DIY Anaerobic Threshold Test


This test determines your anaerobic threshold (AnT); which will be useful for us to help control and monitor your training. It should be performed at least 3 days after any hard efforts. You can do this either on a steep treadmill (15%), a steep uphill, or if you are a good runner you can do it on the flats. This test portion (excluding warm up) will take at least 30min and you will need a recording heart rate monitor. This test requires maximal output so you need to be physically and mentally ready for a hard effort.

You will want to be well fueled prior to testing. Make sure you ate your most recent meal at least 120 minutes pre-testing and ideally top up with a light carbohydrate-focused snack of about 100 calories within 30-45 minutes of beginning the test.

Step One: Make sure heart rate monitor is working and ready to record the whole workout.

Step Two: Do a 15min warm up at or below AeT or until you break a sweat. Ease into this warm up so that your aerobic system is fully on-line.

Step Three: As soon as you are done with the warm up continue immediately into the AnT test. Once you start, go as hard as you can sustain for the full 30min.

Step Four: Pace yourself so that you don’t blow up 5 minutes into the test.

Step Five: Note your average heart rate for the 30 minute test. This will be your AnT Heart Rate. Note that less fit athletes will need to use 30 minute efforts while very fit ones should go for 60 minutes. This is because the less fit will succumb to local muscular fatigue causing them to prematurely slow (which will result in a lower HR). These less fit athletes will need to shorter repetition lengths in their interval sessions so that this local effect does no negatively impact their interval training effectiveness.


We find that it is useful to test both your Aerobic and Anaerobic Thresholds near the beginning of starting a season’s training and it may be useful to re-test periodically. If you are using to record and analyze your training, which we recommend, these two numbers are important markers which allow the algorithms to accurately estimate your Training Stress Score (TSS), Chronic Training Load (CTL) and other useful measures available on that platform.

Next subtract the previously determined AeT HR from this AnT HR. Example: AnT HR from tis test = 165. AeT HR from that test = 152. 165-152 = 13. 10% of 165 is 16.5. So, 13 is less than 10%.  Read on.

If the difference is 10% or less of the AnT HR then you will need to reduce the amount of Z2 training and substitute more Z1 for your aerobic base training or you will run the risk of overtraining by running too fast (Z2) too much of the time. If the spread between AeT and AnT is more than 10% then do all of your aerobic base training in Z2. Redo the AeT test that you did on day 1 each month if this is the case. As your aerobic base improves and your AeT HR and pace move upward you will need to adjust the volume of Z2 down.