Posted in Energy Systems, running, training

Energy Systems

Ok so let’s talk energy systems.

Our body creates energy through converting what we eat into Adenosine Triphosphate – ATP. The break down is one molecule of Adenosine and three molecules of phosphate. When we use a molecule of phosphate ATP is converted to Adenosine Diphosphate – ADP which is Adenosine and two molecules of phosphate and this allows energy to be released.

 

We have 3 energy systems to help our bodies to function:

  • ATP- CP System – Anaerobic Alactic System
  • Anaerobic Glycolysis – Lactic System
  • Aerobic System

ATP-CP

  • This system does not use oxygen or produce lactic acid
  • This system is used for powerful movements and usually last 1-15 seconds
  • This system would be used when sprinting

Anaerobic Glycolysis

  • This system provides energy by breaking down glycogen which creates lactic acid and helps replenish ATP
  • This system does not use oxygen
  • This system is generally used for 15-90 seconds of activity

Aerobic System

  • This system uses oxygen which creates little or no lactic acid
  • This system is used for activities above 90 seconds
  • A distance runner would predominately use this system

Our energy systems align with what we eat. So eating the right foods leading up to a race, or event is extremely important to guarantee our best energy output. Our bodies use carbohydrates to create ATP, however we can only store limited amounts. If our bodies can get better  at using fats as fuels it will also help with our endurance, as we are able to store a lot more fats that glucose (carbs). This is why I strongly recommend Zone 2 training – for more information please refer to my Zone 2 guide 🙂