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Endurance training

Endurance in competitive and popular sports

In popular sport, endurance training is primarily intended to improve stamina and physical fitness. This is primarily about improving fat metabolism and shifting the anaerobic threshold.

In competitive sports, on the other hand, the athletes have the continuous increase in endurance performance in their sights. Top athletes want to improve their best times in order to achieve top positions in the competition.

Competitive athletes supplement their endurance training with intensive stress stimuli to the limit of their performance. Your training is intended to improve the ability to regenerate more quickly and is supplemented by strength and speed training.

Endurance training for recreational athletes

First, the maximum heart rate should be determined. This is calculated using the formula 220 minus age equals maximum heart rate. However, this is only a rule of thumb, individual differences can arise.

This can be determined more precisely in an individual performance test with lactate measurement. To achieve any training effect at all, a heart rate of at least 65 percent of the maximum heart rate should be achieved. For a 40-year-old, this would be a pulse of around 120 beats per minute according to the above formula.

If you train in the 65 percent to 75 percent range, you have fat loss training. 75 percent to 85 percent of the maximum heart rate results in cardiovascular training, although more calories are burned than with fat loss training, but the calories are obtained from the carbohydrate reserves and not from the fat reserves. As a result, you feel more hungry after training than after less intense training.

If you train for a certain performance or want to get faster over short distances, you should train at 80 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

If you want to lose weight through exercise, you should train with less intensity (65 percent to 75 percent), but longer. A lot of calories are burned in the process, but they are not absorbed again immediately, as there is no increased feeling of hunger after exercise.

Training at over 85 percent of the maximum heart rate takes place in the anaerobic zone. This is not recommended because it is a very high burden on the body that it cannot withstand for long due to overacidification. As a result, training often has to be stopped due to fatigue, malaise or nausea. In addition, it does not bring any training success.

Training duration at least 30 minutes

It is important to know that even with fat loss training, energy is primarily obtained from carbohydrate reserves. The body takes only a small part of the energy from the fat reserves. However, as the training continues, this ratio shifts in favor of this energy store.

Health effects

After 30 minutes, around 50 percent of the energy is obtained from the fat reserves. This means that a fat loss workout should last at least 30 minutes, if possible longer, of course. After an hour of training, energy is obtained almost exclusively from fat reserves.

Endurance training has a positive effect on various body functions: breathing becomes stronger and blood circulation improves. The muscles become firmer, the muscle metabolism also improves.

Endurance training is also beneficial for the psyche: the brain releases the "happiness hormone" serotonin, depression is weakened, blood pressure is lowered, you get a lower resting heart rate, the heart rate increases. The blood circulation in the brain improves and with it the ability to concentrate. The general resilience increases and the immune system is strengthened.

Those who train into old age can maintain the level of performance of a 30-year-old. If endurance sports are only started in old age, the level of untrained people who are around 20 years younger is reached, but not that of long-term endurance athletes.