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Using Muscle Oxygen to Determine Your Lactate Threshold Pace

Knowing your muscle oxygen during training provides valuable insights and can help optimize all stages of your workout beginning with warm up and ending with recovery. Muscle oxygen can also be used to measure lactate threshold optically making it a good alternative to traditional expensive and invasive lab tests. The Humon Hex is the first muscle oxygen sensor that has been clinically validated and is able to accurately determine lactate threshold power relative to blood lactate measurements.

Muscle oxygen data from a threshold test using the Humon Hex is shown below.

The athlete began cycling at a low intensity and SmO2 started to gradually rise as his muscles warmed up. As intensity increased SmO2 began to drop quite rapidly into the orange and then red training zones until voluntary exhaustion. Once the test finished, the athlete’s SmO2 increased during recovery. His threshold power was indicated by the red zone.

Lactate threshold tests need to be taken on a regular basis during training to help identify accurate thresholds in order to improve training over time. These tests cost $100 — $300 per test so for anyone performing regular lab tests, measuring your lactate threshold with a muscle oxygen sensor is a great alternative.