I had promised a post on interpreting lactate test results and it is in full swing. I will hold off until Monday as the logs say that most readers spend their time here during the week - I guess you all need diversions from your day jobs! I will tease you though with a few thoughts:
Lactate testing can give you some important information so that your training is not based on averages for the normal population.
Most training systems have at their heart some key and important information that is common to them.
I don't believe much of that is actually backed up by scientific study - someone prove me wrong though please!
Most training systems fill in around the common basics with a great deal of supposition around the basic facts. Why do I say this? Just spend a little time looking at all the plans out there and see what they have in common and how they differ. Most prescribe different types of training for recovery, endurance, threshold, and anaerobic development. Most of these are all centered around the generally accepted thresholds around 2mmol and 4mmol of lactate. After that they all have many differences. In fact I wouldn't think that one organization even suggests the same systems consistently across their publications. On the FISA web site they provide several coaching manuals. The categories of training differ a little between the manuals they are given in. If you're surfing, go over to WorldRowing.com (great site!) and look at the coaching manuals. Compare what is there in the general fitness training manual and the intermediate manuals. You'll need to dig a bit but you'll learn a lot in the process.
Different organizations have different numbers of training intensity categories. The old Rowing Canada system which is hard to find, but on the web site of the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga, Ontario, has six different levels. They used to also have other systems depending on whether an athlete was training for the national team, high school or club level rowing. That made a little sense - trying to make things simpler for lesser trained athletes and to focus them on the basics and what is most important.
The Concept 2 manual on their British site has still another system with five levels of intensity.
The Janssen book (see at Amazon.com) has seven different levels - they aren't nicely laid out there, but the book is still a treasure trove of information.
Of course everyone also describes what the body is doing at each level differently. Let me also point out something that bothers me - most people see these systems and think that the body has all these energy systems that it turns on and off like a switch depending on how hard they are going. It really should be viewed as a blending of several systems that are all on at the same time, though each obviously contributing a different amount to the production of energy depending on intensity.
OK - thoroughly confused? Do some browsing and look at what is out there. You may be more confused after but I'll try to sort through all the information a bit on Monday.
I have listed only a few resources here. I would like to collect more. If any of our readers from other countries can provide links to their systems please do. Great Britain? Australia? France? New Zealand? Please attach any info you have as a comment.