Peak Performance Program Outline
The 1500 metre athletics is generally run at moderate to high intensity. Throughout the race the predominant energy system that we use is the aerobic system, which used at a low intensity has no limits. However short bursts of energy are required at times such as the sprint to the finish line, this is when the lactic acid system kicks in.
The average duration of the 1500m for a female school student of 17 years is about 7:09 minutes. This shows that it is a relatively short race at moderate intensity, suggesting that the lactic acid system needs to be well developed in such times that it is needed.
When the race begins the lactic acid system is used, as oxygen is not immediately able to reach the working muscles. Oxygen gradually becomes available as the oxygen rich blood fills the muscle cells. The aerobic system takes over allowing some time for the lactic acid to subside, but it can take up to 2 hours for all of it to be removed from the body and to recover fully.
Causes of fatigue during the 1500m include; inadequate carbohydrate supplies resulting in the muscle glycogen stores becoming depleted and athlete having to rely on the secondary fuel fat, causing the athlete to feel lethargic which results in a fall in performance.
After completing the 1500m the rate of recovery depends on the individual but can take up to 2 hours. The time to replenish glycogen stores used by the aerobic system can take up to 48 hours.