I didn't go strictly to plan with the HR session tonight but did a little preliminary experimentation with my lactate measuring box instead, I couldn't resist it and I think it was very interesting. The session was far from wasted, in addition to the protocol below I used for my test I also did a 10mile TT on the turbo just as a level 2 ride so this was still a valuable training session.
Firstly I set up a test protocol on the CompuTrainer which I then ran, the protocol was as follows:
- 5 mins @ 100W
- 5 mins @ 150W
- 2 mins ramping from 150W to 200W
- 3 mins @ 200W
- 2 mins ramping from 200W to 250W
- 3 mins @ 250W
- Perform blood lactate test - 20 mins
- 2 mins ramping from 250W to 300W
- 3 mins @ 300W
- Perform test - 25 mns
- 5 mins @ 200W
- 5 mins ramping to 0W
The results were very interesting and are as follows:
- Baseline measurement - lactate level 1.3 mmol/l
- Level @ 250W 1.7 mmol/l
- Level @ 300W 4.2 mmol/l
- At rest in a chair, say 65BPM
The CT output shows that on the 200W and 250W sections my HR rose and stabilised but on the 300W level it continued to rise and did not level off as previously, this was when my levels must have risen to >4 mmol/l.
So, there we have it. My conclusion is that my lactate threshold lies in the very low 160s in terms of BPM. Based on feel this does not really surprise me and suggests to me that I have not trained well in the past to raise my lactate threshold, it also explains why things make my legs hurt more than perhaps might be expected.
I intend to modify my testing protocol a little to one where I take more readings in the area that matters to allow me to determine exactly where the break point is. I will repeat an identical test say every 2-3 months. Once a month I will take a spot check on things by taking a reading at say 160BPM during one of my normal sessions to see if there are any changes and as an interesting project.