Questions & Answers

What is High Plains Performance Coaching?

HPPC is a coaching service that provides personalized support to help ambitious athletes of all ages achieve their competitive goals in Nordic Skiing, CrossFit, Running, and/or Cycling.

What Service does HPPC Offer?

HPPC offers one-on-one coaching, personalized weekly training plans, lactate based & Garmin watch only performance testing to optimize the athlete's aerobic and anaerobic power and fueling for the target type of race event.

How much does Athletic Engine Development Cost?

Pricing varies depending on the service level. Please contact us for details.

What is VO2max? VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can absorb in a minute, relative to the athlete's body weight. This number limits how much energy an athlete can generate - and thus how fast the athlete can move. Professional cyclists are commonly in the 80ml/min/kg. The elite racers in Kona are around 75ml/min/kg. Competitive age groups typically reach a VO2max above 60 in Kona. Women are generally 10 points lower due to their smaller muscle mass - so a woman with a VO2max above 50 is considered very competitive.

What is Lactate? Lactate is a byproduct of anaerobic energy production in relatively active fast twitch (type 2) muscles. These muscles convert glucose into energy (ATP) + lactate. The lactate can be taken up by slow twitch (type 2) muscles for fuel.

What is Anaerobic Threshold (AT) / FTP? Slow twitch fibers take up and break down lactate to create energy (ATP). However, when an athlete moves at high intensities, the lactate production increases to a level where more lactate is being produced than taken up. The Anaerobic Threshold is the highest effort level that an athlete can perform at where lactate levels are still steady at a given effort, meaning lactate production and consumption are in balance. This speed is the fastest sustainable speed for long periods of time (e.g. 1h). In cycling this is called FTP (Functional Threshold Power). The lactate concentration at AT/FTP is typically around 4mmol/l.

What is Aerobic Threshold? Similar to AT, the Aerobic Threshold expressed a fixed lactate level. When an athlete moves very slowly, lactate levels are very low. As effort is being increased, lactate levels remain low until a point is reached where for the first time lactate is no longer being consumed in the local muscle but rather shuttled to other muscles and organs in the body via the blood. This first rise of lactate levels is called the Aerobic threshold. It is typically around 2mmol/l for athletes. Zone 2 training is performed just below this threshold level.

What is VLamax? VLamax represents the size of the anaerobic (glycolytic) engine similar to VO2max represents the size of the aerobic engine. VLamax expresses how much lactate a person can produce in a very short amount of time. Values range from 0.1mmol/l/s to 1.0mmol/l/s. Endurance athletes want to minimize VLamax to a level that is sufficient to meet their sport specific sprint and high effort requirements. A large VLamax is expressed in explosiveness and strength but it comes to the detriment of reduced AT. For relatively untrained athletes increasing VO2max is most important. For well trained athletes managing VLamax becomes very crucial for optimum race performance.

What is FatMax & CarbMax? FatMax is an intensity range where Fat metabolism is the highest. This is important for sports of very long duration (e.g. Marathon & ultra racing) where glycogen availability is limited. CarbMax is the highest possible speed where Carbohydrogen storages can still be replenished during racing as maximum uptake of carbohydrates during a race is limited. This matters to athletes doing 24+ hour type of racing, where winning depends on the best fueling strategy.

What are Training Zones? Training zones are used to establish target effort levels to trigger adaptations of specific metabolic parameters to particular stimuli. Training zones basically define the work intensity.

What is Interval and HIIT training? Interval training is a form of training where high intensity efforts are mixed with easy recovery. The reason is to stimulate the higher power fast twitch muscles as well as the aerobic system. By sprinkling recovery in-between hard efforts an athlete can spend more time at the higher intensities and thus increase training effect. The recovery time allows lactate to be broken down in order to avoid muscle acidosis (muscle becomes too acidic and can no longer fire). HIIT training stands for High Intensity Interval training and is great to make quick gains. It is of great use preparing the athlete for a racing peak, but needs to be used sparingly during the base-building season.