Help for determining my thresholds from lactate measurements

  • Creator
  • #61238

    Hi all,

    After reading Training for the Uphill Athlete I’m suspecting that the running club which did a treadmill lactate test for me determined wrong thresholds from the data. Any chance you could take a look at the below measurements and say what you think my thresholds are?

    HR: lactate (mmol/l)
    Rest: 1.2
    115: 0.5
    129: 0.6
    140: 1.1
    155: 1.4
    164: 2.3
    176: 5.9
    186: 12.2

    It is clear that 2.0 mmol/l mentioned in Uphill Athlete is wrong for me. But even 1 mmol/l increase from the lowest value seems too high.

    The running club determined that my AeT is 136 bpm.


  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #61275

    If I see nothing but these numbers I would put AeT at about 150-155. That’s around 1mMol rise from the lowest number. I can tell that you have a very well developed aerobic system, high aerobic capacity as well as a very well developed anaerobic system with high max lactate. No doubt you have a good training history and some good genetics

    However I would also need to know what is your perceived exertion at this pace/HR???

    I suspect this is a fast pace for you. What this means is not that your AeT is lower but that you do not want to be doing much if any training around 150-155. If I am right your base training needs to be around 135 and below.

    Does this make sense.

    I am also guessing, from your name, that you are Finnish. Finland has a very long and well established understanding of proper training methods for endurance.


    slappalainen on #61279

    Thank you for the reply Scott, much appreciated. I thoroughly enjoyed your book and as you can see it has made me question some essential cornerstones of my training that I’ve held as truths.

    The things is, I have been doing intense training for only little less than 2 years now and I am currently 42 years old. I have been active my whole life, but my aerobic base was pretty bad when I started active training. I have done most of my training below 135 which I believed to be my AeT. The improvement in speed has been constant and quite fast, but having an AeT around 150 still feels quite unbelievable.

    I read the article that you cite as a source for the way you suggest to determine AeT (1 mmol/l rise from lowest number) and noticed that the academic community is not united in how the threshold should be determined. They mention 9 different methods of which many support your interpretation, but not all. It seems that the running clubs here in Finland (yes, I’m Finnish!) use other suggested method, 0.3 mmol/l rise from the lowest number, to account for the inaccuracy of the measuring equipment. I also asked a sports doctor about this and he suggested I do a metabolic gas analysis in their lab in the hopes it would reveal some additional information.

    To answer you question, 150-155 HR while running is definitely in the fun run territory for me. I typically start my tempo workouts (4x6min, 3x8min, 3x10min, 3x15min, etc.) from 150 and end them around at little over 160. It is relatively fast, easy, but I can not carry a conversation. My all out road half marathon average HR is 175 (1h30min) and the running club estimated my LT to be 164, which does not really make sense either. Although, the race HR was measured with a wrist HR monitor (Garmin) so it might be the most accurate on the high end of the spectrum.

    Given this information, do you still feel that 150 would be a good AeT value for me to use?

    Kind regards,

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