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  1. #1
    Nikon Nemisis Hawkphoto's Avatar
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    Lactate Threshold?

    Just got the book: The Mountain Biker's Training Bible by Joe Freil. So far so good. The first real step in evaluating my athletic condition is finding my Anerobic (Lactate) Threshold. He says this should be done with 2 different tests and then averaged. One test is a POWER test with a Power-Tap or Compu-Trainer. The other test is a TIME TRIAL, 30 minutes on a flat straight road at race intensity. I don't have a POWER meter, so I can only go by the TT results. Supposedly, your average heart rate over the TT duration estimates your Lactate Threshold. Mine was 165 BPM.

    My question is this: Is this enough to base all of my future training efforts on, or should I retest and average the 2 results? Or, should I look into getting tested reliably (I'm a broke ass right now...)?

    Also, is anyone familiar with this book or its author?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    "I WIll Shoot You On Site!" ;)

  2. #2
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Lactate threshold, or anaerobic threshold actually changes through training, so you probably don't want to go to the bother of having it tested in a controlled environment. The real value is knowing around where your AT/LT is, so you can train at intervals higher than that to push it higher.

    In other words, you found it. Don't get too hung up on the exact number.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

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  3. #3
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    i tend to agree with velo: i.e. that you can probably skip the lab test...

    while it surely wouldn't hurt to know the exact number by doing a lab test, if you're low on cash, you save the $40-100 for the test.

    i estimated my LT for over 3 years of good training at 165 (my max is around 191-194 --- i've "said" 194 for a while now but haven't seen anything over 190 in a while). last May i did a lactacte test (my club here got a group discount so it was $60) and my LT was 164. got all the neat graphs and everything except i screwed it up by not taking a rest day the day before, but instead did an intense interval workout (it was part of my training schedule, so i >had< to, you know)

    through training this summer i raised my LT to the highest it was ever been - about 169 or so... i noticed this because starting 2 weeks after my big TransAlp tour (8 days, 440km, 15,000m vertical) i was riding up to an hour OVER 165... and this happened almost every hard ride for over a month. i was, of course, very pleased! i could go and re-take the lab test to confirm, but i don't see it worth $80.

    if you train regularly and keep track of your HR and your performance and all, you will get a very good "feel" for your LT.

    and if you're off by 2,4 or even 10 bmp it won't kill your training... you should figure it out pretty quickly if you're reading some good references and monitoring your training as you should.

    at this point, where it sounds like you're first starting to seriously train, the LT test would probably best be served as a benchmark to measure future gains - i.e. do a test now and then again in 6 months or next year and see how much you have improved.
    why drive when you can ride?
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    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    At my wife's peak, she could only go about four hours without breast feeding.

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    Senior Member MtnBikerChk's Avatar
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    isn't it lactic?

    lactate is what new mothers do to feed their babies.
    Come visit my SEX arena at IRON MAGAZINE.

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  6. #6
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    isn't it lactic?
    i don't know. i remember seeing it as either "lactic acid" or "lactate"... but i could be wrong and don't know the difference between the 2 above phrases.
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  7. #7
    Nikon Nemisis Hawkphoto's Avatar
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    HAHA! I knew someone was just waiting to chime in on that one...
    "I WIll Shoot You On Site!" ;)

  8. #8
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    lactic acid and lactate are the same thing, in terms of what your body sees. lactate is the conjugate base of lactic acid,.... in blood you will see both species at any given time.

    the stuff in milk that you're talking about is lacTOSE.... a sugar which is structurally related to, but distinct from, lactic acid
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

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    haha, the lactate and lactic acid question again ...

    Anyway lactate threshold improves with training, it does. I believe my max HR also did. My max HR supposedly increased as I insert anaerobic workouts into my training, it was 202 when I had no anaerobic workouts other than the day I test for my max HR. Recently, when I did the test again, it was 207. I'm turning 17 this year anyway. As for lactate threshold, is it different for cycling and running?

  10. #10
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    Just to add more variants of the word Lactate...when a woman makes breast milk it is called lactation. Greg, I could only go 3 hrs at my peak when I was breast feeding.
    Ride forever, work whenever.
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  11. #11
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    As for lactate threshold, is it different for cycling and running?
    yes, it is different for almost every sport as different muscles and so different blood needs are present.

    running tends to be 3-7 beats higher than cycling. and inline skating 5-12 beats higher than cycling.

    the explanation i have heard (and makes sense to me) is that you are using more muscles when running than cycling (must support your body weight, so more i the back, plus more in the feet). and skating is even more muscles as you use you upper body/back more, plus almost all the leg muscles (cycling does not tend to use the inner thigh muscle whatever it's called)

    if you knw your LT for one sport, and train regularly, you should be able to get a feel for what your LT is for other sports - the above differences for running and inline skating i just estimated based on my HR (i.e. when i skate i can do so reasonable comfortably at 172 to 175 when on the bike this would be tough as my LT is about 165)
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  12. #12
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    Hi-

    Rather than write up another long explanation, I looked up some of my old posts I did with regards to lactate threshold/anaerobic threshold. Give them a read:

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20353
    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20602

    The first one listed also gives a pretty accurate self test for anaerobic threshold/lactate threshold training.

    For what it's worth, knowing that exact number will help increase your performance. As you continue training, you can monitor your progress by retaking the test. I'd recommend retaking it every three months if you are seriously training and looking for an increase in your performance. Be sure that when you are doing the test, you stick with the EXACT number, not an "about" number. That exact number will correspond to a heart rate chart, and when you look up the number you got from doing your self test, you stick with the heart rate values given to you based on your number. As the numbers change, so will your training program.

    The reason why professional athletes are so far above the recreational athlete is because they truly train- they take these tests seriously and use the numbers like a priest studying a bible... they know how important those numbers are, and how monitoring those numbers and tracking any change will give them more of a competitive edge.

    As for your numbers for running vs. cycling, the heart rate maximum should be different. I did a post on that too, but I couldn't find it initially, but I'll look it up. It was a detailed explanation. The easier explanation is to say "what nathank said". When I find that post, I'll edit this post and add it in under this paragraph.

    Koffee

  13. #13
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hawkphoto
    Also, is anyone familiar with this book or its author?
    I have and use The Cyclists Training Bible, by Joe Friel, the roadie equivalent to the book you have. He also has a presence at Ultrafit.com. (The e-tips always have some good information.) I like his approach to coaching... not as clinical as Carmichael. I don't feel like he's ignoring the person in favor of a page of numbers. Just my impression. Getting back to the question, I think it's the best book out there on planning and developing your own training program. On the other hand, while the information on the workouts themselves is good, I think there are better sources for that.

    FWIW, I tend to agree with the Velocipedio and Nathank. You've "ball-parked" your AT with a time trial. If you're sensitive to it while doing hard rides and intervals, it's my opinion that you develop a pretty good feel for what it is. Certainly close enough to target your workout efforts. I also agree with Koffee, you need to be sensitive to changes, and adjust your efforts accordingly.

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