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Types of Endurance Training

Updated: Sep 6, 2023


Hey, Dr. McNamara here coming at you with a Wellness Wednesday. Today I wanted to talk about the four different types of endurance training. Reason being I'm running the Chicago marathon for those of you that are not aware, and I'll be running for the Illinois spinal bifida association. So I would like to go over the different types of endurance training.

We're going to cover the four main types which included muscular endurance training, long distance endurance training, anaerobic endurance training, as well as aerobic endurance training. So we'll get started. I just got done lifting. So I'll talk about the muscular endurance training first and how I've been incorporating that into my sessions.

Endurance training consists of multiple sets and a lot of reps. The number of sets can be anywhere from three up to six or seven sets, seven getting pretty high volume, but about three to seven, anywhere between is pretty good. And anything above 12 repetitions to about a hundred repetitions will fall into this category. Then about a minute to two minute rest in between sets to recover in between.

So the way I've been incorporating this is I've been doing weightlifting, and I've been doing the frequency of hitting every body part three to four days a week, so I'll be hitting chest, shoulders, arms, back, and legs, and I'll do five sets of each of these. I'm sticking with 12 repetition sets and I'm slowly progressing from there in order to build that muscular endurance, prevent injury, and have that strength to get through the race. So that's what I'm doing.

As far as muscular endurance, you can do this other ways. You can do it with body weight training. You can do with any other types of lifts, but definitely do it at a higher frequency in terms of training different muscle groups each day, or every single muscle group. The other type of training I want to talk about is long duration endurance training.

This is your long, slow, steady state runs. So for the marathon, this is when all those would be my weekend runs where I'll run up to two hours, maybe two and a half hours to prepare for the actual race. So technically it'd be one set and it consists of anything above about 15 minutes or longer for the run. It's the sustainable form of cardio I'm using running because that's what I'll be performing for the Chicago marathon, but you can do this with swimming, biking, etc. So anything that's really longer than 12 minutes will fall under that long duration endurance training. Now the other two has to do with the different energy systems of our body.

So the first one I'm going to cover is the anaerobic and the anaerobic means without oxygen. So this is the type of training that's going to build up an oxygen debt and make you want to breathe very heavily and then you'll recover in between like interval training. This type of training consists of anywhere from about 3 to 15 sets. The ratio of work to rest periods there was about three to one or one to three. You can play with those how you want, but the one to three ratio is going to allow for a little bit better form and quality due to the longer rest periods. So keep that in mind, if you're more of a beginner to certain exercises, maybe use those longer rest period ratios.

For this type of training, what you do, this is the hit training. So this is what I've been doing as well. I've been doing a lot of plyometrics where I will perform a movement for about 30 seconds up to a minute. And then I'll rest for about a quarter to a third of that time and then I'll repeat a few sets of that.

So for example, let's say I'll do burpees and I'll do burpees for about 30 seconds to a minute. Let's say I go a minute, then I would take about a 20 second break in between before doing the next set. And then I would repeat that a few times for my training session. And again, I'm doing this right now. I'm doing it about three or four times a week as well with my strength training.

The last type of training I would like to talk about is the aerobic endurance training. Now this is with oxygen. This is what burns the most fat as well as the training system that allows you to go the longest. So this is what I'm going to be really relying on when I perform the actual marathon. This will consist of again about three to 12 sets and the ratio of work is similar, but

with the three to one or one to three work to rest period, but this one also can include a one-to-one Where you're working at the set and you're resting at the same rate. And that's the one that I'm going to utilize the most, just because it's going to simulate the pace I want to run when I'm actually performing the marathon.

So using the one-to-one ratio, the way I'm going to do this is I'll run about a mile. Maybe I'll start with an 800 for my earlier training because of miles a little bit long. But let's say I'll run a mile and then that mile is going to take me, we'll say about seven to eight minutes. So my rest periods is going to be around seven to eight minutes. That same time it took for me to run that mile, so I'll be fully, completely recovered. Then I'll repeat that and I will repeat that for a duration of time and I'm slowly try to progress my speed with those workouts so I can improve my overall marathon time.

Those are the four types of endurance training. If you want more information on this you can look at Dr. Andy Galpin he's a muscular physiologist as well as Dr. Huberman who's a neurophysiologist and they have great information on this stuff. If you have any questions, go ahead and comment and we'll get back to you.

Thank you.

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