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"In the background/automatic" lactate threshold calculation?

Hi! I am hoping someone might be able to help me get my Garmin Fenix 5S Plus watch to display lactate threshold values that it calculates from hard runs (i.e., that it calculates without doing the specific test that it sets up). 

 

My understanding is that there are two ways for the watch to calculate lactate threshold - to do the specific test that it has you run, vs. that it calculates it "automatically, in the background" during hard runs. 

 

I am "training by racing" 5Ks, and my HR is pretty high, for example for every step of the last 13+ minutes of today's run, my HR was greater than 94% of the HRmax entered into the watch (that's a pretty typical run for me). 

 

What am I doing wrong … shouldn't that trigger an automatic lactate threshold calculation by the watch? When I go to Garmin Express, it says , "You have no lactate threshold data for this time period" (I've had the watch a week and a half, have gone running 5 times with it, and four of those five times have been runs with these high heart rates for way more than 10 minutes straight). 

 

Any hints? Thanks! 



Best Answer

Hi Alexis,

Thanks for your question! The lactate threshold (LT) can be calculated only from those runs where the heart rate chest strap has been used. The Garmin Fenix5S should be able to calculate the lactate threshold from the run as long as these following criteria are met:

  • The heart rate level has been high enough, i.e. the intensity of the run has been high enough.
  • There is consistent speed data available, i.e. no stops during the run.
  • Heart rate chest strap has been used during the run.


If there has been a new LT estimate discovered from a run your device should show you this value and ask if you want to accept or decline the estimate. The configured LT test on the device is the best and the most reliable way to get the LT estimate. The needed intensity had been configured to the test to ensure a good intensity profile for the estimation.


Read more about the Lactate Threshold from the Garmin Fenix 5 owner's manual: https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/fenix5/EN-US/GUID-1B0C9B93-01CD-4A0C-A30F-B815C0347159.html


I hope this information is helpful! If you have other questions regarding our analysis, please don't hesitate to email us at support@firstbeat.com!



Answer

Hi Alexis,

Thanks for your question! The lactate threshold (LT) can be calculated only from those runs where the heart rate chest strap has been used. The Garmin Fenix5S should be able to calculate the lactate threshold from the run as long as these following criteria are met:

  • The heart rate level has been high enough, i.e. the intensity of the run has been high enough.
  • There is consistent speed data available, i.e. no stops during the run.
  • Heart rate chest strap has been used during the run.


If there has been a new LT estimate discovered from a run your device should show you this value and ask if you want to accept or decline the estimate. The configured LT test on the device is the best and the most reliable way to get the LT estimate. The needed intensity had been configured to the test to ensure a good intensity profile for the estimation.


Read more about the Lactate Threshold from the Garmin Fenix 5 owner's manual: https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/fenix5/EN-US/GUID-1B0C9B93-01CD-4A0C-A30F-B815C0347159.html


I hope this information is helpful! If you have other questions regarding our analysis, please don't hesitate to email us at support@firstbeat.com!


Thank you, Nelli!


My watch (Fenix 5S Plus) did decide to report a lactate threshold soon after I asked you my question … I think it was being ornery for some reason!


Thanks for the link also!


Alexis :)

The instructions for that just say "follow the onscreen instructions". Do I need a lot of flat ground for it? (To find some park land I can run around that's flat). Normal terrain here is hilly.

Hi Richard!

Thanks for your question! To get the most accurate result, the recommendation would be to run in a rather flat terrain. Up and down hill can cause underestimation of the VO2max which then affects the LT analysis. The main idea for the LT test is to run with in increasing intensity. The guided test ensures that the run is performed with the required intensity and you can get a good intensity profile for the estimation.

Thanks.  I'll run around a bit with the HRM strap for a bit to see if I can improve its VO2 max estimate. I've been using optical so far.

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