Originally Posted by cosmoliu
That said, what is the most straightforward (read: time efficient) way to train for LT? Actually, I think I already know the answer.
OK, now I'll take my layperson's shot at answering your question, and invite the experts to correct me where necessary. Note my previous post describing WHY you want to increase your Lactate Threshold for skiing.
So are we talking 15 mins/week or 7 hours/week training time to improve your LT? "Time efficient" is relative, so I'll try to cover the range of options...
30 mins/week or less training time
Some sort of HIIT seems to be the way to go, maybe one or two Tabata or Gibala workouts? I've never personally tried just 30 mins/week of HIIT or know anyone who has, but the research seems to support HIIT works great for minimal time. You really should be doing more, though...
2 hours/week training time
I'm in the camp with many here and elsewhere that your body can't take more than one or two hard interval sessions per week. As a result, a 2 hour/week LT plan looks very much like light volume endurance training. Something like 60 mins long/easy, 30 mins tempo, and 30 mins intervals. This is really similar to what a triathlete with limited time will do just for the bike or run when training for a shorter triathlon, which is very similar to the LT goal. This is pretty much what I'm doing now to train for a Thanksgiving 5K. I'm basically doing something like this 5K training plan, but with just three runs/week: long, interval and tempo (see those terms defined at that link).
BTW, I'm also road and mountain biking a couple hours/week, and shooting for a couple hours/week in my basement gym. My gym workout routine ends up being something like what I posted here which I think is probably better overall for ski training than just running or biking. If I was really serious about my 5K training I'd spend all my training time running, but neither my mind nor body could take that much running.
6 hours/week training time
That's easy. It looks very much like a full traditional 5K or 10K training plan. Just bump up the volume with more and longer workouts from the 2 hour plan above. There is a reason elite athletes are still training the way they do, using lots of volume, and using high intensity intervals as small percentage of their overall training. In confirming this, I came across a recent article about HIIT in run training with some great quotes from Jack Daniels who wrote the book on run training. Basically he uses HIIT, as he always has, as just one piece of the training puzzle, and adds this warning:
Daniels says HIIT training should only be added to a training schedule after building a proper aerobic base from six to eight weeks of consistent running. Once that basic fitness is achieved, Daniels says his rule of thumb is to never allow the working mileage of HIIT to exceed the lesser of 8 percent of the runner’s weekly mileage or 10K. Whether those miles are broken up into one or two workouts is less important than the overall mileage.
I think on the bike, elliptical or other lower impact activity you can probably ramp up HIIT training more quickly without as much risk of injury as running.
Finally, if anyone wants to start running I highly suggest Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run method to get started without injury. He developed a 7 week Couch to 5K training plan for the Mayo Clinic. Thanksgiving is 8 weeks away and there are T-day 5K's everywhere!
Edited by tball - 10/10/14 at 8:24am