I was listening to the latest TTS podcast today. It covered a topic that I was thinking of lately, namely the differences between more “fast-twitch” fiber oriented athletes and “slow twitchers” in training.
Muscle fiber types, recovery and training adaptations, and overreaching with Phil Bellinger, PhD | EP#297
It is very much talked about the different training approaches like SweetSpot (Treshold), Polarized, Pyramidal and so on. What is often missed in those discussions is the individual variances between different athlete types. Of course, one will probably never be able to perfectly individualize ones training program, but the difference between “fast twitchers” and “slow twitchers” is perhaps the most obvious one to make and the reason why different training regimes lead to different adaptations from one athlete to the next one. Of course there may be subtle differences, but I would like to know from athletes that consider themselves to be more on the extreme end of the spectrum.
I consider myself to be a fast twitch athlete. Good at sprinting, punchy climbs, can react quickly, big anaerobic capacity. On the other hand I am bad at sustained efforts (time trialing), long climbs and so on.
What I found for my training:
- Some type of Polarized (or pyramidal) training in general leads to less fatigue than treshold training.
- Some periods of Threshold or SweetSpot training lead to good results, but too much of it leads to long fatigue (especially muscular fatigue).
- A general limiter for me is muscular fatigue (not heart rate).
- Endurance Pace needs to be lower (~60% FTP) than for other guys, otherwise it burns me out.
- A higher cadence is preferred.
- Shorter intervals are preferred.
- Longer taper with almost no intensity needed before races.
Other aspects that can often be heard:
- More subtle increases in volume are better than sudden big changes for Fast Twitchers.
- HIT Training is easier to perform, but more recovery time in general needed in comparison to Slow Twitchers.
- Fast Twitchers can not maintain peak form for a long time.
I would like to know, if others experienced the same or have some anecdotal findings on this topic.