There are many different aspects of ‘Endurance Training’. Some of these are often forgotten by many people when they come across the word “Endurance”.
I’ve trained clients to run Marathons, to compete in Iron Man events (considered one of the toughest challenges on earth) and I’ve trained and prepared a married couple for the Marathon Des Sables, the ever increasingly popular 251km run over 6 days in over 50 degree heat in the Sahara Desert. These are all typically cardiovascular based endurance and take months to years of training. However all require differents preperation and focus on different aspects of endurance.
Muscular and Cardiovascular Combination
Then you move on to things such as CrossFit. This is an all-round cardiovascular and muscular endurance test, pushing your body through rep after rep of muscular fatigue as well as cardiovascular fatigue. People tend to think of endurance as simply cardiovascular related, running a marathon for example, but CrossFit shows you need high levels of muscular endurance too. Can you do 20 pull ups having already run 1km and deadlifted 100kg more than 20 times? There are endless variations to what you may be asked to perform in CrossFit and is why the top athletes are often deemed “the fittest on Earth”.
Physical and Mental
I’ve trained professional Motorsport drivers to tackle one of the hardest races on earth, the infamous Le Mans 24. This is a completely different level of endurance. Not only in the physical sense of reaching anything up to 5G on bends and braking zones, but to do that over a 13km race track for anything up to 4 hours at a time, then adding in the night-time darkness and heavy rain with your head exposed at speeds of up to 200mph…this takes immense mental concentration. Over the space of 3 to 4 hours, your body has been under incredible strain from all endurance related stresses.
One thing these 3 different types of endurance have in common is they are all affected dramatically by the fuel you put into your body. Eating foods high in iron and Vitamin C will increase your red blood cells to help carry oxygen. To perform at the top of your capability, your body needs to have sufficient fuel, electrolytes and hydration inside. With one of these factors missing, you most certainly will not be 100% fit.
Endurance training requires you to push harder than the last time. Your body is very clever and when it’s pushed to the limit it’ll try and develop to make it easier for you the next time round. This means that each session you train, effectively you’re stronger that the last, meaning you have to push that little bit harder than previously. Endurance training increases your ability to recover from fatigue. Your muscles need oxygen to perform, and by training with endurance it helps the efficiency to get oxygen from the air you breathe, into your muscles.