Know how to train

Know How to Train, Lactate Threshold Testing Saturday

Screenshot 2014-01-13 16.38.55by Patria Lanfranchi

Training to reach a goal, whether the goal comes in the form of wanting to ride a certain distance, beat a time in an event, edge out a competitor, or gain muscle mass/losing unwanted weight, all entails needing a structure of some sort.

The foundation of a structured training plan has to be determined based on one's own current level of fitness. There is no equation out there to properly calculate how someone should train if the equation is based off of one's age, BMI or other bit of data that is nearly unrelated to how a person's cardiovascular system and body respond when riding a bike at differing intensities.

Some people train using a heart rate monitor, others train using a power meter, others use perceived exertion, and some use a combination of any of these methods.

At the core of any of these methods is knowing your lactate threshold (LT). LT  is the point where lactate is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized) in the muscle. Proper LT testing results in finding out at what power and heart rate one has at this point.

From this heart rate and power data, it's simple (and accurate) to calculate how much time one should spend riding at which heart rates and power as part of a plan to reach the aforementioned goals whatever they may be. This applies from the very beginner to top pros. Often, athletes learn that they've been training too hard in the off-season (that's now) and it's also easy to forget to go hard enough but during short enough periods of time when it's spring and time to put the speed back into one's legs.

We highly recommend everyone understand their LT, especially prior to starting a cycling season whether or not you think you're going to be training with a coach or to a specific plan. It's also an excellent way to get to know your body better.

services-lactate-thresholdThis coming Saturday we are offering you the opportunity to have a Lactate Threshold test here! USAC Certified Coach Aidan Charles of Charles Coaching (CCNS) will be performing the testing in our bike fit area here. CCNS is located nearly 2 hours from here so this saves you the drive.

During your testing, you can use the time to ask Aidan questions about training as well. CCNS finds your fitness levels through direct blood lactate sampling. This means he'll take samples of blood from your ear throughout the test. I've done this sort of testing before and there's nothing to worry about. The LT test was the basis of my training and competitive road racing for years and I hope you can use it to benefit you as the riding season rapidly approaches.

Register for a time slot - they'll fill up quickly. The test costs $140. UPDATE: All sessions are taken for this Saturday. Please let us know if you're interested in being the first to know the next time we offer this. Email!

Here are a few things to keep in mind for proper preparation (very important):

1. Make sure that you avoid a hard workout the day before your testing session.

2. Avoid excessive use of stimulants, such as caffeine, before the test.

3. DO NOT exercise the day of the test.

4. Bring your bike and gear just as if you were going for a ride outdoors.