Endurance athletes being lactate tested are seeing huge improvements in their aerobic conditioning; meaning they can go faster longer while their competition fades. Aerobic is a general term that means there is sufficient oxygen supplied the working muscles. In terms of percieved exertion, this level would be at a intensity that you can hold indefinitely.
After the first test, athletes are given a breakdown of information that gives details on how their bodies are working at given speeds or power increments. All athletes that have re-tested after 8 weeks of training are seeing 10-20% increases in speed or power which translates into significant improvements during a race.
Targeting the Right Energy System: A little bit of knowledge of how your body is using your energy systems goes along way into building a bigger and faster engine. After a lactate test, the three key energy systems are identified and the respective data of power, speed, and heart rate (where applicable) are given. Training is made easier by giving you numbers to train by instead of guessing ‘how hard you need to go’ and direction is given as the lactate test reveals which energy system needs improvement.
Training at your designated aerobic zone will target the largest energy source you have, fat. Compared to your other ‘gas tank’, carbohydrates, you have more than 10 times the amount of energy available. The key for endurance athletes is to train the aerobic system. Testing helps give you these numbers and help you stay on track with your training.
Testing is formidable in educating you on how your body works. You spend countless hours workingout towards a goal, why not spend the time concentrating on areas that will make you better on race day.