Lactate Threshold

The lactate threshold (or anaerobic threshold) is the best predictor of athletic endurance performance. No other measure correlates as well with race performance and tells how well training has been working. 

This term is defined as the maximum steady state effort that can be maintained without lactate continually increasing. A proper understanding of lactate threshold will make one's training more effective and efficient.  Improving their performance is what most of our clients are interested in when they choose this test.

Testing Guidelines

For optimal lactate threshold test results, please observe the following pre-test guidelines:

  • No alcohol consumption within 24 hours prior to testing.
  • No strenuous exercise within 6 hours prior to testing.
  • No smoking within 4 hours prior to testing.
  • Refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages within 2 hours prior to testing.
  • Drink 2 to 4 glasses of water 2 hours prior to measurements.
  • Please dress in shorts, loose fitting t-shirt and a sports bra for women.
  • Please bring a light snack, water and towel for after the test.
  • Please bring your own heart rate monitor or one will be provided for you.

We use the latest protocols in Lactate Threshold Testing where we test both your Aerobic System and Anaerobic System separately. 

The Aerobic System test consists of a 25-40 minute graded treadmill or cycle ergometer test where we increase the speed until we get a blood lactate reading that spikes over 4 mmol/l.  Once we hit that measurement the test is over then we have 25 minutes of rest before we perform the Anaerobic System Test.

The Anaerobic System test consists of a 40 - 90 second all out sprint to exhaustion.  We take blood lactate readings at 3, 5 and 7 minutes after the sprint to determine the development of your anaerobic system.  Since the Lactate Threshold is inversely proportional to the development of your Anaerobic system, it's an important metric that we measure to ensure you're on the right track with your training program.

As with all of our tests, getting a single test is cool information to know, but the real power is in analyzing the data of your follow up tests so we can build the most effective training and nutrition programs for you.

Test Results

  • Maximal Steady State Velocity (MLSS) in km/h
  • Heart Rate at MLSS
  • Anaerobic System Development - this system determines what distance of race you can specialize at.  We see highly developed anaerobic systems in sprinters and hockey players where we see anaerobic systems 50% less developed in Ironman athletes and marathon runners.