LACTATE THRESHOLD TESTING
With training, the body is able to increase its utilisation of lactate and thus maintain muscle function for longer periods before lactate starts to accumulate in the muscles and subsequently becomes elevated in the blood.
Increased endurance is therefore associated with an increased lactate threshold. Thus the lactate threshold definition is the first increase in blood lactate above the resting level, which is typically between 1 and 2 mM in healthy subjects.
How do athletes from distance runners to swimmers and cyclists achieve an increased lactate threshold? Athletes need to do a mix of speed work and slower endurance training to develop both the aerobic and anaerobic metabolic pathways. This holds for both beginners and elite athletes alike. Sports science has utilised the lactate threshold test to define specific training plansd for many sports.
What does a 10 step lactate threshold test look like?
1. Take a baseline blood lactate reading
2. Warm up at an easy pace for 5 minutes
3. Take second blood lactate reading
4. Run at a slightly elevated pace for 5 minutes
5. Take third blood lactate reading
6. Run 5 minutes at a pace above that of the previous 5 minutes
7. Take fourth blood lactate reading
8. Run final 5 minutes at moderate to hard pace
9. Take fifth blood lactate reading
10. Cool down with a 5 minutes easy jog