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What is Lactate and Lactate Threshold

So, what is lactate and lactate threshold? Both are very important terms to understand in the world of endurance training.  Lactate inflection point (LIP), is the exercise intensity at which the blood concentration of lactate and/or lactic acid begins to exponentially increase. Often expressed as 85% of maximum heart rate or 75% of maximum oxygen intake. When exercising at or below the LT, any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up. The onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) is often confused with the lactate threshold. With a higher exercise intensity the lactate production exceeds at a rate which it cannot be broken down, the blood lactate concentration will show an increase equal to 4.0mM; it then accumulates at the muscle and then moves to the bloodstream.

Below is part one of my interview with Dr. Matt Silvers from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

Lactate threshold is defined as the intensity of exercise at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood at a faster rate than it can be removed. This is problematic because as a result, unbuffered acid is added to the blood, a condition that makes you feel like you have to vomit and stop right away.  Below is part two of my interview with Dr. Matt Silvers.

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Here’s one more video of me going through the process at the Timex Multisport Team camp in 2013.

Post Author: Dave Erickson