Can you complete/compete at the 140.6 distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LBP and IMF 2010

I could not be happier with the Lactate Balance Point (LBP) test that I conducted on myself this morning!

Those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning know that I am a big fan of the LBP. I came to believe in the LBP when I simply became uneasy with applying absolute lactate values to all athletes; 2, 3, and 4 mmols of lactate. As I studied the logic/science behind the LBP I quickly adopted it as my go to test for setting training zones for myself and my athletes.

In a nutshell, the LBP is the point at which the body becomes more reliant/dependant on the 'short term'/exhaustable energy substrates; blood glucose and liver/muscle glycogen. Moreover, the LBP identifies the upper limit at which your body is able to metabolize lactate. Efforts that exist just above the LBP will eventually leave an athlete unable to maintain their power output or pace.

So, lets take some real world data and bring this all together. Last week I took part in an oustanding race that came to be per the tragic loss of a little boy by the name of Garrett Campbell (; Take Flight Triathlon. I'd strongly encourage you to take part and support this event in the years to come!

At this event I averaged 364 watts on the 10 mile bike course. This equates to a Functional Threhsold Power (FTP) of 346 watts (364 x .95). Making this relevant to IMF 2010 one can multiply the FTP by .7 to .76 to get a wattage range of 242 to 262.

This is where the numbers from this morning come in. I do not want overwhelm this post with numbers so I narrowed the focus to the 220 to 280 wattage range:

The take home point from todays test is this: At IMF if I opt to roll at the low end of my IM wattage range (242 watts) I will likely be ~30 bpm BELOW my LBP of 160 bpm. For the record, I plan on riding conservatively at IMF and will likely open up at 220 watts for the first 15 miles to assess the signals the body is presenting me.

In the perfect racing world there would be NO head winds, ideal temperatures, a compliant stomach, etc. The unpredictable nature of racing will certainly force me to evaluate both HR and watts constantly at IMF. One must not get so dialed in on holding a specific wattage that they ignore an upward drifting HR response.

I am now even more excited about IMF then I was on Monday. I know lab testing has its limitations, but it is nice to see a HR response of 134 and 144 bpm at the low and high end of my IM wattage ranges. I look forward to using my newly tested LBP HR at IMF in November!

To further strengthen the validity of this test and the results noted above I plan on doing a LBP Validation Test. This test will hone in on maintaining a HR that is 10 bpm below LBP, at LBP, and 1o bpm above LBP. I plan on doing this test next week.

Stay tuned friends and train smart,
Coach Lance

1 comment:

  1. Lance - great post and tells me a couple of things. First, you're an animal !! Nice wattage there. Second, love the side by side data. You can assess fitness by feel and by race results - but this method can be a little slippery to "measure" at times. With comparing test numbers over time, it validates the training effects - which hopefully are occuring in a positive direction. Looking forward to finding my LBP and training zones from that. And please Lance, no posting my numbers side by side to yours :)