The alactic anaerobic system supplies energy when a sprinter takes off.
Your body has three ways of making energy. These systems allow you to perform your daily activities and do well in sports. Your phosphagen system gets you through the first 30 seconds of movement. Then, your anaerobic system kicks in. It gives you up to 180 seconds of energy. After a few minutes, your aerobic system takes over. Swimmers, runners and cyclists usually perform for less than a minute. These sprinters, therefore, rely heavily on anaerobic respiration. You can increase your anaerobic power - and thus improve your sprinting -ability - by changing your training protocols and by making better lifestyle choices.
Enhance Anaerobic Power
Doing regular exercise remains the best way to improve your health and well-being. Scientists remain split on how exercise produces these almost miraculous effects. The authors of an April 2015 report published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation assessed the many possible benefits of an eight-week exercise program. The protocol featured many types of exercises including running, jumping and lifting. After two months, both women and men showed a dramatic increase in anaerobic capacity and power. The participants also improved their body composition, endurance and strength.
Understand Hypoxic Training
Exposing people with hypertension to brief periods of low oxygen helps them fight this degenerative disease. This protocol, known as "hypoxic training," works by strengthening the cardiovascular system, so it may help athletes increase their fitness level. An experiment described in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested this hypothesis in sprinters. The results showed that low oxygen increased the anaerobic power of the runners. Interestingly, training with high oxygen didn't affect anaerobic power. The mechanisms behind these effects remain unknown, but lactic acid may play a significant role. Short bursts of intense exercise produce this toxin which gradually slows athletes down. Hypoxic training greatly reduced the lactic acid production of the sprinters, according to the January 2018 report.
Get Your Sleep
Scientists have long known about the negative effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep loss affects bodily processes ranging from digestion to memory. It may play a role in athletic performance as well. A February 2015 review in Sports Medicine looked at the relationship between sleep deprivation and anaerobic power. Athletes from many sports showed a reduction in anaerobic power with as little as four hours of sleep loss in a single night. These athletes also complained about having to work harder after sleep deprivation. Given these findings, the authors of this paper argued that negative changes in the participants' moods caused the decreases in anaerobic power. An experiment described in the October 2017 issue of Physiology and Behavior supports this idea. This study tested the hormones, fatigue and moods of female soccer players after an intense set of races. Results indicated that the players' moods degraded as their anaerobic fatigue increased.
Skip the Caffeine
Many people drink caffeine to increase their alertness. Athletes have also used this performance-enhancing drug since the World Anti-Doping Agency lifted their caffeine ban in 2004. Yet, the relationship between caffeine intake and anaerobic power remains unclear. An October 2014 report in the European Journal of Sport Science tested the possible effects of caffeine use on cycling sprints. Surprisingly, the authors failed to find any of the alleged performance-enhancing effects of caffeine. They then decided to more carefully evaluate their data. The researchers noticed that caffeine intake increased lactic acid, and they suspected that this change counteracted any beneficial effects of caffeine. So, sprinters should avoid caffeine as it increases lactic acid. It also causes many side effects, according to a March 2018 article in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene.