I was scheduled to do the Lactate Threshold Test for running zones yesterday, but due to the evening being highjacked by a triathlon clinic on transition held by the fabulous folks at tritrek toronto, I ended up coming back home way too late to put on a good run. So I decided to do something that only triathletes and insomniacs do, set up my alarm clock for 5:30am and do the test while everyone else sleeps. It took me 2 very painful minutes to open my eyes and another 2 to find my way to the closet to retrieve my running clothes, then grabbed a quick breakfast made of a banana and a slice of banana bread because they go together so well, a small bottle of water and off I went to the track.
The test required the following:
- 15 minutes of warm up jog, finished with a few speed bursts to bring the heart rate up
- 30 minutes of incremental, hard running, where I had to hit the lap button on my heart rate monitor after 10 minutes so that the last 20 minutes of the hard run are set aside and averaged to find the lactate threshold (LT).
-15 minutes of cool down jog
The idea of the test was to be able to run hard for enough long time (30min) without bonking before the end, knowing that by the end of the test you left it all out there. I was a bit apprehensive as I found out that I couldn't set a pace target on RunKeeper for a particular interval, but eventually I decided to do the test completely by feel, trying to increase the pace every 4 minutes and hold it there for as long as I could. In the end, there was nothing left in the tank, so mission complete! Nice and steady HR increase, see the pretty graph below:
I highlighted the 3rd lap that corresponds to the LT test. As you can see, the HR average for that lap was 182, so as I thought, my Zone 2 is much higher than what we thought last week. However, since I pushed myself pretty hard during this test, my coach preferred to choose a more conservative LT for my training zones, so we settled on 172, which gave the training zones below:
Next, LT threshold test for the bike. Bring it!