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The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of tests that may be used by distance runners to estimate the lactate threshold. Competitive distance runners/triathletes (N = 27) performed a criterion test that directly measured (blood lactate of 4.0 mmol[middle dot]L-1) the lactate threshold. Subjects then performed 4 tests (VDOT, 3,200-m time trial, 30-minute time trial, Conconi) that estimate the threshold. Mean estimations of the running velocity at the lactate threshold from the 30-minute time trial (standard error of the estimate, SEE, 0.21 m[middle dot]s-1) and VDOT (SEE 0.41 m[middle dot]s-1) methods did not differ (P.0.05) from the criterion. In terms of heart rate, the 30-minute time trial estimation did not significantly differ (SEE 8.0 b[middle dot]min-1) from criterion. These findings suggest that the 30-minute time-trial method should be considered by coaches and distance runners/triathletes as a method for estimating both the running velocity and heart rate at the lactate threshold.

(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association