Lactate threshold workouts?

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02/06/2013 at 15:41

im looking to start doing some track training, what would be the best options to improve my lactate threshold, would it be better to say do 10 x 200m or 10 x 400m or would it be better to do triangle workouts like 200, 400, 600, 800, 600, 400, 200 ect any advice much appriciated?

02/06/2013 at 16:51

Personally I wouldn't do any of those for the purpse of raising lactate threshold. Those intervals look more suited to working on your VO2max if you run them at the right pace. 

To improve threshold, you should sustain a threshold pace for at least 20 mins. Without getting blood tested, use a pace you could sustain for an hour. I use a little slower than my 10m pace, a bit quicker than HM pace.

No need for a track. Typical for me is 2m warm up, 4-7m @ threshold pace, 1-2m cool down. Depending in your mileage, 15min w/up, 20 min threshod, 10 min. cooldown would be good.  As n introduction you could split the 20 mins into 2 to 4 block with some recovery, but you want to get to a sustained effort to get the real benefits.

You could also set threshold by heart rate - I don't have this to hand

Edited: 02/06/2013 at 17:01
02/06/2013 at 22:53

^What he said.

For the sake of variety, I like to work "around" threshold on a weekly basis, so you can work at intensities either side of the classic continuous threshold run.  At one end I would work up to 10 miles at a hard pace (somewhere around marathon pace or a little quicker) - but you really want to be doing very solid mileage before giving this a good go.  Otherwise do what also-ran suggests and build up from the lower end, but maintaining a sustained pace over a longer period.

At the other end, you can work just above threshold by doing tempo intervals, e.g. 4/5 x 2k, or 3 x 2 miles. Depending on your fitness these might be closer to 10k pace, so you'd probably be building up a bit of lactate during the session, but this will also give a stimulus to improve threshold. 

Depending on your overall objectives, there may be a place for the sort of track sessions you're talking about, but you need to be clear that they're not the best things for improving lactate threshold.

03/06/2013 at 09:00

Glad you said about the 10k pace reps above LT. I am trying to work up to those at the moment using Mcmillans 10k training approach, which so far has been:

Session 1  6 x 1m, 3 min recovery
Session 2  1 x 2m, 5 min rec,  4 x 1m, 3 min rec
Session 3  2 x 2m, 5 min rec,  2 x 1m, 3 min rec

The next one will be:
Session 4  3 x 2m, 5 min rec.

Not having any shorter training behind me, I found Mcmillans 10k pace based on my marathon time a bit too hot for me to handle ("you'd probably be building up a bit of lactate during the session ) so am trying to ease into this. I'm alternating these sessions with the sustained effort threshold runs.

03/06/2013 at 09:35

How are those mcmillan intervals leaving you feeling? I looked at that plan but thought it looked a bit heavy in terms of the fact you are actually running the full 10k at or around race pace, albeit with rests and would then mess up the following few days???

03/06/2013 at 09:47

A-r - Looks like a good plan.  You can even progress "Session 4" by cutting down the recovery time - then you're obviously hitting/going over threshold a bit sooner into each rep.  I've used 3 x 2M w/ 2mins recovery, and I can remember hitting target 10k pb pace and feeling very happy about it (and pretty knackered!)  if I'm being honest, I haven't done this session for ages and I think I'd struggle to hit 10k pace now straight off, but it's a good indicator when you're on form.

DT19 - As with any quality session I suppose it depends on how the rest of the week is structured.  This is the sort of session I'd do on a Thursday, which would typically mean it's followed by a rest/easy day, then an easy day (or non-running day) then the long run.  Even if you manage 10k volume at race pace (which is hard work), in my experience the recovery is a lot easier than a 10k race.

03/06/2013 at 09:55

DT19 - Not too bad at the moment. The only 10k's  I am currently racing are trail 10k's which given the occassional style, gate, bridge etc, I'm treating as a good tempo run in itself. I'm not too bothered about peaking for anything. I have a flat road 10k in about 7 weeks which is the mainfocus.

I have run the trail races closer to my HM pace, currently 6:10, and all the Mcmillan intervals have been run  flat on track or treadmill around about 5:50 pace. Although tough at the time, the day or two after is recovery / general aerobic runs and I do run these at a really nice easy pace. This means I can potentially do 2 hard sessions per week, plus a long run. Overall - I've quite liked the Mcmillan plan, probably more because its been a real change of focus for me

I was a more concerned about injury getting into the quicker stuff as I've considered myself a bit injury prone, however I'm starting to appreciate the benefits of warm ups / downs / stretching

03/06/2013 at 10:32

AR - I had a look at that McMillian session, but haven't had the time to really incorporate it into my build up for a 10k this week.  Though I'm thinking I might do something like 2x2M this tuesday with race on Sunday.  Whats the recovery like considering I'll take it farly easy for the rest of the week?

Cliff - Re: threshold paces, Daniels has a neat table of recommended pace for threshold sessions ranging from slighly slower than 10k for 20min; approx HM pace for 40mins; to MP for 60mins.

I tend to do either 20 of 40 minute sessions with 2-3miles warm up and 1m cd.

03/06/2013 at 10:37

an alternative is time based threshold intervals at the paces suggested above. Personally I do a variation of the below once a week (all with min 1 mile warm up and cool down)

5x 5mins @ threshold (60 sec recovery)

4x 6mins @ threshold (90 sec recovery)

5x 6mins @ threshold (90 sec recovery)

6x 5 mins @ threshold (60 sec recovery)

03/06/2013 at 22:04

Lou, I've found the recovery to be fine with those sessions. Mcmillan has some fairly generous recovery times in between the 2 mile reps. Quads felt a bit heavy the day or two after, but nothing significant.  I've no experience of the best taper for a 10k - at the moment I'm just training through, not backing off before races. I need to address that when I come up to my target races in July.

11/06/2013 at 16:02

ive now added 1 lactate threshold training per week to my training, how long should it take before i start to see imporvment in my lactate threshold and see my times start to improve? cheers

11/06/2013 at 16:33

difficult to say Cliff as everyone is different but you'll soon notice your threshold pace getting quicker with consistent training. the consistency is the key

11/06/2013 at 19:23

ok thanks Johnas, did my first session tonight, 1min at higher than lactate threshold pace x 5 with 2 min slow jog recovery, went well but tough session, next week will go for 2 min.

12/06/2013 at 10:36

the idea of LT running though is to hold the pace for an extended period of time so the body gets better at dealing with lactate. running for 1 min faster than your threshold is more in tune with an interval session and, whilst helping with speed, won't improve your LT.

You need to be doing 5 minutes at least or as others do, minimum of a mile if you prefer distance. I think the confusion may have come from above where Also Ran has quoted "Session 1  6 x 1m" where the m stands for MILE not MINUTE

12/06/2013 at 10:57

As Johnas says, the tempo run and interval training are to hit two differant zones. What you have done above possibly does not quite hit either. There are various ideas for tempo runs and various paces to hit. You could do 20-30 minutes at a comfortably hard effort ie somwhere between half marathon and ten k pace or maybe 4 x 1 mile at just slower than 10k pace or a graduated tempo which i plan to do this week which is 1 mile at mp, 1 at hmp, 1 at 10k pace, 1 at hmp and 1 at mp. I do my tempo runs on a track or a treadmill so i can clearly monitor distance and pace and it gives me identical conditions. If i did it on the roads i would probably slow it all down a bit.

12/06/2013 at 11:04
Johnas wrote (see)

the idea of LT running though is to hold the pace for an extended period of time so the body gets better at dealing with lactate. running for 1 min faster than your threshold is more in tune with an interval session and, whilst helping with speed, won't improve your LT.

You need to be doing 5 minutes at least or as others do, minimum of a mile if you prefer distance. I think the confusion may have come from above where Also Ran has quoted "Session 1  6 x 1m" where the m stands for MILE not MINUTE

That is correct  as Johnas says, and just to clarify, the recoveries were minutes not miles

Edit: here is the link to the Mcmillan 10k plan:

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/performance-page-best-10k-workout

Edited: 12/06/2013 at 11:10
12/06/2013 at 17:35

ok my mistake, thanks for explaining it to me like the Mcmillan 8 week training for 10k, think ill give the first session in that plan a try next week to see how it goes, the 6 x 1mile repeats.

 

 

13/06/2013 at 10:54
Intersting thread this.

+1 for what Johnas said "You need to be doing 5 minutes at least or as others do, minimum of a mile if you prefer distance".

not sure i'd go straight in at the deep end with a weekly session of 6 x 1 mile with 3 min jog recoveries. Thats a tough session in my view.

Would it not be better to build up over time? What I've done is get good at 12 x 400 in 75secs with 75sec recoveries, then repeating every week until it feels fairly easy. once this is comfortable ish then move on to 800's at same pace then when that becomes as comfertable as its gunna get start jogging the recoveries. Then try 1200s. This way I have progressed to yesterdays session of 6x1200metres in 3:38 with 3min jog recoveries.
Basically I'm building up to that 6x1m session so its more of lactate threshold session than a beat your qauds up session.
13/06/2013 at 11:18

Andy, I guess we have approached  this  from different ends. A staple marathon training session for me is 6 or 7 miles at threshold pace so going a little quicker on the 6 x 1m at a 10k pace isn't such a push as he suggests 3-4 min recoveries. I found the 6 x 1m easier in that respect, but within a few weeks McMillans' plan toughens the session up considerably

Either way, it is something that is best built up to over time as you say. Staight in and it could seem like too big session to take on

13/06/2013 at 11:30

nothing wrong with less reps and bigger recoveries whilst you build up. if new to lactate work, they are tough sessions but practise, consistency and improvement is the way forward.

not sure they ever get 'easier' because as you improve, the reps tend to increase in duration or distance and the recoveries get less. I did a 7x 5mins @ threshold session last week (last 2 reps @ 10k pace) all with 60 sec recoveries between and it near broke me!

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