The lactate threshold of one’s bloodstream is highly important to endurance runners because it has a significant impact on the pace they are able to keep over long distances. In fact, a huge part of endurance training focuses on improving the lactate threshold (i.e., developing the ability to run faster before hitting this point). The lactate metabolism graph shown compares blood lactate concentration to running speed and indicates three distinct areas of change that occur in blood lactate levels: the flat area in the beginning, the actual lactate threshold (indicated by the arrow) and the increase in the amount of lactate in the bloodstream.
Respond to the following by Thursday 11:59 p.m. (EST):
- What is happening to the lactate level before the lactate threshold? Why might this be occurring?
- What is happening to the lactate level after the lactate threshold? Why might this be occurring?
- What do you think is happening at the point of the lactate threshold, in terms of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism?
- How do you think endurance runners are able to increase their lactate threshold?
- Without measuring blood levels, how do you think a runner would know if they hit their lactate threshold?