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Don’t Quit Now

Steps to build endurance.

Making it to the finish line, competing in a marathon, or running faster for longer. At some point, runners have to build their endurance. While endurance is usually associated with running, it can benefit anyone at any fitness level doing any type of physical activity. Sometimes referred to as stamina, endurance refers to your ability to maintain a certain level of effort and mental focus for a long stretch of time.

Some people come by endurance naturally. They have the will power to push harder for longer than anyone else. Others aren’t so lucky. It’s hard getting better, and giving up seems like a great solution.

If you’ve ever felt like giving up, you don’t have to. You can learn endurance. You can get better.

How? With these tried and true methods that will strengthen your heart and lungs while building and strengthening muscle.

Overload Principle

The overload principle refers to gradual increases in the intensity or amount of exercise. By gradually making your workouts more difficult, your body will adapt to new levels of fitness. The three areas of overload include distance, speed, and length of time. Work with your trainer to develop a plan to improve your endurance by making regular, gradual changes to your workouts.

SAID Principle

When it comes to building endurance, many fitness experts follow the SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. As you exercise and challenge your body to new levels, your body will adapt. Do squats and lunges and your lower body will get stronger. Practice jumping and you’ll be able to jump higher. The same goes for endurance. Run faster, farther, or for longer and your heart, lungs, and muscles will learn to adapt to new levels.

HIIT Training

With high intensity interval training (HIIT), you alternate between short bursts of high intensity exercise and longer periods of lower intensity exercise. HIIT allows you to challenge yourself to greater levels of fitness, because you can rest between challenges. These intervals of high intensity push your body to greater levels of endurance. HIIT can be adapted to most types of exercise.

Less Recovery Time

Endurance requires a strong heart, lungs, and muscles. One way to increase the endurance of your muscles is to adjust the way you do strength-training exercises. When you’re lifting weights, lessen the amount of time between sets. Instead of waiting a couple minutes to recover, shorten your recovery time by 30 seconds to a minute and a half. If you can handle this, increase the amount of weight you’re lifting as well. This way, you’re able to lift heavier weights with less time for recovery.

150+ Minutes

Endurance doesn’t just happen overnight. You’ve got to endure through many workouts to build endurance. The amount and frequency of your exercise play an important role in improving your stamina. Make it your goal to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Broken down, that’s 30 minutes a day, five days a week. That’s a pretty short amount of time to invest in your improvement. If your workouts are high intensity, 75 minutes a week may be adequate.

Mental Capacity

It’s easy to think of endurance in terms of your physical abilities. However, endurance is largely a mental battle. When your body feels like quitting, your mind can push you to keep going. Mental determination and resolve are key to going faster, farther, and for longer. Convince yourself you can do it, and the sky is the limit!