Make Endurance Training Work for You
The simplest definition of endurance training is "the act of exercising to increase endurance." Self explanatory, right? The term usually refers to training the aerobic system as opposed to the anaerobic system. Endurance training is essential for a variety of endurance sports, like distance running events. Other excellent examples are cycling (particularly road cycling) and competitive swimming. These three sports are, in fact, combined in the triathlon. There is a need for endurance in all types of sports activities but the issue is far more complex than simply the need for cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Athletes tend to utilize endurance training even if their sport may not be an endurance sport by the typical understanding but still demands some endurance. These sports might include racket sports, football, rugby, martial arts, and basketball. Non-athletes often make use of endurance training for the purpose of increasing general fitness or burning more calories to increase weight loss potential. Whatever your sport, or your purpose for working out, there are many great physical and mental benefits that come along with endurance training, which is why it is so appealing. Let’s take a quick look at some of those benefits.
The Benefits of Endurance Training
- Obviously - A boost to your endurance. Many people complain about being too tired to work out, but the face is that you feel less fatigued when you exercise, especially when doing aerobic exercises.
- Have a faster metabolism. When you are endurance training, your metabolic rate increases, even at rest. You can take in more calories and maintain your weight, assuming you don’t go crazy.
- Form new relationships. Once you start regularly going to the local pool or running track, you are going to start meeting other regulars. Take the opportunity to connect with some people, as you might just find yourself a training partner.
- Remove stress and anxiety. You may well have heard of a runner’s high and thought it a myth, but science suggest that endorphins and other chemicals released in endurance training make you feel euphoric.
Nutrition Tips To Help Maintain Your Training
- Check the labels. There are a lot of drinks and bars designed for those who work out regularly, but they are not all equal. Always read the label and avid products that are packed with sugar.
- Start counting calories. While endurance training, you may well burn about 600 calories per hour, but you do not need to eat that much. Since your body cannot absorb food as quickly as it burns it, stored fat is burned while training. For sessions that go 2 hours or longer, you may want to add carbs, while protein should be added for sessions over 3 hours.
- Fuel your body. To give your blood sugar a chance to stabilize, stop eating about 3 hours before any planned intense activities. Feeling hungry prior to competing is fine. Complex carbohydrates are the ideal pre-competition foods.
- Replenish after the fact. As soon as you get done with an intense workout, replace used nutrients by loading up on complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats in a balanced meal.
Staying Safe While Endurance Training
- Drink water. Staying hydrated before, during, and after exercise is a must. While you train, plan on drinking a 20-ounce bottle of water per hour.
- Moderation is key. When putting together a workout plan, adopt a gradual and balanced approach. Any increases in time or distance should be implemented slowly. Mix up your activities and be sure to include rest days in your plan.
- Be mindful of the heat. It may come as a surprise to learn that heat stroke is a common issue for athletes. If you don’t have an indoor track nearby, be sure to wear protective clothing.
- Consult your doctor. If you feel heart palpitations or chronic pain, or have chest pain and sudden shortness of breath, see a doctor immediately.
Some Final Tips
- Think about taking supplements. Whole foods should make up the majority of your diet, but supplements can help fill some gaps when you are involved in intense training. Some supplements to consider include whey protein and certain vitamins.
- Warm up and cool down. Easing into physical activity is always a good idea, as is taking time to cool down as your workout is coming to an end.
- Listen to your body. Getting the regimen down that is best for you takes time. Pay attention to your body and choose the workouts that keep you healthy and safe.
Walking, running or jogging, dancing and cycling are all excellent activities that will increase your endurance. Endurance activity keeps your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy and improves your overall fitness. Whether you're looking to run a marathon or simply want to feel stronger and healthier, endurance training is an excellent way to go.
RX Fitness Equipment Is Here to Help
If you're considering adding endurance training to your workout routine and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works with hundreds of coaches, personal trainers and nutritionists. We'd be happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories of all kinds, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget and we're here to make your fitness routine more productive. Stop by our store in Thousand Oaks or give us a call. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.