Bridging the gap between critical velocity and maximal lactate steady-state

Oliver Quittmann*, Gabriel Gehlert, Yannick, M. Schwarz, Simon Nolte, Marco Fuchs, Anton Schiffer, Yannick Slowig, Tina Foitschik, Thomas Abel

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung


The ability to sustain a high metabolic rate for an extended period of time is essential for endurance performance and reflects the interplay between the aerobic and anaerobic metabolism [1]. The most frequently used parameters in that regard are the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), maximal lactate steady-state (MLSS) and critical velocity (CV). These concepts have been discussed extensively in recent reviews [2,3]. Despite the overwhelming general observation that CV overestimates MLSS, the origin of this discrepancy is still unknown [3]. This study examines the CV-MLSS difference and analyses whether physiological parameters may help to bridge the gap between concepts.

A total of n=19 well-trained runners/triathletes performed several lab tests to determine maximal lactate accumulation rate (ċLamax), maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), fractional utilization (%V̇O2max), running economy (RE), maximal fat oxidation rate (MFO), OBLA and MLSS. Furthermore, time trials (TTs) over 1, 2 and 3 km were performed on an outdoor track to determine CV and D’ by the linear t(d) model [4]. Post-exercise lactate concentration was recorded immediately after the TTs as well as 3 and 6 min afterwards. Repeated measures ANOVA and Bland-Altman plots were used to analyse differences between OBLA, MLSS and CV. The absolute difference between CV and MLSS was correlated with several physiological parameters.

TTs were performed in 174±10, 385±25 and 607±47 s, respectively. The corresponding maximal post-exercise lactate concentrations were 14.8±2.8, 13.8±2.9 and 12.3±2.28 mmol/L, respectively. OBLA (4.25±0.49 m/s), MLSS (4.15±0.49 m/s) and CV (4.66±0.42) differed significantly among each other. Limits of agreement for CV-MLSS ranged between +0.13 and +0.88 m/s, while the mean relative difference was 12.5±5.6%. CV and MLSS shared ~85% of their variance. The only physiological parameters that significantly correlated with the CV-MLSS difference were maximal post-exercise lactate concentrations following the 2 km (r=0.558, p=0.013) and 3 km (r=0.645, p=0.002) TTs. RE demonstrated a positive tendency (r=0.409, p=0.082).

Discussion and Conclusion
Our findings show that individuals with higher post-exercise lactate concentrations after the 2 and 3 km TTs demonstrate larger CV-MLSS differences. High concentrations might reflect the participants’ effort during the TTs which result in a higher estimation of CV. Previous research in soccer players found no significant difference between OBLA and MLSS and a lower mean relative CV-MLSS difference of ~10% [5]. This might be due to the applied TTs (1.5 and 3 km) and/or their lower performance levels in terms of MLSS (3.64±0.36 m/s). Future research should expand the selection of physiological parameters and perform such analyses for the relative CV-MLSS differences.

1) Joyner & Coyle (2008) J Physiol
2) Jones et al. (2019) Physiol Rep
3) Dotan (2022) Eur J Appl Physiol
4) Patoz et al. (2021) Eur J Appl Physiol
5) Dendai et al. (2005) J Strength Cond Res
TiteleProceedings of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) : 28th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Explore Enlighten, Perform, 4-7 July 2023, France
Herausgeber*innenG. Guilhem, G. Rabita, F. Brocherie, E. Tsolakidis, A. Ferrauti, J.W. Helge, M.F. Piacentini
Herausgeber (Verlag)ECSS
ISBN (Print)978-3-9818414-6-6
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-9818414-6-6
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 06.07.2023
VeranstaltungAnnual Congress of the European College of Sport Science: Explore, Enlighten, Perform - Palais des Congrès de Paris, Paris, Frankreich
Dauer: 04.07.202307.07.2023
Konferenznummer: 28