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How Lactate Threshold Training Can Boost Your Performance

No matter your discipline; whether you’re a triathlete, runner, cyclist or rower, any form of endurance athlete needs some accurate physiological date to guide and monitor training.

Lactate threshold (LT) is commonly by athletes and coaches to learn the highest intensity at which you can perform before hitting the wall. The key to success at the highest level is to increase the sustainable power while performing at the lactate threshold.

But what is lactate threshold and how can you train to increase it?

The human body has three energy systems that produce energy: ATP-PC (short explosive movements), glycolytic (intermittent hard intervals) and aerobic (endurance exercises). These systems help produce energy after we have broke down our sources of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and need to produce more.

The body only has about 85 grams of ATP and we would use it up very quickly if the body didn’t have these extra ways of producing more.

High intensity exercise leads to intense burning in the muscles; this is the accumulation of lactate in the blood. When you demand energy faster than your aerobic energy system can produce it, your ‘anaerobic’ system picks up the slack.

This glycolytic system is fast, but it is also less efficient at producing energy, per unit of fuel burned, than the aerobic system. Your body needs to clear that lactate from your blood and working muscles to re-process it back into useable fuels.

Your lactate threshold is the point where production outstrips the clearing process and the high levels of lactate accumulate in the muscles, hindering their ability to contract and causing you to either slow down or stop all together.

Increasing The Lactate Threshold

Being able to do more exercise before reaching lactate threshold is sought after by every athlete. Holding a faster pace than any of your competitors whilst at your threshold may be the difference between winning a race or losing it.

An increased lactate threshold also lets you maintain lighter pace even easier than before. Your competitors may be burning through energy quickly while you can stay at pace relying on your primary aerobic system, saving valuable energy for that sprint finish.

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5th July 2018, 11:26
Page updated 5th Jul 2018, 11:27
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