I've been TiVoing each episode of The Lance Chronicles on the Outdoor Life Network, looking for information about state-of-the-art fitness measurement devices. In the second episode, they showed Lance Armstrong and one of his trainers using a Lactate Pro, a handheld lactate threshold analyzer. This device reportedly costs about $300 with the consumables for each test costing about $2.
The first time I watched the segment where the Lactate Pro is used, I thought they were using a blood-glucose meter because the Lactate Pro looks a lot like the kind of thing that some diabetics use to test their blood. They also perform a lactate threshold analysis by first doing a finger stick with a lancet. Watching the footage again, I could read the words "Lactate Pro" on the face of the device.
Many articles I've read about lactate threshold analysis indicate that this sort of testing can only be done in a laboratory setting. I didn't know that there was a handheld device that could analyze lactate thresholds on the normal training site.
A lot of people that are fairly serious about aerobic training don't need this level of measurement. I can get enough data about my physical performance when running, cycling, or skating using my
Polar S-Series Heart Rate Monitor by focusing on measure like theoretical V02 max. But, if you are training for an Ironman triathlon or a similar professional-level activity, you might need something like the Lactate Pro.