Lactate threshold workouts?

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14/06/2013 at 12:19
Calum Crighton wrote (see)

Johnas - there maybe wasn't a 6 mile tempo run actually.  Definitely 5 miles though.  I think when I was thinking of 6 miles, it would have been an intervals session that added up to 6 miles.

Is that generally what the tempo session should build to (if it's training for 10k race distance)?  I.e. 6 x 1 miles, or 3 x 2 miles for example?

I've definitely done 6 miles in a tempo interval session rather than a tempo run, so that makes sense. I can't remember where or who i heard it from but there's nothign quite like racing to get you fit so doing a race distance more or less at race pace but with recoveries is obviously less impact on the body but you still get the same physical results.

Calum Crighton wrote (see)

Also-ran - would you run a 7 mile threshold run in 10k training ever?  My idea of threshold pace is the pace you can sustain for 1 hour, is that your thinking too?  I think I could just about squeeze in 9 miles to an hour, but it would be pushing it - I could definitely get to 8.5 miles.  7 minutes per mile is probably about my threshold pace.  Would running 7 miles at that pace ever be a good workout for 10k training?  It seems a bit full on for 10k training!

I personally think 'a bit full on' sums it up. Why do that when you can break it down into intervals and get recovery. you still do 7 miles at threshold but the recoveries limit the chance of injury or burnout


DT19 wrote (see)

I have been lurking behind this thread over last day or so. Going back a few comments about the difference in effort for a 35 min 10k person and a 45 min person. My thoughts have always been that the effort and drain on the system is relative to ability. Therefore taking runner a and b, relative to their physical condition they are both undertaking the same level of workout.

That's the point i was trying to make with time. both runners end up at their threshold pace for 5 mins and therefore get the same workout.

Tommy2D wrote (see)

Johnas - Are your threshold intervals based on Daniels' Running Formula? I've just been reading this and have seen some similar sessions in there.

Currently considering moving to time based training rather than distance but still getting my head around the concept at the moment.

Have to admit Tommy I'm coached so do what I'm told but yes, the schedules my coach gives me are clearly based on Jack Daniels' philosophy. I believe his approach to LT sessions was "Run about 12 percent of your weekly mileage at your lactate threshold (LT), or tempo pace"

Not sure what his approach to time vs distance was though. Anyone know?

14/06/2013 at 12:46

Johnas- Then i agree with you. I have been reading 'the art of running faster' and also the mcmillan 5k training article on here and what both say is, why should a 30 min 5k runner work at threshold for twice as long as a 15 min 5k runners. If its done on time then all the body knows is that its worked at threshold for that time.

On the intervals above, the mcmillan 10k training plan on here starts out at 6 x 1 mile-


15/06/2013 at 14:19

This is a great thread with a lot of great suggestions. I have a marathon time of 3:38 but on the same event was hoping for 3:30. This was largely due I feel to a lack of long runs in the later stages (ITBS issues 3-4 weeks before) and hitting the wall badly at 20 miles.  The first 20 miles took me about 2:35, last 10k 63 minutes.  I simply did not have the endurance to stay in the 8 minute zone after 20 miles.  This was in the beginning of May and I want to make up for this by doing another marathon at the end of October with an aim of breaking 3:20 or at worst being in the 3:20s.  I have a HM PB of 1:36.  I am hoping in 3 months to beat this time and go for 1:30ish or better.

I have been looking up info on Yazoo 800s and am currently running them along the lines of

7 x 800 (6:50 min pace) 200 1:30 recovery

3 x 800 (6:25 min pace) 200 1:20 recovery


At the moment I feel on a good day I could push 2 more 800s at 6:25 pace and drop the 2 at 6:50 pace.  My main aim is to eventually (but very gradually)  be able to run these at 10 x 800 (6:00 pace) with a short recovery time.  I also some weeks try to change the routine and run them as 1600m intervals along the lines of

3 x 1600m (6:50) 400 recovery (3 mins)

2 x 1600m (6:25) 400 recovery (3 mins)

Would these type of interval sessions help with lactic threshold?  I feel I can cope with these type of workouts without injury looming.









15/06/2013 at 16:37


Indo77 - LT training won't necessarily help you cope with those final miles of a marathon. You need to get those long runs in in training. personally, I find adding long MP or shorter threshold sections at the end of those long runs of huge benefit when marathon training. Nothing quite like getting the legs to work hard when tired to prepare for that final 10k of a marathon.

When it comes to Yasso 800s, I would put them more in the area of VO2 max training as opposed to LT training.  As mentioned before, LT training is about training your body to deal with lactate. The pace you are running your 800s (6.50 pace) is way beyond your Lactate Threshold. LT should be around the pace you can handle for an hour. Your LT realistically (based on your half marathon time) is around 7.10 - 7.20 mins per mile.  

If you want to increase your lactate threshold, I would concentrate on adding one of the sessions previously mentioned (eg 6x1600 or 3x 3200 or the time based ones in an earlier post) ran at 7.10 - 7.20 zone into your weekly plan. Do you do any tempo running currently?

Edited: 15/06/2013 at 16:38
15/06/2013 at 18:30

I would agree entirely with Jonas on those Yassos, and prefered sessions for the marathon. As I have mentioned on this thread, VO2 type work is really not my thing! although I am now trying! According to Yasso, I should be able to reel off 10 x 800m in 2:47 per interval.That would hurt me in Marathon training and effect my priority sessions I prefer to structure my week around the Long Run ( with and without quality), Threshold work, plenty of easy running, and a bit of marathon pace or speed work depending on where I am 

15/06/2013 at 21:51

Johnas currently doing this interval work, a long run around 8:30 pace about 10/11 miles and a tempo run where averaging 7:10-7:20 pace usually about 8 miles. I don't want to start adding more miles to the long run just yet as marathon is not for another 4 months.  Will start increasing a mile a week in July. I try and do another run in the week and maybe some weights work. Walk probably 30 miles a week on top of this.

16/06/2013 at 14:19

Sounds like you have all bases covered. Maybe try splitting those tempo runs down into tempo intervals as 8 miles is a long tempo run to do week in week out. 

16/06/2013 at 16:01
andy the deestrider wrote (see)
Also ran- mind me askin what sort of time your looking at for a 10k? The reason I ask is because I've seen people quote "10k training sessions" but if two runners are training for a 10k and runner A takes sub 34 mins and runner b takes sub 45 mins the session simply can't be benefiting both runners at same time. So where 3 x 15mins at 10k pace would benefit runner B it would leave Runner A injured/burned out. Just thinking out loud there. *curious face*

I think you're right. And it's related to Johnas' point that time makes more sense across a range of runners. So instead of using "10k pace" use "pace sustainable for 50mins". (or whatever time fits)

It's difficult to define a session that would work equally for - say - me AND Mo Farah, but the closest you could get would be time-based sessions. If you get faster with training then running a mile hard will clearly have less and less benefit, as you are running it in less time!


( "3x15mins at 10k pace" hugely offends my inner scientist - You're MIXING YOUR UNITS MAN!!! )

17/06/2013 at 11:00
Also ran- i'd be reluctant to do them "yasso 800" I think there misleaading to be honest. I could do them in about 2:27 but no way could I make a 2:27 marathon happen yet.
18/06/2013 at 12:52

agree with you Andy. Not a fan of those yasso's for predicting marathon times. however, 800m interval training is worthwhile for sure


Mmmatt wrote (see)
If you get faster with training then running a mile hard will clearly have less and less benefit, as you are running it in less time!


I think Mo would just end up doing more reps. I think i saw recently that he does 8 x 1 mile rep sessions

18/06/2013 at 15:47
800m is a good distance arguably the best rep distance for 5k training if there is a jog recovery perhaps. Its short enough that it can be done at a fast pace but long enough to stress aerobic system. I say jog recovery because I think any runner would have to have there heart rate raised for the whole session because its then going to be giving more time at vo2 intensity. If a rep takes 2:30 then theres probably 2:00 minutes of the rep at a high intensity when walking recoveries. But if the recoveries are a jog then this could be pushed up to maybe 2:15 so the heart is up within 15 secs perhaps.

To keep on the thread topic I dont think its a good lactate threshold session really as 800m is to short. mile reps or 2k reps are best for this I think.
20/07/2013 at 03:08

Would this be a good Lactate threshold workout:

6 x 3mins @ 3k pace with 1:30 recovery, with warm up and cool down.


21/07/2013 at 16:55

18 mins running at 3k pace wouldn't be my choice - I would perhaps do it for leg turnover / form puposes. Part of the interval is lost getting my heart rate / respiration up to threshold - once I am at threshold I then want to stick there, wheras the 3k pace will potentially take me well away. But this may suit some and is close to the cruise intervals defininition of Daniels (dependent on your 3k time)

I tend to do threshold quicker than Half Marathon pace, slower than 10k pace. usually run in one 4 - 7 mile block, and recently as 3x2miles, 3min recovery.

I think to answer honestly, your 3k speed is needed. Here is McMillan on the session you described - note the pacing:

Cruise Intervals

The Cruise Interval workout was popularized by the running coach, Jack Daniels. They, like the other Stamina workouts, are meant to increase your lactate threshold pace. Cruise Intervals are like shorter and slightly more intense tempo intervals. They last three to eight minutes and the pace is between 0:25:00 and 0:45:00 race pace. Like tempo intervals, they are followed by short recovery jogs (30 seconds to 2 minutes). You'll probably find that it's easy to run too fast on these. The tendency is to treat them like regular long intervals. However, keep it under control and work on a smooth, fast rhythm. Control in training is key to improvement.


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