So, as mentioned last week, we are going to be seeing some good ol' Lactic Threshold training added to the programming. Here is the low down...
What is it
We've all suffered with the "burn" during an intense workout like Fran, where our shoulders are screaming at us to stop and our legs just want to fall off and lay peacefully on the ground.
During this "burn" phase a lot of chemical stuff happens inside your body including the production of lactic acid. This burn can become pretty intense and causes us to down barbells, shake things out and take a bit of a rest.
With Lactic Threshold training (or otherwise known as anaerobic threshold training) we want to improve our ability to push through this pain barrier, allowing us to continue to smash out the reps without having to take a break, thus leading to faster metcon times.
Benefits of Training Anaerobically
The bodies energy systems can be broken down in to 3 pathways (phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway), which can be split in to 2 different systems . The aerobic system and the anaerobic system. To simplify things, aerobic means "with oxygen", i.e. performing low intensity exercise that allows you to breath (Usually activities that last over several minutes, i.e long distance running) and anaerobic meaning "without oxygen" (activities performed for less than a few minutes, like sprinting or heavy 1 rep maxes).
Whilst there is benefits to training both systems, in CrossFit we highly favour anaerobic training, as it gives us a lot more bang for it buck and it has been shown that increasing your anaerobic capacity leads to gainz at an aerobic level, without the negative effects that aerobic training has on the body (i.e muscle burning), but with all the amazing benefits (burning body fat, improved cardiovascular health), plus its own benefits like muscle building and greater crossover in to sports with its increase in power, strength and speed
Basically put, it is possible to increase your endurance performance as an athlete, by training with high intense anaerobic exercise. Which is great for all you guys who do triathlons, marathons and crazy ultra runs (respect to Shona on entering that beast).
Its also a great fat loss tool, and a great way to build muscle. win win.
How its done
Unfortunately making gainz in this area of your training will come at a painful cost. You will need to take yourself to the pain cave a fair few times to allow your body to benefit from the adaptive response that will increase your ability to withstand the burn.
What we will now be seeing in the programming each week are a couple of Lactate Threshold MetCons. This will be mostly interval based, where you will need to push yourself above your lactate threshold during a working period, followed swiftly by a period of recovery.. which will then be repeated :)