March 13, 2024

Endurance Training

Endurance training is an exercise strategy focused on increasing large muscle endurance through repeated isotonic contractions performed at submaximal intensity (aerobic threshold). Endurance training elicits complex physiological adaptations including changes to metabolic pathways of both skeletal muscles and respiratory system tissues like capillarisation density, mitochondrial density shift, fibre type changes etc. This form of exercise training produces physiological adaptations such as altering metabolic profiles in these organs as well as shifts in fibre types etc.

Studies demonstrate the positive health impacts of moderate endurance training on health outcomes such as improved cholesterol and glucose levels, lower blood pressure, decreased cardiovascular risk, enhanced ability to perform daily tasks more easily, as well as positive behavioral benefits like increased energy and participation in leisure activities, such as sports. Furthermore, endurance training also has positive behavioural benefits, including an increase in energy and participation in leisure activities (especially sports).

Interval training can be the most effective way to build endurance, with low intensity loads and extended resting periods. You can also develop and maintain basic endurance through continuous methods such as fartlek or tempo training.

Under a traditional competition model, athletes typically build endurance in three stages: general endurance, introduction to specific endurance and development of specific endurance. Over time, aerobic endurance training usually produces three main adaptations: increase in concentrations of myoglobin and haemoglobin; activity of oxidative enzymes and capillarisation in muscle fibres; higher capacity for oxygen transport in blood and increased cardiac output; however some studies suggest high-level endurance athletes are at an increased risk for heart and blood vessel diseases, including coronary artery disease and myocardial fibrosis.


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