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What is meant with anaerobic and aerobic training and why is it so important?

What is meant with anaerobic and aerobic training and why is it so important?

, by Joris Lans, 5 min reading time

If you train based on your heart rate you get to deal with an anaerobic and an aerobic threshold. In this blog we tell you what is meant with the anaerobic and the aerobic threshold and how you can measure them to get the most out of your training. Your body has two energy sources, sugars and fats. One of these two energy sources is used. Which one of these depends on the degree of intensity you train with.

Anaerobic energy supply 

If you train short-term with high and explosive intensity your body initially uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate, direct energy sources which are available to a limited extent. If you train long-term with high intensity this energy gets used up and your body starts to use sugars from your muscles and liver to remain enough energy to last the high-intensive training. Your body doesn't need oxygen to burn these sugars. This is called anaerobic energy supply. While burning sugars toxins, also called lactic acid, enter your body. This 'acidification' plus the fact that your body needs time to break down the lactic acid, makes your legs heavy and forces you to lower the intensity of your training or stop training altogether. So, you can make short distances at high intensity on sugar burning. If you want to make long distances at high intensity your body needs the other energy source, the fats.

Aerobic energy supply 

If you train long-term at low intensity your body first uses the sugars. If you raise the intensity your body switches to fat burning. To burn fat your body needs oxygen. This is called aerobe energy supply. Contrary to energy supply by sugar burning, fat burning gives you more energy which is used up slower. Slow durance training is the best way to teach your body how to use the available fats efficiently. By using these fats the right way you can keep up your intensity training longer without your body having to switch to the sugar reserves. This is essential to long distance runners. A well developed aerobic level of endurance makes for a good condition with long durance training.

Aerobic threshold 

The aerobic threshold is the point at which you train your body to transport oxygen to the muscles. Because you train your heart and lungs you improve your level of fitness. You train at 60 to 80% of your maximum heart rate depending on how well trained you are. You train at a relatively low intensity so you're training feels comfortable and you are able to have conversations during training. If you can't have conversations anymore your training intensity is too high and you need to slow down. .

Anaerobic threshold

With the anaerobic threshold is meant the heart rate point or the training pace at which the muscles can take in just enough oxygen to balance the production and breakdown of lactic acid. You train at 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate while burning mostly sugars (carbohydrates). The best way to train and improve your endurance is by regularly training just below your anaerobic threshold. This way you enable your body to train at a high intensity for a long period of time while simultaneously breaking down the produces lactic acid. During your training you have to keep track of heart rate value of the anaerobic threshold and make sure you keep underneath this in order to keep able to train for a longer period of time and at least as long as you want.

Measuring your aerobic and anaerobic zones

You best decide your ideal heart rate zone with an endurance test done by a sports coach or sports doctor. With the endurance test you have to intensify your training bit by bit. After each intensification you get a painless shot in your ear to measure the amount of lactic acid in your body. If you can't intensify your training any further the test is over. This way you get a detailed overview of your heart frequency and the accompanying concentration of lactic acid and training pace and get clarity about your anaerobic threshold and turning point. You've reached the turning point when your body has produced such a high amount of lactic acid that your muscles aren't able to break it down anymore. This is the moment to stop training. So the turning point gives you a good indication of your maximum level of endurance.

Measuring your maximum heart rate yourself 

You can measure your maximum heart rate yourself. Keep in mind that this is less accurate than measuring by an official endurance test. You can decide your maximum heart rate by taking the number 220 minus your age. With this calculation you have to take into account there's a margin of error of 10 heart beats above or below your maximum heart rate. You can also measure your maximum heart rate by training approximately 1 minute at maximum intensity and measure your heart rate afterwards. Make sure to do a solid warming up with a speed-up at the end so you can take the test adequately and won't fall out with an injury halfway through.

With this blog we hope to have given you relevant information about aerobic and anaerobic training and about training based on heart rate. If you're not sure you're training the right way please advice an expert! Training the right way is of course very important to avoid injury. Most important is to train in a way that works for you and helps you to get the best results.
We hopen je met dit blog relevante informatie gegeven te hebben over aerobe en anaerobe training en trainen op basis van hartslag. Schakel als je niet zeker weet of je op de juiste manier traint altijd een expert in! Op de juiste manier trainen is natuurlijk heel belangrijk om blessures en lichamelijk letsel te voorkomen. Het belangrijkste is dat je lekker kan trainen op een manier die voor jou goed voelt en waar je baat bij hebt.
Have fun working out!


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