What is Blood Lactate in Running?

Updated: Jul 31

If we look at the graph below. If you were to measure the blood lactate in your body it would be roughly 1 mmol (unit of measurement) at rest as you are sitting reading this blog. While you are sitting reading this, your body is clearing this. It goes into the blood stream, most of it cleared through the liver and converted back into fuel (Carbohydrate to be exact) or your muscle fibres use it as fuel for movement. During this time you are measuring the accumulation of blood lactate not the production of it.

(this is the difference of how much you are producing and how fast you are clearing it)


Does this make sense so far? If its a lot still to take in - read the paragraph above again.

At easy pace you clear the lactate as fast as you are producing. In the graph that would be the orange line at level 1 to level 2. No change occurs int he blood lactate level. Once we start changing the speed of the run, then do we start noticing the change in the blood lactate (this occurs at level 4 (in the blue) and level 6 ( in the orange).

This is the blood lactate threshold at these points in the graph.


Now why 2 lines? the blue line represents the blood lactate at an untrained individual whom has not taxed the blood lactate threshold system yet. The orange line is a trained individual whom is taxing and training the right energy zones to improve the threshold of the blood lactate in their body.

There is a speed of running at which your blood lactate will just keep rising. So your threshold is where lactate accumulation reaches a steady state.


If you go slower, it will decrease and if you go faster it will keep climbing up and up.


During training, our threshold pace is what we can race at an hour for. Depends on your preferred distance and training, this will improve as you tax and test this zone.


To improve this response, one needs to stress this, and by training at threshold pace, you improve this efficiency and process.


....And threshold training improves our endurance capacity in training.


Add threshold training into your routine and see the difference that it has in your race times and your overall feeling.


There is so much research out there for training, find what works for you.

"Rome wasn't. built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour"

All things take time. Make sure you train your energy zones efficiently and adequately to get the best out of your training.


Consult your medical professional and running coach for more advice and guidance on your running and how to work at these preferred zones.


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