Performance Evaluation ~ Lactate
Chris Stephens ~
The early stages...
What is it?
A Lactate Performance Test is a semi-stressful, semi-endurance based test that is carried out until certain lactate performance markers are established. The test duration is obviously variable as the time taken is dependent of the fitness levels of the testing athlete, although they rarely last more than twenty minutes.
To better understand the physiological issues this test addresses please read our Lactate Factsheet.
Why do I need it?
The Lactate Performance Test is the golden fleece of all tests. If there is one test that will ensure you train to you full potential, it's this one.
This test is used to determine an athlete's power and heart rate at their maximum lactate steady state (MLSS). The point just before lactate is being produced quicker than it can be metabolized.
An athlete able to produce more power, for more time, without crossing their lactate steady state boundary, is the one more likely to stay away in the break, win the race, or PB the time trial.
Obviously training at levels respective to your MLSS brings massive returns in your training investment. Knowing at what point your lactate accumulates quicker than you can dispose of it allows your training levels to be pin-point accurate.
No more ambiguous heart rate zones and no more average percentage rates of your calculated VO2max. Both of which are infinitely better than the alternative, but not as pin-point accurate as measuring lactate development as it happens in your blood stream.
Due to the high cost of the consumables used to undertake this test it is slightly more expensive than other available tests. But don't look at the cost, look at the value!
How to Prepare
This is semi-stressful test to establish physiological markers, so it's vitally important to make sure you:
▼ are fully rested
▼ are fully hydrated
▼ have had no hard rides for at least three days
▼ have not eaten for at least two hours previous
▼ have been of good health for at least four weeks
▼ have good motivation and morale
▼ are mentally prepared for the effort required
A Lactate Performance Test is not necessarily a pleasant experience but the results it provides give an excellent indicator to the physiological power capacity of an athlete at their lactate steady state and beyond.
This test is critical to the success of anyone who wants to train intelligently, train efficiently and train effectively. Cadence and gear selection are predetermined before the test and maintained throughout.
A blood sample is taken from the finger or ear lobe before the test begins. This gives a baseline, "resting" reading. Every three minutes during the test, a sample of blood is taken and recorded in our lactate analyser. Results are analysed though our software programme to determine the thresholds at power output and heart rate.
Once the lactate curve has been established, the test is continued to determine the athlete's max heart rate.
Extrapolation formulae can be used to determine the athletes maximum aerobic power output from their final results. From this, coaching plans can be determined to provide training to boost aerobic power and increase efficiency. Improvement can be validated by a repeat test at the end of the training period.
Contact us to book your Performance Evaluation and find out exactly what you're capable of.