Trying to work out my Lactate Threshold

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jjjtttggg, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. jjjtttggg

    jjjtttggg New Member

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    I'm 40 years old, been cycling for about two and half years. After reading up on training techniques, I think I want to do some longer interval type training (say 3 x 15 to 20min intervals with 10-15min recovery) roughly at my "lactate threshold". The question is how to get an idea of what it is. I've heard I should ride for an hour as hard as I can and use the average heart rate. That would lead me to something like 160-165bpm, which is what I've used as my guide for the last year or so. However, this weekend I raced in a 45mi race, mostly gentle rolls, but with one decent hill of about 100m in 0.6mi. Finished 30th out of 40 :( Anyway, my average heart rate for the entire race, which took me 2 hours 23min, was 173! I only dropped into the 160s a few times after the first 15 minutes or so. Am I right in assuming that my LT is higher than I had previously thought. Also, If my goal is to increase my flat speed, am I right about the "3x15min at or just below LT"?

    Appreciate any thoughts!
     
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  2. N_laplaca

    N_laplaca New Member

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    was that the balloon fest classic? I was in that one too. My average was 157 and I'm 35. Makes me feel like I didn't work hard enough. My estimated LTHR is 166. I have read of 2 ways to estimate this on the road. I did both tests and came up with just about the same thing. The method from Joel Friels book has you do 30 minutes as hard as you can go and take your average heart rate over the last 20 minutes. If your Heart rate monitor has a lap function this is easy to do. The other method from Chris Charmichaels book has you do 2 three mile maximal efforts with I think 10 minutes recovery in between and whatever effort has the highest average heart rate is the one you use.
    Anyway what did you think of the race? It was my first one and I thought it was fun as hell. My mistake was trying to go harder than I was capable of up that hill on the first lap. I was dead when I got to the top but figured I had enough time to recover on the long descent. I did manage to catch back up to the lead group on rt 22 but I was toast and fell off the back. Wound up finishing 25th out of what I thought was 43 riders but bikereg has it at 32. Still was fun. Can't wait to try another.

    Nick
     
  3. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I'd give this method much more credence than the Carmichael method.


    Doing 2 three mile maximum efforts is just not enough to really gain insight into one's LT. CTS is the only camp that uses this low of an interval for LT testing. It will tend to skew one's LT downward significantly so one must adjust their percentages accordingly.
     
  4. jjjtttggg

    jjjtttggg New Member

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    Hi Nick,

    Yes it was the Balloon Fest Race! Small world. It is a great ride. I rode in it last year as well. That hill is a b---ch! I dropped my chain right at the bottom on the first lap and lost about 30 seconds. I was in about the front 3rd of the pack 'til then, so I was pretty bummed about because my goal was to stay with them until the 2nd lap. I couldn't have kept up, though, even if I hadn't had the problem because even after I got going again I could tell I was losing ground. Anyway, I never saw the pack again after that. Caught up with a few other stragglers like myself though and finished 30th. I don't know the count, but I know a lot more started than finished. I tallied up names from bikereg finishers list plus the pre-registered list and came up with 39. That wouldn't include anybody who signed up the day of the race but didn't finish, and I think there may have been a few, so your 43 is probably a good number.

    Thanks for the info on LTHR. Last year I didn't have a heart rate monitor. Got it right after the race and have been training with it since, but haven't raced. This race has convinced me that what I thought were high intensity training session were probably not, so I'm stepping it up a notch from now on in my "Hard" sessions. We'll see how it goes.

    Are you planning any other races this season? I'm looking at the Union Vale race in late July, and a race in Albany in August. Not that I'm much of competitor yet, but everybody tells me you have to race to get fast, so I guess I'll keep pluggin'.

    Best
    Jeff
     
  5. jjjtttggg

    jjjtttggg New Member

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    Thanks, I'll give Nick's referenced method 1 a go!

    Best,
    Jeff
     
  6. N_laplaca

    N_laplaca New Member

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    Bummer about your chain. That happens to me on occasion but luckily it never happened during the race.Yea even if I didn't blow up at the top I don't think I would have been with the main pack anyway because if I didn't push as hard as I did I would have never caught them on rt. 22 anyway. I was probably one of the stragglers you encountered. I was all by myself and not having a great time til the 2nd lap 4 or 5 riders from our race caught me. Wasn't sure they were from the race I was in til they passed me. I hopped on the back. The race became fun again we traded pulls for a while then a few dropped off. I was the guy with the plain yellow and black pearl izumi Jersey. I was planning on that race in albany myself. I'm told the course is a bit tougher. I'd like to get down there and ride it a bit see how it is. where in upsate are you from? Whitehall here. I ride in queensbury and lake george a lot since thats where I work. Here in Whitehall there are some very hilly roads. I am going to do more climbing repeats on some of them to help improve my climbing ability since that is where my Main weakness lies. And some 2X20 intervals too. Man these 3 guys went by me on that hill from one of the other races so fast I was amazed. I would love to be able to climb like that.

    Nick
     
  7. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    Just be sure to be thoroughly warmed up as that will have an affect on your HR also. It's probably best to take that test 2 or 3 times over the course of time and use the highest average to set your zones. As your fitness improves so will your threshold. During Winter months you may want to retest as fitness usually dwindles and you'll have to adjust your zones downward. Think of it as an ongoing process.
     
  8. Tom Schwartz

    Tom Schwartz New Member

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    I have another solution for you. Thoroughly warm up, then time trial for 10 minutes (100% effort). Cool down. Pull out your calculator and multiply the speed or power output by .9032 to derive LT (your 60 minute predicted value). Regards, Tincup
     
  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    That's the Carmichael method described above, isn't it? 90% of the 10 minute max effort HR?
     
  10. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    To clarify, LT has several definitions but the most common (correct definitions) are the workrate that elicits a 1mmol/L increase over exercise baseline levels (giving a lactate of ~ 2.x mmol/L) or a workrate that elicits a fixed 2.5 mmol/L. Workrate is power (measured in watts in cycling) or velocity (m/s or km/hr in running).

    These intensities are somewhat low/moderate and can be sustained for up to 3+ hrs in trained cyclists. They're about 10 - 15% less power than that which can be sustained for a ~1-hr TT.

    LT isn't defined by HR and by definition is an invasive procedure requiring blood to be drawn, usually by finger prick capillary measure or ear lobe.

    However, to answer your query -- training at ~ TTpower is an excellent way to increase your base fitness and shift your LT and TTpower in an upwards direction. HR at these intensities can vary for many reasons, e.g., acute and chronic changes in fitness, altitude, euhydration, fatigue, cadence, environmental conditions, etc.

    You should note that if training by HR (dependent variable) you should also use percieved exertion, as at a constant power (the independent variable) HR can vary (as per list above). During a period of heavy training HR can become depressed even though power may be unaffected. For e.g., at present i am in a heavy volume period of training and my HR has dropped significantly at all power outputs, however, with a couple of rest days my HR will return to a 'normal' level for a given power output.

    Ric
     
  11. Tom Schwartz

    Tom Schwartz New Member

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    I don't have a clue what the Carmichael method is, but if his number is 90% of 10 minutes, he is darn close to the same as mine. I have numerous mathematical formulae to derive nearly anything physiologic for endurance performance. It is my trade and my talent, I guess. Regardless, the .9032 (rounded) of one 10 minute time trial at full effort is going to accurately predict what one can do in 60 minutes, provided one has equal power and endurance.

    The method that another chap mentioned (the 1 mmol of resting lactate), which would put the value at ~ 2.0 mmol, on average, is what researchers such as Holman and Mader of Germany from 1959-1975 called the aerobic threshold, the intensity the optimizes aerobic endurance improvements. It is an intensity at .8255 of one's 10 minutes time trial, by the way, using my formalae. Regards, Tom
     
  12. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i don't want to disappoint you, but you can't say that 60-min power or HR is 90% or 0.9032 of 10-min power or HR for everyone or for yourself at all times.

    In fact it may be that some people will have a higher average HR for 60-min all-out trial compared to a 10-min one.

    HR can vary for numerous reasons, such as altitude, fatigue, cadence, intensity, food, etc and this will affect any ratios. similarly, 10-min power will be influenced by e.g., anaerobic capacity which will be higher (or lower) in some riders compared to others.

    Again, HR is not LT. and you can only suggest levels/zones, not a specific point...

    ric
     
  13. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    i don't want to disappoint you, but you can't say that 60-min power or HR is 90% or 0.9032 of 10-min power or HR for everyone or for yourself at all times.

    In fact it may be that some people will have a higher average HR for 60-min all-out trial compared to a 10-min one.

    HR can vary for numerous reasons, such as altitude, fatigue, cadence, intensity, food, etc and this will affect any ratios. similarly, 10-min power will be influenced by e.g., anaerobic capacity which will be higher (or lower) in some riders compared to others.

    Again, HR is not LT. and you can only suggest levels/zones with any accuracy, not a specific point...

    ric
     
  14. Tom Schwartz

    Tom Schwartz New Member

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    I never said that I was referring to HR. I said speed (or velocity, technically) or power (as in watts or joules). There is an important difference.
     
  15. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    see my previous point about anaerobic capacity and it's 'influence' on 10-min power

    ric
     
  16. Tom Schwartz

    Tom Schwartz New Member

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    YOu are likely misinformed about the amount of anaerobic contribution for a 10 minute event. Still looking at those outdated tables one can find in textbooks by Katch and McKardle?

    Let's not go any further. I tried to help. Time to call it a day. Take care.
     
  17. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Not at all. I'm merely saying that anaerobic capacity, which will play a part in such an event (10-mins) there wil be inter-individual differences. That therefore precludes a specific ratio for every cyclist (as does other differences). There is always going to be a range of percentages that will suit a majority of cyclists rather than a specific point.

    While i use different values, the idea is similar. From a MAP test i use a range that will predict the powers or set training zones at lower intensities -- for e.g., i suggest that ~1-hr TTpower is ~ 72 - 77% of MAP, i.e., it isn't a specific point (e.g., as in the case of 0.9032).

    Ric
     
  18. Tom Schwartz

    Tom Schwartz New Member

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    On average, if one has equal power to endurance, it is going to be at or quite close to 90.32% of 10 minute time trial power for a one hour performance, i.e.

    A 72-77% is underestimating 60 minute time trial power, I will suggest, by quite a bit. It is more like 87.5%, on average, of MAP (assuming you are using a 7:00 time trial test for MAP).
     
  19. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    this makes no sense

    not in the slightest -- the 72 - 77 % covers a wide range of abilities include world hour record holders to more modest riders. However, MAP is not a 7-min T, see http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern

    ric
     
  20. jjjtttggg

    jjjtttggg New Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys!!!

    The difficulty I have with the 10minute thing is the same as I have for 60minute TT, regardless of whether it gives the same result. I'm never confident I'm REALLY at 100%. The race this past weekend convinced me of this. I had previously tried 1hr TT tests and fairly consistently averaged 165 -170, and yet in the race I averaged 173 for almost 2 and half hours. Maybe I just lack sufficient motivation during my individual training. On the other hand, Ric, you make a good point about HR being variable with factors other than workrate. Do you think the adrenaline/excitement of the race setting (I'm pretty new to racing) could raise my heart rate independant of workload? (I also take your point that training based on power output rather than HR would be the cat's pajamas, but I can't shell out the dough to get a power meter on my bike right now.)

    For now what I've done is to set my "Threshold" training zone at 170-175, even though this exceeds any previous 1 hour TT number. For training I'm trying twice per week to get in 2 or 3 fifteen to twenty minute pulls in this range. In the between days I'm trying to stay in my "Aerobic" training zone which I'm calling 150-170, although it's hilly where I live, so I wind up spending a teeny bit of time above 170 no matter what I do. I try to take no more than 1 day a week off and get in one longer ride of 30-40 miles (Yeah I know . . . not really so long. It is for me though, all I have time for most days is 12 to 15.) I'm not (deliberately) doing anything right now above what I'm calling my threshold (170-175), as I feel like I need to get a better base first.

    Does this sound somewhat reasonable if my goal is to increase my "Flats" cruising speed and "Long steady, not horribly steep" hill climbing pace?

    Thanks again:) and Best regards,
    Jeff

    PS - Nick, I actually live in Cambridge, so the Balloon Fest race is a hometown event for me. See you there next year if not some other event sooner!
     
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