The good news is that you don’t have to go through Congress to do this!  We all have a debt ceiling when we race, and you know that point:  You’re one mile into the run (off the bike), and you can’t make your legs move any faster, and your desire to continue running is gone.  You’ve reached the point where the bank is calling in your debts.

Think of your debt ceiling (lactate threshold level) as the point where you are depositing just enough money each month, and spending slightly more that what you can sustain for six months.   The point right before the bank, and credit card companies will turn down your requests for more money.

There are several ways to raise your lactate threshold levels  (going faster with less effort) in training:

1.  Spending a lot of time in Zone 2.  This is the zone where you can go almost all day because you know you have a lot of money/energy in the Bank, and you’re not spending it.  You’re learning how to behave efficiently.

2.  Spending time doing intervals in Zone 3.  In this zone you’re working slightly harder, spending more money/energy, but able to keep pace with your expenses by doing some extra jobs to make up for the extra money you’ll need.

3.  Doing the work in Zone 4.  Zone four is the area where you really have to know how to juggle your finances.  You can work to make extra money/energy, but your spending is going to be out of pace with your expenses.  You can only manage financially/physically for only a short period of time before the Bank is calling you to say, “Hey, Ms. Bernardes, it seems that you might want to take a second mortgage out on your home now.”

4. Occasionally you need to get into Zone 5 just to remind yourself that you’re alive.  We call this the ‘Danger Zone’ in the sport of triathlon.  It’s the financial/energy zone where you’re only good for a short period of time before the bank will order a foreclosure.  In running it’s racing right at your 5k pace, and in triathlon you get to that zone at the point when you have one mile left to the finish.

All four of these zones are important in improving and raising your lactate threshold…..spend a lot of time in zone 2 so you know how to save, then occasionally go into the other zones to keep life just that much more interesting.  Kind of like what Congress is doing right now!