Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Lactate test results are in...

At 3pm today I had an appointment at the Sports Clinic in Zurich for a lactate test.  Apparently this is much more informative than a VO2 max test alone, and can be used to come up with a good training plan to increase your performance.

The lactate test involved taking an initial measurement using a drop of blood from the earlobe, then running on a treadmill for 3 minutes at a given speed, followed by 30 seconds rest during which time another blood sample is taken and then the speed is increased to the next level and so on until you have reached your maximum.  The initial speed was 7km/h and this was increased by 2km/h at a time.

The table below shows the results:

Speed (km/h)   Heart rate (bpm)    Lactate (mmol/L)   Perceived effort (scale of 6 to 20)
Rest                 60                          1.08                        -
7                      113                        1.10                        6
9                      124                        1.18                       11
11                    135                        1.24                       12
13                    147                        2.04                       14
15                    156                        4.16                       17
17                    162                        7.48                       19


Based on these results the anaerobic threshold occurs at a speed of 13.69km/h, corresponding to a heart rate of 150bpm.  This gives a relative VO2 max of 53.8ml/min/kg.

In terms of comparisons with other males of my age this puts me at the 92nd percentile (in other words I am better than 92% of people in this group).

In terms of comparisons with all middle and long distance runners of my age group (this includes pro athletes) this puts me at the 31st percentile (in other words I am better than 31% of people in this group).

In terms of current predictions for race times the results indicate the following:

Marathon (42.195km)              3:21:22h
Half marathon (21.1km)          1:32:43h  (my current PB is 1 hour 35)
10km                                        40:07min
5km                                          18:49min
1.5km                                       4:53min

The following training has been recommended to me in order to increase my performance at the marathon distance:

1/week long jog (2 - 2:20h) at between 7 and 10.3km/h                                   (heart rate < 131bpm)
2/week middle distance (1 - 1:30h) at between 10.3 and 13km/h                     (heart rate 132 to 146bpm)
1/week hills/speed training (30 - 45mins) at between 13 and 13.8km/h            (heart rate 147 to 150bpm)
1/week intervals (e.g. 6 x 400m or 3 x 800m) at between 13.6 and 14.6km/h  (heart rate 150 to 154bpm)

In addition it was recommended to do twice per week strength training as well as regular stretching.  My twice per week yoga and once per week pilates fits perfectly with this.

Now all I have to do is to get out my diary and start planning the training sessions as well as the tapering period to take me up to the Zurich marathon on the 17th April.

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