Whether you're training for an ultra marathon or simply looking to improve your times on your local Strava segments it is important to benchmark your current fitness level in order to monitor the effectiveness of your training programme.
Our physiological testing accurately identifies your heart rate training zones (and power levels for cyclists) in order for you to optimise every precious minute of your workout. You don't even need to know anything scientific about heart rate training to implement the results into your training programme.
The science bit - There are essentially two pathways via which the body generates energy. One uses oxygen (aerobic) and the other does not (anaerobic). The aerobic energy system has the highest energy yield and can keep working indefinitely, ideal for endurance exercise. However, as exercise intensity increases, so does the shift in energy production from the aerobic system to the anaerobic system. The point at which this change occurs is known as your lactate threshold. In order to improve your lactate threshold, you need to do the majority of your training at the training intensity of your lactate threshold.
So how do I work out my lactate threshold? A lactate threshold test is a cost effective method of identifying your lactate threshold enabling you to define your training intensities.
What does the test involve? - Performed indoors on static equipment, the test involves exercising at increasing intensities for 25 minutes. Your blood lactate level is measured at the end of every stage using a pinprick sampling method.
What do I receive from the test? - A full data report is subsequently provided which will clearly identify your training zones and provide advice on how to integrate the results into your training.
Do the training zones vary for different sports? Yes, and we therefore recommend performing the test on relevant equipment - i.e. treadmill, turbo trainer, ergometer.
How many tests do I need to take? Whilst a single test can provide you with a snapshot of your current fitness and identify training zones, we would recommend having at least one follow-up test (a minimum of 3 months after the initial test) in order to monitor the effectiveness of your training and make adjustments accordingly.