A Beginner's Guide To Endurance Training Part 3
In this, the final part to my endurance training for beginners series I'm going to outline a few considerations to supplement your training and keep you feeling strong and supple throughout.
Strength Training- should play an integral part in every endurance athlete's training regimen regardless of experience. The benefits of are numerous and the potential to lengthen ones career (professional or amateur) is enormous.
Some of the benefits of strength training include a greater bone density caused by the loading of bones and subsequent adaptation process to strengthen said bones; The strengthening of joints via similar processes thus improving the structural integrity of the joint(s); Potential improvements of power output and therefore potential performance benefit; A potential increase in the percentage of lean muscle mass versus body fat.
These are just a few of the potential benefits one can hope to attain through incorporating strength training into their endurance routine, however perhaps the greatest benefit of all is the aforementioned potential to lengthen ones career considerably by reaping the injury prevention benefits gained by the adaptations made with the correct training stimulus.
Due to the complexities of programming for a given individual and the fact that I believe everyone should seek professional guidance when learning how to train safely and effectively I will not attempt to provide a detailed description of how to implement strength training into your routine. There are far too many variables between individuals for to provide an answer that covers everyone's need, however the following considerations are worth noting when looking for a suitable coach.
Strength training need not be a complicated beast to tame, nor for the endurance athlete should it be the priority, in fact two days out of seven is more than adequate to reap the rewards mentioned above. I've written before about specificity in the previous part of this series, however when it comes to strength training and endurance sports it is often misinterpreted. All too often we see articles/blogs or videos outlining ways to mimic certain sporting movements in the gym in order to become stronger in whichever sport, but this is a one way ticket to wasting your time. Put it this way, to become better at a given sport you need to practice/play that sport; to become stronger you must practice strength training... Very simple, right? A good coach will be able to programme your strength work into your already busy schedule to have as little impact on your prioritised training as possible as well as teach you how to lift safely and effectively.
Mobility/ flexibility- Yet another important aspect for the endurance athlete to consider when embarking on a training journey to minimise the risk of injury. Again this need not be complicated or too time consuming, simply adding in some of the following drills/ stretches into your routine can save you a lot of time and/or pain down the line...
Keep your knees functioning well with this check list video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epRXv2sW8NU&list=PLXzgx_NBoqVl23GqbTczwRE-U8WjU2wX8&index=8
Learn how to lengthen tight tissue, reduce muscle soreness- can be used as part of a warm up or cool down... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epRXv2sW8NU&list=PLXzgx_NBoqVl23GqbTczwRE-U8WjU2wX8&index=8
Master some simple stretches to stay flexible and reduce recovery time...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mobbRGs_aMc&index=3&list=PLXzgx_NBoqVl23GqbTczwRE-U8WjU2wX8
Like I have said throughout, none of these different aspects of your routine should take up the bulk of your time, practicing you sport should take precedence, however taking the time to implement these small things into your training could mean the difference between a long and happy relationship with your beloved activity or a short and painful flash in the pan leaving you frustrated and dejected.
Until next time, good luck.