The basis of endurance running

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Endurance is a fundamental condition of marathons and all long distances, not to mention ultra.

Endurance is fundamental to marathons and all long runs, not to mention ultra. The vast majority of training hours are devoted to developing endurance in running. Without this base, any progress is out of the question.

Physical endurance is developed by running at up to 70% of your estimated maximum heart rate. That is, we are talking about long, low-intensity running or, more simply, jogging.

You must learn to run as long as possible at a conversational pace. Choose a level of exertion at which you feel like you can maintain your chosen speed forever. These are the universal rules of endurance training for the body in general and the cardiovascular system in particular.

Developing speed characteristics and working in upper heart rate zones, including fartlek, are not parallel training for beginner runners. They come only after you have developed a basic base: the ability to keep a low tempo for a long period of time. For the next, high-speed phase, the cardiovascular system must be ready. Otherwise, serious damage is done to it.

A proper start to running training, has the following very important goals:

  • Optimization of capillary networks and blood flow.
  • Improved performance and development of the second type of endurance muscle fibers.
  • More efficient use of energy reserves during prolonged exertion, such as fats and carbohydrates.
  • Normalization of proper lung function.
  • Preparation of the cardiovascular system for the possibility of working in anaerobic mode.
  • Increasing psychological endurance.

For the first six months to a year (depending on your fitness level), a proper running training program should concentrate on the following points:

  • Jogging on flat ground without pauses and heart rate jumps.
  • Frequency: Three to five times a week.
  • Intensity: comfortable – less than 70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Duration of training: from 45 minutes to 2:30 hours, depending on the level of training and experience of running.
  • Gradual increase in the length of the races and the distance.
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There should be no acceleration and, even more so, no going over the lactate threshold and working in the anaerobic zone. It simply can be dangerous. At least, there is no benefit to it when the cardiovascular system is not prepared by endurance training.

It would be a very good solution to combine running with cycling and swimming. This will speed up adaptation, recovery processes and give your legs a rest from shock loads.

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