x

ADDED TO MY BASKET

Size
HOW THRESHOLD TRAINING CAN HELP YOU RUN FASTER

HOW THRESHOLD TRAINING CAN HELP YOU RUN FASTER

HOW THRESHOLD TRAINING CAN HELP YOU RUN FASTER

Written By: Dan Stepney

The term 'threshold training' gets used quite a lot in the world of running and often means slightly different things to different people. At PHX TRK we like to use the term 'LACTATE threshold training' which gives more of an emphasis to the training stimulus that we are looking for. In very basic terms, Lactate Threshold is the point at which your body starts to produce lactic acid faster than it can be removed from your muscles, so lactate starts to build up in the bloodstream. For those more acutely aware of threshold terminology we are referring to lactate turnpoint (LTP) or second threshold, rather than the first threshold. What we are trying to achieve by this training is to 'nudge' on this point. The great thing is that training slightly below or at your lactate threshold you're able to improve it over time. As you progress, your threshold pace will become quicker, meaning you'll be able to run faster for longer (and who doesn't want that!?). What we have found is that most runners either do long runs at an easy or steady pace, or do the complete opposite and do lots of speed work. Both are great and are needed in a training programme but never tap into this huge element in the middle. So, if you want to target those Personal Bests then this is going to be a fantastic weapon in your armoury. It will help prevent dying a long, slow, painful death towards the end of races and enable you to achieve your goals.

To calculate an accurate lactate threshold you'll need a lab test. Now this isn't an option for most so what we recommend is using an athletes 10km to half marathon pace; 10km pace for shorter intervals and half marathon pace for longer. Another alternative could be to use a Rate of Perceived Exertion scale (RPE). Using the scale 0-10, with 0 being no effort and 10 being maximal effort, we are aiming to run threshold sessions at the 5-7 RPE region. What is important to point out is that everyone’s lactate threshold pace is slightly different. It's relative to the individual.


Like with other training stimulus (e.g. speed and strength) you need to keep an element of lactate threshold training all year round. As we said above, lactate threshold can be improved over time but the moment you don't access this stimulus, it starts to deteriorate, and, I'm sorry to say this but it will decrease much quicker than the time it took to build up! One session a week targeting lactate threshold should be enough to see improve and get progression. The middle distance athletes at PHX TRK do at least one lactate threshold session a week. You might think this is silly as our 800m women are only running for 2 minutes and our 1500m men for 3 minute 30 seconds but we think that this training is a major contributor to the strength they need down the home straight and to also get them through the rounds at the major championships. However, the threshold sessions shouldn't be the same all year round. If you train the same you stay the same. If you grind out the same session at the same pace you'll become very good at running the same session at the same pace. But the moment you ask your body to go quicker or for longer it's not going to respond very well. Also, doing the same session week in week out is going to be extremely boring if nothing else! A generic rule of thumb, if you're in a endurance / strength phase then you do longer durations at lactate threshold and if you're in a speed / explosive phase then the durations might be shorter. The important thing is to keep accessing this stimulus all year round.

Explore Dan Stepney’s lactate threshold sessions below so you can achieve your fastest run yet. Start at your individual level for the first few weeks, and then progress towards the next stages reducing your recovery time.

LACTATE THRESHOLD TRAINING

by Dan Stepney

Time

75 minutes

Intensity

MEDIUM

Level

ALL



Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

Beginner level:

START WITH

5min jog warm up

Running Drills (See here for reference)

3 x 5min @ threshold pace with 2min recovery

5min jog warm down

Progression:

5min jog warm up

Running Drills (See here for reference)

3 x 5min @ threshold pace with 1min recovery (see if you can keep the same pace as above but reduce the recovery)

5min jog warm down

Go to Intermediate Level

Intermediate Level:

START WITH

10min jog warm up

Running Drills (See here for reference)

1 x 10min @ threshold pace 

2min recovery

2 x 5min @ threshold pace with 1min recovery

10min jog warm down

Progression:

10min jog warm up

Running Drills (See here for reference)

2 x 10min @ threshold pace 

2min recovery

10min jog warm down

Go to Advanced Level

Advanced Level:

START WITH

15min jog warm up

Running Drills (See here for reference)

3 x 10min @ threshold pace

1min recovery

15min jog warm down

Progression:

15min jog warm up

Running Drills (See here for reference)

2 x 15min @ threshold pace

2min recovery

15min jog warm down


With over 10 years of elite coaching experience, Dan Stepney has worked with some of Britain’s greatest running athletes. He recently caught up with SportsShoes.com and Nike to share some of his top training techniques for achieving faster runs. Find his fast run high-intensity drills & warm up series here.

Train fast with the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo

The Nike Pegasus Turbo is fast running shoe for your hardest training runs. Bringing record-breaking innovation to your daily training, the new Nike ZoomX foam delivers revolutionary responsiveness while the feather-light upper looks as fast as it feels. This year, Nike are using that power to help people run even faster in a classic running shoe with a new, fast design that’s engineered to fly.

Shop Adelle Tracey & Emelia Gorecka’s Zoom Pegasus Turbo from Nike: https://www.sportsshoes.com/nike-pegasus-turbo/







PayPal Direct

Please wait while we authorise your payment.

PayPal Direct

Please wait...

PayPal Direct

Sorry, there was an error with PayPal, please try again later or alternatively use another payment method.

Loading...