I was feeling pretty confident after Monday's Tempo run as I walked into the Sports Medicine Mecca of the USA today. I had a 1:30 lactate profile test at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, where the greats like Lance Armstrong and Chrissie Wellington have gone to improve their training. I had my LT (lactate threshold) test done back in February 2008 and thought it was about time I got re-tested. I wanted to see if all this speedwork and tempo training was actually working.
If you don't know what lactate threshold is CLICK HERE
Working with Craig Howie, we train in specific heart rate zones during the course of 26-30 weeks for Ironman. The first period is called Base (lower HR zones) and that lasts about 13-15 weeks, Build 7-9 weeks(getting into the faster stuff for longer distances), Peak for 4 weeks and then taper (woohoo 2 weeks). 2 years ago, I tested my LT and these were my "zones" for training (which represent Heart Rates)...
Z1 / Recovery <150
Z2 / O.D. 150-162 (most base training done at these HRs)
Z3 / Endurance 162-174 (You spend a lot more time here during Build)
Z4A / Tempo 177-179
Z4B / LT 179-184 - 179 is my Lactate Threshold
Z5 / Max >184
The point of my speedwork and tempo training has been twofold. First, I have wanted to become more efficient with heart. I want to be able to work harder and have a lower heart beat. Secondly, I wanted to lower my lactate threshold. By doing this, I want to be able to work faster for longer and not "hit the wall." Today, I discovered I've done both.
My new "zones"
Z1 / Recovery <133
Z2 / O.D. 133-154 (most base training done at these HRs)
Z3 / Endurance 154-159 (You spend a lot more time here during Build)
Z4A / Tempo 159-173
Z4B / LT 173-180 - 173 is my NEW Lactate Threshold
Z5 / Max >180
What does this mean? That my Coach is going to be SUPER excited for me! I am getting faster and more efficient. What does this mean to you? Nothing really...except for the fact that the coach from BCSM told me that based on this scientific information, I should be able to sustain an 8:12 pace for 26.2 miles in Los Angeles. So, my dream may very well become a reality not only because I want it so bad, but now I have the body to back it up.