Aerobic Threshold – Ventilation vs. Lactate – Need advice

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  • #62799

    Need some advice from someone who has had this experience:

    -Been exclusively running under aerobic threshold of 128, my VT1 from a metabolic cart test for 3 months to address aerobic deficiency. Averaging 45 mi/week. VT1 matched my perception of breathing changes.

    -VT1 now feels like it is somewhere around 130-132. Breathing becomes more rapid and nose breathing becomes difficult.

    -Recently bought a lactate plus meter. Did a treadmill test (attached) and do not get to 1 mmol above baseline until 150bpm. Have completed 3-4 outside runs since the test w/ last 5-6 mins sitting at 140-142bpm with lactate levels at 0.9-1.1 mmol at 1 min after the runs. Lactate plus is working and has been calibrated against the high and low standards. Following all instructions. Feel the data is solid.

    Lactate clearly indicates AeT is in the low 150s now. Cannot nose breath at that heart rate.

    Plan to continue 3 more months of base training to finish addressing aerobic deficiency before adding AnT work. When setting the top of my new aerobic zone, should I base it on the lactate results and spend more time in the high 140s, or use what clearly feels like my VT1 and train more in the low 130s?

    Have read that the VT1 and lactate derived AeT should be pretty close since VT1 is a reflection of the metabolism.


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    Garret on #62820

    My own experience has been that nose breathing has no corrleation with my AeT.

    Based on multiple HR drift tests, and from sustained efforts over ultra distances, nose breathing was way off to start with and as my AeT is now close to AnT it is even further off.

    – Garret

    sejadatzinc on #62827

    Thanks, Garret. I have read that the nose breathing can be a weaker indicator, especially when you do not have ADS. So, that makes sense for you. I have also read others who have no problem nose breathing in the 160s. So, it must be individual.

    Thanks for mentioning the drift test. I should have added that my drift test shows ~5% at an average of 130bpm over a 9.5 mile flat course. So, at least for me, the drift test is more consistent with the VT1/nose breathing/perception of ventilation rate and significantly less than the lactate results.

    It’s really a 20bpm difference (130bpm vs. 150bpm) and that’s what has me so confused. Until I figure it out, I’ll probably stay near 130.

    I suppose I should do a warm up and do a drift test at 150bpm to see what happens. I suspect it will be higher than 5%, but it is worth a try.

    Anonymous on #62866

    Pretty much all these tests are testing for proxies of metabolism. The best test is a performance test. Can you do the same workout day after day after day and recover? Then you know you are operating in the aerobic intensity zone. There was a famous coach who once told a friend of mine who asked for coaching: “come back when you can run 10miles every day for a month. then you will be ready to train.”

    The only way one could do this would be if they were running at or below AeT. The implication of this comment is that when your have the aerobic work capacity to recover well enough from 10miles within 24 hours you will have sufficient aerobic base to handle the harder training.

    I still tell folks to default to this method whenever they have any doubt about the validity of a gas exchange, treadmill or HR drift test. You do not need to do 30 days but see if you can run/train every day the same volume at 135 for a week and still feel recovered at hen end. If you feel good then try 140.

    I hope this helps.

    sejadatzinc on #62872

    Thanks, Scott. That is great advice and I will definitely use it.

    Really appreciate the input.


    Vakaaja on #65302

    Scott, about that idea of doing the same exercise every day for a week: what would be an appropriate duration for such a test? I would guess that one can exercise daily above AeT if the duration is short.

    alexcombs95 on #65585

    Funny you guys mention the discrepancy of nasal breathing and AeT. My last test resulted in a 147 BPM AeT, and although I am due for a retest, I doubt I have improved past the mid 150’s. I went for a 60 min “fun” run today where my only constraint was nasal breathing, and I found that the last 30 min were consistently above 160 BPM and peaked at 178 BPM. My nasal breathing was labored at the higher HRs, but I was able to stay nasal. I think this just goes to show that it is a poor indicator of AeT.

    Question though, what is ADS in sejadatzinc’s comment?

    Jane Mackay on #65597

    Alex, ADS is aerobic deficiency syndrome. This article explains it:

    Aerobic Deficiency

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