Is Maximal Lactate Accumulation Rate Promising for Improving 5000-m Prediction in Running?

Oliver Jan Quittmann, Tina Foitschik, Ramin Vafa, Finn Jannis Freitag, Nordin Sparmann, Simon Nolte, Thomas Abel

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Endurance running performance can be predicted by maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), the fractional utilisation of oxygen uptake (%V̇O2max) and running economy at lactate threshold (REOBLA). This study aims to assess maximal lactate accumulation rate (ċLamax) in terms of improving running performance prediction in trained athletes. Forty-four competitive female and male runners/triathletes performed an incremental step test, a 100-m sprint test and a ramp test to determine their metabolic profile. Stepwise linear regression was used to predict 5000-m time trial performance. Split times were recorded every 200-m to examine the ‘finishing kick’. Females had a slower t5k and a lower V̇O2max, ċLamax, ‘finishing kick’ and REOBLA. Augmenting Joyner’s model by means of ċLamax explained an additional 4.4% of variance in performance. When performing the same analysis exclusively for males, ċLamax was not included. ċLamax significantly correlated with %V̇O2max (r = -0.439, p = 0.003) and the ‘finishing kick’ (r = 0.389, p = 0.010). ċLamax allows for significant (yet minor) improvements in 5000-m performance prediction in a mixed-sex group. This margin of improvement might differ in middle-distance events. Due to the relationship to the ‘finishing kick’, ċLamax might be related to individual pacing strategies, which should be assessed in future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of sports medicine
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 18.12.2022