By Lauren Denos: 4/7/2015 (Fitness)

Endurance is what allows your children to play tirelessly for hours past when you are exhausted. It is that thing that lets your reach the top of the hill to see the amazing sunset and it is what you need to complete a marathon. Endurance is important for not only sports but for everyday use. Endurance is not about speed, it is about stamina for the long haul. There are different types of stamina there is the cardiovascular endurance and then there is muscular and mental endurance. We will discuss cardiovascular endurance in more depth in another article, fo today we are going to be going over generall concept endurance and how to improve it.

So How Do You Improve Your Endurance?

There are 3 main areas: your exercise, your nutrition and your mindset. Let's talk about them.

Create Workouts that will Train You for the Endurance You Seek.

If you are wanting endurance in general, then do different things all the time. This way, your body is ready for just about anything, and you will have less chance of overusing certain muscles. If being able to keep up with your kids is your main desire, then you just need to have more activity in your daily life. After work go on a bike ride, a run or a swim. Change it up often so you are ready to do multiple types of exercise.

If you specifically want to have endurance in a specific sport, like to be a marathon runner, then you need to be focusing on your running endurance. You would do this through running more. Weight training is also good to add in to your shceudle. Weight training is very overlooked when it comes to endurance sports. People often say that the more muscle they have the more it slows them down, This could be true when you train at a body builder level, but if you are working your muscles for more strength and keeping up with your endurance training you will not have the muscle holding you back, in fact it will help you with the endurance.

Example:

If you are new to endurance training and you want to start running, then you may want to start with just 3 mile 3 times a week and buid up from there. In that 3 mile run for as long as you can, if you need to walk, make that walking break as short as possible. Remember the point here is to keep the heart rate up as much as possible. When you have that down you can go to 5 miles, etc. If you find that you need to walk a lot that is okay, you will build up and before you know it you will be doing 3 miles with ease. If you have the energy, you may want to throw some weight training in on the days inbetween.

Just because you have endurnace in one sport does not mean that everything will transfer to another sport. Somethings will transfer. The oxygen consumption and usagse, for instance will, along with certain muscles that are used for multiple sports. But then there are also the muscles that we mainly use for specific sports. So while it may be an easier time for a runner to start biking than someone who does not do any endurance training, there will still be somethings that need to be built up.

Do Not Overtrain

If you are training for a marathon, then obviously you want to be training your running skills. However, if you run long distances every day, like 20 miles or more, then you could wind up overusing mucsles and having injuries that can keep you out of your sport for a good amount of time. Instead, have a schedule that will change it up a little bit. Maybe you run every other day, and in between you do a bike ride or a swim. This way, you are still getting a good cardiovascluar workout in, which will help to keep building your oxygen consumption capabilites. Also, you will be giving your body a chance to do some non-impact workouts.

Eat Like the Pros Do

If you want to have better endurance, then look at what the pros do. What you put into your body is what you get out of it. This can mean something different to everyone. Some people do high carbs, while some do carb cycling. Others just eat a clean diet of lean meats and vegetables. You have to know what is right for you.

Most endurance athletes make sure they get a good amount of carbohydrates in their diets, since carbs are such a well used fuel in our bodies. If you are going to do a high carbohydrate diet, you still want to have a good quality. If you eat grains, then stick with whole grains. Not breads or pastas, but the whole grain. If you want to get most of your carbs from vegetables, then aim for potatoes, yams, squash, etc. If you are going to be running marathons, then many people use really fast acting fuels during the race, such as the sugary drinks and gels. As often as possible, keep these types of fuels only for marathon days, and days that you are doing long runs for your training. When you are working out for that long and hard, your body will use up that fuel instantly. This can be helpful during extreme training.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

When it comes to the mentality of endurance training, we could talk all day about that. Instead, we will just go over one thing you can do mentally to become better with your endurance training. Embrace the challenge. Understand that you are challenging yourself. This is not a super serios thing; this challenge can be fun. Enjoy seeing what limitations you can keep shattering. Know the difference between a "burn" and pain. Pain, you do not want to work through; Butyou can embrace the burnit and see what you are capabale of. In truth, we are capable of so much more than we even realize. Start looking at the "struggles and problems" in your life this way as well and see what happens.





 

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-Lauren