Five lactate lies: what lactate means in cycling

Lactate, a compound that accumulates during intense exercise, has for too long been unfairly blamed for pain and fatigue. Here, David Bradford mounts a multi-pronged defence of the maligned metabolite

lactate cycling

Everyone has heard of lactate — or lactic acid — and for most of us it conjures up the special type of discomfort brought on by pedalling harder than our legs seem willing to tolerate.

If I had a polka-dot jersey for every hill-beaten cyclist I’ve overheard wheezing on about “lactic burn”, I’d need a bigger spotted jersey drawer than Federico Bahamontes.

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