What is The Lactate Threshold?

Cycling at high speed

The lactate threshold is useful in determining the intensity level for exercising, training or endurance racing, such as cycling, long distance running, rowing, motocross, swimming or cross-country skiing. You can greatly increase your lactate threshold through adequate training.

The anaerobic threshold is deemed to be somewhere in between ninety and ninety-five percent of the maximum heart rate.

Interval training takes full advantage of this making it possible for the body to exceed the lactate threshold, even if it is only temporary, and reduce the blood-lactate while continuing to operate below the lactate threshold and maintain physical activity.

Fartlek training

Fartlek is a type of training that is similar to interval training, with the primary difference being exercise intensity. Fartlek training can involve consistent running for long periods of time while remaining right above the lactate threshold, and then running for periods just below the lactate threshold. Interval training involves running rather high above the lactate threshold and then slowing down to a walk or soft jog for a period of rest.

In order to measure your lactate threshold accurately, you will need to provide a blood sample, which is generally nothing more than a tiny prick to the thumb, finger or earlobe, for a ramp test. During this test, the exercise intensity is increased at a progressive pace. The lactate threshold can also be measured through non-invasive gas exchange methods. These methods require a metabolic cart in order to measure the air that is expired and inspired.

What is meant by the term lactate threshold?

The lactate threshold is the activity intensity point at which lactic acid begins to build up in the blood stream.

The cause of the acidification of blood in the body can be high rates of ATP hydrolysis in muscle release hydrogen ions as they move out of the muscle and into the blood by way of the monocarboxylate transporter. The bicarbonate stores in blood being used up may also cause it.

This is what happens when the lactic acid is produced at a faster rate than it is able to be metabolized. This is sometimes called the anaerobic threshold, in addition to the onset of blood lactate accumulation. When you are working out below the lactate threshold intensity, any lactic acid that is produced by your muscles is effectively metabolized and does not have a chance to accumulate.

Even though the lactate threshold is usually defined as the point during physical activity when lactic acid begins to mound in the blood stream, several testers approximate the lactate threshold by using the point when the lactate reaches 4 mM.

Lactate threshold training

Even though the best possible training for lactate threshold enhancement has yet to be completely identified by researchers, you can still follow a number of outstanding guidelines for lactate threshold training workouts and programs to ensure effective endurance performance.

Research indicates that training programs that combine interval, maximal steady state, and high volume workouts have the most distinct effect on lactate threshold enhancement.

All in all, the best way to enhance your lactate threshold levels is to increase your training volume, no matter which type of cardiovascular exercise you choose to perform.

Lactate threshold is vital to determining the success of endurance events and activities. The primary goal of lactate threshold training programs needs to be focused on improvement. Keep in mind that factors such as age, body mass, gender, etc. all play a role in individual training intensity and lactate threshold.

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