Lactic Threshold

Hi guys, great new forum!

I have a potential future podcast question concerning lactate threshold. There is obviously a lot on material available but I’d like to hear your thoughts on items like what it is, determining threshold, personal tolerance, determination on when you’re there, and perhaps most importantly how to clear lactate.

Great work guys, keep up the podcasts!

Believer In The FasCat Approach

When asking about lactate threshold - its important to remember, what is your goal? Are you training with power or are you going into the lab regularly?

For power based training like what we use in our training plans, lactate threshold is useless and I used to have an exercise physiology lab that did lactate testings. I developed a maximal lactate steady state testing protocol described here:

and even after athletes came into the lab, I’d still have them perform 20 minute power based field tests the next day just like the one prescribed in your training plan.

So the best way to determine your threshold in my opinion is to go out and do a 20 minute power based field test. Simple, repeatable and real world.

So, in the real world lactate threshold is equated to FTP, or the point in which you just can’t go any harder. If true, what are some techniques to clear this lactic acid build up? Hi cadence, low cadence, zone, duration?

has nothing to do with cadence - just good old fashioned training, time in the saddle and sweet spot. threshold intervals, too. My personal hypothesis is that sweet spot increases lactate transport membrane proteins.


Let me ask the question another way. After a FG FTP effort, the legs aren’t moving like they did 5 minutes earlier. Lets say you went that deep during a race, what is the best way to recover and get the lactic acid out of the muscles. High cadence, low cadence, zone? I probably originally asked my question in a confusing method. Thanks!!

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Having a well developed aerobic system is going to help the most. I.e a high CTL.

Then after hard efforts you simply need time to recover. In bike racing we don’t think about ‘getting lactic acid out of the muscles’ we think terms of time till we recover and can go hard again.

And cadence as I said above has nothing to do with lactic acid clearance. It does help to spin the legs and bring oxygenation blood to those bloods but that’s understood to occur at a broad range of cadences - lets just say your normal cadences.

What’s really happening is you are giving your muscles time to recover. Time can be expressed in interval recovery periods or a day off till you are recovered and can go hard again or a rest week - to ‘supercompensate’ and adapt to the training. But we as coaches don’t think in terms ‘best way to recover and get the lactic acid out of our muscles’ because we just have you follow a well designed training plan with appropriate intervals that offer up the right amount of TIME to recovery until you can go hard again :nerd_face: