Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lactate Threshold Test #1 - 1000m swim

So I am doing my Lactate Threshold testing this week.

What the heck is that?

The lactate threshold (LT) is the exercise intensity at which lactate (more specifically, lactic acid) starts to accumulate in the blood stream. The reason for the acidification of the blood at high exercise intensities is two-fold: the high rates of ATP hydrolysis in the muscle release hydrogen ions, as they are co-transported out of the muscle into the blood via the MCT—monocarboxylate transporter, and also bicarbonate stores in the blood begin to be used up. This happens when lactate is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized). This point is sometimes referred to as the anaerobic threshold (AT), or the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). When exercising below the LT intensity any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up. The lactate threshold is a useful measure for deciding exercise intensity for training and racing in endurance sports (e.g. long distance running, cycling, rowing, swimming and cross country skiing), but varies between individuals and can be increased with training. Interval training takes advantage of the body being able to temporarily exceed the lactate threshold, and then recover (reduce blood-lactate) while operating below the threshold and while still doing physical activity. Fartlek and interval training are similar, the main difference being the structure of the exercise. Interval training can take the form of many different types of exercise and should closely replicate the movements found in the sport.

Why is this important? It gives me the zones that I need to train in during my phased approach to Ironman.

This LT test was 1000m swim as fast as I could go. I did the 1000m in 19minutes and 02 seconds. Definitely my fastest swim ever - by a long shot. I was pretty gassed afterwards ... but managed to pull everything together and get in an hour of spin and an hour of Yoga.

Embrace the day!

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