How to use Lactate Threshold Heart Rate in training

In the field of endurance sports, a coach has several physiological parameters available for the evaluation of the athlete’s physical condition. In fact, these parameters play a pivotal role in the creation of their training plans, as well. One of the most common — and, most important — parameters is the Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. 

This parameter is essential, as it accurately delineates:

  • the athletes’ training zones,
  • the intensity of training and,
  • based on each athlete’s data, the adaptations they achieve through their personalized training. 

Having said that, let’s see, what Lactate Threshold Heart Rate in endurance training is; and, how to use it properly, in your athletes’ training plans. 

What is the Lactate Threshold Heart Rate in training?

According to the scientific literature, there are two points in the lactate curve. These are called the first Lactate Threshold (LT1) and the second Lactate Threshold (LT2). Essentially, the two points distinguish the three main training zones, based on exercise intensity: 

  • the ‘moderate’ zone, which is up to LT1, 
  • the ‘heavy’ zone, between LT1 and LT2; 
  • and, finally, the ‘severe’ zone, located after the LT2 point, and upwards. 

Depending on which of the three primary zones an athlete trains in, the stimuli that their body receives are different. Therefore, the adaptations occurring in the body — because of the training stimuli — are also different. For measuring their athletes’ personal zones better, coaches break the three primary training zones into five. Thus, emphasizing smaller areas of training, for greater specificity. 

Similarly to the lactate curve, in the heart rate performance curve, too, the coach first considers their athletes’ data from their measurements. Then, they divide the training zones based on where their athletes’ thresholds are located. This way, athletes maintain consistency in their training routine. On their part, coaches are confident that the necessary targeted adaptations will occur, after each workout session.

How can you utilize Lactate Threshold Heart Rate for optimizing your athletes’ performance?

As mentioned, each training zone has its own purpose, triggering body-specific adaptations based on the intensity of exercise. However, to be able to properly understand, and, thus, utilize the Lactate Threshold Heart Rate in training, you should perform the required assessment on your athletes. That’s how you’ll pinpoint all the necessary physiological variables to delineate the training zones; and, in this case, their personal thresholds. 

By analyzing the data from their test results, you’ll be able to identify where your athletes need to improve. Moreover, it will be easier for you to create their macrocycle, calculating your athlete’s training times in each zone. As you know, every parameter of your athletes’ physical condition matters in their training; that is, if they are to reach their training goals. That’s why you need to evaluate your athletes’ Lactate Threshold Heart Rate, regularly.

The importance of building an efficient aerobic base and movement economy

Undoubtedly, an endurance athlete must build a strong aerobic base before participating in a long-distance race, like a marathon. Also, they must have developed an efficient economy of movement. The only way for your athletes to reach this level of fitness is to train mainly in the first zone, for a time; which, you, their coach, will determine. You should only include second- and third-zone workouts when they have achieved the necessary adaptations; again, you should test them for this. As a result, these workouts (of higher intensity) will enable your athletes to increase oxygen consumption and shift their thresholds higher on their LT and HR curves.

Creating a personalized Lactate Threshold Heart Rate training plan, with Endogusto

As a coach, you must have realized, by now, that determining your athletes’ training zones and evaluating their performance metrics are essential for optimizing their training.

To incorporate Lactate Threshold Heart Rate workouts in your athletes’ training plan, first, you must make sure that they’ve been evaluated by a professional ergophysiologist. Once you have your athletes’ ergometric data on your hands, you’ll be able to create a personalized plan for every one of them. However, since creating personalized training plans for each athlete is not an easy task, you can turn to Endogusto, to do the ‘heavy work’ for you.

So, if you haven’t created an account on Endogusto yet, what are you waiting for? Register today, for free, and take your coaching capacity to the next level! 💪

How to use Lactate Threshold Heart Rate in training was last modified: February 13th, 2023 by Marilena Kokkinou