Endurance Training

Endurance training refers to any exercise geared toward training the body’s aerobic—rather than anaerobic—system. There are two basic categories of endurance training: general and specific. Such training initiates various muscular and cardiovascular adaptations that improve performance in endurance activities over time. This type of training is most common among athletes in endurance sports such as swimming, biking, and running, although it also is a valuable part of training for football, basketball, tennis, and other physically demanding sports. It also is popular among those looking to achieve and maintain general fitness and/or weight loss. While muscular and cardiovascular endurance are two important components of endurance, the concept of endurance is much more complex and varied. In fact, skill and technique—or, more specifically, executing the proper skill and technique consistently and with the least possible effort—is a huge component of endurance. An endurance training plan may involve periodization, interval training, and base-building. Periodization involves breaking up the training cycle into smaller blocks to ensure the athlete peaks at the right time. Interval training helps athletes sustain intense efforts for longer periods of time. Base-building usually involves long, slow efforts that strengthen muscles enough to handle more intense efforts later on in the training cycle. Physical therapists and other musculoskeletal specialists can help people create personalized endurance training plans to help them maximize their athletic potential while lessening the risk of injuries and other setbacks.