Friday, 1 June 2007

Friday Training


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:
  1. 5 mins @ 100W
  2. 5 mins @ 150W
  3. 2 mins ramping from 150W to 200W
  4. 3 mins @ 200W
  5. 2 mins ramping from 200W to 250W
  6. 3 mins @ 250W
  7. Perform blood lactate test - 20 mins
  8. 2 mins ramping from 250W to 300W
  9. 3 mins @ 300W
  10. Perform test - 25 mns
  11. 5 mins @ 200W
  12. 5 mins ramping to 0W
I have read that blood lactate stabilises after about 5 mins, hence the choice of the 2 min ramp and the 3 min stable period prior to testing. As this was only an outline test I did just 3 samples, one baseline at rest, one at 20 minutes (end of 3 minutes @ 250W), and one at 25 minutes (end of 3 mins @ 300W). My guess was that the break point would be in there somewhere and that this would act as a guide for a more detailed test, this was if you like a test of the test!

The results were very interesting and are as follows:
  1. Baseline measurement - lactate level 1.3 mmol/l
  2. Level @ 250W 1.7 mmol/l
  3. Level @ 300W 4.2 mmol/l
The corresponding heart rates for the above measurements were:
  1. At rest in a chair, say 65BPM
  2. 150BPM
  3. 162BPM
It is generally reckoned that when blood lactate levels are in the 4+ range this will match with RPE of hard to very hard, my HR at this lactate level falls into the low 160s range, on this test anyway.

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.

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