Another of the 2x20 L4 sessions we know and love! All went pretty well and I also repeated the blood lactate reading at the end of the session as I had done one of these a month ago after this session.
Interesting results as my blood lactate was slightly higher than it was when measured immediately after the same session a month ago. Last month it was 4.7mmol/l and today 5.2mmol/l. Blood lactate can be influenced by so many factors I'm not at all concerned about this reading but it does serve to suggest strongly that I'm still working at about the right load for these L4 sessions, certainly feels that way!
I must do a bit of reading as I'm not too certain which changes most with training, whether it's the level of lactate that is produced or the ability of the athlete to deal with higher levels whilst still exercising.
My gut feeling is that with training the level of lactate produced at a given load will be lower but that the greatest "benefit" of training will be an enhanced ability to continue to perform work at higher blood lactate levels. I have read somewhere that very high performers can continue to ride/run with very high blood lactate levels which suggests to me that it is the tolerance which improves probably more than the actual level itself, I'll report back if I find anything useful out.
One interesting comparison though is the change in my HR figures for this and the identical (in power/load terms) session I did a month ago, on 22.07.2008, the data are shown below. I've been observing generally and consistently lower HRs lately and I'm sure this is a result of my altered training approach, I think some improvements might be starting to filter through, let's hope so! One very good thing is that I do feel now that I can "do" these sessions consistently without digging a big hole for myself, which is half the battle, I've just got to keep plugging away with them.