Lactate threshold training -Max frequency

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by TiMan, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    My goal at the momement is to increase my lactate threshold, especially on those on long steady climbs.

    I have good leg strength and I am fairly lean at about 8% BF.

    I have a big mountain to climb so it is easy for me to reach LT and hold it.


    I can train 5 days per week...one is a long ride.

    If not doing intervals on any of those days then how many days per week could I safely do LT workouts without risking overtraining? Also how many hours "off" should I have been LT workouts?

    Mentally I like the longer LT intervals of about 20-40 minutes more than the short ones of 10-15 minutes.

    THANX

    Ti
     
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  2. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    i am interested in what some of you coaches think too.
    is there more of a benefit by doing 2 LT workouts a week compared to one LT workout a week? there probally is, but would i be better off doing shorter, harder intervals in place of the the 2nd LT workout?

    another question; will i benefit more from a 2x30minute interval session at LT vs. a 2x20minute interval session at LT? i don't feel very wasted after a 2x20 (done at 1 hour pace, which is what i consider LT).

    one more thing. is it possible to get a benefit from both a LT workout AND a VO2max workout on the same day, as during my long 5 hr ride. assume that i am able to hold correct intensity in the 2nd interval session.
     
  3. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    I was thinking that MAYBE one could get away with three LT workouts per week......as long as no other intense stuff was done(like intervals), and only one long ride was done.

    I also take two days off from the bike so this might also allow for more frequent LT taining.

    I used to ride with a guy that only rode 4 days a week.....one day of the four he did intervals and then LT, and two other days he did LT work only, and the last day he did a long ride. The guy obviously trained with minimal hours each week BUT he was a VERY good rider. He said that he trained this way because it offered the "most bang for the time on the bike"....he was a very busy guy outside of cycling.

    I too would like to hear from the coaches on this forum.

    Ti
     
  4. edd

    edd New Member

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    I also would like to hear from one of the coaches who comment on this forum,
    meanwhile..

    to increase your lactate threshold, would you not improve your aerobic base. as opposed to improving your lactate tolerance or anaerobic (sprint ) performance.

    I have found that a constant 2 hours ( or 2.5 hours ) at 70% max HR very beneficial at building a base.

    I have also found 8 min and 30 minute intervals at just under anaerobic threshold also very beneficial.

    The short sprint and power intervals that take you into the anaerobic HR zones really impeded my training volume. I believe these need only be minimal except for maybe a pre comp period where you might tapper the volume and have short sharp intense sessions ?

    maybe ?
     
  5. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Could *you* explain what *you* mean by LT? Simply, many people use the expression erroneously, and thus it may mean something different to both of us!

    Ric
     
  6. acoggan

    acoggan Member

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    Your lactate threshold is (essentially) your "aerobic base". IOW, it has everything to do with aerobic metabolism/endurance abilities, and nothing at all to do with lactate tolerance/anaerobic power/capacity.

    In a very, very heavy training block, I can see how a young, well-trained athlete might be able to tolerate *six* threshold sessions per week. (3 days on, 1 day easy, 3 days on.) Generally speaking, however, I would think that two per week is probably both necessary and sufficient...if you can routinely tolerate additional hard sessions per week (and most people can), it's probably better to devote them to something else, e.g., VO2max intervals.
     
  7. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    LT training for "me" , and what "I" consider LT training , is training at a level of intensity that is slightly below ones actual lactate threshold....with occasional spurts at LT that often can't seem to be avoided.

    It is the level of intensity that you can hold at which blood lactate is high but steady.....I think this definition varies a bit from physiologist to physiologist . I think most guys that are half decent shape could hold actual LT intensity for an hour or so...maybe more.


    I come from a running background and in running it is slightly less than 10 K race pace. Probably more accurately ones LT intensity(pace in running) is likely what you can race a 15K to half marathon.

    Most decent runners can run a 10 K in under 45 minutes and at least half of that time is run ABOVE LT if you race correctly.
    ....so it's a level of intensity a little BELOW what you can actually race for 45 minutes....I think that this applies to cycling as well and it is likely an intensity level just under what you could race a 45 minute time trial.

    I don't have a power meter so I don't know what my power output is at LT....but in regard to heart rate I think it is about 88-90% of my maximum heart rate, as long as other things have not greatly affected my HR like heat, dehydration, over reaching etc etc. SO>>>.I try to train a little under that.

    BY FEEL...I think you know you are at LT when you start to feel tight in the upper body inspite of all efforts to relax...and your breathing starts to get hard to control in a relaxed rhythmic manner.


    As far as aerobic base improving LT....well yes it sure dose but only to a point I think. Besides not everyone has enough time to ride each week to get the "ideal base"......and just what is that ideal base anyway...depends on your goals I guess.

    So I do think you can improve LT A LOT even without a large "base"
    Geting back to running as an example of this...
    I know men that run sub 35 minute 10 k's training only 40-50 miles per week....but they give LT training a lot of importance in their training.

    In cycling I also think this would apply...I think you could develope a very high LT and be very good at Time trials etc with a lot less "base" than many people think you need.....after all how many of use are racing 4-7 hours at a crack.

    I have a wife, full time job, and three small kids and thus I am trying to get the "most bang" for the time I ride. I think the majority of the readers on this board are after the same thing.

    In running I simply could not do LT training more than once and occasionally twice per week for any length of time without injury.
    In cycling I am thinking MAYBE one can train LT 3 times a week as long as intervals are not done.??

    As it is now I try to train LT once a week on the bike with a long climb, and once a week running on my treadmill since treadmill running is not that hard on the body.

    I would like to try 3 LT workouts per week, along with a long ride once a week, and an medium intensity shorter aerobic ride another day each week and drop the running. Maybe I am nuts wanting to do this, or maybe I will have to drop the medium intensity weekly ride and just do three LT rides and one long ride in order to see improvement...I don't know.

    I do know that I do not have a great deal of time to train on the bike and I want to get into as good a shape as I can with this limited time.....and in "my books" that means having a pretty high lactate threshold. Personally I think that if one has a high lacate threshold one can "stomach" their way through some pretty long rides and even long races without too much trouble.

    ....correct me if I am wrong but I think long low intensity rides are somewhat over-rated.

    Ti
     
  8. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Any more than 2 high intensity high volume days a week will, long term, do more harm than good IMO. Only time I have riders going hard for more than 2 days a week is for a 2 - 3 week period near the end of the track seasson and that is very short High intensity. I am of the beliefe that your LT is directly rated to general fitness, there fore there is no real nead to specifically target it.
     
  9. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    No need to specifically target it? I beg to disagree strongly on this one.

    One can increase ones LT a lot...and power output at LT...but you are going to have to do some serious LT training to see your best in this regard.

    In running(my background) short races like 5 k, VO2 max is most important ....at 10 K ,VO2 max and LT are about equally important and for 15K and especially marathoning a well develped LT is BY FAR the most important aspect.

    Dare I say that the for the road racer a high lactate threshold is also the most important physiological indicator seen in the top riders.

    Ti
    :)
     
  10. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Ok, I am confussed. can you elaborate on what Lactate is and how it works.
    after reading your post I am sure we are not refering to the same thing, To me lactate is a problem for short / middle distance athletes, not long distance.
     
  11. edd

    edd New Member

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    In general fitness industry terms, anaerobic activity is usually regarded as any intense activity that can only be sustained for less than a minute.... because of the build up of toxins in the muscles causes the active muscle fibers to shut down after that time

    This is of course, a poor understanding of how our energy systems actually work. for example... at our most extreme intense activity there is still a 35% aerobic contribution and conversely at our most constant moderate activity there is still some anaerobic contributions..

    Simply put, every time you recruit a fast twitch muscle fibre there is an anaerobic contribution, toxins are produced, an inefficient lactate/glycogen cycle occurs.

    now if you feel you got a grasp of this concept.. lets put some number in there as well...

    generally at 90% of max HR is going to fatigue you to failure if you continue beyond 1 minute...

    extreme effort at low cadence is also going to effect muscle fibers in a similar way as resistance training....is going to fatigue you if you continue

    generally at 88% of max HR is going to fatigue you to failure if you continue beyond say 4 - 5 minutes...

    now lets talk real sense here.. muscles, muscle fibers, energy systems, have been around for how many million years is it ?

    Sports science ( reasoning) been around a few days, historically speaking..

    The smart people, the ones who prescribe training regimes.. do what they have found to produce the best results... from their training in the sport and from literature and experience...

    They seek to understand the principles, understand why it works, but what is put in to practice is what has been found to produce the best results, from those who went before YOU !

    Carmicheal has got Lance doing 4 to 5 hour blocks of base work at 60 - 65% of max heart rate.... Why ? do you think for one minute they just want to waste time..

    Now I’m not suggesting that this is appropriate for the rest of us. I am suggesting that even at that high level of fitness... base training is still valued !


    Opinion is over rated !
     
  12. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    On the contrary.....the longer the distance the more important a high lactate threshold becomes.....In short to middle distance VO2 max is more important.

    Without a doubt a high LT is the single most important physiological indicator of success in long distance events.

    ie: Bill Rogers, well know marathoner, did not have a high V02 max(about 64) BUT he had a very high LT and he was able to beat guys that had VO2 max's of 75 plus.

    Ti
     
  13. TiMan

    TiMan New Member

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    Why not address the question I asked in the first place.

    First of all I do know a thing or two and I am not basing what I say on my opinion only.

    Yes base training is really important but as I said "I" , and likely most of the men on this board, do not have the time to train like "Armstrong" and as such we must "live with" a reduced aerobic base and try to progress with the help of shorter more intense training.

    Getting back once again to running as this is how I best relate....
    The fact that there are MANY MANY sub 35 minute 10 k runners out there that train only 40-50 miles per week, but with a focus on LT and VO2 max training, that simply destroy the high mileage guys is proof that to me that a huge aerobic base is NOT the most important factor in training for the guy that doesn't do marathons or the long racers of a antional level or pro cyclist.
    I have seen this too often for it to be due to "genetic" ability.

    Also, you forge to mention that the most important reason Armstrong has been so successful and is not because of his trianing or his coaching but because he is a genetic freak....like many of the top riders.

    I went to a Greg Lemond talk a while back here in Tucson and he partially addressed this...he said that the less time you have to train the more you should focus on LT training.......now he didn't say NOT do get a base down. He said that for most men that compete and also have a full time job a 2.5 hour long ride each week is enough time to spend on a long ride each week.....but that one should then spend two workouts a week on LT training.

    Unfortunately I didn't ask him if LT training could be increased to 3 times per week as long as no intervals were done and one trained no more frequently than 4-5 times per week.....this is the question I am asking now.

    Ti
    :(
     
  14. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Ok, I wasnt sure of my facts here so I consulted my Guru :D . We are talking about the same thing.... It also appears we where both right also...... It is linked to general fitness so you are always training it.... and it is helpfull to ride at your LT but only twice a week :D
    I always advocate no more than 2 high intensity rides per week (ex raceing) so his opinion is in line with my own, that help?
     
  15. edd

    edd New Member

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    I'm a nobody with no real cycling fitness compared to those who race. I have a business to run and a couple of part time jobs as well...

    When I hear LT talked about, I'm not really sure everyone is on the same page regarding intensity. Outside of cycling there are two thresholds talked about, Anaerobic threshold and aerobic threshold..

    The area between these two would be were one would work if you work in blocks of 2 to 5 minutes as AnaT is regarded 1 min max time then failure and ArT is regarded as 8 min max time then failure.

    When my training was unstructured, I would train about 5 hours a week in one hour blocks... working really hard.. at least hitting AnaT twice in each session.. all up that’d be 10 min a week at above LT

    The result was that my Knees would get stiff, legs always sore... I’d be tired..

    Since structuring the training, things changed a great deal, spent four months building aerobic base.. training volume went up a lot and I feel full of beans. In present phase I spend 4 min a week above LT in one session of two blocks once a week only. One 30 min block of just under LT once a week only. The rest of the work load is varied intensities, cadences and terrains.. riding a lot of hills at under LT at the moment... I know I got the balance down for me.. because of how I feel and the measured improvements..

    To answer your question... The only one who can answer it is you..Do you have a way of measuring improvement ? Do you feel you are over training, under training ? As the saying goes... Long or hard, not both.. so how much should be long and how much should be hard..
    work periods of different components....then go figure..

    maybe a coach will jump in with some definitive answer...

    Really..who am I ? what do I know ?
     
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