Lactate Testing: Is it a good choice for your program?

by Patrick Larcom

Tom Siddall Lactate Testing WWS 2019CRI and the Institute for Rowing Leadership have been lucky to have Tom Siddall as a fellow since last July.  He's a member of the IRL Class of 2019 and was chosen to represent the current class as a speaker at the 2019 What Works Summit.  He's been working as a volunteer assistant with the Harvard Heavyweight Men's Rowing team and he's brought his expertise in lactate testing and training to many programs in the Boston area. If you missed his presentations hopefully the following post will help fill you in and spur some questions on whether or not Lactate Testing is a good choice for your program.

If you're interested in delving deeper, Tom is always happy to chat and share about his experience in the Institute for Rowing Leadership. It's a great way to test your thoughts on the sport and pack years of learning into one intense year! The IRL is accepting applications on a rolling basis until April 1st, 2019.
 
You can see our course catalogue, download the application and find more information on our website or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

What is Lactate Testing?

  • Lactate testing indirectly measures the energy produced in muscles.
  • Lactate is formed when there is energy created from the anaerobic system.
  • The end product of anaerobic metabolism is pyruvate and it will either be used for aerobic metabolism or turned into lactate.
  • Some of this lactate will enter the bloodstream and can be easily measured.
  • Lactate is measured in the bloodstream as a concentration and represents the difference between lactate production and lactate elimination (or clearance).
  • It is measured as mmol/l.

What can Lactate Testing tell us?

  • Lactate testing provides a measure of both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
  • As intensity increases, lactate will rise slowly at first, then quickly.
  • The higher the lactate during an all-out effort the more developed the anaerobic system is.
  • The higher the intensity before lactate starts to build up, the more developed the aerobic system.

Interested in how you can prescribe training based on lactate testing? “Read More” below!

ResizedImage130150 Tom Siddall HeadshotHow can training be prescribed by Lactate Testing?

Splits and/or heart rate goals for steady state and anaerobic threshold workouts can be prescribed through lactate testing.

Steady State Testing:

  • Look for 1.8-2.0 mmol/l reading for athletes.
  • When found, an athlete should be able to steady state at this value for 40-80 minutes with no increase in lactate.

Anaerobic Threshold Testing:

  • Look for where the athlete crosses 4.0 mmol/l on a step test,
  • Or look for their inflection point (point where lactate rises sharply, usually >1 mmol/l) on a step test.

Anaerobic Testing:

  • Look at how developed an athlete is anaerobically.
  • Prescribe a :60 effort and measure lactate 7:00 post, 15:00 post, and 20:00 post.
  • This will indicate maximum lactate and % change in lactate (how efficiently one can eliminate lactate).
  • For more details and how to decide if lactate testing can be useful to your program be sure to checkout the content below.

Click below for all of Tom's content:

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Love talking about rowing? Want more than a weekend? 

Come to the Institute for Rowing Leadership and pack years of learning into one intense year! The IRL is accepting applications on a rolling basis until April 1st, 2019.
 
Check out our course catalogue, download the application and find more information on our website or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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