Just How Long and How Fast Can You Go?

Posted by Beth Hartman

Depending on just what type of team sport you’re into. Or if you’re a solo athlete that likes to run, do marathons or someone who likes to push the envelope by taking part in Tri-Athlons on a regular basis. It all comes down to being in great shape and having an endurance level that just keeps you pushing on.

Endurance training can have you reaching pre-set-goals that perhaps otherwise you would not be able to attain. The definition of “Endurance” (according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: The ability to withstand hardship or adversity; the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.

Sound like you during your exercise workouts?? If your doing it right, then you know we are always pushing ourselves to go that extra bit further in our routines. But to be able to do this you need to provide your body with the tools it needs to build itself up so that you can meet the goals you are setting for yourself. And it really doesn’t matter if you’re a runner, cyclist, swimmer, football, baseball player or just upping your weight sets to increase your strength. Increasing your endurance levels will help you to reach or even surpass your goals.

Endurance allows people to work out at a certain intensity or for an extended amount of time (hello, marathon!). There are many factors that combine to create an athlete's "endurance profile," and two of the most important are VO2 max and lactate threshold. VO2 max, or the maximum rate at which an athlete's body can consume oxygen during exercise, is the most popular measurement of aerobic capacity (although it’s unclear if it’s necessarily the most accurate). Although endurance ability is mostly a matter of genetics, maximal oxygen uptake can be improved with targeted training. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts have been shown to do the trick of increasing an athletes' VO2 max. Another piece of the endurance puzzle is the athlete's lactate threshold or the level of exertion at which lactate accumulates in the muscles. In simple terms, your lactate threshold is how hard you can push yourself for a prolonged period without blowing up!

Luckily, it's possible for virtually any athlete to improve both of these measures.  Naturally, your going to want to measure your performance and in order to do this to the maximum you need a reliable fitness tracker and with a combined heart rate monitor and one that fits this bill is the Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Multi-Sport Watch With its ability to track your heart rate, it in turns also keeps track of your VO2 max levels along with the lactate thresholds based on the profile you enter into your tracker. With this type of monitoring capability, you're going to be able to monitor and track your workouts like you’ve never been able to do before. In this way, your going to know just where your low points are from the various readings and know when to take advantage of your “Rest Periods” in order to have your body to be able to recoup and in turn build your endurance levels up on a consistent basis.

Adequate Rest: Resting up is nothing to take for granted. In order to go long and hard, athletes need fresh muscles, any good trainer will tell you this. You need to "Go hard on hard days; Go easy on easy days; and never string hard days together without adequate rest.” Feeling fresh can help anyone go the distance.

Fueling Up (Eating 😊): When it comes to exercise nutrition, carbs, the right carbs, are key, since the body uses glycogen for fuel when the going gets tough. Once glycogen (a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates), runs out, the body turns to energy from other sources and begins to burn fat. For extended cardio sessions, consume 30-60 grams of carbs every hour, depending on body weight. Studies have also found a mix of carbs and protein can enhance endurance performance and reduce muscle damage. Which we do NOT want to do! That said, keep in mind that the best mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein varies considerably amongst athletes. A lot depends on your body’s metabolism rate, along with the type of physical exercise you opt for your fitness regimen. You need to “Experiment, experiment, and experiment”, some more to find the right combination for you.

Following the above recommendations might just have you going further in your training then you've ever gone before. Naturally, we also recommend talking things over with your physician to make sure everything (body wise) is in good condition for you to start pushing yourself harder, faster and most importantly smarter as you build up your endurance levels.

So, let me ask you, just how far did you go today? From the “Go-Getter Staff” here at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com.

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