Lactate Threshold and VO2 max test

Today I was invited to “UMAS Klinisk Fysiologi”.
It’s a department, at the municipal hospital, that do tests on the body, for example lung capacity.
Heleneholms Tri Team (HTT) and Malmö Idrotts Akademi (MIA) has a joint venture which allows us, the team members, to have us tested at the above clinic.
Today I did a test to see where my Lactate Threshold and VO2 max are during my running sessions.
Basically,  lactic acid accumulates in your blood during workouts. Your body can handle this up to a certain point which is called Lactate Threshold.
Mostly, you feel a burning sensation in your muscles when the lactic acid has accumulated too much.
This is not good as too much lactic acid makes your body go sour and fatigued. When your body has too much lactic acid it may defend itself to protect the body.
Protection is done by dumping the most acetic part of your body, the content of your stomach. Yes, that is why you may throw up if you’ve done a really hard workout or race:)
Anyways, I’m ranting.
The Lactate Threshold test:
Smiling makes everything better!
Smiling makes everything better!
I was greeted by a nurse and an administrators. We had a small session on what to expect and how the tests will be performed.
The nurse measured me and took my weight. Then she pricked my finger and drew some blood to a little special device.
The device measured lactic acid and I started out pretty low as I think it was 0.8mmol/l.
We had agreed on a certain running speed to start my test on the treadmill. The start was supposed to be comfortable as I should not build up too much acid.
After 3 minutes there was another blood drawn from my finger and a new lactic acetic test. The administrator also asked before every test on how I felt based on a Borg’s scale.
I had to run for another 3 minutes and the other administrator increased the speed.
We continued to repeat this procedure until my readings got over 5.mmol/l.
When I stopped I think I had 6.4mmol/l and had reached a point where my body could not handle all the lactic acid that was produced and thus spiked well over 5mmol/l.
I had some time for recovery and then it was time for my VO2 max test.
A VO2 max test shows me how much oxygen my body can use during heavy workload.
In this test I had to wear a special mask that was fitted over my mouth and nose. The mask was then connected to a machine that measured oxygen, carbon dioxide and the mechanics of my breathing.
Compared to finding my Lactate Threshold, this test seemed easier. But turned out to be a lot gruesomer!
Setting up my go pro
The mask in place
The VO2 max test:
On the treadmill, with a mask on, connected to a machine via a long tube, running at a certain speed in 1 minute intervals.
Then I was asked if it was OK to increase the speed. This continued until I was up at 16km/h (roughly 3.45min/km).
I felt really comfortable.
I'm all hooked up
I’m all hooked up
However, instead of increasing the speed of 16km/h the administrator now increased the incline. Now, this is where things got difficult.
My skinny legs do not like headwind nor hills and suffice to say, I managed 2 raises before I called it quits.
The funny thing is, I could probably had managed another minute and another raise in incline. Don’t get me wrong, I was dead tired. But not THAT tired.
My administrator told me it had not mattered if I had managed another minute. My breathing became so fierce the last seconds before I quit that they already had all the data they needed.
I was promised the results on Monday/Tuesday next week. This is great news for me as I have the Ironman 70.3 in 10 days.
With the results I can plan the race and see what pace I should be able to manage on the running section, YAY!


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