Gutilla, M. J., Mattern, C. O., Meissner, M., Bouton, K. D., Kirby, T. E., Devor, S. T. (2004). Maximal lactate steady state rowing intensity can be predicted by a 6-km rowing time trial. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 298.

"It has been suggested that endurance training at intensities approximating maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) may heighten exercise adaptations while minimizing the risk of overtraining related injuries. Measuring MLSS in the laboratory is labor intensive, as laboratory equipment, technicians, and a substantial time investment are all required for invasive physiological testing. Conversely, athletic time trial events are often completed in endurance sports and are relatively simple. If rowers were able to predict MLSS workload from a time trial, it would become comparatively simple for more athletes to become aware of their MLSS workload" (p. S43).

Female rowers (N = 23) from a Division I collegiate team served as Ss. A maximal power output test on the rowing ergometer was performed. To determine MLSS, Ss completed two to four 30-minute constant workload rows at intensities relative to their individual maximal power output. Blood samples were collected via toe stick at rest and every five minutes during the 30-minute rows. The criterion for achievement of MLSS was the highest concentration of blood lactate that could be maintained (+1 mmol) during the last 20 minutes of a 30-minute constant workload rows. Finally, each rower completed a 6-km time trial where mean power output was recorded.

The 6-km time trial mean power output and the power output at MLSS were correlated significantly (r = 0.92). 6-km time trial mean power output was significantly greater than the power output at MLSS (78.5% of the 6-km time trial mean power output).

Implication. The completion of a 6-km time trial predicted MLSS power output. In rowers, as MLSS workload increases, time to complete a 6-km time trial decreases. This suggests that training to improve MLSS workload may improve 6-km rowing performance.

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