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Endurance Strategies

Training to Enhance Endurance
        Endurance athletes express the need to push forward with daily tough workouts. This work ethic is admirable, but it does not achieve what they want to accomplish. Strenuous fail workouts are not as effectively likely to result in avoidable injuries and ailments.

        Athletes need to focus on having high quality rest and regeneration after every strenuous exercise workout.  Regeneration is the process that improves your hormone profile, decreases inflammation, and improves tissue quality.

        The following steps to enhancing recovery: increases your energy, boosts your immune system, and helps you get the most out of each training session, which ultimately will improve your performance.

         Getting an adequate amount of sleep is an easy way to boost endurance performance. However, the quality of the sleep is also crucial.  Maximize deep, restorative sleep time occurs in the first few hours of sleep each night. This is much easier to say than to accomplish. Stress, nerves, and high levels of adrenaline contribute to intermediate sleep. Early training sessions require adjusting the patterns of sleep so be prepared to go to bed early and make it a regular part of your lifestyle.

         Athletes need to watch what they eat, the amount, and when the consume the food and beverages  Many athletes gather their gear or head for the beer tent immediately after a running event or triathlon. Some trainer recommend consuming a shake, energy bar, piece of fruit, and/or sports drink immediately following a workout or race. It is important to know how many calories have been consumed in order to understand what needs to be consume to replace the energy consumed.

        Amanda Carlson-Phillips, vice president of nutrition and research for Athletes Performance recommends drinking two cups of water for every pound lost during exercise. It also is important to optimize performance by staying hydrated throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you all day. Drink ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day to stay hydrated. The color of your urine color should be clear. If not, drink more water. Do not substitute soda and sports drinks for water.

A Massage
         Professional athletes may get massages immediately after every race or tough training session. Since that is not affordable for most athletes, do a final rinse in the shower can be as cold as you can stand to jump start recovery. 

          Stretching is highly recommended to be a regular part of the cool down post workout. The intention to perform a series of moves that encourage the muscles to contract and relax through normal ranges of motion.  After a game or competition is not the time to attempt to increase your flexibility. This is the initial phase of recovery followed by a relaxed and deep sleep cycle.

What is Endurance?

       Endurance training for young athletes is often a misunderstood topic. On one hand, there are strength coaches who tend to disregard developmentally sound elements of endurance training in lieu of producing stronger and faster athletes, while on the other hand, there are over-zealous coaches and trainers who equate endurance to long distance/duration activities, often with little regard for the athlete's stage of development, ability or current level of conditioning.

Definition of Endurance
       Endurance is defined as the ability to withstand fatigue or the ability to control the functional aptitude of movement while experiencing external stress. The latter definition lends itself well to the concept of athletic development and training young athletes. One thing to consider is that the term endurance has application to varying lengths and types of effort:
  • Long slow distances – efforts of limited intensity but high distance or time
  • Speed – efforts typically lasting 15 – 45 seconds with high levels of intensity but obviously limited time or distance
  • Muscular – the ability to sustain a muscular contraction for a prolonged period of time

       There are several factors to consider with respect to the development of endurance in a young athlete:

  • Mechanical / Coordination / Movement – Efficiency of movement is a key factor in the endurance capabilities of a young athlete. Poor mechanical techniques leads to increased levels of fatigue. To truly increase the ability of a young athlete, coaches and trainers must exercise patience and teach proper movement habits rather than prescribe endless numbers of sets. Improving an athlete's physical technique can effectively increase endurance without any extra training sessions.
  • Body Type – The more overweight a young athlete is, the less endurance they will likely have. Excess body weight (particularly in the form of fat) decreases endurance because of increased energy cost. Additionally, being overweight often leads to poor mechanical efficiency.
  • Psychological – Many coaches feel their young athletes do not possess significant mental toughness. To combat this, some trainers and coaches choose to use drills and exercises to produce what they perceived as mental strength. This philosophy can lead to burnout or injury. A more prudent approach is to systematically present challenges based on the individuality of the young athlete and their current stage of development. It is desirable to offer positive feedback at the conclusion of the training. Starting with small improvements in endurance will enhance their confidence to attempt new and more challenging things.

       It is important to understand that endurance training is critical for long term development and do not expect immediate results. Don't become pre-occupied with immediate effects. Like any other aspect of athletic development, endurance training is part of a continual, multi-tiered effort. Developing endurance allows the young athlete to tolerate an increasing amounts of future exercise stimulus.

       Children are physiologically more fit than the average adult. However, it is very important to begin their training programs slowly,  gradually working to increase duration and intensities.

       It can be a valuable training experience for young athletes to participate in different types of endurance training utilizing seasonal activities such as summer swimming, fall hiking or cycling, and winter snow shoeing. These suggestions are movement based activities and not a treadmill at a gym. Movement and coordination based activities are essential for young athletes. Don't train kids on single function pieces of fitness equipment.

Recommended Reading:

Endurance Training

Altitude Training  Unquestionably, acclimatization to altitude improves performance at high levels but can altitude training improve an athlete's performance at sea level?

Lactate Tolerance Training  Lactate tolerance training will help you to recover more quickly from successive bursts of speed and power. It will increase your tolerance to lactic acid and allow you maintain a high work rate for longer.


Sports Training

Physical and Mental Training Considerations

Optimize Endurance Training  Wanting to optimize his/her endurance training, you begin some background research and quickly discover that the lactate threshold is the best predictor of endurance performance.

Endurance Training for Sports - What is Cardiovascular and Aerobic Fitness?  Endurance training in sport refers to an athlete's ability to sustain prolonged exercise for minutes to hours. Endurance training improves the circulatory and and respiratory systems to supply energy to the working muscles in order to support sustained physical activity.

PDF  Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training for Strength/Power Athletes, such as American football, throwing events in track and field, and sprinting are characterized by the demonstration of high power outputs. The principle of training specificity requires that athletes competing in these activities train using exercises which maximize power output. These exercises may include the weightlifting sport lifts and their variations, plyometrics, and medicine ball training. However, many of the strength/power sports involve maximal efforts which must be repeated after relatively short rest periods. Thus, some strength and conditioning professionals believe that the addition of aerobic endurance training may offer some benefits to strength/power athletes

Training Considerations

Injury Prevention Strategies for Endurance Athletes Injury Prevention Strategies for Endurance Athletes. Injury Prevention Strategies for Endurance Athletes.

Recovery Strategies for Endurance Athletes  Developing a recovery strategy is essential to athlete peak performance and injury prevention. Learn how to recovery from endurance athletic training and ...

Hydration strategies for endurance athletes May 4, 2012  Your body needs fluids for various functions. Body cells and tissues are filled with fluid. The nervous system also requires fluid.

Mental Strength Strategies For Endurance Athletes Feb. 23, 2012 ... Two mental strength strategies for an endurance athlete to help reach peak performance.

Endurance Nutrition Strategies - Sports Nutrition Endurance athletes have to put in just about more training time than any other ... advanced strategies that they can put to work now to improve performance.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Fitness Training Considerations
Kirkpatrick's Evaluating Training Programs
Skating Training Environment
Training Figure Skaters
Group Classes
Fitness Training
Personal Training Plan
Daily Training Plan
Seasonal Training
Training for Junior & Senior Athletes
Age Guidelines for Training
Developing a Plan for Training
Developing Skating Skills
Group Training Stages
Training Priorities
Strategies of Sports Training
Training Task Analysis
Value of Annual Planning
Competitive Training Strategies
Verbal and Nonverbal Communications
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan

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