We all know Arthur's description of physiology was not perfectly correct; but it was easy to make audience understand the concept.
One of the pages of our presentation says, on the top of the page; aerobic=with oxygen, anaerobic=without enough oxygen... On the bottom half, it reads; or... aerobic=slow stuff, anaerobic=fast stuff. Basically, I personally don't really care what it's exactly called; as long as we can convey what to do. I used the term "without enough oxygen" instead of perhaps more accurate term of "without oxygen" because the idea is that you are going beyond your body's ability to take in, transport and utilize oxygen; therefore, we're creating oxygen debt. I tell my runners, when we do (in Lydiard's term) anaerobic repetitions, that we'll be "working on our breathing". We puff and huff and breathe hard; that's we want. We do that till, as Arthur would say, you hit the wall. Bang, then you achieved desired phsyological reaction. I don't care, and sure as hell Arthur didn't care, if you do it 12 times 400 or 18 times 400; if you do them 60 seconds or 78 seconds. As long as you achieved desired physiological reactions, you're good.
So, my question in regards to pH is... In Arthur's mind, during the time exercise physiologists still explained to us that, with anaerobic exercise, we create lactic acid and that would bring your body's pH level down to acidic. In order to develop anaerobic capacity (bear with me still using Arthur's term), you need to bring about overall body's pH level down low; not just in the working muscles. You do that for about 4 weeks. Now you still want to maintain stimulating your anaerobic metabolism but not in the volume that brings your condition down. So you'd do 50/50 type of quick short sharp exercise to get your working muscles tired very quickly. This way, he would explain, you're bringing pH level of your legs down but not overall pH throughout the body.
So, according to you, body's pH WILL come down; but it's not lactic acid that's doing it; but lactate; is it correct?
I have several pages on my presetation how Arthur explained about oxygen debt. He used to say that body's limit is 18~20 liters of oxygen debt. He had a formula to explain. Upon reviewing my presentation, Peter Snell came back to me and told me that it's actually more like 5 liters. He changed the numbers and came back to me with the "correct" more up-to-date formula. Concept works just the same; but different figures. We welcome any constructive suggestion like that. We included Dr. Snell's explanation to our presentation but still kept the way Arthur explained as well.
The only issue I personally have is; so physiologists used to tell us that it's lactic acid that lower the body's pH... So it was a "valid" information 25 years ago? Now they found out more and dug down deeper and now they say lactic acid is "friend". What would we know 20 years from now? Yes, I hear you. It's important to "update" information. But when it comes down to actual training, it seems like, to me, that's nothing more than "how we call it". What we are looking for is pretty much what we do and what kind of body's reactions are we looking for. Whether we call it lactic acid or lactate or galactica or whatever; that's pretty much secondary, isn't it? Yes, it's probably good to update them and get them straight. But the thing is; how do we know we actually swing back and say that lactic acid is actually bad 30 years from now? Yes, we will be trying to get things straight; that's why we have some physiologists (a couple of good ones too) on our board. But at the same time, we are not going to rush to conclusion and all of a sudden start saying, "Well, it's not aerobic and anaerobic any more. We'll now call them low end aerobic and high end aerobic from here on." That, actually, to me sounds more confusing. Wouldn't it be actually easier to go backward and call them "slow stuff" and "fast stuff". Runners usually have a better feel for what they are.