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FAQ about lactate testing

Where are you based? Do you travel to perform tests?

We are based in Waikato, New Zealand. Tests performed in Hamilton, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, or in between these areas will incur no extra travel charge. For tests slightly further afield contact us to determine availability.

For testing of multiple individuals or teams we can arrange to travel virtually anywhere in New Zealand. Contact us to discuss this.

Do you offer discounts for groups?

Yes. Using a staggered start protocol we can test multiple individuals at once making for a very time efficient testing session. Contact us to discuss a group booking.

Where can I perform a lactate test?

We can test virtually anywhere. Field testing locations will ideally be a small continuous loop e.g. a running track or velodrome, but we can arrange to test virtually anywhere although this may require a small change in test protocol. Indoor tests can be done at your home or wherever you have equipment.

Does a lactate test hurt?

Not really. Blood for lactate tests is taken by using a small needle to prick a hole in a finger or ear lobe. While you will feel this needle its small size and rapid retraction from the lancing device makes this process almost painless.

Are there any risks with lactate testing?

As with any situation where the skin is broken there is a minimal chance of infection. We take all possible precautions to ensure sterile equipment  and skin. This also maintains the accuracy of test results.

How long does a lactate test take?

Typically anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the nature of the testing. Some of our tests, including a full metabolic analysis software test (coming soon), require only 15 minutes of actual exercise time.

What do I receive after my lactate test?

You receive your lactate test results, and a comprehensive report detailing what they mean. You have 2 months access to unlimited consultancy advice and questions on these results via text, email, phone, and skype. We offer advice in terms of types of training that will maximise the balance of your energy systems for your target events and nutrition advice to enhance specific training adaptations. After this time period it is necessary to retest as your fitness will have changed in this time period, and current data is required to deliver effective advice.

What are the benefits of a field test or indoor test?

A field test has the advantage that it mimics as closely as possible what you will be doing most often in training and competition. An indoor test has the advantage of being extremely controlled and repeatable for reliable results to compare with past and future tests, although factors such as heat dissipation and  different movement kinetics mean results can be slightly different to what would be experienced outdoors.

In summary, outdoor testing is best for determining the actual lactate levels during specific exercise intensities, while indoor testing is best for measuring fitness levels in a way that can be easily compared between tests.

Why not just test with a simple all out effort? E.g. 20 minute power test in cycling

By testing with power or speed you can determine what your current level of performance is over one particular time period, but not how you are physiologically producing that performance, and therefore how to proceed with future training.

This type of effort also requires the athlete to be well rested, motivated, and to pace the effort well to ensure they do not go to hard and 'blow up', or start too easy and not get everything out of themselves. Lactate tests can utilise a sub-maximal effort to determine how aerobic fitness is tracking which does not depend as much on athlete effort, motivation, pacing, and only requires moderate freshness as opposed to optimal conditioning for a proper power/speed test. Lactate testing also allows the analysis of more data points and intensities to produce a more well rounded picture of performance changes. This also gives insight into other factors such as fat and carbohydrate utilisation at different intensities which is not possible to determine using a power meter.

By using lactate measurements it is possible to determine how your aerobic and aerobic energy systems are contributing to the effort. Ever wonder why training that seems to be producing large improvements suddenly seems to stop producing improvements or even make you worse? The way you are producing power has changed due to changes in the aerobic and anaerobic capacities, therefore the training needs to change too.