Blood Lactate Threshold

Lactate threshold is a point during exercise of increasing intensity where blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels. This is when lactate clearance is no longer keeping up with lactate production. The higher this point in relation to how much work you can do, the better your performance.

If one person had a running speed of 15kph at lactate threshold, they are likely to beat a person with a running speed of 14kph at lactate threshold, in an endurance race.

Work by George Brooks over the past 10 years has taken the myths out of lactate, lactic acid and the cause of the onset of fatigue. Firstly lactic acid is not lactate. Secondly lactate is produced by muscle on purpose to be used as a fuel. Thirdly, and to keep it simple, accumulation of lactate can be seen as a good indirect marker for the onset of fatigue but it is not the cause of it. Measuring lactate with a lactate analyser is not necessarily a reliable means of measuring performance. Although lactate production increases progressively as exercise intensity increases, the ability to use lactate as a fuel varies from person to person and varies with one’s trained level, fed and rested state.

This test involves a step protocol (usually 3 min increments) on our Velotron lab bike or on our treadmill. A finger prick blood sample is taken at the end of each workload period.

Allow 40-50 mins of exercise time and 90 mins for the entire process including the presentation of results.

Preparation Notes – to get the most from the test, it is best not to exercise for 24 hours prior to the test. We also recommend that you avoid food and caffeine 3 hours prior to the test. Water is fine. If you are coming for a bike test, let us know what pedals you will need (eg. Look Keo, SPD, Shimano etc). We have them all here. Just bring your cycle shoes and cycle shorts. If it is a treadmill test, just bring your running gear.

Cost $172.50 (incl GST) plus the cost price of the lactate strips.

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