A few days ago I had my second Blood Lactate Test with Gareth Thomas at TRIO sports science testing facility in Los Angeles. On Monday April 20, 2015 I’ll be running the Boston Marathon so to prepare for this I’ve been running a lot of miles these past few months.
The reason I took this Blood Lactate test was to get a scientific reading of my blood lactate levels at different Heart Rates. Lactate is constantly produced by the body. In rest and with light exercise, you only produce a small amount of lactate. During a blood lactate test for running, blood lactate samples are taken at gradually increasing intensities while running on a treadmill. As exercise intensity increases, your lactate production increases and reaches levels that are reflective of a loss of aerobic efficiency. In general, low levels of lactate are the sign of an efficient aerobic system.
Here are my test results from my test on 4/10/2015:
|AERO (Aerobic)||139 – 150 bpm||< 8.4 mph|
|LT (Lactate Threshold)||151 – 156 bpm||8.5 – 8.9 mph|
|AC (Advanced Conditioning)||157 – 162 bpm||9.0 – 9.6 mph|
|SST (Steady State Threshold)||163 – 165 bpm||9.7 – 9.8 mph|
|VO2 max development||166 bpm+||9.9 mph +|
* Soon after 9.8 mph (6.07 min mile) I start to lose aerobic efficiency shown by lactate rising more rapidly and going above 4 mmol.
Here are my test results from my test on 11/26/2013:
|AERO (Aerobic)||135 – 149 bpm||< 8.0 mph|
|LT (Lactate Threshold)||150 – 158 bpm||8.1 – 8.5 mph|
|AC (Advanced Conditioning)||159 – 168 bpm||8.6 – 9.2 mph|
|SST (Steady State Threshold)||169 – 172 bpm||9.3 – 9.5 mph|
|VO2 max development||173 bpm+||9.6 mph +|
* Soon after 9.3 mph (6.25 min mile) I start to lose aerobic efficiency, with lactate rising more rapidly and going above 4 mmol.
The data from my MAF tests and from my 1 LT test show some big differences:
- On my LT test on 4/10/15 I hit 148 HR at a 8.3 mile / hour = 7.13 min / mile pace.
- On my MAF test on 4/3/15 on a track, at 148HR I ran 6:12 min / mile average for 5 miles.
I noticed that during the LT test my Heart Rate would elevate much faster at slower pace than running outside on a track. A few possible reasons, I never run on a treadmill so it’s harder to get into a flow than running outside. My MAF test was at 53 fahrenheit early in the morning, vs 68 fahrenheit inside at 11am during the LT test. Also, my GPS watch might be slightly off on distance which might show faster pace than the treadmill pace.
For the Boston marathon I’ll be wearing my Garmin Heart Rate monitor. In training runs I’ve noticed that once my HR goes over 162 for a while (from Advanced Conditioning to Steady State Threshold), my breathing switches from 1 breath every 4 steps to 1 breath every 2 steps. Once this switch happens, I’m using a lot more energy and this is something I want to avoid until the last stages of the race.
I think a Blood lactate test is a great way to track your progress and to develop your own training plan from there with the input from the testing / training facility. If you’re located in Southern California, I can highly recommend Gareth at Trio or you can try to find a sports science laboratory near you.
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