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Lactate threshold

Hi all

I was looking for some advice on lactate threshold. I have had a v02max test done, the results have shown my v02max and peak power output is quiet good (max power 380w). The problem is my lactate profile is quiet poor and accumulating lactate at relatively low intensities. I was looking for your taughts on how i should improve my ability to clear lactate.

My understanding is to increase interval cycles, is it better to to do reps of 10-20 min with recovery or a single effort of 30-60 mins or both? At the moment i would do 1 run speed session a week is this enough? How many cycle intervals a week would i need?

I am training for IM UK at the moment and want to start impoving this sooner rather than later.

Looking forward to any taughts.


  • First of all, loving the way you are using your accent in your writing, taughts! Quality.

    Anyway back to lactate threshold training. For your needs I wouldnt concern myself too much in improving your ability to clear lactate from your system. This is because if your are focusing on an ironman event you shouldnt really being touching work intensity that are at lactate threshold, therefore improving your ability to remove lactate will not be as important. What will be important for you in regards to lactate threshold is improving the intensity you can work out just below lactate threshold training.

    For example if you can say that at lactate threshold you can achieve 250w on the bike. If you were to work at this intensity you would probably last for 30-45mins before having to reduce your effort. This is very dependent on your fitness status but if you work at 85-90% of your lactate threshold pace (therefore 212.5 - 225w) you could hold this for much longer and if you fitness status is good and you have a good capability to use fat as an energy source this work intensity may see you through the ironman bike leg.

    However forget about the numbers and percentages for a moment what I am saying is you shouldnt worry especially early in your training about lactate clearance capabilities. Even working on pushing back your lactate threshold may not be important in the early stages of your training, the reason for this is because on the whole you wont/shouldnt work at lactate threshold during an ironman event. You should focus on your ability to use fat as an energy source and working at intensities of 65-75% of MHR will help you do it, therefore good old base training.

    If with this information you still wish to improve lactate threshold you should focus on tempo efforts of initially 20 mins (and build upto 45 mins) at lactate threshold pace. If you wish to improve lactate clearance (which is something that is even less specific to ironman events) then you should work at intensities above your lactate threshold (say 110% threfore 275w) for work intervals and work just below your lacate threshold (say 90% therefore 225w) for your rest intervals. You could initially start at 4 min work intervals with 10 minute recovery intervals and then look to gradually increase work intervals and reduce recovery times.

    Hope this helps
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