For most of us, endurance training seems nearly impossible, yet it’s something we’ve always wondered about. We see marathon runners on TV and marvel at their perseverance, saying to ourselves “one day I will have the time and energy to do that.” The reality is that it can take several years to get to that point. If you have ambitions to be an endurance athlete, you should start training now and work your way up, rather than overloading yourself all at once.

Train on a Loop :

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Marathon runners train on a loop, meaning they normally vary the number of miles they run in a day, and will often take a day or two to relax their muscles and recover from the workout. If you were to run thirteen miles every single day of the week, you would be sore, inflamed, and basically asking for an injury, especially in the very beginning of your training program.

Mix it up :

Aerobic exercise is wonderful. It reduces inflammation, stress hormones, and risks of disease. However, it is not the only type of exercise necessary to maximize your athletic capabilities.

Stretching is important. It prevents injury and enhances performance. You might think about taking a yoga class, Pilates, or just doing basic stretches before your normal workout routine.

Strength training is another component of physical fitness. A lot of runners, especially women, are hesitant to lift weights, fearing it will make them look too bulky. But actually, this is the best way to tone limbs. Take a few days a week to lift small weights, do some push-ups and crunches, or even more old-school calisthenics will help make you faster, stronger, and sexier.

Endurance Training program :

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While some folks prefer to workout alone so they can go at their own pace, it may be more beneficial to recruit a friend to exercise with. It’s a way to prevent discouragement and increase support and accountability for your actions; you are less likely to quit of you are part of a team. And, frankly, working out vigorously multiple times a week can be really lonely. You can make the process a lot less torturous if you cave a companion to share it with. Of course this isn’t strictly required. Again, many people much prefer the “alone time” and find that very therapeutic.

Endurance Training Diet :

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What you put in your body is just as important as what you do with it. If you are going to be running far distances, you may need to consider a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy and are generally less taxing on your digestive system than proteins and fats are. If you plan to run long races, you will need to fuel your body with more complex forms of carbohydrate. That means that instead of eating tons of sugar, you choose hearty starches like whole-grain breads, brown rice, and potatoes. Fruits contain a monosaccharide, a simple sugar, but are also very fibrous, and will keep your energy up.

You can supplement your starch-heavy diet with lean proteins like fish, chicken breast, low-fat dairy, or soy products if you don’t eat animal products. Protein helps to build strong muscles, and helps repair other tissues in your body.

Everyone needs some fat in their diet, but make sure it’s minimal, and mostly unsaturated. Instead of creamy dressing on a salad, choose one that contains olive oil. Instead of cheese on crackers, pick hummus or your favorite nut butter (mine is actually sunflower seed butter, or almond butter, but good old-fashioned peanut butter works just fine).

Avoid sweets, fried and processed foods. If you think you can undo all your bad eating by running the next day, you are dead wrong, your body and performance will both suffer if you consume a diet of mostly junk food. Those things do not provide sustainable energy, or any valuable nutrients, and are bad for your liver, heart and brain. Eat well and you will reap the benefits of a properly-trained athlete.

Naturally, you should include as many colorful vegetables in your diet as you can. They are packed with vital nutrients that optimize your body’s functioning, reduce the risk of diseases, and are low in calories, so you won’t put on the extra fat that can make running feel like such a chore.

Water! You should drink plenty of water, but not all at once. The key is to sip it throughout the day. You don’t want to be dehydrated, your muscles won’t work as well, but if you drink too much at once, before a run or otherwise, you will be too full and need to pee all the time. Bummer.

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Other Lifestyle Choices :

Do not, under any circumstance, use steroids to bulk up. Not only do they jeopardize your cardiovascular and sexual health, but if you are a competitor in any kind of race or match, you are likely to be tested for performance-enhancing substances and would be immediately disqualified if you were found to have used them. In the long run, they cause serious hormonal issues that impair the body’s ability to heal.

Limit the consumption of alcohol. A drink once a week will not hurt you, but over time it dehydrates you, causes fatigue and impedes liver functionality.

Do not smoke. Don’t smoke cigarettes or cigars or pipes, don’t smoke pot, and don’t even get me started on hookah. Just do not smoke, it inhibits breathing and the lung expansion that you need to be a distance athlete.

Be careful with recreational substances. It would be preferable if you stayed away all together, but if you are insistent on occasionally experimenting with drugs, do so infrequently and with extreme caution.

Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is vitally important to all of your body’s functioning. If you are putting it through Endurance Training demanding workouts six days a week, you need to treat it to eight hours of sleep each night to repair tissues and soothe your tired mind.