Saturday, March 26, 2011

Going Lactic

Sports Performance Training Blog

Lactate Threshold Testing

I was apparently wrong when I called it my "lactic threshold" for all those years... shows how much I really knew about it I guess! Not surprisingly I really didn't know what the test would be like, but my coach told me it would be a really helpful tool, especially as a baseline for the start of the season to see how much my winter training has helped and how much more I need to push to be race-ready.

Officially the lactate threshold is the point during increasing intensity when the lactic acid in your blood builds up so much that your body cannot clear it out as quickly as it is produced. This point is also your body's shift from primarily aerobic energy production (with oxygen) to primarily anaerobic energy production (without oxygen... and significantly shorter supply). So basically, the better your lactic threshold, the harder you can push for longer.

The test was kind of brutal. About twice as long as the VO2 MAX test, with increased power over scheduled periods of time. The good people at In Motion monitored my heart rate, power, perceived exertion, and my blood lactate levels. The last of which was taken by pricking my fingers for blood every few minutes during the test. By the end of the test I had three pricks in each finger on my right hand, and almost fell over on the bike trying to keep up with the power on the highest level I completed. I got my baseline and I also got seriously motivated to push that sucker higher before the next time I test it!

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