Pushing Your Body to the Limit

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exerciseAthletes and their trainers have had this long-held belief that if they exercise too hard, the body develops high amounts of lactic acid that halts the work out and causes muscle pains the next day. Recent study, however, show that lactate has nothing to do with the burn, but can actually be tapped to turbocharge one’s training.

When athletes are training to push up their lactate threshold (LT), what they’re really doing is training their bodies to use lactate as fuel, according to George Brookes, PhD, of University of California at Berkeley. Scott Quill of Men’s Health magazine provides some ways to tap that hidden potential.

While swimming – Do warm-up laps for five minutes. Then, do a 500-meter test by starting off at a pace you can keep up for more than 500 meters, but build up the pace gradually until your last 100 meters is at 90 percent effort. Count your strokes per length (SPL) in the first and last 100 meters. To improve that threshold, swim 100-yards repeatedly for 20 to 30 minutes, resting after each for one-fourth of your swim time. Swim at the fastest pace that allows you to keep an SPL count one or two strokes below your count during the final 100 meters of the previous test.

While cycling – With a heart-rate monitor at hand, perform two 3-mile time trials on flat roads, pedaling as fast as you can. Multiply the higher average heart rate by 0.92 and 0.95 to determine the ideal range to boost your LT. To improve your threshold, do three 6-minute trials, each followed by 6 minutes of active rest. As you can, tack on 60-second blocks on each interval, eventually adding a fourth block. If the total time is 10 minutes, do the test all over again.

While running – The benefits of a higher threshold is that it increases the pace you can sustain on short- and medium-range distances. To find your LT, run 5 kilometers at race pace after warming up. If you are timed in 15 to 19 minutes, your threshold pace should be between 25 and 30 seconds slower per mile; if the time is between 20 and 24 minutes, LT pace is 20 to 25 seconds slower; and 25 to 30 minutes should have a threshold pace of 5 to 10-second per mile slower than your 5K pace. To improve on that threshold, run four 1-mile segments at LT training pace with a 60-second rest each.

Source: Yahoo!

Fitness – GuideTo.Com

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