Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Lactate Threshold Test

According to a description provided by DO, the anaerobic threshold (AT) is the exercise intensity at which lactate starts to accumulate in the blood stream. This happens when it is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized). This point is sometimes referred to as the lactate threshold, or the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). When exercising below the AT intensity any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up.

The anaerobic threshold is a useful measure for deciding exercise intensity for training and racing in endurance sports (e.g. distance running, cycling, rowing, swimming and cross country skiing), and can be increased greatly with training.

More... here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_exe...robic_threshold

Richy, a fast runner who does lots of interval training, has this to say: "Neuromuscular endurance relates to our mental capacity to stand muscle pain during tough workouts or races. Large amount of lactate acid is produced during heavy workouts (eg. races). Lactate acid in your blood causes pain & makes you feel tired. So think neuromuscular enduranceof it as "software", or one's will power - because a lot of it is mental.

More often than not, for most runners - the "hardware" (body) is already there, but the "software" (will) is lacking. Which is why you often hear of runners being able to run a 2.4km in 9mins++, but unable to run a Half Mara within 1hr45mins. It is easier to take pain over a short period of time, than it is over a long period.

Therefore the most common way of improving one's lactate threshold (ie. how much pain you can take), is to do interval training."

To help us establish a base Lactate Threshold, SAFRA MF conducted a Lactate Threshold test for all the runnersthis evening. It was my first time doing such a test, and this being a simple one, involved running 3.2km at the stadium track at a sustained 'oxygen-debt' speed. There were close to 30 of us, as we did a warm-up jog from ClubHouse to the Queenstown Track 4km away. I had on my Gel Forrester Tri, which was good for trackwork and short distances because of its lighter weight. Chatted with Ronnie most of the way, and enjoyed the nice warm-up.

After Trainer Ong gave a brief, the group of us were away to do 8 laps of the 400m track. I did not have my watch on, and was having difficulty targeting a 1hr40min lap. I took it easy for the first 4 laps, being careful not to get into my lactate threshold zone...haha, basically not wanting to struggle the last 4 laps. I maintained a short distance from DO, Ronnie and small Chua. I orginally wanted to pace Lai Chee, but she was taking bit easy from behind. Ong shouted 7min+ at the 5th lap...hmm, I was a bit behind my planned timing. I picked up speed a little, and closed the gap with small Chua. The weather was good....cool and windy just after the afternoon rainfall. I felt OK after the sixth lap, and was ready to move up to finish strong. I lapped a few of the runners, and near the end of the 7th lap, I passed DO and begun to chase after small Chua. Time shouted was 12min. Ronnie was further ahead. I opened up my strides for the last lap, and breathed steadily. Crossed the finish in 13min41sec feeling pretty good, and happy there were no more laps to go, unlike doing intervals.

Ran the 4km back to ClubHouse feeling quite strong, probably still had some reserves in me :). Chairman conducted a good round of stretching for all....it was some time we had him doing stretching with us...I needed more stretching as my body has become 'tight' with all the running over the year. After a 8 week absence, I got to taste the yummilicious Red Rice Wine Chicken Mee Sua at the Henderson Food Centre....it was GOOD!

Warm-Up/Cool-Down Jog: 8km
Lactate Threshold Run: 3.2km__Time: 13m41s__Pace: 4:17min/km

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