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Lactate Threshold Training

Lactate threshold training will enable you to perform at a higher pace throughout the course of the game or race. The workouts below will improve your lactate threshold via training your body to delay the point when it starts accumulating lactic acid. Training achieves this delaying effect by making your body more energy efficient and increasing the body's tolerance to the accumulation of lactic acid.

If you don't already know what lactate threshold is, why it's important for athletes, which athletes should participate in lactate threshold training, and/or how to calculate it, read this article on lactate threshold before proceeding. 

For the following workouts, you will need to know your lactate threshold.

To estimate this, warm-up for 10 minutes, then run, or cycle if you're a cyclist, at the maximum intensity you can maintain for 30 minutes. With the your heart rate monitor, record the last 20 minutes. Your average heart rate during this 20 minute period is your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR).

You could also use a power meter instead. The process is exactly the same as with the heart rate monitor except you record your power for the last 20 minutes instead of your heart rate. Your average power over the last 20 minutes is your lactate threshold in watts.

We're now ready for the workouts.

Lactate Threshold Workout #1

You can do this workout via running or cycling.

1. Warm-up for 10 minutes.
2. Perform 4 intervals of 10 mins at your lactate threshold, as determined earlier.

Rest for 2 to 3 mins via light jogging. You can train slightly above or below your lactate threshold for increased or decreased intensity; however, don't vary the intensity from your lactate threshold more the a few percentages up or down, or else you won't be training your lactic acid system.

Lactate Threshold Workout #2

Just like the previous workout, you can do this next workout via running or cycling.

1. Warm-up for 10 minutes.
2. Run or cycle for 20 minutes at your lactate threshold with no rest.

Can Weight Training Improve Lactate Threshold?

Yes it can.

Strength training can increase your lactate threshold by as much as 10%. While the reason for this is not totally clear, it's hypothesized that it may be due to the improvement in muscle fiber recruitment. It may also have something to do with improving a runner's running economy, which is a critical determinant of a distance runners performance, along V02 Max and lactate threshold. I recommend explosive weight training twice per week in addition to the training above.

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