Lactate threshold workouts?

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?

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  • 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

  • ^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.

  • 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 image) so am trying to ease into this. I'm alternating these sessions with the sustained effort threshold runs.

  • 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???

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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 image

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 image

  • 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.

  • 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 image

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

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

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

  • ok my mistake, thanks for explaining it to me image 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.

     

     

  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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!

  • 'easier' was more in the sense of a 7 mile block being pretty tough psychologically - I tend to really struggle with that session until I get midway through it.

  • Also-ran wrote (see)

    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

    different ways to skin a cat...i guess. Interesting you find it okay, i consider it a hefty session to be honest because 6 x 5:23miles with 3:00 jogs is a slog at that pace. were all different though. i was doing sessions sessions like johnas at the start of this year but got burned out so have started from the bottom this time (400s) and plan to build (interval distance) up as i get accustomed to the lactate threshold. it is getting better though, 400m used to burn after about 300m now the pace doesn't hurt till about 1kmimage

  • Also-ran wrote (see)

    'easier' was more in the sense of a 7 mile block being pretty tough psychologically - I tend to really struggle with that session until I get midway through it.

    if there is anyone sciencey reading this can give me an idiots guide to why the first 1-2 reps is sometimes harder than maybe halfway point of a session? or even the last interval. image

  • I always find the first 1-2 reps tough and the first 1-2 miles of a tempo. Even with a decent warmup, strides etc the pace still comes as a shock.  After the fist couple I guess I get used to it.

    My HR tends to show a fairly smooth increase, but Mr D's goes wild for the first mile or so, zig-zagging with peaks over her 'normal' Max HR.  After a mile or so it settles down and she gets the same gradual increase through the rest of the session.

  • different ways to skin a cat...i guess. Interesting you find it okay, i consider it a hefty session to be honest because 6 x 5:23miles with 3:00 jogs is a slog at that pace. were all different though.

    Yes - part of that will be down to where we are along the training curve (me at the beginning, you a few years down the road). It is very early days for me with little or no speedwork done since taking up running. A couple of years down the line I expect things to be much tougher as I try to continue to improve, although I don't expect to be doing 5:23m/miles in a 10kimage

  • This is an issue that must be intimidating for the likes of mo farah. They have to be extremely fit just to atempt to complete sessions to get near there best.

    I'm trying to build up rep distance although theres a big difference between 6x 1 mile and 3x2 mile. More time with lactate in the legs. 400s are great but do nothing for speed endurance. looking at mcmilan it says my Vvo2 is 4:50ish and lactate threshold is 5:37. So guessing that 1200s at 4:50-4:55 pace is a strong stimulus to lower lactate threshold esp with jog recoveries.
  • 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*
  • Hi Andy,

    I don't mind you asking. I will be happy to get under 38min this summer. I've probably got 6  weeks left before turning attention back to Marathons. I'm trying to get into 10k type training but tend to scupper myself with longer stuff, e.g. and ad-hoc marathon run last weekend probably ruined a couple of weeks 10k training. So I decided not to fret over it, and push for sub38.  First crack at it on a undulating / multi terrain course was 38:39 a couple of weeks back

    Mcmillan comes out as 35:47 based on my marathon time. I can't see myself getting close to that in the timescale. I ran the 2 x 2M, and 2 x 1M at around 5:50's. I'm not feeling too burnt out after those sessions, but then Mcmillan calculator reckons with some consistent training I should cope with them a bit quicker.

    My main aim here is to stretch out the gap between my 10k pace and marathon pace that closed up over the winter

     

  • Thanks for all the help, think ill do the same thing and try to build it up a bit over time before i go out and do the Mcmillan sessions, cheers image

  • Andy - your Runner A and Runner B analogy is why I'm an advocate of time based training over distance reps. The body only understands effort and time, not distance. Runner B would be at his/her threshold pace for longer than Runner A if they were training by distance and risking burnout/injury. however, if training by time, both would be at the same effort level specific to them, for the same amount of time.

  • You could do some good hacking at your 10k pb in next 6 weeks. if you were to do 5 quality weeks then week 6 have monday to friday resting or with half a speed session on tuesday or wednesday and an easy jog of 2-3 mile the day before to keep legs loose then you'd get a good pb. When I say quality I dont mean as many speed sessions as possible but as consistent as possible. 2interval sessions and a long run is all the qaulity you need in my opinion.
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