Marathon Training for Simpletons Part II - Lactate Threshold

Why would a cow need a doorway?

My original post on how to get my training plan sorted raised a lot of questions:
  • what is lactate threshold, and why is it important?
  • what are you gibbering about Phil? It's clear to everyone that you're talking s***
  • where's the last pie gone?
Now, skirting deftly around many of these issues, I shall be looking at your lactate threshold (LT), and how you can improve it.

Now, I don't mean I'll be looking at your personal one.

I have no idea who you are or what your personal threshold is.

I'm talking generally. Stop reading too much into it!

As you all know, I'm male, so I'm not really that bothered about why something does something. I just need to know if it's important, and how can I make it better.

I could go on about by products of carbohydrate metabolism, increased number of mitochondria, aerobic enzyme activity etc but I don't think you'd care.

Or at least I don't, and I'm writing this, so deal with it.

Basically, lactate comes from your muscles. The more you work them, the more is produce. Once
you get a certain level of lactate (your LT) your body can't get rid of it, and it accumulates, especially if you're doing something for longer than 30 mins.

Once it then gets to a certain level it starts to bugger around with how you produce energy so you have to slow down.

LT training helps to increase the level at which your body can't cope with the lactate being produced, and the best way to do this is to run at your current LT or slightly faster for a continuous run.

That just begs the question, what the hell is my LT?

Now, despite being a scientist, I'm not allowed a lab for insurance purposes, so a blood test to accurately work out the level simply isn't gonna happen.

The DIY way is to work out the pace you'd run an hour long race. You then just need to use that pace as a benchmark to get your LT level up. You'd do this during mid length runs of 8 or so miles, and you'd build up the pace so about half of the total distance is at this kind of pace.

So, just need to slip a few of them into training and the jobs a good one!