Maximum lactate very high

Hello everyone!

I’m a road cyclist from Portugal, 33 years old, 57 kg (125 pounds), 1.70 m (5.6 feet) tall, FTP of 270 w (4.74 w/kg), 5.8% body fat, with a very fast metabolism.

I’ve been training with a coach for 1 year now, and I’ve done 2 physical evaluations on his lab ever since, one when I’ve started and another just this past month (so roughly 1 year apart). These consist of taking my measures, body fat and a lactate threshold test (ramp test).

Although my FTP increased from 242 w to 270 w between tests, the maximum lactate levels actually increased, to what I’ve been told are very high and unusual levels: 17.9 mmol/L on the first test and 21.3 mmol/L on the latest (charts showing these values can be found at Dropbox - File Deleted and Dropbox - File Deleted).

Are these values abnormally high? What does it mean for my performance? Is there any way to decrease my maximum lactate, or is it just a consequence of my genetics and I need to learn to deal with the pain?

Thanks for any help!

Your post indicates lactate as a bad bi-product of exercise when in reality it’s a good thing. It’s produced during anaerobic states when your body needs a fuel besides O2.

The question I might ask a Doctor or your coach is if there is ratio of total lactate produce to what is measured in the blood. You are getting fitter so the increase from 18 to 21 mmol/L makes sense (you can tolerate more time being anaerobic). However, the total produced might have been 100 and 102 mmol/L respectively indicating you are utilizing much of the lactate (a good thing). However, if the total produced is much lower say 40 and 42 mmol/L then dumping nearly half the lactate into the blood stream would indicate something very different.

I’m not a medical expert just interested. Keep us updated.

From a recent podcast I seem to recall Jonathan saying his max lactate was high, something in the 15 to 20 range.