Anaerobic threshold: its concept and role in endurance sport

Malays J Med Sci. 2004 Jan;11(1):24-36.


aerobic to anaerobic transition intensity is one of the most significant physiological variable in endurance sports. Scientists have explained the term in various ways, like, Lactate Threshold, Ventilatory Anaerobic Threshold, Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation, Onset of Plasma Lactate Accumulation, Heart Rate Deflection Point and Maximum Lactate Steady State. But all of these have great role both in monitoring training schedule and in determining sports performance. Individuals endowed with the possibility to obtain a high oxygen uptake need to complement with rigorous training program in order to achieve maximal performance. If they engage in endurance events, they must also develop the ability to sustain a high fractional utilization of their maximal oxygen uptake (%VO(2) max) and become physiologically efficient in performing their activity. Anaerobic threshold is highly correlated to the distance running performance as compared to maximum aerobic capacity or VO(2) max, because sustaining a high fractional utilization of the VO(2) max for a long time delays the metabolic acidosis. Training at or little above the anaerobic threshold intensity improves both the aerobic capacity and anaerobic threshold level. Anaerobic Threshold can also be determined from the speed-heart rate relationship in the field situation, without undergoing sophisticated laboratory techniques. However, controversies also exist among scientists regarding its role in high performance sports.

Keywords: Acumulation; Anaerobic; Deflection Point; Heart Rate; Lactate; Threshold; Ventilatory.