endurance performance because, when activated, it encourages the build-up of mitochondria within the muscles.

Mitochondria are the power-houses of the cell. They create most of the energy that powers our muscles when cycling. So, the better the signalling function, the greater the AMPK activation - meaning your muscles accrue more mitochondria, and that results in a greater capacity for producing aerobic energy.

"There are essentially three things that limit endurance performance: VO2 max, lactate threshold and cycling economy," says Dr Keith Baar of Dundee University, an expert on AMPK.

"Improved glycogen signalling can boost two out of the three: VO2 max and lactate threshold."

This would be interesting but not practically useful were it not for one crucial point: the scientists showed our signalling function can be improved by training when glycogen stores are low, which is a radical break from conventional wisdom."




It states that this type of training is only beneficial for events lasting longer than one hour, so not many of us would find it useful.
 

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SRV said:
This would be interesting but not practically useful were it not for one crucial point: the scientists showed our signalling function can be improved by training when glycogen stores are low, which is a radical break from conventional wisdom."[/I]



It states that this type of training is only beneficial for events lasting longer than one hour, so not many of us would find it useful.
Just because signalling is greater doesn't necessarily mean you end with a greater volume of mitochondria, nor do I believe "low glycogen training" has been shown to improve performance. But it's an interesting idea.
 

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Old idea

SRV said:
An interesting read from Cycling News:

This would be interesting but not practically useful were it not for one crucial point: the scientists showed our signalling function can be improved by training when glycogen stores are low, which is a radical break from conventional wisdom."
Ideas similar to this have been around for a LONG time. Ride before breakfast, ride on protein only, ride when hungry, etc. So it's really not that radical a break, depending on who you've been reading over the years.
 

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It's an old idea but I think this is a new interpretation of this type of training's benefits. Most of the low food methods I've read about (riding before breakfast, riding at really low intensity) are all meant to train the body to synthesize fat as a greater percentage of calories used.

My question is, how does one know when their glycogen stores are 30% depleted?
 
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