Working on endurance is all about knowing the best ways to make rapid progress. Read our tips to learn how to improve resistance.
Regularity is obviously one of the keys to success. Ideally, you should practice an endurance sport every two days to improve performance. Everything depends on your individual objectives and determination!
To make progress, it is essential to establish a training program and stick to it long-term. Ideally, you should keep a calendar and clearly mark your progress. Give yourself progressive objectives (duration, performance, blood sugar levels...). Remember to shake things up! The treadmill is not your only option; try the bike or the rowing machine: all kinds of gym or class cardio activites are effective to develop your endurance.
Measure your predicted HR
Great athletes must pay particular attention to the heart rhythm during and after a workout. To make progress in endurance, you have to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) during exercise. In theory, it is equal to 220 minus your age (226 for women whose hearts beat slightly faster than men's). For example if you are 35 years old, it's 220-35 = 185. The optimal training area corresponds to 60-70% 70-80% of the MHR. It is therefore obtained by multiplying the MHR by 0.6-0.7 or 0.7-0.8 in the case of basic endurance training.
It is at this frequency the body makes the most effective demands on the cardiovascular system. We also have to mention the aerobic training zone: the body uses oxygen to burn energy.
To optimise your efforts, you should have a heart rate monitor. This is a handy accessory based on the heart rate, and thus on exertion intensity. You'll be sure never to train above or below your own abilities.
Get your heart going
Add some interval training! Including intervals in your endurance training will mean adding definite distances or times to your training where you will increase your speed and thus go beyond your cruising speed. You define periods of exercises at a high pace (between 30 seconds and 3 minutes) interspersed with recovery periods. The goal? Increase the total workload by reducing fatigue. This way, you'll work on your speed, your explosiveness, and use your muscles differently.
By forcing the body to adapt to different rhythms of exercise, you improve your cardiovascular endurance. You can start to include this type of session in your workout plan if you are able to run 30 minutes at a constant speed.
In practice, on the basis of 45-minute sessions, start first by training continuously. Then include one interval training per week. Increase to 2 interval sessions per week + 1 continuous. Limit yourself to a maximum of 2 interval sessions per week.
Whether on the cardio bike or the treadmill, remember to define your objective:
I want to improve my ability to recover
Work at 85% of max HR. Your working time must be greater than the recovery time. E.g.: alternate 30 seconds fast run for 15 seconds of recovery.
I want to work on my ability to maintain a high intensity for as long as possible
Work at 90% of max HR. In this training method called "intermittent endurance", recovery time is equal to the time of work (with periods ranging from 20 to 45 seconds in general). E.g.: alternate 30 seconds very fast run with 30 seconds of recovery.
I want to work on my ability to exert myself
Work at 95-100% of max HR. Here work time is less than recovery time. E.g.: train long intervals, i.e. 5x500 metres with a longer recovery time (usually 1 minute).
Work on respiratory muscles
Respiratory muscle fatigue may limit performance. Thus, by following simple exercises, you can increase your lung capacity and thus muscle resistance to fatigue produced by exertion. Better posture, better ventilation, these are all interesting points for athletes who are looking for wellbeing during exertion.
Of all the respiratory muscles, the most important one for our general condition is the diaphragm. And yet, few people use this muscle in an efficient way. And it is at the heart of any breathing training. Being consciously more aware of the movement of inhalation and expiration helps to calm down. In the process of breathing, the greater the diaphragm magnitude, the better the oxygenation and lung capacity.
Stand upright, facing a window. Place your hands on the shoulders and raise your elbows and chin taking a deep breath through the nose, opening up the ribs. Then slowly come down as you exhale. Perform this exercise for 4 minutes.
15 minutes rope skipping a day
Absolutely brilliant to increase your endurance: the skipping rope. Fitness accessory for fast results... at a tiny price.
This is the perfect cardio exercise to strengthen the heart, improve endurance, burn calories and strengthen the body. 15 minutes rope skipping is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging!
It's quite an intense exercise, so don't be surprised if you don't last more than a minute during your first sessions. Start with many shorter sessions. Over time, gradually train yourself up to be able to hold 15 consecutive minutes. Warm up properly before every session by performing some jumps without the rope. You'll find a better balance and better feel the movement.