Fettstoffwechsel trainieren: warum und wie

Fatty acids and carbohydrates are the two most important sources of energy during endurance exercise. In contrast to the short-chain, readily available carbohydrates, the long-chain fatty acid molecules can only be broken down and metabolized aerobically - i.e. only with an adequate supply of oxygen. This makes fat metabolism (FAW) an important indicator of long-term aerobic endurance. A well-trained FSW protects the body's valuable glycogen stores for more intensive stress phases. This significantly improves the performance potential, especially in middle and long-distance competitions. Especially on the long triathlon distances, the ability to supply energy to the working muscles is a limiting factor. It is therefore worth taking a look at the fat metabolism in order to be able to target it during training.

What is the FSW dependent on?

Among other things, how well the body's fat deposits can be mobilized and then transported to the muscle cells. There, the density of the mitochondria ("power plants of the cells" - this is where the actual combustion and energy generation takes place) and the oxygen supply to the muscle cells play a decisive role. This in turn depends on the intensity of the load. The fat metabolism reaches a maximum (FATmax) especially at a moderate intensity level.

In the untrained, the FATmax is usually around 50-55% of the VO2max. Trained endurance athletes usually reach their FATmax at 60-65% of their VO2max.

On the one hand, this means: relative to the VO2max, the FSW takes place at a significantly higher level of performance in trained people - this performance can be maintained over the long term. On the other hand: the higher the individual VO2max, the higher the power/speed at FATmax.

With a well-developed FSW you raise your basic endurance level to a higher level of performance .

Determine training areas, train specifically

VO2max, FATmax, training and threshold ranges can be determined individually with an Aeroscan diagnosis. You benefit directly from a higher training quality. Here you can learn more about it...

Train the fat metabolism

The lipid metabolism can be sustainably improved through targeted methodology and intensity control. Classic training methods are long-lasting, extensive loads in the FATmax range, training without food during this time or also fasting units. While the effect of fasting training used to be considered negligible, it is now one of the standard training methods for boosting fat burning and FSW.

Important to know: before a fat metabolism unit, no more carbohydrates should be consumed 2 hours beforehand.

However, newer approaches also include targeted load changes (low-high) up to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for fat metabolism training.

An example of this is the "basic unit with initial intensity". At the beginning of the training, an intensive stimulus / sequence of stimuli is set (e.g. running/cycling: 3-6x 40s HIT + 20s easy) and combined with a basic unit, since the fat metabolism is used more intensively through the "afterburn effect".

Which is the best?

Among these training methods, it is difficult to choose a "best" method. As so often: variety makes the difference. If you have been running on an empty stomach for years, the effects to be expected are only very small, the body has already gotten used to this training method - but here you can lure your FSW out of the reserve again with targeted load changes. If you're more of the "only fast makes fast" type, you should get involved in longer, extensive training loads more often.

The problem: slow training is often seen as a waste of time because you could easily cover significantly more kilometers during the training session. But that's not the goal of the training! Speed ​​average doesn't matter in FSW training. Training quality can also be (comparatively) slow.


The possibility of being able to achieve a higher level of performance in training and competition is based on a well-functioning fat metabolism. This is an indicator of the efficiency of aerobic endurance and thus the starting point for further speed development. In order to be able to train the fat metabolism as specifically as possible, it is important to know the individual intensity ranges in which the fat metabolism activity is specifically controlled. The specific training areas and training methods can then be derived from this.

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