Find Your Lactate Threshold
What’s that? LT is the point at which lactic acid accumulates in your blood faster than your body can process it—causing a drop in performance (read: pain). Training below your LT builds aerobic capacity. Training above it builds speed. How to determine your LT:
- Warm up, 10 minutes.
- With a heart-rate monitor on, run or cycle on a flat course as fast as you can for 30 minutes.
- Your LT is your average heart rate for that period.
Don’t give up on the Pull-up
Pull-ups, which strengthen the lats, biceps, middle back, and shoulders, are an effective upper-body exercise. Can’t squeeze one out? Hood suggests doing plank pulls: Lie with your chest under a weight bar set to knee height on a squatting rack. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and, keeping your body in one line, bend your elbows and pull your chest toward the bar. Lower back to start; do 10 reps.
Eat five times a day
That means three meals and two snacks: one between breakfast and lunch, and one between lunch and dinner. “You’ll have a steady stream of energy; plus, less food more often isn’t as taxing on your digestive system as three big meals,” explains Hood, adding that five daily feedings stabilizes your blood sugar, so you won’t have crazy mood swings or hunger pangs.