The lactate threshold is a point during exhaustive, all-out exercise at which lactate builds up in the blood stream faster than the body can remove it. At this point it is difficult to continue exercise.
Lactate threshold can be increased greatly with training. If an exerciser has a higher lactate threshold (LT) can continue at a high-intensity effort with a longer time to exhaustion.
Estimating Lactate Threshold: A blood test performed during exercise provides a valid measure. A simple test to estimate your lactate threshold is to perform a 30-minute time trial at a high, sustained pace. Your average heart rate during the final 20 minutes should correspond to your LT.
Proper training to increase LT means increasing your exercise intensity so you train at or just above your LT heart rate.
There are two simple ways to help increase your LT. This training can be interval training or steady training.
Note: Only do these two plans if you have been doing cardiovascular exercise regularly (at least 4 days a week) for six months and you have physician clearance.
- Interval LT Training
Sample Plan: Twice a week perform three to five 10 minute high effort intervals at 95-105 percent of your LT heart rate with three minutes of rest between intervals.
- Steady State LT Training
Sample Plan: Twice a week perform one 20-30 minute high intensity effort at 95-105 percent of your LT heart rate.