Busting out of the cramped winter gym to the spring time trails; we all face the reality that our endurance sucks the first few times out. On the trail, on the bike, in the pool; it doesn't matter the arena.. we need some work. The great thing is that building muscular endurance and aerobic capacity can be a fun and varied progression that just takes some time and effort. I am going to give you 5 key principles of training to help you build that Endurance wether you are a beginner or an avid athlete.
First we need to identify what type of Endurance we seek. There is training for the best VO2 max, there is building your Lactate Threshold, and boosting your Aerobic Endurance. Lets break these types of endurance down, shall we?
-VO2 max training involves developing the potential of your body to intake the most amount of oxygen possible and utilize that O2 for muscular performance. If you are someone who is a middle distance runner (3-10k) or a multi-sport athlete then this type of training should suit you.
-Training your Lactate Threshold is for my power athletes out there. This training is the type that you see on all the intense fitness commercials with people drenched in sweat, pushing until they make that uncomfortable face, and then doing the 'bacon sizzle' on the floor after they are done.. Heavy bouts of intense exercise combined with a VERY diversified timing and training program will yield; not only an ability to process O2 efficiently but also the ability to also delay the effects of Lactic acid build up in the muscles. Supplements are somewhat of a necessity for this training. If you are a Field Sport athlete or a CrossFitter, you should look into this type of Endurance.
-Aerobic Endurance training is geared for those that seek the longer distances or those athletes that are out in the world seeking unique challenges which will entail a great amount of muscular recruitment, over long periods of time, at sub maximal levels. Avid Hikers, OCR atheltes, distance runners or triathletes fall into this category. The term Aerobic is differentiated from VO2 max training in the interval lengths and reduction of rest time between bouts of exercise. Though you may think that Aerobic Training may be simply putting miles in, I beg to differ. Strength Training is absolutely necessary for developing muscle mass and cardiovascular endurance.
The 5 Tips to help build overall endurance work for the Beginner as well as the Advanced athletes. For beginners or sporadic athletes, incorporating little tweaks to your programming will help keep you progressing at your own pace and not feel bad if life gets in the way (which is always inevitably does). For Advanced ahtletes the goal is to keep training interesting and varied so that your passion for your sport stays high and you dont bail out because you are bored or feel like you've hit a plateau.
1) Always Run on Squat Days. Strength Training and Endurance?? Yes!!! For many years now I have always programmed moderate distance runs on days that I am doing Lower Body Exercises. When you are lifting in a very linear fashion your body does not get a chance to break out other muscles that are essential for agility, balance and strength. By running on Squat days you move joints through their full Range Of Motion, challenging your Neuro-muscular system in a differentiated way. Stay off the Treadmill! I encourage running out doors to practice agility and balance, plus its great fresh air!
2) Gradually increase work time and decrease rest time. No matter the Enduracnce pathway you are on, Interval Training is the Proven method of building Endurance from the cellular level to Mental Strength. Intervals look different depending on how you train and how deep you are into a programming cycle but one thing remains the same. The better you get, the shorter you should be resting. Interval Rest periods are meant to replenish your cells ATP levels, and allow your body to adapt to changes in O2 volume and synthesis. As you become more conditioned, your body makes subtle changes to how it adapts to stress. Fools Rush in!!!! Dont push it to fast in the beginning. Just as you would look at the 'long game' when developing your squat, so should you plan out your Endurance training. Use certain metrics in your intervals like distance run, time of run, and timing out your recovery time to watch yourself get better each week.
3)Keep the weight on the bar. The common thinking among novice atheltes is that Muscular Endurance comes from training at a very light weight for high repetitions. I dont agree with this thinking. When I look at the greatest atheltes in field sports, middle distance runners and CrossFit athletes I not only see lean muscle but I also see POWER. Muscular Power and Endurace should trend along the same progressive incline when training for most sports. Power is maintained not by seeing how fast you can perform work at 45% of your 1RM, Power is built when you work in the ranges of 65%-75% of your 1RM lifts. Increasing the rep ranges into the 10-12 range allow for Muscular Endurance to develop at the same time as your ability to accomplish work with Speed.
4) Incorporate Awkward Objects into your training. This tip I really love because I train outside often. On trail runs or at the beach I will frequently grab a rock or log, squat it, sprint with it, press it, walk with it, pull it... whatever. Building Endurance is as much mental as it is physical. Awkward object training pulls the rug out from under your Neuro-Muscular patterns and keeps you guessing. Often times these objects will disrupt your breathing cycles which makes you more fatigued. Essentially they throw you off. Referring back to the intervals I spoke of prior, incorporating the object into your 'Rest' period really keeps you working and your body adapting to the changing stress on it. Mentally you are having to solve for balance, coordination and often a weight that is lopsided therefore certain muscles must compensate and figure out how to keep working. Building Endurance is many times thinking outside the box!
5) Keep Pushing your Boundary Farther. I have always been plagued with the 'What's Next??' Syndrome. Every time I reach a milestone I acknowledge it, feel good about it, and then am looking for the next level! Your pathway to Endurace training should embody some form of this. Not by simply wanting better or wanting more but actually DOING MORE and PUSHING FOR MORE is the key. Endurace training has the potential to keep you striving for new goals for your entire athletic life. If you are working to a 1 Mile PR time today, lets see how you can keep pushing for a 3K or 5K PR next year. You may be training to play 1 full half of your basketball game without stopping. Over the course of this year, lets see you get to where you can go all game without stoping. There is no ceiling to how far you can push it, but it falls squarely on you to make it happen. Building Endurace takes Desire and Action!
Here is the HOW... You develop the WHAT and the WHY and Ill see you at the Goal line. Endurace Training is well within your reach both mentally and physically. Get Creative and keep the stoke going!
Rowing and Breathing Warm Up:
2:00 @ 2:00-2:05 pace. Establish breathing through nose only.
:45 @ 1:40-1:50 pace. In through nose, out through mouth. Hard Exhale.
:30 @all out sprint. Big Breaths...
1:00 @ 2:00-2:05 pace. Breathing only through nose.
:30 @ all out sprint.
1:00 @ 1:40-1:50 pace. Big, deep breaths. In through nose, out through mouth.
Kettle bell Top To Bottom warm Up:
Head Circles 'L'
Head Circles 'R'
Up right Rows
Squat Up and overs (outside right foot, up and over to outside left foot)
Single Leg Deadlift
4 Rounds Not For Time.
10 Turkish Get Ups (5 on each arm)
20 DB Burpee Box Step Ups
50m Banded Buddy Pull
7X :45 work/ :15 Rest
15 Side Step Reverse Lunge
Max Rep Russian KB Swing
CrossFit games Opens Workout #3