What is lactate
During intense exercise the muscles produce lactate, often referred to as lactic acid. Lactate itself does not cause fatigue, rather it is the process around its generation that results in a slow down in performance. Muscles ability to deal with the process of lactate generation will determine the duration and intensity of exercise.
Blood lactate is the most accurate reflection of effort during running and therefore a vital training tool. The faster we run, the higher our blood lactate levels.
What is a Lactate Test
A lactate test involves a series of intervals that get progressively faster. Lactate concentrations are measured after each interval via a small blood sample taken from the finger-tip or ear lobe. The blood lactate levels along with heart rate and pace are charted to produce a graph or lactate curve. This graph is evaluated to pinpoint the most beneficial paces for a particular athletes to train at. This pace will differ from person to person.
Please see the video below for a sample test
A lactate test identifies the training sweet spot and is a powerful tool for endurance athletes. Runners can then train at the most beneficial pace – a pace that is completely individual to each runner, based on current ability and the target event or fitness goal.
The test is beneficial to athletes of all abilities, as it eliminates the guess work when it comes to training paces.