Stamina and Endurance Training Tips
Stamina and Endurance Training Tips
Stronger for Longer
by Paul Bedford
Advice on taking your exercise that extra mile and some professional tips and tricks on stamina and endurance…
Fuel the Body
It’s simple, really – you need fuel in order to last and endure. When you’re endurance training it is massively important that you eat and drink the correct way in order to maximize your performance. Always carb load 2-3 hours before the session – this means you should take in foods such as wholemeal rice, pasta and bread or potatoes – they will be your main source of energy for your exercise. Sports (electrolyte) drinks or gels can also be consumed in the last hour prior to exercise to give you an extra push.
Break Down the Brick Wall
I am sure you have heard the statement, “I’ve hit a brick wall”- but what does it mean? It happens a lot with long distance endurance training – it’s a period during the run, swim or cycle where you feel you simply can’t go on. A tip to help you get through the wall is to use positive imagery of you actually achieving your goal and to train your mind to think positively, rather than just throwing in the towel. Training partners or personal trainers are also useful for encouragement through the tough times.
Rest and Recovery
This is key to any training, but is essential to endurance training. If you don’t get this right the body will over-train and over-tire and you’ll have the risk of niggling tears to muscles and ligaments. So rest that body – if you have been hitting the streets running for 1-2 hours the last thing you want to do is run for the same time the next day. Try a light swim or a weights session but make sure you try and rest the body for at least two days of the week. You can also use more modern ways to speed up recovery such as massage and ice baths – chilly, but a real treat for those tired muscles.
Step to the Beat
Yes, load up that iPod with your favourite tunes. Music can be a real motivator and help you wring more enjoyment from your workouts. So blast out those favourites – even if they do include ‘Eye of the Tiger’.
Spend a Little More
Tough financial times, I know, but a decent pair of running trainers are essential if you’re going to be pounding those miles. Not having correct footwear can lead to injuries such as blisters, shin splints or even hair line fractures of the leg. So spend a bit, look for cushion and bounce in the sole and make sure you get that size spot on.
Stamina and Endurance Training Tips: Health and Fitness FAQs
When I’ve been running recently I keep getting a pain on the inside of my leg near the groin – what could this be?
It could be a few things. You may have over-trained and torn the muscle slightly. You may not have warmed up properly with stretches and tweaked a muscle or you may have an imbalance in your running stride – best to get an expert to check you out using gait analysis.
I am doing a lot of weight training but I’m becoming worried about a niggle in my back – what should I do?
Do you train your core or lower back? If you don’t – you should. By getting your core strong your strength should increase too. So don’t cheat and keep that back flat to the bench when pressing. But as always, if the problem persists, see a specialist.
I want to start doing exercise classes but I’m 45, out of shape and will probably be intimidated. Am I right to worry?
A lot of people are nervous about their first visit to the gym. Don’t be afraid. Your gym will adapt your exercises and give different levels to suit individual needs. And there’s certainly no need to be intimidated – we all need to start somewhere. Who knows, you might just enjoy it!