Lactate Threshold Testing

Lactate threshold is the best indicator of performance in endurance events. Simply and in practical terms your lactate threshold dictates the best pace that you can sustain while running, or the best power output you can sustain while cycling in endurance events. The greater your lactate threshold, the greater your pace! To follow is an outline of the lactate threshold test. A more detailed discussion of the physiology of lactate threshold and the impact it has on your performance is provided here if you are interested in the science!

  • The test is conducted in our Sports Science clinic in True Fitness Portarlington
  • Runners use the treadmill for the test and cyclists use the WATT bike
  • The test takes 60 minutes in total
  • The test protocol is set based on a discussion of your current training status and is explained to you in detail on your arrival
  • We will ask for your written consent to take part in the test
  • We will ask you to wear a heart rate monitor throughout the test (we can provide this or you are welcome to use your own)
  • You will warm up for 10 minutes at a very easy speed / wattage
  • A lactate sample* will be taken after the warm up
  • After the warm up the intensity will increase every 3 minutes and we will take a lactate sample at the end of each 3-minute stage
  • The test will conclude when you exceed your lactate threshold
  • We will take two recovery lactate samples and then ask you to perform a cool down

*An alcohol wipe is used to clean the base of your ear lobe. A single use sterile lancet is used to make a pin prick in your ear lobe. Most people don’t feel this, some people may feel a slight pinch. A small drop of blood from this pin prick is placed on the lactate analyser to measure the circulating concentration of lactate in your blood. We usually only have to make one pin prick for the entire test but occasionally we need to do another one towards the end of the test.

What feedback do you get?

We use your data to create personalised training zones for you. For your convenience we identify the heart rate or pace that you should run at for long sessions, hill sessions, fartlek sessions, interval sessions etc. The pace is outlined in miles per hour, pace per mile, kilometres per hour and pace per kilometre. We also show you how to use this data to improve your lactate threshold and thus your running speed. The same is true for the cyclists except we identify the heart rate and wattage that you should cycle at in each of the 5 training zones. Sample feedback from one of our previous running clients is presented here. For privacy and confidentially purposes the individuals name and actual test details are not presented.

The fee for lactate threshold testing, the feedback presented above and a detailed explanation of the feedback is €120.

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