LACTATE THRESHOLD IS USELESS FOR PRESCRIBING MASTER LEVEL RUNNERSí TRAINING

Marcell, T. J., Hawkins, S. A., Tarpenning, K. M., Hyslop, D. M., & Wiswell, R. A. (2003). Longitudinal analysis of lactate threshold in male and female master athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35, 810-817.

Male (N = 51) and female (N = 23) runners (39-77 yr) performed two graded treadmill tests several years apart.

Over time, there was no change in lean body mass. There were significant decreases in VO2max and training volume irrespective of age and gender. Lactate threshold as a percentage of VO2max increased with age, and demonstrated instability over time. Changes in lactate threshold were not related to fitness or performance.

Implication. In masterís level runners, lactate threshold is not a useful measure. VO2max and performance would be better considerations for prescribing exercise.

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