Int J Sports Med 1990; 11(1): 26-32
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1024757
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Reliability and Validity of a Continuous Incremental Treadmill Protocol for the Determination of Lactate Threshold, Fixed Blood Lactate Concentrations, and V̇O2max

A. Weltman, D. Snead, P. Stein, R. Seip, R. Schurrer, R. Rutt, J. Weltman
  • Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Human Services, Memorial Gymnasium, Curry School of Education University de Virginia, Charlottesville Virgnia 22903
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


Fifteen male runners were tested on two occasions to determine the reliability of a continuous incremental level running treadmill protocol (C), with 3-min stages, for lactate threshold (LT) and fixed blood lactate concentration (FBLC) (2.0 mM, 2.5 mM, 4.0 mM) assessment. Test-retest (T-RT) reliability coefficients for velocity at LT, 2.0 mM, 2.5 mM, and 4.0 mM were r = 0.89,0.91,0.95, and 0.95, respectively (velocity ranged from 215.3 m/min at LT to 273.6 m/min at 4.0 mM). Mean differences in T-RT velocity values ranged from 0.7 m/min (at LT) to 6.0 m/min (at 2.5 mM; 252.3 m/min vs 258.3 m/min; NS)and the standard errors of measurement were less than ± 10.0 m/min. Similar results were observed for V̇O2, with T-RT r values ranging from r = 0.82 (at LT) to r = 0.88 (at 2.0 mM) (V̇O2 ranged from 47.2 ml/kg · min-1 at LT to 60.9 ml/ kg · min-1 at 4.0 mM; V̇O2 peak = 65.6 ml/kg · min-1). Mean differences in T-RT V̇O2 values were less than 1.4 ml/kg · min-1 (NS) and the standard errors of measurement were less than ± 2.95 ml/kg · min-1. Interinvestigator and intrainvestigator reliability coefficients were high and ranged from r = 0.91 to r = 0.99. Validity of C was assessed in an additional 16 male runners who completed C and a criterion discontinuous (D) protocol (using a series of 10-min stages) for LT and FBLC assessment. Results indicated that C and D resulted in similar V̇O2 and velocity values at LT and FBLC. For V̇O2, correlations ranged from r = 0.75 (V̇O2LT) to r = 0.90 (V̇O2 2.5 mM and V̇O2 4.0 mM) with SEE ranging from ±1.99 to ±3.58 ml/kg · min-1. For velocity, correlations ranged from r = 0.87 to r = 0.97 with SEE ranging from ± 6.5 m/min to ± 13.1 m/min. It was concluded that a continuous horizontal treadmill protocol using 3-min stages results in reliable and valid measurement of velocity and V̇O2 at LT and FBLC of 2.0 mM, 2.5 mM, and 4.0 mM.