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What is aerobic threshold?

The first base time of year may be essential for athletes regarding the progress of their season. Three of the most crucial skills in a fitness toolbox of an athlete are endurance, force, and speed. They can become greatly improved at this time of year. The athlete is not willing to spend extended periods on the essential muscular, nervous, and aerobic systems during any other time of the season. Immediately the athlete enters the build, peak, and race phases, they are solely focused on developing their race-specific wellness, which is the proper focus.

Most individuals are familiar with common training jargon, such as VO2max and chafe. But, they may not be familiar with some more obscure words. Just like when it comes to the aerobic and anaerobic thresholds.

Sometimes we will say something like: “Hey, is your training coach making you do tons of aerobic threshold work during this season?” to our fitness-minded buddies. The real question is: What do these terms imply, and why should they be on your training program? Let’s dissect it. Here are some things that athletes need to know about what is aerobic threshold.

What is aerobic threshold training?

Threshold training is the intensity your body must strive to reach to undergo a change or increase performance. The lactate inflection point occurs when blood lactate levels climb beyond the resting rate. People use it to determine training thresholds (whenever lactate concentration increases quickly). These usually get converted to energy measurements. It could be a percent MHR or VO2max.

The intensity required to create an adaptation that increases one’s VO2max is known as the aerobic threshold. An individual has reached aerobic training thresholds when lactating concentrations in the blood climb above the resting rate. It is generally around 65% and 70% of MHR.

Training at intensities in the middle of the aerobic and anaerobic thresholds is known as the aerobic training area to develop an individual’s aerobic capacity. The more intense the exercise, the more vigorous the adaptations will be.

While exercising, lactate levels rise at a certain point, called the “aerobic threshold.” As one’s metabolic rate increases, so do the amount of air one must breathe to reach the aerobic threshold. The aerobic system cannot provide enough energy to support the activity intensity. It ends up resulting in lactate creation. Lactate generation enables the anaerobic energy frameworks to continue generating energy.

The secret is to prioritize low-intensity training to increase your aerobic threshold. In your training schedule, you will see a lot of AT exercises. Some of the exercises include long runs, long cycles, or steady swims. You should be able to maintain a particular effort for a long period during these workouts.

Monitoring your heart rate throughout your workout to ensure it stays in the constant, moderate effort range is a tested method of determining whether you are remaining in your AT zone. Avoiding intervals or HIIT sessions in favor of an aerobic-focused workout may be the best option in this case.

Running In Fog

Why should you work on aerobic threshold?

Increasing one’s aerobic threshold is essential for endurance athletes who want to push their limits physically and psychologically. With a higher AT, you can train more intensely without experiencing lactate buildup, which helps you continue working out harder for longer.

All athlete gains from engaging in both anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Balance is essential. People typically keep to their strengths or only train for the event they are preparing for.

Whether you are preparing for a marathon, it is crucial to incorporate short, hard interval exercises to improve the ability of your body to burn oxygen. You will be able to recover more quickly between intervals if you have a strong aerobic base.

What is a good aerobic threshold?

The aerobic threshold varies from person to person. There is not a set ideal threshold for the AT; your level of personal aerobic fitness determines your heart rate. For instance, those with inadequate aerobic fitness may have an AT of 60% of their maximum heart rate. Although some skilled athletes may have an AT of 85% of their maximum heart rate.

To start, we must comprehend how the body consumes energy as we run to comprehend our threshold (AT). Simply said, oxygen is the source of all aerobic energy (O2). When we run, our bodies take in oxygen from the air and send it to the muscles moving through the lungs and bloodstream. After the muscles have used this oxygen for energy, they release carbon dioxide (CO2) as a waste product, which we can exhale. 

This activity is sustainable as sufficient oxygen is available for breathing in, and the body can eliminate carbon dioxide. The body will continue to breathe in O2 and breathe out CO2 as our activity intensity and the associated need for energy rises. There comes a time when the body can no longer provide the necessary energy from O2 alone if we keep upping our activity intensity (running faster). Anaerobic energy systems can help with this.

Anaerobic energy sources become more important as O2 consumption increases and reach its maximal capability. Anaerobic energy can replenish the body’s energy needs that are not satisfied by oxygen very fast, or in other words, top them off. The drawback is that hydrogen ions (H+), a byproduct of anaerobic energy, are more difficult to expel than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Lactic acid is the first waste product formed during the breakdown of anaerobic energy into lactate and hydrogen ions (H+). Our main worry is with the H+. They make the bloodstream and working muscles acidic (low pH) when they build up. Muscle performance will get affected. Also, muscle function will become disrupted when the pH lowers considerably. Anyone who has attempted to run for longer than 30 seconds at their best pace will understand how it feels! 

Now, without being too technical, it is important to realize that we must combine the H+ and O2 to clear the H+. But keep in mind that we currently use all of our oxygen to power our aerobic activity. Our speed will become unmanageable until we lower our running intensity to the point where we have more O2 available (due to the reduced demand of the aerobic system). When H+ are created and removed at the same rate, we have reached our AT. We cross the anaerobic threshold when H+ starts to build up.

Running In Park

How to determine aerobic threshold?

Suppose you do not have access to a sports efficiency laboratory or specialized equipment. In that case, it is impossible to precisely measure your aerobic threshold without testing blood lactate buildup or inhaled and exhaled gas analyses. By progressively raising your workout intensity until you visibly raise your respiration rate whenever you are breathing a little harder, you may determine your AeT.

There are 2 methods of doing this, but both involve a similar process. Start cycling or jogging, whether on a nice surface, after warming up for 10-15 minutes with some simple activity. It doesn’t matter if it is a sidewalk or a gentle uphill portion with a generally steady inclination, 

For the first technique, you should just breathe via your nose. Then try to slowly speed up until you can no longer maintain the effort without mouth breathing. The aerobic threshold is the point where you can keep moving while breathing through your nose.

The second way is identical to the first, except that you talk aloud to yourself as you repeat the alphabet, tell a narrative, or do something similar. If you can speak for about 30 seconds at your aerobic threshold, that’s a sign that you are in good shape.

So, basically, you are exercising below your aerobic threshold. It is great because you don’t need friends or pals on long runs and rides to make them more social. Just ensure that you do not turn it into a competition and avoid getting sucked into moving too quickly and jeopardizing your preparation to the point where you feel too exhausted. You could create a training zone based on pace, heart rate, and power. While training, you can easily check it out with a GPS or heart rate, speed, and power monitor.


Anaerobic metabolism kicks in when you reach your aerobic threshold. You could measure the threshold with a simple test like the lactate threshold. When you are moving at a sluggish pace, your body uses oxygen to metabolize fatty acids. It also helps supply your muscles with fuel. Your aerobic threshold is the point at which the quantity of energy you create by running, cycling, or swimming at a faster pace reaches its peak.

Your body begins to rely on glycogen accumulated in your liver and muscles to support your aerobic energy system. Your body also uses glycogen to feed your muscles when working harder and exceeding your aerobic threshold. Your Anaerobic Threshold (AT) is the limit beyond which you can only continue for a short period before slowing down, stopping, and regaining your breath.

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