Lactate threshold (LT)is the best indicator of performance known in endurance athletics. Scientifically, a working definition of LT is the point during training or racing at which blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels, where lactate clearance is no longer able to keep up with lactate production. For our purposes, LT is the upper limit of your forever zone. As mentioned above, this is the pace that you could maintain all day (theoretically) if nutrition and hydration were kept at a steady state. You will conduct field tests to determine your LT and then work backwards to create training zones that maximize training time and push the upper limits of your LT. What tests can I use to determine my lactate threshold? The best tests for LT are conducted in a laboratory or at least with equipment that literally measures the blood lactate levels by drawing blood. This can be cumbersome, expensive, and not readily available for many of us. In the place of these scientific tests, you will conduct field tests using time trials on the bike and run. Swimming can be more difficult to gauge, so it must be handled differently. The objective of these tests is to determine your heart rate training zones as a measure of LT. By taking field measurements you can determine the exertion level at which you reach lactate threshold and thus identify your ideal training zones.
What is VO2 max?It’s basically the maximum amount of oxygen that can be used by the body for maximal sustained power output (exercise). Since the body uses oxygen to convert food into energy (ATP), the more oxygen you can consume, the more energy, power, or speed you can produce. VO2max defines an endurance athlete’s performance ceiling, or the size of his or her “engine.” Research has shown that VO2max significantly determines performance in endurance-based events such as cycling, triathlon, running, and Nordic skiing.
This weekend I will be racing with some friends one of them Drew will be doing a 70.3 for the very first time. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and race. I look forward to giving a race recap afterwards. Good luck to everyone out there racing this weekend.