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    Lactate Threshold Testing

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    Brendan D

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    Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:39 pm

    I have been reading a bit of stuff by Joe Friels and he talks about heart rate zones based on lactate threshold. I have seen a few ideas on how to obtain a lactate threshold heart rate and outside of a lab the common one seems to be do a 30 minute time trial and take average heart rate for the last 20 minutes. Does anyone have experience with this protocol and is there anything I should know before attempting it.
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:15 pm

    G'day Brendan,

    I used to use this test myself. Not a bad test but I prefer to use the 42min test as it gives me more feedback in terms of execution, pacing, decoupling, etc

    To do the 42min test you do 20min max effort, 2min easy spin, then 20min max effort again over the same the course. The course I pick is usually and out and back 10min course. Easier to find and less subject to other variables, eg traffic lights, corners, etc

    The av hr you get for the entire 42min test becomes your LTHR or Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR).

    By breaking the test up into 2 x 20min efforts you can then compare av sp with av hr and looking for decoupling, ie a seperation in the av sp and av hr line. People who execute really well will only have a minimal amount of decoupling. This will help you identify some of your strengths and weaknesses, that will then give you something more than just a HR number to set up your training zones.

    You can also look at your HR for spikes, and erratic behaviours, for example, starting out too hard and then seeing a fading HR profile, or starting out too easy to see a surge in HR right at the end. Both pacing and execution issues. Inexperienced athlete who do this test tend to have HR lines that look more like swells on the ocean, all up and down as they try to find that redline. That sort of result then allows you to setup very specific intervals in training to improve their execution and pacing across all intensity zones.

    Another thing you want to be looking out for in this sort of test is your max hr. A well executed LT test will be too hard to allow you to have a max HR any higher then 10bpm above your av hr for the entire test. If you do then it's probably a pacing and execution problem. I have seen athletes that have been able to really crank their HR up in the last couple of minutes of the second 20min effort. However, anymore than 10bpm and they were probably riding below LT effort, which can then lead to incorrect training zones.

    If you do the test and PM me the results and can help you out with the analysis if you like.

    fluro

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:14 am

    At the moment my heart rate monitor is very basic. I am eyeing of a Garmin to give me speed and heart rate traces but at the moment I purely get heart rate max and average.

    I have read Friels stuff about decoupling of HR and pace and the theory behind it makes sense to me but I am not sure how to look at it with a basic HRM. Maybe a track session could work somehow?

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:23 pm

    Did to 30 minutes measure the last 20min test tonight. Average Heart rate for last 20 minutes was 180. When I did running max heart rate tests I got to 188, does 180 sound right?

    Either way...that bloody hurt!
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:34 pm

    Brendan D wrote:Did to 30 minutes measure the last 20min test tonight. Average Heart rate for last 20 minutes was 180. When I did running max heart rate tests I got to 188, does 180 sound right?

    Either way...that bloody hurt!

    What sort of test did you do to get a [b]max hr of 188 on the run[/b, or is it your threshold HR? If that was your threshold HR on the run then 180bpm on the bike sounds about right.

    Generally speaking your Threshold HR on the bike is approximately 10bpm lower then the run.

    Do you have Friel training zones tables to set up your training zones??

    fluro

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:47 pm

    I have the Friels book. Has been my night time reading for the last week or so. Have to say a lot of it is beyond me at the moment but I am trying to put together a plan for this year mainly based around Shep HIM.

    The 188 was a max run heart rate based on the test on this page

    http://beginnertriathlete.com/cms/Article-detail.asp?Articleid=53&vote=9

    I did it on a treadmill using the incline as there are no good hills to run around here.

    I have not done any work on bike zones yet...wanted to get the run sorted first.
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:15 pm

    Your numbers aren't adding up

    eg my max hr on the run is 192bpm but my threshold HR is 174bpm. My max hr on the bike is 188bpm and my threshold HR on the bike is 166bpm.

    I find knowing your Threshold HR's are much more important then knowing your max hr.

    In Friels book you need to know your threshold HR (ie zone 5a) to know your training zones, not your max hr. I always use threshold HR to set up training zones. Doing max hr tests outside of a lab I feel are next to impossible to reach due to variables and also pyschologically very stressful. On the one ocassion I did a max hr test I was vomitting everywhere and in quite a bad state afterwards. You also have what is called a 'false max hr', it's where your HR hits a plateau about 5-7bpm under your true max hr and it takes alot to break through that and keep going.

    At this stage I'm not really sure that your 180bpm on the bike is enough to set up your training zones. Maybe do an all out 10km run and your av hr for that will be your threshold HR for the run. Compare that to your bike HR and it might give you a better starting point.

    fluro
    P.S How old are you? 180bpm on the bike is quite high, although I do have one athlete who is 25 and his FTHR is 178bpm on the bike, not normal though.

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:27 pm

    Sorry if I have confused you.

    The 188 was a max heart rate run test.

    180 was a LT run test based on the 30 minute test in Friels book. The only thing is I feel like I went out too hard and was running out of puff too much at the end. Would that make the heart rate higher than it should be?

    I have not done any bike heart rate testing yet.

    Friels says something about exercising below the threshold should be relatively easy. There is no way I could go at 175, or even 170 and call it relatively easy. So I am wondering if this figure has come out too high? To be honest, looking at the training zones table the numbers listed for the endurance zones based on a 180 LT test scare me!

    I am 28 years old.
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:44 pm

    Sorry brendan I thought your 30min test was done on the bike.

    I'm not really familiar with this sort of testing on the run and not sure how reliable to is. However, in saying that it is a starting point that you can use.

    Friels says something about exercising below the threshold should be relatively easy. There is no way I could go at 175, or even 170 and call it relatively easy. So I am wondering if this figure has come out too high? To be honest, looking at the training zones table the numbers listed for the endurance zones based on a 180 LT test scare me!

    if you have a FTHR of 180bpm then training below that at 170-175 bpm will put you in zone 4. This is HARD training and close to OLY distance efforts.

    If you intend on training up for a HIM then you'll be closer to 160bpm in terms of race efforts for a HIM. 150bpm would be close to your IMefforts (rough estimates at this stage). Once again this is all dependent on knowing exactly what your FTHR's are.

    Honestly, go out and do a max effort 10km run and note your av hr for the entire run, that will be very cose to your FTHR. Then we can set up your zones.

    Fluro
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:54 pm

    [quote="Brendan D"]

    180 was a LT run test based on the 30 minute test in Friels book. The only thing is I feel like I went out too hard and was running out of puff too much at the end. Would that make the heart rate higher than it should be?

    quote]

    Not really, even a threshold test will have you struggling alot towards the end. Remember it's max effort (not max HR) you can achieve for the length of the test.

    If your inexperienced you probably did go out too hard. These sorts of tests are hard to pace correctly in terms of effort. You'll get better with more experience, but you won't see changes in what your av hr will be. Friel talks about this in one of his blogs. His FTHR is the same as what it was when he was 20years younger. The only difference is that he is getting a little slower with age Very Happy

    I established my FTHR on the run back in 1997, for the first time, and its still the same now.

    fluro
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    Dan B
    Super Awesome. 30X30 Run Champ.

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Dan B on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:57 pm

    Paul F wrote:Sorry brendan I thought your 30min test was done on the bike.

    I'm not really familiar with this sort of testing on the run and not sure how reliable to is. However, in saying that it is a starting point that you can use.

    Friels says something about exercising below the threshold should be relatively easy. There is no way I could go at 175, or even 170 and call it relatively easy. So I am wondering if this figure has come out too high? To be honest, looking at the training zones table the numbers listed for the endurance zones based on a 180 LT test scare me!

    if you have a FTHR of 180bpm then training below that at 170-175 bpm will put you in zone 4. This is HARD training and close to OLY distance efforts.

    If you intend on training up for a HIM then you'll be closer to 160bpm in terms of race efforts for a HIM. 150bpm would be close to your IMefforts (rough estimates at this stage). Once again this is all dependent on knowing exactly what your FTHR's are.

    Honestly, go out and do a max effort 10km run and note your av hr for the entire run, that will be very cose to your FTHR. Then we can set up your zones.

    Fluro

    Hey Fluro

    When you did my zones from my 10 km run how do you calculate the actual zones? Percentages? Oh btw Brendan, go do the 10 km, get your zones and start training your body to work at a lower rate. Best thing I have done, thanks to Fluro.

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:59 pm

    Will do a 10km time trial later in the week. I wanted to do one as a base line before I start my proper training for the year anyhow.

    What would you recommend for bike LT testing? I was planning on doing a 40km bike time trial within the next couple of weeks, would that do it?
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:05 pm

    G'day UberrunnerDan,

    I used Gordo's book (same table is on Friels book). Once I know your FTHR then there is a table that gives you each training zone according to your FTHR number. Very easy. The hard part is doing the right test to get the most accurate FTHR number.

    Overtime with training and more data points you can then tweek your FTHR. For example, if you went out and did a 10km fun run with 500 other athletes you may be able to produce a higher FTHR under those conditions.

    fluro
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:11 pm

    Do the 42min bike test (2 x 20min efforts with a 2min easy spin inbetween) I mentioned in my first post.

    I usually pick a flat section of road that will allow you to ride out for 10min and back for 10min at max effort. roll around for 2min easy and then go again on the same course. take your av hr for the entire 42min and that is close as you'll get to your FTHR on the bike.

    This session also forms part of a good interval set if your focusing on improving your FT power, so it's a good benchmark/starting point to set up some goals.

    You can then do this session regularly as opposed to doing a straight 40km TT regularly which is a little more stressful on the body and mind.

    fluro

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:18 pm

    Well 10km time trial done...paced myself badly again, 36 degree heat might have had something to do with it. But I have a base line to work from.

    Ended up with an average heart rate of 181, maximum reached during the last 500m push to the line was 193, so I guess the test to find my maximum was a bit out.

    Either way the average was 181 and the 20min test gave 180 so I guess that is my best estimate for LT. I really need to work on my endurance so it seems a lot of my time will be spent at 154-163 BPM running from here on in.

    Next up is to do the bike test. Do I include the 2 minutes in the middle in the average heart rate calculations doing the 2 x 20 test?
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    Paul F
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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:32 pm

    Brendan D wrote:Well 10km time trial done...paced myself badly again, 36 degree heat might have had something to do with it. But I have a base line to work from.

    Ended up with an average heart rate of 181, maximum reached during the last 500m push to the line was 193, so I guess the test to find my maximum was a bit out.

    Either way the average was 181 and the 20min test gave 180 so I guess that is my best estimate for LT. I really need to work on my endurance so it seems a lot of my time will be spent at 149-160 BPM running from here on in.

    G'day Brendan,

    Goodjob, you now have a benchmark and a great starting point. I'm in the process of moving so everything is back away for the next 2 weeks. Use Friels tables to now set up your run zones. Until you do some specific bike testing just use 171bpm for your bike FTHR.

    I don't neccessarily think you need to just focus on 149-160bpm (zone 2 presumably?), you need a little bit of everything with a greater focus in some zones depending on what you want to improve at.

    If your focusing on a HIM then maybe head out and do some TT (both bike and run) work at the top of zone 2 (HIMeffort). That then can assist you in establish some effort and pacing guidelines. That test will allow to find out how easy or how hard HIMeffort feels and from there you can start building a training block.

    For example, try doing a 40km TT on the bike at the top of zone 2 and then maybe a 10-12km run also at the top of zone 2. Get a feel for what the effort feels like? Some people find it hard others easy, depending on their strength and weaknesses.

    Don't just rely on threshold tests to determine your training protocol, focus on actual race paced (sub maximal) efforts in order to match up your actual fitness with your goals. In other words, find out where your at in order to know where you need to go.

    Hope it helps,


    fluro

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:25 am

    Thanks for the help...gives me some ideas for a couple of other threads.

    That seems to be the problem...get one answer end up with more questions!
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    Cameron G

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Cameron G on Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:59 pm

    HIJACK

    our tri club sent out an email asking us if we wanted to be part of a study in

    Effect of beverage temperature on thermoregulatory response

    What is the study about?
    In Australia, sports people are frequently called upon to perform in the heat. Rise in core temperature can cause fatigue, adversely impact performance, and increase risk of dehydration and other heat illnesses. Carbohydrate-electrolyte drinks are often the drink of choice for athletes and may assist in minimising these effects; however there are still unanswered questions with regard to the added effect of drink temperature. In this study, the effects of giving cold or warm sports drink will be compared to warm sports drink plus sports drink ice to determine effects on core temperature.

    Who is carrying out the study?
    The study is being conducted by Catriona Burdon, PhD Candidate and will form the basis for the degree of Doctorate of Philosophy at The University of Sydney under the supervision of Dr Helen O’Connor, Dr Nathan Johnson (University of Sydney) and Dr Phillip Chapman (Australian Catholic University).

    What does the study involve?
    We will need well trained male cyclists and triathletes. People who accept the invitation to be a part of this study will complete a baseline fitness assessment (VO2 Max test) and testing on three drink conditions in random order. Procedures will be the same for all participants.

    People taking part in this study should be healthy. You will not be eligible to participate if you have the following medical conditions:
    • a history of certain medical conditions including known mobility problems, metabolic or endocrine disorders or disorders known to influence exercise performance (e.g. thyroid disease, diabetes or iron deficiency) and gastrointestinal disorders.
    We must also exclude people who are taking medications which effect response to diet and exercise.
    All participants will receive performance test results at the conclusion of the study.

    We will be asking you to present to the laboratory four times separated by at least one week. The first visit will include:
    • medical screening
    • testing your exercise capacity (VO2max)
    • receiving instructions on standardising your diet prior to each of the next three laboratory tests. You will need to keep food records to assist with standardising your diet and fluid intake (three days prior to the first laboratory visit and for two days prior to each testing session).

    The subsequent three visits involve:
    • exercise tests in which a standard commercially available sports drink will be consumed at different temperatures (warm and warm + crushed ice)
    • participants will need to present to the laboratory (University of Sydney Cumberland Campus, Lidcombe) after an overnight fast except for water
    • you will be asked to provide a morning urine sample which will be used to check you are adequately hydrated
    • exercise tests held in an environmentally controlled room with temperature set at 32⁰C and 40% relative humidity
    • exercising on a stationary bicycle for 90 minutes at 65% of your maximal exercise capacity whilst consuming the test fluids regularly to maintain hydration
    • the 90 minutes will be followed by a 7kj/kg time trial to monitor evolution of temperature at maximal work capacity
    • blood samples will be taken via a cannula prior to testing, every 30 min during the steady state and at the end of exercise.

    Prior to exercise testing you will be required to insert a rectal thermometer for measurement of core temperature and ingest a core temperature capsule (the size of a large medicinal capsule). The capsule emits a low frequency radio wave 2-3 feet to a data recorder that causes no harm or discomfort. Your suitability for ingestion of this pill will be checked in the medical screening. Skin temperature may be measured by skin thermistors.
    Body weight in minimal clothing will be measured before and after testing.

    Potential Risks and Discomforts
    As with any research of this nature, there are some potential risks and discomforts, which you should be aware of. The researchers will attempt to minimise these through careful, consistent monitoring of your response to the testing procedures. Every effort will be made by the researchers to ensure your safety, comfort and familiarity with the testing procedures.

    Exercise bouts will be performed for 90 minutes at a moderate intensity followed by a 7kj/kg time trial. The intensity will be lower than that experienced during racing, and of a similar nature to that performed during 2-3 hour moderate training bouts. The final time trial is undertaken at maximal effort which is akin to that regularly performed by cyclists and triathletes during racing but considerably shorter in duration. In the event of any adverse effects, Catriona Burdon has a current first aid certificate and there are two full time employees in the department with first aid certificates.

    Sampling of venous blood may cause a slight degree of transient discomfort, and some bruising may occur at the point of the sample up to 48 hours afterwards. The discomfort is of no lasting consequence and there is a small risk of fainting during blood sampling. The risks and discomforts will be minimised, as the procedure will be performed under sterile conditions by highly experienced venepuncturists.

    **Risk of heat illness is minimal and dehydration whilst exercising will be avoided by giving enough sports drink to offset any fluid losses and maintain hydration. Core temperature will be monitored closely and continuously and if it reaches 39ºC, exercise will be terminated. As a result of the overnight fast you may be feeling hungry however during exercise the sports drink provided for you will be adequate to sustain energy needs of the exercise session.

    How much time will the study take?
    The entire testing procedure is likely to take around 3-4 hours on each occasion.

    Can I withdraw from the study?
    You are free not to participate and may discontinue the study at any time without disadvantage – participation is voluntary. If you do decide to withdraw we only ask that you contact one of the chief investigators at your earliest convenience to let us know. In the storage and analysis of information, your anonymity and confidentiality will be maintained by assigning a code rather than using your name.

    Will anyone else know the results?
    All aspects of the study, including results, will be strictly confidential and only the researchers will have access to information on participants. A report of the study may be submitted for publication, but individual participants will not be identifiable in such a report.

    Who will the study benefit?
    The study findings will provide you with more information on how best to hydrate whilst exercising in order to maintain ideal core temperature and performance.
    The study findings are also of benefit to the sporting community at large. The NSW Institute of Sport as a supporter of this study may share the results of the study with athletes trained there to better improve their hydration and performance. Powerade supports the NSW Institute of Sport and is supporting the research by providing product. They may be interested in the results to know the different ways their product can be used in the sporting community, for example as a drink versus as sports drink ice, and for marketing purposes.

    Can I tell other people about the study?
    There is no problem telling other people about your participation in the study.

    What if I require further information?
    Catriona Burdon (telephone 0423 989 308, email cbur9152@usyd.edu.au) or Dr Helen O’Connor (telephone (02) 9351 9625, e-mail H.Oconnor@usyd.edu.au) at the Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Science, University of Sydney; would be happy to discuss any questions you might have regarding the study.

    im sure anyone else in sydney who may want to participate can contact her.

    I think doing this just for the VO2Max test would be cool

    Brendan D

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Brendan D on Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:23 pm

    I did the 20min on, 2 min off, 20 min on test tonight on the bike. The last 10 minutes hurt but I paced it pretty well.

    Ended up with an average heart rate of 166 so I will be using this as my bike LT number for the time being.

    Zones are set for bike and run. Do a 1000m time trial in the pool in a couple of days to set up pacing zones for the swim and then the plan is ready to roll starting next week.
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    Paul F
    Coach

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    Re: Lactate Threshold Testing

    Post by Paul F on Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:29 am

    I did the 20min on, 2 min off, 20 min on test tonight on the bike. The last 10 minutes hurt but I paced it pretty well.

    Ended up with an average heart rate of 166 so I will be using this as my bike LT number for the time being.


    Same number as me. Good job, you have great starting point now.
    You can actually break that test up further into a block of training for example

    week 1: 6 x 4min, with a 2min RI
    week 2: 3 x 8min, with a 4min RI
    week 3: 2-3 x 10min, with a 3min RI
    week 4: 2 x 15min, with a 3min RI
    week 5: redo the test
    week 6: recovery week

    This will give you a goal and good reason not to miss a session because of the progression.


    Zones are set for bike and run. Do a 1000m time trial in the pool in a couple of days to set up pacing zones for the swim and then the plan is ready to roll starting next week.

    The 1000m TT is a good one. Goodluck with that one.

    fluro

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