Forums » Training and Nutrition

Watts a lactate threshold?

Hoping to bring to everyone's attention the new forum topic that has been added. I hope we can have some useful discussions as we head into the riding season.


In reply to pcunningham

would love to participate in this forum (even at the risk of giving away secrets!).

You're the resident expert but I'll venture a response...

Lactate Threshold (LT) is the point where the muscles generate more lactic acid than the body can process. Sustaining an effort at or beyond this point will eventually lead to failure, known by cyclists as getting dropped. These days a lot of people use power training and I understand that a rider's functional threshold power (FTP), the average power one can sustain for an hour, is essentially equivalent to the rider's lactate threshold.

Another way to say it is that exercise below the lactate threshold is aerobic and above LT in anaerobic. Anaerobic efforts tap different energy stores and utilize different systems in the body than aerobic efforts.

Pat, is that correct, or off target? More importantly, how can one increase their lactate threshold and avoid getting dropped?

In reply to cool_E

That's consistent with my understanding David but I am by no means an expert in this area. Fortunately we do have a resident club member expert. Perhaps she can chime in here and offer suggestions for increasing one's threshold levels.

In reply to pcunningham

Thanks Pat... who's the expert? Maybe I can chat her up next time I see her on a group ride :)

In reply to cool_E

Here's your answer!