LACTATE THRESHOLD IS TOO LOW FOR A SUITABLE TRAINING INTENSITY FOR AEROBIC CYCLISTS
Nicholls, J. F., Phares, S. L., & Buono, M. J. (1997). Relationship between blood lactate response to exercise and endurance performance in competitive female master cyclists. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 18, 458-463.
Serious competitive masters-level cyclists (N = 13) performed laboratory tests for aerobic capacity and lactate threshold and field testing for 13.5 and 20 km time-trials.
Blood lactate concentration while cycling was significantly higher than lactate threshold (2.86 mM) during the 13.5 km trial (7.59 mM) and the 20 km trial (6.99 mM). Time trial performance was highly correlated (r = -.85) with VO2max. Relative to maximal heart rate, heart rate at lactate threshold was significantly lower than time-trial heart rate.
Using traditional methods of exercise prescription, particularly using age-estimates of heart rates, are inappropriate for female masters cyclists of this caliber. Race specific training intensities would have to be considerably above lactate threshold and equivalent heart rates.
Implication. Training at lactate threshold intensity is generally too low to have optimal transfer to racing fitness in groups of females of this athletic stature.
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