Anaerobic Threshold: Its Concept and Role in Endurance Sport

Concept and Role of the Anaerobic Threshold in Endurance SportPlease find below the abstract of the article written in English by Asok Kumar Ghosh under the title “Anaerobic Threshold: Its Concept and Role in Endurance Sport”, and published by Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2004 (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 (%VO2 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 VO2max, because sustaining a high fractional utilization of the VO2max 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.

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