Kenefick, R. W., Mahood, N. V., Mattern, C. O., & Quinn, T. J. (2000). Is lactate threshold an appropriate marker for competitive cyclists? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(5), Supplement abstract 826.

This investigation compared physiological variables during a 20-km time trial with those corresponding to athletes' lactate thresholds. Male cyclists (N = 13) performed a graded protocol to determine lactate threshold. Following eight minutes of rest, VO2max was determined by having Ss cycle at lactate-threshold wattage for one minute, with workload being increased by 20 W every minute until volitional exhaustion. On a separate occasion, a self-paced 20-km time trial was completed.

All variables measured during the time trial were greater than those at lactate threshold. For over 30 minutes, power output (26+%), heart rate (15+%), VO2 (25+%), and lactate level (79+%) greatly exceeded lactate threshold values.

Implication. While lactate threshold might be correlated with performance, it is not a representative intensity for extended cycling races. It is not an appropriate training intensity.

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