Lactate Testing

Anyone doing lactate testing at home?
Any useful knowledge from your experience worth sharing?
Best ways to analyze test results? Recommended charts in Wko4?
I am currently doing LT1 testing but as the base period begins I will start testing LT2.

Should link to my MLSS / Lactate series of posts. We will be doing another round in October.

All three of my lab rats described the testing as helpful in achieving their goals for 2019 season. Or they just told me that to be nice. LoL


So I’m looking giving this a go, but only if it actually makes a noteworthy difference. How beneficial is lactate testing and setting a training plan off the results rather than doing a FTP test a d potentially training at the wrong lower. Is it something more of us should be doing or reserved to the pro’s as a marginal gain??

I did it outside and it was 2w differerent than my 20min (outside) FTP test.

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Kinda wondering about this too. I’d like to nail down my aerobic threshold or 1st lactate turn point or the zone 1-2 line in the 3 zone model or whatever you call it.

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If you could borrow a lactate meter (maybe you pay for the strips) you could easily determine LT1. At that point you’ll have a more important piece of info to use day to day: your HR at the turn point.

For example, I’ve taken my LT1 at various stages of fitness about a half dozen times over the last 18 months. Every time my HR was between 130-132bpm. There is still not a simple, widely adopted way to determine this by power alone. Of course with fitness my power at that point changed (that is in fact a great way to quantify fitness).

So now I can just use this very narrow HR range (basically a target) that corresponds to AeT/LT1.

For MLSS or LT2, although not equivalent, just use FTP. It’s good enough and of course doesn’t require lactate. Even easier is to just use 5-6 min power or even a MAP ramp test to get your high end (basically same thing TR does).

I now have a lactate meter that I really no longer need because I know my HR @ AeT (which doesn’t change season to season much), and determining AeT was one of two things I wanted lactate for (other not important for this discussion).

These three points make a PD curve. Max, power at FTP, and power at LT1 HR (basic triangulation).


It’s mostly helpful for low intensity stuff, or really high intensity. When doing a lactate profile, LT2 is pretty hard to really point out as the graph is curving within the two thresholds, so the 2nd inflection is a bit of a mystery. But finding and confirming specific endurance paces are still below LT1 is helpful, but should also be able to be done using a talk test/respiratory rate. The lactate profile could help you predict your power duration curve, as a lower value at MLSS should mean a flatter PD curve without actually putting in maximal efforts at various durations to get the modeling in WKO to work right.

a functional test IMO is better than using LT2 for FTP, the longer the better, as LT2 may in fact be higher than true MLSS depending on the testing protocol.

Now I think it’s good for tracking changes over macro periods, as the lactate profile won’t change much every other month if you’re testing at the start of each new training block.


@Matthew_Taylor totally agree with the above so add it to my answer. Never had a problem picking out LT1 (I mean if all else fails, you KNOW it’s not going to be higher than 1.8).

LT2? Throw a dart. :man_shrugging: FTP FTW.


Could you share what this figure is as % of HR Max and % of LTHR?. Thanks

HR max 182bpm
LTHR 160bpm

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Thanks. Your number matches the Coggan estimate for the top of Z2. Which is what I use as poor man estimate of LT1.

Close to Coggan HR (83/84%), but not power. It’s not 75/76% of FTP for me.

I’ve done lab-testing with lactate something like 13-14 times and for me it’s always very close to my FTP. I used do a test just before starting base training, and just before race season starts (my federation paid for the test).

I’ve also been on the other side and been the one doing the lab-testing on a number of athletes that I’ve coached. For cycling, I don’t see the use as you can get most of what you need with a HR-monitor and powermeter. I’d say it’s more useful in sports where you need a 2nd datapoint, like for nordic skiing or running, where you don’t have a powermeter. Speed isn’t a reliable datapoint and lactate testing can help to hone in that feeling of how hard you’re working.

The labtesting hasn’t changed anything in my own training really, only told me what I already knew. For me the MAF formula of 180 - age is pretty much the HR number I’ve gotten for AeT. I’ve used that number for a MAF-test.

I think you’re better off spending that money on new gear, a coach or a training camp.

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Power is supposed to increase given a certain heart rate level…so it’s not supposed to be a fixed prescription, isn’t?

Several ppl in this forum have mentioned how their HR from LT1 testing is the same for years…but the pros do more frequent testing, ostensibly they are using the info differently or getting other data points.

@hdas I don’t think the demarcation between zone 2/3 (Coggan) is AeT. That’s my point.

Most riders who use power base their prescriptions off of zones, Coggan zones. The sub threshold zones are fixed off of FTP (versus something like iLevels for above FTP).

When my power at LT1 goes up, does my FTP always go up lock step? My experience has been no.

(Sidenote: yes I’ve see the graph with high variability above FTP and less variation below…can’t explain it, and don’t really care to try at this point).

I ride low-to-mid tempo frequently and my fitness increases in ways that are not reflected in FTP. When I ride closer to FTP (for a block or two), my FTP goes up. This makes complete sense to me but seems to puzzle others.

Interesting. If you are really experienced you might be getting to the limit of your abilities in terms of FTP as % of VO2Max…but still you might have room to work your LTI power closer to LT2 or FTP.

limit of your abilities…given the hours I put in <— only caveat to what you said.

Otherwise I completely agree.

So if LT1 is determinated by 2mmol from lactate testing reaults can we use this number for endurance trainings or we need to lower it in some percentage?

For example, I have “small” difference between LT1 and LT2 and that gives me LT1 30 watts above Z2 (75% of FTP).

It’s not.

There are so many different definitions for LT1/2 out there, however, the definition LT1 ~ 2mmol yields a very high corresponding HR/power value. Too high for what it is supposed to demarcate.