Last Updated on November 4, 2015 by Jimson Lee
This post is primarily for mid distance and distance runners who simply want to know what is their optimal pace for racing. That is, the point just before lactate clearance is no longer able to keep up with lactate production. Once past this point, I call it acidosis, or an accumulation of hydrogen ions (H+).
Now, for us quarter-milers, we train our body to run through lactate. No pain, no gain.
There are several ways to measure this Lactate Threshold point, or rather, the deflection point, and that can range to a simple heart rate monitor right up to taking blood samples and measuring lactate.
For the heat rate monitor, you need to use a specified protocol (fixed time intervals and speeds) and the Conconi test is one of the earliest (albeit controversial) test to measure Lactate Threshold. Some people call this Anaerobic Threshold, which is technically not the same thing, but people do mix up the terminology.
The lactate threshold is expressed as a percentage of VO2 max. For untrained runners, the number is usually 50-60%. For Elite runners, it’s 70-80% or even higher. From the VO2 max, one can calculate the race pace.
That’s why a world class marathoner can run 4:50 per mile as that pace is under their Lactate Threshold. For others, like me, I will be producing buckets of lactic acid after that first mile.
And this is why you train. So you can increase your Lactate Threshold point. Everything from long runs, recovery runs, Tempo runs, and speed work.
More information on Lactate Threshold Training
>> Marcus O’Sullivan: The Basics of Lactate Threshold Training (DVD)
The key to threshold training, or any training for that matter, is getting a full understanding on the energy systems. In Part 1 of the DVD, Marcus O’Sullivan explains the basic physiology of the Phosphate System, the Oxygen System, and the Lactate System. With a basic understanding of these systems, you will be able to identify the threshold “deflection point” that is the key element in prescribing appropriate training on an individual basis for each athlete. The athletes’ appropriate pace is then determined by using heart rate as well as time formulas.
In the DVD, Marcus includes strategies for training that are systems appropriate. He then shares with you a workout plan that will include the frequency and volume of a threshold workout, ultimately leading to less injury and the avoidance of overtraining.
This video is 51 minutes log and was produced in 2006.
Lactate Threshold Training is an advanced training guide to help you improve endurance performance. This book explains the theory behind the training and presents practical programs to improve your lactate threshold and race faster than ever before.
Many elite athletes and coaches are using this innovative concept in their training. The book includes:
- heart-rate based training programs,
- tests for self-assessment of lactate threshold,
- scientific guidelines to avoid overtraining,
- advice on nutrition,
- workout examples of elite endurance athletes.
Justin McClelland says
I just recently learned the differences between anaerobic and aerobic training. I’m looking for a good training program to build up my aerobic base, as prior I was only training anaerobically.