For years, lactate threshold (LT) has been referred to by athletes and coaches as one of the most useful metrics to determine the upper limits of sustaining power, endurance, and, ultimately, performance. It is useful to think of the lactate threshold as a glass ceiling—an invisible barrier that once raised will increase performance potential. Understanding what LT is and how it fits within your training plan, and knowing how to describe it in the context of an indoor cycling studio, will go a long way in helping your riders conceptualize what their bodies are experiencing.
Threshold training refers to exercise intensity designed to raise the lactate threshold (LT), a high, sustainable intensity. Even a student who never ventures outside will benefit from training to raise LT; working harder helps burn more calories during the class, as well as afterward. Learn how and why you should be doing threshold intervals in your classes.
When you learn how to read and interpret a workout file it is an amazing tool to aid in putting together profiles. You will better understand the possible impact your choices (cadence, resistance, power, etc.) will have on your riders. By looking at a file from a less fit rider who suffered in the class or was unable to do the prescribed workout, you will understand why some might struggle with your coaching. Or, maybe you might discover that some things you are doing might not be as effective as you thought.
Help your riders by providing them with the mental encouragement needed to maintain intense efforts. This is the first of three articles on creative cueing at high intensity: threshold efforts, anaerobic efforts of 1–3 minutes, and explosive efforts under a minute. You’ll never have to ask “what should I say” again!
In all the heart rate training articles posted at ICA, we always stress the fact that heart rate, while an effective way to monitor your intensity, is subject to many external factors that have nothing to do with the work you are performing. These factors include over-reaching, over-training, lack of sleep, dehydration, caffeine, medications, heat, humidity, stress, and others. It is important to understand the limitations of heart rate training if one is to use it properly as a training tool. One of the factors we may ignore the most is stress. I share with you a personal example of the negative effects of stress on my own heart rate. Please share this article to help others understand the body’s response to stress.
This may be one of the most valuable downloads so far at the Indoor Cycling Association. In this template for creating intervals at lactate threshold (LT) or functional threshold power (FTP), you can mix and match the variables provided to create well over 50 different profiles! Yes, you read that correctly. Over 50 profiles!