Q: I’m a bike messenger in Seattle, preparing to race. I’m fast, but my lactate threshold seems too low and my resting heart rate (60s) seems too high. I’ve been considering deep-tissue massage to help “flush out” all the toxins that accumulate during my workday. Is this a good idea? — Sid W.
COACH FRED: Physiologists say that lactate is removed from muscles by normal processes shortly after hard efforts cause it to accumulate. So, by the time the massage person begins working on you, there won’t be much excess lactate to flush out.
Massage is useful for relaxation and therapy for soft tissue injuries, but I’m afraid it won’t raise your lactate threshold. Only training near your LT heart rate (about 90 percent of your max) will do that.
Don’t worry about your resting pulse. Some racers have very low resting heart rates — below 40 — but others who are equally accomplished have rates as high or higher than yours. It’s individual.