Anaerobic threshold

Sporting performance always requires a supply of energy (ATP). The anaerobic threshold marks the point at which the body can no longer cover its energy production from oxygen transport through the blood. This is the case at the beginning of athletic performance, as well as during higher loads.

If the anaerobic threshold is exceeded, energy is produced from the anaerobic-lactacid metabolism. See 2. under energy production. The anaerobic threshold plays a decisive role, especially in competitive sports, as it is at this point that training can be particularly effective.

Furthermore, the anaerobic threshold represents a performance parameter that can be determined by the lactate curve. However, this performance assessment reached its limits (see below). The anaerobic threshold can be determined not only by the energy gain without oxygen, but also by the accumulating lactate.

At the anaerobic threshold there is a maximum lactate steady-state (maxlass). This means that the accumulation and elimination of lactate are in maximum equilibrium. Any increase in load leads to an exponential increase in lactate levels.

The human body has four different options for energy production. – 1. anaerobic alactacid: This form of energy production involves the cleavage of creatine phosphates (KrP). The energy is immediately available, but is quickly used up (sprint).

  • 2. Anaerobic lactacid: In this process, carbohydrates (glucose) are used in glycolysis without consumption of oxygen. Lactate is produced, i.e. the muscle overacidifies.

This form of energy production is the priority for maximum runs in the 400- 800 meter range. – 3. Aerobic glycolytic: Carbohydrates (sugar) are used in glycolysis with consumption of oxygen.

This is the case for fast endurance runs. – 4. aerobic lypolytic: In this energy production process, free fatty acids are oxidised with the consumption of oxygen. This is especially the case with slow endurance running.

It was MADER et al. 1976 who first established the anaerobic threshold at a fixed value of 4 mmolL/L. However, this is only a guideline value that cannot be transferred to all athletes.

Each athlete has an individual anaerobic threshold. In order to determine this threshold, sports scientists have published numerous papers over the past decades. See lactate threshold concepts.

Different threshold concepts also result in different lactate levels at the anaerobic threshold. No threshold concept has yet been scientifically proven and therefore no concept has no validity. Conclusions about the performance of individual athletes are therefore not really given.

The anaerobic threshold, respectively the lactate curve is subject to numerous intraindividual fluctuations. The anaerobic threshold depends on the form and time of day. These should always be taken into account in a lactate test.

Furthermore, nutrition plays a decisive role in the development of lactate. Lactate is formed by the synthesis of carbohydrates. If these are not present, less lactate is produced.

This would speak for an improved performance, but would not be correct. The preload is also a decisive criterion for the formation of lactate. On the day of the test there should be no stress before. The day before a lactate test, only light exercise.