The whole athletic world was glued to the livestream of Nike’s #Breaking2 attempt last May 6 for good reason. The event itself was more than just a marketing stunt by Nike nor a world record attempt; it was an experiment that tested the limits of both human physiology and technology. The goal was quite simple, break the longstanding 2hr marathon barrier. Of course, this is easier said than done.
Whenever we talk about cycling, terms like aero, lightweight, stiff, or low friction come to mind. Athletes often purchase such upgrades because of “free speed.” This means maximizing your current fitness level by increasing efficiency and minimizing energy loss. As such, things like aero wheels, aero helmets, ceramic bearings, and high modulus carbon fiber are mainstays in the peloton or transition area.
Oftentimes, the words accuracy, precision, and resolution are often mixed up or misused altogether. While this is forgivable in day to day use, it is taboo when it comes to science or engineering topics. Let’s differentiate the three and discuss their implication in sports science (i.e. lactate testing).
Lactate testing, by definition, is the measurement of lactate levels in the blood. It is performed through blood sampling (pricking) across a step-wise test of increasing intensity. It is very similar to blood glucose testing but with an athletic performance component.