The aerobic/anaerobic threshold is one of the most critical training tools for athletes wanting to improve their conditioning. Find out what it is, how to find it, and how you can use it in your training.
In recent years, many athletes' approach to aerobic fitness has changed. Whereas it used to be believed that long, slow distance (LSD) was the most effective way of training the aerobic system, most coaches now advocate regularly challenging the aerobic system - the most effective way to do that is with anaerobic threshold training.
This training goes by various names, including anaerobic threshold training, aerobic threshold training and lactate threshold training. The reason for this? It involves training around the point where the body changes from the aerobic system (sustainable almost indefinitely) to the anaerobic system (limited sustainability). This is also the point at which lactate begins to build up faster than the body can dispose of it - thus the multiple names.
When you work at this point you are hovering at the point where your energy comes primarily from aerobic metabolism and where anaerobic metabolism begins to kick in. If you push over the edge, excessive lactic acid begins to accumulate in the body, and you start to experience a burning sensation in your muscles.