Rating of perceived exertion and blood lactate concentration during submaximal running

Joyce Steed, Glenn A. Gaesser, Arthur Weltman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


We examined whether the relation between of ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and exercise intensities associated with the lactate threshold (LT) and blood lactate concentrations (BLC) of 2.5 and 4.0 mM, established with an incremental protocol, held during 30-min treadmill run at constant velocity (V). RPE (11.6, 14.9, 16.8, 18.9), oxygen uptake (VO,) (3.2, 3.7, 3.9, 4.2 l•min-1), and V (168, 196, 215, 227 m•min-1) at LT, BLC of 2.5, and 4.0 mM and peak were determined for nine males during incremental exercise. Subjects then completed three 30-min runs at the V associated with LT and BLC of 2.5 and 4.0 mM, with RPE, VO2, and blood [HLa] determined every 5 min. After min 10 during the 30-min runs, RPE, VO2, and BLC were not significantly different from corresponding values observed during the incremental protocol. Regression equations predicting BLC from RPE were generated from results obtained during the incremental protocol. RPE values from the 30-min runs were used to predict BLC, and the measured BLC was used to validate the use of RPE as a predictor of BLC. Correlations ranged from r = 0.79 to r = 0.98 [total error (TE) ranged from 0.6-1.3 mM]. We conclude that RPE is a physiologically valid tool for prescribing exercise intensity when the intent is to use LT and/or BLC as the intensity criterion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-803
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise
  • Exercise prescription
  • Lactate threshold
  • Rpe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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