VLamax, your lactation rate simply explained

April 13th, 2022

VLamax - what is the maximum lactate rate that everyone is talking about?

When starting out in triathlon, one thing is especially important: learning new things is an absolute must! The maximum lactate rate moved in recent years more and more into focus and many athletes are now dealing with the topic: What is actually this VLamax and how can I lower it?

The VLamax indicates how much lactate the body can produce in a specified period of time. This amount of lactate is then expressed in mmol/l/s (millimoles per liter per second).

For experts: If you have heard of VO2max you can see exactly the same structure in VLamax. Accordingly, you can also lower your VLamax with the right training and increase your performance.

Why you should train your VLamax?

It's actually quite simple, because your lactate is related to your metabolism. After all, your metabolism supplies you with energy throughout the day, including during training and races.

During very strenuous training sessions, your body uses - simply put - your carbohydrate stores for this and your fat reserves for light, longer sessions. Therefore, it is also important to know your threshold power.

Back to lactate: When energy is produced by carbohydrates, lactate is produced as an "intermediate product". Your body can break down this lactate to a certain extent on its own.

In case of lactate overproduction (when more lactate is produced than can be broken down) your body overacidifies - every athlete knows this feeling. Therefore, it is important to lower your VLamax and train so that your body eventually produces less lactate and you can still perform at a high level.

VLamax is not right for every athlete!

Is VLamax training suitable for you? It depends. Since VLamax training goes hand in hand with anaerobic metabolism, especially intense VLamax training is not right for every athlete and may even negatively affect your goals.

VLamax training is only useful for athletes who really compete in middle and long distance events, because VLamax training also has a positive effect on your fat metabolism, which directly influences your aerobic energy production.

Train VLamax? Here's how:

You have now finally decided to train your VLamax. There are different ways how you can achieve this goal. We have summarized a few of them for you below:

  • Sprint interval training
  • Strength endurance training
  • Long threshold intervals
  • Low carb training

With improved VLamax you will reach your goals faster.

With the previously mentioned training methods, you will definitely be able to lower your VLamax to reach your goals in an even faster time. You will be able to put your horsepower on the road with these training variations.

If your body can better handle the energy provided, it will be measurably reflected in your finishing time - your VLamax is related to your energy metabolism, which has a big impact especially in middle and long distances.

You have no idea what your VLamax is? On the way to your fueling & pacing strategy we determine your VLamax with our eDiagnostics. Download the BESTZEIT app here and get started!

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