Determine lactate value | Anaerobic threshold

Determine lactate value

In order to create an effective training plan, one should know one’s anaerobic threshold or lactate threshold or determine it beforehand. The anaerobic threshold can only be determined by measurements. Lactate tests, ergospirometry and other methods can be used to determine this threshold.

The anaerobic threshold can be determined by a stepwise stress test combined with blood samples. A variant of this determination is the CONCONI test, which is also one of the best known. By recording the results in a test curve, the determination of the individual anaerobic threshold becomes even clearer.

A strong increase in the lactate curve shows that the organism has not been able to maintain the steady-state and is always producing more lactate than can be broken down. For the exact determination of the blood lactate concentration, the lactate concentration in the arterial blood of the earlobe is determined at rest and at certain stress levels by means of blood sampling. The Conconi test is carried out on a treadmill ergometer, for example.

The running speed is increased step by step. For example, one starts with an entry speed of 2 or 4 km/h and maintains this speed for exactly two minutes. Then a lactate sample is taken for the first time and paused for 30 seconds.

Afterwards the speed is increased by 2 km/h to the next higher level (6 km/h). After each stage, a blood sample is taken and switched to the next higher stage. This procedure is continued until the test person is completely exhausted and the examination must be stopped.

By means of the subsequent evaluation of the blood samples, a diagram can be determined on which it becomes clear when the body starts the anaerobic energy production, because otherwise the oxygen deficit becomes too large. In the diagram, the individual anaerobic threshold can be recognized by a kink in the lactate curve. This bend shows the point at which the body is no longer able to break down lactate fast enough.

From then on, the lactate level in the blood will continue to rise until the athlete is exhausted and the lactate concentration in the muscles and blood is too high. The point from which the lactate curve only increases steadily is called the individual anaerobic threshold. It is different for every person and is influenced by training condition, age, nutrition and physical conditions.

You can change the anaerobic threshold through training and ensure that the body works more economically and thus becomes more efficient. The anaerobic threshold, also known as the lactate threshold, describes the highest possible intensity of exertion that an athlete can still achieve while achieving a balance between lactate build-up and lactate breakdown. The better the physical condition of the body, the longer the lactate production can be balanced.

In order to improve performance so that one can perform below the anaerobic threshold for longer, the lactate threshold can be increased by training. For this purpose it is important to work below the lactate threshold during training. Monitoring your heart rate and calculating your training heart rate helps to determine your individual anaerobic threshold.

Interval training is particularly suitable for training the iANS (individual anaerobic threshold). The combination of endurance training in the aerobic zone and intensive interval training (training of the maximum heart rate) is very effective. It is important that most of the training remains in the aerobic zone.

Here are some examples of training exercises that are presented; 5 times 750 meters with a 3 minute break or 4 times 1000 meters with a 3 to 4 minute break. If you don’t want to stick to a certain distance, you can also run 4 to 5 times 5 minutes and take a 4 minute break in between or 5 times 4 minutes with a 4 minute break. These examples refer to interval training with almost maximum heart rate.

A large block of endurance training should be added, with the intensity chosen to stay just below the anaerobic threshold. The so-called threshold training ensures that the anaerobic performance improves while reducing lactate development. An athlete can thus achieve higher speeds with the same pulse load without exceeding the anaerobic threshold.

However, threshold training is not necessarily suitable for beginners. One should have some experience in endurance training in running before moving on to threshold training. To ensure that you really stay below the anaerobic threshold during endurance training, a wrist pulse monitor with a chest strap is a good idea. If training pulse and heart rate have been calculated with the iANS beforehand, you can control your training with the pulse watch.