Lactate Testing

I was signed up to race an XC race for Run N Fun, but decided to follow Nate to do lactate testing instead w/ the Vakava team. I was excited to be able to do this! The goal was to run/ski up the coulee 3-6 times to try to find your threshold. Finger pricking happened up on top, compliments of Ben Popp.

The first few times up the hill I took pretty easy, trying to find out where my level 1 and 2s were at. I was expecting to find that what I thought were level 1 and 2 heart rates were actually too hard — but I found that I actually have a pretty big range & had been doing them correctly. Wouldn’t have guessed that, actually, since before I met Ahvo/Finn Sisu, I had been doing all of my training way too hard. Nice confirmation!!

After the third finger prick, though, I ran into trouble. I’ve never been good with needles. As a kid, I almost always passed out afterward a shot or drawing blood. My grandma actually had to take me in for my pre-college immunizations, to both make sure I did it & to hold me down. I’m better now with them, thanks to a good friend who knows how terrible I am & has had me get a flu shot with her every year. I’m actually to the point where I hardly tear up before & don’t get light headed afterwards. Quite the accomplishment, you should have seen me 4-5 years ago. Anyway, I didn’t think I’d have too much of an issue during testing. Just don’t look, right? I was doing just fine until the third prick. I think it was actually the sight of blood that did me in – that one bled a little more than the others, so my gauze I was holding was pretty soaked. I also looked at others afterwards & saw one skier whose hand was really bleeding. Hmmm, needless to say, I had to sit on the curb for a long while. I didn’t faint, but came close to. I hate that feeling – fainting is almost better – the chills, then breaking out in a cold sweat, and then feeling really warm and sick to your stomach. How embarrassing! All from a finger prick. 

The testing didn’t go great after that. I was determined to finish it, so tried to do a fourth. My legs were really weak though, and had a tougher time controlling my heart rate. The lactate reading on that one was really high, too, so that ruined my chance to find out where my true threshold was.

Bummer. I’m not unhappy with it, though – I actually got out of the test what I needed to. I know what my threshold feels like (at least I think I do!), so I was more interested in the level 1 and 2 analysis. I’m excited to know that I was doing what I was supposed to, and can even let my HR get a little higher on those. Yeah!! I’d actually think about doing it again, maybe next spring/summer, if I’m going to be able to chase that sub-2:50 goal.

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One Comment

  1. Yay for doing the finger pricks! You can't expect to perform flawlessly on the very first try…don't be so hard on yourself! You'll get there 🙂

    Thanks for the shout-out! MISS YOU 🙂


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