What is lactate threshold?

When exercising at or below the lactate threshold, lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without building up the lactic acid level

In other words, the threshold load is the maximal load you can achieve where there is a balance between production and removal of lactic acid in the blood.

Many different terms and expressions are used for the lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold. Examples of terms used: individual anaerobic threshold, lactate threshold, ventilatory anaerobic threshold, heart rate deflection point, onset of plasma lactate accumulation, onset of blood lactate accumulation, maximum lactate steady state.

You should not worry about this, it has no practical effect. These are only terms used by scientists, which may confuse you if you try to separate between them in your training.

To train and coach runners is a practical craft. You have to sense and feel and use a holistic approach for each individual. As far as we know, no scientist with a PhD has ever trained an athlete to produce a world record in running. The athlete is normally out in the woods or on the streets, and you cannot apply laboratory methods to optimise individual athlete’s training.

The ideal situation is to have an athlete and a coach with the basic theoretical knowledge, – and at the same time being practical how to utilise the theory. Therefore, the definition on the top of this page is more than sufficient as a basis for planning and performing your training.

Read more about this in our article

Author: Arve Kristiansen

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