Improving Your Endurance is a Benefit for all Sport Enthusiasts
Infinite Labs
Sep 23, 2013

Endurance training is essential for a variety of sports. The term endurance generally refers to the act, quality or power of surviving hardship or stress. Endurance is a term extensively used in sports and can mean many different things to different people. Basically in sports it is the athlete’s ability to sustain prolonged exercise for minutes, hours, or even days.  Endurance training is to have stamina to last throughout the sport or event you’re involved in. Endurance requires the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply energy to the working muscles in order to support sustained physical activity.

Aerobic means involving or improving oxygen consumption by the body.  

Anaerobic, is the reverse, meaning "without oxygen”.  Anaerobic movements use fast-twitch muscles for short bursts of intense activity lasting only for brief durations of time.

Anaerobic endurance training refers to short-term endurance exercise that relies on both anaerobic and aerobic energy pathways. The exercise is performed very close to lactate threshold; this term has many definitions.  To make it simple, I will define lactate threshold as the maximum steady state effort that can be maintained without lactate continually increasing. Lactate threshold, (LT) is the exertion level between aerobic and anaerobic training. The LT is the point during exercise when your body must switch from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. If you are not able to do this well, you will experience a great deal of discomfort just before entering into higher intensity exercise, and you will be forced to stop. If you are looking to improve upon your endurance performance, training to increase your lactate threshold is very advantageous.

Over the years, lactic acid has taken on a bad reputation. It is blamed for fatigue, sore muscles, and cramps. It is thought of as a waste product that should be avoided at all cost. Scientists have discovered that lactic acid plays a critical role in generating energy during exercise. Coaches and trainers have learned ways to use the lactate threshold to an athlete's advantage. Lactic acid provides fuel for many tissues; it helps us use dietary carbohydrates and serves as fuel for the liver production of glucose and glycogen. The truth is, the body loves lactate. It is an extremely fast fuel that's preferred by the heart and muscles during exercise. Lactate is vital for ensuring that your body gets a steady supply of carbohydrates, even during exercise that lasts for many hours. Lactate is so valuable, that taking it as part of a fluid replacement drink before, during, or after exercise has been shown to promote performance and speed recovery. In fact, lactic acid is nature's way of helping you survive stressful situations.

LT can be raised with proper training. Athletes can teach their bodies to use lactate more efficiently, so it takes longer to build up in their blood. When athletes are training to push up their LT, what they're really doing is training their bodies to use lactate as fuel.  Strong correlations have been noted between activities requiring high endurance with maximal steady-state workload at the lactate threshold.

LT can be developed in different ways, but one of the most effective methods is through interims of exercise performed at or slightly below your LT heart rate. These interims of exercise will boost your lactate threshold and functional threshold power (FTP), which is the highest average power.

Your goal is to build— for example, work up to 3 x 15 minutes with 5 minutes of recovery between hard efforts; nothing is set in stone. You can build up to 2 x 20 minutes with 5 minutes of recovery. You can also increase the number of interims you perform in a workout and make them a bit shorter such as 5 x 10 minutes with 5 minutes of recovery between hard efforts.

You can also boost your fitness by reducing the length of your recovery period from 5 minutes to 2.5 minutes.

Example: Perform 3 x 15 minutes with 2.5 minutes of recovery between hard efforts for a really intense workout!

Proper Nutrition

To boost your LT during training and racing, you need to make sure you can exercise at a high intensity without running out of glycogen stores. This requires careful nutritional meal planning both in the pre-exercise meal and post-exercise meal.








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