Specific tempo training is training at your threshold This is the zone where if surpassed your body cannot maintain the corresponding performance since your body’s energy stores are depleted.
For physical exertion of any kind and intensity, your body demands energy. It draws this primarily from two sources: Carbohydrates and fats. The higher the intensity, the more energy the body draws from carbohydrates since this type can be much more quickly supplied. In producing energy from carbohydrates, lactic acid is also produced, which can be metabolized at low and medium intensities and with enough available oxygen After a certain intensity is reached, so much energy is then demanded that the quantity of lactic acid produced in the energy supply from carbohydrates can no longer be completely metabolized. The production and clearance of lactate becomes out of balance. This zone is known as the anaerobic threshold. The goal of training is to push this threshold so it doesn’t occur until an athlete reaches a higher athletic intensity.
When lactate production and clearance are balanced, the limiting factor is not then the accumulation of lactate in the musculature, but rather the quantity of energy available, i.e., carbohydrates. This has only limited storage and delivery availability. With full stores, energy is sufficient then for approximately 60 to 90 minutes.
Generally, we recommend a performance diagnostic for endurance that measures exhaled gases and analyzes blood lactate. This provides valuable knowledge about the anaerobic threshold and fat metabolism. With that, individualized training zones can be established based on a personal metabolic profile. This means athletes can train more efficiently and more effectively and can thus ultimately achieve better results. Such an endurance performance diagnostic can for example be done in our athlete center.