An Awesome Guide to Tapping on Your Lactate Threshold

Want to know the secret behind unlocking your running potential by tapping on your lactate threshold? Find out more in this quick guide!

On the off chance that you need to make the most out of every workout, you should learn about your lactate threshold, which has a really powerful effect on the intensity and length of time of your workouts. This article will clarify the nuts and bolts of lactate threshold and how you can make use of it when exercising.


What is Lactate Threshold and Why Should Runners Use it?

According to Sports Fitness Advisor, lactate threshold is “the point during exercise of increasing intensity at which blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels, where lactate clearance is no longer able to keep up with lactate production.” It is the point where your body produces more lactate than you can remove, which usually occurs in high-intensity workouts.

This creates the effect of fatigue and reduces the power behind each muscle contraction, which basically results in you being unable to carry the same amount of weight in the gym or sprint as fast and light while running.

In other words, many coaches and trainers agree in common that lactate threshold is a very useful measurement of an athlete’s endurance. As a runner, tracking your lactate threshold over time will allow you to track your improvements and gains in running endurance in a specific and measurable way.

Now that you see its usefulness, let’s move on to understand how you can measure your lactate threshold.


How to Measure Your Lactate Threshold?

Lactate threshold is commonly expressed as a percentage of VO2Max, “the highest rate of oxygen consumption attainable during maximal or exhaustive exercise”. Read more about VO2Max here.

There are many methods to calculate your lactate threshold. The most precise of all is through laboratory testing of blood samples, which can be costly and inaccessible to the average runner. Let’s look at 2 other methods which you can utilize to measure your lactate threshold.


Lactate Analyzer

A portable lactate analyzer allows you to measure your lactate threshold on the go. A good portable lactate analyzer has similar precision as laboratory testing. Read more about how to use a lactate analyzer here.


30-Min High Intensity Workout

Seasoned runners can perform a high intensity workout for 30 minutes and record their heart rate; effectively simulating an actual race or marathon. With a heart rate monitor, you can then calculate the average heart rate in the last 20 minutes of the workout to work out your lactate threshold heart rate.


How to Increase Your Lactate Threshold?

So knowing all of the above, how can you increase your lactate threshold through training? Here are 2 tried-and-tested methods that you can implement for a start:

(1) Interval Trainings

  • 10-minute interval runs at 95 to 105 percent of your lactate threshold
  • 3-5 intervals per session
  • 2-3 sessions a week

This is useful for runners who are training for short distance runs, such as the National Service IPPT 2.4km.

(2) High Intensity/Continuous Trainings

  • 30-minute runs at 95 to 105 percent of your lactate threshold
  • 1-2 sessions per week.

This is useful for runners who are training for long distance runs, such as 10km, half and full marathons.

Research by Donovan & Brooks have shown that “training at or slightly above the lactate threshold can increase the relative intensity at which it occurs”. Furthermore, this research suggests that “endurance training affects only lactate clearance rather than production.” In other words, the key importance of this training is to delay blood lactate accumulation by increasing the speed at which you can clear blood lactate. Therefore, remember to continually measure your lactate threshold percentage over time to track your improvements!


As a runner, tracking your lactate threshold over time will allow you to track your improvements and gains in running endurance in a specific and measurable way.



To perform at your peak in any run, it is critical to learn about and increase your lactate threshold. Measuring this threshold lets you realise exactly how long you can train for a specific distance. If you want to run longer or faster, you must work out in a way that continually grows your lactate threshold.


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LIV3LY Editor
LIV3LY Editor

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