I recently got one as well. I’ll share some insights mostly gained from a close reading of Scott’s guide here on UA as well as the triathalon guide on lacate.com (it’s hidden under site map).
For aerobic runs you should be messuring lactate levels *during* the run. if this isn’t feasible then measure immediately after stopping. Even 2 minutes is too long. Taking multiple measurements post-run is more meaningful for speeds which involve substantial anaerobic metabolism (maximum lactacte steady state and above) since at that intensity lactacte should actually continue to increase after you stop as lactate leaks out of your muscle cells. But if your lactacte increases much post-aerobic run you might be working too hard since the lactate produced during aerobic work should be below your shuttling capacity even while stopped.
Think about what purpose is in using the meter. For aerobic efforts the goal should be to pin down your aet or verify you’re below your aet.
For z3/anarobic threshold efforts the goal is to find your maximum lactacte steady state which should correspond to your anaerobic pace. According to lactate.com, incresses in MLSS speed directly predict changes in race performance (although i wonder whether they were really thinking of ultra/all day efforts when they said that). For efforts above your anaerobic threshold the goal is measure your anaerobic metabolism ( probably not useful unless you’re training for a track event)
Consider doing a step test to measure your speed/hr at aet (1.8-2 mM or 1mM above baseline) and optionally your speed/hr at 4mM. There’s nothing special about 4mM–this may be above or below MLSS, but it approximates efforts that mix aerobic and anaerobic metabism and changes in speed at 4mm is supposedly a good benchmark for changes in fitness (but so are changes in speed at aet, especially for longer events).
A couple of thing’s I’ve learned:
Use an alcohol wipe and dont subsequently touch your clothing with that finger.
Wipe away the first drop of bloods on a clean paper towel.
You want a nice spherical blob of blood. And the more blood the more likely the reading will be accurate. It’s good if there’s blood left over after you fill the reservoir on the strip. I think this is because contaminants get diluted. If there’s not a lot of blood, you’ll need to lance a second time or else risk wasting a strip on a questionable result.
If you’re resting solo, single use lancets are convenient. Be sure to get something that goes deep and wide for lots of blood. I use 1.8 mm depth with a 23g needle. That may be excessive if you’re not a climber.
If you’re on a treadmill you can prep the reading (alcohol, strip, lancet) while running. You really only need to step off to touch the blood to the strip.
Finally, it took me a couple of vials to start getting (mostly) consistently good measurements so be stick with it.