Officially part of the Triathlon Team USA for Edmonton 2014!
Here one of my athletes, Julie Benson, describe her Boston Marathon story. http://bostonlog.blogspot.com/2013/11/april-15-2013-i-had-just-gotten-out-of.html
I like to put in my week of training every once in awhile. Here are my distances for this week. So far right on track. Base Phase #1
50 Miles Running
200 Miles Biking
8.25 Miles Swimming (14,500 yards)
Since I began my journey in the world of triathlon coaching, there is one metric that seems to stand above the rest; lactate threshold. For the bike we can measure this in terms of power, but not every athlete has a power tap. And even if they did, cross examination with heart rate is vital for accuracy. I myself have had several coaches now, and have found some problems with their testing.
Now in case you are unaware, lactate threshold is what helps determine an athlete’s training paces and zones. (Specifically heart rate zones) Lactate thershold is the heart rate, power, or pace that you can maintain all out for one hour. However, doing a one hour test is rarely ideal.
The problem with most athletes is that they don’t understand the concept of an easy workout. (What I call a Zone 1 workout.) If you attach a heart rate monitor, you will find most athletes are training too hard for their easy runs, and not hard enough for their hard runs.
Now to the point of this post. The above picture is a indoor power test on the bike. A common test on an indoor trainer is a 30 minute all out effort. This is a FTP30 (Functional Threshold Power for 30 minutes) The average power for the 30 minutes will help cyclists determine their power training zones. However, my interest here is cross examination with a run test for lactate threshold heart rate.
For this 30 minute test, the average heart rate for the final 20 minutes is commonly referred to as your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. As you can see above, my heart rate for the last 20 minutes was 185. The reason I point this out is because I was in search of a easier way to test for lactate threshold heart rate in a run test. Many people use half marathons or a 30 minute all out effort. However, I believe that people want to do their test at a distance that drives them. For me the simple answer was a 5K test. A half marathon is too long to test every month, and a 5K is the ultimate motivation since everyone talks about their 5K time. However I could not find a calculation for lactate threshold heart rate for a 5K.
All 5K tests are done on a treadmill so that the environment is as controlled as possible. (If you have issues with treadmills then you have other issues that I am not delving into now.) Needless to say my average HR for the 5k was 189. Now I did this run before the bike test, and determined that 189 minus 5 BPM was probably the most accurate. So I assumed my lactate threshold heart rate was 184. Then my bike test which is a commonly accepted test, determined it was 185.
Now, I understand this is just myself and only 1 test, but I believe it is interesting to point out. If you need to determine LTHR from your athlete and all you have is a 5K, this is a great rule. (Average heart rate minus five BPM) I will continue to test myself monthly and test my athletes, but so far this has proved pretty concrete.
Addition: I have now tested one of my marathon athletes and was also accurate.
Nor’easter Triathlon just launched our new website. Check it out at: www.noreastertriathlon.com