LACTATE TESTING CASE STUDY

51 year-old Superveteran distance runner Tracey Lasan

We have an excellent track record in achieving winning results with our ‘Lactate Testing’ clients. Check out our case study of 51 year-old Senior-Veteran distance-runner Tracey Lasan:


Tracey Lasan“Lactate Testing with Kinetic Personal Training has seen me demolish my course-best race times - at the age of 51! I’m astonished at how effective it has proved in helping me achieve my true fitness potential!”

Tracey Lasan

UK elite senior-veteran distance runner and Winner of Senior-Veteran (50+) category at the 2009 Reading Half-Marathon.


Tracey's Training Background

Tracey many moons ago!Tracey came to us as a budding runner who had been performing endurance training since her mid-forties. She had trained approximately 3-4 times a week over the previous 6 years except for a three-month interlude in 2007 when she competed in the transatlantic sailing race! At that time she had competed in just a handful of road races. In the hilly West-Berkshire Goring 10K she returned a course best time of 46 minutes 24 seconds while she ran a time of 3 hours 55 minutes in the London Marathon.

We began ‘Lactate Testing’ with Tracey in September 2008.

Tracey’s First Lactate Test

Tracey's Lactate TestTracey’s initial Lactate Test on 7th September revealed plenty of untapped potential for further improvement in her distance training.

Tracey's First Lactate TestThe test showed a quicker than ideal increase in Lactate production after the first three test speeds. This was not a perfect pattern for a marathon runner and certainly indicated plenty of scope for improvement in her ‘aerobic capacity' essential for long distance endurance events.

Tracey’s ‘peak’ Lactate value also was a little on the low side reflecting room for improvement in her ‘anaerobic’ capacity - essential for major progression in her 5K and 10K speeds.

The Plan of Action

Technical trainingAs Tracey had principally trained for 3-4 days a week before this stage we recommended that she should spend a least another two years training before she entered her next marathon event; this would allow us enough time to improve her ‘aerobic’ base extensively enough in line with her untapped potential and would ensure she could safely tolerate the increased necessary volume of 5-6 running days per week on a regular long-term basis.

This would facilitate optimal development in her marathon race speed.

Initially this came as a shock to Tracey who particularly enjoyed training for the marathon! However her lactate test data provided clear evidence of further potential and she was keen to adopt our holistic approach to her distance training.

Running is meant to be a healthy activity so we felt it was vital she adopted a healthy long-term strategy to her training!

Designing the Training Program

We therefore proposed that we would focus the next few months specifically on the shorter distance endurance events of the 10K, 5K and half-marathon. This would facilitate Tracey’s technical improvement and give her plenty of race experience.

It would also allow us to improve her ability to ‘buffer’ her Lactic acid production so she would not experience rapid fatigue at faster race speeds; she would thus run a much faster marathon.

We split Tracey’s training program into four phases over the initial six months of the training cycle – each phase lasting 8-10 weeks with repeat Lactate Testing at the end of each phase to facilitate optimisation of our phase programming and to readjust the training speeds accordingly.

PHASE 1

Zone 2 trainingThis phase included the following:

  • Development of base 'aerobic' conditioning at 'long-slow distance' or ‘zone 1’ training speeds
  • Smaller volume of training at 'medium distance' or ‘zone 2’ speeds over hilly terrain.
  • Small volume of 'overspeed' repeats to improve technical efficiency further and develop ‘anaerobic capacity’.
  • Relatively high volume of ‘Corrective Strength and Conditioning’ training geared toward improving strength endurance and ‘anaerobic capacity’ – this would produce faster 10K race speeds.

Tracey's Second Lactate Test

Tracey’s second Lactate Test on the 28th November revealed a massive improvement in her 'peak speed' – this is the maximum speed reached during the Lactate test and directly correlates with faster 5K and 10K race speeds. The amount of improvement shown suggested a potential for taking more than two and a half minutes from her previous 10K race times.

Tracey's Second Lactate TestThe test also showed that Tracey had improved her ‘anaerobic capacity’ markedly with a peak Lactate value of 14.0 mmol/L – up from 8.0 in the previous test. This again boded very well for the 10K she was scheduled to race in a few weeks time.

Tracey had also begun to improve her base level ‘aerobic’ capacity – needed for the longer distance events – with lower lactate readings exhibited over the first five data points in zones 1 and 2 - an ideal response!

The Woodcote 10K Race

Tracey in the Woodcote 10K

Tracey’s first 10K event of the Lactate Testing cycle was at Woodcote, West Berkshire on January 11th 2009. This is recognised as one of the most difficult 10K road courses in the South East of England with a grueling 5K-hill climb in the later part of the race!

Tracey with her medalShe had completed this event a year earlier in 2008 in 48 mins and 58 seconds. She demolished this time in 2009 setting a new personal best time of 43 minutes 23 seconds, taking more than five and a half minutes from her previous course-best time!

She also finished in the top five female finishers – across all age categories in the field of 700 runners!

PHASES 2 AND 3

Phase 2 trainingTracey was scheduled to race in the Reading Half-Marathon on March 29th so the development of half-marathon specific race speed was now a priority.

We were also cautious to not raise Tracey’s anaerobic capacity any further during these phases as ‘aerobic’-half-marathon specific (rather than 10K) conditioning was key and any further increase in 'anaerobic capacity' could potentially mean she would produce more Lactic acid at slower speeds – quite the opposite of our objective!

The phases therefore included the following criteria:

  • Advanced development of base aerobic conditioning at long-slow distance or ‘zone 1’ training speeds.
  • Increased volume of interval repeats at medium distance (half-marathon specific ‘zone 2’ speeds) and ‘race speed’ (‘zone 3’ speeds).
  • Increased volume of 'overspeed' repeats at slower speeds than phase 1 to improve technical efficiency and develop race speed further.
  • Corrective Strength and Conditioning’ training with much less emphasis on improving 'strength endurance' and 'anaerobic capacity' – the focus was now on maintaining optimal muscle lengths and strengths.

Tracey’s Third Lactate Test

Tracey's Third Lactate TestTracey’s third Lactate test in February 2009 showed dramatic improvements in her physiology with a complete shift of the Lactate graph to the right on the Lactate Chart as shown.

This meant that Tracey was now producing much less Lactic acid at the marathon and half-marathon specific racing speeds and she would now need to increase her training speeds commensurate with her Lactate improvements to progress further in the subsequent training phase – this was the ideal scenario!

Tracey's considerable progression in her 'Training Speed Zones' is shown in the tables below:

Tracey's training speed zones comparison

She thus appeared in excellent shape for her forthcoming events.

Click here to read more of Tracey’s following successes including her stunning win in the Senior-Veteran’s category in the Reading Half-Marathon!

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