Most runners' lactate threshold speed is quicker than a 5K race pace. Continuous runs at a rate somewhat slower than your lactate threshold are considered steady state runs. These runs are ideal for runners who need to increase their stamina for the second half of a 5K. They should be done without any pain or discomfort until later in the race when lactic acid begins to build up in the muscles.
The goal of these runners is to use the steady state run to get into better physical condition and to reduce their risk of injury during the more strenuous phases of the race. These runs are not recommended if you are just starting to exercise because it is difficult to stay relaxed and controlled while running slowly.
Even though the 5K is only five miles, many runners find that they can't maintain the same pace over the entire race. They will feel tired sooner than expected, which prevents them from finishing in less than an hour. A few weeks of steady state running can help prepare these runners for the changes they will experience as they start going faster in the final mile.
Many experts believe that this type of running is important for all runners to do at least once per week. They say it helps improve your overall fitness and gives you valuable data on how far you can go before feeling fatigue. Of course, you also avoid getting injured by doing some slow jogs early in the week.
Lactate threshold running is the foundation of training for distances ranging from 5k to marathon. Pushing your threshold pace down gradually increases your fundamental ability to run faster over a given distance. In the middle of your race preparation, try including one threshold pace exercise day into your training week.
During threshold runs, you want to feel like you are working hard but not too hard. It's important not to go too fast or too long on these workouts because this could cause injury. Stick to a goal time and keep the effort level high but not so high that you feel like you are about to collapse. If you do feel like you are about to fall over, stop immediately and walk for a few minutes before continuing with your workout or race.
It's best to perform threshold runs outdoors under controlled conditions (such as a local race). This will allow you to gauge how you're doing relative to the other runners and apply what you learn during your run to future races/training sessions. Threshold runs are also useful for determining your maximum potential speed over a certain distance. For example, if you can run 15 miles at 85 percent of your maximum effort rate, then you know that you are capable of running a sub-3 hour marathon when the conditions are right.
In conclusion, threshold running is vital for preparing you physically and mentally for distance events.
Lactate threshold speed is around 25 to 30 seconds slower than 5K race pace (or about 15 to 20 seconds slower than 10K race pace) and corresponds to about 85 to 90 percent of peak HR for highly trained and elite runners. The speed should be "comfortably difficult." If you can run it easily, then you can probably cover the distance in less than an hour; if not, wait until later.
The LT pace is determined by running intervals at or near your maximum effort without pain or injury. When you start feeling exhausted but still able to continue the exercise, even though your body is not yet injured, you have reached your LT. Be careful not to go any faster than this safe pace since it could lead to injury.
For example, if your max HR is 180 beats per minute (bpm), then your LT pace would be about 9 minutes 30 seconds. At this speed, you should be able to talk while keeping up this pace without stopping. However, if you feel like you can't keep this pace for more than one more minute, then you need to slow down.
There are several ways to determine your LT. The easiest way is through a systematic approach called "LT determination method". This method involves starting very slowly and increasing speed gradually until you reach your LT. So, first, find out how long it will take you to run a mile.
The ideal long run speed is between 55 to 75 percent of your 5K pace, with a 65 percent average pace. According to study, running faster than 75% of your 5k speed on a long run does not bring much additional physiological benefit. However, running slower than this range will cause you to use more energy leading to a less efficient workout.
For example, if your normal 5K time is 17 minutes and 50 seconds, your long run pace should be somewhere around 8:30 to 9:00 minutes per mile. If you ran faster than this range you would be using more energy than necessary and if you slowed down below this range you would be forced to work harder than intended which could lead to injury.
There are two ways to improve your long run performance: by running faster or by running longer. It's better to cover the same distance in fewer hours rather than more hours, because prolonged exposure to a stress such as a high heart rate or low temperature can lead to injury.
Therefore, it is recommended that you try to maintain a constant pace throughout your long run. This way you can avoid any sudden changes in tempo that may cause unneeded discomfort. Pacing yourself also gives your body time to recuperate and prepare for the next race or training session.