The goal of endurance training is to increase one's aerobic capability in order to succeed at a particular physical activity. Endurance training is most commonly coupled with endurance sports such as running, biking and swimming. A major goal of endurance training is to obtain a high VO2 max which leads to the largest amount of aerobic capability. The VO2 max is the upper limit of aerobic power while the lactate threshold is a determining factor regarding how much of that aerobic power can be used. The goal of endurance training is to use less oxygen when performing an activity which leads to the expenditure of less energy which ultimately will allow the body to perform better and for longer periods of time.
Endurance training will eventually begin to affect the exchange of oxygen in the lungs and make it more effective. It may also improve blood flow within the lungs, increase cardiac output, blood volume, and red blood cell count and also improve the body's internal body temperature system. In order to increase stamina and endurance, the endurance athlete tends to focus on aerobic rather than anaerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises utilize oxygen while anaerobic exercises are without oxygen. THe goal of training is to lessen the effects of fatigue and exhaustion to allow for longer periods of exercise.
Endurance nutrition is extremely important for proper training. As you workout at a higher percentage of your V02 max which is the ultimate goal, the body will begin to use more carbohydrate rather than fat for energy. When the carbohydrate stores are depleted, the body will have to decrease it's intensity accordingly. It is extremely important for endurance athletes to take in an adequate amount of carbohydrates. When digested, the carbohydrate will be broken down into glucose which will be stored as glycogen, a usable form of glucose in the body. Good sources of carbohydrates for endurance athletes are whole grains, pasta, cereal, bread, rice, and fruits. Because of the long periods of exercise that the endurance athlete partakes in, they need to be sure to take in an adequate number of calories to fuel their workouts. Protein is another very important nutrient for the endurance athlete. It is absolutely necessary for the growth and repair of muscle. Protein build up occurs during recovery and becomes extremely important when carbohydrate intake is inadequate. Proten can act as a line of defense and can be converted to energy if needed.
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