LACTATE REMOVAL MOST EFFICIENT AT A WORK RATE SLIGHTLY BELOW THE ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD
Baldari, C., Videira, M., Madeira, F., Sergio, J., & Guidetti, L. (2005). Blood lactate removal during recovery at various intensities below the individual anaerobic threshold in triathletes. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 45, 460-466.
"Optimal lactate removal was reported to occur at work rate between 30% and 70% VO2max. However, it has been recently recommended to quantify exercise intensity not in percentage of VO2max but in relation to validated metabolic reference points such as the individual anaerobic threshold and the individual ventilatory threshold."
This study examined the effect on lactate removal of three different recovery work rates below the individual anaerobic threshold defined by calculating the difference between the individual anaerobic threshold and the individual ventilatory threshold, then choosing the individual ventilatory threshold plus 50% of the calculated difference, the individual ventilatory threshold, and the individual ventilatory threshold minus 50% of the calculated difference as the work rates. Male triathletes (N = 8), after a 6-minute treadmill run at 75% of difference between the individual anaerobic threshold and VO2max, performed in a random order the following 30-minute recovery treatments: 1) run at the individual ventilatory threshold plus 50% of the calculated difference, 2) at the individual anaerobic threshold, 3) at the individual ventilatory threshold minus 50% of the calculated difference, and 4) passive. Blood lactate was measured at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes into recovery.
All active recovery work rates were within the range previously reported for optimal lactate removal, and significantly more efficient than passive recovery. Significant differences were found among the active recovery intensities with the individual ventilatory threshold minus 50% of the calculated difference being the most efficient work rate from the 9th to 30th minute. None of the active work rates showed further lactate decreases after the 20th minute of recovery.
Implication. A recovery work rate of slightly below the individual anaerobic threshold was the optimal work rate for lactate removal. Removal ceases after 20 minutes.
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