A Simplified Knowledge On Lactic Acid (Part 2) Posted on February 13, 2018

By Rameshon


Picture 1 – Only after 4 blood millimole, the lactate goes up exponentially for a sprinter.

The theoretical blood lactate maximum that a long distance runner is able to sustain a performance is around 2 blood millimole, the most. As for the sprinter, it is 4 blood millimole. 

Hence, in short, we use the knowledge of blood lactate such that a long distance should not go too fast out, such that, if we cross the level of 2 blood millimole, there is acidosis in the blood, making the body hard to tolerate lactic acid. Just imagine that in a marathon, if one goes out too fast, into the first 1km, the next 41km, it is going to be a daunting task to run as the body experience pain and fatigue. Some will think why they join the race etc. The pace starts to slow down significantly, one does not get a personal best time, usually.

Similarly, for a sprinter, if the speed is too fast for the 100m, of the 200m race, it is going to be hard to the blood lactate, as it may cross 4 millimole and at this blood lactate level or point. A long distance runner, on the other hand, will not able to tolerate this kind of blood millimole level. For sprinters, if they are at 4 blood millimole, they are alright, as they can tolerate this at this level. However, for the long distance runners, the blood lactate could shoot exponentially up to even 12, as compared to the sprinters.  

If a sprinter has a personal best of 12.1sec for 100m,  it is unwise to do a 12.1sec for the first 100m of the 200m race, as the level of blood lactate will definitely be above 4 blood millimole, which is very hard to tolerate the lactate. This could make the blood lactate level rise exponentially to 12 and there is detrimental performance. 

Edited By Tan Mariviv