When thinking of endurance training, some of the first things that come to mind are half marathons, marathons, triathlons, Ironman competitions, ultra marathons, and the Tour de France. However, endurance training doesn’t just relate to these types of sports. Sports that require short bursts of energy and speed over a prolonged period of time, such as football, basketball, and swimming are also dependant on endurance training. It is something that should be incorporated into every fitness routine.
What is endurance training?
It is actually a purposeful way of exercising to boost one’s stamina and endurance. This type of exercise is aerobic in nature versus anaerobic. Aerobic exercise strengthens and elongates muscles for extended periods of use. It improves cardiovascular function, enabling blood and oxygen to be delivered more efficiently to the brain and throughout the body, thereby improving the body’s ability to utilize oxygen. This is also a key factor in enabling the body to recover following exercise.
The benefits of varying your routine
Focusing solely on only one type of exercise is not ideal for the body or the mind. Endurance training requires strength and stamina, so incorporating different elements into your workout will help your body to perform better at your chosen sport. Boredom can also creep in without some variety in your routine. Incorporating cardio and weight training along with bodyweight training elements together in a routine will improve overall performance.
Changing from three larger meals a day to six to eight small meals is an essential component in endurance training. This will help to boost your metabolism and allow the body to use nutrients more effectively. Switching from heavy foods with little actual nutritional value to a diet filled with foods high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables, and drinking lots of water will promote a healthy body from the inside out.
Know when to rest
It is important with any type of exercise to listen to what your body tells you and to take proper rest breaks. Failing to do so puts you at risk for injury and burnout. The body will be unable to repair minor (or micro) injuries resulting from overuse and overstressing without these important breaks. Knowing when your body needs a break from exercise is key.
However, varying one’s exercise routine can also function as a type of rest, as long as you aren’t pushing your body too hard again in another way. Simply going for a relaxing bike ride or long walk can be a good change-up to your exercise regime. Getting a proper night’s rest with a full eight hours sleep is essential as your body copes with the new and increased demands on it.
Starting Endurance Training
Endurance training is vital to success in any athletic endeavor, but must be built up gradually. It cannot be achieved overnight. Allow your body to adapt and give it the tools it needs to function at peak performance – a varied routine, a healthy diet, lots of water, and proper rest. An integrated approach is required. You can then enjoy the many benefits of endurance training for years to come.
This article written exclusively for Power Essence by Jason Blacker