If you are a cyclist there is no doubt that you have heard about Lactic Threshold (LT) training. Professionals and novice cyclist alike have come to swear by LT training because it is highly trainable.
The key to success on your bike is the balance between lactate production and absorption. During high intensity exercise, there is a point at which your body is producing lactate faster than your cells can absorb it. At this point, your body has reached its “lactate threshold”. You cannot maintain this level of intensity for long before having to reduce intensity. The good news is through proper training you can raise your LT.
In order to begin LT training, you will need to complete an LT test. No laboratory needed. It’s easy.
HOW TO TEST YOUR LACTIC THRESHOLD
Complete a workout on an exercise bike or cycle that has a power meter. The power meter measures the amount of power in watts that you are creating by turning the pedals.
Warm up for 10-15 minutes.
Ride a twenty-minute time trial at your highest level of effort. Try to record the highest average wattage as you can throughout your workout. You should finish with nothing left.
Review your workout stats. Your average power recorded in wattage is your new LT.
LACTATE THRESHOLD TRAINING ZONES
Now that you know your LT, time to start using it in your training. You’ll want to calculate different percentages of your LT for training at different effort levels. For example, calculate 88% of your LT. This is know as your “Sweet Spot”. Below are various lactic threshold training zones.
RECOVERY ZONE :: 65%- 84%
This lactic threshold training zone is easy to maintain and acts as a recovery zone between intense efforts.
ENDURANCE ZONE :: 85%- 91%
This lactic threshold training zone requires moderate effort and is ideal for long distance endurance workouts.
LACTATE THRESHOLD ZONE :: 92%- 95%
This lactic threshold training zone is slightly above moderate effort and is mostly used for tempo workouts.
VO2 MAX INTERVAL ZONE :: 96%- 100%
This lactic threshold training zone is also know as your race pace and is great for tempo, hill work, and interval training.
THRESHOLD ENDURANCE ZONE :: 100%- 102%
This lactic threshold training zone requires high intensity and is relatively short with recovery.
ANAEROBIC ENDURANCE ZONE :: 103%- 105%
This lactic threshold training zone is high in intensity and will help improve your anaerobic endurance.
ANAEROBIC CAPACITY ZONE :: 106% and above
This lactic threshold training zone include short sprints at very high in intensity followed by significant recovery.