FasCat Testing

The last couple days I’ve gotten up in the morning, done my normal breakfast/coffee routine, and headed over to the FasCat Cycling Center to do my work.  No, I’m not an employee.  But it feels a little like it — I’ve been a lab rat for the last few days.

Rudy the lab rat

Rudy the lab rat

Following some physiological testing at the BCSM, Frank Overton at FasCat wanted to refine the results a bit, double-check that my lactate threshold test results were dead on, and get a little more resolution on the number.

So I went in yesterday for a follow up MLSS test to back-up the BCSM test results.  We did three 9-minute steps, and checked my blood lactate twice during each stage; once in the early part, and once near the end.  Once there is a significant rise in blood lactate between the first and second reading, we know my body can’t keep a lid on the blood lactate level at that power, and I’m above my lactate threshold (LT).  If I continue at that power, my blood lactate level will keep rising until failure.

So, with some AC/DC, lots more needle pricks, and a little bit of suffering, we got some results that look like this:

Maximal Lactate Steady State Test

Maximal Lactate Steady State Test

Note the three steps in power (yellow).  In the last stage, my blood lactate was rising steadily, so I was above LT.  Interpolation yields a LT value of 222 W, similar to (but a bit more precise) than the BCSM result.

Day two; today.  Now I’m the lab rat.  In order to test a hypothesis, Frank wants me to rest up, and run another test.  This one is simple — a 20 minutes all-out effort.  Piece of cake, no?

Lactate Response 20 min Field Test
Lactate Response 20 min Field Test.  11.7 mMol.  Ouch.

I was just about ready to boot by the last minute or so.  I was looking forward to the finger-pricks for distraction!

As I posted hastily the other night, there has been much discussion regarding the benefits and drawbacks of each method.  The big point not given enough attention by all the old farts debating the methods: the 20-minute field test is WAY more taxing than the stepped MLSS protocol, thus you’ve got to be really fresh and ready for the 20-minute test, and you’ll want schedule adequate recovery.  Glad we did it the second day.


~ by awerbuch on March 3, 2011.

One Response to “FasCat Testing”

  1. […] of these things I can replace.  I can go hard running, and race too, but I’ll never reach the level that I was at in cycling.  So I’ll never reach that same level of motivation, weather to […]

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