Where is the mythical ‘lactate threshold’, and can you take me there?
Certainly. Lactate is produced in your muscles during intense exercise. This leads to an increase in acidity, which is what causes you to “feel the burn, bro” and possibly want to vomit over your trainers. Your lactate threshold is the maximum effort your body can maintain for a period of time. It’s also your most accurate predictor of fitness. Although your body can only handle a limited amount of time working at your threshold, not getting there at all is like tapping a nail with a pencil instead of a hammer. “Try incorporating fartlek runs into your workouts – endurance runs with a mix of fast and slow pacing, which bring you above then back below the threshold,” says Dr. Mark Peterson, a professor of physical medicine at the University of Michigan. Or if you want to monitor your threshold like the pros, the BSXinsight ( bsxinsight.com) wearable is as accurate as a blood test. No needles required.