Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beta-Alanine Supplementation: Take Two

It is been a month since I started my beta-alanine (BA) supplementation experiment and I will say the the initial results are promising.  I have not missed a day of taking BA and while I am still getting slight paresthesia, it is much less than when I first started.  

The qualitative data has been interesting.  When training, I do "feel" that I am able to perform higher intensities (and my power number have confirmed this).  It is a subjective assessment but I just don't feel the fatigue or "burn" in my legs when trying to sustain higher power output or going off the line in a full sprint.  I also feel the same in my cross races where I think my legs would burn out but I am able to keep going.  Granted, I am not winning any races but holding my own in the SM35+4 category (this is only my second year racing cross and I have 8 races under my belt now).

The slight quantitative data shows a good increase in my power profile at 5 and 20 minutes which makes sense since I am focusing on cyclocross training and racing.  My chronic training load (CTL) has increased by almost 14 points in the last month and my normalized power for similar distances has increased by about 20 watts (this is a hard comparison since I did not do the same course both times).

All in all, I am still impressed with the supplementation and look forward to the next two months of it.  Research states that at least 4 weeks are needed to see significant improvements so I hope these small changes in the first 4 weeks are an indication of further improvement.

Another update coming next month!

Coach Bob