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Also called lactic acid, lactate is the by-product of skeletal muscle contractions. During activities that require bursts of speed and power, levels of lactate can build up in the muscles to the point that the muscle becomes fatigued and needs to rest until the blood stream can move the lactate out of the muscle tissue.

In competitive sports like lacrosse, players are frequently required to make explosive runs or sprints consecutively, without rest. This can cause lactic acid to build up in the muscles. Trying to continue playing when the muscles are exhausted state can negatively affect performance during the game.  Doing lactate tolerance training can increase your ability to work longer before your muscles are fatigued by lactate.

What is Lactate Tolerance Training?

Lactate tolerance training is also called anaerobic endurance training, speed endurance training, or power endurance training.  It is designed to make you produce large quantities of lactic acid so that your body becomes more tolerant of it and can clear it from your muscles more efficiently. When done properly, lactate tolerance training can improve your performance on the lacrosse field by increasing the amount of time your muscles can work, and helping you tolerate the lactic acid burn. You can also combine the training drills with compression gear to further help move lactic acid out of the muscles.

Lactate Tolerance Training Drills

Lactate tolerance training should start midway through the pre-season, with occasional sessions in season to maintain you conditioning. The training can be very intense, so you should build up to it by first doing cardiovascular interval training in the early part o of the pre-season before incorporating the lactate tolerance dolls into your training regimen. You should also practice these folks sparingly during the in season to maintain your conditioning, but avoid muscle burn out.

Below are examples of different types of lactate tolerance drills:

Shuttle Runs

This drill is done with five cones spaced 10 yards apart in a straight line.

·  Start at cone number one.

·  Sprint to cone number two, and then back to one.

·  Then sprint to cone number two, and then back to one.

·  Continue by sprinting to cones three through five, always returning to cone one after reaching each consecutive cone.

·  After you run to cone five, return to one and rest for 30 seconds.

·  Repeat the process two more times to complete a full set.

·  Do a total of three to five sets with 120 seconds of active recovery between each set.

Modified Shuttle Runs

Progressive shuttle runs are a variation on the shuttle run, with the cones laid out in the same configuration.

·  Start at cone number one, jog to cone number four, and then sprint to cone number five.

·  Jog from cone number five to cone number three, and then print to cone number one.

·  Jog from cone number one to cone number two, and then sprint to cone number five.

·  From cone number five, immediately spring back to cone one.

·  Repeat this sequence three more times for one full set, rest for 60 seconds at the end of each sequence.

·  Do a total of two or three full sets with 120 seconds of active recovery between each set.

Union Jacks

The Union Jack drill mimics the design of the English Flag. Set out cones 50 yards apart from each other, in a square pattern.

·  Start at one corner of the square, and sprint diagonally across the center of the square to the opposite corner.

·  From that corner, sprint halfway down the outside of the square, then jog the rest of the way to the next corner.

·  From that corner, sprint diagonally across the center of the square to the opposite corner.

·  From that corner, sprint halfway down the outside of the square, then jog the rest of the way to corner you originally started from. Once you reach that corner you will have completed one full set.

·  Repeat the Union Jack four to six times, with 120 minutes of active recovery between each set.

Sprint and Pass

In this drill, you and a partner stand approximately 20 yards apart, facing each other.

·  Your partner stays in place as you sprint toward him and play a controlled pass, shot, or throw, and then sprint back to your starting position.

·  Do the sprint and pass as many times as you can for 60 seconds, then it’s your partner’s turn.

·  Repeat this five times for one full set.

·  Do two or three sets of sprint and pass drills with a 120-second rest between each set.