Improve Your Lactate Threshold and Swim Faster in Your Next Triathlon

swimmer_endurafuel-300x200Whether you are a runner, cyclist, triathlete, or an endurance athlete you need to train as fast as possible without hitting the wall from high levels of lactic acid in your blood. Elite athletes and coaches know that increasing lactate threshold is essential to success.

There are several factors that can be modified to improve performance and endurance in athletes. VO2max, exercise economy, and lactate threshold are all factors that can be improved with training and nutritional supplementation. If you can improve your lactate threshold your race speeds will improve. This post will focus on training to improve lactate threshold in swimmers.

If you are an amateur swimmer training for a local event like a triathlon then you need to understand the mechanics of a swim workout. A workout is basically comprised of two elements, endurance and threshold. Let us say you are training for a sprint triathlon with a 500 meter swim. What would be the point in swimming three miles continuously three times a week? Every time you hit the water you are swimming almost ten times your race distance. This kind of practice is known as swimming “junk miles” and many swimmers do it.
For a short race like a 500 meters you are basically going to be sprinting the entire way; endurance should be of very little concern. Instead, your preparation should be geared towards increasing your lactic threshold.

All world and Olympic endurance athletes incorporate lactate threshold training into their workouts.

To increase your lactate threshold you are going to want to swim at or even faster than race pace in training. So let us say you do five 50 meter repeats. If your goal is to swim the 500 in 6:25 then you would want to shoot for somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 seconds for your 50 meters. Perhaps the first couple of times you will need to have a few minutes break between each 50 meters in order to repeat the time, but as you progress in your training you should decrease the rest period until you are basically swimming ten – 50 meters at around 40 seconds a piece.

This same sort of practice can be used with just about any swim distance; lactic threshold expansion is an integral part in your training program.

Of course, if you are training for an iron man swim of 2.4 miles then endurance is going to be a factor. But once you feel comfortable swimming the distance in order to get faster you will have to do the same kinds of workouts as the person training for the 500 just on a bit larger scale, 100 or 200 meter repeats for instance.

Designing a swim workout is that simple. There is no need to look for a long fancy training plan that is difficult to follow. If you want to improve your times then you have got to swim faster in practice, it is that simple.

Your training program will be difficult in the beginning, but if you stay determined to improve then you will see astronomical gains in a very short time. Combining this training workout with nutritional supplementation to increase VO2 max and exercise economy and increase your speed and endurance.

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