Threshold pace training is great for improving a runner’s endurance, or the ability to endure a greater and greater intensity of effort for a longer period of time. The key is training at the right intensity as speed might change due to various conditions (wind, hills, temperature, etc.). If a runner understands what training right at their Threshold feels like they can end up achieving greater physiological benefits than other runners. The intensity is a speed of running beyond which blood lactate continues to accumulate faster than the body can clear it. Subjectively, you’re looking for a speed roughly 24-30 seconds slower than current 5k race pace.
Steady, prolonged tempo runs or intermittent runs, also called cruise intervals. Ideally, a tempo run at Threshold is nothing more than 20-minutes at a time. More work can be done at T-pace after a short break in the same workout depending on the runner’s weekly mileage.
When doing cruise intervals at Threshold pace you would typically run for 5-15 minutes at a time with 1-2 minutes rest between each. The advantage to running cruise intervals is that the brief recoveries keep blood-lactate levels fairly constant so the runners can experience Threshold effort throughout the entire workout. The short recovery breaks can also make it easier to achieve mentally.
Generally in the range of 83-88% of VO2max or 88-92% of HRmax. Threshold pace is “comfortably hard,” as the great Dr. Jack Daniels likes to say.
To improve endurance.
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