THUR: How to Get Better at Clearing Lactate

We are a few months into this year and most of you have likely been exposed to lactate threshold training in the form of our PPBs. These are the days where we are going as hard as we can in short to relatively short intervals, and this month that is represented in the 400m sprint repeats.

Our ability to clear lactate better will allow us to produce better times and improvements, one. But two, lactate clearance allows you to access a higher gear in workouts which is basically like unlocking the next level if your fitness were a video game.

It is important to understand that training at threshold all the time does not necessarily improve threshold. Think about this along the same lines of how a 1R max doesn’t necessarily improve your strength. It simply reveals it. Lactate is mainly produced by Type-II muscle fibers which are highly glycolytic, however lactate is mainly cleared by Type-I fibers that have a higher mitochondrial capacity. Therefore, to get better at clearing lactate, even in the format of a brutally intense short duration circuit, we need to have trained Type-I fibers.

To train lactate specifically, you want higher volume workouts that have you working at very intensities, but not high enough so that you hit failure (redline). Repeat the effort a few times with just enough rest that allows you to come close to repeating the effort you just did.

As soon as you can no longer sustain the work effort from set to set, you cease to train lactate threshold and you’re simply training the aerobic system. So, intensity is key but so is repeatability.

Something like:

  • 6 x 400m Row / Rest 2:30 between sets. Stop as soon as your time slows by ten seconds from the first round. 
  • 15 Thrusters + 150m Run. Rest 2:00 between sets. Stop as soon as your time slows by fifteen seconds from the first round. Thruster weight should be unbroken.

Lactate training is brutal, and it’s not for everyone. Don’t get caught up in targeting lactate until your aerobic base is sound. Doing so would be backwards, like eating dessert before your steak arrives (which is why aside from some baseline setting, we don’t have Phase 1 athletes in this zone much).

You get the general idea. Everyone’s prescription might be a bit different but high output, not terribly long working sets, little rest, repeat until sustainability isn’t met.


Thursday, 3.22.18

First, For Structure.
2/s Heavy TGU
Rest minimum 60″
100m Sprint/ Walk recovery
Rest minimum 60″
Complete four rounds in 20 minutes.

Then, for Conditioning. 
20m Sled Pull Through
8 Wall Balls
1 Agility Ladder
60m Front Rack Walk