Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lactate Threshold Test

I went up to the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine (BCSM) today and did a lactate threshold (LT) test. Forgive any typing anomalies since my left ring finger was stuck and bled 12 times. The sacrifices I make for science . . .

I started the test by warming up for about 20 minutes at very low power – 60 watts. Paul Kammermeier, the BCSM expert, then pricked my finger and checked for baseline lactate. It was actually a little bit high, so he backed me down to 45 watts for about 5 minutes, tested again, and all was well, so the test began in earnest.

I was on the bike for about 70 minutes, so it isn’t a terribly long event. About every 4 minutes Paul pricked my finger and bumped up the watts. My heart rate and perceived level of exertion rose fairly evenly along with the higher watts.

The bottom line is that I’m not as fit as I was in September 2005. That isn’t a surprise; we rode Leadville in 2005 and I was still in fairly good condition when I did my lactate threshold test.

This season I focused more on drinking beer than I did on physiological adaptation and mitochondrial development. Do you blame me?

So here are the numbers – over the next several posts I’ll explain what the numbers mean and how I need to modify my training plan in order to use the information gained through the testing process.

My goal [in addition, of course, to keeping family bragging rights to the best Leadville finish time], is to increase my power to weight ratio. That means I need to reduce my mass (goodbye chips, salsa and beer) and increase my power.

Lactate Threshold Values
Power Output 135
Heart Rate at LT 140
Mass (available strictly on a need to know basis!)
Power to Weight Ratio 2.5

Prescribed Training Zones
Zone by Power (Watts)
Recovery less than 70
Overdistance 70 – 100
Endurance 100 – 125
Tempo 130 - 135
LT/Supra Threshold 135 – 150
VO2 Max 155 – 190

Zone by Heart Rate
Recovery less than 112
Overdistance 112 – 122
Endurance 122 – 135
Tempo 136 – 140
LT/Supra Threshold 140 – 149
VO2 Max greater than 149

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