Lactate Threshold Testing

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Lactate Threshold Testing for Endurance Athletes

What is lactic threshold testing?

An advanced system to measure increases in blood lactic acid levels that cause a decrease in athletic performance. The results of this test will help guide endurance athletes to train smarter and more specific, improving optimal performance.

Who would benefit from a lactate threshold test?

An endurance athlete from beginner to the elite that is interested in improving efficiency and performance, along with putting the “science” into using a heart rate monitor.  There are several accepted methods of trying to figure out target training levels, however, some are somewhat unreliable depending on our age or fitness level (e.g, Karvonen formula).  Lactate threshold testing data can also be used as a starting point or in conjunction with more specific testing measures, including metabolic (VO2 max) testing.  Lactate threshold testing is a field-tested method to reliably provide any athlete with the necessary training and racing guidelines for optimal performance.  Specifically, what athletes would benefit from this test:

  • Distance runners
  • Triathletes
  • Road cyclists
  • Mountain bikers
  • Spin training

How does this test work?

  • Our trained staff will perform this lactate level test while you are biking or running, depending on your specific discipline.
  • During the testing process, your finger will be pricked and a drop of blood will be used to analyze your blood lactic levels (this finger prick will occur approximately 4-6 times during this test) with immediate results.
  • The intensity level will be controlled incrementally while recording your heart rate level (or wattage for cyclists with the appropriate equipment) to correlate with a specific blood lactic level.
  • Through this testing process, your lactate threshold will be determined to utilize the principles of Zone Training developed by Dr. Edmund Burke.

What information will you receive from this test?

  • A clear picture of each individual’s performance ability based on objective results.
  • Recommended target heart rate parameters to increase threshold levels, removing the “guessing game” out of heart rate monitor training, and improve overall performance.

What should I bring?

For running:  HEART RATE MONITOR, shirt and shorts for treadmill running, shoes and proper hydration.

For cycling:  HEART RATE MONITOR, bike, shoes, apparel, and proper hydration (indoor trainer will be provided).

Note:  It is important to prepare for this evaluation as you would for a long work out or race, including rest and nutrition day of and day before.  If you are not properly prepared for this test, you may possibly negatively impact the results.

How do I get started?

To make an appointment or for more information about lactate threshold testing, please call Armor Physical Therapy during normal business hours or contact us at Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Mattawan, Plainwell & Portage, MI centers  Gift certificates are available to purchase.

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