GB age group Triathlete Rob Parry 34 has just finished Winter training for his action packed season in European and World Triathlon. I first performed his end of 2013 and baseline LTP back in December last year. Rob has been racing since 2007 and competes in 20+ races a year at Sprint and Olympic distances, and is focusing on Middle Distance and IronMan in 2014.
In December 2013, Robs’ lactate threshold (MLSS) was estimated to be 288 Watts (4.0 Watts/kg at 72kg) at 4.1 mmol/L blood lactate concentration and 159 bpm heart rate. We can see from the dashed yellow line for lactate the baseline is erratic and a ‘step’ exists over the threshold zone before accumulating more rapidly after 280 Watts to a peak lactate concentration of 6.7 mmol/L. These data were consistent with out of competition performance data for Rob as he was entering into a specific Winter training period which included rehabilitation strength and conditioning exercises and a periodised swim/bike/run intensity and daily volume build/recovery micro-cycles. Interval sessions were prescribed for all three disciplines as well as focusing on technique, with a bit of Bikram yoga thrown in for good measure!
Rob came in for a follow-up profile at the start of March this year. The raw results clearly speak for themselves. The blue dotted line from LTP2 shows a more protracted lactate-power curve with a respective MLSS value of 311 Watts (4.26W/kg at 74Kg) which is a huge gain of 23Watts at threshold. We must also consider that Robs duration of threshold should also have increased as he would be possibly storing more glycogen in his muscles (body weight increase of 2kg). His peak lactate value has dropped to 5.7 mmol/L and so did his heart rate (159 vs 157bpm for a 23Watt increase in work-rate), and the ‘step’ around his threshold level has totally disappeared. The power/heart rate ratio has increased significantly as the same work-rates now elicit less stress on the body and he is therefore more efficient with his oxygen consumption. Although the rate of accumulation of lactate is still rapid after threshold has been breached, this suggests his maximal aerobic capacity has improved considerably. So his threshold level is working of a greater proportion of this, which is the ideal pre-competition performance scenario.
So when compared to December 2013 we see a drastic improvement in his lactate/power/heart rate profile. All the racing, training miles and finally a de-training effect had naturally taken their toll on Robs December performance, as it still took 3 months of structured training to be back in competitive shape. Rob will still be looking for more extensive performance gains in early Spring as he attends his regular training camp, so we can expect that lactate curve to shift even more to the right and flatten out nicely. What is more, we now know Rob is in for a great season ahead!