Are you training hard enough? Use lactate testing to find out.
Test-Train-Perform is our motto in TeamAllOut. So, with every athlete, we coach, we always include testing to benchmark what their current form is, and it gives us the tools to dig deep into their physiology.
While commonly used, field FTP tests are good indicators of intensity and progression, but we always prefer doing lactate testing. Due to the simple fact that an FTP test only quantifies your power/pace at or around your anaerobic threshold but does not see changes below this intensity.
An example of this could be one of our athletes who did both a lactate test and a field test. You can easily see the difference when it comes to the calculation of the training zones.
Field test results: 5k run at 18.05min = equal approx. 03.53 min/km threshold
Lactate testing (See graph): 03.53 min/km threshold
The calculation and evaluation of both the field and the lactate test provide an equal threshold value, whereas the field test calculation finds an aerobic threshold (around zone 2) at 05.03-04.26. The lactate test shows the first meaningful increase in lactate more towards 4.26 than 05.03.
Calculated and observed we define the aerobic threshold for this athlete at 04.28. By this, an athlete could end up working way less effective when a field test is performed in comparison to a lactate test.
And taking these days into perspective where the trend towards polarised training increases, this could end up being a significant problem with training. This trend, unfortunately, would impair your training regime and by this your progression.
The pros and cons of Lactate testing:
Quantify your body's response to several intensities
Easy track progression at the threshold, but at lower intensities
Knowledge of the anaerobic as well as aerobe threshold
Need to be performed by a professional coach with specialised equipment
It costs more
Less agile as when and where it can be performed
So if you want to know your strength and weaknesses do not wait to get in contact.