Anaerobic training involves high intensity activities, mostly in excess of 85 percent of maximum heart rate (max HR), with limited recovery to develop the two anaerobic energy pathways.
One of the most effective ways to train the anaerobic system is to use interval training, which is often referred to as sprint training. This has some similarities to aerobic interval training, however anaerobic intervals tend to use higher intensity with longer rest breaks. Anaerobic intervals are characterised by brief, maximal activity, generally ranging between 10 seconds and 2 minutes, with a work rest ratio of 1:3, meaning for every 10 seconds you work you rest for 30 seconds. The rest component, also known as the relief interval, may involve sitting or stretching or gentle work such as walking or slow jogging.
The intervals are performed in sets of repetitions that are designed to overload the anaerobic energy systems. Maximal effort repetitions (lasting 10 seconds or less) are designed to improve the ATP-PC stores, whereas slightly longer efforts (up to 2 minutes) aim to improve the body’s tolerance to lactic acid to be removed from the body between repetitions and sets. Elite athletes will recover faster than non-athletes.
This is an exceptional training method for events such as 400 metre to 1500 metre running. Many teams use anaerobic intervals in their training to develop the speed component required by their sport, particularly in the pre-season. A balanced training program may need to incorporate speed, acceleration, and power as well as agility, depending on the needs of the activity/sport.
Further reading on anaerobic training can be found by viewing the following links: