Oxygen Debt & Deficit

These terms refer to a lack of oxygen while training/racing and after such activity is over.  To go into these areas of exercise are normal, but the goal is to not go too far into either category.  Below is a brief description of each and a chart with will detail the process more clearly than we can explain with words alone. 

Oxygen Deficit.
  While exercising intensely the body is sometimes unable to fulfill all of its energy needs.  Specifically, it is unable to intake and absorb enough oxygen to adequately 'feed' the muscles the amounts of energy needed to adequately perform the tasks the athlete is requesting from the body.  In order to make up the difference without sacrificing the output, the body must tap into its anaerobic metabolism.  This where the body goes into a mix of aerobic and anaerobic energy production.  While not hugely detrimental, oxygen deficits can grow to a level that the anaerobic energy system cannot cover.  This can cause performance to deteriorate.

Oxygen Debt.  This term describes how the body pays back its debt incurred above after the exercise is over.  You will notice that even after you are done racing you will continue to breath hard.  At this point your body is still trying to repay the oxygen debt that was created when you were working hard.  Technically, it is excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption.  That's it.

Check out the illustration below for a graphical description of these terms.