Endurance Workout: What is Endurance Training?
Endurance training is any workout that can increase your stamina. It is working out in the aerobic system. Endurance requires the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply energy to the working muscles in order to support sustained physical activity.
Aerobic training is basically any type of exercise that occurs while the body is continually utilizing oxygen. This exercise is performed at a moderate- to low-intensity level.
During aerobic exercise the body uses oxygen to help supply the energy needed for exercise. The objective of endurance training is to develop the energy production systems to meet the demands of activity for as long as they are required.
For example: Marathon running, cycling, rowing, sport such as basketball, football, martial arts or even obstacle race for that matter.
Endurance training relies largely upon the glycolysis system, which is the energy system that takes place with the presence of oxygen and can burn both carbohydrates and fat for fuel. It is only when you push it to very high intensities that you will begin to approach your lactate threshold* or VO2 max**.
**VO2 max is a measurement of how much oxygen your body is able to consume and use efficiently while exercising. It is usually stated in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute.
*Lactate threshold, is how rapidly your body is able to remove the waste product of lactic acid (produced during exercise of higher intensity). If you are not able to do this well, you will experience a great deal of discomfort shortly into higher intensity exercise and be forced to stop. If your body is efficient at removing these waste products, then you will be able to exercise for a much longer period of time.
A typical hour-long, moderate-paced jog is not going to take you to your lactate threshold, so although it may be decent exercise, it won't do much to improve your endurance performance. If you are looking to improve upon your endurance performance, training to increase your VO2 max or lactate threshold can be very beneficial.
How do we increase our endurance?
Take One Step at a Time
Be consistent, be patient, and build up slowly. Add a km to your program every week to your weekend long run.
Eg. Start with 1 km, then 2, then 3, then 4 every week. Every 4th week, reduce mileage by skipping the long run. Rest and recover. The next week, start building again, 1 km at a time.
Do some jump roping, skipping drills, box jumps, and even high-knee sprints through the "rope ladder" that you often see at football training camps.
Run Long and Fast
On your long runs, pick up the pace for the last 25 percent of the distance. Gradually accelerate to your marathon goal pace. Run hard enough at the end to accustom your body to the late-race fatigue of the marathon.
How do we gain in speed?
While we all run at different paces and in different places, many of us share a common goal — to get faster.
Train your Running Muscles
The only thing that can make you faster is stronger legs. You will need to work out your leg muscles at least twice a week in the gym. Do a variety of exercises like squats, lunges, leg extensions, hamstring curls & calf raises to strengthen your thighs hamstrings & calves.
*Data Courtesy: Althea Shah,VP Marketing & Fitness expert,Gold’s Gym, India
*Image courtesy Reuters